Livadia Palace – A Royal Summer Refuge

The beautiful Livadia Palace was a favorite summer refuge of the last remaining Russian tsar, Nicholas II, and is located in Livadiya, Crimea, in the southern part of Ukraine. It was here that many memorable times were spent with his family before their untimely death by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution.

The life of the Livadia Palace began under the family name of ‘Potocki’ after it was designed and constructed under the supervision of the renowned architect Ippolito Monighetti. It was only in the 1860’s that Livadia became the summer residence to the Russian imperial family, containing the primary palace, a smaller secondary palace and a church. Not much is known as to what exactly happened between Alexander II of Russia and his successor Alexander III, who later died in the smaller palace, but it was enough to influence Nicholas II to have both Palaces torn down – a drastic decision none-the-less.

Much deliberation took place, but it was the magnificent Renaissance Palaces of Italy that the royal family saw whilst traveling that were the greatest influence. Upon their return home they requested Nikolay Krasnov, one of the most popular architects of the time, to prepare the final plans. Interestingly, through personal documents kept by the tsar, clear confirmation can be made testifying to the family’s consistent contribution to the palace’s final ending. It was through many of these family discussions that an interesting decision was made, the reason for this will never be known, but the result is four distinctly different, but incredibly detailed facades. The total construction period lasted an incredible seventeen months before being inaugurated on the 11 September 1911.

During 1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt and many other American delegates were housed within the 116 rooms inside the Livadia Palace, that was later also host to the Yalta Conference.

Today, however, the role of the Livadia Palace has changed drastically and is not much more than memoirs of the past housed within a museum. On occasion the palace comes alive, its former beauty exposed in all its glory during international summits held here by the Ukrainian authorities.

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