The ensemble in the light Italian Renaissance style is located in the village of Livadia, three kilometers from Yalta. The Livadia Palace is the former southern residence of the Russian emperors and the last building erected in the Russian Empire for the Romanov family. The palace acquired its present appearance at the beginning of the 20th century under Emperor Nicholas II. After the revolution, the building housed a health resort for peasants, then a climatological clinic. At the end of World War II, in February 1945, the famous Yalta conference of the leaders of the three allied powers − the USSR, the USA and Great Britain − was held here, which changed the course of modern history.
What to see:
- An exposition showing the epochs of three generations of Russian emperors.
- An exposition of the 1945 Yalta Conference.
- Monument to the heads of the allied powers Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill by Zurab Tsereteli, the sculptor from Russia.
- Livadia Park, founded almost 160 years ago and occupying 40 hectares, with gazebos and fountains survived from the times of the Tsars.
- Solnechnaya (Tsars’) path terrenkur, starting in the park and stretching for 7 km along the South Coast.
- A majestic bronze monument to Emperor Alexander III, almost 4 meters high and depicting the emperor reposing on a tree stump and leaning on a saber.
The palace in Bakhchisaray is the former residence of the Crimean khans on the left bank of the Churuk-Su river. This is the only example of the Crimean Tatar palace architecture in the world. Since "Bakhchisaray" is translated as "palace-garden", the khan's residence was created as the embodiment of the Garden of Edem on earth: here and there are flowering courtyards with small fountains. Currently, the palace complex includes the Great Khan Mosque, the Persian Garden, the palace square, the falcon tower, the northern and southern gates and other architectural structures.
What to see:
- Khan cemetery, which is located south of the palace mosque, 9 Crimean khans were buried there. The first burial dates back to the 16th century; 98 monuments have survived to this day.
- "Fountain of Tears" by the Iranian architect Omer, created in 1764. It was this fountain that inspired the poet Alexander Pushkin to write the poem "The Fountain of Bakhchisaray".
- The Great Mosque of the Khans stands on the palace square to the east of the northern gate. This is one of the largest mosques in Crimea and the first of the buildings of the Khan's Palace, built in 1532.
- The Catherine Mile Column is one of the eight surviving "witnesses" of the journey of Catherine the Great from St. Petersburg to Crimea. It is a stone column − road signs, that were installed on the route of the Empress.
Another famous Crimean architectural landmark is the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka. It has been being built for 20 years at the foot of Mount Ai-Petri, from 1828 to 1848 by the order of the famous aristocrat, Count Mikhail Vorontsov. The architecture of the palace combined English, neo-Moorish and gothic styles. It is made of diabase (igneous rock), due to which it is popularly called the diabase wonder of the world. The residence has changed several owners. In 1945, during the Yalta conference, which took place in Livadia, a number of meetings between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt took place in the ceremonial dining room of the Vorontsov Palace. In the 50s, a museum was opened here, which pleases with its interiors to this day.
What to see:
- Vorontsovsky Park is a masterpiece of landscape gardening on an area of 40 hectares. About 200 species of exotic trees and shrubs grow there. There are several lakes and mini-waterfalls.
- The ceremonial interiors of the palace, which have almost completely retained their original decoration.
- Trilby fountain in the upper tier of the park. It was built in 1829 and, according to one version, it was named in memory of the beloved dog of Count Vorontsov.
- The "lion" terrace adjoining the south side of the palace is decorated with three pairs of lions: a sleeping pair, an awakening pair and a pair of awake marble lions.
Vorontsov PalaceMassandra Palace
The palace complex, built in the 19th century in the village of Massandra on the South Coast of Crimea, was the residence of Emperor Alexander III. The building was erected in the style of old castles of the French king Louis XIII period, for which it received the popular name "Little Versailles". The palace is a building with orange walls and gray pointed towers, the rooms of which are decorated with portraits of Russian monarchs, as well as dishes and utensils used by the royal family. By the way, initially the palace belonged to Alexander III, then to Nicholas II, and the reigning persons often visited it.
What to see:
- A permanent exhibition of the palace interior of the second half of the 19th century.
- An English-style landscape park full of flower gardens, exotic shrubs and beautiful antique-style sculptures.
- Bronze bust of Emperor Alexander III, installed on the territory of the Massandra Palace in 2017.
Massandra PalaceYusupov Palace
Built in 1909 in the village of Koreïz on the South Coast of Crimea by the architect Nikolai Krasnov for Prince Felix Yusupov. The eclectic architecture of the palace combines elements of the Neo-Moorish style and the Italian Renaissance, the furnishings are mainly made in the Art Nouveau style. After nationalization in the 1920s, the palace housed a government dacha, and in 1945, during the Yalta conference, the palace became the residence of the Soviet delegation. Since those times, some interior elements, billiards and Joseph Stalin's desk have been preserved here. Currently, the estate belongs to the President Administration Managerial Office; visits are possible only with an excursion by appointment.
What to see:
- Exposition and interior of the Yusupov Palace.
- The palace park, founded by Karl Kebach − one of the most famous gardeners of that time. There, on an area of over 16 hectares, 7.5 thousand plants and shrubs grow, and 155 of them are more than 100 years old.
Yusupov PalacePalace of Princess Gagarina
A small cozy palace built at the beginning of the 20th century in the village of Utyos (Greater Alushta) by order of Princess Anastasia Gagarina. By the elements of the Romanesque style − turrets and narrow loopholes − it th resembles a medieval castle. Above the main entrance of the castle there is the family coat of arms of the Gagarin princes with an inscription in Latin: "Force is in antiques". Today it houses the administrative building of the Utyos health resort.
What to see:
The park stretches around the palace and has thousands of plants, dozens of cozy benches and several fountains.
The eastern facade of the palace is entwined with grapes. A very colorful and popular place for photographers.
Cape Plaka, from where a stunning panorama of the sea and the Ayu-Dag mountain opens.
Palace of Princess GagarinaKichkine Palace
A small snow-white mansion, immersed in the greenery of evergreen cypress trees, is located on the slope of Cape Ai-Todor in Gaspra. The estate was acquired in 1912 by Royal Prince Dmitry Romanov and he named it tenderly − Kichkineh, which is translated from the Tatar language as "baby". During the war, the building was used as the German Army headquarters and during the liberation of Crimea, it was badly damaged by shelling. For a long time, until the 80s, the palace was not restored. Since 2011, after the mansion became a private property, it has been completely restored as close as possible to its original appearance, after which a hotel with the same name Kichkineh was opened there.
What to see:
- A picturesque park with century-old cypresses and flower beds.
- A staircase carved into the rock with numerous grotto-pavilions, the steps of which lead to the sea shore.
Kichkine PalaceThe palaces mentioned in the material are only a part of the famous estates that adorn Crimea. In fact, there are many more of them, and we are sure that, for example, the Swallow's Nest castle, the Kharax and Dülber palaces, along with many others, deserve attention of guests of the peninsula. So if you want to know more about the entire palace architecture of Crimea, then think over the route in advance and reserve the time. Vivid emotions guaranteed!