How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

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Kings at all times lived in luxury and wealth, surrounded by an army of servants and courtiers. It is impossible to imagine a king without a magnificent palace, the walls of which are painted with gold, decorated with unique paintings, and the rooms are furnished with expensive furniture. Modern royal dynasties no longer build palaces and castles for themselves, they inherited their residences from their great ancestors in the past.

Of course, each palace is unique and has its own unique history. We decided to find out who owns the largest and richest palace, so we have compiled a rating of the royal residences in Europe, in which representatives of the current royal dynasties now live. We offer you seven palaces in total.

Oslo Royal Palace – Norway

The seventh place in the ranking of the most luxurious palaces of modern monarchs went to the residence of the Norwegian king Harold V.

The Royal Palace of Oslo is located on a hill, Bellevue, which allows it to stand out from the surrounding landscape.

Initially, the palace was conceived as the summer residence of the Swedish king Karl XIV Johan. Construction began in 1825, Karl personally laid the foundation stone for the future residence. However, when after 24 years the construction was completed, the king was already dead and could not see him. The first monarch to settle in the castle was the Danish prince Karl, who in 1905 was proclaimed the king of independent Norway by Haakon VII.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

The palace was built in the classicism style characteristic of the first half of the 19th century. The palace was designed by Danish architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstow. The building looks sharply emphasized, but elegant. The interior is decorated with various works of art. The decoration is dominated by beige and golden tones, while there is no pathos and unnecessary splendor. From the outside, the palace is surrounded by a beautiful park.

A cozy recreation area and small lakes are specially arranged in the park. Locals come here to relax with children.

At present, the State Council Hall and the Parish Church are located on the ground floor of the palace. Harold V receives leaders of other countries at his residence and holds important state events. The entrance to the palace is closed, tourists and residents of the city are allowed only to the royal park, as well as to the palace square.

The Norwegian Royal Palace is noticeably inferior to other residences of European monarchs both in richness of decoration and in size (which is why it takes the last place in our rating). Its dimensions are rather modest: the length of the main facade is 100 meters, width is 24 meters. The building has 173 rooms, and the entire palace complex, together with the park, occupies just over 17.5 hectares.

Royal Palace of Brussels and Laken Palace – Belgium

We gave the sixth place to the palaces of the Belgian king Albert II.

The official royal residence is the palace in Brussels. This monumental building is located in a respectable area on the Coudenberg hill, which is called the “Royal Quarter”.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

The palace cannot be called luxurious, however, it evokes a sense of pride among the Belgians and emphasizes the greatness of the royal family. The Belgians are a restrained nation, which is probably why the royal residence has emphatically severe forms..

The Royal Palace in Brussels is a monumental building with a gray-brown facade.

Once on the site of the modern royal castle stood the fortified castle Coudenberg, which belonged to the Duke of Brabant. In 1731, the building burned down and was restored only by 1775. A lot of valuable relics died in that fire.

Since 1830, after the Belgian revolution, King Leopold of Saxe-Coburg settled in the palace, and since then it has become a royal residence.

Despite the fact that the Royal Palace is the official residence of the Belgian monarch, he and his family mainly live in the Laken Palace, using the residence to receive dignitaries and hold important state events.

Laken Palace was built in 1785 in the north of the capital in the Laken area for Albert of Saxe-Teschinsky Stadtholder of the Austrian Netherlands, designed by the architect Charles de Vailly. The furniture for this palace was made by the famous cabinetmaker Jean-Joseph Chapuis. The building changed owners several times, until in 1830, after the revolution, the state donated Laken to King Leopold I. Already under Leopold II, at the end of the 19th century, the castle was noticeably expanded and rebuilt.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

Despite the fact that the palace cannot boast of a luxurious interior and rich appearance, Laeken is famous all over the world for its greenhouse, where millions of tourists still come to admire exotic plants every year..

The collection of unique plants growing in the greenhouse is of incredible value: some specimens have survived from the time of Leopold II, while others are very rare and are practically not found anywhere else. In addition, the garden features a lake, a golf course, and unique pavilions that are not typical of Belgian architecture: the Japanese Tower and the Chinese Pavilion. The park complex together with the greenhouse occupies more than 25 sq. km.

