Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors. It is situated on a shallow bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by wooded mountains. It enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with many vineyards and orchards in the vicinity.
The term "Great Yalta" is used to designate a part of the Crimean southern coast spanning from Foros in the west to Gurzuf in the east and including the city of Yalta and multiple adjacent urban settlements.
The Swallows's Nest- Yalta
The existence of Yalta was first recorded in the 12th century, it was described 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. Yalta and the rest of Crimea was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1475, which made it a semi-independent subject territory under the rule of the Crimean Khanate. Yalta was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, along with the rest of Crimea.
In the 19th century, the town became a fashionable resort for the Russian aristocracy and gentry. The writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov spent their summers there; Yalta is the setting for Chekhov's short story, Lady with Lap Dog. The town was also closely associated with royalty. In 1889 Tsar Alexander III built the Massandra Palace a short distance to the north of Yalta and Nicholas II built the Livadia Palace south-west of the town in 1911.
Armenian temple in Yalta
During the 20th century Yalta was the principal holiday resort of the Soviet Union. Numerous workers' sanatoria were constructed in and around Yalta. 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 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.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Yalta has struggled economically. Many of the nouveaux riches started going to other European holiday resorts. In recent years, Yalta has staged a recovery, as economic conditions have improved and tourists have returned. It is still almost entirely frequented by Russian and Ukrainian tourists, with relatively few visitors from Western Europe. A main form of transportation to and from Yalta is the Crimean Trolleybus line, which runs from Simferopol—Alushta—Yalta.
St. Alexander Nevskogo's temple in Yalta
Yalta has a beautiful embankment along the Black Sea. People can be seen strolling there all seasons of the year, and it also serves as a place to gather and talk. There are several beaches along the embankment where people relax and go swimming. Some hardy souls even do this in the winter. This embankment is also the site of several hotels and amusement-park-like rides. In addition, the city has several movie theaters, and many restaurants and cafés, as well as a large open-air market.
(Sources: Wikipedia, MarvaoGuide)