Crimea is a beautiful region on the Black Sea that has long entranced visitors. This little diamond features many landscapes: Crimean steppe or prairie in the East and North, Feodosia’s sandy beaches, undulating hills of vineyards and fruit trees, castles reminiscent of Bavaria cling to cliffs plunging into the warm sea and there are forested mountain ranges with fabled cave cities to the West.
This diamond-shaped peninsula has its unique set of sights and historical monuments.
Look4ward has collected for you a list of essential architectural masterpieces which reflect a rich history of this land.
The Palace of the Crimean Khans, Bakhchisaray Palace is located in Bakhchisaray town. It was built in 1532 as the main patrimonial residence of the Giray dynasty which ruled the Crimean Khanate within 1441-1783. Till 1783, the Bakhchisaray Palace was the heart of the political, spiritual and cultural life of the state of the Crimean Tatars.
The Bakhchisaray Palace is a monumental historical symbol for the Crimean Tatar people, which represents the Crimean Tatar architecture and culture. The exterior design and elements of the Place were changed during the three centuries, when Bakhchisaray became Crimea’s capital and also during the Crimea’s annexation to Russia, in 1783.
Under the Russian Empire the Palace was in subordination of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The palace changed its destination during the Eastern war of 1854-55 when the Palace became a large hospital for Russian soldiers. In 1917, due to the insistence of the people, including the artist Husein Bodaniski, the palace became a Museum institution.
The Yusupov Palace
On the Southern coast of Crimea, near to the Mount Ai-Petri, in Koreiz town is situated The Yusupov Palace and Park Complex. The palace dates the XVIII century and the beginning of Russian colonization of Crimea. Yusupov Palace it became a former “Pink House”, built in the style of a modernized Italian Renaissance by a talented architect N. Krasnov. The palace’s owner were Prince Felix Yusupov, Prince Sumarokov-Elston – was governor-general of Moscow, and his wife – Princess Zinaida Yusupova. They were one of the richest aristocratic dynasties of Russia, close to the imperial court.
During the time, in february 1945, The Yusupov Palace served as residence for Stalin, during the Yalta Conference. It also served as a venue for a festive dinner in honor of President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. In the postwar period, the palace became a summer residence of the CPSU Central Committee.
The Kichkine Palace
The Kichkine Palace was built in the years 1908-1911, in Gaspra, near the cliffs of Aurora, on which two years later was built the Swallows Nest Palace. From the language of the Crimean Tatars, „kichkine” is translated as „baby”, named becouse of its small size in Crimean Tatar architecture style. The Palace’s architecture is spectacular, very different from other styles. The Palace’s construction was really disputed, because of its creative design and colorful construction.
The palace represents an original element of the special tatar’s architecture. The famous Crimean architect, Tarasov N.P. designed the unusual construction for the Grand Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich Romanov, the grandson of Nicholas I. Now, The Kichkine Palace is one of the main resorts in Crimea and is recognised as one of the most interesting construction with pseudo-Moorish design in Crimea. The Palace ensembles a parkland, which was created by professionals from the Nikitsky Botanical Garden. Here you can enjoy a clean and accurate air and wonderful landscapes to the sea and green park.
The Dulber Palace
The Dulber Palace was built in 1895-1897, in Koreiz for Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich. The Place’s project was designed by the Yalta’s architect Nikolai Petrovich Krasnov. Some of the Palace’s elements and decors were selected by the Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich. This art experience he gained during the long journeys to Egypt, Syria and the Mediterranean countries and the Maghreb. The construction is an asymmetric two four-story building, with more than a hundred rooms. On the white colored walls sculpted stone elements and mosaic composition.
In the World War II time, The Dulber Palace was damaged, so that in 1946 was restored with the cooperation of German and Romanian prisoners of war. In times after the war, The Dulber Palace hosted senior party leaders of the USSR and other socialist countries. All these magnificent places can amaze you in the sanatorium area. Today Dulber is a luxury spa complex where you can relax and recuperate.
