The city of Yalta is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, the legend said that Yalta was found by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe chore on which to land, it is said that the Yalta name comes from Yalos! (Shore!).
The existence of Yalta was first recorded in the 12th century when it was a fishing settlement.
In 1223, Genghis Khan and his Golden Horde entered Crimea; the land became soon part of the huge Tatar Empire.
In 1475 the Ottoman Turks overran Crimea, including Yalta. Over the next three hundred years the Tatars remained the dominant force in Crimea.
Yalta was annexed by Catherine the Great in representation of the Russian Empire in 1783, along with the rest of Crimea. But a short time after the Ottoman Empire again declared war on Russia, and it took four years before the Turks finally capitulated.
In the 19th century, Nikolai I built a palace near and approved a development plan for the newly designated district of Yalta, the town soon became a fashionable resort for the Russian nobility and gentry bringing investment and prosperity to Yalta.
Leo Tolstoy spent summers there and Anton Chekhov also lived here during 5 years.
In 1889 Tsar Alexander III built the Massandra Palace a short distance to the north of Yalta and Nicholas II built the Livadia Palace in the south of the town in 1911.
After the October 1917 Revolution, Soviet power was established in Yalta in 1918, during the Soviet Era, Yalta was the principal holiday resort of the Soviet Union, holiday makers from all over the Soviet Union relaxed on its beaches.
Yalta came to worldwide attention in 1945 when the Yalta Conference between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Russian Secretary-General Joseph Stalin was held in the Livadia Palace near Yalta, this was a dramatic event, very important from the end of the World War II.
Nikita Khruschev returned Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine declared its independence.
Today Yalta is still almost entirely frequented by Russian and Ukrainian tourists.