Vorontsov Palace in Yalta
One of the most popular places among tourists. It is not only Massandra, Livadia, and Swallow’s Nest palace, but also it is on the list of must-see places for tourists on the southern coast of Crimea.
Vorontsov Palace is located in Alupka, 15 kilometers from Yalta. If you come here, you will combine a number of ways of having a vacation. During the excursion around the palace you will dive into the history, walk around the beautiful park which surrounds the castle, and have a rest by the sea. From the palace to the coast – close at hand. If you come in summer, combine the trip with a beach holiday, if in the off-season – have a picnic on the beach, or just breathe the sea air, listen to the lapping of waves.
Near the palace there are several cafes and a market with souvenirs. But they work mainly in the high season, when a lot of tourists arrive. Otherwise, be prepared to have lunch or dinner in Yalta, or to take something for a snack.
Address: 18, Dvortsovoye Shosse, Alupka
Coordinates: 44.419886, 34.055884
Working hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (during the high tourist season, from July to September, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Vorontsov Palace in Yalta belonged to Count Vorontsov, governor-general of Novorossiysk Territory, and was supposed to serve as his summer residence. The luxurious castle was originally built in the English style, then the project was changed. Oriental motifs were added to the final version. Its uniquely beautiful southern terrace, decorated with fountains and vases, is the construction’s visiting card. And on the stairs, leading to the sea, there are marble sculptures of lions.
The palace’s calling card is the extraordinarily beautiful southern terrace, decorated with fountains and vases. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
The palace consists of five buildings with 150 rooms. The first building to be erected was not the central one, but the dining hall, then the Shuvalovsky, in which guests and the Count’s son-in-law lived. Later it was converted into a billiard hall.
Walking around the palace, you can get acquainted with the interior and the way of life of members of the count’s family. They lived here until the October Revolution.
After the death of the Count, the Vorontsov Palace belonged to his son and then to his distant relatives. In 1921 the mansion became a museum, but during the Great Patriotic War many exhibits were stolen. The palace was used as a state house for the Soviet government.
In 1956, the castle again opened a museum, and since 1990 there is Alupka palace and park museum-reserve.
The architectural elements of the Vorontsov Palace are of eastern motifs. Photo: pixabay.com On the steps leading to the Vorontsov Palace, guests are greeted by sculptures of lions. Photo: Maria BERK The Vorontsov Palace is surrounded by an ancient park with 200 species of exotic trees and plants. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org To photograph the palace in full, you have to climb one of the observation decks. Photo: Maria BERK The highlight of the park is Swan Lake, with semi-precious stones scattered along its bottom. Photo: Anastasiya Kurdyukova
- The castle was built for 20 years, from 1828 to 1848.
- During the Great Patriotic War, the Vorontsov Palace in Yalta several times tried to blow up, but the mansion survived, losing many exhibits. In 1944 the amount of damage was estimated at almost 5 million rubles.
- Types of the Vorontsov palace flash in the films “Scarlet Sails”, “Ten Negrites”, “Assa”, “The Marriage of Figaro”, “Sky Swallows”, “Sappho”. Other popular Soviet and modern films were also shot here.
- During the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British delegation stayed at the palace.
- Vorontsov Palace is surrounded by an ancient park, which gathered 200 species of exotic trees and plants.
- The highlight of the park is Swan Lake, at the bottom of which were poured several dozen bags of semi-precious stones, so that in clear weather it unusually shines.
What to see
The decoration of the palace. For tourists are open to the grand halls and rooms on the first floor. In addition, you can see the count’s kitchen, the Shuvalovs’ house, the butler’s apartment, various exhibitions and expositions. Surprisingly, almost all rooms and state rooms still have their original decorations. The lobby and dining room resemble the halls of chivalry in medieval castles.
Walking around the palace, you can get acquainted with the interior and the way of life of members of the count’s family. Photo: Maria BERK
Be sure to walk down to the sea from the south terrace . It is one of the most beautiful places. Along the stairs are sculptures of lions, which are a special highlight of the palace.
The special pleasure will be a walk through the old park, the area of which is 30 hectares.
Vorontsov Palace at different times of the year
The palace and the park look marvelous in any season of the year. In summer, when it is sunny and cloudless, the area seems like a fairy tale. In the fall, when the sky glooms and low clouds fall, the castle and the park look as if enchanted.
The palace and the surrounding park look stunning at any time of the year. Photo: Anastasia KURDYUKOVA
It rarely snows in Yalta in winter. Few people manage to walk there under the falling snowflakes. In spring it’s bright with greenery and flowers, the air is full of fragrances.
