Forbidden City - Palace Museum
The Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, lies in the city center of Beijing, and was once the Chinese imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). It was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is the largest, best-preserved ancient timber-built palace complex in the world.Rectangular in shape, the Forbidden City is enormous, covering an area of 72 hectares, and boasting more than 9,000 bays of rooms. It is divided into two parts – the Outer Court for national affairs in the south and the Inner Court as living quarters in the north. It is not only an immense architectural masterpiece, but also a treasury housing a unique collection of 1.8 million pieces of art, including ancient calligraphy and painting, imperial artifacts, ancient books and archives. A must-see in Beijing and the world’s most visited museum, it is worth spending half to one day to visit the Forbidden City and appreciate the precious cultural heritage of China.
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
The Summer Palace is said to be the most well-preserved imperial gardens and the largest of its kind still in existence in China. There’s so much to see and enjoy that most people prefer to stay there at least half a day. Composed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, it owns over 3,000 man-made ancient structures, including pavilions, towers, bridges, corridors, etc. On the grounds of the Palace you will be able to walk through 'The Long Corridor' which is the longest corridor in the world.
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Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu
The temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6thñ5th centuries B.C., are located at Qufu, in Shandong Province. Built to commemorate him in 478 B.C., the temple has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries; today it comprises more than 100 buildings.
Mencius Family Mansion & Mencius Temple
Only a twenty-minute drive away from Qufu, it’s an absolute gem with its graceful halls and pavilions and ancient juniper and cypress trees standing amid its peaceful courtyards. If there is indeed a place to celebrate the innate goodness of the human spirit, then this it!
Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeonghuigung (Western Palace) Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.
Situated in the backyard of Jiuhua Palace in Zheshan Park, Zhe Pagoda can be dated back to Song Dynasty in 1065. It is regarded as the key relics preservation in Anhui province. The Pagoda is surrounded by hills and trees. It is worthwhile taking a one-day trip in the downtown with other attractions like Guangji Temple, Shutian Pavilion, Cuiming Garden, Mr. Liu Xiping’s graveyard, lieutenant General Dai Anlan’s graveyard.
Since the Edo era, Kokura has flourished as a castle town. Kokura Castle, the symbol of the town, was founded by Tadaoki Hosokawa in 1602. The only castle remaining in Fukuoka Prefecture, it attracts many tourists.
Completed in 1597 after eight years of construction, Okayama Castle is one of Japan’s top 100 castles. After the keep was destroyed in the war, the castle was rebuilt in 1966. Also known as “U-jo (Crow Castle)” for its crow-like black outer wall, Okayama Castle is a popular counterpart to the white outer walls of Himeji Castle.
Hamamatsu Castle (Hamamatsu-jo) was where the founding shogun of the Edo period (1603-1868), Tokugawa Ieyasu, lived for 17 years before he became ruler of Japan. As he lived in the castle during the time when he began a war for the purpose of uniting the whole country, it was also named the Castle of Advancement.
Imperial Palace East Gardens
The current Imperial Palace (皇居, Kōkyo) is located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo, a short walk from Tokyo Station. It is the residence of Japan's Imperial Family.
Edo Castle used to be the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown, and the country's capital and Imperial Residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. In 1888 construction of a new Imperial Palace was completed. The palace was once destroyed during World War Two, and rebuilt in the same style, afterwards.
From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.
When King Mindon Min founded Mandalay in 1857 he ordered the construction of a new Royal Palace. This was the last palace built by Burmese royals. The king located it in a square citadel surrounded by four 2km-long walls with a total of 48 turrets and 12 gates, one for each sign of the zodiac.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square - the uppermost and best-known attraction in Kathmandu lies in old town of Kathmandu, in front of the former royal palace. It is one of the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As a cluster of classic architectures and over 50 temples, palaces and courtyards which date back to the 12th to 18th centuries, the square maintains its original building style and glamour.
The Grand Palace
The dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace is undoubtedly the most famous landmark in Bangkok. It’s one must-see sight that no visit to the city would be complete without. It was built in 1782 and for 150 years was the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government.
The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people. Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
Royal Palace of Cambodia
Cambodia’s Royal Palace complex was begun by King Norodom I (ruled 1860-1904) in 1886, when the capital was moved to Phnom Penh. Most buildings were completed before World War I, with involvement by French administrators and Thai designers and architects. French influence can be seen in the formal gardens which enhance the palace, and there are some European-style buildings on the grounds. Now Royal Palace is a home to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Sihamoni, King of Cambodia.
