Royal Palace of Astana
Royal Palace of Astana
The front of the New Palace.


IV century (Old Palace); 1750 (New Palace)




Seat of the Royal House Van Vinkel

The Royal Palace of Astana is the official seat of the Kings of New Tarajan, and as such it has been defined as the true heart of the Kingdom. It is part of the Royal Heritage Fund.

More than a single palace it is, in reality, a complex of buildings, built between the IV and the XVIII centuries, at the east borders of the Ajanic Citadel, the ancient core of the city of Astana.

The most ancient part of this complex is the Palace of the Shahs, originally built as the seat of power of the Ajanic Empire, then heavily modified under the Shahdom of Tarajan (almost nothing has survived of the original building). The Palace of the Shahs saw the peak of its glory under the reign of Kalihaan Jahan Shah (XV century), who embellished it. After the fall of the Shahdom, it was used partly as prison, and partly as the seat of the Royal Governor.

Only when Sigismund VI decided to move the capital of the young Kingdom from Merlberg to Astana, in 1665, the Palace came back to its original role.

Initially, the Kings simply renewed the old structure. It was Heinrich VIII who, in 1735, decided it was time to build a whole new palace, as a symbol of the rising power of his Kingdom. Thus, he commissioned the construction to the leading architect of the time, the half-Tarajani, half-Duresian Ludwig Van Wittel. The New Palace was still attached to the old one, creating a unique mixture of Ajanic and Tarajani architecture, which was officially inaugurated only in 1750, two years after the death of his commissioner (and three years before the death of his architect).

Royal Staircase

The Grand Royal Staircase, at the main entrance of the New Palace.

The resulting complex is probably the biggest royal residence of the world: covering a surface of 61.000 square meters, with a total of 2000 rooms, the Royal Palace of Astana soon became exactly the kind of symbol King Heinrich VIII wished for.

Among the interiors, the Honor Grand Staircase and the Throne Room are probably the most striking environments: the first one, particularly, was built with marble carved in the famous quarries on the Shaby Mountains, while the second one enjoyed the results of the works of one hundred artists, among the most famous and celebrated of their time.

Other important places inside the Palace are surely Royal Theatre, the Chapel, and the Library.

The Old Palace was left almost untouched, and, thus, it is still characterized by a peculiar Ajanic style, particularly in the courtyards, lavishly decorated and with a strong presence of elegant fountains, pools and a rich flora.

Royal Palace Gardens 2

One of the courtyards between the Old Palace and the New Palace.

The gardens of the New Palace were designed with the idea to rival such a beauty. And the final result is no less amazing: statues, fictional ruins, a wonderful fall, and an extreme variety of trees and flowers soon made them famous all around the world (and particularly with the reign of Conrad II, who particularly loved to take care of them).

It is particularly interesting that the gardens of the New Palace were decorated with statues representing many Eurasian ancient myths: this was done partly as a way of diversification (main parts of the old Ajanic palace present pictures and sculptures of Ajanic mythology), and partly because of the sincere admiration King Heinrich VIII and his son and successor, Heinrich IX, had for Eurasian culture.

Royal Palace Gardens

The Palace viewed from the gardens.

The Royal Palace always kept its role of administrative and political centre of the Kingdom (and, later, of the Empire), even during the years of the Communist regime, when the New Palace became the official seat of the President of the Commonwealth, while the Ajanic palace was divided among various ministries.

With the return of the monarchy in 1944, it finally came back to its role as seat of the King. Partially damaged by the terrible bombings of 1943-4, the complex was renewed, taking its actual shape.

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