Massandra is a townlet in the Yalta region of Crimea. Occupying the spot of an ancient Greek settlement Massandra was acquired by Counts Potocki in 1783. In the mid-19th century, it passed to Prince Vorontsov Jr, whose father was the governor of New Russia. Enraptured by a picturesque setting, Vorontsov in 1881 engaged a team of French architects to design for him a château in the Louis XIII style. He died the following year and construction work was suspended until 1889, when the messuage was purchased by Alexander III of Russia. The tsar asked architect Maximilian Messmacher to finish the palace for his own use but he did not live to see it completed in 1900. During the Soviet years, the palace was employed by Joseph Stalin as his dacha. Today, Massandra is known for its agricultural production, namely fortified wines. View of Massandra Palace.