Discussions about Other Imperial Palaces > Palaces in the Crimea

Other Romanov Crimean estates

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Mary Breheny:
When I visited the Crimea in 1976 I saw a charming little "castle" hovering on the side of a hill above the sea not too far from Livadia.  We were told that it was a restaurant, and that it was called "The Swallow's Nest."  Could this have been the Pavilion at Ai-Todor that you mention?  

M. Breheny

Janet Whitcomb:
Hi Mary--

No, I don't believe so. During my 1991 tour group visit, we also visited Swallow's Nest. It is charming, but as I understand it was built by a German industrialist around 1912.  Lots of legends around it . . . of course, the locale and design invites legends!  We just climbed up to Swallow's Nest, walked around it--don't do so if you have vertigo, the walled walkway is narrow!--but didn't go inside because it was filled with customers, and of course it was also very expensive. But that was the sum of the experience. If I return to Yalta I'll skip Swallow's Nest and spend more time at Livadia, Chekhov's home, and also Yalta itself. (I am sure OTMAA must have marveled at it, perched so high and so precariously, just as we continue to marvel at it today!)

By the way, I just received a letter from our tour guide, Vladimir, with whom I continue to correspond, and he told me university students have been setting up road blocks on the way to places like Swallow's Nest, then  charge a fee to unsuspecting tourists before they are allowed to pass.  Not to commend Communism, but I doubt this type of dubious entrepreneurship would have been allowed in Soviet Russia!

Details from memory-

The Crimean estates (Imperial):

1.  Livadia:
 A) The Old Palace (built by Ippolit Monighetti in 1862-66 for Alexander II, pulled down in 1909 to build Krasnov's White Palace for Nicholas and Alexandra)
 B)  The Maly Palace (built in 1866-68 by Monighetti for Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich and his family, burned in WWII-the site is now a tennis court)
 C) The White Palace, built by Nicholas Krasnov for Nicholas and Alexandra 1910-1911, now a museum.

2.  Massandra, purchased by Alexander III, still standing-the Palace is now a museum.

3.  Orienda, built by Nicholas I as a gift for his wife Alexandra (designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, adapted by Andrei Stackenschneider in 1852, burnt 1881.  The small wooden dacha used by the Konstantinovichii family is still there as are the ruins of the old palace)  Purchased for the Crown in 1894.

4.  Dulber (designed by Nicholas Krasnov for Grand Duke Peter Nikolaievich, now a resort)

5.  Tchair (designed by Krasnov for Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaievich), now a museum

6.  Kichkine (designed by Krasnov for Grand Duke Dimitri Konstantinovich, now a resort)

7.  Ai-Todor (built for Grand Duke Michael Nikolaievich, burned in WWII)

8.  Harax (built by Krasnov for Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, now a hospital)

The Yusupov Estates:

1.  Koreiz (now a resort)
2.  Kokoz (under restoration)
3.  Estate at Balaklava (don't recall name or fate)

Also, aside from a number of other estates like Alupka, don't forget the Emir of Bokhara's Palace in Yalta, by Krasnov, which is still standing and now a museum.

Greg King


--- Quote ---Bob, can you refresh my memory--who built Harax?  Was it one of the "Nikolaivichi" grand dukes? Can you describe it for us?

--- End quote ---

It looks like an English suburban villa of that era - rather arts-and-craftsy in design, and a bit out of place - but I like that style :-)


More on Livadia:

At the end of the 18th century the estate was owned by Commander Colonel Reveliotti.  In 1834 it was sold to a Polish Magnate, Leo Potolsky who had the Architect Eshliman construct large buildings on the state and later a huge park including vineyards was put in by Delinger.  In 1861 the estate was bought by Alexander II and presented to his wife Maria Alexandrovna.  Livadia was a personal estate of the Empress and was passed down from her in the family.

Alexander II sent Monigetti to build a new big palace and a small palace which were under construction from 1862 to 1866.  At this time there were altogether 70 buildings on the estate.

In 1891 the estate was enlarged by Alexander II through the purchase of Oreanda.

On December 12, 1909 it was decided to demolish the old big palace. The cornerstone of the new building by Krasnov was laid on Alexandra's namesday - April 23, 1910.  The new palace was 'consecrated' on September 20, 1911.

Nicholas Petrovich Krasnov was born into a peasant family.  He became town architect of Yalta.  Besides Livadia he built Koriez, Dulber, Harax, Ai-Todor and Chaeer for thr Yussopovs and Romanovs.  He was born in 1864, emigrated from Livadia and the Crimea in May 1919 and died in Yugoslavia in 1939.  Here he is....



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