Five Must-See Palaces In The World
A palace is a splendid luxury-filled residence of a monarch, head of state or other high dignitary. The word ‘palace’ comes from the Latin name ‘PalÄtium’, for Palatine Hill, which is one of the seven hills in Rome. Many palaces that were owned by emperors, kings and queens in the past, have today been turned into museums, hotels, parliaments, office buildings or tourist centres.
This article lists five beautiful palaces that one simply must visit, for their architectural magnificence and posh interiors.
1. Dolmabahce Palace
This is a splendid palace situated on the Bosphorus Strait coastline, in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, Turkey. It was once the main centre of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey (1856 – 1922). The Dolmabahce Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdulmecid I (the 31st Sultan of the Empire), and was constructed by Ottoman court architects between 1843 and 1856. It was the main residence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first President of Turkey, where he lived with his adopted children.
One of the exquisite features of the Dolmabahce Palace are its collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers, which is the largest chandelier collection in the world. The Palace also has a beautiful Imperial Garden, a Crystal Staircase, and expensive paintings like the Dutch Village Girl by Delandre.
2. Al Alam Palace
The Al Alam Palace is the magnificent home of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Sultan of Oman. This palace is located in Muscat, the capital city of Oman, near the splendid forts of Al Jalali and Al Mirani. These forts have been built on cliff tops, and offer a spectacular view of the palace and the city of Muscat below.
The Al Alam Palace is located in a high-security area measuring about 1.5 kilometres square. It consists of several ultra-luxurious residences, as well as two helipads and a super-yacht berth.
3. Queluz Palace
The Queluz Palace is a magnificent royal palace situated in the town of Queluz, near Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. This pink palace resembles the Versailles Palace, and boasts of fine Rococo architecture. It was constructed in the 17th century as a manor house for King Pedro II, and was later expanded, and turned into a majestic palace, with grandiose rooms for balls and banquets.
One of the most beautiful rooms in the Queluz Palace is the elegant Throne Room, which is adorned with mirrors, gilded statues and crystal chandeliers. Other rooms in this palace are the Music Room (for concerts and orchestras), the Ambassador’s Room (with marble flooring and a ceiling painting of the royal family), the Gun Room (painted with frescoes of trees and foliage), the Kings’s master bedroom, the Queen’s Boudoir, and a square room with murals from the ‘Don Quixote’ novel.
4. Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace is a beautiful imperial palace near Vienna in Austria, which was commissioned in the late 17th century by Emperor Leopold II. It was designed by Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, a talented Baroque architect. While originally it was meant to serve only as a hunting lodge for the heir to the throne, later on a splendid Rococo edifice was built.
It has more than a thousand rooms, most of which are decorated in the Rococo 바카라 style, with white-lacquered walls and ceilings, decorated with gold leaf. The palace also has sparkling Bohemian crystal chandeliers and white porcelain tile stoves. While the Emperor’s master bedroom is quite simple, the state rooms and guestrooms are lavishly decorated. Some of the magnificent rooms at the Schönbrunn Palace are the Hall of Mirrors, the Round Chinese Room and the Blue Chinese Salon.
5. Mohatta Palace
This magnificent palace is located in the city of Karachi in Pakistan. It was constructed by Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta, an ambitious Marwari businessman, in 1927, as his summer seaside home. This palace is constructed in the same tradition as most stone palaces in Rajasthan with pink Jodhpur stone, together with the local yellow Gizri stone.
It is spread over an area of 1,720 metres, and has nine domes. The façade of the palace is trimmed with balustrades, spandrels, stone brackets and ornate windows, each exquisitely carved with floral motifs, peacock motifs and other designs. The first floor has four large bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and dressing room.