Palaces are some of the most iconic and recognizable structures in the world. From Versailles to Buckingham palace, these majestic homes have been home to some of history’s most powerful people. Our list includes the top 10 most visited palaces in the world, for a full list of palaces and to see how many you have visited download the Visited App on iOS and Android.
1)Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom – Is the most visited palace in the world. Buckingham Palace, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, is the official residence of HM Queen Elizabeth II. It sits within an area known as The Village which contains many other royal residences. It was built between 1825 and 1839 for the Duke of Buckingham by John Nash. Buckingham Palace is located at 1 Buckingham Gate, London SW1. The palace complex includes Buckingham House and Buckingham Palace Gardens. The Royal Mews in St James’s, the official residence of the Sovereign and the Crown Jewels are also part of the palace complex.
2) Palais du Louvre , Paris, France – The most visited palace in France and the most visited art museum in the world. Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190 to protect Paris from outsiders. It was turned into the royal residence in the 14th century by King Charles V. During the French Revolution it was turned into a museum that we know of today.
3) Tower of London, London, United Kingdom – Is the 2nd most visited palace in London and 3rd in the world. Often not thought of as a palace but more of a prison, museum and guard of royal possessions it was home to the monarchs for about 500 years.
4) Palace of Westminster, London, United Kingdom – Also known as house of Parliament it currently servers as a meeting place for house of the lords and house of commons. It is often the symbol of London. Originally it was build built in 11th century and was the primary residence of the Kinds of England until the great fire that destroyed the apartments in 1512.
5) Versailles Palace, France – While Versailles is the most iconic palace in the world, it is only ranked 5th most visited on the top visited palaces. Versailles Palace was the primary residence of French monarchs since the early 15th century. It is located west of the city of Paris and covers an area of 6.57 square kilometres. The palace is situated on a large piece of land along the Seine River, known as the Île de la Cite. The palace is surrounded by a wall with 2,576 towers and turrets. The palace is well known for its many gardens and fountains. It is one of the best preserved royal residence in the world. The palace was said to be built by Leonardo da Vinci from 1556 to 1661, but it was not completed until 1762.
6) Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic – Prague Castle, in the historical centre of Prague, is a castle where the Czech kings have lived since the 13th century. Its architecture has evolved over the centuries. The castle was built by Charles IV on the site of a 9th-century fortress. In the 13th century, King Wenceslaus II moved his residence to Prague Castle. The castle was an important residence during the reign of Charles IV and V. The Habsburgs added the famous Prague Castle Gardens. The castle also served as an important meeting place for the various factions of this period. After the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, the Bohemian kings were deposed, while the castle became a residence for the Austrian emperors. In 1841 Emperor Ferdinand I made Prague Castle a National Museum, the oldest museum in the Czech Republic. In the 20th century, Prague Castle was used as a military fortress, a prison for political prisoners. In 1992 the Czech Government restored it to its previous purpose.
7) Royal Palace of Madrid, Madrid, Spain – The Royal Palace of Madrid is a former summer residence of the Spanish Kings. The original palace was built in the 17th century by King Philip IV, and was entirely rebuilt in 18th-century Neoclassical style. The palace became the official residence of the Spanish monarchs in 1808, when King Ferdinand VII moved his court here. The Palace stands on the site of a Roman villa, which was later converted into a Christian monastery.
8) Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands – Royal palace of Amsterdam is found at the heart of Amsterdam. It was originally built as city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. It became the royal palace for King Louis Napoleon and was later used as a Dutch Royal House.
9) Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland, the castle can be found on top of Castle Rock in central Edinburgh and has been occupied since the Iron Age, it became a Royal Caste since David I in the 12h century until 1633. By 17th Century it was mostly used for military barracks and is of significance to the Scottish national heritage.
10) Palais Royal, Paris, France – Is the 3rd palace to make it to the top 10 palace list from France and 2nd in Paris. It sits opposite the Louvre., originally it was called Palais-Cardinal as it was built for Cardinal Richelieu in 1630s. Currently the Palais Royal serves the government while the public and arcade houses shops.
In conclusion, palaces are some of the most iconic and recognizable structures in the world. These majestic homes have been home to some of history’s most powerful people. To see how many palaces you have been to, map your travel journey and get inspired to visit new destinations check out Visited App, free on iOS and Android.