Grand palaces from around the world
Home to royality and renowned rulers, these palaces are marvellous feats of engineering and architecture. Is your favourite on this list or maybe you have another?
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Situated in Beijing, the Forbidden City was constructed in 1407, during the Ming dynasty and took approximately 14 years to build. The palace needed over a million workers to construct it and is the world’s largest palace complex, comprising of over 74 hectares, a 52-metre wide moat and 8700 rooms. It is now known as the Palace Museum and was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987. Remember to plan what you wish to see here as the complex is vast!
Mysore Palace, Mysore, India
Mysore Palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is one of India’s greatest tourist attractions after the Taj Mahal, with over 2.7 million visitors. The palace was built in 1872 and twice restored and regenerated in 1912 and 1940. The site is open to tourists but be aware that taking photos and wearing shoes inside is strictly forbidden. The most amazing view of the palace is when it is lit up on Sundays, national holidays and on the Hindu festival of Navratri (as pictured above).
Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
The beautiful and ornate Winter Palace has seen some huge changes in its time. Built on an enormous scale to resemble the might of the Russian empire, it was stormed during the Russian Revolution in 1917 and today is part of the Heritage Museum complex. In 1708 the palace was a small Dutch-style wooden building made for Peter The Great and his family. This was upgraded in 1731 to take the shape of a gigantic palace and rebuilt again entirely a few decades later. The grand residence served as the home of the royal family up until the Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicated in 1917. The Palace is a must see for all visitors to St. Petersburg.
Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous palaces in the world and is one of the top tourist sites in France. It is home to a fantastic showcase of fine 18 Century art and is filled with beautiful gardens and walkways, perfect for a picturesque summer stroll. The palace is also home to tremendous history – it became the home of King Louis XIV in 1682 and was the centre of power until the French revolution in 1789, when the Royal Family was forced to move back to Paris.
Potala Palace, Lhasa, China
The Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world, sitting at an altitude of 3767 metres. Old Chinese legends claim that the Tibetan King built the site in the 7 Century for his new wife. Since then it has been the winter palace of the Dalai Lama and is a strong symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. The palace is situated so high up that oxygen tanks are not allowed to be taken there in case of a fire, so be sure to acclimatise yourself to the environment before visiting!
Buckingham Palace, London, England
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of The Queen but interestingly it was not always a palace! It has been home to the British Monarchy since Queen Victoria took residence here in 1837 but was originally known as Buckingham House. In the 1820s the site was developed into what is now known as Buckingham Palace and today is an iconic part of Britain. The Changing of the Guard happens every day here in the summer and is a popular tourist attraction.