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Opposite the park is the Neo-Gothic Church of Our Lady of Laken. The church crypt houses the burial place of the Belgian royal family.

Amalienborg Palace – Denmark

One of the famous sights of Copenhagen is the royal residence – Amalienborg Palace. It is he who takes the fifth place in our rating..

The palace was built in the eighteenth century. However, initially in its place was the palace of Sophia Amalienborg, which completely burned down in 1689. As a result, from 1750 to 1754. a new one was erected in its place. Niels Eigtved became the chief architect and project manager. Amalienborg became the royal residence in 1794, when the previous residence, Christiansborg Castle, burned down. King Christian VII, who reigned in those years, immediately acquired 4 buildings, which now constitute the main complex of the Amalienborg Palace.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

The architectural complex of Amalienborg consists of four identical Rococo-style buildings that together with the wings form a regular octagon. These are: Moltke Palace, later called the Palace of Christian VII, the Palace of Christian Frederic Levezau, later renamed the Palace of Christian VIII, the Palace of Frederick VIII and the Palace of Christian IX.

Since all buildings are built in the Rococo style, it is not surprising that the façade and internal halls are decorated with stucco moldings, cupids, intricate carvings, etc. Such an interior cannot be boring and dull, it emphasizes the wealth and grandeur of the royal Habsburg dynasty.

One of the most luxurious apartments in the Danish royal residence is the Knights’ or Great Hall in the palace of Christian VII. It has perhaps the most extravagant interior, made in the best Rococo traditions..

Several years ago, the royal family undertook a massive renovation of Frederick VIII’s Palace, which cost DKK 130 million (approximately $ 22 million). The general public was able to see the renovated halls in 2010. Over the five years that the renovation lasted, a lot was done: the ceiling painted with frescoes was reconstructed, the wallpaper and wooden decor elements on the walls were completely replaced, marble staircases and mosaics on the floors were refreshed. New paintings have appeared on the walls, painted by contemporary artists especially for the royal palace, where the Crown Prince of Denmark Frederick currently lives with his wife Princess Mary and children.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

It should be said that of all four palaces, only one is completely closed to the public – this is the palace of Christian IX, which is home to the current Queen of Denmark Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. Visitors are allowed into the rest of the buildings at certain times of the year.

Amalienborg is slightly inferior to the residence of the English royal family in terms of luxury of interior decoration and area. The complex occupies a relatively small area: the length of Amalienborg from north to south is 203 meters, and from east to west 195 meters, but most of this territory is occupied by the area, the palaces themselves are not very large compared to those previously discussed.

Royal Palace in Amsterdam – Netherlands

In the fourth position, we placed the Royal Palace in Amsterdam – the residence of Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of Holland.

This is an amazing example of neoclassical architecture. The palace was originally built in the 17th century as a city hall that epitomized the majesty and significance of the Netherlands. The town hall became the royal palace in 1808, after the coronation of Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

The walls of the palace are still decorated with densely renowned artists such as Jan Lievens, Govert Flink, Ferdinand Bol, Jacob Jordens, Rembrandt. There is an incredible amount of expensive antique furniture collected here. It is here that the world’s largest and well-preserved collection of ampile-style furniture, as well as objects of decorative and applied art (more than 2000 exhibits in total) is currently located. Most of the collection was collected during the reign of Louis Bonaparte.

The interior decoration of the palace is dominated by marble and gilding. The facade is decorated with a huge statue of Atlas, who holds the globe on his shoulders..

It is noteworthy that at one time the Amsterdam City Hall, along with many other architectural masterpieces, claimed the honorary title of the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The Royal Palace is adorned with an imposing dome, on top of which is a weather vane in the shape of a medieval cog ship. It is the cog that is the symbol of Amsterdam. There are windows under the dome, from which they previously watched the departure and arrival of ships in the harbor.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

As for the size of the palace itself, the length of the facade is 80 meters, which is not very much, therefore, despite the luxurious decoration, this palace was not included in the top three.

