Throughout history, war and power has been a constant struggle. Many leaders, kings and emperors had palaces built to demonstrate their strength, leadership and to fortify themselves from danger. Some of these palaces still remain, some are even still occupied.
1. Louvre Palace – Paris, France
The Louvre Palace holds a lot of history for France and demonstrates a lot of the historical movements over the last millennium. Construction began on this palace in 1202 and continued until the iconic glass pyramid was added to the courtyard in 1989. The intention of this landmark was originally a fortress which then became the royal residency. In more recent years the Louvre became an art gallery for some of the most famous pieces of artwork in the world, including the Mona Lisa.
2. Istana Nurul Iman – Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
This behemoth-sized palace is the current residency of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. Constructed in 1984, This Palace is over 2 million square feet, 17 stories and cost and estimated $1.5 Billion. It includes: 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall that can accommodate 5,000 people, a mosque that can hold up to 1,500 people, a 110 car garage and a stable that is capable of accommodating over 200 horses.
3. Apostolic Palace – Vatican City
This infamous palace is the official residency of the Pope, and also considered its own country. This palace began construction in 1589 and was made for the sole purpose of housing the pope and the other papal apartments, as well as, chapels, Vatican museums and libraries and the world-famous Sistine Chapel – painted by Michelangelo.
4. Forbidden City – Beijing, China
This Palace holds an abundance of history for China. This Palaces was the residency for the emperors from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty (approximately 1420 to 1912). This building was also the ceremonial and political center for Chinese government for over 500 years. It currently is listed as a World Heritage Site and is used as a museum and tourist attraction for China.
5. Royal Palace of Madrid – Madrid, Spain
This Palace was originally used for the residency of the Spanish Royal Family but is currently only used as a ceremonial ground for special events. The palace was originally constructed in 1738, under commission of King Philip V of Spain. The palace itself measures 1.45 million square feet.
6. Quirinal Palace – Rome, Italy
This a historic building in Rome, Italy, one of the three current official residences of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty Popes, four Kings of Italy and twelve presidents of the Italian Republic. The palace extends for an area of 110,500 square meters and was first constructed in 1583.
7. Buckingham Palace – London, England
This iconic palace is one of the most recognized in the world and serves as the residence and principal workplace of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the center of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing. It was first constructed for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.