Istana Mahkota – Sultan’s Palace, Klang, Malaysia


A photo printed as a postcard so no publisher details or caption
c.1940

Between 1903 and 1957 there existed an older palace on the same site [as the palace of the Sultan of Selangor], known as Istana Mahkota Puri. It was built in 1903 during the rule of Sultan Sir Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, who was the fifth Sultan of Selangor, and the design closely resembles the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur. The Sultan went on to live in the palace for 35 years until his death in 1938. In the 1950s it was briefly used as a student dorm for nearby schools. The palace was demolished in October 1957 and soon replaced by the present-day structure.
Wikipedia.

…taking the reign as Sultan Alaeddin Suleiman Shah, the grandson of Sultan Abdul Samad informed the State Council that he preferred for his seat to be in Klang instead of Jugra or Kuala Lumpur. . . Sultan Alaeddin found Klang’s fort too cramped for a palace site and the existing Malay graves there wasn’t much of a pull to him either. A 25-acre area along Langat Road was deemed suitable. With that site in mind, plans for Klang’s new palace was announced in the papers in October 1898. However, as you know, land matters are not always straight forward and so a new location had to be agreed upon. It was only by March 1899 that a final site was selected on a hill overlooking Klang’s recreation ground.
. . .
Records reveal that two design concepts were proposed by the team, one in a Mughal-Eclectic style reflecting the design of the New Government Office that Hubback and Row had worked on earlier. The other was in European style. Sultan Alaeddin selected the former, but his choice was met with slight resistance from the Secretary General, Henry Conway Belfield, as it was twice the allocated budget, sending Spooner’s team back to the drawing board to revise their design and estimates.

The Klang Istana was officially named as Istana Mahkota. Sultan Alaeddin was formally installed as the 5th Sultan of Selangor at the Istana in November 1903. Construction works at the palace however did not stop then. He had earlier in May 1903 insisted for a building extension, for which an additional $10,000 budget was approved.
Arthur Benison Hubback


Palace of the sultan at Klang near Kuala Lumpur, c.1910 Wikimedia Commons

From behind the veil of the harem peered a curious face, a feminine face, as you might imagine! Strangers in the palace of the Sultan of Selangor are a novelty, and the lady was evidently as curious about us as we, I must admit, were about her. Was she one of the 72-year-old Sultan’s several wives? We wondered.

While the Kangaroo was at Port Swettenham it was my good fortune to be permitted to see the handsome palace of His Highness the Sultan of Selangor, a fine building set on the crest of a green sloped hill at Klang, five miles from Port Swettenham.

One can’t help feeling a little flattered as a handsome, bearded Sikh slopes his bayoneted rifle and salutes at the entrance to the palace. And the surprise of this martial courtesy is still on you as you cross the cool, fern laden verandahs and enter the throne room. Even a man cannot repress a gasp of wonder at this exhibition of Oriental color and pomp. Against a glittering background stands the Sultan’s throne, richly ornamented and brilliantly colorful. Flanking it are the seats for the Resident, the High Commissioner and other dignitaries, all their chairs being richly upholstered in a vivid gold satin. Standing on the marble floor, I glanced round this big, luxurious room, and it was then that my eye caught a shadow behind the veil that my smiling Malay guide informed me in his perfect English was the entrance to the harem. Theshadow took more definite shape, a feminine head peered round the edge of the veil. I almost winked.

The Sultan was not home that afternoon. From this beautiful room we looked through the dining hall (where the photos of the King and Queen of England are displayed on the walls), the sitting room, where the Sultan sits with his wives—-but not always all together-—and then strolled down the slope to see the finest mosque in all Malaya.
Mirror, 23 December 1933, p. 4

The Sultan, who succeeded his father, who died a few months ago, will be crowned In the old palace at his capital, Klang. The Government suggested that a new palace be built before the coronation, but this will be held up until the revenues of the State increase.
Truth, 4 December 1938, p. 21

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna


On back:
Ehem. kaiserl. Lustschloß Schönbrunn. Wien.
Chinesisches. Rundkabinett.
Schoenbrunn, the Old Imperial Castle of Pleasure.
Chinese Rotunda.
Ancien château de plaisance impérial de Schoenbrunn. Vienne.
Rotonde chinoise.

c. 1930
Publisher (artist): Johann Jaunbersin

Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The name Schönbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”) has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. The 1,441-room Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. . . . The Schönbrunn Palace in its present form was built and remodelled during the 1740–50s during the reign of empress Maria Theresa who received the estate as a wedding gift. Franz I commissioned the redecoration of the palace exterior in the neoclassical style as it appears today. Franz Joseph, the longest-reigning emperor of Austria, was born at Schönbrunn and spent a great deal of his life there. He died there, at the age of 86, on 21 November 1916. Following the downfall of the Habsburg monarchy in November 1918, the palace became the property of the newly founded Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum.
Wikipedia.

