Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain. It should not be confused with the larger Crown of Aragon, that included other territories — the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, other possessions that are now part of France and Greece — that were under the rule of the King of Aragon, but were administered separately from the Kingdom of Aragon. In 1479, upon John II of Aragon’s death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain; the Aragonese lands, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession put an end to it. Aragon was a Carolingian feudal county around the city of Jaca, which in the first half of the 9th century became a vassal state of the kingdom of Pamplona, its own dynasty of counts ending without male heir in 922.
The name Aragón is the same as that of the river Aragón. It might derive from the Basque Aragona/Haragona meaning "good upper valley". Alternatively, the name may be derived from the earlier Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. On the death of Sancho III of Navarre in 1035, the Kingdom of Navarre was divided into three parts: Pamplona and its hinterland along with western and coastal Basque districts and Sobrarbe, Ribagorza and Aragon. Sancho's son Gonzalo inherited Sobrarbe and Ribargorza, whereas his illegitimate son Ramiro received Aragon, but Gonzalo was killed soon after and all the land he owned went to his brother Ramiro, thus becoming the first de facto king of Aragon, although he never used that title. By defeating his brother, García Sánchez III of Navarre, Ramiro achieved independence for Aragon, his son Sancho Ramírez, who inherited the kingdom of Navarre, was the first to call himself "King of the Aragonese and Pamplonese". As the Aragonese domains expanded to the south, conquering land from Al Andalus, the capital city moved from Jaca to Huesca, to Zaragoza.
After Alfonso the Battler died childless in 1135, different rulers were chosen for Navarre and Aragon, the two kingdoms ceased to have the same ruler. By 1285 the southernmost areas of what is nowadays Aragon had been taken from the Moors; the Kingdom of Aragon gave the name to the Crown of Aragon, born in 1150 with the dynastic union resulting from the marriage of the Princess of Aragon Petronilla and the Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer IV. The King of Aragon had the title of Count of Barcelona and ruled territories that consisted of not only the present administrative region of Aragon but Catalonia, the kingdoms of Majorca, Sicily and Sardinia; the King of Aragón was the direct King of the Aragonese region, held the title of Count of Provence, Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier, Duke of Athens and Neopatria. Each of these titles gave him sovereignty over a certain region, these titles changed as he lost and won territories. In the 14th century, his power was restricted by the Union of Aragon.
The Crown of Aragon became a part of the Spanish monarchy after the dynastic union with Castile, which supposed the de facto unification of both kingdoms under a common monarch. In 1412, after the extinction in 1410 of the house of Barcelona, which had ruled the crown up to that date, the Aragonese procured the election of a Castilian prince, Ferdinand of Antequera, for the vacant Aragonese throne, over strong Catalan opposition. One of Ferdinand's successors, John II of Aragon, countered residual Catalan resistance by arranging for his heir, Ferdinand, to marry Isabella, the heir apparent of Henry IV of Castile. In 1479, upon John II's death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain; the Aragonese lands, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession put an end to it. The decrees ended the kingdoms of Aragon and Mallorca and the Principality of Catalonia, merged them with Castile to form the Spanish kingdom.
A new Nueva Planta decree in 1711 restored some rights in Aragon, such as the Aragonese Civil Rights, but preserved the end of the political independence of the kingdom. The old kingdom of Aragon survived as an administrative unit until 1833, when it was divided into the three existing provinces. In the aftermath of Francisco Franco's death in 1982, Aragon became one of the autonomous communities of Spain. List of Aragonese monarchs List of Aragonese consorts List of Navarrese monarchs List of Counts of Barcelona
Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, bandy in a milder climate. Common individual sports include cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, ski jumping, speed skating, figure skating, skeleton, ski orienteering and snowmobiling. Common team sports include ice hockey and bandy. Based on the number of participants, ice hockey is by far the world's most popular winter sport, followed by bandy. Winter sports have their own multi-sport events, such as the Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Universiade. Snow and ice during the wintertime has led to other means of transportation, such as sledges and skates; this led to different pastimes and sports being developed in the winter season as compared to other times of the year.
