Livadia Palace is located on the Black Sea in the village of Livadia, three kilometers from Yalta. This magnificent architectural ensemble was built as a southern residence for the imperial family and survived not only the Russian monarchy, but also the new political regime that followed it. The snow-white walls of the Livadia Palace have repeatedly witnessed great historical events, and its luxurious halls have hosted many world politicians and artists.
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Video: Livadia Palace
Major historical milestones
Russian history of Livadia began in 1834, when Count Pototsky bought it from the Greek Ravelliotti. The new owner mortgaged his lands, which in 1861 became the property of Tsar Alexander II. The Count’s mansion was enlarged in accordance with the tastes and needs of the royal family (the Big Palace), and on the adjoining territory they built several outbuildings, the Heir’s Palace and the church (the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross).
Over time, the modest buildings were no longer able to meet the growing needs of the Romanovs. In addition, the building of the White Palace was rapidly deteriorating under the influence of fungus, and it was decided to demolish it.
The design of the new residence was entrusted to the architect N. P. Krasnov. The spectacular ensemble in the Italian Neo-Renaissance style was ready by 1911. The walls of Livadia Palace were made of Inkerman stone. By the way, many ancient monuments of Alexandria were built from this material. In the period from 1902 to 1916 on the former Count’s estate have appeared new buildings, such as the Corps of Pages, a palace of Baron Fredericks and some outbuildings.
The Romanovs and members of the royal family in Livadia One of the buildings of the Livadia Palace at the beginning of the last century
Nicholas II visited Livadia for the last time in the summer of 1914. In 1918 the German troops got to Yalta and thoroughly looted the imperial residence. After the interventionists had come, the new government turned the property of the Russian monarchs in the sanatorium for patients with tuberculosis of peasants, which later received the status of medical complex.
Historical fact. During the Second World War the palace and park complex was seriously damaged: as a result of the military actions in the region of Yalta the Heir’s Palace was completely destroyed.
In February 1945 in Livadia Palace took place the legendary Crimean Conference, at which the leaders of the “Big Three” Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt decided the post-war world order.
Up to nineties of the last century the former imperial residence constantly changed its status, turning in the government summer residence, then placing in its walls all kinds of resorts. And only in 1993, Livadia Palace was finally declared a state museum.
During the conference of 1945 Allied leaders at the negotiating table
Livadia Palace and Park Complex: today
Today the palace ensemble includes the Grand Palace, the Church of the Holy Cross, the Corps of Pages, the palace of Minister Baron Fredericks and the park.
The Livadia Palace is not only a monument reminding about the great past of our country, but also a real cultural center of Yalta. International symposia and scientific conferences are still held in its luxurious halls. And the picturesque courtyards and the park have long been used by filmmakers for filming.
The following parts of Livadia Palace are open for visitors
Vestibule. It is decorated in the Italian Renaissance style and decorated with stucco bas-reliefs. This is also where a huge fireplace is located.
The formal dining room (White Hall). The refined interior of the room is supplemented with moldings and decorative elements of the rare Carrara marble. During the Yalta Conference all plenary sessions were held in the White Hall.
Expected. The walls of the hall are decorated with walnut panels made by the famous St. Petersburg company “Melzer F. and Co”. The green marble fireplace, framed in lacquered wood, and the Venetian chandelier deserve special attention. By the way, in 1945, the waiting room was the reception room of F. Roosevelt.
Reception Room. The mahogany-finished room is in the Jacobean style. In the central part of the room is a carved white marble fireplace, on which stand the famous Meissen vases and a large mirror. During the Crimean Conference, the room served as the American president’s bedroom.
Stucco on the ceiling in the lobby Chandelier White Room
Billiards Room. The spacious Tudor-style room surprises guests with its painted ceiling and spectacular shade of chestnut-wood panelled walls. Since F. Roosevelt’s dining room was located here in February 1945. Roosevelt’s dining room in February 1945, elements of the furnishings of that time have been partially preserved in the room.
The Emperor’s study. Although the room has lost much of its original appearance, its interior is still unique. The cabinet is decorated in the Art Nouveau style: the walls are decorated with maple panels, and the heat source is the fireplace made of gray-green dionite. Here you can see a unique handmade rug, depicting Nicholas II with his wife and Tsesarevich Alexei.
