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Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums
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Maryam Omidi Damon Murray
Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi at Abbey's Bookshop,

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

Maryam Omidi Damon Murray Stephen Sorrell



Photographs: collections;
Health systems & services


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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Soviet citizens had an enshrined ‘right to rest’, meaning two weeks off a year, which led to the rise of the Sanatorium. Holidays were meant to be purposeful, rather than relaxing, and sanatoriums were meant to encourage communion with other guests and nature, while allowing workers access to treatments designed as preventatives and cures. Workers were also meant to gain weight! This fascinating book showcases a number of sanatoriums, which were often architecturally interesting, as well as some of the treatments. Call me decadent, but I think I’ll stick with the South Coast... Lindy Jones


Architecturally diverse and ideologically staunch, Soviet sanatoriums were intended to edify and invigorate.

Visiting a Soviet sanatorium is like stepping back in time. Originally built in the 1920s, they 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.

Although aesthetically diverse, Soviet utopian values permeated every aspect of these structures; Western holidays were perceived as decadent. By contrast, sanatorium breaks were intended to edify and strengthen visitors: health professionals carefully monitored guests throughout their stay, so they could return to work with renewed vigor. Certain sanatoriums became known for their specialist treatments, such as crude-oil baths, radon water douches and stints in underground salt caves.

While today some sanatoriums are in critical states of decline, many are still fully operational and continue to offer their Soviet-era treatments to visitors. Using specially commissioned photographs by leading photographers of the post-Soviet territories, and texts by sanatorium expert Maryam Omidi, this book documents over 45 sanatoriums and their unconventional treatments. From Armenia to Uzbekistan, it represents the most comprehensive survey to date of this fascinating and previously overlooked Soviet institution.

By:   Maryam Omidi
Edited by:   Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell
Imprint:   Fuel
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 159mm,  Width: 200mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   590g
ISBN:   9780993191190
ISBN 10:   0993191193
Publication Date:   October 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

The nearly 200-page tome provides an overview of a very particular culture that is fascinating to outsider eyes without treating it as exotic.--Claire Voon Hyperallergic

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