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On the 23 of June 1831 eight Russian war vessels appeared near the Gelendzhik Harbor in the Black Sea. Russian troops wanted to enter the harbor and to build a fortress in order to take control of the whole Black Sea coast. It took Russian soldiers two days to lower the boats into the chopping sea. Landing party had a mission to get to the shore, examine it and choose an appropriate place for building a fortress. Soldiers landed at the very convenient Tonkiy Cape, but found no fresh water there but a large swamp. Thus they had to move further to the Tolstiy Cape, where hill-men attacked them. The Tolstiy Cape also appeared to be unsuitable for the fortress, and soldiers had to move a little bit more to find a perfect place with plenty of fresh water. However, before the construction started, the site had to be lifted. Construction was scheduled for three years.

Up to 1836 Gelendzhik remained the only Russian fortress on the Black Sea Coast. The Russians and the Circassians slowly sorted out all misunderstanding and started trading. In 1863 Gelendzhik fortress became the settlement and trade spot on the Black sea coast. Russian merchants arrived and built storage and shops. The government granted them the duty-free trade for 25 years.

The Gelendzhik Harbor was an important strategic object it hosted second fleet of the Black Sea. From here war vessels controlled the coastline up to Gagra (now Abkhazia), keeping Turkish and English ships away from the shores. When the Crimean War (1853-1856) began, the Black sea coast was in trouble. Russian fortresses were surrounded by English, French and Turish ships from the seaside, and by the Adygs from the mountains. The decision was to withdraw the garrisons and to blow the fortresses up. In 1854 transport ships arrived to the harbor, collected wounded soldiers, food and weapons and left for Novorossiysk.

Gelendzhik started developing after the highway connected Novorossiysk and Sukhumi. Many Russian and foreign merchants came to the town to sell and buy land, to build houses and to create gardens and vinelands. Privileged class built beautiful summerhouses there. Foreign entrepreneurs tried to get maximum benefit from the Black sea lands without caring about the consequences. Another attraction for investors was malmstone deposit natural material for cement production. For 30 years French cement factory poisoned the air of the future resort. That factory was the only place, where electric lights reflected in waters at night.

Domestic landlords were different they wanted to make the place a beautiful spot by introduction of gardening, wine growing and building resort areas. Famous vineyard owners were the founders of first resort areas of Gelendzhik. 1900 was the year first sanatorium opened. In 1903 studies of local climate started medics were excited by the healing effect of marine air on patients with bone tuberculosis. Same year a small colony for children, suffering form bone tube tuberculosis appeared in the area.

The beginning of the 20th century met Gelendzhik with 3000 citizens, and 8000 people came to the settlement in summer. In 1915 Gelendzhik acquired the town status. In 1970 the town became the All-Soviet health resort with 1.5 million visitors every year.

Hard times came in 1990s, but they werent long. Another 1.5 million guests came to the town in 2001. Today the town is among most comfortable Russian towns.




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  (Krasnodar Territory)

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