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

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)

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)

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,

Amer Fort, India


The Old Palace, Umber

Google Street View

360 Cities panoramas
Virtual tour
Wikipedia.
Jaipur, Evolution of an Indian City

The historic hill fort rises above the town of Amer (it is sometimes called Amer Fort), which was the capital of the Kuchwaha Rajputs from the 11th to the 18th century. Construction began in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, a commander in the army of the Mughal emperor Akbar. In shades of honey and rose stone, white marble and gilt decor, Amber Fort is more of a palace than a fortress, and the design is a unique mix of Hindu and Muslim styles.
Atlas Obscura

There are four divisions of the Amer fort and each division is known as courtyard. All the sections have a gate to make an entry. The main entrance of the fort is through Suraj Pol or Sun Gate as it faces east. Sawai Jai Singh II built this gate.
Amer Fort: absolute beginners

Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul


Constantinople. Vue générale du Palais de Dolma-Bagtché au Bosphore
(General view of the Palace of Dolmabahce on the Bosphourus)
c.1910
Publisher: “J.M.F”, Galata

Google Street View.

Website.

Dolmabahçe Palace (Turkish: Dolmabahçe Sarayı, IPA: [doɫmabahˈtʃe saɾaˈjɯ]) located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Strait of Istanbul, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to 1922 (Yıldız Palace was used in the interim period).

Dolmabahçe Palace was ordered by the Empire’s 31st Sultan, Abdülmecid I, and built between the years 1843 and 1856. Previously, the Sultan and his family had lived at the Topkapı Palace, but as the medieval Topkapı was lacking in contemporary style, luxury, and comfort, as compared to the palaces of the European monarchs, Abdülmecid decided to build a new modern palace near the site of the former Beşiktaş Sahil Palace, which was demolished.
Wikipedia

Sultan Abdulmejid was a statesman who set his seal upon a series of the most radical changes ever to be introduced in Ottoman history. The Sultan, brought up in Western cultural atmosphere, proclaimed a reform program, only four months after his accession to the throne, that placed the legal and administrative system of the Empire on a completely new basis and which was to have a very great influence on social life as a whole. His attempts to open up Ottoman society to Western influences were particularly effective in the field of architecture, and the most striking example of the new approach is the remarkable building lying like a piece of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara.

All the Sultans since Mehmet the Conqueror had resided in the Palace of Topkapı. Mahmud II, however, had preferred the Palace of Beşiktaş as his place of residence, and his son Abdulmejid, having destroyed this palace and the buildings in its vicinity, summoned Balyan Karabet Kalfa and his son, the most distinguished architects of the day, and gave them instructions concerning the construction of a new palace that would combine the Empire style of the day with the distinguishing features of the old traditional Ottoman architecture. The solution they found was indeed an interesting one, and truly artistic in its approach. The general spatial relations were arranged in accordance with the plan of the traditional Turkish house, but an enormous house of 285 rooms and reception halls. Several elements of traditional Ottoman palace architecture were employed but the building was given a definitely Western external appearance.
Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul: More than a museum

The Bosporus or Bosphorus, also known as the Strait of Istanbul, is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace. It is the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation. The Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, and by the Kerch Strait, the sea of Azov.
Wikipedia.


On back:
Dolmabahçe Sarayinin Kapisi
Gate of Dolmabahçe – Palace
Istanbul

Pubilsher: Doğan Kardeş

Google Street View.

Jodh Bai Palace, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


The Jodh Bai Palace, Fort Agra
c.1910
Published: K. Lall & Co., Agra

Not Fort Agra, but near Agra.

Google Street View
Plan of Jodh Bai’s Palace

This imposing palace comprising the principal haramsara of Akbar has been wrongly ascribed to Jodh Bai who has nothing to do with Sikri. It is the most impressive of all the royal edifices. It consists of a large open quadrangle on the sides of which are suites of single-stories rooms with double stories blocks in the center and corners to break the sky-line. The Central block on the east forms a vestibule to the main entrance of the building and on the west is a small shrine supported on richly carved pillars. The shrine has niches for keeping images of Hindu deities and a platform for the principal deity. The Azure-blue glazed tiles of the rood of this palace are also noteworthy. It was most probably build between A.D 1570 and 1574.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fortified Ghost City of Mughal Empire

Though “Miriam’s House” is generally regarded as the abode of Mariam Zâmâni, there is a great deal to support the view that the spacious palace known as Jodh Bai’s Mahal, or Jahangiri Mahal, was really her residence. It is undoubtedly one of the oldest buildings in Fatehpur.

We know that Akbar went there on Mariam’s account; and, after Jahangir’s birth, Akbar’s first care would be to build a palace for the mother and her child, his long-wished-for heir. Mariam was a Hindu, and this palace in all its construction and nearly all its ornamentation belongs to the Hindu and Jaina styles of Mariam’s native country, Rajputana. It even contains a Hindu temple. It is also the most important of all the palaces, and Mariam, as mother of the heir-apparent, would take precedence of all the other wives.