Winter sports are more popular in countries with longer winter seasons. While most winter sports are played outside, ice hockey, speed skating and to some extent bandy have moved indoors starting in the mid-20th century. Indoor ice rinks with artificial ice allow ice hockey to be played in hot climates. Note: the Olympic rings next to a sport indicates that this particular sport is included in the Winter Olympic Games, as of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi; the Paralympic logo indicates the same for a sport not in the Olympics but in the Winter Paralympic Games. Figure skating Short-track speed skating Speed skating Acroski Alpine skiing Biathlon Cross-country skiing Freestyle skiing Kite skiing Mogul skiing Monoskiing Newschool skiing Nordic combined Ski archery Skiboarding Skibob Skijoring Ski jumping Ski orienteering Snowkiting Speed skiing Speed riding Telemark skiing Winter pentathlon Sports that use sleds going down ice tracks or pulled by something: Bobsled Dogsled racing Ice blocking Luge Skeleton Wok racing Alpine snowboarding Boardercross Slalom Snowskating Slopestyle Free style Snocross Recreation Cross-country Hill climbing Bandy Broomball Curling Ice hockey Ice sledge hockey Ice stock sport Military patrol Ringette Rink bandy Snow rugby Snow snake Snow volleyball Synchronized skating Yukigassen Ice climbing Ice racing Ice speedway Snowbiking Ice canoeing Cold-weather biking Snow drifting Cross country running Some sports are competed in on a more casual basis by children: Building snowmen Building snow fortresses or digging snow caves Ice boating or ice sailing Ice fishing Ice swimming Shinny Snowball fight Tobogganing Snow bowling Snowshoeing Snow golf Winter Olympic Games Nordic Games World Cup Arctic Winter Games Asian Winter Games Winter Paralympic Games Winter Universiade Winter Dew Tour Winter X Games Winter X Games Europe Bandy World Cup Biathlon World Cup Bobsleigh World Cup FIS Alpine Ski World Cup FIS Cross-Country World Cup FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup FIS Nordic Combined World Cup FIS Ski Jumping World Cup FIS Snowboard World Cup Luge World Cup Short Track Speed Skating World Cup Skeleton World Cup Speed Skating World Cup World Cup in Ski Orienteering Ice Hockey World Championships Curling World Championships Bandy World Championships Biathlon World Championships Bobsleigh World Championships FIS Alpine World Ski Championships FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships FIS Nordic World Ski Championships FIS Snowboarding World Championships FIL World Luge Artificial Track Championships FIL World Luge Natural Track Championships FIS Ski Flying World Championships World Figure Skating Championships World Long Track Speed Skating Championships World Short Track Speed Skating Championships Skeleton World Championships World Ski Orienteering Championships Winter carnival Outline of sports Outdoor activity Syers, Edgar.
The Book of Winter Sports, an attempt to catch the spirit of the keen joys of the winter season The Macmillan Company Jessup, Elon Huntington Snow and ice sports: a winter manual E. P. Dutton & company Cereghini Five Thousand Years of Winter Sports Edizioni del Milione Liebers, Arthur The Complete Book of Winter Sports NY: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan "Winter Sports: Sport guides". BBC Online. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. Media related to Winter sports at Wikimedia Commons Winter sports travel guide from Wikivoyage
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, his father had been the first to establish the family among the Roman nobility. Pompey's immense success as a general while still young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office, his success as a military commander in Sulla's second civil war resulted in Sulla bestowing the nickname Magnus, "the Great", upon him. His Roman adversaries insulted him as adulescentulus carnifex, "the teenage butcher", after his Sicilian campaign, he celebrated three triumphs. In mid-60 BC, Pompey joined Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Julius Caesar in the unofficial military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate, which Pompey's marriage to Caesar's daughter Julia helped secure. After the deaths of Julia and Crassus, Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative faction of the Roman Senate.
Pompey and Caesar contended for the leadership of the Roman state, leading to a civil war. When Pompey was defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated, his career and defeat are significant in Rome's subsequent transformation from Republic to Empire. Pompey was born in Picenum to a local noble family. Pompey's father, Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo, was first of his family to achieve senatorial status, despite the anti-rural prejudice of the Roman Senate; the Romans referred to Strabo as a novus homo. Pompeius Strabo ascended the traditional cursus honorum, becoming quaestor in 104 BC, praetor in 92 BC and consul in 89 BC, he acquired a reputation for political double-dealing and military ruthlessness. He fought the Social War against Rome's Italian allies, he supported Sulla, who belonged to the optimates, the pro-aristocracy faction, against Marius, who belonged to the populares, in Sulla's first civil war. He died during the siege of Rome by the Marians, in 87 BC—either as a casualty of an epidemic, or by having been struck by lightning.
