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Palace Van Telmar-Sigmaringen-Hurris
Palace Van Telmar-Sigmaringen-Hurris

Built

1788

Location

Astana

Role

Seat of the Royal Diet

Palace Van Telmar-Sigmaringen-Hurris is an XVIII century noble palace located in Astana, New Tarajan. It was the seat of the Ministry of Finance from 1920 to 2001, when it undergone a series of interventions aimed at enabling it to host the Royal Diet, role which fulfills since 2005.

History

The Palace was built in the second half of the XVIII century, from 1766 to 1780, under commission of Landgrave Tomas Van Telmar, who obtained a great wealth thanks to his participation to the activities of the Tarajani East Company. In 1789, during the first phase of the Liberal Revolution, the Palace was stormed by the mob, who almost destroyed it, forcing the owner, Landgrave Mathieu, to rebuild most part of it in 1793.

In 1820, with the marriage of Marguerite Van Telmar with Count Leopold Sigmaringen-Hurris, the ownership of the Palace was transferred to the new House, which kept it until the Communist Revolution.

In the Communist era, the Palace was used as seat of the Ministry of Finance. During the ensuing Civil War, the east wing of the Palace (that nearest the river) was destroyed during the Astana Bombings (1944). With the restoration of the monarchy, and following the example of House Van Geldern, Count Gustav Van Telmar-Sigmaringen-Hurris donated the Palace to the Crown in 1950. Until 2001, the Palace kept its role as Ministry of Finance. Only in 2002, works began to rebuild the destroyed East Wing, in order to make it able to house the Royal Diet.

Works ended in 2005, and from this date on the Palace is the seat of the Diet.

The Royal Diet

Although not ancient or traditionally powerful as the Landsraad, the Royal Diet had a great role in Tarajani history nonetheless.

Initially a mere consultive body at the service of the King, the place where the middle class and bourgeousie, as representatives of the cities and towns of the Kingdom, could defend their own interests, the Royal Diet slowly evolved, particularly during the XVIII century, in a legislative body with jurisdiction over financial issues.

However, its role was limited until the Liberal Revolution of 1789: immediately after its beginning, indeed, the Diet became the sole legislative body of the Kingdom. Although it kept this monopoly only for a decade (the Landsraad was restored in 1810), it soon proved to be impossible to reduce the Diet to its old, secondary, position.

As such, the role as legislative body was confirmed, although in a subordinate role to the Landsraad (see above the description of the Landsraad for more informations).

In 1919, with the Communist Revolution, the Diet returned to a preminent position, but only for two years: in 1921, indeed, it was declared officially dissolved, its role now taken by the People's Assembly (a Parliament controlled by the Communist Party). In 1944, then, it was restored, together with all the old monarchical institutions. However, King Conrad III did everything in his power to leave the Diet as powerless as in its first centuries of life.

The situation slowly changed only with Conrad IV and, then, with King Friederick Wilhelm II: with the constitutional reform of 2014, the Royal Diet has finally been recognized as full-fledged legislative body, equal of the Landsraad.

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