Plunging into the maelstrom of history, it seems that Krasnaya Polyana’s destiny to become a world-class resort was predetermined many centuries ago.

It is known for certain that a very important caravan route passed along the Mzymta river in ancient times. The area is next mentioned several millennia later, in the 6th Century, when the territory of modern Krasnaya Polyana was settled by the Circassians, who planted orchards and began collecting honey. Alpine honey has remained one of the many symbols of Krasnaya Polyana ever since. Even the renowned Baron Tornau wrote that the honey collected from the wild bees in this area was distinguished by its light colour and had an unsurpassed fragrant aroma. This delicacy was especially popular among the Turks, with whom the Circassians had ongoing trade relations.

In 1817, the Caucasian War began with the Russian goal to annex the Caucasus and gain access to the Black Sea. On 2 June 1864, an order was read out in Krasnaya Polyana announcing the end of the war and the victory of the Russian forces. The surviving Circassian families were sent off to Turkey. A Russian settlement was established at Krasnaya Polyana and named Romanovsky. However, people accustomed to living on the plains found it extremely difficult to survive in mountainous conditions. As a result, the area quickly became uninhabited.

A decade later, the area became a haven for Greeks. In the fall of 1878, the Greek explorers Fedor Fanailov and Murat Ksandinov first saw these fertile lands from Pseashkho pass. Before them lay a clearing thickly overgrown with brown ferns and scarlet maples, hence the name – Krasnaya Polyana or the Red Glade. Later, 36 Estonian families moved here. First they lived alongside the Greek settlers, but later they moved a little higher up along the river. This village became known as Estonsky Sad or Estonian Garden (now – Esto-Sadok).

In 1898, the Russian official Nikolai Abaza was instructed to develop the Black Sea coast. He did not ignore Krasnaya Polyana. A special commission examined the area. As a result, measures were taken to improve this region.    

The main achievement was a road leading from Kransaya Polyana to the Black Sea coast. This road somewhat resolved the problem of accessing the new resort, however, the road was covered with snow during winter and the settlers remained isolated. By the beginning of the 20th Century, the present-day resort of Krasnaya Polyana consisted of just one street, a small church, and several shops. After Tsar Nicholas II chose this location as a recreational area for the Imperial family and a hunting preserve, the resort began to develop rapidly: the first hotels, tavern, coffee houses, telegraph, and post office were built. Count Sheremetyev and the singer Sobinov were the first to acquire dachas in Krasnaya Polyana. Alexander Tchaikovsky, a colonel in the medical service, noted the beneficial effects of the local climate on the human body and in 1908 he built a rest home here for tuberculosis patients. The principles of the healing regimen were based on the unity of man with nature. Colonel Tchaikovsky recommended that patients go for frequent walks in the forest, relax under shady trees, and climb mountains. The results were not long in coming: the rare combination of sea and mountain air truly brought relief to patients and the manifestations of their ailments became less severe.

After the arrival of Soviet rule in 1920, the area of Krasnaya Polyana was transformed into collective farms. Around this same time, a nursery for raising bees was established.

The Great Patriotic War hindered further development of the resort. Fierce battles were fought in this area and elsewhere throughout the country.

The Soviet army defended the Black Sea coast. After the war, Krasnaya Polyana began developing once again. The first conquerors of the mountain slopes of Krasnaya Polyana were fans of freeride skiing. They appreciated all the beauty of the free descent down untouched snow long before the advent of developed trails and ski lifts. In 1968, the state children’s and youth ski school was opened. It is from this date that the development of the territory as a ski resort begins.    

But the main event in the history of Krasnaya Polyana was the 2014 Olympic Games which gained the resort worldwide fame. State-of-the-art roads, railways and cable cars, stadiums, ski and bobesleigh tracks, world-class hotels, and advanced television and communications systems were the richest legacy of the 2014 Olympics. Thanks to such grandiose transformations, Krasnaya Polyana today is not only one of the best ski resorts, it is also a center of active social life, where international creative festivals, business forums, conferences and industry exhibitions are becoming the norm.

Krasnaya Polyana is a center of mass tourism and is the first worthy Russian alternative to foreign ski resorts. It offers safety for tourists, everything needed for a family vacation, the setting for a romantic trip or extreme mountain climbing, a rich social life all year round, and ample opportunities for health and relaxation. It is in these that the extraordinary attractiveness of Krasnaya Polyana is concentrated today and it is where its development is focused for the future.

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