It was another beautiful day in Crimea when we arrived to Lavadia Palace located near Yalta. The palace is a little over 100 years old and was built as a Summer residence for the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family.
In 1909 Nicholas and his wife, Aleksandra, traveled to Italy, where they were captivated by Renaissance palaces shown to them by Victor Emmanuel III. Upon their return, they engaged Nikolay Krasnov, Yalta’s most fashionable architect, responsible for the grand ducal residences in Koreiz, to prepare plans for a brand new imperial palace. After 17 months of construction, the new palace was inaugurated on 11 September 1911. In November Grand Duchess Olga celebrated her 16th birthday at Livadia.
Romanovs loved the place and spent in Livadia palace at least 2,5 months every year.
Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana
Alexei and I went to two exhibitions there. The first was devoted to the Russian Royal family and the tragic fate of the last Russian Monarchs in 1918.
The second exhibition was devoted to the Yalta Conference which was held here in 1945. During the Yalta Conference the palace housed Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other members of the American delegation. American’s president was so taken by the palace’s beauty and grandeur that he asked Joseph Stalin to buy it, but the Soviet leader refused. Important international meetings still take place in the Livadia Palace.
Today the palace houses not only museums, but sometimes it used for international summits, concerts and other public events. Have a look who else visited Livadia palace in 2012!
There is a beautiful park near the Palace. It was created almost 200 years ago. The park is one of the oldest on the Crimea peninsula.
The are two lifts in the park to take you down to the beach. It looked to us as an old Soviet bunker.
You can read what other people say about their visit to Livadia palace on Trip Advisor website.
Very long corridor to the actual lift. It definitely could be used as a bunker……… Alexei said he felt scared.
Lift …… few steps …….. and the beauty of the Black Sea is in front of us!
But it is not only about a warm blue sea. Everything here is about Russian history and Russian Royal family. We are on the “Tsar’s beach”. Emperor Nicholas II, and Empress Alexandra of Russia loved to spend time with their children here like any other family.
Grand Duchess Anastasia
And our Alexei is almost on the same spot less than hundred years later
Royal picnic on the beach
But if you traveled to Crimea to improve your health like many other visitors do, you should try another very popular tourist attraction. The famous Tsar’s Path starts from the palace. It is almost horizontal, without steep hills. It is 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) long. It really is a remarkable path with picturesque scenery, decorative sculptures, unusual benches, and exotic trees and bushes. The last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family loved to walk there.
The path was built in 1861 for recreational use by the Russian Tsar Alexander III near his Crimean resort at the Livadia Palace. It was built upon the family doctor’s recommendation due to its healing and therapeutic elements that are attributed to the local climate which would help with the family’s tuberculosis health problems. Its construction finished in 1901, and it remained one of the Romanov family’s favorite relaxation spots. Because of the name of the path and its references to Imperial Russia, the path was renamed to the Solnechnaya Tropa (or Sunny Path) during Soviet times.
During the 20th century Yalta was the principal holiday resort of the Soviet Union. In 1920, Vladimir Lenin issued a decree “On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the Working People” which endorsed the region’s transformation from a fairly exclusive resort area into a recreation facility for tired proletarians.
The Livadia Palace also was used as a sanatorium for peasants and working class people. Later it was transformed into medical resort. Many patients suffering from a heart disease and a respiratory tract disease were prescribed to walk on this path by their doctors.
Here is a map of the Tsar’s path on the stone wall and sundial next to it.
The path is marked with stones. The stones will tell you how high you are by the sea level and the distance.
An interesting fact, it was here that the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy recovered from a difficult illness in 1902. He came to Yalta in 1901 suffering with very serious lung disease. Tolstoy stayed not far from the Livadia Palace and asked a special permission from Tsar Nicholas to walk on his path. For 10 months Leo Tolstoy was walking on the path almost every day. The illness was so serious that nobody believed he would survive. Tolstoy’s wife was advised to prepare for the worst. But Tsars path and unique Crimean air cured the great author. In 1902 he came back to Moscow and lived another 8 years. He died in November 20, 1910 (aged 82)