Druzhba – Yalta, Crimea - Atlas Obscura


This space age health spa looks like a supervillain's lair. 


This space age building overlooking the Black Sea would be the perfect hideout for a villain on vacation. Indeed, when Druzhba was built in 1986, designed by famous Soviet architect Igor Vasilevsky, the structure overlooking the sea was so ominous Turkish spies assumed it was a secret military building.

They couldn’t have been more wrong. The building, whose name means “friendship,” is actually a health spa.

The strange spaceship design allows for private balconies and amazing views from most of the rooms. On the outside it appears harsh and blocky, but on the inside the circular spa is open, light, and airy. The centre of the building contains social amenities like a salt water pool, a cinema, and cafes.

The artistic concept draws heavily from science fiction depictions of futuristic cities, as well as the Soviet architectural tendencies to maximize public space in a space age style. Vasilevsky credited flying saucers and time machines as inspiration for his design. Today the spa remains open and popular as ever, catering mostly to tourists. 

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