Crima: Vorontsov Palace
Vorontsov Palace, in the town of Alupka, is the largest and most beautiful of all the Crimean palaces. It was in the early 19th century for Prince Mikhail Vorontsov and kind of reminded me of the palace in Brighton in England – it’s a total hodgepodge of styles incorporating elements of Mughal, gothic, baroque, medieval English, and pretty much everything else under the sun. Interestingly, the architect of this fairytale palace was none other then Edward Blore who later built the Buckingham Palace in the UK. The palace’s main feature is the south facing terraces with “Lion” steps – there are six white marble lions that are perhaps even more famous then the palace itself – two lions are sleeping, two are standing, and two lions rolling a sphere (aka Medici lions). Hordes of tourists usually come here and the palace is often closed for movie filming (as was the case on the first day I tried to visit it).