CNN Features Abandoned Tskaltubo Spa

CNN has reported on the abandoned Tskaltubo Spa complex and how the spas have become home for a community of refugees. 

Titled ‘the abandoned Soviet-era spas a community of refugees calls home’, the article covers the work of Dutch-Canadian photographer Ryan Koopmans who has spent 5 years photographing the decaying sanatoriums. 

Tskaltubo used to be one of the most luxurious and popular spas along the Black Sea. However, as the Soviet Union crumbed, so did the sanatorium, as nature was left to run its course.

However, life remained in Tskaltubo. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of war for the independence of Abkhazia, refugees fled from their homes in Abkahzia and discovered the abandoned corridors of Tskaltubo.

To this day, refugees and the children and grandchildren of the original settlers, still live amongst its decaying rooms. Despite no light, heating or running water the spa’s residents “have had to adapt and create their own makeshift means of survival,” said Koopmans. They even tend animals and vegetables on the spa grounds.

Today, the spas are slowly coming to the attention of investors who are beginning to buy back land and renovate dilapidated buildings. As a result, the Georgian government has finally begun re-homing refugees as developers draw up plans to relaunch the spa as a luxury tourist destination. 

by Amy Jones 

Photo source: CNN / Ryan Koopmans 

17 January 2019 16:29