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Palace Van Der Grudeln
Palace Van Der Grudeln
The palace seen from the main courtyard

Built

1613

Location

Astana, NT

Role

Residence of House Van Der Grudeln

Palace Van Der Grudeln is, together with Palace Van Leeuwen, one of the most ancient noble palaces of Astana, being built in 1613 under commission of Gustav V (1589 - 1625), Grand Duke of Alleskandberg.

Many famous architects left their mark on the palace, which was continuously modified and restructured up to the end of the XVIII century, becoming an iconic symbol of the elegance and luxury of aristocratic life in Tarajan, and a very peculiar example of Tarajani architecture.

History

In 1613, the young Kingdom of Tarajan was still facing challenges, in the form of neverending struggle between the Crown and the Noble Houses of the Landsraad, not willing to leave back their past privileges and power. The Grand Dukes of Alleskandberg and Bakran, being direct descendants of the most ancient and powerful family of Antanaresian lords in the Kingdom (Gustav I Van Der Grudeln was the leader of the first knights landing in Tarajan), were seen by the high aristocracy as the sole true counterbalance to the power of House Van Vinkel. As such, it was necessary for them to establish their own seat in Astana for two purposes: to try to control the Royal Court and its factions (when they resided in the city, since the official capital was still Merlberg), and to demonstrate the power and wealth of House Van Der Grudeln in the ancient seat of the Ajanic power, which still retained its own prestige even for the descendants of the Antanaresian conquerors.

Palace Van Der Grudeln, gallery

The Main Gallery.

The construction of the palace took almost thirty years, since many modifications to the original project were introduced during the years. The final result was astonishing: covering a whole block of the city (upon the ruins of an ancient Ajanic temple), it was a true masterpiece of architecture and art. During the centuries, the palace was further embellished by the Grand Dukes. In 1714, the grand ducal branch of House Van Der Grudeln was extinguished after the death of its last member, Grand Duke Florian III (1687 - 1714). The Grand Duchy was taken by the Crown, while a surviving cadet branch of the noble House obtained in 1732 the possession of the Duchy of Ijzerland. The palace in Astana was transferred to the dukes, who commissioned its renovation to the most famous architect of the period, Ludwig Van Wittel, who was also working to the Royal Palace of Astana at the time.

Palace Van Der Grudeln, room

The Hall of Gustav I.

The dukes retained possession of the palace until 1914. Under the communist regime, it was transformed in the seat of the secret police. Damaged by the 1944 bombings, the palace came back to its original possessors in 1946, who repaired all the damages and still use it as their personal residence in the capital. Due to its beauty and elegance, the palace is also often offered for feasts and celebrations of other noble houses, for the reception and temporary residence of foreign guests: with its golden galleries, its frescoes and beautiful rooms, Palace Van Der Grudeln is a potent symbol of the power of Tarajani aristocracy, the heights of Tarajani arts and architecture, and the elegance of the Tarajani way of life.

Palace Van Der Grudeln, Gustav VIII Hall

The Hall of Gustav VIII.

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