Sanatorium Medea: Relic from Soviet Georgia

Abandoned buildings, whether ancient or modern, have always piqued people’s interest. Sanatorium Medea in Tskaltubo, Georgia, is one of those modern buildings that people completely abandoned. During the Soviet era, this building was a very popular location for high-class Russians to visit and enjoy their holidays. However, once the Soviet Union collapsed, the hotel lost its popularity and people stopped coming.

Sanatorium Medea

Sanatorium Medea was especially popular for its mineral water and spa facility. It was so popular that the town of the building had a direct route to Moscow and even Stalin apparently had a house nearby the hotel.

Sanatorium Medea from above

The Soviets once called the water in the resort Waters of Immortality, a glimpse into its popularity during that era. The hotel had more than 25 sanatoria and bathhouses and 5000 rooms and still exemplifies Soviet architecture perfectly. Sanatorium Medea’s columns, archways, staircases, interior paintings, and fountains are characteristics of its Stalinist architecture. These are especially popular today with photographers from all over the world.

Sanatorium Medea exterior
Sanatorium Medea balcony

Moreover, the resort has also been home to tragedy as well. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia found itself in a bitter and bloody civil war with Abkhazia. Due to the war, many people were displaced or escaped from the horrors of war.

Sanatorium Medea interior

Some of these Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs had to make Sanatorium Medea their homes. In the beginning, this was just a temporary solution to a huge problem that was going to get even bigger. Nearly 10,000 people settled in the empty hotel buildings during the early 1990s. Today, more than 30 years later, hundreds of IDPs still live inside the formerly abandoned resort, trying to live their lives.

Sanatorium Medea exterior from above

However, the conditions of living inside the empty hotel rooms are not of course suitable. The buildings have not received any renovations and are decaying, facilities are not up to date and many people have to share them together. No one is sure about the future of Sanatorium Medea or its inhabitants.

abandoned resort
abandoned resort in Georgia
abandoned resort columns