Yalta (Ukrainian and Russian: Ялта, Crimean Tatar: Yalta) is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore (γιαλός – yalos in Greek) on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by wooded mountains. It enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with many vineyards and orchards in the vicinity.
The term "The Greater Yalta" is used to designate a part of the Crimean southern coast spanning from Foros in the west to Gurzuf in the east and including the city of Yalta and multiple adjacent urban settlements
The land on which Yalta situated was inhabited by the man long ago. Today's Yalta developed on the place of the Tauri settlement, which was near the former village of Chehovo in I century A.D. Not far from the town archaeologists found things referring to the Stone and Bronze Ages. In the old part of Yalta, on the slope of Polikurovsky Hill and in suburbs of the town there were found the "stone boxes" - burial grounds of the Tauri, ancient inhabitants of the southern coast. The Tauri lived in the Crimea within the period from the X-IX centuries B.C. to the III century A.D. In the scripts of the Greek authors this tribe has bad reputation of cruel pirates, who not only rob travelers, but sacrifice them for their goddess Virgo. But it goes without saying that for the Tauri the piracy wasn't the basis of economy, it was only an "extra trade". They supported life by livestock farming, arable farming, hunting, fishing, dolphin hunting, and gathering sea molluscs.
No doubt, the history the Tauri of a settlement, where Yalta was founded, is connected with the history of the Crimea. Things of the medieval Crimea period are often found during construction work in the town itself. In the Middle Ages here was a large settlement called Dzhalita (Jalita). Yalta (Jalita) can be found in the description of the Crimea coast in the beginning of ХII century (1145). In XIII century Venetians, and then Genoeses penetrated in to the southern coast. In the documents and on maps of the ХIV century Yalta is named Yalita, Calita, Gialita and Etalita.
From the beginning of the XV century Yalta together with others lands of the southern coast was included in the feudal princedom of Feodoro, inhabited by people of the Christian religion. Then it belonged to Genoeses, and later again to Feodoro up to 1475.
From 1475 to 1774 Yalta was included in the province owned by the Turkish sultan. During this period it declined and by the end of the XVIII century it became a small fish village - a number of miserable hovels and church. It was situated in the lower part of Polikurovsky Hill, on Cape Svyatogo Ioanna (of St. John) - here now the marine passenger terminal is situated
After the Crimea had been included in Russia (1783), the lands of present Yalta were given up to the large landowners "for growing lemon, orange, olive and other trees". The village began to grow slowly, although lack of roads hampered its development greatly.
In 1823 M.S. Vorontsov was appointed the Governor-General of Nova Rossia, which includes the Crimea. The enterprising tsar's dignitary, being a prominent landowner, Vorontsov founded wine-making enterprises in Alupka and Massandra. A great contribution to the development of wine-making and spreading subtropical ornamental trees and fruit trees on a Southern coast was made by Nikitsky Botanical Gardens, organized not far from Yalta in 1812.
In twenties of the XIX century the highway connected Yalta with Simferopol, and in thirties - with Sevastopol. In 1838 Yalta got the status of a town and become a center of the new Yalta. However still up to the 60-s all western part of Yalta was occupied with vineyards and tobacco plantations. Yalta began developing only in 70-s, especially after the railway Lozovaia -Sevastopol was built in 1873.
Medicinal properties of Yalta and its environs were insistently promoted by the doctors Botkin and Dmitriyev. Professor Sergei Botkin was the first to express the idea, that Yalta and the whole Southern coast - were the best place from a climate standpoint in Russia for people who suffered from tuberculosis. After his advice the royal family Romanov bought Livadia (for themselves).
It gave a stimulus to the rapid development of Yalta. In order to be closer to the tsar the court aristocracy started building palaces and cottages there. After that, enterprising bourgeoisie began to construct hotels and cottages for the well-off people. Establishment of the Soviet power in Crimea (1920) favored the development of the town.
The organizing of the resort network began. Sanatoriums were started on the basis of the nationalized hotels, boarding houses, and cottages. 18 sanatoriums with rooms for 2400 had functioned in the Yalta's resort area by summer of 1921. In 1925 the first sanatorium for peasants was open in the former royal estate in Livadia. And at the foot of Medved-gora (Bear-mountain) the first tents of the pioneer Camp "Artec" were pitched. Soon constructions of new health-resorts begin. In 1928 in the mountainous-woodland area of Yalta the sanatorium "Dolossy" came into service.
