This is a first palace I had seen in my life. I lived close by, thus as a child was able to go almost every week or when pleased. The place was in much better shape and it was shown more in late 70 early 80th than let say 20 years later. For example, I remember not only visiting library ( which is a separate building) but also holding some books ( I did not read at that time , it was before entering school) with gold covered edges. I think some furniture either aged and got replaced with lesser valuable but 4 years ago palace had no beautiful floor and stunning chick look as before. There were peacocks, walking in the park, white swans and sturgeons in a big lake. All these beauty was gradually gone despite of enormous efforts of stuff to protect this unique place.
The lions probably are not covered for winter and there are a lot of cracks in their gorgeous marble bodies. Yet, they are way better then well known Barcelona's counterparts. Regardless the fact that under Ukrainian government palace deteriorated every time we are in Crimea it is a MUST visit!
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