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Sightseeing of Ukraine


Yalta is the centre of the South Coast. It spreads over the valleys of the two mountain rivers and adjacent slopes. The boundless space of the sea imparts a particular charm to Yalta. The sea gave the name to the city. From Greek "Jalos" means the store. The Greek seamen called a settlement on the seashore. Some centuries Yalta was a small village and in 1838 it reserved the status of the city. In I860 the emperors family purchased the lands in the South Coast and Yalta began to develop as a fashionable health-resort. The splendid palaces were built in Livadia, Massandra, Oreanda. Villas, summer houses were built in Yaltas environs.

Big Yalta is the city itself and its picturesque environs from Gurzuf to Foros. At the beginning of the XX-th century Yalta became the first-class health-resort. Now to the services of the guests are more than 130 holiday homes and tourist centres. The visitors of Yalta can visit the famous palace-and-park ensembles and the Nikitsky Botanical Garden. They can rise by the cable way to the top of Ai-Petri and see the Fairy Glade and other museums.The swallows nest

"The swallows nest" is the most tiny castle on the South Coast. It is situated on the middle prominence of the cape Ai-Todor, on Auroras rock.    A grey building crowns the rock of the same colour and 38m high. It was built to the design of the Russian architect A.Sherwood for the German baron Steingel in 1912. They say, that "The swallows nest" is a tiny copy of a medieval castle in Germany. The dimensions of the castle are not great: the length is 20 m, the width is 10 m and the height is 12m. The Gothic style of the building is combined with the elements of constructivism. The characteristic feature of this style was the combination of various volumes. Four volumes make a stepped composition raising to the sea.

Gurzuf Ayu JDag Gurzuf, a fine climatic health-resort, is located in the picturesque valley on the sea-shore of the wide bay.The Nikita cape and the cape Ai-Danil protect it from the west, the Nikita mountain pasture and Ayu JDag defend Gurzuf from the cold north and east-north winds. It is the warmest place in the South Coast.
  In the sepond half of the 19-th century Gurzuf began to develop at the same time with Jalta and soon gained the fame of a fashionable health-resort. Every historical epoch left its trace on the aspect of Gurzuf.There are remnants of the Byzantine fortress Gorzuvita, and the crooked streets preserving the Oriental exotic features, and the buildings of the 19-th century in so called pseudo-Russian style with the decoration of wooden lace, and at last modern many-storeyed buildings.

The exotic of Gurzuf attracted the attention of painters, poets, writers. There is the Chaliapins rock, the Chekhovs bay, the Pushkins grotto here. In 1820 Alexander Pushkin spent in Gurzuf three weeks and was charmed by it. It is difficult to stay indifferent of seeing the wide azure bay, whimsically jagged sea-shores, the Adalar rocks resembling small castles amid the sea and the great mountain Ayu-Dag which looks like an immense bear. In the thirties years of the XIX century in a small village gained an estate and built a palace the minister of education prince A.Golitsyn. He was a private friend of the emperor Alexander I and named the estate "Romantic Alexandriya".

The palace in Gaspra The palace in Gaspra was built to the design of the architect F.Alson and under the leadership of the architect W.Goont, who took part at the construction of the Alupka palace. This gray palace with lancet windows and two octahedral towers resembles a knight castle and is the most typical building of the Crimean "Gothic" style. 

The countess S.Panina gained the estate "Alexandriya" at the end of the XIX century. In September 1901 came here the writer Leo Tolstoy after the hard disease by invitation of Panina. The old palace with nice jagged towers, twined with ivy, the winter garden, spacious halls, marble staircases, splendid park with fountains and plenty of flowers staggered the writer, who got used to the modest condition in his estate in Yasnaya Poly ana under Tula. About 10 month lived Tolstoy in the estate of countess Panina in this period, Gaspra got the centre of attraction tor writers, poets, musicians and painters. On the glazed lower verandah of the palace Tolstoy received Anton Chechov, Maxim Gorky, Fyodor Shalyapin. From 1922 the health-resort for scientists placed in the palace. Krzhizhanovsky, Joffe, Fersman, Kapitsa had a rest here. From 1947 the health-resort "Yasnaya Polyana" receives for rest and treatment parents with children.

