7 Most Stunning Royal Palaces In The World

Palaces are the peak of residential architecture. They’re as far as someone can go when trying to pick the most luxurious household they possibly can. Bigger and more lavish than mansions and castles together, the only thing that could make a palace even more impressive is making it a royal palace. Royalty doesn’t settle for just anything, it’s a commonly known fact. Many great monarchs in history had their palaces built from scratch, specifically to house them and their family (and an array of servants, of course). Today, monarchies aren’t as common as they used to be only decades ago, with many palaces that used to be inhabited by royal family members being left hollow and open for the public to visit. Regardless of whether someone still lives in them or they were turned into tourist attractions, here are the 7 Most Stunning Royal Palaces In The World.

1. Forbidden City, China

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

This 980-building complex used to be the home of the imperial Chinese families for over five hundred centuries, all the way from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Constructions began in 1406 and ended roughly fourteen years later. It’s located in the heart of Beijing and it’s also the go-to place if you want to visit the Palace Museum, which is the most visited museum in the world. The impressive architecture of the Forbidden City has become representative of the Chinese style, influencing many other East Asiatic constructions.

2. Potala Palace, Tibet

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

Located in the Autonomous Region of Tibet in China, the Potala Palace is one of the most beautiful attractions in Tibet and a hotspot of tourism in the region. The palace that we see today was built in 1645, on the foundation of another palace dating back to the 7th century. The monumental construction is situated 130 meters above the Lhasa valley, with the building itself extending a further 170 meters through its sheer height. The first one to be built was the White Palace, with the middle Red Palace being added in the interval between 1690 and 1694. For many years, Potala Palace used to be the residence of the Dalai Lama. However, this changed after when the 14th Dalai Lama fled from Tibet during the invasion of Chinese armies from 1959.

3. Alhambra, Spain

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

You can find the Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, and you definitely have all the reasons in the world to pay a visit to it. It’s a building rich in history and stories, having initially been a fortress built as early as the 9th century. Yusuf I, the then Sultan of Granada, was the one with the initiative to turn the fortress into a full-fledged palace. Within the complex, you can also find several Islamic Palaces, which the Sultan had to be built for the last Spanish Muslim Emirs and their court. Portions of the complex slipped from the grasp of Muslim rulers, along with the reconquest of the Reyes Catolicos from the 15th century. For a while, it was used by Christian leaders. Now that no royal family currently lives within its walls, the Alhambra serves as Granada’s biggest tourist attraction.

4. Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

Unlike the rest of the entries on this list, the Buckingham Palace is currently inhabited today, as it’s the residence and workplace of the United Kingdom’s monarch family. Located in the City of Westminster, London, the palace used to be under private ownership for over a century and a half. It was built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and sixty years later, it was purchased by King George III to serve as a private residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte. The palace became the official residential lot for the royal family along with Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne in 1837. Since its initial construction, many wings have been added to the main building. It suffered serious damage from German bombing in WWII, the entire palace chapel being destroyed in the process. The state rooms are open to visiting in August, September, December, and January.

5. Chateau de Chambord, France

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

No list about royal palaces would be complete without France. Chateau de Chambord is located in the Loire Valley, a location famous for the multitude of palaces and castles lined up in the area. It was constructed by King Francis I of France, becoming in time an epitome of Renaissance architecture. Some people say that Leonardo DaVinci had a say in the original design of the palace, though much of its initial appearance got lost through constant renovation. The building was never completed, since King Francis I had it built to serve as a hunting ground and chose to live in other palaces from the Valley. After WWII, many exhibitions from the Louvre and Chateau de Compiegne were moved to Chateau de Chambord, which today is open to visitors.

6. Palace of Versailles, France

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

Often shortened simply as Versailles, this palace is one of the most visited attractions in France, not only for its impressive architecture and gardens but for the historical significance as well. In 1682, Louis XIV moved together with his family from Paris to Versailles, back then a simple country village. The chateau was a center of political power and Ancien Regime reigning until the royal family was forced to return to Paris in 1789, after the ignition of the French Revolution.

7. Schonbrunn Palace, Austria

Most Stunning Royal Palaces

Built by King Leopold I at the end of the 17th century, the Schonbrunn Palace is one of the most valued attractions in modern Vienna. It used to be the residence of many generations of the royal house, the best examples being the famed Franz Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth I, also known as “Sisi.” Other than the palace itself, tourists can visit the enormous gardens surrounding the area, grab a ticket for one of the biggest zoos in Europe, enter the maze or hike thirty meters up a hill to visit the summer house Gloriette.

Stepping between the walls of one of these 7 Most Stunning Royal Palaces In The World is almost certain to take you back in time to a period when emperors and empresses, kings and queens all roamed the hallways of their homes. No matter how costly, a visit to one of them is worth every penny.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Ten Stunning Homes Built Around The World

A house is not only a house because when you fill it with love and a family it becomes a home. Before it can do so, however, it has to be built properly so that it may inspire the owners to build a life inside of it. We have therefore found ten stunning homes that are so perfectly built, so beautifully created and are on such magnificent pieces of land that it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with them.

