Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

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To understand the Soviet concept of sanitorium you have to rethink its core purpose. The word sanitorium is forever connected in our mind with Heidi with her golden plaits, up in the Swiss Alps visiting her cousin Joachim who was recuperating in a Swiss sanitorium. However in the mind of a Soviet Citizen there was a different understanding, a visit to a санаторий ‘sanatoriy’ was as much as anything else, a reward.

Originally conceived in the 1920s, 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 era’s sanatoriums are among the most innovative buildings of their time.

Often visits to Soviet Sanitoria were state-subsidized, workers given vouchers, sent by their factory committee or trade union, but like all things, there were tiers of access, the more elite the sanitoria the more connected the recipient.

This book by Maryam Omidi, from the Fuel Publishing house contains a splendid collection of photographs and text on Soviet-era sanatoriums from Armenia to Uzbekistan. All the photographs are specially commissioned for the book, taken by a team of young photographers specialising in the post-Soviet territories.

Maryam Omidi
160 x 200 mm hardback
192 pages

RRP £19.95

Greyscape Price £14.50


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Additional information

Weight 750 g
Dimensions 36.5 × 26.0 × 5.0 cm

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