Originally conceived in the 1920s, these once glorious sanatoriums offered a luxury escape for the hard-working citizen with thermal baths and spas providing great health benefits. Often decadent with ornate architecture and interior design throughout, it seems a shame that so many now lie abandoned, crumbling. Still, there's a beauty in what's left, as Reginald has been able to capture.
He remarks: "High-ranked officers and lieutenants from the Russian Army relaxed at these – even special dedicated military sanatoria were constructed, serving only military personnel. With the majority of the USSR leaders based in Moscow, they simply connected these spa resorts with a direct train line to the capital. In Mother Russia, anything is possible. Stalin frequented the baths many times and a shrine devoted to the communist leader still reminds us of those glorious times."
But is all completely lost? "During my visit, I could see that little by little things are put into motion. Railway stations are being renovated, whereas I expected them to be in a very bad state. I saw many gardeners maintaining the lush gardens and landscapes. I noticed security keeping an eye on the still active buildings. On all of my visits, I had a warm welcome by the kindest people inviting and showing me around into the former ballrooms, leisure rooms, patios and private rooms. The outdoor pool had freshwater, the roads in and around many buildings were being asphalted anew... Maybe, just maybe, the utopian dream is not lost."