7 Ruined Palaces Around the World, Reconstructed!
Sans Souci, Haiti,
Called the ‘Versailles of the Caribbean’, the palace’s majestic steps and terraces are an impressive monument to Haitian independence.
Qal’eh Dokhtar, Iran,
Qal’eh Dokhar was built by Ardašīr I as a “barrier fortress” during his 3rd century founding of the Sasanian Empire in Iran. The fortress’s third floor housed his royal residence but was eventually supplanted by a greater palace he built nearby. Qal’eh Dokhtar boasts perhaps the earliest example of an Iranian chartaq—a square of four arches supporting a dome—which became an important feature of traditional Iranian architecture.
Knossos Palace, Greece,
The oldest palace on this list by two millennia, Knossos, was constructed circa 1700 BC. In addition to its political function, it also was designed as an economic and religious centre for the mysterious Minoan civilization. Knossos was destroyed circa 1375 BC—surviving invasion, fire, and earthquake nearly a century longer than similar Minoan complexes.
Ruzhany Palace, Belarus,
The Sapieha family—power-brokers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth—built Ruzhany Palace in the late 1700s over the site of their earlier castle. In its heyday, Ruzhany’s famed theatre employed 100 performers. The palace also possessed a famous library and picture collection.
Dungur Palace / “Palace of the Queen of Sheba,” Ethiopia,
Dungur Palace is in the Ethiopian village of Aksum—once the bustling capital of an African empire that stretched from southern Egypt to Yemen. The 6th-century mansion contains approximately 50 rooms, including a bathing area, kitchen, and (possible) throne room.
Clarendon Palace, UK,
Despite the composition of a very significant English legal document within its halls, this 12th-century palace is nearly forgotten. The ‘Constitutions of Clarendon’ were Henry II’s attempt to gain legal authority over church clerks, but he instead exacerbated a feud with his friend Thomas à Becket. This feud eventually led to Archbishop Beckett’s martyrdom. Henry III expanded the palace, commissioning a carved fireplace and stained glass chapel. By the 1400s, Clarendon was a sprawling royal complex. It remained a favourite retreat of monarchs until the Tudor era, when the high cost of upkeep resulted in its rapid decline. Today, only a single wall remains above ground.
Husuni Kubwa, Tanzania,
The island of Kilwa Kisiwani was one of the most important sultanates in the “Swahili Coast’ trade network, linking East Africa to the Arabic world. For over 300 years, gold and ivory passed out of its ports, while Chinese silk and porcelain flowed in. The 14th-century palace at Husuni Kubwa is just one of many coral stone ruins that dot the island.
Husuni Kubwa was built by Sultan al-Hasan ibn Sulaiman. It had over 100 rooms, an octagonal swimming pool, and a staging area for loading goods onto ships. Husuni Kubwa, along with other elite Kilwa dwellings, was also equipped with indoor plumbing.
Created by: Budget Direct in collaboration with: Neomam Studios
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