Essential Travel Experience #24 – Admire the Opulence of a European Palace

   Europe has more castles and palaces than anywhere else on earth. The wealth that is displayed at these elegant abodes is truly incredible. Even though some of the palaces are occasionally referred to as castles and vice versa, I will try to separate the two for this post.

    I will concentrate on the palaces of Europe, not the castles. Many of these palatial residences were built for monarchs. There are so many that it would take pages and pages to list them all. Even though I have visited many of these grand structures, there are hundreds that I have yet to see.  

    One that seems to fit the bill is Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Belvedere Palace, Vienna

 Actually, Vienna has several of these elaborate homes, i.e. Schonbrunn, the summer palace of Austrian kings,

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

  and the Hofburg, the winter palace,

Hofburg, Vienna

  In Munich, Germany, the equivalent residences are Nymphenburg (summer)

Nymphenburg, Munich

 and the Residenz (winter).

Residenz, Munich

  Also in Germany is “Mad King” Ludwig’s Linderhof Palace.

Linderhof Palace, Bavaria

 Moving to France, we find some of the most elaborate and ornate palaces on earth. Versailles is the epitome of a royal palace.


     Just look at the famous Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

   In Paris, Luxembourg Palace is typical of the magnificent architecture of the city

Luxembourg Palace

  The Loire Valley is famous for some of the most elaborate and ornate chateaux in the world. Check out Chambord


  and Chenonceau


  In England there is, of course, Buckingham Palace, the city residence of the Queen.

Buckingham Palace

  Blenheim Palace was the boyhood home of Winston Churchill

Blenheim Palace

  Brighton contains one of the most unusual royal residences. It is known as the Royal Pavilion and its architecture suggests the Far East.

Royal Pavilion

  Further north, in Edinburgh, Scotland, you can find the Scottish residence of the British monarchs, the Palace of Holyroodhouse 


  Brussels’ Royal Palace sits on a hill above the old part of the city

Royal Palace, Brussels

  In Luxembourg, royalty is known as the Grand Duke and his palace is in Luxembourg City.

Palace of the Grand Duke, Luxembourg

  Italy has the Royal Palace of Caserta, south of Rome, on the way to Naples.

Royal Palace, Caserta

  On the island of Rhodes, in Greece, the Knights Templar were the island royalty and their royal residence is known as the Palace of the Grand Master.

Palace of the Grand Master

  In Monaco,  the Prince’s Palace reigns supreme

Prince's Palace, Monaco

  In Spain, the grandest palace in the country is the Alhambra, in Granada.

The Alhambra

Its interior is decidedly Moorish

Patio of the Lions, Alhambra

 although the Royal Palace in Madrid is certainly spectacular.

Palacio Real, Madrid

  Another beautiful mansion in Spain is El Escorial

El Escorial

   The Primate Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia has some of the finest public bathrooms in Europe.

Primate Palace, Bratislava

  Istanbul, Turkey, on the very eastern edge of Europe, contains the famous Topkapi Palace, a elaborate complex of many buildings and extravagant wealth.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

   Other significant residences in this metropolitan city include Dolmabahce Palace,

Dolmabahce Palace

 and Beylerbeyi Palace, along the Bosporus

Beylerbeyi Palace


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