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10 Must See Palaces in the World | KFN Travel guide

10 Must See Palaces in the World

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea

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Built in 1394 under orders of King Taejo, the first king and founder of the Joseon Dynasty. The Gyeongbokgung Palace houses the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea. The palace is composed of several buildings including the Gangnyeongjeon (Gangnyeongjeon Hall), which was used as the king’s main sleeping and living quarters. It is arguably the most beautiful of its four sister palaces, which are all in Seoul. The Gyeongbokgung Palace was originally a massive complex of 330 buildings and 5,792 rooms. Many of the buildings were destroyed during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945). Since 1989, the Korean government is in the process of rebuilding the structures that were destroyed.

2. Stroganov Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia

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Stroganov Palace dates back to the early 18th century, probably in the 1720s. The present building was built in 1752 and completed in 1754, it was designed by the architect Francesco-Bartholomeo. It was built for the wealthy family, the Stroganovs or Strogonovs. The palace was in the hands of the Stroganovs until 1917 when they left the country due to the Great October Socialist Revolution which overthrew the Russian Provisional Government. The palace was nationalized and later converted into a museum. The Stroganov Palace has impressive Neoclassical style interiors which are well preserved. There is also a collection of wax figures in the palace.

3. Queluz National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal

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Queluz National Palace was built in 1747 by the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira, the main body of the building started in 1758 however. It is one of the finest Rocco buildings to be designed in Europe. The structure was extended over the years, including the addition of a wing by the architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa between 1785 and 1792. The Queluz National Palace is presently open to the public as a museum.

4. Bang Pa-In Royal Palace in Bang Pa-In, Thailand

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The Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as Summer Palace, was built in 1632 by King Prasat Thong. After the fall of Kingdom of Ayutthaya, the palace fell into disuse between the late 18th and late 19th century. It was restored by King Rama IV in the mid-19 century, he used it as a summer resort. Many of the buildings in the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace were built by King Chulalongkorn between 1872 and 1889. This is why the palace is comprised of a variety of architectural styles. Including the Thai-style Aisawan Tippaya Asna Pavilion, the Chinese style residence in the inner complex, the neo-Gothic Buddhist chapel and European statues and monuments.

5. Palace of Caserta in Caserta, Italy

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Palace of Caserta is the biggest palace in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe, it has a total of 1,200 rooms. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the major tourist attractions in the country. Its garden is considered one of the most beautiful in the world and it stretches for 120 hectors. The palace was built in 1752 for Charles VII of Naples, it was completed in 1780. It was designed by architect Luigi Vanvitelli who died seven years before completion, work was taken over by his son Carlo. The Palace of Caserta is where the surrender of German forces was signed, on April 29, 1945.

6. Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

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The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı) is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign. As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world including the Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword. The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described in Criterion iv as “the best example of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period.” Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, and covered a large area with a long shoreline. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. The palace contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. The name translates as “Cannon gate Palace” from a nearby gate which has since been destroyed.

7. Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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The Royal Palace of Amsterdam was originally a Town Hall, it was built from 1648 to 1655 by the mayor of Amsterdam: Cornelis de Graeff. It was a city hall until 1808 when Louis Napoleon converted it into his personal residence. The palace became a royal residence until 1936 when it was made property of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Today the Royal Palace of Amsterdam is a tourist attraction, it still has the Empire style furniture added by Louis Napoleon. This collection is one of the well preserved of its kind in the world.

8. Lazienki Palace in Warsaw, Poland

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Lazienki Palace was built around the mid 17th century as a bathhouse for Stanislas Lubormirski, a Polish noble (szlachcic), politician, patron of the arts and writer. The palace was later owned by the last king of Poland, Stanislas August Poniatowski who remodeled it between 1764-1795 and converted it into his summer residence. The Neoclassical style palace is built on an artificial island and is located inside the Royal Baths Park (or Park Łazienkowski), which covers 76 hectares of the city center.

9. Champs-Elysees in Paris, France

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The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is a street in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world. Several French monuments are also on the street, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is known as “The most beautiful avenue in the world”, La plus belle avenue du monde in French. The avenue runs for 1.91 km (1.18 mi) through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l’Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique.

10. Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, India

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Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. The pyramid shaped structure consists of five storeys. It measures 50 feet (15 m) from its base and has 953 pigeonhole-like windows. These create an incredible sight for visitors. Hawa Mahal is a famous tourist attraction in Jaipur. Hawa Mahal is also one of the major landmarks in Jaipur. When viewed in the morning during sun rise, the monument becomes surrounded by the golden rays of the sun which create a magnificent sighting.

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