After the death of Emperor Ferdinand II in 1637, the estate became the dower residence of his art-loving widow, who needed the appropriare architectural setting for her busy social life. She therefore had a château de plaisance built around 1642, which was accompanied by the renaming of the Katterburg to Schoenbrunn, a change of name first documented in the same year. In 1683 the château de plaisance and its deer park fell victim to the depredations of Turkish troops during the siege of Vienna. From 1686 the estate was in the possession of Emperor Leopold I, who decided that he would make the estate over to his son and heir Joseph, and have a splendid new residence built for him.

Soon afterwards the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, an architect who had received his training in Rome and had been recommended by patrons from the nobility, arrived at court. In 1688 he presented the Emperor with a preliminary set of designs for a new palace, the so-called Schoenbrunn I-Project, and in 1693 Leopold I commissioned concrete plans for the construction of a grand hunting lodge, on which work started in 1696. The new edifice was partly built on the existing foundations of the château de plaisance that had been destroyed by the Turks. The construction of the lateral wings was delayed from 1701 owing to the War of the Spanish Succession and the attendant financial constraints, and came to a complete halt after Joseph’s sudden death.
Schönbrunner Schlossstraße Knozerta

To either side of the Small Gallery are the East Asian Cabinets, until recently known erroneously as Chinese cabinets. Only the right-hand cabinet can correctly be termed Chinese in reference to the Chinese porcelain displayed there, while the left-hand east cabinet should be referred to as the Japanese Oval Cabinet. Both rooms have a distinctly intimate character and were used by Maria Theresa for small social gatherings, for example for playing cards. Before the rooms were decorated as we see them today, the Round Cabinet was used as a small conference room, in which the so-called ‘tables de conspiration‘ took place. These were secret conferences at which meals were served to the participants by means of a moveable table winched up from the room on the floor below, so that they would not be disturbed or eavesdropped upon by the servants.
Schloss Schönbrunn

Armoury, Governor’s Palace, Valletta Malta


The Armoury, Governor’s Palace.
1900s

Ever since its construction by the Order of St John [in the 16th century], this Palace was richly embellished with collections of works of art and heritage items, some of which still grace its walls. While some of these were purposely produced to form part of the historic fabric of the building, others were acquired, transferred or presented at different times throughout the chequered history of the Palace. Destined for grandiosity, right from its beginning, this Palace was one of the first buildings which were constructed at the heart of the new city of Valletta, founded by Grand Master Jean de Valette. Successive Grand Masters enlarged and developed this building to serve as their official residence. Later, during the British Period, it served as the Governor’s Palace, and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921.
Heritage Malta

The Palace Armoury is an arms collection housed at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Malta. It was the main armoury of the Order of St. John in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as such it was the last arsenal established by a crusader military order.
. . .
In 1604, the Order’s arsenal was transferred to the Grandmaster’s Palace by Alof de Wignacourt, and was housed in a large hall at the rear of the building. At the time, it contained enough arms and armour for thousands of soldiers. The armoury was rearranged under Manuel Pinto da Fonseca’s magistracy in the 18th century. Parts of the armoury are believed to have been removed and shipped to France during the French occupation of Malta in 1798–1800, as part of “the organised robbery of art treasure and historic treasures” carried out by Napoleon. In the early 19th century, the armoury was altered by the British with the addition of Egyptian style column-like supports. These were removed and returned to England in 1855. In the late 1850s, the armoury was restored under the personal direction of Governor John Gaspard Le Marchant, and it opened to the public as a museum in 1860
Wikipedia.

Dungeon of the Château de Loches, Loches, France


41 — LOCHES (L-et-L.) — Donjon. Cachot du Duc d’Alençon
(Dungeon. Prison of the Duc d’Alençon.)
1920s
Published by  Levy & Neurdein

Street View (exterior)

The castle (sometimes also called simply “dungeon”) of Loches, in the eponymous commune of Indre-et-Loire, 40 km south-east of Tours, is a castle built in the eleventh century in the heart of a city royal which also includes a “home” (palace) and a collegiate. The whole city situated on a rocky outcrop is surrounded by a wall. The dungeon was built between 1013 and 1035 by the Count of Anjou Foulques Nerra. It resists several seats and over the centuries, is equipped with new elements: a curtain (XII), towers (XIII), a house for its governor (XIV), a round tower and a barbican (XV). The fortified building is composed of two parts: the large dungeon, rectangular in shape of about 25 by 14 meters, formerly adorned with a crown, and a fore-body adjoining its north face, called “little dungeon”. The thickness of the walls varies from 3.40 m at the base to 2.60 m at the summit. In the 15th century, the castle became a royal prison, a vocation that he kept until the Revolution, then changing into a prison from 1801 to 1926.
France-Voyage

