Massandra Palace was to be the hunting lodge of Tsar Alexander III, but Tsar Alexander III died before it was completed. Originally the estate was owned by Count S. M. Vorontsov, bought in 1889, the architect M. E. Mesmakher made improvements to the manor with gilded vases, carved stone details and decorations depicting Greek and Egyptian Gods, sphinxes, chimeras, satyrs on balconies and terraces around the palace. The grounds include a decorative retaining wall in back to protect the palace from mountain slides decorated with niches, vases, high columns, statues and fountains. Tsar Nicholas II order the building finished in memory of his father Alexander III, but the imperial family never spent much time there since Tsar Nicholas II had his summer palace named Livadiya Palace not far away. This is the waiting room to see the Tsar in Massandra palace.