15 Biggest Palace of World | Largest Castles

The title of the “world’s largest palace” is difficult to award, and controversial, as different countries use different standards to claim that their palace is the largest in the world. The title of “world’s largest palace by area enclosed within the palace’s fortified walls” is held by China’s Forbidden City complex in Beijing, which covers an area of 728,000 square meters (180 acres). The 980 buildings of the Forbidden City have a combined floor space of 1,614,600 square feet (150,001 m2) and contain 9,999 rooms (the ancient Chinese believed the god Yù Huáng had 10,000 rooms in his palace; so they constructed an earthly palace to have 9,999 and a half rooms, slightly fewer than in the divine palace, out of respect).

The world’s largest palace by both floor space and volume is the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, which was built by communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1986. It has a floor space of 330,000 sq m and a volume of 2,550,000 m3. It is also the most expensive administrative building and heaviest building. The “world’s largest royal palace by floor space” is the Royal Palace of Madrid in Spain, with 135,000 square metres (1,450,000 sq ft) of floor space and containing 3,418 rooms.

Following is the list of 15 Biggest Palace of World, which are largest castles on earth:

15. Prague Castle

  • Location: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Area: 70,000 sq m (753,474 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 870

Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, built in the 9th century. It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 70,000 square metres (750,000 square feet), at about 570 metres (1,870 feet) in length and an average of about 130 metres (430 feet) wide. The castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague attracting over 1.8 million visitors annually. The castle buildings represent virtually every architectural style of the last millennium. Prague Castle includes Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, Romanesque Basilica of St. George, a monastery and several palaces, gardens and defense towers. Most of the castle areas are open to tourists.

Read related article: Most Beautiful Places of Czech Republic

14. Buckingham Palace

  • Location: London, UK
  • Area: 77,000 sq m (828,821 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 15th century

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning. The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The palace has 775 rooms, and the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring.

13. Palace of Venaria

  • Location: Venaria Reale, Italy
  • Area: 80,000 sq m (861,113 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1675

The Palace of Venaria is a former royal residence and gardens located in Venaria Reale, near Turin in the Metropolitan City of Turin of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. With 80,000m² in palace area and over 950.000m² in premises, it is one the largest palaces in the world. It is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, included in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1997. The Palace was designed and built from 1675 by Amedeo di Castellamonte, it is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. It is noted for its monumental architecture and Boaroque interiors by Filippo Juvarra, including the Galleria Grande and its marble decorations, the chapel of St. Uberto, and its extensive gardens. It received 1,048,857 visitors in 2017, making it the sixth most visited museum in Italy.

Read related article: Best travel destinations of Italy

12. Falaknuma Palace

  • Location: Hyderabad, India
  • Area: 93,971 sq m (1,011,495 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1893

Falaknuma is a palace in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. It originally belonged to the Paigah family, and was later owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad. It is on a hillock and covers a 32-acre (13 ha) area in Falaknuma, 5 kilometres from Charminar. It was built by Nawab Sir Viqar-ul-Umra, Prime Minister of Hyderabad and the uncle & brother-in-law of the sixth Nizam. Falak-numa means “Like the Sky” or “Mirror of Sky” in Urdu. An English architect William Ward Marret designed the palace. The palace was built in the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings in the north. The middle part is occupied by the main building and the kitchen, Gol Bangla, Zenana Mehal, and harem quarters stretch to the south. The Nawab was an avid traveller, and his influences show in the architecture, which combines Italian and Tudor influences.

Also read: India’s Best Travel Destinations

11. Abdeen Palace

  • Location: Cairo, Egypt
  • Area: 108,000 sq m (1,162,502 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1874

Abdeen Palace is a historic Cairo palace, and one of the official residences and the principal workplace of the President of Egypt, located above Qasr el-Nil Street in eastern Downtown Cairo, Egypt. Built on the site of a small mansion owned by Abidin Bey, Abdeen Palace, which is named after him, is considered one of the most sumptuous palaces in the world in terms of its adornments, paintings, and large number of clocks scattered in the parlors and wings, most of which are decorated with pure gold. The palace today is a museum, located in the Old Cairo district of Abdeen. The upper floors (the former living quarters of the royal family) are reserved for visiting foreign dignitaries. The lower floors contain the Silver Museum, the Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, and the Presidential Gifts Museum. A new museum, the Historical Documents Museum, was opened in January 2005. 

10. Quirinal Palace

  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Area: 110,500 sq m (1,189,412 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1583

The Quirinal Palace is a historic building in Rome, Italy, one of the three current official residences of the President of the Italian Republic, together with Villa Rosebery in Naples and Tenuta di Castelporziano in Rome. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome in an area colloquially called Monte Cavallo. It has housed thirty Popes, four Kings of Italy and twelve presidents of the Italian Republic. The Quirinal Palace was selected by Napoleon to be his residence par excellence as Emperor. However his permanence never took place because of the French defeat in 1814 and the subsequent European Restoration. The palace extends for an area of 110,500 square metres and is the ninth-largest palace in the world in terms of area.

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9. Royal Palace of Madrid

  • Location: Madrid, Spain
  • Area: 135,000 sq m (1,453,128 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 880

The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish royal family at the city of Madrid, although now only used for state ceremonies. The palace contains 3,418 rooms. It is the largest functioning royal palace and the largest by floor area in Europe. The palace is owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the Presidency. The palace is located on Calle de Bailén (“Bailén Street”) in the western part of downtown Madrid, east of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. Several rooms in the palace are regularly open to the public except during state functions. An admission fee of €13 is required, however some days it is free. The interior of the palace is notable for its wealth of art and the use of many types of fine materials in the construction and the decoration of its rooms.