The bedroom of Their Imperial Majesties. Designed for the recreation and solitude of the imperial couple, this room was especially elegant with its white panelling on the walls. Today it contains a collection of icons, engravings and photographs that introduce visitors to the life of the crowned family.
The library. The room is distinguished by its simple and laconic design. There are mahogany bookcases along the entire perimeter of the room. The walls of the library are decorated with works by famous Russian artists: B. Dmitriev, I. Krachkovsky and R. Alt.
The study of the Empress. The Art Nouveau style, adapted to women’s tastes and needs, was chosen for Alexandra Feodorovna’s workplace. Additional refinement was given to the study by the original oval mirror, the fireplace tiled with ceramic tiles, and the portrait of the Empress and her children painted by E. Samokish-Sudkovskaya.
The Empress’ Drawing Room. This room of particular elegance was used by the wife of the last Russian tsar as a reception room. The interior decoration was based on paneling and furniture made of smoked maple, of which only a closet has survived. On the walls of the drawing room are artistic paintings of flowers.
Emperor’s Study Ancient Sofa Corridor Interior items in the Livadia Palace Carved marble
The Small Dining Room. The room, which served in the Livadia Palace as a gathering place for the entire imperial family, has a yew finish. You can see the everyday utensils that were served to the Romanovs’ table, as well as amateur photographs taken by members of the royal family, just in the Small Dining Room.
The Great Duchesses’ Classroom. The room with oak paneling displays water colors by the architect of the Livadia Palace, N. P. Krasnov, as well as the miraculously preserved drawings and letters of the children of Nicholas II. The classroom also keeps a group photo of the royal family made for the ceremony celebrating the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov.
The Italian courtyard. This courtyard is bordered on all sides by a Tuscan style colonnade. The center of the architectural composition is a marble fountain. It was assumed that the place would be used for morning and afternoon promenades. By the way, exactly in the Italian Yard on February 9, 1945, the most famous photo, depicting the leaders of the “Big Three” countries was made.
The Arabian Yard. Unlike the Italian, the Arabian Yard was not designed for walking and resting. It acts as a light well. Its interior is decorated with majolica with Arabic ornaments and a wall fountain “Mary”.
Marble bench Arabian patio with fountain
The Church of the Holy Cross. The white building in the best traditions of Byzantine architecture has preserved its original appearance only partially. After the October Revolution, it became a sanatorium, a club, and even a warehouse. As a result of these metamorphoses the temple has completely lost its marble facing and the altar part. However, despite external changes, the church has no shortage of pilgrims. The fact that St. John of Kronstadt served the requiem service for Alexander III in this very church attracts parishioners.
Church of the Elevation of the Cross A mosaic icon on the church
Tours and exhibitions
There are two constantly functioning exhibitions in the Livadia Palace – “Tsar’s Hunting” and “My History. Romanovs”. The first one displays watercolors and photos on hunting themes. It is known that Nicholas II was an avid hunter, so it is not surprising that there are many of his trophies in the corridors of the building. You can visit the exhibition from 10:00 till 16:00. The cost of the tour is already included in the price of the admission ticket.
Group at the Livadia Palace tour
The second exhibition is devoted to the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov and will be of interest first of all to those who are not indifferent to the destiny of the monarchic dynasty. The exhibition is held with the use of modern audio-visual equipment. Information is presented in a lively and entertaining way, visitors are shown films and are offered fascinating electronic quizzes. Doors of the exhibition are open from 10:00 to 16:00. The cost of an adult ticket is 200 p.
In addition to exhibitions on the history of the Romanov family there are two memorial cabinets-libraries. They contain printed works from the private collections of F. Roosevelt and W. Churchill, as well as their scientific works. In addition, regular tours of the two main exhibitions are organized in the museum-reserve:
- The Romanovs in Livadia;
- Crimean conference of the heads of the governments of the USSR, the USA and Great Britain.
- The cost of the ticket for the sightseeing tour of Livadia Palace is 400 rubles. Pensioners and students pay 250 rubles on presentation of appropriate documents. Children under 16 years old and participants of the Great Patriotic War are entitled to free entrance to the halls of the Livadia Palace.
- Museum ticket office is open 5 days a week (weekend – Monday, Wednesday) from 10:00 to 16:00.
- In the palace park there is still the Tsar’s path (terrenekur) with the length of about 7 km.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to the Livadia Palace is from the Yalta bus terminal. To get to the museum there are lines № 11, 100, and 108. All of them go to the last stop, which is Livadia. The rest of the distance can be easily covered on foot by turning to the palace park. It will take no more than 5 minutes to walk along the shady alleys.
