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10 of the most awe-inspiring palaces in the world

To celebrate the Blu-Ray™ and DVD release of Versailles (out today), residences of beauty and grandeur take centre stage as we count down the 10 most awe-inspiring palaces from all over the world.

10) Chateau de Chambord (France)
Created for King Francis 1 of France the Chateau de Chambord took a total of 27 years to complete with the aid of 1,800 men, with construction concluding in 1547. The Chateau’s homage to French Renaissance Architecture makes it considered one of the most beautiful palaces in the world.

9) Alhambra (Spain)
The Alhambra palace Spain was first occupied by King Mohammed ibn Yusuf ben Nasr in the mid-thirteenth century but was first contracted around 899AD for military purposes. Views across the picturesque city of Granada can easily be seen from the palace, placing it as one of the most stunning places in the world.

8) Windsor Castle (England)
Windsor Castle known primarily for its long association with the British Royal Family boasts stunning grounds spanning 13 acres that are open to the public to explore daily. The castle was first constructed in 11th Century and to this day still boasts events ranging from art exhibitions to theatrical performances.

Buckingham Palace is without question one of the most well-known locations in the world

7) Palacio de Pena (Portugal)
The Palacio de Pena is a Romanticist palace that began construction in 1836 and brags some of the most marvellous views in the world. On a clear day the castle (residing in the Sintra mountains) can be visibly seen from the city of Lisbon below and is open for visitation all year round.

6) Prague Castle (Czech Republic)
The Prague Castle started construction in 870 AD and finished construction as late as 1929 and is still is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. This stunning castle resides on the Vltava River and as cited in the Guinness Book of Records is the largest ancient castle in the world.

5) Potala Palace (China)
This stunning palace residing in Lhasa, Tibet was the primary residence of the Dalai Lama up until the mid-20th Century when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. The palace resides on the Red Hill and was constructed by King Songsten Gampo in the seventh century. In 2006, USA Today gave the palace the title of one of the ‘New Seven Wonders’ due to its historical beauty.

4) Schönbrunn Palace
Located in Vienna, Austria, the former imperial summer residence is widely known as one of the most historical monuments in the country as well as a major tourist attraction. The palace consists of 1441 rooms, and boasts a selection of beautiful gardens.

Potala Palace, residing in Lhasa, Tibet, was the primary residence of the Dalai Lama up until the mid-20th Century when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India

3) Summer Palace (China)
Initially built in 1750 by Emperor Qianglong the Summer Palace of Beijing is a collection of palaces, lakes and gardens spanning across a total coverage of 2.9 square kilometres with three quarters of that covered in water. Known to many as the having the best preserved imperial gardens in the world (and the largest of its kind left in China) the Summer Palace truly positions itself as one of the most naturally beautiful spots in the world.

2) Buckingham Palace (England)
Listed as number 2 in the world’s most beautiful palaces, Buckingham Palace is without question one of the most well-known locations in the world, with tourists each year just to gaze through the gates of the palace totalling in the millions. Located in the City of Westminster, Buckingham Palace opened in 1703 and is still the residence of reigning Monarch of the United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II.

1) The Palace of Versailles (France)
This is quite simply put, the most stunning, remarkable palace in the world with the grounds amounting to 2014 acres (with 230 acres of that being garden). Located on the outskirts of Paris this is also one of the largest tourist attractions in France. Once home to Louis XIV the Palace of Versailles has history in abundance with an opera house and the Galerie des Batailles, alongside the orangerie of Versailles all being within the grounds.

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