A royal palace is the residence of a royal dignitary or the home of a head of state. Some of them have been listed among the most famous and popular monuments in the world. These monuments were once the residence of kings, queens, emperors and political persons of the state, but they are now popular tourist attractions. These palaces are one of the most lavish and grand residential places you can ever find in the world. Some of the amazing facts about these monuments are their scintillating infrastructure and its relations to ancient history. We have collated a list of some of the most famous palaces in the world.
This is definitely one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Located in Beijing in China, it was built in the year 1420. The Forbidden City was the royal palace of the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, but now it is home to the Palace Museum. It has been serving some of the royal families and the political center of China for more than 500 years. The area covers close to 720,000 square meters and consists of 980 buildings. The exemplified palace structure is a true reflection of the traditional Chinese palatial architecture and had a great influence on the cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and nearby locations.
Located in Lhasa in the Tibet autonomous region in China. The Potala Place is 170 meters above the Marpo Ri Hill and is considered to be one of the greatest monumental structures in Tibet. A Palace was built in the 7th century, but the present palace was built from the year 1645 to 1648 during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama. The Red Palace or the Potrang Marpo was further added between the years 1690 and 1694. The Potala Palace was the residence of the Dalai Lama till the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India due to the Chinese invasion in 1959.
We all know who this belongs to! Don’t we? This was originally the official London residence and the main workplace of the British monarch. Situated in the city of Westminster, this place is ideal for experiencing the best of royal hospitality and celebrating state occasions. This iconic royal palace is the residence of her majesty The Queen and is one of the very few working royal palaces which are left in the world. One of the most popular and focused destinations of the British population in times of national crisis and rejoicing. This is definitely one of the most famous palaces in the world. The palace is open for visitors every summer.
Chateau de Chambord
Located at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher in France. This royal palace is one of the most recognizable chateaux in the world due to its unique and distinct French renaissance architecture which gives a perfect mix of classical renaissance structures along with traditional French medieval forms. This wonderful monument was constructed by King Francis I of France. It took 28 long years to build this marvelous structure. The Chambord which is the largest chateaux in the Loire valley was initially built to serve as a hunting lodge for King Francis I who was then residing at the chateaux of Amboise and Blois.
Located in Granada in Spain, the Alhambra is a fortress complex which was constructed in the year 889. It was later converted into a royal palace in the year 1333 by Yusuf I, the sultan of Granada. The Islamic palaces in Alhambra were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court of the Nasrid dynasty. In the year 1492, the Reyes Catholics conquered this place and major portions were used by the Christian rulers. The Alhambra is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain and there are many visitors and tourists from all around the globe who come to witness this scintillating monumental structure.
One of the popular palaces located in Beijing, China. Surrounded by the Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, the Summer Palace extends over an area of 2.9 square kilometers of which around 3/4th of the area is covered by water. This was the residential place for the Chinese imperial rulers. The gardens of this palace have been further extended in the year 1750 to add to its beauty quotient. Also, the Kunming Lake was extended in the process of imitating the West Lake in Hangzhou.
Palace of Versailles
One of the royal palaces in the region of France which was built in the year 1624 by Louis XIII. This was originally a hunting lodge and when it was built, Versailles was still a country village. Built primarily to showcase the power and might of the French monarchy. The palace structure truly reflects the extravagant luxury of the mighty French empire. Thanks to the rapid development of Paris, the Palace of Versailles lies in one of the posh suburbs of Paris, approximately within a radius of 20 kilometers southwest of the French capital.
Pena National Palace
One of the romanticist palaces in Portugal which was built in the year 1842 by King Ferdinand II. This is one of the oldest castles which were built in the Romantic era. When the monastery was severely damaged in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, very few people expected such a beautiful monument to be built in the place of the ruins. A true example of the creative genius and the greatest expression of romanticism which clearly indicates the influences from the Manueline and Moorish styles of architecture. Built among dense forests with different species of trees originating from the various four corners of the earth, it is also home to a luxury garden. Built with the original colors of red and yellow, the Pena National Palace is one of the most popular and visited monuments in Portugal.
Fondly remembered as the Amba Vilas Palace, this palace is located in the heart of Mysore in southern India. The royal family of Mysore – ‘The Wodeyars’ resides in the palace. There are two durbar halls which are the ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court. Mysore is often referred as the city of Palaces since it is home to a large number of historic palaces. The Mysore Palace is the second most popular tourist attraction in India after the Taj Mahal with more than 2.7 million visitors and guests visiting this place annually.
This is one of the most extravagant and popular cultural monument in Austria. Built in between the years 1696 and 1712 on request of Emperor Leopold I, the Schonbrunn Palace has been one of the most popular tourists’ attractions in Vienna, Austria. The 1441 room luxurious palace is surrounded by a privy garden, a maze and labyrinth, the oldest zoo in the world, and the Gloriette which is located on top of a 60-meter high hill.
Laxmi Vilas Palace
Located in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat in India. This marvelous piece of architecture was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in the year 1890. It is literally four times the size of the popular Buckingham Palace in England and is often referred as the largest palace in the world. Vadodara is home to series of palaces which were built in the true classical style by the prominent Maratha family started their rule in Baroda. A series of extravagant buildings were constructed by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III post the Laxmi Vilas Palace including the renowned Indo-Saracenic School for a whopping GBP 180,000.