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Dan Sambra / Administrator

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Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 9:39am

The Yacht Livadia I, 1873

Livadia I, 1873

Images courtesy of Württemberg State Library




was an imperial yacht of the House of Romanov built in 1869–1873 by Leopold Schwede in Nikolaev. She served on the Black Sea. The Livadia was the only Russian imperial yacht that has seen active combat service during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–1878.

Livadia, which displaced 1,965 tons, was smaller than her Baltic Sea counterpart Derzhava (launched 1871, 3114 tons) but matched her in size and comfort of the imperial suites designed by Ippolit Monighetti. Livadia spent the summer of 1873 on the Black Sea, tending to the Romanovs on their short route from Sebastopol to Yalta. In March 1874 it left for a long training voyage of the Mediterranean and reportedly survived a force 11 storm.

After the outbreak of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878 it was converted into an armed auxiliary cruiser. On August 21, 1877 Livadia sank a Turkish schooner but was spotted by two Turkish ironclads and survived an 18-hour pursuit.

In the evening of October 21, 1878 Livadia left Sebastopol for Odessa. Some unknown urgency forced the captain to sail into the night in inclement weather. None of the Romanovs was on board.In the foggy morning of October 22, 1878 Livadia ran aground near the lighthouse of Cape Tarkhan-Kut, the western vortex of the Crimean peninsula.

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