Massandra - a name well known outside the Crimea because of excellent wines that are made here in the oldest plants. In Yalta is a great store of wine. The wine cellar was built in 1897, designed by a famous architect, IM Chagin, supervised the construction of a civil engineer, Adam I. Dietrich (1866-1933), are stored here the best dessert wines that have won recognition at international competitions and exhibitions.
Do not miss the sharp turn - the road will lead you to Upper Massandra, located above the tracks, Massandra Here is the palace of Alexander III. It is surrounded by rocky mountains, covered with pines, robbed, beeches and oaks, the age of some trees amounts to 1000 years. In the cliffs are grottoes, small, but the damp and gloomy.
far from the palace is an old church, and near the rock flowed source of clean water. This source has long been considered a holy place, next to the icon set. In ancient times the temple was built here in the name of the Nativity of John the Baptist. After the release of Christians from the Crimea temple was destroyed by the Tatars, but the Greeks left their homeland, once a year, July 24, the day of the Nativity of John the Baptist, came here and committed worship, drinking pure cold holy source. Many travelers, describing the beauty of Massandra, talked about the picturesque ruins of the church. On her door was still possible to discern the faces of the saints, remained inside for a semicircular sanctuary, grew up around the mighty oaks and walnut trees.
In 1822 the owner of these lands AV Branitskaja gave them to his grandson, the young son of Count Mikhail Vorontsov. Graf appreciated the beauty of Massandra and decided to make this a beautiful park, the house in which to conduct the hottest months of summer, and to revive the church. The new temple, built by the architect Philip Elson Fedorovich (1793-1867), originally looked to the surrounding forest. Imagine the ancient hornbeam and spreading oaks - and suddenly a small snow-white temple in the ancient Greek style. It was built quite simply, the main entrance were decorated with four Doric columns and triangular pediment that crowns the cross, to the entrance were nine marble steps. Interestingly solved the problem of device bell, it became a mighty oak, grew up near the church. The bells hung directly on its branches. Construction of the temple completed in 1832 and dedicated in memory of the Beheading of John the Baptist.
After the Baptism of the Lord Jesus, John the Baptist was in prison for the ruler of Galilee, Herod Antipas, who accused the St. John lawless cohabitation with the wife of his brother Philip, Herodias. Herodias hated saint. At Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias, Salome, danced before him and guests. Dance like the ruler so that he promised to give her everything that she might ask. Salome, at the instigation of Herodias, Herod asked the head of St. John the Baptist. He grieved because revered holy Prophet, but he could not violate, the oath and had to fulfill his promise. On this day, September 11, all the Orthodox Church commemorates the soldiers who died on the battlefield.
First Church in Yalta was a house, and her priest Michael Matveevich silence is blagochinnymesche eight temples, operating on the southern coast. But soon Massandrovskiy church began to take parishioners to the entire neighborhood. Church of St. John the Baptist visited members of the imperial family in 1837, is praying Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Nicholas I.
In 1879, near the church decided to build a Count Vorontsov Palace. Construction began in 1880, and in the short term the main work was performed, but in connection with the death of Earl's Palace was left unfinished. In 1889 Massandra acquired specific department of Emperor Alexander III. At that time the Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist was in a state of neglect, it needed major repairs. Petersburg architect Maximilian Egorovich Messmacher (1842 - 1906) developed a draft of the palace for the royal family. In the course of construction works the church repaired, put in order and the sacred spring, after arranging with him a niche for icons.
Massandra Palace did not become the summer residence of the imperial family. After the death of Alexander III, his successor, Nicholas II completed the construction of the palace in memory of his father, but never lived in it. The royal family vacationed several times in Massandrovsky estate on their way to your favorite Livadia, came here for picnics and hunting. The emperor and his family visited the old church and drank water from a holy source.
After the revolution the palace was nationalized, in 1929, here staged a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients. A temple of the Beheading of John the Baptist was unnecessary, it was demolished, retained only a few marble steps. Centuries-old oaks, growing around the church, were killed and their houses, could not hear the ringing of jets and holy spring - it dried up. Unfortunately, this holy place is on the closed area and visit it is impossible today.