His twenty-year-old son Pompey inherited his estates, the loyalty of his legions. Pompey had served two years under his father's command, had participated in the final part of the Social War; when his father died, Pompey was put on trial due to accusations that his father stole public property. As his father's heir, Pompey could be held to account, he discovered. Following his preliminary bouts with his accuser, the judge took a liking to Pompey and offered his daughter Antistia in marriage. Pompey was acquitted. Another civil war broke out between the Marians and Sulla in 83–82 BC; the Marians had taken over Rome while Sulla was fighting the First Mithridatic War against Mithridates VI of Pontus in Greece. In 83 BC, Sulla returned from landing in Brundisium in southern Italy. Pompey raised three legions in Picenum to support Sulla's march on Rome against the Marian regime of Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Gaius Marius the Younger. Cassius Dio described Pompey's troop levy as a "small band". Sulla was appointed as Dictator.
He thought that he was useful for the administration of his affairs. He and his wife, persuaded Pompey to divorce Antistia and marry Sulla's stepdaughter Aemilia Scaura. Plutarch commented that the marriage was "characteristic of a tyranny, benefitted the needs of Sulla rather than the nature and habits of Pompey, Aemilia being given to him in marriage when she was with child by another man." Antistia had lost both her parents. Pompey accepted, but "Aemilia had scarcely entered Pompey's house before she succumbed to the pains of childbirth." Pompey married Mucia Tertia. We have no record of; the sources only mentioned Pompey divorcing her. Plutarch wrote that Pompey dismissed with contempt a report that she had had an affair while he was fighting in the Third Mithridatic War between and 66 BC and 63 BC. However, on his journey back to Rome he examined the evidence more and filed for divorce. Cicero wrote that the divorce was approved. Cassius Dio wrote that she was the sister of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer and that Metellus Celer was angry because he had divorced her despite having had children by her.
Pompey and Mucia had three children: The eldest, Gnaeus Pompey, Pompeia Magna, a daughter, Sextus Pompey, the younger son. Cassius Dio wrote, he was condemned to death, but released for the sake of his mother Mucia. The survivors of the Marians, those who were exiled after they lost Rome and those who escaped Sulla's persecution of his opponents, were given refuge in Sicily by Marcus Perpenna Vento. Papirius Carbo had a fleet there, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus had forced an entry into the Roman province of Africa. Sulla sent Pompey to Sicily with a large force. According to Plutarch, Perpenna left Sicily to Pompey; the Sicilian cities had been treated harshly by Pompey treated them with kindness. Pompey "treated Carbo in his misfortunes with an unnatural insolence", taking Carbo in fetters to a tribunal he presided over, examining him "to the distress and vexation of the audience", sentencing him to death. Pompey treated Quintus Valerius "with unnatural cruelty", his opp
The Ebro is a river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula after the Tagus and the second biggest by discharge volume and by drainage area after the Douro; the Ebro flows through the following cities: Reinosa in Cantabria. The source of the river Ebro is from the Latin words Fontes Iberis, source of the Ebro. Close by is a large artificial lake, Embalse del Ebro, created by the damming of the river; the upper Ebro rushes through rocky gorges in Burgos Province. Flowing eastwards it begins forming a wider river valley of limestone rocks when it reaches Navarre and La Rioja thanks to many tributaries flowing down from the Iberian System on one side, the Navarre mountains and the western Pyrenees, on the other. There, the climate becomes progressively more continental, with more extreme temperatures and drier characteristics, therefore experiencing hot and dry summers which resemble summers seen in arid and semiarid climates. Karst geological processes shaped the landscape of layers of soluble carbonate rock of extensive limestone bedrock formed in an ancient seabed.
Aragonite, a mineral named for Aragon, attests to the fact that carbonates are abundant in the central Ebro Valley. The valley expands and the Ebro's flow becomes slower as its water volume increases, flowing across Aragon. There, larger tributaries flowing from the central Pyrenees and the Iberian System discharge large amounts of water in spring during the thawing season of the mountain snow; as it flows through Zaragoza the Ebro, is a sizeable river. There, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands next to the Ebro; the soils in most of the valley are poor soils: calcareous, pebbly and sometimes salted with saltwater endorheic lagoons. The semi-arid interior of the Ebro Valley has either drought summers and a semi-desert climate with rainfall between 400 and 600 mm, with a maximum in the fall and spring, it is covered with chaparral vegetation. Summers are hot and winters are cold; the dry summer season has temperatures of more than 35 °C reaching over 40 °C. In winter, the temperatures drop below 0 °C.