The central hall of the Amsterdam Royal Palace has impressive dimensions: 18.3 meters wide and 36.6 meters long, with a ceiling height of 27.4 meters. On the marble floor, you can see two maps of the world (western and eastern hemispheres) and a celestial sphere. The map shows in some detail the areas of colonial influence of the Dutch Empire. The maps are dated to the middle of the 18th century. It is in this room that the most important ceremonies and receptions are held, for example, the presentation of state awards and the royal reception in honor of the new year..

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Eastern Royal Palace and Zarzuela Palace – Spain

In third place, perhaps, can be put the palaces of the Spanish royal house. Currently, King Juan Carlos I resides in the Zarzuela Palace, but the official residence is the Oriental Palace in Madrid, used exclusively for ceremonial events.

The Eastern Palace was built in the 18th century. In the Middle Ages, in its place was a Moorish fortress, and later the Alcazar of the Habsburgs, destroyed in a fire in 1734. After that, Philip V, the first representative of the Bourbon dynasty to ascend the Spanish throne, wanted to build a luxurious palace in Madrid..

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

Two Italian architects worked on the project: Filippo Juvara and Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, who created a luxurious building in the Italian Baroque style. Granite from the Guadarram Mountains was used to build the palace.

The interior decoration of the Royal Palace in Madrid is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. The walls are decorated with magnificent frescoes by famous Italian and Spanish artists: Diego Velazquez, Corrado Giaquinto, Luca Giordano, Francisco Bayeu, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Caravaggio, Francisco Goya, Vicente Lopez and Mariano Salvador Maelli.

Among the apartments, the most beautiful is the throne room. Crystal chandeliers sparkle under the ceiling painted by the Venetian master Tiepolo. The walls are covered with red damask. Along the perimeter of the hall, there are statues that represent all the main human virtues. The palace covers an area of ​​about 19.5 hectares.

Currently, it is open to the public and anyone can see this splendor for a small price..

As for the Zarzuela Palace, which is home to the royal family, it is located outside the city to the north of Madrid. It was originally built as a hunting lodge and country residence. And only in 1962 the royal family settled in it. Of course, in splendor and luxury, it is inferior to the Eastern Palace. A warmer, more comfortable home atmosphere reigns here. The palace is closed to visitors so as not to disturb the measured life of the Spanish monarchs.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

The building was built in the restrained early Baroque style by architects Gomez de Mora and Carbonello. During the civil war, the building was badly damaged and was restored only in 1960. Later, two more buildings were added to it. Currently, the Zarzuela palace complex includes the main palace and two additional houses on the sides, one of which is now home to members of the royal family. Rooms are decorated with tapestries, paintings and other works of art that highlight the status and grandeur of their owners.

Despite the fact that this residence is not very large, it has its own garden, sports grounds, a chapel, a helipad, as well as round-the-clock security – the monarchs are guarded by a regiment of guards.

Royal Palace in Stockholm – Sweden

In second place is the official residence of the Swedish king Gustav XVI – the Royal Palace in Stockholm. It is an imposing building with 600 rooms, including ceremonial halls and royal suites. Facade length 120 meters.

The palace is located in the center of Stockholm on the front embankment of Stadholmen Island. It is built on the foundations of the medieval castle Tre Kronor (Three Crowns), which was destroyed by fire in 1697. The remains of that castle can still be seen in the Three Crowns Palace Museum. The construction of the new royal palace took 57 years and was completed by 1754. At that time, it became the largest construction project in Europe. The halls of the palace are made in a variety of architectural styles: Rococo, Baroque and Neoclassicism. The best artists of that time were invited for decoration.

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

Each of the four facades of the Royal Palace is symbolic. The main ones – the eastern and western ones, respectively, the “Queen’s facade” and the “King’s facade”, lead to the royal apartments and symbolize the power of the monarchy. It should be noted that on the west side, two curved galleries form a courdoner (small square), where the daily solemn ceremony of changing the royal guard takes place in summer..

On the north side of the palace is the entrance to the cabinet of ministers and the meeting room of the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag. This facade symbolizes parliamentary power.

The southern facade facing the palace descent is the most luxurious and solemn. Here is a huge monumental arch, on different sides of which are the State Hall and the Royal Chapel: the throne and altar are the main symbols of statehood. This facade is also decorated with six Corinthian columns and impressive sculptures..

