Many ancient majestic palaces have crumbled or been entirely demolished, as awful as it may seem. We can’t go back in time to view these sites while they were still there, but because of excellent 3D designers, we can at least see how they appeared.
Budget Direct, an Australian insurance company, has joined with 3D artists to reconstruct beautiful ancient castles, offering us a rare view of their glory days.
#1 Ruzhany Palace, Belarus
A late 1700s construction of Ruzhany Palace by the Sapieha family, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth power brokers. Ruzhany’s famous theatre hired 100 performers. Favorite library and art collection in the palace.
In 1831, the Pines family leased the castle as a textile mill, enriching the local Jewish community. During WWII, Ruzhany’s castle, the Jewish community, and political independence were all destroyed. Belarus now controls the territory and is restoring Ruzhany to its former glory.”
#2 Qal’eh Dokhtar, Iran
A “barrier fortress,” Ardar erected Qal’eh Dokhar I in the 3rd century BC. The fortress’s third level served as his royal dwelling until he erected a more enormous palace nearby.
Qal’eh Dokhtar is a fortified fortress, not a palace. Who could argue with its gorgeous walls? “Qal’eh Dokhtar has the oldest known example of an Iranian chartaq—a square with four arches supporting a dome.”
#3 Husuni Kubwa, Tanzania
“Kilwa Kisiwani was a major sultanate in the Swahili Coast trading network that linked East Africa to the Arabic world. For nearly 300 years, Chinese silk and porcelain were traded for gold and ivory. The 14th-century palace at Husuni Kubwa is one of the island’s numerous coral stone remnants.
Sultan al-Hasan Ibn Sulaiman erected Husuni Kubwa. It included nearly 100 rooms, an octagonal pool, and a cargo dock. Husuni Kubwa, like other affluent Kilwa homes, had indoor plumbing.”
#4 Knossos Palace, Greece
“Knossos, the oldest palace on our list, dates from 1700 BC. It was also intended to be an economic and religious hub for the enigmatic Minoan culture. Knossos was destroyed in 1375 BC, having survived invasion, fire, and earthquake for over a century.
The ruin’s numerous beautiful frescoes are crucial to understanding Minoan society. One shows the sport of bull-leaping. This sport may have inspired the later Greek mythological Minotaur, a cannibalistic half-man/half-bull.
#5 Sans Souci, Haiti
“In 1811, revolutionary commander Henry Christophe crowned himself king of northern Haiti. According to one view, Henry I was a tin-pot despot who re-enslaved Haitians and ignited a 13-year civil war. His lawmaking skills transformed an ex-slave colony into an important country that compelled European imperialism to make concessions.
While Henry’s legacy is arguable, his castle is not. The palace’s towering stairs and terraces are an outstanding tribute to Haitian freedom.
#6 Clarendon Palace, UK
An essential English legal document was written in the halls of this 12th-century mansion. Henry II’s effort to obtain legal power over church clerks escalated a quarrel with his buddy Thomas Becket. Archbishop Beckett died as a result of this rivalry.
Henry III added a carved fireplace and a stained-glass chapel. Clarendon was a royal compound by the 1400s. Until the Tudor period, when the expensive maintenance expense caused its rapid collapse. Only one wall remains above ground today.”
#7 Dungur Palace, “Palace of the Queen of Sheba,” Ethiopia
“Dungur Palace is in Aksum, Ethiopia, the former capital of an African kingdom spanning southern Egypt to Yemen. In addition to the royal chamber and bathing area, the 6th-century palace had roughly 50 rooms.
The building’s history is unknown. Its moniker, “the Palace of Sheba,” is a fantasy. Finding a “beautiful woman” carving during excavation has spurred anticipation that the queen’s actual house may lie under Dungur.