There is nothing quite like breathing in the air of a place steeped in history and letting the sights and sounds take you back to what it may have been like at the height of its glory. With the recent limit on the sights and sounds we’re able to take in beyond our living room, the team at Budget Direct has digitally reconstructed seven larger-than-life palaces across the globe to see what they looked like in their prime. As you begin to plan your post-quarantine travel, keep these seven sites in mind.
Sans Souci, Haiti
The opulent palace of Sans Souci is known as the Versailles of the Caribbean. Built by the controversial revolutionary general and later king of northern Haiti Henry Christophe in 1811, today you can see the ruins of this famous palace outside of Milot, Haiti.
Qal’eh Dokhtar, Iran
Constructed during the 3rd century CE, Qal’eh Dokhar was both a barrier fortress and, for a period of time, a royal residence. While technically considered a castle due to its fortified nature, it nevertheless boasts ruins of some impressive and beautiful architecture, including one of the earliest examples of the Iranian chartaq, a hallmark of the Iranian architectural style.
Knossos Palace, Greece
This site brings you back through the centuries to 1700 BCE—roughly 1000 years after the first Olympic games and nearly 1900 years before the supposed start of the Trojan War—to a time where Knossos Palace was not only a political hub, but an economic and religious center for the Minoan civilization. The complex is rumored to be home to the mythological labyrinth constructed by Daedelus to house the minotaur in Greek myth. Destroyed in 1375 BCE after a tumultuous history of natural disasters and invasion, the Knossos ruins cover about 150,000 square feet just outside of modern day Heraklion.
Ruzhany Palace, Belarus
Constructed over the remains of an old castle, Ruzhany Palace was once famous for its theater, library, and picture collection. During the mid-1800s the palace became a textile factory, generating wealth and supporting a prosperous Jewish community in the area up through World War II. The castle, currently part of Belarus, is undergoing restoration efforts.
Dungur Palace / “Palace of the Queen of Sheba,” Ethiopia
This 6th-century Ethiopian palace consisted of 50 rooms, a bathing area, a kitchen, and what may have been a throne room. Although its reputation as the Palace of the Queen of Sheba is probably just rumor, a carving of a “beautiful woman” uncovered at the site is oftentimes cited as evidence of her connection with the site.
Clarendon Palace, UK
Once a favored retreat of both King Henry II and King Henry III, Clarendon Palace is a complex steeped in history. Left to fall into disrepair in the Tudor era, little remains of the palace today other than a vague outline and a single wall.
Husuni Kubwa, Tanzania
This palace had over 100 rooms, a swimming pool, indoor plumbing, and a staging area for loading goods onto ships—a necessary use of space as the island on which it resides was a key port in the “Swahili Coast” trade network.
For more reconstructions, check out 7 Gorgeous Digitally Reconstructed European Castles below:
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