The State Nikitsky Botanical Garden The State Nikitsky Botanical Garden is the most popular and well-known place in the Crimea. It was founded by he scientist Christopher Steven six km from Yalta, near the village of Nikita. The Botanical Garden was laid out on the area covered by the remains of forest shrubbery and pastures. A considerable part of the local flora has been preserved and this principle of combining the Crimean plants with the exotic ones has produced a wonderful effect. Much was done here for growing new highly productive fruit, vine, essential oil-bearing and decorative plants. Over 18 thousands species, hybrids, varieties have been collected here.

The Nikitsky Garden is nice in every time of the year. In spring and summer it is full of flowers aroma and conifers smell, birds twitter and excursionists voices. There are shadows on the walks and far below the sea is shining. It is spacious in the Garden in winter. The leaf-bearing trees dropped their leaves, but evergreen and conifer trees became greener against the background of the gray rocks. Sometimes the Garden looks like a fantastic land, when it is snowing. But some hours later the snow is melting and large drops of water are glittering on the branches. The Nikitsky Botanical Garden can be called indeed "The Green Treasury" of the Crimea.

Ai-Petri A great mountain-mass Ai-Petri stretches along the seashore for some dozens kilometres. From Greek Ai-Petri means Saint Peter. Like an epic hero the mountain-mass protects the South Coast from the cold north winds in winter and the parching arid winds in summer. Under this protection there is an emerald carpet of grass on the glades and exotic plants are in blossom in the beautiful parks all the year round.

In the East the mountain-mass ends with the Mt Ai-Petri itself. Like a white coral-island it rises amid the green waves of the pine forest to the height of 1233m. above sea-level.

Famous jags crown the peak of the Mt Ai-Petri. For thousands of years wind and water, heat and cold worked to sculpture them. You may come up the Mt Ai-Petri by the cable way in several minutes. It is interesting to look in here at any season of the year: in summer - horse adn foot tours, in winter - skiing and playing snowballs, meeting of the New Year under the snow-covered fir-tree. An amazing panorama opens from the top. There are palaces amid the green parks, the edge of the seashore from the Mt Koshka at Simeiz till the Mt Ayu-Dag is visible very clear and further is the infinite expanse of the sea. On the Mt Ai-Petri you can meet the sunrise and (if you are lucky) "catch" mysterious "green ray", bringing happiness and luck by the popular belief.

Palace of Emir In 1901 on the western suburb of Yalta was built the palace in the Moresque  style to the design of the architect N.Tarasov. The building attracted attention of people with its oriental exotic character: jagged walls, silver cupolas like turbans, splendid oriental ornament and alabaster moulding made by the Uzbek masters. The owner of the palace emir of Bokharan Khanate was exotic too. Said-Abdul-Akhat-Khan was from the Uzbek dynasty Mangyt; originate from Chingis-Khan to the maternal line. He became the emir of Bokhara in 1885, when he was 28 years old. The first law of the young emir was the law about abolition of slavery in his state. 

  He knew Russian language well, had Russian military ranks of general-aide and general of cavalry and got the title "His Highness". During the Russian-Japanese war 1904-1905 was built and equipped a mine cruiser by the name "Emir Bokharan". Said-Abdul-Akhat-Khan came to Yalta for rest and medical treatment. Besides the great palace he had hunting lands in the region of the waterfall Uchan-Su, where he built a small palace. 

After the death of emir in 1910, his elder son Said-Mir-Alem-Djan-Tuirya became his heir. From 1921 the department of the Museum of Regional Studies "Oriental Art" was situated in the palace. During the war the palace suffered heavily, was reconstructed in 1949 and transferred to the jurisdiction of the Black Sea Fleet. At present it is one of the buildings of the health-resort "Yalta".