Grand Designs: Posh Palaces to Visit
Poking around someone else’s grand house used to be the epitome of sophisticated sightseeing but nowadays admiring large buildings has become somewhat run-of-the-mill. Especially with all the exciting theme parks, science museums and tall observation towers you can find practically anywhere you go. But we’re not talking about common-or-garden houses here, we’re talking about the grandest of them all! Read on for a peek behind the curtains of some of the largest dwellings ever made.
by Mr ATM
Let’s start in the UK, where we have a long tradition of fine country mansions. The building of this place started intrigues and political fights, damaged reputations and nearly bankrupted the owners! Denoted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 it was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Today you can enjoy the huge building as well as the beautiful gardens, which boast a maze and a butterfly house.
Built in the USA in the huge boom period of the late 1800s, it’s the largest private residence in the country. Created in the Gilded Age and heavily inspired by English landscapes and French châteaux, it boasts 250 rooms! Inside you’ll find extensive artwork, a huge indoor pool and very early examples of elevators and intercoms. The grounds include a formal garden as well as the Estate’s own winery!
Palace of Versailles
Perhaps the most well-known Grand Design in the world, it once dominated the tiny village of Versailles, but today it’s become incorporated into the suburbs of Paris. You certainly won’t be stuck for things to do with the Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Apartments plus a museum of the History of France the inside highlights. Don’t miss the stunning gardens, the Grand Trianon, Louis XVIs sumptuous “bolthole”, or Marie Antoinette’s estate either! You’ll definitely need a whole day here!
top image by Sarah Ackerman