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Восточные мотивы Воронцовского дворца

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Восточные мотивы Воронцовского дворцаThe palace was designed for Prince Worontsov by the outstanding British architect Edward Blore, court architect of King William IV and Queen Victoria.

It was probably not accidentally that Prince Vorontsov has chosen for his residence the small town of Alupka located at the coast of Black Sea. The place is famous for its exceptional landscapes – conglomerations of bizarre rocks, thick forests and the stupendous crest of Ai-Petri Mountain (Saint Peter Mountain) towering over the town. This locality has attracted people since the antiquity. Traces of their activities still can be found here – of Tauris, Scythians, Greeks, Byzantines, Genovese, Turks and Tartars; their images became legends and were reflected in the works of historians and travellers, poets and artists…Восточные мотивы Воронцовского дворца

The most striking feature in the palace’ architecture is the astonishing and harmonious combination of different architectonical styles – with undoubted predominance of the so called Tudor style typical for the medieval England, there are many elements inherent to the mosques of Delhi and the Mausoleum Sardar Yanga in India and also to Alhambra palace in Granada (Spain) erected for the Moorish ruler Al Ahmar in the XIV century. It is known that M. Vorontsov when discussing with E. Blore the design of the palace has asked the architect to take into account the oriental flavour of Crimea and the peoples that have lived at the peninsula.

If the northern facade of the palace resembling medieval Scottish baronial castles is designed in the Gothic style, the oriental Moresque elements are predominant in the southern facade facing the sea. Here the most remarkable part is a semicircular portal named Alhambra. This central portal is reminiscent of the entrance to St. George chapel in Windsor and the portal of Djami Masjid mosque in the Old Delhi incorporating art traditions of England and India. During the famous Yalta conference of February 1945, the palace served as the residence of Winston Churchill and the British delegation to the conference.

The southern portal is richly decorated with ornamental stone carvings. There are three balconies at the portal’s vaults with amazingly intricate carved banisters. On the interior walls of the entrance hall is an inscription written in Arabic and repeated six times: "There is no Conqueror, except Allah." The chimney stacks on the roof are reminiscent of Islamic minarets. The oriental motifs are seen not only in the architecture but also in the interiors of the palace. If you will enter the palace through the Alhambra you will find yourself in the gala entrance hall. There are at the walls of the corridor unusual carpets depicting the Iranian Shah Fath-Ali. An inscription on the carpets reveals the name of the craftsman Aga-Bosorch from the city of Resht. The suture technique which was used to sew together pieces of coloured fabric and plates of mica and glass, is today irretrievably lost…

The palace is surrounded by the magnificent park covering the area of 40 hectares, with more than 200 varieties of trees and shrubs from many countries of the world. It is difficult to imagine that fertile soil for the plants was brought from far away and arranged at the rocky slopes by hand! Well, the transformation of rocky terraces into an oasis is quite in the style of Arabian tales and so reminiscent of Crimea!

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