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8. Malbork Castle

  • Location: Malbork, Poland
  • Area: 143,000 sq m (1,539,239 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1300

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is a 13th-century Teutonic castle and fortress located near the town of Malbork, Poland. It is the largest castle in the world measured by land area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and, on its completion in 1406, was the world’s largest brick castle. UNESCO designated the “Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork” and the Malbork Castle Museum a World Heritage Site in December 1997. It is one of two World Heritage Sites in the region (north-central Poland), together with the “Medieval Town of Toruń”, which was founded in 1231. Malbork Castle is also one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated on 16 September 1994. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.

Also Read: 10 Best Cities of Poland

7. Forbidden City

  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Area: 150,000 sq m (1,614,587 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1420

The Forbidden City is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. It houses the Palace Museum, and was the former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (the years 1420 to 1912). Moreover, the complex consists of 980 buildings. The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum’s former collection is now in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War. Since 2012, the Forbidden City has seen an average of 14 million visitors annually, and received more than 19 million visitors in 2019.

6. Apostolic Palace

  • Location: Vatican City
  • Area: 162,000 sq m (1,743,753 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 5th century

The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the pope, the head of the Catholic Church, located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, the Palace of the Vatican and the Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V, in honor of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the present form of the palace. The building contains the Papal Apartments, various offices of the Catholic Church and the Holy See, private and public chapels, Vatican Museums, and the Vatican Library, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and Borgia Apartment. The modern tourist can see these last and other parts of the palace, but other parts, such as the Sala Regia (Regal Room) and Cappella Paolina, had long been closed to tourists, though the Sala Regia allowed occasional tourism by 2019. The Scala Regia (Regal Staircase) can be viewed from one end and used to enter the Sala Regia. The Cappella Paolina, however, remains closed to tourists.

5. Istana Nurul Iman

  • Location: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
  • Area: 200,000 sq m (2,152,782 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1984

The Istana Nurul Iman (means: The Light of Faith Palace) is the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, and the seat of the Brunei government. The palace is located on a leafy, riverside sprawl of hills on the banks of the Brunei River, a few kilometres southwest of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei’s capital city. The palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It is considered to be the world’s largest private residence in terms of floor area, earning it the title of “world’s largest residential palace”. The palace contains 1,788 rooms, which includes 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall that can be expanded to accommodate up to 5,000 guests, a mosque accommodating 1,500 people. The palace also includes a 110-car garage, an air conditioned stable for the Sultan’s 200 polo ponies, and five swimming pools. It has 564 chandeliers, 51,000 light bulbs, 44 stairwells and 18 elevators.

4. Ak Saray

  • Location: Ankara, Turkey
  • Area: 200,020 sq m (2,152,997 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 2014

The Presidential Complex is the presidential residence of the Republic of Turkey. The complex is located in the Beştepe neighborhood of Ankara, inside the Atatürk Forest Farm. The compound consists of the main building and two support buildings to be used for meetings with visiting heads of state and dignitaries. It covers an area of 300,000 m2 (3,200,000 sq ft). Inspired by Seljuk architecture, the new Presidential Palace has at least 1,150 rooms, additional guesthouses, a botanical garden, a situation room with satellite and military communications systems, bunkers able to withstand biological, nuclear and chemical weapons attack, a park and a congress center. The complex employs high security measures with additional insulation against wiretapping. To prevent the planting of bugs, one of the offices in the palace has no electrical outlets.

3. Louvre Palace

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Area: 210,000 sq m (2,260,421 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1202

Royal residence of the kings of France for 300 years, the modern day Louvre Museum exhibitions occupy 60,600 square metres (652,293 sq ft). The entire palace complex occupies 40 hectares (4,305,564 sq ft) (400 000 square meters). The Louvre Palace is a former royal palace located on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, between the Tuileries Gardens and the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. Originally a fortress built in the medieval period, it became a royal palace in the fourteenth century under Charles V and was used from time to time by the kings of France as their main Paris residence. Its present structure has evolved in stages since the 16th century. In 1793 part of the Louvre became a public museum, now the Musée du Louvre, which has expanded to occupy most of the building.

Know more about France: Best Holiday Destinations of France

2. Hofburg Palace

  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Area: 240,000 sq m (2,583,339 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1279

Former imperial palace in the centre of Vienna. Part of the palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Built in the 13th century and expanded in the centuries since, the palace has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including monarchs of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was the principal imperial winter residence. The palace has 2600 rooms. Numerous architects have executed work at the Hofburg as it expanded, notably the Italian architect-engineer Filiberto Luchese, Lodovico Burnacini and Martino and Domenico Carlone, the Baroque architects Lukas von Hildebrandt and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, Johann Fischer von Erlach, and the architects of the Neue Burg built between 1881 and 1913.

Also read related article: Most Beautiful Places of Austria

1. Palace of the Parliament

  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
  • Area: 365,000 sq m (3,930,000 sq ft)
  • Constructed in: 1997

The Palace of the Parliament is the world’s largest administrative building (for civilian use; The Pentagon in the United States is larger). It measures 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m under ground. It has 1,100 rooms and is 12 stories tall, with additional 8 underground levels. The palace was intended to be used by Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s supreme ruler and dictator. Colossal parliament building known for its ornate interior, it is now housing the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and an international conference center. The National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Totalitarianism and Socialist Realism and the Museum of the Palace are hosted inside the palace.