In some areas the vegetation depends on moisture produced by condensation fog. It is a continental Mediterranean climate with extreme temperatures. There are many ground frosts on clear nights, sporadic snowfalls; the biomes are diverse in these Mediterranean climate zones: Mediterranean forests and scrub. Hinterlands are distinctive on account of extensive sclerophyll shrublands known as maquis, or garrigues; the dominant species are Quercus ilex. These trees form monospecific communities or communities integrated with Pinus, Mediterranean buckthorns, Chamaerops humilis, Pistacia, Thymus, so on; the hinterland climate becomes progressively more continental and drier, therefore there is an end from extreme temperatures accompanied by slow-growing dwarf juniper species to unvegetated desert steppes as in "llanos de Belchite" or "Calanda desert". The mountain vegetation is coniferous forests that are drought adapted, trees in the genus Quercus with different drought tolerance in the wetter highlands.
Halophiles extremophile characteristic communities are frequent in endorheic areas such as lagoons and creeks, which are Tamarix covered and include endemic species of bryophytes, plumbaginacea, Carex, asteraceaes, etc. Their presence is related to the marine origin of the Ebro valley and the extensive marine deposits in the same area. After reaching Catalonia, the Ebro Valley narrows, the river becomes constrained by mountain ranges, making wide bends. Massive dams have been built in this area, such as the dams at Riba-roja and Flix. In the final section of its course the river bends flows through spectacular gorges; the massive calcareous cliffs of the Serra de Cardó range constrain the river during this last stretch, separating the Ebro Valley from the Mediterranean coastal area. After passing the gorges, the Ebro bends again eastwards near Tortosa before discharging in a delta on the Mediterranean Sea close to Amposta in the province of Tarragona; the Ebro Delta, in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, is at 340 km2 one of the largest wetland areas in the western Mediterranean region.
The delta has expanded on soils washed downriver—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of Amposta. A seaport in the 4th century, it is now well inland from the current rivermouth; the rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave erosion. The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for rice and vegetables; the Ebro delta has numerous beaches and salt pans that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. In 1983 Spain designated a large part of the delta as the Ebro Delta Natural Park to protect its natural resources. A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France. Reaching a height of 3,404 metres altitude at the peak of Aneto, the range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, extends for about 491 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between; the Principality of Catalonia alongside with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain. In Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess; the Greek historian Herodotus says. According to Silius Italicus, she was the virgin daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon during his famous Labours.
Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains; as is the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name: "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges. … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa fictional. Other classical sources derived the name from the Greek word for fire, Ancient Greek: πῦρ. According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus "..in ancient times, we are told, certain herdsmen left a fire and the whole area of the mountains was consumed.
The Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west: Girona, Lleida, Huesca and Gipuzkoa. The French Pyrenees are part of the following départements, from east to west: Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques; the independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees. Physiographically, the Pyrenees may be divided into three sections: the Atlantic, the Central, the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division. In the Western Pyrenees, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean, the average elevation increases from west to east; the Central Pyrenees extend eastward from the Somport pass to the Aran Valley, they include the highest summits of this range: Pico d'Aneto 3,404 metres in the Maladeta ridge, Pico Posets 3,375 metres, Monte Perdido 3,355 metres.
In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées Ariègeoises in the Ariège area, the mean elevation is remarkably uniform until a sudden decline occurs in the easternmost portion of the chain known as the Albères. Most foothills of the Pyrenees are on the Spanish side, where there is a large and complex system of ranges stretching from Spanish Navarre, across northern Aragon and into Catalonia reaching the Mediterranean coast with summits reaching 2,600 m. At the eastern end on the southern side lies a distinct area known as the Sub-Pyrenees. On the French side the slopes of the main range descend abruptly and there are no foothills except in the Corbières Massif in the northeastern corner of the mountain system; the Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Between 100 and 150 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous Period, the Bay of Biscay fanned out, pushing present-day Spain against France and applying intense compressional pressure to large layers of sedimentary rock.
