History of Yalta 12th–19th centuries The existence of Yalta
was first recorded in the 12th century by an Arab geographer, who
described it as a Byzantine port and fishing settlement. It became
part of a network of Genoese trading colonies on the Crimean coast
in the 14th century, when it was known as Etalita or Galita. Crimea
was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1475, which made it a
semi-independent subject territory under the rule of the Crimean
Khanate but the southern coast with Yalta was under direct Ottoman
rule forming the Eyalet of Kefe (Feodosiya). Yalta was annexed by
the Russian Empire in 1783, along with the rest of Crimea, sparking
the Russo-Turkish War, 1787-1792. Prior to the annexation of the
Crimea, the Crimean Greeks were moved to Mariupol in 1778; one of
the villages they established nearby is also called Yalta.
the 19th century, the town became a fashionable resort for the
Russian aristocracy and gentry. Leo Tolstoy spent summers there and
Anton Chekhov in 1898 bought a house (the White Dacha) here, where
he lived till 1902; Yalta is the setting for Chekhov's short story,
"The Lady with the Dog", and such prominent plays as The Three
Sisters were written in Yalta. The town was also closely associated
with royalty. In 1889 Tsar Alexander III finished construction of
Massandra Palace a short distance to the north of Yalta and Nicholas
II built the Livadia Palace south-west of the town in 1911.
20th century During the 20th century Yalta was the principal
holiday resort of the Soviet Union. In 1920, Vladimir Lenin issued a
decree "On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the
Working People" which endorsed the region's transformation from a
fairly exclusive resort area into a recreation facility for tired
proletarians. Numerous workers' sanatoria were constructed in and
around Yalta and the surrounding district. There were, in fact, few
other places that Soviet citizens could come for a seaside holiday,
as foreign travel was forbidden to all but a handful. The Soviet
elite also came to Yalta; the Soviet premier Joseph Stalin used the
Massandra Palace as his summer residence.
Yalta was occupied
by the German Army from 9 November 1941 to 16 April 1944.
town came to worldwide attention in 1945 when the Yalta Conference
between the "Big Three" powers – the Soviet Union, the United States
and the United Kingdom – was held at the Livadia Palace.
Yalta weather is considered subtropical
Mediterranean. Yalta is protected by picturesque 1400 meter mountain
range that protects the city from cold fronts from mainland. Average
temperatures here range from 4 °C in February to 24 C in July. Summers are fairly hot and
dry (average 62% humidity). In total Yalta has 276 sunny days so
rain is unlikely to ruin your vacation here.