Royal palaces of Europe

Until the end of the 19th century, the state form of government in most European countries was monarchies. The royal throne was inherited. In many countries, royal palaces have been preserved. Most of them were built in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Baroque or Classicist era.

In this review in the Geomerid online travel guide, you can read about the royal palaces that were located in the capitals of the states. These are the main royal palaces, not country residences:

1. Buckingham Palace in London
2. Winter Palace in St. Petersburg
3. The Louvre Palace in Paris
4. Royal Palace in Stockholm
5. Royal Palace in Brussels
6. Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
7. Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul
8. Dodge Palace
9. Residence of the President of the Czech Republic

Follow the hyperlinks to read in detail about each palace and see a large number of photos

Buckingham Palace in London

Buckingham Palace, located in the Westminster district of London, is the official residence of the British Royal family. Official ceremonies are held here. When the Royal family leaves for their Palace of Holyrood in Scotland in the summer, 19 halls of the Palace are opened for tourists.

The Palace was rebuilt and expanded many times. Today it consists of 775 rooms. 19 of them are open to tourists in summer. The Palace occupies an area of 3 hectares and is adjacent to the Gardens of Buckingham Palace, which cover an area of 17 hectares.

Winter Palace in St. Petersburg

In 1703 Peter I laid down the city on the Neva River, and almost at once the capital was moved to the building city. Of course, the Imperial Winter Palace, became the primary building on the main square of the city. However, today palace was built by the architect Francesco Rastrelli only in 1754-1762, fifty years after the city was founded.

For several centuries the palace was the main grand residence of Russian emperors, and now it is the largest museum in Russia and one of the largest and best museums in the world. Later there appeared the second name - Hermitage (from the French word ‘ermitage’ meaning ‘retreat’).

Louvre Palace in Paris

The Louvre Palace in Paris on the Seine Embankment was a royal residence from the 14th to the 17th century. It is now the most visited art museum in the world. More than 9 million people visit the Louvre every year. It is well ahead of the British Museum and London`s National Gallery. These museums in London are visited by over 6 million people. 

The first fortress on this site was built in the 13th century, but at first it housed the royal treasury and archives. The kings preferred to live on the fortified Island of Cite. The first king to settle in the Louvre in the 14th century was Charles V the Wise. His fortress occupied a small area, about a quarter of the Cour Carre. In the 16th century, this fortress was demolished, and under Francis I, the construction of the Cour Carre began, which has survived to this day. 

Royal Palace in Stockholm

The Royal Palace in Stockholm is located on the site where Jarl Birger built the first fortress in 1252. It was very well located on the water trade route, so around the fortress quickly began to develop the city of Stockholm, which in 1634 became the capital of Sweden.

In the 17th century, the fortress of Jarl Birger was demolished, and a Renaissance-style Palace was built here, but a century later, it was demolished again and began to build a Baroque Palace. On May 7, 1697, a fire broke out in the newly built Palace and it completely burned down. The architect Nicodemus Tessina immediately began the construction of a new, even more luxurious Palace in 1697. It is the residence of the Swedish monarchs, but some of its rooms are open to the public.

Royal Palace in Brussels

The Royal Palace near the Park of Brussels is the official residence of the Belgian monarchs, although the king and his family live in the Laeken Palace. The modern façade of the Royal Palace in the neoclassical style was made only in the early 20th century.

In 1904, the facade of the Palace was significantly rebuilt in the classical style. It was opened to tourists. It is interesting to see the state rooms, the hall of Celebrations, the Throne room, the Mirror room, and the Imperial room in the Royal Palace. The Palace has a Bellevue Museum, where you can get acquainted with the events of the revolution of 1830 when Belgium gained independence.

Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen

Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen consists of 4 separate mansions, which together with wings surround the octagonal square and create a single architectural ensemble. Since the 18th century, the Palace has been the official residence of the Danish monarchs. It is now home to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her family.

The Palace buildings were built in the Rococo style. Their facades practically do not differ from each other. They are named after kings and princes. The mansions of Frederick VIII and Christian IX are the living residence of Queen Margaret and her family. Access to them is closed.

Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul

The Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul is on the western coast of the Bosporus Strait. It was built in the 19th century when the medieval Topkapi Palace where Turkish sultans lived for about 400 years was already unsuitable for the luxurious life of the educated rulers of that century.

The construction of the palace was started in 1842 when Sultan Abdülmecid I wanted to erect a palace, which would have been more luxurious than the royal residences of Europe and symbolized the prime of the Ottoman Empire. The palace was finished 14 years later, in 1856. The facade of the Dolmabahçe Palace stretches for 600 meters along the Bosporus Strait. Now tourists can get in the palace through the Gate of Treasures on the southern side. 

Doge's Palace in Venice

The Doge`s Palace was built in the characteristic Venetian style, but at the same time it has an architectural peculiarity – the feeling of lightness and fragility. The effect is achieved on account that the upper part of the palace is very massive and its lower, fragile part is supported by a few columns. The palace was built during 1309-1340.

The Doge`s Palace was a residence of the governor of the Republic of Venice (Doge). There were also held the sessions of ministries, Supreme Court, councils of the Venetian Republic and the other government institutions at the palace. Almost all halls of the Doge`s Palace are richly decorated: everywhere there are many pictures of the famous Italian painters, gilt stucco work and carvings. Grand Council Chamber is the most impressive and world`s largest hall, which ceiling is supported by no column. 

Residence of the Czech President in Prague

To our days the Royal Castle, which is now the Residence of the President of the Czech Republic in Prague, survived as a group of modern buildings with uniform facades. However, for several centuries it was an impregnable Gothic fortress. The first settlement appeared there in 6 century. 

The above mentioned uniform facades were designed by an Italian-Austrian architect Nicolò Pacassi from 1753 through 1775. But these facades cover the buildings of various periods and architectural styles, which is evidenced by roofs and entrances located in different places. The today Prague Castle is one of the largest castles in the world.