Royal palace has four gates. The eastern Victory Gate leads directly to the entrance of the throne hall and is used only by royalty and VIPs. The northern or funeral gate is only opened after the death of a monarch. After being embalmed, the monarch’s body is kept in state at the palace for three months, with the face hidden by a one-kilogram solid gold mask, before being taken out via this gate. The west or executing gate was used by condemned prisoners exiting the palace to be killed. The southern gate is reserved for use by commoners and it is through this gate the public reaches the Silver Pagoda.
At the top of palace’s throne hall, note the four pale, almost clown-like faces, which represent the all-seeing king. The hall itself is painted vivid yellow, a symbol of Buddhism, and white, for Hinduism, the two main faiths of Cambodia until they were combined into one by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century. The central door of the five at the front of the throne hall are reserved for royalty and VIPs. Inside, note the 1913 ceiling mural telling the story of the Ramayana. The thick carpet supplied by China in 1993 matches the lotus-bud floor tiles.
Fort San Pedro
Visit Fort San Pedro or Fuerza de San Pedro to have a glimpse of Cebu’s rich history. The work on the fort was first started on May 8, 1565 by Spanish and indigenous Cebuanos under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi.
Reunification Palace was the base of Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem until his death in 1963. It made its name in global history in 1975. A tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate, ending the Vietnam War. Today, it's a must-visit for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City.
The palace is like a time capsule frozen in 1975. You can see two of the original tanks used in the capture of the palace parked in the grounds. Reunification Palace was the home and workplace of the French Governor of Cochin-China. It has lush gardens, secret rooms, antique furniture, and a command bunker. It's still in use to host important occasions in Ho Chi Minh, including APEC summits.
The Reunification Palace has five levels. The basement features tunnels, a war room and telecommunications centre. The war command room has original maps on its walls. Period telecommunications equipment are also on display. Its adjoining basement rooms display war propaganda materials. On the third floor, there's a card playing room while the fourth houses a casino. Reunification Palace's rooftop terrace is fitted with a heliport.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, home to the President of the world’s largest democracy, is emblematic of Indian democracy and its secular, plural and inclusive traditions. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and stands on a 330-acre estate. It took seventeen years to build this presidential palace which was completed in the year 1929. Almost seven hundred million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone were used in building this architectural marvel that has 2.5 kilometres of corridors and 190 acres of garden area. The main building covers an area of 5 acres and has 340 rooms spread over four floors. The famous Mughal Gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan cover an area of 15 acres and have 159 celebrated varieties of roses, 60 varieties of bougainvillaea and many other verities of flowers. The Estate also has a state-of-the-art Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (RBMC) comprising the Clock Tower, the Stables and the Garages showcasing past as well as current presidencies, the regal ceremonies, and the rich flora and fauna of Rashtrapati Bhavan, amongst other things. The RBMC was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on 25th July 2016.
Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb is a highly ornate edifice, which is looked upon as an imminent precursor of the Taj Mahal as far as elaborate carvings and inlay work are concerned. The tomb marks a significant departure from the tombs of the Mughal dynasty built before its construction.
The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din or Ghiyas Beg (later known as Itmad-ud-Daulah) was a poor merchant and lived in Persia (modern-day Iran). While on his way to India for business, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. As the family was extremely poor and had nothing to eat, the parents decided to abandon the child. However, the wails of the baby girl forced the parents to come back and take her with them. The baby girl brought a stroke of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caravan that straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. In the course of time, Ghiyas Beg rose to become a minister and a trusted treasurer in Akbar's court. After Akbar's death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiyas Beg was also honored with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or the pillar of the state.
Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is situated on the bank of river yamuna in the city of Agra (India). Taj is a symbol of the great Mughal heritage of India. Taj Mahal monument is a symbol of the eternity of love. Experiencing Taj Mahal Monument is like a journey back to the magnificent Mughal Empire. It is simply the expression of emotions in a structural form. Taj Mahal is a monument of love. So, it's a place worth visiting to memorize the love in your life. The Taj Mahal monument was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 as a tribute to his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal.
The city of Agra is world famous for the Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife. However, it is also famous for the Agra Fort, which is a veritable treasure trove of the Mughal architectural tradition. The various buildings within this sprawling fort complex represent the assimilation of different cultures, which was the mark of the Mughal period. Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir's Palace),
Akbar's tomb at Sikandra is an excellent example of assimilation of different styles of architecture and it represents a significant departure from the earlier Mughal buildings. The tomb carries the characteristic flavor of the airy tiered pavilions of the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri was the imperial city of the Mughal dynasty between 1571 and 1584. Built by the Mughal emperor Akbar, this royal city is one of a kind. The architectural grandeur of this deserted city cannot be described in words and one can only experience the aura of its magnificent edifices by seeing them.
