Yalta, Ukraine: Winter Palaces on the Black Sea

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Prince Vorontsov's Alupka Palace

Prince Vorontsov's Alupka Palace

Yalta is nestled against the mountains at the southern end of the Crimean peninsula.   The sparkling golden onion domes of the Nevsky Cathedral peak through the pines over the colorful beach resorts.  At the port McDonald’s golden arches and Lenin’s statue sit uncomfortably side-by-side.  The Palace Tour is the most popular because it combines history with fantasy; and French, Italian, Islamic and English architectural styles with dramatic sea views and gardens.

The first important palace in the area was the Alupka Palace built by Prince Vorontsov in an interesting mix Islamic and English styles.  The north side looks like an English or Scottish Manor, while the south entrance facing the Black see combines Gothic elements with Islamic ornamentation. Venetian lions guard this entrance.  And beautiful hillside gardens end the tour.  The prince was married to young Elizabeth whose affair with Pushkin caused the writer considerable trouble.

The Livadia Palace was the last built by Nicholas II before the World War and the October Revolution.  Upstairs are remnants of the leisurely and oblivious lifestyle of the royal family, including many pictures of the large family and their retinue.  The ground floor is mainly devoted to the famous Yalta conference where Stalin, Churchill and FDR hammered out terms that lead to the post war map of Europe.

The Swallows Nest is a tiny palace built on a cliff and one of the favorite picture taking locations in the Black Sea.

Nicholas II's Livadia Palace

Nicholas II's Livadia Palace

The Massandra Palace is up the hill from the port and the center of a vineyard that produces some of the finest sweet wines and fortified wines in all of Russia.  The house was built by the Prince Vorontsov’s son and the family kept a collection of wines there which is one of the finest anywhere.  The home is in the style of a Loire chateau.

For more information about Yalta go to www.cruiseportatlas.com/Ports/YLT-port.htm

For picture of Yalta go to www.flickr.com/photos/72746900@N08/sets/

At CruisePortAtlas.com we give a portion of every dollar we make to Action Against Hunger, a world charity that works to provide sustainable hunger relief to people in need around the world.

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About cruiseportatlas

Since 1994 John has worked in the Travel Industry after several years in Higher Education and Hospitality. He was a training executive for Certified Vacations before leading Oceania Cruises training efforts beginning in 2005. In 2010, he was appointed to head Training for Prestige Cruise Holdings, owner of both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. In 2011, John started CruisePortAtlas.com. Since 2012, John has been selling cruises for iCruise.com. John was always interested in travel, but was inspired to make it his profession by his wife, Donna. John is an Army brat who spent 3 years in Germany when he was a small brat and the rest of his brat years in the states of Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He studied History at the College of William and Mary. John reads voraciously, cooks and eats prodigiously, travels happily, enjoys music, art and architecture from any place or time and has finally stopped smoking.

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