The Massandra Palace
Massandra Palace is situated between Alushta and Yalta on the highway Big Yalta, Crimea. Massandra Palace was the residence of the Russian Emperor Alexander III. The palace was built in 1881 near the church of the Assumption of St. John the Baptist by Prince, SM Vorontsov. The palace was built in the style of Louis XIII, under the French architect Bouchard, so the palace is often called the “Lesser of Versailles”. After the death of Prince Vorontsov, the construction of the palace was stopped till 1889, when Massandra Palace was purchased by the specific agency. In 1892, the palace was done by the architect Mesmahera.
The new architect provided the place’s building with expressive style, a square and two round towers, peaked roofs, attics and a romantic front staircase, terraces, open galleries, balconies. At the palace’s and park’s balconies and terraces there are established decorative vases and sculptures depicting Greek gods, sphinxes, chimeras, satyrs, vases, tall columns, statues and fountains. The final version of the palace acquired the character of early Baroque architecture. In the decoration of interior design elements were used a variety of styles – Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Rococo, Classicism. Each of the rooms was given its own unique artistic image. Mesmaher formed one of the most wonderful and interesting complex including the Massandra Palace and the Massandra Park.
The Livadia Palace
The history of the Livadia Palace begins in 1834 when the Livadia was owened by the Polish magnate Leo Potocki. Yalta’s architect KI Eshlimana, built this palace, surrounded by a wonderful park. In 1860, the Palace became the property of the Empress, wife of Alexander II. The new owners put in order vineyards and begin reconstruction of the palace. In 1891 it became a summer residence of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II. On the slopes of surrounding mountains appeared a grape farm Livadia, one of the biggest farms of the Crimean wine factory, Massandra. Here grow grapes of great value, reaching high quality, mostly dessert, wine – Muscat, Tokay Pinot Gris.
Livadia Palace was rebuilt by the famous Yalta architect – Nicholas Krasnov. The basic style for the palace was the Italian Renaissance. Livadia Palace is a complex of buildings, consisting of Great Livadia Palace, the Church of the Exaltation, and the Italian courtyard. After the arrival of Soviet rule the palace was nationalized in 1925 it opened a sanatorium for peasants, but in 1931 became a hospital. It was in this Palace, Yalta’s Conference of Heads of Government of the anti-Hitler coalition – the USSR, the USA and the UK, and it was decided to establish the United Nations.
Lastochkino Gnezdo/Swallow Nest
Swallow’s Nest – the small castle is situated on a steep 40-meter Avrora cliff of Ai-Todor Cape in Gaspra near Great Yalta. The structure resembles a medieval knight’s castle. For many years Swallow’s Nest Castle has become a kind of symbol of the southern coast of Crimea.
Legend has it that the jealous husband wanted to hide from other men his beautiful wife. He built a castle on the edge of Ai-Todor Cape. From the sea cliffs approaches to it was impassable and from the land – there are were a lot of guards. But not long continued jealousy of the husband. Due lack of freedom the beautiful wife jumped from the rock into the Black sea. So even if a man want someone or something and get her or something – there is no way she or it stay with him forever – life changes.
The Ottoman-style Dacha Stamboli was once home to a wealthy tobacco merchant, the building’s exterior is a trifle weather-beaten, but its ornate restored interior is one of Crimea’s best.
The Vorontsov Palace
The Vorontsov Palace located in the town of Alupka is one of the oldest and largest royal mansions in the Crimea. It has being built from 1828 through 1848 for Prince Mikhail Vorontsov as his personal summer residence. The Palace was designed by English architect Edward Blore (the architect of the Buckingham Palace) in Tudor style. The highlight of the Vorontsov Palace is its enormous park ensemble, which features 40 hectares of the unique landscapes designed by the famous gardener Carolus Keebach.