John II of Alençon (Jean II d’Alençon) (2 March 1409 – 8 September 1476) was a French nobleman. He succeeded his father as Duke of Alençon and Count of Perche as a minor in 1415, after the latter’s death at the Battle of Agincourt. He is best known as a general in the Last Phase of the Hundred Years’ War and for his role as a comrade-in-arms of Joan of Arc.

John was discontented with the Treaty of Arras, having hoped to make good his poverty through the spoliation of the Burgundians. He fell out with Charles VII, and took part in a revolt in 1439–40, (the Praguerie) but was forgiven, having been a lifelong friend of the king. He took part in the invasion of Normandy in 1449, but he had unwisely entered into correspondence with the English since 1440. (He had also accepted the Order of the Golden Fleece at this time.) Shortly after testifying at the “rehabilitation trial” of Joan of Arc in 1456, he was arrested by Jean de Dunois and imprisoned at Aigues-Mortes. In 1458, he was convicted of lèse-majesté and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted and he was imprisoned at Loches. He was released by Louis XI upon terms at his accession in 1461, but he refused to keep them and was imprisoned again. He was tried a second time before the Parlement of Paris and sentenced to death again on 18 July 1474, and his Duchy was confiscated. However, the sentence was not carried out, and he died in prison in the Louvre in 1476.
Wikipedia.


LOCHES (L-et-L.) –Le Donjon – Sculptures dans le mur la Salle d’Armes
The Dungeon – Sculptures in the wall (Room of Arms)
1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)


Detailed plain of the chateau (from Wikimedia Commons)


Detailed view of the dungon (from Wikimedia Commons)

Hiran Minar, Fatehpur Sikri , India


Hiran Minar or the Elephant Tower, Futtehpur Sikri | Agra
1900s

The Hiran Minar, or Elephant Tower, is a circular tower covered with stone projections in the form of elephant tusks. Traditionally it was thought to have been erected as a memorial to the Emperor Akbar’s favourite elephant. However, it was probably a used as a starting point for subsequent mile posts.
British Library Online Gallery

The, furthest of this block of buildings is a curious tower called the Hiran Minâr, or Deer Tower, 72 feet in height, ornamented with stone imitations of elephant tusks. According to tradition, it was built by Akbar in memory of a favourite elephant, and used by him as a shooting tower; the plain on the margin of the lake being the haunt of antelope and other game. The splendid stretch of water, six miles long and two in breadth, induced many of the princes and nobles to build pavilions and garden houses on this side of the city. This was the place for great tournaments and festivities, and in the palmy days of Fatehpur all the chivalry of the Mogul Court must have made a brave show here. The Hiran Minâr was connected with the zanana by a covered way, so that the ladies might assist at these spectacles and enjoy the cool breezes from the lake.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Palace, Thanjavur, India


Tanjore. Interior of Palace
Publisher: D. Macropolo & Co, Calcutta

Google Street View (approximate).

The Thanjavur Maratha palace was originally constructed by the rulers of Thanjavur Nayak kingdom. The construction of Thanjavur Palace began in 1534 and was completed in 1535, thanks to plenty of local prisoners of war who provided manual labor. The Palace was officially called “Sivagangai Fort” and was held by the Nayak family until April 1674, when the Maratha ruler Venkoji captured it. After the fall of the Thanjavur Nayak kingdom, it served as the official residence of the Thanjavur Maratha. The Marathas enhanced the original structure and expanded the palace complex.

The Thanjavur Palace is a huge complex that has many architectural features. The massive complex consists of huge halls, wide corridors, multi-storied observation towers and a shady courtyard. As you walk across, you can see that some parts of the complex are in ruins while other parts show that restoration work has been taken up to revive and protect the monument.
Thanjavur Tourism

Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt

These three postcards are photographs taken of existing photographs and then printed as postcards. They have no publisher details. Given the bare surroundings, I assume the original photos were taken when Heliopolis was being developed (1910s).

