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Palace Van Leeuwen
Palace Van Leeuwen
The palace seen from the main entrance

Built

1624

Location

Astana, NT

Role

Residence of House Van Leeuwen; seat of the Royal Academy of Duresia

Palace Van Leeuwen is the official residence of House Van Leeuwen in Astana, capital city of the Kingdom of New Tarajan. It is also the seat of the Royal Academy of Duresia, the most ancient institution of its kind in New Tarajan.

History

Palace Van Leeuwen was one of the first palaces built in Astana by a Major House. It was commissioned by Marteen IV, duke of the recently-founded Duchy of North Brandelhorn, in 1624 to Franz Bourremeen, probably the most famour baroque architect of Tarajani history (and the world). The palace was built in a surprisingly short span of time (only three years, from 1624 to 1627) and served as main residence of the dukes since then.

The main goal of Duke Marteen (as of all the lords who subsequently built their own residences in the capital in the following decades) was to stay firmly near the seat of power of the Kingdom (although the official capital was still Merlberg, the court used to reside periodically in the ancient seat of power of the Ajanic Shahs), and to actively engage in the life of the Court, at the same time creating a residence worth of the Royal Governor of Astana (role that he fulfilled until his death). As such, during his life the palace hosted many famous celebrations and feasts, and became a centre of the cultural and social life of the Tarajani elite for centuries.

Although Bourremeen completed it, his original project was partly modified at the end of the century, with the introduction of a secret garden (so called for its apparent concealement to an outsider view), and with the restoration of the main gallery, with frecoes by the most famous artist of the period.

After the fall of the monarchy in 1919, the Palace was taken over by the communist regime, who made it seat of the Ministry of Propaganda. The east wing was damaged during the Civil War, and the whole building was left abandoned from 1942 to 1948, when Duke Marteen VI (1944 - 1970) finally took back the property of the palace and restructured it. In 1950, he offered the palace to be seat of the Royal Academy of Duresia (until then established in another seat, destroyed during the Astana Bombings of 1943 and 1944).

Palace Van Leeuwen (feast)

The celebrations in honor of the King of Duresia held in 1756 in Palace Van Leeuwen.

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