Gaspra (derived from the Greek word «Aspro» – «white») – is a small resort, located 10 km. to the west of Yalta, in one of the most beautiful places of the southern cost of the Crimea. The history dates back to ancient times here. In the preserved juniper grove the ruins of an old Roman fortification Kharax were excavated. The fortification was constructed in the 70s, 1 st AD.
On Ay-Todor Cape the remains of medieval church, named after Theodor Tiron, were found. In the 13 th century a small Greek settlement existed in Gaspra. The remains of the medieval fortification on the rock ledge have been preserved to the present time.
In 1783 when Crimea was annexed to Russia, the Southern coast was sparsely populated, and the Russian Empress Catherine the Great generously gave plots of the Crimean land to her Courtiers and higher officials.
Count Golitsin’s estate, known as Romantical Alexandria, was among the first in Gaspra. Following Count Golitsin, the Gaspra estate belonged to different representative of the Russian aristocracy.
Countess Panina was the last owner of the Gaspra estate. In 1901 an eminent Russian writer Leo Tolstoy was invited by her to relax and work here. Both the palace and the park impressed him deeply. In a letter to his brother, Tolstoy described the broad alley, leading to the palace and a beautiful park.