From May to late September a lot of tourists visit the palace, so be prepared to enjoy the quiet at this time. Between October and the end of April, on the other hand, you’ll find silence and solitude. No parking problems, no queues at the ticket office, and no people blocking your selfies.
Where to take beautiful pictures
Take pictures at the palace from different entrances. Each of them is visually different, so the photos will not seem the same.
Good shots are obtained inside the courtyard. But to take a picture of the palace completely, you will have to photograph it from above. Nearby there are several platforms that you can climb up.
You can get beautiful shots at sunset. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
Romantic shots come out on the steps leading to the Vorontsov Palace. On the right and left sides, guests are greeted by sculptures of lions. If you go for a walk around the park, you will find picturesque places for a photo session there, too.
Newlyweds love to have their pictures taken at the palace most of all. Wedding photographers often arrange professional photos here.
Vorontsov Palace in the Crimea
November-March: daily from 9:00 to 17:00, the ticket office to 16:15. April-June, September 16-October: from 9:00 to 18:00, box office to 17:15. July-September 15: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., box office to 7:15 p.m.
Depends on the variant of visit: from 100 to 1000 rubles. There are discounts for students, pensioners and teenagers 16-18 years old
|Bus||From Yalta to the stop “Vorontsov Palace” – from the center № 132. Then you have to go on foot.|
|Bus||Stop. “Centr #1A|
|Shuttle cab||From Yalta (bus station) to the bus stop № 107, 115. Then go on foot.|
Vorontsov Palace in Alupka (Crimea) is rightly considered to be one of the pearls of the peninsula. The elegant and at the same time majestic building is situated at the foot of Ai-Petri Mountain. It is surrounded with unique park complex, and an astonishing view over the Black Sea opens from the front stairs.
The palace complex blends harmonically into surrounding landscape, because its location corresponds to the mountain relief. That is why the palace has such an original image. Vorontsov Palace in the Crimea and the adjacent park often became a movie set. At least 17 movies have been shot there.
Ticket prices for the Vorontsov Palace in 2022
Ticket prices are listed on the official website of the complex. They depend on the selected expositions and excursions.
- Individual expositions and exhibitions: adults – from 110 to 450 rubles, students, pensioners and adolescents 16-18 years old – from 55 to 250 rubles.
- Park tours on foot: 100 rubles for adults, 70 rubles for students, Pensioners and adolescents 16-18.
- Park tours by electric car: 800 rubles for groups of 4-20 people.
- For visitors with discounts and free category, as well as children from 7 to 16 years old: you will be charged 70 rubles for the use of audio-guides.
- “Single ticket (all expositions and exhibitions): adults – 1000 rubles, students, pensioners and teenagers of 16-18 years old – 560 rubles.
Working schedule of Vorontsov Palace
Working schedule depends on a season: the main Vorontsov Palace building works every day with the following schedule:
- January 01 – March 31: from 9:00 to 17:00, the cash desk until 16:15,
- 01 April – June 30: from 9:00 to 18:00, the cash desk to 17:15,
- July 01 – September 15: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., box office to 7:15 p.m,
- September 16 – October 31: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., box office to 5:15 p.m,
- November 01 – December 31: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., box office to 4:15 p.m.
You can visit the exhibitions, temporary and permanent exhibitions every day from 09:00 to 17:00. However, the Parade Halls and South Terrace are open on Saturdays until 20:00. There are guided tours of the palace park, but only if you gather a group of 15 to 20 people. There are walking tours and electric car rides. “Single ticket” can be purchased any day except Monday and Wednesday.
History of the Vorontsov Palace
The first owner of the palace was His Serene Highness Prince Mikhail Semenovich Vorontsov, a descendant of an ancient family, known since the 14th century, a hero, who took part in many military campaigns and retired with the rank of field-marshal, a Novorossian and Bessarabian governor-general, an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. After his death in 1856, the palace was alternately owned by close relatives of the prince. After the revolution, the building was nationalized.
The construction of the Vorontsov Palace in the Crimea dates back to 1828-1848. Hereditary stonecutters performed the relief work, and the work was done by hand. First the Table Block was erected, and then the Central Block. Already in the 40s of the 19th century there was a billiard room, wings, towers, guest and household buildings, as well as a library. Sappers worked hard over the ledges of the South terrace. Thanks to them, Vorontsov Palace in Alupka got a chic grand staircase, on the pedestals of which in 1948 were mounted lions, made by the Italian master Giovanni Bonnani. This was the finishing chord of the decoration of the general ensemble of the palace complex.
