The Arboretum is a famous park in the centre of Sochi, with a collection of 2000 types of trees from all over the world, situated on the square of 50 ha. Sergei Khudekov, who was an editor, art expert, and ballet lover, founded the Sochi’s Arboretum in 1892 as his summer house. Trees were brought from botanic gardens of the Mediterranean and Europe, including the castle of Duke of Oldenburg. You’ll also find here black swans, ostriches, exotic parrots and many pieces of landscape architecture: fountains, grottos, observation deck, etc. Who wouldn't like to explore a nice place with flowers, statues and ballet?
You can walk around this wonderful garden, as the total length of the basalt path in the park is about 45 km. You can reach the top of a hill in a cable car, see the panorama of the Arboretum from up above and then walk down through this floral kingdom. Guided tours and electromobiles are also available. You can make your visit to the Arboretum a kind of a search game. Buy a map in a ticket-box or use the map on the website, and try to find what you think is interesting. Then you won’t miss anything.
Although the word 'Arboretum’ means 'a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees', you definitely can enjoy flowers in the Sochi's Arboretum. There are dozens of types of flowering trees and shrubs, such as banana, colorful flowering shrubs of hibiscus, oleander and lagerstroemia, also called ‘Indian lilac'. Most of them are marked on the map.
Vases and statues in the park were produced by a famous French company of Antonie Durenne. They were purposely chosen by Sergey Khudekov to reflect his ideals and impressions of his life. They symbolize love and hope, faith and justice, dance and literature. The main fountain “Cupids” is a formula of family life: dolphins symbolize wisdom, two angels – Patience and Love, Satyrs – fertility and joy. Sergei Khudekov stole his beloved girl Nadezhda from the dance party and married her. He gave the villa in the Sochi’s Arboterium the name of his wife “Nadezhda”. They lived in happiness for more than 50 years. All the statues are marked on the map.
You won’t see a ballet performance in the Arboretum. However, Sergei Khudekov was a ballet historian, an author of ballet librettos and books about ballet. Here, he wrote four volumes of his fundamental work “History of Dances of All Times and Nations” and collected more than 15 thousand photos, drawings, documents connected to Russian ballet. There is a statue “The Dancer” in the garden and a small museum of the ballet in Khudekov’s villa.
Lower Park is smaller than the Upper one. It is shadowy but not less picturesque. A path goes through a bamboo grove, along the river and ponds with small waterfalls to the white arbor. On your way, you can meet muskrats and beavers, ducks and swans, and wave from the distance to a lonely pelican living on a tiny rocky island in the middle of the pond.
As many romantic parks, the Sochi’s Arboretum has many symbols and legends. Poetic images and characters of Greek myths, the healing fragrance of pines, swans sliding on mirror water of the ponds, flowers, statues and ballet, all create a romantic atmosphere.
Cover photo @ credits to livejournal.com/stav26
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.