This is the Biggest House in the World

Istana Nurul Iman

Photo by Leandro Locsin via Wikimedia Commons

The concept of home varies from person to person. While some cherish the intimacy of a cozy apartment or a quaint cottage, others may dream of owning a lavish mansion. However, standing apart from ordinary dreams is the Istana Nurul Iman, a dwelling of incomprehensible grandeur. Recognized as the largest residential palace globally, it dwarfs other monumental residences in both size and opulence.

Situated near Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei, the Istana Nurul Iman stands as the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. Not only does this palace serve as a residence, but it also holds the significant role of being the seat of the Brunei government. Its location on a verdant, riverside expanse of hills on the banks of the Brunei River provides it with scenic beauty, further accentuating its appeal.

Photo by Avi Alpert via Flickr

Commissioned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, the palace was designed by the acclaimed Filipino architect, Leandro V. Locsin, with interior designs masterminded by Khuan Chew from the UK. The construction task was undertaken by the Ayala Corporation, culminating in 1984 with a staggering total cost of approximately $1.4 billion.

The numbers associated with Istana Nurul Iman are nothing short of jaw-dropping. The palace sprawls across a space of over 2 million square feet and boasts 1,788 rooms. The amenities also include 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall large enough to accommodate 5,000 guests, a sizeable mosque, a garage that can shelter 110 cars, an air-conditioned stable for 200 polo ponies, and five swimming pools.

The Banquet Hall. de:Benutzer:Chtrede via Wikimedia Commons


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The palace’s name, “Istana Nurul Iman,” blends Malay and Arabic influences, translating to the “Palace of the Light of Faith.” The palace has a deeper historical connection with the Bruneian Empire, especially considering the nation’s journey through British authority, Japanese occupation, and eventual independence.

While the Istana Nurul Iman stands as a testament to Brunei’s immense wealth and the Sultan’s affluence, it’s more than just a dwelling. It embodies the history, culture, and governance of a nation. Positioned atop the list of the world’s grandest homes, it serves as a symbol of power, faith, and opulence. Whether viewed from a historical, architectural or simply luxurious perspective, the Istana Nurul Iman is undeniably an architectural marvel and the most grandiose residence on the planet.

Written by Editorial Team

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