Already in 1921 the Vorontsov Palace in the Crimea, which never changed its name, was turned into a museum. During the Second World War, the exhibits had no time to hide, so many of them were taken away by the occupants. The sums of the stolen exhibits were enormous. During the Yalta conference (February 1945) the palace was temporarily transformed into the residence of Winston Churchill and his entourage. Up to 1956 it was used as a government summer residence. Subsequently, it was decided to reopen the museum, which operates to this day, but already in a new status. In the 90s the complex was renamed as a palace and park museum-reserve.
The appearance of the building displays elements of different epochs and a successful combination of architectural styles – strict English, with a direction towards Neo-Gothic, and luxurious Eastern, Neo-Moorish. It is interesting that the palace began to be built according to one design (by Italian Francesco Boffo and Englishman Thomas Harrison), and was finished by another (by the famous British eclectic architect Edward Blore). By the way, the latter, working on the project, did not visit Alupka, as he was too busy with orders of the royal family at home.
The main material for the construction of the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka was diabase, which is superior to the strength of granite stones. The museum-preserve includes five separate buildings, courtyards, a terrace, grand and additional staircases, and a park area.
Inside the palace
The official website of the Vorontsov Palace offers several interesting expositions. The main exposition is the State Rooms, which are located in the Main Building. Their decoration has been preserved almost in its original state. The decoration of the State Study follows all the rules of English style. There are portraits of the first owner and his brothers-in-arms who took part in the Battle of Borodino. The Chinese cabinet is able to surprise visitors with skillfully decorated furniture and mats of rice straw that occupy the most part of the walls’ surface. The entrance hall with its profiled wooden ceilings, austere furniture and fireplaces adorned with diabase portals is adjacent to the vestibule with an embroidered representation of the Shah of Persia. The blue living room impresses with its refinement and the amazing stucco ornamentation, once made by a fortress master.
In the Winter Garden, you can see the curly ficus, preserved since 1838, and rare exotic plants. There are curious sculptures and a fountain. The Vorontsov Palace in Alupka resembles a knight’s castle. There is an original balcony for musicians and a fountain, shaped as a fireplace, that attracts attention. The Billiard Room with paintings, placed on the walls, rounds off the exhibition.
The next exposition is the one-story Shuvalov’s outbuilding that only people close to M. Vorontsov’s daughter family had access to. The cozy house has several rooms, each of which is interesting in its own way. Then you can go to the butler’s apartment, located in the Household Building, and see how the servants of the Prince lived, receiving full board, and even a salary. You can also take a look into Vorontsov’s kitchen. And finally, another exposition of the Southern Terraces includes the grand staircase itself, sculptures of lions, flowerbeds, and cascading fountains.
In addition to the main objects of the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka, there are temporary and permanent exhibitions on its territory. Among them there are Russian and Western European porcelain and fayas, paintings of different periods, including the second half of the 20th century, sculptures, graphics, etc.
The Vorontsov Palace Park
The lower part of the park is characterized by Italian regular style. Around the palace complex grow predominantly coniferous trees – firs, firs, cedars, pines and cypresses, so the territory is always green. In spring and summer in the park bloom magnolias, exotic shrubs, and wonderful certis, whose trunks are thickly covered with purple-burgundy flowers, reminiscent of moths. The Vorontsov Palace Park is incredibly beautiful, and walking through it is an unbelievable pleasure.
Vorontsov Palace – how to get there
There are several options for visiting the palace and park complex in Alupka. There are two routes through the city – upper and lower, so you can get here from different settlements of the peninsula, connected by the South Coast and Sevastopol highway.
Two buses, Nos. 102 and 132 from the center, regularly run between Yalta and the Vorontsov Palace. They stop within walking distance of the sight – just a 10-minute walk. The stop of the shuttle buses between Yalta and Alupka (Nos. 107 and 115) is a bit farther from the complex – a 15-minute walk.
You can get to the Vorontsov Palace by a direct bus Sevastopol-Yalta to the bus stop ‘Nursery’ and walk there.
The way from Alushta to the Vorontsov Palace consists of two steps. First, you need to get on the Crimean trolleybus № 52 to Yalta, and then change to a bus or minibus (description above).
From Simferopol to the trolleybus station in Yalta, which is located near the “Bus Station”, you can get from the bus stop Sovetskaya Ploshcha to Yalta on trolleybus № 52, where you change to the bus № 107 to the stop “Pozharka / Amet-Khan Sultan Museum”. Then the way to the Vorontsov Palace – how to get there is described above. A quicker way to Yalta is to take an intercity bus.
Crimean cab drivers and private carriers know very well where the Vorontsov Palace is, so they deliver passengers not only from Yalta, but also from Foros, Gurzuf, Alushta and even Simferopol. When traveling independently by car, you will have to take care of a navigator in advance.
Important information Until October 2017, it was possible to get to the Vorontsov Palace by sea. Currently, the Alupka pier is closed due to its destruction