Heliopolis was a suburb outside Cairo, Egypt, which has since merged with Cairo as a district of the city and is one of the more affluent areas of Cairo. It was established in 1905 by the Heliopolis Oasis Company headed by the Belgian industrialist Édouard Empain and by Boghos Nubar, son of the Egyptian Prime Minister Nubar Pasha.
. . .
In 1905, Empain established the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company, which bought a large stretch of desert some distance to the northeast of Cairo at a low price from the British occupation government. His efforts culminated in 1907 with the building of the new town of Heliopolis, in the Sahara desert ten kilometers from the center of Cairo. The new city represented the first large-scale attempt to promote its own architecture, known now as the Heliopolis style. It was designed as a “city of luxury and leisure”, with broad avenues and equipped with all conveniences and infrastructure: water, drains, electricity, hotel facilities, such as the Heliopolis Palace Hotel and Heliopolis House, and recreational amenities including a golf course, racetrack and park. In addition, there was housing for rent, offered in a range of innovative designs targeting specific social classes with detached and terraced villas, apartment buildings, tenement blocks with balcony access and workers’ bungalows.
Wikipedia.

 

Sultana Melek Palace

Google Maps.

Belgian engineer Baron Empain built the palace as a gift to Sultan Hussein Kamel. Following Kamel’s death, the palace’s ownership transferred to the Heliopolis Company for Housing & Development which leased it to Hussein’s second wife Sultana Melek Tourhan. The palace then became a school during the 1960s, and was later recorded on the list of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in 2000.
Egypt Independent: Egypt begins restoring Sultana Melek Palace in Heliopolis

Sultan Hussein Kamel’s palace in Heliopolis dates back to the year 1908. Sultan Hussein Kamel took power in a dangerous period in the history of Egypt between 1914 and 1917, when Britain had imposed martial law on Egypt during the First World War. The palace, located opposite to Baron Empain’s palace, was built before Hussein Kamel assumed power. It was then gifted to Sultana Malak, his second wife of Circassian origin, whom he married in 1886.

The palace of Sultan Hussein Kamel is among the first buildings of Heliopolis. It was designed by French architect Alexander Marcel in 1908 and was implemented with clear Moroccan influences to revive Islamic architecture.
Egypt Today

 

Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral

Google Street View.

Our Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral, also known as the Latin Cathedral of Our Lady of Heliopolis, or the Basilica of the Holy Virgin, is a Roman Catholic church building, located on Al-Ahram Square in the Heliopolis neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt. Alexandre Marcel designed the cathedral in a Byzantine Revival style, based on the Hagia Sophia. It was completed in 1913. A crypt within the cathedral houses the remains of its financer, Édouard Empain, and his family.
Wikipedia.

 

Heliopolis Palace Hotel

Google Maps.

The Heliopolis Palace Hotel was built in the open desert from 1908–1910, while development of the new suburb began around it, by the Heliopolis Oases Company. It was opened as Africa’s most luxurious hotel on December 1, 1910. The landmark hotel was designed by Belgian architect Ernest Jaspar. He introduced the local Heliopolis style of architecture, a synthesis of Persian, Moorish Revival, Islamic, and European Neoclassical architecture. It was built by the contracting firms Leon Rolin & Co. and Padova, Dentamaro & Ferro, the two largest civil contractors in Egypt then. Siemens & Schuepert of Berlin fitted the hotel’s web of electric cables and installations. The utilities were to the most modern standards of their day. The hotel operations were under French administered management. The Heliopolis architectural style, responsible for many wonderful original buildings in Heliopolis, was exceptionally expressed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel’s exterior and interior design. The hotel had 400 rooms, including 55 private apartments. Beyond the Moorish Revival reception hall two public rooms were lavishly decorated in the Louis XIV and the Louis XV styles. Beyond those was the Central Hall, the primary public dining space with a classic symmetrical and elegant beauty.
. . .
In 1958, the hotel was purchased by the government and closed to guests.[3] It was then used to house the offices of government departments. In January 1972, the building became the headquarters of the Federation of Arab Republics, the short-lived political union between Egypt, Libya and Syria, which gave it the current Arabic name of قصر الاتحادية Kasr Al Ittihadia (“Federation Palace”). In the 1980s, after extensive renovation and restoration efforts, the building became an Egyptian presidential palace and the headquarters of the administration of the new president, Hosni Mubarak.
Wikipedia.

The First Australian General Hospital was to be placed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel at Heliopolis. . . . Some description is required, however, of the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. This, as the photograph shows, is a huge hotel de luxe, consisting of a basement and four stories. It was arranged that the kitchens, stores, and accommodation for rank and file should be placed in the basement. The first floor was allotted to offices and officers’ quarters; a wing of the third floor provided accommodation for nurses, and the only portions of the building used at first for patients were the large restaurant and dining-room, and the billiard recesses, i.e. the Rotundas and Great Hall.
The Australian Army Medical Corps in Egypt, 1918 (Project Gutenberg) (includes floor plan)

Entrance, Government House, Jersey


Jersey.–Saint-Sauveur.–Entrée du Palais du Gouverneur.. 
Entrance to Government House
1910s
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View.