The intense pressure and uplifting of the Earth's crust first affected the eastern part and moved progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene Epoch. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone; the massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development. The upper parts of the Pyrenees contain low-relief surfaces forming a peneplain; this peneplain originated no earlier than in Late Miocene times. It formed at height as extensive sedimentation raised the local base
Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, located on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia. The Greater Sochi area, which includes territories and localities subordinated to Sochi proper, has a total area of 3,526 square kilometers and sprawls for 145 kilometers along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains; the area of the city proper is 176.77 square kilometers. According to the 2010 Census, the city had a permanent population of 343,334, up from 328,809 recorded in the 2002 Census, making it Russia's largest resort city. Being part of the Caucasian Riviera, it is one of the few places in Russia with a subtropical climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters. With the alpine and Nordic events held at the nearby ski resort of Rosa Khutor in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 until at least 2020, it was one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Before the whole area was conquered by Cimmerian and Sarmatian invaders, the Zygii people lived in Lesser Abkhazia under the Kingdom of Pontus the Roman Empire's influence in antiquity. From the 6th to the 11th centuries, the area successively belonged to the Georgian kingdoms of Lazica and Abkhazia, who built a dozen churches within the city boundaries, the was unified under the single Georgian monarchy in 11th-century, forming one of the Saeristavo, known as Tskhumi extending its possessions up to Nicopsis; the Christian settlements along the coast were destroyed by the invading Alans, Khazars and other nomadic empires whose control of the region was slight. The northern wall of an 11th-century Byzantine basilica still stands in the Loo Microdistrict. From the 14th to the 19th centuries, the region was dominated by the Abkhaz and Adyghe tribes, the current location of the city of Sochi known as Ubykhia was part of historical Circassia, was controlled by the native people of the local mountaineer clans of the north-west Caucasus, nominally under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, their principal trading partner in the Muslim world.
The coastline was ceded to Russia in 1829 as a result of the Caucasian War and the Russo-Turkish War, 1828–1829. Provision of weapons and ammunition from abroad to the Circassians caused a diplomatic conflict between the Russian Empire and the British Empire that occurred in 1836 over the mission of the Vixen; the Russians had no detailed knowledge of the area until Baron Feodor Tornau investigated the coastal route from Gelendzhik to Gagra, across the mountains to Kabarda, in the 1830s. In 1838, the fort of Alexandria, renamed Navaginsky a year was founded at the mouth of the Sochi River as part of the Black Sea coastal line, a chain of seventeen fortifications set up to protect the area from recurring Circassian resistance. At the outbreak of the Crimean War, the garrison was evacuated from Navaginsky in order to prevent its capture by the Turks, who effected a landing on Cape Adler soon after; the last battle of the Caucasian War took place at the Godlikh river on March 18, 1864 O. S. where the Ubykhs were defeated by the Dakhovsky regiment of the Russian Army.
On March 25, 1864, the Dakhovsky fort was established on the site of the Navaginsky fort. The end of Caucasian War was proclaimed at Kbaade tract on June 2, 1864, by the manifesto of Emperor Alexander II read aloud by Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia. After the end of Caucasian War all Ubykhs and a major part of the Shapsugs, who lived on the territory of modern Sochi, were either killed in the Circassian Genocide or expelled to the Ottoman Empire. Starting in 1866 the coast was colonized by Russians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Germans and other people from inner Russia. In 1874–1891, the first Russian Orthodox church, St. Michael's Church, was constructed, the Dakhovsky settlement was renamed Dakhovsky Posad on April 13, 1874. In February 1890, the Sochi Lighthouse was constructed. In 1896, the Dakhovsky Posad was renamed Sochi Posad and incorporated into the newly formed Black Sea Governorate. In 1900–1910, Sochi burgeoned into a sea resort; the first resort, "Kavkazskaya Riviera", opened on June 14, 1909.
Sochi was granted town status in 1917. During the Russian Civil War, the littoral area saw sporadic armed clashes involving the Red Army, White movement forces, the Democratic Republic of Georgia; as a result of the war Sochi has become Russian territory. In 1923, Sochi acquired one of its most distinctive features, a railway which runs from Tuapse to Georgia within a kilometer or two of the coastline. Although this branch of the Northern Caucasus Railway may appear somewhat incongruous in the setting of beaches and sanatoriums, it is still operational and vital to the region's transportation infrastructure. Sochi was established as a fashionable resort area under Joseph Stalin, who had his favorite dacha built in the city. Stalin's study, complete with a wax statue of the leader, is now open to the public. During Stalin's reign the coast became dotted with imposing Neoclassical buildings, exemplified by the opulent Rodina and Ordzhonikidze sanatoriums; the centerpiece of this early period is Shchusev's Constructivist Institute of Rheumatology.
The area was continuously developed until the demise of the Soviet Union. Following Russ