Destination List > Livadia Palace
Photo by Vyacheslav Argenberg
Livadia Palace was a summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, and his family in Livadiya, Crimea. 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 – the Soviet delegation was housed in the Yusupov Palace, and the British in the Vorontsov Palace some five miles distant. Today the palace houses a museum, but it is sometimes used for international summits.
Formerly granted to Lambros Katsonis and later a possession of the Potocki family, the Livadia estate became a summer residence of the Russian imperial family in the 1860s, when architect Ippolito Monighetti built a large palace, a small palace, and a church there. The residence was frequented by Alexander II of Russia, while his successor Alexander III used to live (and died) in the smaller palace. His son Nicholas II decided to have the larger palace demolished and replaced with a larger structure. (The smaller palace was later destroyed during World War II.)
Around 1909, Nikolay Krasnov, Yalta's most fashionable architect, responsible for the grand ducal residences in Koreiz, was engaged to prepare plans for a new imperial palace. The Tsar's diary indicates that the design was much discussed in the Imperial Family; it was decided that all four façades of the palace should look different. After 17 months of construction, the new palace was inaugurated on 11 September 1911.
After the February Revolution in 1917, Nicholas's mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, fled to Livadia with some other members of the Imperial family. They were eventually rescued by the British ship HMS Marlborough, sent by the Dowager Empress's nephew, King George V.
During the Second World War, a ceremony marking the successful completion of the German Crimean Campaign (1941–1942), with the capture of Sevastopol by the German 11th Army under the command of General Erich von Manstein, and Manstein's promotion to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal), was held in the garden of Livadia Palace on July 6, 1942.
On 18 November 2017, the 123rd anniversary of Tsar Alexander III's burial, Russian president Vladimir Putin dedicated a monument to Alexander III on the grounds of the Levadia Palace. Putin said in part, "Alexander III loved Russia and believed in it, and, opening this monument today, we pay tribute to his deeds, achievements and merits, express our respect for the indissoluble history of our country, for people of all ranks and classes who honestly served the Fatherland."