The Gwalior fort that is situated on a magnificent sandstone hill was once the administrative quarters of the Tomars. The Gwaluor fort is said to have been a part of the revolt during 1857 and during that period, the fort was under the ruling of Tantia Tope and also Rani Laxmibai.
Jai Vilas Mahal
The Jai Vilas Mahal that is also known as the Jai Vilas Palace was built in 1874 by the Maharaja of Gwalior called Jayajirao Scindia. This palace is said to be an 11th century palace and a visit to this palace must be done if you visit Gwalior.
Amber (pronounced Amer) is at a distance of about 11 kilometres from Jaipur. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the bastion of the Kachwahas of Amber, until the capital was moved to the plains, to what is today Jaipur. The palace, located in craggy hills, is a beautiful melange of Hindu and Mughal styles.
Hawa Mahal, literally the Palace of Winds, was built in 1799 by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh as a summer retreat for him and his family. It also served as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe everyday life without being seen themselves. This unique five-storey structure is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, and the exterior, with its small latticed windows (called jharokhas), resembles the crown of Lord Krishna.
Located deep within the walled city, the City Palace Complex was conceived and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. A beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the palace is still home to the last ruling royal family which lives in a private section of the palace.
Laxmi Niwas Palace
Laxmi Niwas Palace was the residence of the king of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh. Built between 1898 and 1902 by British architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, this structure displays an Indo-Saracenic architectural style. It is now a luxury hotel.
Junagarh is an impregnable bastion that holds the distinction of having never been captured. It was constructed in 1588 AD by Raja Rai Singh, one of Emperor Akbar’s most distinguished generals. The fort complex houses some magnificent palaces constructed in red sandstone and marble and visitors can feast their eyes on an attractive assortment of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows.
Abdur Rahman Khan Mausoleum
The mausoleum stands in the center of Kabul in Zarnegar ("Adorned with Gold") Park. A long inscription beside the main entrance relates the story of how the stucture was first built by Amir Abdur Rahman (1880-1901) as a small private palace. The building has a bulbous red dome atop a whitewashed drum, and fussy decorative minarets. The cupola and minarets were added by his son, Amir Habibullah (1901-1919) constructed the mosque beside the mausoleum. The mausoleum itself is closed to visitors. On the opposite side of the park a huge new mosque was under construction when we visited, named for its private benefactor - confusingly called Haji Abdul Rahman
Located 85 kilometres from the main city, the 400-year old Khejarla Fort is situated in a rural setting. The stunning red sandstone monument, now a hotel, is an example of Rajput architecture. Visitors will be mesmerised by the fort's picturesque settings, latticework friezes and intricate Jharokas.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace is the largest private residence in the world. There are 372 rooms, wood-panelled library, private museum, indoor swimming pool, billiards room, tennis courts and unique marble squash courts. All these things make Umaid Bhawan Palace one of the most magnificent structures in the city.
The palace was built with a purpose to employ the farmers of Jodhpur. It was made between 1928 and 1943 under the reign of Maharaja Umaid Singh. The Umaid Bhwan Palace was designed by the renowned architecture, Henry Lanchester, and shows a blend of eastern and western architectural influences. Its majestic 105 - foot high cupola is influenced by the Renaissance, while the towers draw inspiration from Rajput tradition.
The main attractions of Umaid Bhawan includes a collection of vintage cars, clocks and banners gifted by Queen Victoria, artefacts belonging to the royals, cutleries, trophies and weapons.
Kondapalli Fort, also locally known as Kondapalli Quilla, is located in the Krishna district, close to Vijayawada, the second largest city of Andhra Pradesh, India. The historic fort on the hill (Eastern Ghats) located to the west of the Kondapalli village was built by Prolaya Vema Reddy of Kondavid during the 14th century, initially as a pleasure place and a business centre, along with the Kondavid Fort in Guntur district.
Istana Negara (National Palace) is the official residence of the Yang DiPertuan Agong who is the head of state of Malaysia. The New palace which was opened in 2011 is located at Jalan Duta, replaces the old Istana Negara.
Want to know what it’s like to live in a palace? The Royal Museum is possibly the best place to see and experience the royal way of life in an Asian palace.
The Royal Museum opened its doors on 1 February 2013 and is located in the old National Palace which was the official residence of the King and Queen of Malaysia. The old National Palace has now been converted to a museum and is open to the public.