Government House is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. The building is situated in the parish of St Saviour in Jersey. It is also used for ceremonial functions, receptions and meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries and heads of state. It is also the official residence of the Duke of Normandy (currently Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom) as head of state when staying in Jersey.
Wikipedia.

Government House stands on St Saviour’s Hill. It is built on land which was bought by the Reverend Philip Le Breton in 1803 (Rector of St Saviour’s Church) who built a house on the site. In 1814 Francis Janvrin, a prosperous ship owner, bought the property from the Rector and demolished it. He then built the present Government House on the site and called it Belmont. In 1822 the Lieutenant-Governor Major General Sir Colin Halkett acquired the house. He was unhappy with the one he lived in, which was in King Street where the New Look (previously Woolworths) shop stands today. He thought that the Lieutenant-Governor “would at Belmont possess the desirable opportunity of seeing together, without apparent partiality, such of the inhabitants, and strangers, as naturally expected to be invited to Government House”.
The Island Wiki

Herrenchiemsee New Palace, Germany


Sschloß Herrenchiemsee
(Castle of Herrenchiemsee)
Publisher: Zierer

Google Street View.

Palace Tour

Herrenchiemsee is a complex of royal buildings on Herreninsel, the largest island in the Chiemsee lake, in southern Bavaria, Germany. Together with the neighbouring isle of Frauenchiemsee and the uninhabited Krautinsel, it forms the municipality of Chiemsee, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) southeast of Munich. The island, formerly the site of an Augustinian monastery, was purchased by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1873. The king had the premises converted into a residence, known as the Old Palace (Altes Schloss). From 1878 onwards, he had the New Herrenchiemsee Palace (Neues Schloss) erected, based on the model of Versailles. It was the largest, but also the last of his building projects, and remained incomplete.
Wikipedia.

In 1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the Herreninsel as the location for his Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee (New Palace). Modelled on Versailles, this palace was built as a “Temple of Fame” for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired.The actual building of this “Bavarian Versailles”, which was begun in 1878 from plans by Georg Dollmann, was preceded by a total of 13 planning stages. When Ludwig II died in 1886 the palace was still incomplete, and sections of it were later demolished.
Herrenchiemsee Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung


Kgl. Schloss Herrenchiemsee
Beratungszimmer

Council Chamber
c.1920
Publisher: Felix Durner,

Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany


On back:
Potsdam, Sanssouci
Schloß. Musikzimmer.

Music Room
Publisher: Staatliche Bildstelle/Deutscher Kunstverlag (which Googles translates to: “State Image Agency/German art publisher”)

Google Street View.

No other palace is so closely linked with the personality of Frederick the Great as Sanssouci. The name Sanssouci – without a care – should be understood as both the primary wish and leitmotif of the king, because this was the place where he most preferred to retreat in the company of his dogs. The king’s summer residence was ultimately his favorite place and sanctuary in difficult times.
Sanssouci Palace, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Sanssouci is a historical building in Potsdam, near Berlin. Built by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, as his summer palace, it is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles. While Sanssouci is in the more intimate Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart, it too is notable for the numerous temples and follies in the park. The palace was designed/built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747 to fulfill King Frederick’s need for a private residence where he could relax away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court.

The principal entrance area, consisting of two halls, the “Entrance Hall” and the “Marble Hall”, is at the centre, thus providing common rooms for the assembly of guests and the court, while the principal rooms flanking the Marble Hall become progressively more intimate and private, in the tradition of the Baroque concept of state rooms. Thus, the Marble Hall was the principal reception room beneath the central dome. Five guest rooms adjoined the Marble Hall to the west, while the King’s apartments lay to the east – an audience room, music room, study, bedroom, library, and a long gallery on the north side.
Wikipedia.


On back:
Potsdam, Sanssouci
Bibliothek.

Library
Publisher: Staatliche Bildstelle

Google Street View.

The circular library deviated from the spatial structure of French palace architecture. The room is almost hidden, accessed through a narrow passageway from the bedroom, underlining its private character. Cedarwood was used to panel the walls and for the alcoved bookcases. The harmonious shades of brown augmented with rich gold-coloured Rocaille ornaments were intended to create a peaceful mood. The bookcases contained approximately 2,100 volumes of Greek and Roman writings and historiographies and also a collection of French literature of the 17th and 18th centuries with a heavy emphasis on the works of Voltaire. The books were bound in brown or red goat leather and richly gilded.
Wikipedia.