Vorontsovsky Palace is one of the most famous monuments of Crimea. It is famous all over the world. It is situated in a tourist town Alupka near the mountain Ay-Petri. Tourists come to Alupka to admire the architectural masterpiece of the XIX century. It was the summer residence of prince Mikhail Vorontsov.
The construction of the palace started in 1828 , it was designed by an English architect Edward Blore, the author of the famous Buckingham Palace. Undoubtedly it became the best project Edward Blore has ever done. The construction of the palace took twenty long years and it ended in 1848. The project of the palace took a long time to be developed, because the owners wanted to select the best architect.
Vorontsovsky Palace is situated parallel to the line of mountains, which is why it seamlessly merges with the mountain landscape of Ay-Petri. It is made of diabase, a rock of gray or greenish-black color similar to basalt.
The palace consists of five pavilions : central, dining, guest, librarian and economic. They are harmoniously combine into a single architectural complex.
It has different design from the west, south and north side. The front façade is situated on the west side. It brings to mind the image of a medieval fortress of VIII – XI century with high towers, thick solid walls and narrow loopholes.
The north side of the palace combines the elements of two styles of XVI century – English gothic and Renaissance architecture. It has high, pointed bay windows, high classical belfries and towers. It is turned to face Ay-Petri.
The south façade is turned to the sea and has clear features of eastern style. The main element here is the white niche with a patterned arc and carved ornament, its architecture is similar to a mosque. There is an inscription in Arabic on the frieze, it repeats six times and states : “There is no God, but Allah”, which complements the eastern style.
Currently the palace is a museum, and the interior appearance of the palace in its luxury is not inferior to the exterior. The decoration of most of the rooms retained its original look. The upholstery, wall trimming, classy ceiling, gothic fireplaces, bog oak panels and doors are all in the same condition as they were long ago. There is a big collection of engravings, paintings, sculptures, porcelain and household objects. All these details make the interior of the palace unique.
The exposition consists of eight ceremonial chambers. In the Ceremonial study of the owner of the palace are the pieces of furniture and portraiture of the first half of XIX century. The walls of the Chinese cabinet are decorated with rice straw paper and silk embroidery. Works of S. F. Shchedrin and N. G. Chernetsov can be seen in the Calico room. There is an exposition of portraits of the Vorontsov family and the royal family in the vestibule. The Billiard room is used as an art gallery where you can see the works of classical painters of Renaissance.
The Blue living room is the gem of the palace. On the blue background of the walls white stucco floral patterns intertwine and emphasize the white and gold colored furniture in Empire Style. Near the living room is a Winter garden, in which the marble sculptures comfortably hide amongst the greenery. The plants of the winter garden were delivered from various countries of the world, including rare tropical plants. The sculptures in the garden were made by such famous sculptors as Johann Österreich, Quintillian Corbellini, Laurent Marqueste. The dining room is a huge room that is decorated with carved ceiling and trimmed panels, white and blue fountain and furniture from English and French craftsmen. The exposition boasts more than eleven thousand exhibits including XVI – XIX century paintings, XVIII century engravings, XIX century furniture and around six thousand various literature and musical works of XVIII – early XIX century.
The palace park is divided into the the Upper and Lower park. The Upper park amazes the visitors with its natural stone monuments and clear pools. The Lower park is situated closer to the sea, it also encases the Vorontsovsky Palace.
Doesn’t matter how many times you visited the Vorontsovsky Palace, every time its mysterious and magnificent architecture and stunning beauty of its park will make your jaw drop.