In autumn of 1941 the Crimea was occupied by fascist Germany, which interrupted the resort construction. On 16th April 1944 Yalta was liberated by the Soviet Army. After being restored Yalta started developing.
In Yalta are situated the well-known "I.M. Sechenov" Research Institute of Physical Methods of Treatment and Medical Climatology and "Magarach" Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making. In 1961 regular trolleybus service between Simferopol and Yalta was organized. The trolleybus route was opened in the town itself.
Arriving to Yalta you are sure to hear en expression "Bolshaya Yalta» ("Big Yalta"). It's not a slip of the tongue. Bolshaya Yalta is a significant part of a Southern coast of Crimea, which is about 70 km in length. It stretches from the village of Foros in the West to the village of Krasnokamenka in the East. Yalta is an administrative and resort centre on the coast. There are different enterprises on the territory of Bolshaya Yalta, such as viticulture, tobacco-growing, horticultural. A wine of the Massandra plants enjoys worldwide fame. In recent years a lot of new apartment buildings and convalescent homes have been build in Yalta, great work has been done on town development.
The Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, was the February 4–11, 1945 wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union—President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and General Secretary Joseph Stalin, respectively—for the purpose of discussing Europe's postwar reorganization. Mainly, it was intended to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe. The conference convened in the Livadia Palace near Yalta, the Crimea. It was the second of three wartime conferences among the Big Three (Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin). It had been preceded by the Tehran Conference in 1943, and it was followed by the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, which was attended by Harry S. Truman in place of the late Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill — himself replaced mid-point by the newly elected Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Yalta has struggled economically. Many of the nouveaux riches started going to other European holiday resorts, now that they had the freedom and money to travel; conversely, the impoverishment of many ex-Soviet citizens meant that they could no longer afford to go to Yalta. The town's transport links have been significantly reduced with the end of almost all passenger traffic by sea (on conditions for 2009 sea passenger lines return to Yalta. New line Yalta - Novorossiysk (Russia) is operating in July and August. + Line Yalta - Sinop (Turkey). The longest in Europe trolleybus line goes from train station in Simferopol to Yalta (almost 90 km). Yalta is really overcrowded in high season (July-August) and prices for accommodation are very expensive. Most of tourists here are from former Soviet Union countries. Foreigners (this would be approximately 7% to the total number of tourists visiting Yalta) are mostly from Europe and United States.
Yalta has a beautiful embankment along the Black Sea. People can be seen strolling there all seasons of the year, and it also serves as a place to gather and talk, to see and be seen. There are several beaches to the left and right of the embankment. The town has a movie theater, drama theater, plenty of restaurants, and an open-air market.
Two beaches in Yalta are Blue Flag beaches since May 2010, these where the first beaches (with two beaches in Yevpatoria) to be awarded a Blue Flag in a CIS member state.
Yalta’s Main Attractions
Livadia (The White) Palace
One of the most interesting places at south coast of the Crimea. The White Palace, designed by architect Nikolay Krasnov in Renaissance style, was constructed for imperial family in 1911. It was summer residence of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II and his family. In February 1945 it became a place where the Crimean Conference of the Government executives of the anti-Hitler coalition countries (Stalin from USSR, Roosevelt from USA and Churchill from Great Britain) took place, besides it was residence of US president Franklin D. Roosevelt for the period of Yalta conference.
The Palace of Emperor Alexander III, built by design of French architect Bouchart on the slopes of the mountain ridge in the lonely place surrounded by the wood. The construction started in 1881 under the order of the governor's heir, grand duke S.M.Vorontsov, but only after seven years since his death uncompleted palace was bought by emperor Alexander III and was finished in 3 years. In Soviet period this architectural monument was the closed object as Tsar's Palace, became the state cottage, where Communist party and government leaders stopped to rest. Nowadays the palace is opened for your visit.
Vorontsov (Alupka) Palace
Constructed for Count Vorontsov in 1828-1848 by serf-masters according to the project of A.Blore. The Palace is built in pseudo-gothic style with the eastern style elements. Opened for visitors since 1921, the Palace-museum has the original interiors, collections of furniture, painting, and china. Bronzes, cut-glass ware. Around the Palace there's a wonderful Alupka Park, grounded in 1820 - one of the most known landscape parks in Ukraine. The park consists of the upper and the lower zones and has a large amount of landscape architecture.
