Inside the eerie USSR-era sanatoriums where Russians go for Soviet-style spa breaks

THESE days in the UK a spa break includes a nice green smoothie, a couple of saunas and a nice facial.

But in Russia, some men and women are still going to strict Soviet sanatoriums that look like something from a horror film.

A new book takes a look inside the Soviet sanatoriums built in the 1920s that are still used by Russians for spa breaks today
A new book takes a look inside the Soviet sanatoriums built in the 1920s that are still used by Russians for spa breaks today

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

Originally conceived in the 1920s, Soviet sanatoriums afforded workers a place to holiday, courtesy of a state-funded voucher system.

At their peak they were visited by millions of citizens across the USSR every year.

A combination of medical institution and spa, the sanatoriums were among the most innovative buildings of their time.

The breaks were intended to improve both the mental and physical state of the visitors.

Two visitors take part in a mineral water bath. For patients unable to endure the heat of a full mineral-water bath, this topical treatment allows the submersion of just arms and legs
Two visitors take part in a mineral water bath. For patients unable to endure the heat of a full mineral-water bath, this topical treatment allows the submersion of just arms and legs

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

A hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, used to treat decompression sickness, carbon-monoxide poisoning and even autism
A hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, used to treat decompression sickness, carbon-monoxide poisoning and even autism

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

Health professionals carefully monitored guests throughout their stay, so they could return to work with renewed vigour.

While today some sanatoriums are in critical states of decline, many are still fully operational and continue to offer their Soviet-era treatments to visitors.

These include crude oil baths, luminotherapy treatment and oxygen therapy chambers.

Using specially commissioned photographs by leading photographers of the post-Soviet territories, and texts by sanatorium expert Maryam Omidi, a new book provides a sneak peak inside more than forty sanatoriums and their unconventional treatments.

A crude oil bath and luminotherapy treatment
A crude oil bath and luminotherapy treatment

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

A guest relaxes during a luminotherapy session, which helps patients with seasonal depression
A guest relaxes during a luminotherapy session, which helps patients with seasonal depression

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

While some sanatoriums offer mud baths or mineral-water therapies, Kolkhida’s main attraction is its magnetic sand, believed to alleviate various ailments related to the heart, blood, joints, circulation and bones
While some sanatoriums offer mud baths or mineral-water therapies, Kolkhida’s main attraction is its magnetic sand, believed to alleviate various ailments related to the heart, blood, joints, circulation and bones

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

From Armenia to Uzbekistan, it represents the most comprehensive survey to date of the overlooked Soviet institutions.

Holidays In Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi was published by FUEL and is available to buy for £19.95.

Druzhba sanatorium overlooks the Black Sea
Druzhba sanatorium overlooks the Black Sea

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

Originally conceived in the 1920s, Soviet sanitoriums afforded workers a place to holiday, courtesy of a state-funded voucher system
Originally conceived in the 1920s, Soviet sanitoriums afforded workers a place to holiday, courtesy of a state-funded voucher system

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

medical institution and spa, the sanatoriums are among the most innovative buildings of their time
A combination of medical institution and spa, the sanatoriums are among the most innovative buildings of their time

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

Ultraviolet light-emitting sterilisation lamps are placed in the ear, nose or throat to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi
Ultraviolet light-emitting sterilisation lamps are placed in the ear, nose or throat to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL

Patients exercise in mineral water at Bathhouse 6, at Tskaltubo, a spa town in west-central Georgia, which once included a private room for Stalin
Patients exercise in mineral water at Bathhouse 6 in Tskaltubo, a spa town in west-central Georgia that once included a private room for Stalin

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi, published by FUEL



Source: thesun
Inside the eerie USSR-era sanatoriums where Russians go for Soviet-style spa breaks