Whether it’s a king, queen, emperor, sultan or a president, every country has its head of state. And every head of state has its official residence. Often, the head of state residences are an important part of the country´s history and culture, sometimes serving as the seat of the country´s top representatives for centuries. While there are many head of state residences that are famous all over the world, there might be even more of those that are not so well known. You all know what the White House looks like, but how many of these do you recognize?
1 In 1994, the Bellevue Palace, which is located on the banks of the Spree River in Berlin, Germany, became the official residence of the President of Germany. The construction of the palace began in 1785. Designed by architect Michael Philipp Boumann, it is one of Germany´s greatest examples of neoclassical architectural.
2 Since 1643 when it was built, the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland has been rebuilt many times and has served many purposes. It used to be the seat of the Viceroy of the Polish Kingdom under Russian occupation. Later, it became the residence of the Council of Ministers; and during World War II it even served German occupiers. In July 1994, it became the official seat of the President of Poland.
3 Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol by its full Khmer name, the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a complex of buildings that serve as the official residence of the king. The country´s kings have lived in the palace since it was built in 1866, with a period of absence when Cambodia came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge. A great example of Khmer architecture, the palace covers an area of 1.9 million sq ft.
4 An example of British-Moghul architecture, Bangabhaban is the official residence and principal workplace of the President in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Built in the first half of the 20th century, the palace covers 72,000 square feet.
5 Located in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Akorda Presidential Palace is the official workplace of the President. While it houses the staff of the Presidential Administration, the palace is not the President’s place of residence. The palace´s height (including the spire) is 260 feet).
6 Also known as the House of Pizarro, the Government Palace was the seat of government’s headquarters and is currently the official residence of the President. Built by Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador, over a huge Indian burying ground in the first half of the 16th century, the palace lies on the north side of the Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru.
7 Built in 1864, Dar-al-Makhzen is the primary and official residence of the king of Morocco. Although Moroccan kings had many residences at their disposal when independence was declared in 1956—before that the country was under French control— they chose to keep this as the main palace for the monarch.
8 Situated in Asker, Norway (just west of Oslo), the Royal Palace is the official residence of the Norwegian monarch. Designed by Hans Linstow, a Danish-born Norwegian architect, it has 173 rooms and was built in the first half of the 19th century.
9 Located, a few miles south of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (the capital), the Istana Nurul Iman Palace is the official residence of the Sultan. Translated as “The Palace of the Light of Faith “the palace contains almost 1,800 rooms and occupies a total floor space of over 2 million square feet.
10 Built between 1957 and 1958, Palácio da Alvorada in Brasilia, Brazil is the official home of the President. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the building occupies a total floor area of 79,000 square feet and is one the world´s youngest and most modern residences of a head of state. It is also listed as a National Historic Heritage Site.
11 Situated in Brussels, Belgium the Royal Palace is the official seat of the Royal Family. However, it’s not used as an actual royal residence, as the king and his family live in the Royal Palace of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels. The construction of this impressive building took over 150 years,
12 Located in New Delhi, India, Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the President. It is the second largest residence of a Head of State in the world (after the Quirinal Palace in Rome).
13 Situated in the City of Westminster (in London, England), Buckingham Palace is the residence and principal workplace of the monarch. It became the principal royal residence in 1837, on the accession of Queen Victoria, who was the first monarch to reside there. Covering almost 830,000 sq ft, the palace has 775 rooms.
14 Located on the highest of the seven hills of Rome, Italy the Quirinal Palace is the current official residence of the President. With an area of almost 1.2 million sq ft, it’s the 6th biggest palace in the world, as well as the largest residence of a Head of State. It is 20 times larger than the White House. Since 1583 when it was built, the palace has housed 30 popes, 4 kings and 11 Italian presidents.
15 The Kremlin in Moscow, Russia is an historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow that serves as the official residence of the President. Based on a triangular plan and occupying an area of 68 acres, the complex also includes five palaces and four cathedrals.
16 The Élysée Palace in Paris, France has been the official residence of the President since 1848. Constructed in the French classical style in the first half of the 18th century, the palace is one of the most important national symbols of France.
17 Officially inaugurated in November 2008, the Flagstaff House in Accra, Ghana serves as a residence and office to the President.
18 Located in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Presidential Palace is the office and eventual official residence of the President. The construction of the building started in the 14th century, but it was not finished until 1834. It was not until 1997 when the palace became the official seat of the President.
19 In Prague, Czech Republic, the Prague Castle is the official residence and office of the President and the place where the Czech Crown Jewels are kept and guarded. Dating back to the 9th century, the castle has been a seat of power for Czech kings, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of both Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic after the country split in 1993. At over 750,000 sq ft, it is the largest ancient castle in the world.
20 In Bangkok, Thailand, the Grand Palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. It is a giant complex that occupies a total area of almost 2,350,000 sq ft. The present Thai monarch currently resides at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events.
21 Casa Rosada (“The Pink House”) in Buenos Aires, Argentina is the residence and office of the President. Completed in 1898, it also houses a museum, which contains objects relating to former presidents of the country.
22 Built on the site of a 9th-century fortress, the Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain is the official residence of the Royal Family. However, it is only used for state ceremonies since the Royal Family actually lives in the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela. With a total floor area of 1,450 sq ft, the Royal Palace is the largest palace in Europe.
23 Located in Taipei, Taiwan, the Presidential Office Building houses the Office of the President of China. Completed in 1919, the building was designed by Japanese architect Uheiji Nagano during the period of the Japanese rule over Taiwan. The 430 feet facade of the palace faces east since Japanese architects often oriented important structures towards the rising sun.
24 With almost 240,000 sq ft, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Netherlands is one of three palaces that serve as the seat of the Netherland´s monarch. Built in 1665, the palace was originally intended to be a city hall.
25 Completed in 1760, the Stockholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden is the official residence and major royal palace of the king. It is 750 feet long and 410 feet wide, makings it one of the largest official residences in the world. It has over 1,400 rooms.