Chekhov's House (White Dacha)
The place where famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov after 10 years since his first visit bought a small lot and built by project of architect Shapovalov his cozy house. This is where plays: "The cherry garden", "Three sisters", the story "In the gully", and miscellaneous narratives, had been written by Chekhov. In 1921 Chekhov's house was pronounced as museum. Even nowadays you can walk in the garden among the trees planted personally by Chekhov.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Is situated at the opening of Kirov Street in Yalta, resembles Old Russian churches of the seventeenth century due to the grouping of its domes and rich decorative attire. The church was built in the late XIX century - early XX century to the design by architect Krasnov who designed Livadia Palace and Shapovalov, the interior trim was done after the sketch by Kroshechkin.
A pride of Russian wine-making history which started by Price Leo Golitsin, who created and turned Massandra Winery Vaults into the biggest wine collection in the world. The unique collection which includes bottles which are more than 150-200 years of age is hidden in the tunnels within Crimean Mountains. For the several years wine from Massandra collection successfully sold at Sotheby’s auction. Besides history and process of wine making which you will be definitely aquatinted you have an opportunity to join wine tasting in the halls of Massandra Winery where guests of the Crimea can enjoy the sunny drink of the Southern Coast and purchase the best wine of Crimean wine-makers.
St. Ripsime Armenian Church
Armenian Church resembles remotely an ancient temple Ripsime VII-XII in Echmiadzin. The building was constructed by architect Ter-Mikelov according to the drafts of the famous artist Surenyants in 1909 - 1914. A graceful staircase framed by cypresses leads from the temple gates to a richly decorated false entrance on the southern facade. Going up the stairs you can see the whole temple at once - compact as if it was carved from a monolith. Amazing skill of a decorator, perfectly polished stone are seen in every square meter of the fronts of the church. The interior does not concede to the exterior of the church - with its dome painted by Surenyants and its marble inlaid icon.
Dulber differs from other palaces of Crimea by its' oriental style implemented by architect Nikolay Krasnov using sketches of Grand Duke Petr Nikolaevich (a palace owner), who was inspired by his visit to Cairo. During Civil War Dulber became last refuge for Romanov’s family prior their immigration from Russia. Battleship Marlboro, sent by British monarch - George V for Romanovs, took them away from Bolsheviks and home. The Palace was badly damaged during WWII, after restoration (1946-1959) became sanatorium.
A castle near Yalta on the Crimean shore in southern Ukraine. It was built between 1911 and 1912 near Gaspra, on top of 40-metre (130 ft) high Aurora Cliff, to a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood. The castle overlooks Ai–Todor cape of the Black Sea and is located near the remnants of the Roman castrum of Charax. Swallow's Nest is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Crimea.
Renovation and restoration on the building was started in1968. The project involved the restoration of a small portion of the castle and the addition of a monolithic console concrete plate to strengthen the cliff. Since 1975, an Italian restaurant has operated within the building. Swallow's Nest was also featured in several Soviet films. It was used as the setting of Desyat Negrityat, the Soviet screen version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. The Swallow's Nest Castle and the surrounding landmarks such as the Massandra palace were also shortly featured in a Jackie Chan film.
Skazka" zoo is the first private zoo in Ukraine and in the CIS. It is the largest zoo in Crimea nowadays. Zoo has obtained the nature-reserved Fund of Ukraine status by the decision of Crimea Government. The history of Yalta zoo begins in 1990. A zoo-like place had been created near to "Polyana Skazok" - the one of the sights of Yalta - by the initiative of the Komsomol Central Committee of Ukraine. Numerous of visitors could admire a yak, peacocks, bears and squirrels that place."Skazka" zoo has been created by Oleg Zubkov in 1995. There is more than 100 kinds of animals and birds - more than 600 species at all nowadays in the zoo.
