YALTA, Russia

Where was the first Russian wine made? Do wooden organs exist? What palace except Buckingham was built by Edward Blare? Search for answers in Yalta.
 Origin of the name: according to the most popular version the name is derived from the Greek word «yalos» («shore»).  As the saying goes: it stormed and sailors who were on a ship for many days felt already run-down and were ready to die and suddenly the lookout cried: «Yalos! Yalos!». Just so Yalta was discovered. The scientists assume that the name of the city was derived from Turkic «Dzalida», the first citation of which was found in the works of the Arabic chronographer Al-Idrisi in 1154.

History: In ancient times Yalta was the part of the Roman Empire, in the Middle Ages – of the Byzantine Empire. In 1475-1774 the southern part of the Crimean coast was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the 18th century after the eviction of the Christians to the region near the Sea of Azov and next affiliation of the Crimea with the Russian Federation which led to the mass migration of the Crimean Tatars Yalta became a small fishing settlement.

Since the middle of the 19th century the city had turned into a popular resort and had been developing a lot. By the beginning of the 20th century many Russian noblemen as well as the members of the royal family and monarchs had had villas and palaces in Yalta and Yalta region. In witness of this time there are magnificent palaces in the French style of Louis XIV of France ( a style reminiscent of the royal palace in Euxinograd (Varna, Bulgaria) known as «Stalin's Dacha», Livadia Palace built in the Italian Renaissance style with inclusion of Byzantine, Arab and Gothic architectural elements. The Yalta Conference was held there in 1945, when the palace housed the apartments of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other members of the American delegation. And at last majestic Vorontsov's Palace in Alupka (the residence of Winston Churchill during the Yalta Conference), designed by architect E. Blair, the author of the Buckingham Palace in London.

Unique climate in Yalta has made it the cradle of Russian winemaking. The first winery «Magarach» was founded here by prince Vorontsov. The winery museum «Magarach» stores inimitable samples of wine – pink Muscat vintage of 1828, which is listed in the Guiness Book of the World Records as the first Russian wine. Famous «Massandra» was founded later in 1894 by Prince Galitsyn.

Modern Yalta is a favourite vacation spot for Ukrainians and Russians who prefer a relaxing beach-related rest in cozy hotels with sea and mountain view. Few people know that just a few kilometers away from the resort there are stunning natural monuments, caves and «Ghost Valley» - amazing volcanic formations at the foot of the mountain Demerdzhi («smith»).


•   Yalta's Sea Promenade (Naberezhnaya), housing many attractions and being recently renovated (2003–2004)
•   Temples: Armenian Church, designed by architect Ter-Mikaelian  similar to the Church of St. Rhipsime in Echmiadzin, the Roman Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception, Jogn Chrysostom Temple and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

•    Yalta's Zoo «Skazka» («Fairytale»)
•    Countess Vadarskaya's cottage built as a small copy of the Alhambra in Granada, etc. 
•    Livadia Palace and Museum (the Yalta Conference)
•    Tsar Alexander III Palace in Massandra
•    Russian short-story writer Anton Chekhov's house-museum

•    Organ hall in Livadia Palace (handmade organ, made of precious wood)
•    Swallow's Nest castle near Gaspra
•    Prince Vorotsov's Palace in Alupka
•    Foros Church or the Church of Christ's Resurrection 
•    Pushkin's house-museum in Gurzuf
•     Nikitsky Botanical Garden (Nikita) 
•    Marble Cave (Mramornaya) 
•    «Ghost Valley» at the foot of Demerdzhi Mountain