Livadia Palace, a favorite summer home for Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, is located in Livadiya Crimea, just south of the popular coastal destination of Yalta. While this palace in Yalta was once alive with the comings and goings of the royal family, today it is open to all visitors as both a museum and an occasional host to administrative events. If you’re interested in the history of Imperial Russia, this destination is well worth visiting—and it doesn’t hurt that in addition to Livadia, Yalta travel features a variety of other attractions, including several palaces, beaches, and lovely natural landscapes.
Beginning its life over one hundred years ago, the estate of Livadia Palace belonged to several families, from Lambros Katsonis, a Greek naval hero, to the Potocki family of Poland to the last royal family of Imperial Russia. Commissioned by the Romanovs, the original structure consisted of two palaces (one larger and one smaller) and a church.
When Nicholas II took command of the Russian Empire in 1894, he ordered the existing buildings torn down to make way for a new structure, which he contracted with the most renowned architect in Yalta at the time, Nikolay Krasnov; the new Livadia Palace was fashioned after the Renaissance palaces the royal couple toured in Italy. The newly built palace in Yalta featured four sides, each one showcasing a different look. After its completion, the estate remained the summer home of the Romanov family until the October Revolution.
The historical value of the palace in Yalta did not end then, however. In later years, the Livadia estate was used for various purposes, including a mental institute and a host for the famous Yalta Conference in 1945, when Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt met to discuss the reorganization of Europe following the end of World War II. The site eventually became a museum, where today visitors can take advantage of the opportunity to learn about its history through the Livadia tours offered.
Other attractions available for those planning Yalta travel itineraries include the Massandra Palace, Vorontsov Palace, Nikita Botanical Garden, the Armenian Church, and the smooth pebble beaches. Another palace once owned by the last Russian royal family, Massandra Palace became a state-owned cottage used by the government officials of the Communist party; today, it is open to the public.
Featuring some of the most renowned gardens in Ukraine, Vorontsov Palace showcases a magnificent gothic design mixed with touches of local influence. One of the oldest botanical gardens of its kind still in operation, Nikita Botanical Garden was established in 1812. Modeled after an ancient church in Armenia, the Armenian Church is filled with intricate details in the design and décor of the building. Resembling the French Riviera, the pebble beaches of Yalta are a great place to relax and sunbathe.
Whether you are drawn to the area strictly for the Livadia Palace or for all the attractions, from palace to garden, Yalta travel provides visitors with a charming and ideal vacation in the southern region of the Crimea. Many travelers visit the area for the beaches, but adding the many historical attractions in the area to your itinerary ensures that you have a chance to learn about this fascinating area in addition to relaxing amid its natural beauty.