We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies

arrow Register here

Forgotten password?

New Europe

Day Seventy-nine: Yalta

The Livadia Palace 
click to enlarge 
file size
In February 1945, around this table at the Livadia Palace, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin decided what post-war Europe was going to look like.
Michael Palin - New EuropeThe treaty may have been signed in an English-style billiard room but the advantage went largely east.

Roosevelt died of a cerebral haemorrhage two months after the conference ended. Churchill was voted out of office in Britain three months after that. The Soviet Union was allowed to continue occupying countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and the Polish government-in-exile in London was excluded from elections in Warsaw. Almost exactly a year after the back-slapping and the hugs in the Livadia Palace, Churchill, in a speech at a small college in Fulton, Missouri, declared that 'from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe.'

Forty-three years later the iron curtain was lifted and today it's girls in miniskirts who are being photographed in the garden where Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt once sat.

By a neat coincidence the very last act of the drama was played out not ten miles from here. If you follow the winding coast road south and west you will come to the little headland village of Foros. Here Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who more than anyone else was responsible for lifting the iron curtain, had a summer cottage. His house arrest here in August 1991 precipitated the final collapse of the Soviet Union.
Choose another day from New Europe


  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day Seventy-nine: Yalta
  • Country/sea: Ukraine
  • Place: Yalta
  • Book page no: 190

Bookmarks will keep your place in one or more series. But you'll need to register and/or log in.


  • Sightseeing
  • Day 5 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 18 
  • Full Circle
  • Day 16 
  • Pole to Pole