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Crimea Tours

Yusupov Palace


The South Coast of the Crimea is renowned for its palaces, but not all of them are equally accessible to the public. The Livadia and Alupka Palaces have been known to tourists since long time ago, the Massandra Palace was opened to the public at large in the early 90s of the last century, whereas the Prince Yusupov`s palace in Koreiz has remained a “deep dark secret” up till now.

The first person to take fancy to this place, a far back as the 18th century, at the very beginning of the Russian colonization of the Crimea, was Countess Anna Sergeevna Golitsyna.

This estate was founded by Princess Anna Golitsyna in the beginning of XIX century. Baroness Berkheim and Anna Krüdener resided here at different times. For a certain while it was partially owned by Count Sumarokov-Elston; also by brother of Nataliya Goncharova (wife of Alexander Pushkin). Since late XIX century the palace belongs to the Yusupovs.

The apotheosis of the first stage of Koreiz development was a visit of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I in September 1837.

After Anna Golitsyna the estate was a property of different owners. In 1867 Count Felix Sumarokov-Elston have his part of the estate. Fifteen years later his sun Felix Felixovich married the daughter Zinaida of Prince Nikolay Yusupov and took the possession of not only the Yusupov`s innumerable wealth, but of their princedom too.

The building gained its present appearance in the course of its latest reconstruction and construction by local Yalta architect Nicholas Krasnov in 1907-1908.

Palace was built in the early 20th century by local architect Nicholas Krasnov, who designed Dulber, Charax and Livadia palaces for Romanov family.

The palace was visited by Nicholas II and his family members. In 1912, the engagement ceremony of Felix Felixsovich Yusupov Junior, the son of the owner of the Palace, to Grand Princess Irina Alexandrovna, the only niece of Russian Tzar Nicholas II, was held in the White dining-room of the Palace.

In the las years before the Bolshevik`s revolution the palace was a luxury country estate which could be used as a year-round recreation place.

In December of 1916 Felix Yusupov Jr. decided to participate in the attempted murder of Grigory Rasputin.

From 1917 till 1919 the Yusupovs stayed in Koreiz, and on 13 April 1919 they left the native land forever together with the surviving Romanovs on the Malboro dreadnought belonging to Britain.

After nationalisation by Bolsheviks in 1920-1921, the palace has become the holiday destination (1925-1926) for Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the murderous All-Union Extraordinary Commission, Soviet state security forces - CheKa (later NKVD, KGB) and Lenin's comrade-in-arms.

By order of sinister Lavrentiy Beria, the Palace was used as a residence for Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov and the Soviet delegation during the Crimean (Yalta) Conference in February 1945.

But, of course, it was the Yalta Conference held in February 1945, that mad the palace renown. The most superb South Coast palaces were offered to the guests: Franklin Delano Roosevelt was accommodated in Livadia Palace, Winston Churchill occupied the Alupka Palace of Count Vorontsov and comrade Joseph Stalin stayed in a more modest palace in Koreiz.

Yusupov palace hosted the preliminary meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and the ceremonial dinner in honour of American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime-Minister Winston Churchill. In the park, in the Yusupovs` wine cellars, a special underground 2 separate rooms shelter was equipped for J.Stalin and V.Molotov for use in case of bombing.

In the post-war period it served as a holiday resort for the staff members of the KGB of the USSR, the leaders of the Communist Party and special state guests.

In 1961 the remodeled palace was converted into so-called State summer Residence (dacha #4). Shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, M.Gorbachev has handed this building over to the local authorities of Yalta with the view of establishing a museum. But in 1990s it was taken over by Crimea criminal circles and local mafia and turned into a hotel with restricted access. Few years later the state has succeeded in restoring its ownership of this asset. Today it is again being used as the restricted state resort for the VIP state guests. From March 2002 it is under the State Administrative Department of Ukrainian President. Now it has an official name "The State residence Yusupov estate palace and garden complex administered by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea General Department of Health Resorts affiliated with the Property Management Department of the President of Ukraine" [Russian: Государственная резиденция Юсуповского усадебного дворцово-паркового комплекса Главного Управления санаторно-курортных учреждений в Автономной Республике Крым при Государственном Управлении Делами Президента Украины].

Sergey Tsarapora private guide