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"Riviera" is a famous park located in the center of Sochi. The history of Sochi as a seaside resort began from the very time of the foundation of that park at the beginning of the 20th century. A well- known Moscow merchant V.A. Khludov was one of the park founders.

The park was named “Riviera” by analogy with French Azure Coast (“French Riviera”). Nowadays, it is the most popular place in Sochi. The park is about 15 ha, however, it houses a considerable collection of exotic plants, about 250 species and subvarieties. There are many amusement rides and recreation grounds there. The most wonderful places of the park are Cosmonauts Alley of magnolia trees planted by Russian and American astronauts; Writers Alley with famous Russian writers’ busts; Glade of Friendship, where according to old tradition each outstanding Sochi guest should plant a magnolia.

“Love” fountain and Bench of Love formed as a heart were built in 2005. That place has become a favorite place to take wedding pictures. Another interesting place located in the middle of the alley is Bench of Reconciliation. It was designed by local artist P. Khrisanov. If sweethearts are at odds, they will sit down on the opposite sides of the bench, and then, inevitably, they’ll turn out to sit close to each other.

There are a lot of peculiar sculptures in the park: stone fallow-deer on one of the glades, graceful metal herons in the middle of the pond, snow-white gulls above the fountain. These original sculptures have begun to appear here since 1930th, so in a short while this place turned into a quaint zoo of animal sculptures.

“Ferris wheel” is the most popular amusement ride in the park. It has an awesome view down the mountains, the sea and the picturesque city landscape. Oceanarium is another popular place; fish from all over the world are shown there. There is also an open-air theatre where big shows and concerts are held. Besides, near the park one can find Riviera Beach, one of the best city beaches.


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