Botanical Garden Nikita
Botanical Garden Nikita is the oldest scientific institution in the Crimea. Located near the town of Nikita near the coast. It lies about 6 km from Yalta and regularly come here maršruta. Botanical Garden Nikita was founded in 1812 by the Russian botanist at the imperial regulation. His goal was to build a place where they grew all the plants the world and then exported throughout the Russian empire. Botanical Garden Nikita is a delightful collection of twenty-eight thousand species of plants grow here, and all original Crimean plants.The Botanical Garden is known for its beautiful flower beds and a beautiful example of sequoias and cedars of Lebanon. In addition, the garden also boasts a copy of Fountains tears, which the original is, located in the palace in a Bachčisaraji other water cascades, ponds and even swimming pool. And after a pleasant walk through shady avenues, visitors can enjoy exotic fruits and nuts in local cafes. All the fruits come from your own garden harvest.
Climate of Yalta
As Yalta lies to the south of the Crimean Mountains and within an amphitheatre of hills, the climate is very mild. In February, the average temperature reaches 4°C. Snow is rare and what snow the city does receive thaws quickly. In July, the average temperature reaches 24°C. The sun shines approximately 2,250 hours per year. Since the city is located on the shore of the Black Sea, the weather rarely becomes extremely hot due to the cool sea breezes. The average annual temperature for Yalta is + 13 C.
Walk along the seafront, and you'll pass restaurants, cafes, and clubs competing for space with shops selling fashionable clothes, jewelry and electronic goods. There are well-stocked food shops and no shortage of banks where you can change your money. The less formal economy is thriving too, and the bustle and color of Yalta's markets are not to be missed. In the evening during the high season the seafront is alive with street musicians (some very good), knife-jugglers, fire-eaters, caricaturists and artists. You can have yourself photographed in 18th century costume or on the back of a Harley Davidson, or with a live snake coiled round your shoulders. Walking along the promenade in the evening in the early 21st century is as much a matter of seeing and being seen as it was in the 19th, when the promenade’s quizzed each other discreetly through lorgnettes. Only now they're wearing Gucci shades, comparing tans and trying to work out if that designer label's genuine or not... Beaches
During the day in summer people throng to the beaches or go sightseeing. Yalta has three clean pebble beaches, a small one in the harbor and two long ones, one at each end of the seafront. The public sections tend to be crowded in July and August, (this photo was taken in the morning when people were just arriving) but for about £3 you can get a day pass onto one of the private sections where there's more space. Or you can combine sightseeing and beach and go for a swim at one of the other beaches further along the coast. For example, there's a nice little beach under the cliffs below the Livadia Palace. The summer home of the last of the Russian Tsars, Nikolai II, and in 1945 home to the Yalta Conference, where Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met to re-draw the map of Europe at the end of the war - the Livadia Palace breathes the history of the last 150 years.
The palace buildings and extensive gardens overlooking the sea and the bay of Yalta reflect the influence of the original architect, Ippolito Antonovich Monighetti, who was sent from Moscow to Livadia after the estate was bought for Tsar Alexander II in 1861.Or get a boat from the pier in Yalta to the Swallow's Nest, a fairy-tale fantasy built on a rocky point above the sea and have a swim from the beach near there. In September, once the children are back at school, there's lots of room on all the beaches and you can get a tan, and swim in the sea, right up to the end of October
Swimming season in Yalta begins in May - June, and ends - in the middle of October (about 149 days a year). Beaches of Yalta consist basically of a pebble, but stones are grind by sea water, so to walk on them is not painfully. For sunny weather pebbles of sea coast heat up a lot, and it is very usefully to walk on them barefoot.
Average temperature of sea water: June +18,7°С, July +21,9°С, August +22,9°С, September +21,8 °C, October +17,1 ° C.
Swimming in June-July can be slightly saddened by "nizovka" (when winds carry away warm layers of water and its temperature can fall to +12 °C).
The Yalta Mountains (often called Yalta Yayla) rise to 1500 meters above the resort town of Yalta on Crimea's South Shore. There are a number of trails up the mountains from Yalta, but the plateau is most accessible from Ay-Petri. The Ay-Petri plateau basically turns into the Yalta plateau as you head east.
Officially, the mountain area belongs to a nature reserve and is off-limits to the public. In practice, however, it is heavily visited by picnickers, hikers, mountain bikers, and government officials and rich people with special passes. If you camp on the plateau, set up your tent out of sight and avoid fires. Be prepared for windy and unpredictable weather in the mountains.
Historically, the plateau has been used as pastureland, but the Soviets began reforesting it to improve the retention of precipitation in soil, which provides water for the greater Yalta area.