Part of the palace, despite the fact that the king permanently resides in his residence, is open to the public. The greatest interest and admiration among tourists is caused by the luxurious royal apartments, the Chambers of the Order of the Knights, the celebration hall, the Gallery of Charles XI, the Treasury, the Arsenal, as well as the Three Crowns Palace Museum and the Antique Museum of Gustav III.

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How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

This castle can be called an amazing example of architecture, because it perfectly combines severity and grandeur, restraint and nobility..

Buckingham Palace – UK

The first place in our ranking rightfully goes to the British royal residence.

As you know, the English Queen Elizabeth II, who has been in charge of the country for over 60 years, lives with her family in Buckingham Palace..

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

For many years this stately and incredibly beautiful building has been the main palace of Great Britain and the central headquarters of the ruling Windsor dynasty. It is here that official receptions and other important events of national importance take place..

It should be noted that Buckingham Palace received the status of the official royal residence more than 250 years ago. In 1837, upon ascending the throne, Queen Victoria chose him.

The original building was not as luxurious as you can see it now. The mansion was once owned by the Duke of Buckingham, a friend of Queen Anne. In 1762, George III bought the house for 28 thousand pounds, who renamed it Buckingham House. And only almost 60 years later, in 1820, King George IV rebuilt the mansion and turned it into a luxurious palace. The reconstruction took more than 150 thousand pounds (a lot of money at that time).

The palace was rebuilt and expanded for nearly 75 years under the direction of architects John Nash and Edward Blor, who built three new wings to form a large courtyard. The interior was completely changed and the facade was updated.

Later, during the reign of Queen Victoria, in 1853 a huge ballroom with a total area of ​​800 sq. m, which today is actively used for major state events, receptions and concerts.

Most of the rooms at Buckingham Palace have remained unchanged from those times, including the grand dining room, the white living room, and of course the Golden Throne Room, which now hosts receptions and formal photo sessions with members of the royal family. Until now, the walls are decorated with paintings from the time of Herog IV, and in many rooms there are samples of unique rare furniture..

How modern kings live or the rating of the most luxurious royal residences in Europe

However, during the reign of King Edward VII (1894-1972), some of the chambers were redesigned in the Belle Epoque style (translated from French as “beautiful era”). The decoration began to dominate cream and gold tones.

Currently, Buckingham Palace covers an area of ​​over 20 hectares. The castle has over 600 rooms, including 52 royal bedrooms and 188 bedrooms for staff and guests, as well as 78 bathrooms. In addition, the territory is decorated with a huge garden, which occupies almost 17 hectares, in which exotic trees and flowers grow. This is the largest private garden in the UK. In the center it is decorated with an artificial pond.

The royal residence is guarded around the clock by the court division, which consists of the Royal Horse Guards Regiment and the Guards Infantry Regiment.

Today Buckingham Palace is a real city in the center of London. It has its own police station, a hospital, two post offices, clubs, bars, a cinema and a swimming pool. The palace employs more than 700 staff.

The queen lives in the palace for most of the year and only leaves for two months (August and September). At this time, the residence opens its doors to visitors and everyone can see with their own eyes the luxurious royal apartments and state rooms of the palace.

By the way, for a fee, you can feel like a king and live in Buckingham Palace. About 200 rooms in the palace this year will be used as a hotel for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Everyone, of course, will not be allowed to occupy the apartment. In order to ensure the safety of the Queen and her family, Scotland Yard staff will be very thoroughly vetted before booking each room..

Having made a short tour of the European royal palaces, it immediately becomes clear that the descendants of the great dynasties cherish the legacy they inherited. Many palaces have been reconstructed, unique, priceless works of art have been preserved.

The construction of all the considered palaces dates from the end of the 18th – the first half of the 19th centuries. It was at this time in Europe that such architectural styles as Baroque, Rococo, Classicism and a little later Neoclassicism flourished. All these styles are reflected in the design of royal palaces.

If we talk about the richest palaces, then the first three are the residences of the English, Swedish and Spanish royal families. These palaces are the largest and richest. This is due to the fact that they were erected during the heyday of these states, when the kings had both the desire and the opportunity to build such majestic and luxurious buildings.

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