Yalta is situated in the southern Ukraine, on the southern shore of Crimean Peninsula (Crimea Republic), 79 km from Simferopol, to which it has a road link (trolley-bus link). It is a sea port and highway junction.
Population - 78,000 (2012).
The current status of Yalta and Crimea
The current status of Yalta is disputed between Ukraine and Russia. De facto, it is controlled by Russia as the entire Crimea.
On March 16, 2014, a referendum was held and the results showed that the majority of Crimeans voted for independence of Crimea and joining Russia. However, the legitimacy of the referendum is questionable.
It was not recognized internationally. This event is widely regarded as the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Ukraine considers Crimea as its territory temporarily occupied by Russia.
Yalta was founded by the Greeks approximately in the 1st century. The legend says that Greek sailors lost their way because of a storm, they searched the shore for a long time and when finally they saw the shore (“yalos”) they decided to call the founded settlement this way.
In antique time, the settlement was a part of the Roman Empire, in medieval time - of the Byzantine Empire, Feodoro principality and Genoa colonies and was known as Yalita and Jalita. From 1475 to 1774, the Southern Crimean shore was a part of the Ottoman state.
In 1778, the Christian population of the Crimea was removed to Azov area according to the Russian government order, the Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire which caused Crimean Tatars’ massive migration. Yalta was almost uninhabited. By the end of the 18th century, it was a small fishermen village.
More Historical Facts…
In the mid 19th century, the town gradually turned into a popular resort and rapidly grew. It started developing as a health resort in the 1860s.
Favorable climate with mild winters and its scenic location between sea and mountain make the city one of the most popular resorts of Ukraine, with many hotels and sanatoriums, including one established in 1900 at the instigation of the writer-physician Anton Chekhov.
By the early 20th century, a lot of representatives of Russian elite, including members of the emperor’s family and monarchs themselves had dachas and palaces in the town and the region.
During the World War II, the city suffered German occupation and deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944. From February 4 to 11, 1945, Yalta conference took place in Yalta. In February 1945, during the World War II, the three chief Allied leaders met during Yalta Conference in Livadiya Palace to plan the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany.
After the war, the city grew and developed as a resort, since 1961, there is a trolley-bus line with Simferopol.
There are wine-making, fruit-canning and tobacco-processing industries.
Yalta is specific in variety of greenery, especially its old part which if watched from above seems a large park with some houses. It is an acknowledged capital of resorts in the Crimea.
This is the center of considerable territory of the Southern Crimean shore, of the so-called Bolshaya (“big”) Yalta, which stretches for over 70 km. The city is a sea gate of the Southern Crimean shore, an international port.
The climate is of sub-tropical type which is characterized by mild and rainy winters, cool springs, hot and long summers and long and warm autumns. Average temperature in July is 24 degrees Celsius above zero, average temperature in January - 4 degrees C above zero.
Reserves and local parks are important curing climatic factors. Beaches of Bolshaya Yalta stretch for 59 km.
Yalta itself is interesting through its unique combination of architectural monuments surrounded by mountainous landscape. There are a lot of beautiful (although not all in good condition) buildings of the end of 19th - early 20th centuries.
The most interesting places:
- Roffe swimming-pools;
- The city embankment;
- Armenian church (Zagorodnaya Street);
- Roman-Catholic church (Pushkin Street);
- Yalta rope way, the lowest station of which is located close to hotel “Tavrida”, the way goes up to dome-shaped hill Darsan (140 meters) where one can view a panorama of the city;
- Restored hotel “Tavrida” - the first hotel in Russia with escalators;
- James Zlatoust cathedral (Tolstoy Street);
- Alexander Nevsky cathedral (Sadovaya Street);
- Building of former generals’ sanatorium of Ministry of Defense, constructed in the Gothic castle style (Sverdlov Street);
- Emir Bukharsky palace (Kommunary Street);
- Zoo “Skazka” (“A Fairy-Tale”) (Kirov Street).
Besides, nowadays, a lot of old dachas and estates are inhabited by locals or they are used as sanatoriums. But fortunately they preserved their unique original outlook. In Yalta, there is a wonderful Massandra park (near hotel “Yalta”).
- State museum of history and literature (Pushkin Street, 5);
- Department of pre-revolutionary culture of the city (Ekaterininskaya Street, 8);
- Livadiya palace-museum (settlement Livadiya);
- Alexander III palace (Massandra);
- Museum “A Fairy-tale Glade” (Kirov Street);
- Chekhov house-museum (Kirov Street, 112);
- House-museum of Lesya Ukrainka (Katerininska Street, 8).