Royal Palace

Must See Royal Palace


Mandalay Palace, Mandalay, Myanmar

King Mindon's Royal Palace (daily 8am-5pm, entrance fee) was the last successive fortified citadel to be erected on the banks of the Ayeyarwady. It was built by King Mindon in 1857, following traditional Burmese design: a giant mandala which represented the Cosmos, here symbolised by the royal throne room at its centre.

There are twelve gates each representing a different zodiac sign, and it is believed that they were all consecrated with human sacrifices killed to protect the palace. The Palace's 2km long walls form a perfect square, and enclose all sorts of administrative buildings including the Clock Tower, Supreme Court, and Royal Mint among others.

Perhaps most impressive however are the Lion Throne Room and Glass Palace, with the latter serving as King Mindon's living quarters. Mandalay Palace was the primary royal residence of both King Mindon and King Thibaw, but was captured and looted by the British during in 1885 during the Third Anglo-Burmese War.

Many objects that were shipped to the United Kingdom were returned in 1964 as a goodwill gesture. The complex was badly damaged by fire during World War II and only the Royal Mint and Watchtower survived. Reconstruction began in 1989 but insufficient funds mean that some elements have been more faithfully executed than others.

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