The exact address of Livadia Palace: Lavra Rep. Address: Livadia Palace: Crimea, Yalta, 44A, Baturin str.
Livadia Palace is located on the southern coast of Crimea not far from the city of Yalta. It was built for the rest of the imperial family. Three generations of the Romanovs spent their summer vacations in this palace. The most striking historical events and fates of the people of the XX century are connected with it. Throughout the century it has been given different roles: residence of the Romanov family, a sanatorium, a hospital and a state summer residence No.1. Many times the palace hosted international meetings and conferences. Today the Livadia Palace is open for everyone.
Ticket prices for Livadia Palace 2022
Guided tour of the main exhibition:
- Full price – 400 rubles;
- A discount ticket (for pensioners and students): 250 rubles.
The cost of visiting the interactive exhibition about the Imperial family – 100 rubles.
Excursion along the route “Tsar’s Solarium” – 100 rubles.
Detailed information on the official website of the Livadia Palace.
History of the Palace
Livadia Palace was built over a century ago. Its history goes back to 1911. The project was made by the Yalta architect Nikolai Petrovich Krasnov by order of Emperor Nicholas II. In the shortest possible time of 16 months he managed to complete the construction of the palace and park complex of several buildings. On completion, Nicholas Romanov was delighted with the work. Every summer for four years, the imperial family vacationed and exercised in his secluded estate in Livadia. The palace became a favorite place for its guests. In 1914 the Romanovs left the palace and never returned.
When the Bolsheviks came to power, the Livadia Palace was converted into the first peasant sanatorium. After Yalta was liberated from the Nazis during the war, the palace became a hospital for soldiers.
In February 1945 when the palace was chosen for the Soviet, British and American governors’ conference in Yalta (Crimea) it became a separate page of its history. At this time the whole American diplomatic delegation with President Roosevelt was accommodated there.
After the war up to 1953 the palace was assigned as State Dacha №1 for the higher authorities of the country. Only in 1993 it became a state museum. Nowadays it is called “Livadia Palace Museum”. Since 1998 international meetings of high ranking officials are regularly held in its halls.
Exposition and exhibitions
In the halls of the Livadia Palace there is a museum with two permanent exhibitions. The first is dedicated to the last emperor’s family, the second – to the Crimean Conference of 1945. There are also regularly organized temporary thematic exhibitions. Specialists count about 116 rooms, made in different decorative styles.
They include display rooms: the Italian and Arab courtyards, the state dining room, the vestibule, the waiting room, the billiard room, the study of the Emperor and Empress, the bedroom of Their Imperial Majesties, the library, the drawing room, the small dining room and the classroom for children.
One of the most famous photos of the “Big Three” – Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill – was taken in the Italian courtyard of the Livadia Palace.
The permanent exhibition is dedicated to one of the main hobbies of the last emperor. There are collected photographs and pictures on hunting themes. Hunting trophies of Nicholas II can be seen at the exhibition “Tsar’s Hunting”.
Tours of the Livadia Palace
The Livadia Palace Museum offers tours of the two main exhibitions:
- “The Romanov Family in Livadia.”
- “The Crimean Conference of the Heads of the USSR, the USA and Great Britain.”
The sightseeing tour lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes. During it visitors can see the gala halls of the first floor, listen to a guide about the events of February 1945 related to the work of the Yalta Conference. The second floor is dedicated to the three generations of the Romanovs and their stay on the South Coast of Crimea. There is a wonderful view to the sea from the upper terrace.
How to get to the Livadia Palace from Yalta
Livadia Palace is situated not far from the Southern Black Sea coast, in the Livadia Village, Yalta District of Crimea. It is situated about 3 km from Yalta, on the eastern slope of Mogabi mountain. You can reach the palace by public transport or by car.
From the railway station in Simferopol there are buses and trolleybuses “Simferopol-Yalta”. Get off at the bus station Yalta.
From the bus station or the city center in Yalta:
- by buses № 100, 102, 115 to the stop “Livadia”;
- By route bus № 11 to the bus stop “Livadia”.
Then a five-minute walk through the territory of Livadia Park.
It will take about 30 minutes by car from the center of Yalta. If you want to go by SEVASTOPOLskoe highway or by Yuzhno-Berezhnoe highway.