Palais Castaire (pronounciation: [palɛ kastɛʁ]) located in the capital Lucrécy is the largest palace complex in the known world and since 1742 the official residence of the Imperial Family Sacrecouronne. The baroque building is recognized as the peak of esradonian palatial architecture und is often perceived as a symbol of absolute imperial power.
Originally planned as a monument of victory, the palace was heavily altered to fit the accommodations of its first residents, the later Emperor Steve I and his wife, Empress Belle. Nowadays, the court is the centre of the Emperors power, both political and cultural.
The Origin: Flatlands
The site of the palace was in the time of the construction of the capital just a wide and flat area at the western side of the canal. Under the reign of Célestin I, the construction site was developed, but remained unused for 2 more centuries. Finally, under the reign of Nathanaël II, the area was used to build the current palace.
Construction of a Palace
Nathanaël II wanted a palace par excellence, one more splendid and glorious than any exsiting one in the world, so he ordered a team of highly experienced architects to conceive plans for a representative residence for an Emperor of a world dominating realm. They planned a centered u-shaped corps de logis with subsequent northern and southern wings. Furthermore, an enourmous area was used for the execution of the gardens. In the first place, Nathanaël don't wanted those gardens as they were useless in his eyes, but the architects told him that they will greatly increase the symbolic size of the palace into the surroundings, creating an even more breathtaking view.
The Inside of the Palace
The Throne Room
The most spectacular and breathtaking room is probably His Imperial Majesty's Throne Room, located in the centered Corps de Logis. As it is by far the biggest room of the palace, the corps de logis got a western extension specifically for the throne room. The actual throne hall is surrounded by a gallery, broken up just for the throne and the entrance. Also, there is a place for a small orchestra to play during state visits or other important events.
It is overly decorated with golden reliefs and ornaments, but the most stunning piece of it is for sure its glassy roof, consisting of several thousands of small glass pieces in different colors put together to form a grand masterpiece high above the heads of the supplicants. Caused by that, there is no need for a grand chandelier in the throne room as daylight incides from above all day.
Galerie des Glaces
Otherwise known as the Grand Galerie, it connects the nothern and the southern wing through the corps de logis and is thus the central hallway of the palace. Located behind the garden facade of the palace, nearly all important rooms (like the library, the Emperors study etc.) are directly accessed by it.
As of the excessive amount of expensive furnishings made for the gallery it is said that it is (besides the throne room) one of the most expensive rooms of the palace.
Imagery and Costs
The Palace Grounds
Orangery and Grand Orchard
The original residence of the Sacrecouronne dynasty was a castle located near Liramond, Château Avalanche. With the foundation and expansion of the Empire under Emperor Castorian I and the following increase of wealth there was an urgent need to build a more representative build, an example of the omnipotent power of the dynasty, a new imperial palace.
The construction started in March 1736 AD, following the 16th birthday of Prince Steve. At this point, the gardens, whichs layout began several years ago, were mostly finished, and His Highness' birthday could be staged in the garden. Two years later, Nathanaël II declared war to Cantoras, following the romance of Steve and Belle, the Cantorian Princess.
In 1741, during the height of the Grand War Against Cantoras, the Imperial Vaults were running out of money to finish the palace due to the enormous costs of warfare, as the palace wasn't paid by taxation but with the personal fortune of the Sacrecouronne dynasty.
Nathanaël quickly turned to his friend, Grand Duke Marcus Of Gardelegen, to provide a dowry with his daughter Lady Katherine when she married Prince Mitchell. With the money in the dowry the construction was continued. The Palace was finished in February 1742 and was named Palais Castaire as a remark of the victory of Castaire over Cantoras. Nathanaël himself never lived in the palace because of his death in 1745. The newlywed prince Steve and his wife Belle moved in one day after their marriage on 30th March 1742. Belle never had a problem with the building being a monument of Castaires victory, so the couple spent a wonderful time in it.
Since 1750, the palace got two massive extension wings to accommodate both parts of the government and the servants, but also several more rooms for the Imperial Family.
Palais Castaire was the birthplace of the following persons:
- Lukrezia, Princess Imperial of Castaire (born 1743)
- Florian, Prince of Castaire (born 1745)
- Emilia, Princess of Castaire (born 1748)
Furthermore, the following persons died there:
- Belle, Empress of Castaire (died 1754)