The principal facade of Palais Castaire, the East Front, as current "public face" of the palace.

Palais Castaire (pronounciation: [palɛ kastɛʁ]) is located in Lucrécy, the capital of the Empire Castairien. It serves as premier residence and administrative headquarters of the Monarch of Castaire. Located in Ouestcour, the palace is the centre of political life, state occasions and imperial hospitality as well as the focal point of Castairien People in times of national rejoicing and mourning.

Originally conceived as a monument of absolute victory following the Grand War Against Cantoras, the palaces erection started in 1736 and was to be finished in 1744. Due to the war going on between 1738 and 1741, the works were mainly paused with minimal progress. With two expansive wings added to the original construction, it became the largest palace complex in the known world and serves as the official residence of the Imperial Family Sacrecouronne since 1742. The baroque building is recognized as the peak of esradonian palatial architecture und is often perceived as a symbol of absolute imperial power.

Given the results of aforementioned war being utterly lossy for both sides, and young Prince Steve being engaged to Princess Belle of Cantoras, they repurposed the building to not be a war memorial, but a remind for the eternal friendship of the two countries from then, further cemented in the politics of the couple when becoming Empereur and Impératrice. Nowadays, the court is the centre of the Empereurs power, both political and cultural.

History

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 Catherine when she married Prince Michel. 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. The couple spent wonderful years together with their children in the enormous building.

Site

The site of the palace was in the time of the construction of the capital just a wide and flat area at the western part of the conceived city area, with access to the Violaine river. 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.

Former use

Belonging to Imperialty by law, the land was often used for special occasions such as military parades and speeches to the People. In times of war, the site was sometimes also used as kitchen garden, where the people planted potatoes, beans and other vegetables to provide food. The more western located area which was grown over with trees and luscious forests was used as hunting place for the local nobility. There were also several small hunting lodges of different owners located at the area now occupied by the imperial gardens.

Imperial Residence

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 the Empereur 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.

Home of the Monarch

Palais Castaire finally became the principal imperial residence in 1742, when Steve and Belle, the designated next imperial couple, decided to reside there. Their predecessor Nathanaël II, in whose order the palace was built, never moved in as severe illness bound him to bed. Compared to the old city palace, the new building was of immense splendour and beauty. The state rooms were described as a "riot of gold and colour", decorated with expensive and precious materials to spare.

By 1745, the couple had found the palace too small for court life and their growing family, and consequently two new wings were added to accommodate the new private appartments (southern wing) and several extensive rooms in the northern wing. After completion of those two new wings, the palace got its current face.

Interior

The Throne Room

The throneroom is the center of the imperial court and place of many state occasions.

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.

Chapelle Impériale

Court Ceremonies

Court

Investitures

State Banquets

Presentation of débutantes

Other ceremonies and functions

Gardens and surroundings

Orangery and Grand Orchard

Imagery and Costs

Persons

Palais Castaire was the birthplace of the following persons:

Furthermore, the following persons died there:

See also

Garde Impériale

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