Abkhazia today has preserved many objects of the Soviet heritage. The Socialist Soviet Republic of Abkhazia was a luxurious resort with developed transport links. During the Georgian Civil War 1991 — 1993, the Sukhumi Babushara Airport airport in Abkhazia was heavily damaged and eventually abandoned. Today Abkhazia is very popular among industrial tourists and lovers of Soviet architecture.
The Zhoekvara Shopping Center is one of the examples of classical architecture during the reign of Leonid Brezhnev. The center was built in the 1970s. At the moment it stands completely empty and abandoned. The local authorities in Gagra have no plans for the judicious use of these Soviet strong walls of the shopping center.
For almost two decades of the shopping center’s operation, the purpose and layout of the premises in it, of course, have changed. The first floor was commercial. It was divided by a spacious grocery store and a department store with many departments: leather goods, manufactured goods, shoes, fabrics, bijouterie, knitwear. The grocery store had a self-service system with all its attributes: trolleys, general cash registers and turntables.
The upper floors were occupied by the Ice Cream cafe, two restaurant halls and a dining room. There was a hairdresser in the right wing. The dining room was very large, with the expectation of one-day tourists who, leaving their buses in the square, looked around the city, and then, returning, dined here in groups before returning. According to the recollections of residents, there were moments when the shopping center was simply overcrowded.
The photos were taken by Comdig Urban Exploration Group. They are photographers and explorers based in Russia. The Comdig Group has been documenting urban decay, industrial abandonments, and rural decomposition since 2010.
During the Georgian Civil War 1991 — 1993, all furnishings and equipment were stolen from the shopping mall. The Soviet shopping mall had three large floors in total. Now urban explorers can only observe the wide spaces of abandoned areas.