Ялта, 174-летие (Yalta, 174 years anniversary)
Each year on the second Saturday in August marks the annual “Day of the City” of Yalta and so yesterday, 11 August, it seemed as though everyone in the city and from around the region came out to party!
We should distinguish that the 174 years is of Yalta as a Russian/Ukrainian city because the Greeks who founded Yalta (and gave it the Greek name meaning “shore” or “beach”) would argue with Yalta being so young. In fact, Yalta was mentioned in literature as early as the 7th Century. If you’re wondering why locals calculate 174 years instead of centuries, it is because the area was only granted charter status as a modern city in 1838.
The city says that there are “Seven wonders of Yalta” beginning with the stunning castle known as the “Swallow’s Nest”, Vorontsov Palace and Park in Alupka, Nikita Botanical Gardens, Church of the Resurrection, Mount Ay-Petri and Ayu Dag nab, and Yalta city.
We cannot argue with a single one of those selections, yet how in the world they excluded Livadia (The White) Palace, Massandra Palace–the Palace of emperor Alexander III with the Massandra Winery, Chekhov’s House (White Dacha), Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Ripsime Armenian Church, and the Dulber Palace is quite beyond comprehension! Someone must have been drinking too much vodka when the city list was made.
The “Swallow’s Nest” is not only one of the most popular visitor attractions in Crimea, it has become a defining symbol of Crimea’s southern coastline and has been featured in several movie productions.
Surprisingly slender in size, the building measures 20 m (66 ft) long by 10 m (33 ft) wide. Now a restaurant, the original design consisted of three bedrooms, a sitting room, and room for kitchen and dining. The observation deck circles the building and provides great views of the sea and nearby Yalta, a photographer’s heaven!
During the Russian Civil War Yalta became the last refuge for some members of the extended Romanov family. British monarch George V sent the English battleship “Malboro” to Yalta to rescue family members who had not been killed by the Bolsheviks.
If you’re looking on a map, Yalta is just 79 km from Simferopol, connected by road and trolleybus. During Russian Imperial days Yalta was often called the “Southern Capital” because of the summer palaces belonging to the Tsars. Later Joseph Stalin used the Massandra Place, summer home of of emperor Alexander III, as his summer residence.
In 1945 Yalta became the site of the Yalta Conference between the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain. The conference was held at the Livadia Palace, which had been the summer residence of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
Happy anniversary Yalta!