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Tskhaltubo is a spa resort in western Georgia, the main town of the Tskhaltubo district of the Imereti province. It is famous for its radon-carbonate mineral springs, whose natural temperature of 33-35°C enables the water to be used without preliminary heating.The resort's focus is on balneotherapy for circulatory, nervous, musculo-skeletal, gynaecological and skin diseases, but since the 1970s its repertoire has included "speleotherapy", in which the cool dust-free environment of local caves is said to benefit pulmonary diseases.Tskhaltubo was especially popular in the Soviet era, attracting around 125,000 visitors a year. Bathhouse 9 features a frieze of Stalin, and visitors can see the private pool where he bathed on his visits.Currently the spa receives only some 700 visitors a year, and since 1993 many of the sanitorium complexes have been devoted to housing some 9000 refugees, primarily women and children, displaced from their homes by ethnic conflict in Abkhazia.
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