Acayaba House

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Built in Sao Paulo by Marcos Acayaba, this house uses the beauty of wood and elements of geometry to create a home that is not only inviting but also unique. It has an innate warmth to it that, put together with the plants that surround it and the beautiful dim lighting, it is the perfect retreat for anyone working in the big city.

The Deck House

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Have you ever fancied glass walls that go all around your home? Well this is exactly what the architect Felipe Assadi and Francisca Pulido envisioned when designing this beautiful glass fronted home on the hill, where natural light floods the house from three sides. Paired with the wood and the white walls, it looks absolutely stunning.

Unique Design

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Kuala Lumpur is the home of an absolutely stunning construction by Jouin Manku. This home is asymmetric and uses several elements in its composition, from glass and wood to other unconventional materials. Just make sure to be a bit unconventional if you want something like it.

House of Mirrors?

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This Daniel Liebeskind design in Connecticut is certainly unconventional to say the least with asymmetric lines and reflective materials used creatively as with this home. It’s certainly going to make a statement and if you decide to own such a house, there will be no regrets.

Guest House

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Combining wood and lusterless glass to create a vintage impression, Shim-Sutcliffe designed an absolutely breathtaking Guest House found in Don Mills. Hidden among trees, in a scenery that is absolutely wonderful, this house creates the perfect relaxation atmosphere where you can unplug from absolutely any type of stress.

Simplicity and Elegance

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Less is more no matter what topic and where this home is concerned, there is absolutely nothing that could make it any more stunning than it already is. Vintage furnishings belong to Paul McCobb and Harry Bertoia. The glass wall works beautifully with the white interior and pastel colors to add warmth and openness to the space.

The Home with THE View

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This beautiful house overlooks the Pittwater Bay in Australia and offers the best of both worlds- the hills with its beautiful trees as well as the sea with its warm waters.  The design belongs to Rob Brown and it offers everything mother nature has to offer to those living in it- breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, a house with a view, the fresh air, natural light and warm climate.

Wood and Glass Motive

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It seems that architects have their preferences when it comes to glass and it does look absolutely perfect in pristine woods where you’re alone with nature. Just have a look at this magnificent design- who couldn’t picture reading a book on that porch?

Natural Lighting

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Another option for your home is having white wood and materials painted in pastel to make sure that absolutely every amount of available light is captured and used to its full potential. This home, for instance, uses extremely large spaces in combination with natural light coming down from the ceiling to create an idyllic effect.

Green House Home

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Comprised only of glass, this may be a bit much for conservative home owners since privacy is no longer achievable (granted, you can opt for just the living room to look like this) but it is nevertheless breathtaking.

Dream in White

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Our personal favorite is this beautiful ensemble that has all the previous elements shown in all other stunning homes, but in a completely different manner. The white sofas that mix the new with the old, the beautiful scenery and the multiple white lamps complete the home with a wonderful look.

Finally! A Zombie-Proof Safe House

Let’s face it: if a zombie plague were to arise, and one probably will in the near future, we’d all be screwed. Think about it: an outbreak of reanimated corpses would spread throughout the nation like wildfire, with the infected slaughtering millions and turning the bitten into their own: the walking dead, fond of the taste of flesh and always, relentlessly hungry. Never mind how many baseball bats or sawn-off boomsticks are in your possession, nor if the zombies are the moaning shufflers of George A. Romero’s “Dead” trilogy or the snarling Olympians of Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later” and Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake: they’ll find you, they’ll get you and, if you’re lucky, they’ll eat you dead.

That is, if you’re not the proud owner of this zombie-proof abode, ingeniously designed by Polish architect Robert Konieczny of KWK Promes. Built specifically to withstand an unwanted horde of braindead brain-nibblers, “The Safe House” stands in a small village located on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland. It is an awesome piece of architecture and, more importantly, looks super-effective. It has a draw bridge, concrete window shutters, movable walls, only one entrance (on the second floor, accessible through the bridge), and a retractable metal gate. Upon closing up, the house looks like nothing more than a concrete box – unsightly perhaps, but completely protective.

All its lucky occupant needs is a shotgun and a flamethrower, and a fridge full of food, and they’re set to survive the zombie apocalypse. Well, unless the zombies outside work out how to operate a bulldozer: zombie smash! [Read more…]

A Completely See-Through Church in Belgium

They say that God sees all, and now all can see inside of his house. Well, at least inside of a fully see-through church in Belgium.

The artists who came up with this interesting idea are young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, collaborating under the name of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh.

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Brain Health complex metaphorically built as left-brain and right-brain

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Architect Frank Gehry is the man behind this amazing building that is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. From far away some of the building's steel walls look like they have melted in the sun because they are bending in all directions. The huge complex consists of two parts: the one that looks weird where the walls flow free, and the other that looks like any other building – built straight.

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