On the left of the entrance is a small guard-house. A simple but finely proportioned gateway leads through a vestibule into the inner quadrangle. The style of the whole palace is much less ornate than the other zanana buildings, but it is always dignified and in excellent taste. It must be remembered that the severity of the architectural design was relieved by bright colouring and rich purdahs, which were used to secure privacy for the ladies of the zanana and to diminish the glare of the sunlight.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Citadel, Cairo


Cairo – The Citadel
1920s
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Postcards of mosque

In 1171, Salah al-Din, a hero of the crusades who had become sultan of Syria and Egypt, had the Fatimid enclosure and its doors restored. He decided to unify into one enclosure the economic centre, Fustat, and the political centre, Al-Qahira. This was achieved by building a citadel on an artificial outcrop of one of the foothills of the Muqattam rocky plateau. The citadel was built to house garrisons and their leaders. Salah al-Din put one of his lieutenants, Bahaa al-Din Qaraqush, in charge of the construction. It was only completed in 1207, during the reign of Al-Kamil. The first residential structures are also attributed to him and he was the first to occupy it as a royal residence. The building then became the seat of government until the end of the Ottoman era, when it was transferred to the Abdīn Palace. Several additions were made to the structure during the Ayyubid era.
[continues with description of building]
Qantara

The Citadel of Cairo or Citadel of Saladin is a medieval Islamic-era fortification in Cairo, Egypt, built by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers. It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Its location on a promontory of the Mokattam hills near the center of Cairo commands a strategic position overlooking the city and dominating its skyline. At the time of its construction, it was among the most impressive and ambitious military fortification projects of its time. It is now a preserved historic site, including mosques and museums. In addition to the initial Ayyubid-era construction begun by Saladin in 1176, the Citadel underwent major development during the Mamluk Sultanate that followed, culminating with the construction projects of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad in the 14th century. In the first half of the 19th century Muhammad Ali Pasha demolished many of the older buildings and built new palaces and monuments all across the site, giving it much of its present form. In the 20th century it was used as a military garrison by the British occupation and then by the Egyptian army until being opened to the public in 1983.
Wikipedia

We walked along the battlements, in the footsteps of bowman who had once manned these 12th-century walls, passing through towers and vaulted halls. We descended through a maze of stairways leading into a labyrinth of narrow galleries with the walls, past arrow slits a few inches wide, set at precise angles to give defending archers greater protection. . . . To Caireness, this is Qal’at al-Jabal, the Fortress on the Mountain, or just al-Qal;ah, the Fortress. The world knows it as the Citadel. Structurally, little has changed since the days of that hero of medieval legend, Saladin (Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub), who ordered it built. After more than eight centuries of sun, wind and desert storms, the massive towers and walls are as strong as the day they were completed.
Fortress on the Mountains on Archnet

“The Citadel of Cairo” on Archnet (booklet)

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Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


Panch Mahal (Fatehpur Sikri)
c.1910
Publisher: H.A. Mirza & Sons (1907-1912)

The Panch Mahal meaning ‘Five level Palace’ was commissioned by Akbar This structure stands close to the Zenana quarters (Harem) which supports the supposition that it was used for entertainment and relaxation. This is one of the most important buildings in Fatehpur Sikri. This is an extraordinary structure employing the design elements of a Buddhist Temple; entirely columnar, consisting of four stories of decreasing size arranged asymmetrically on the ground floor, which contains 84 columns. These columns, that originally had jaali (screens) between them, support the whole structure. Once these screens provided purdah (cover) to queens and princess on the top terraces enjoying the cool breeze and watching splendid views of Sikri fortifications and the town nestling at the foot of the ridge.
Wikipedia.

This curious five-storied pavilion is nearly opposite to the Dîwan-i-âm. It is approached by a staircase from the Mahal-i-khas. Each story was originally enclosed by pierced stone screens; this, and the fact that the whole building overlooked the palace zanana, make it tolerably certain that it could only have been used as a promenade by Akbar and the ladies of the court. The ground-floor, which was divided into cubicles by screens between the columns, may; as Keene suggests, have been intended for the royal children and their attendants. The building is chiefly remarkable for the invention and taste shown in the varied designs of the columns, in which the three principal styles of Northern India, the Hindu, Jain, and Saracenic, are indiscriminately combined.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Gardens, Palace of Versailles, France

Master post for Versailles


Versailles. – Ensemble du Château. Parterre d’Eau, un Dimanche de Grandes Eaux
c.1910

Situated above the Latona Fountain is the terrace of the château, known as the Parterre d’Eau. Forming a transitional element from the château to the gardens below and placed on the north-south axis of the gardens, the Parterre d’Eau provided a setting in which the imagery and symbolism of the decors of the grands appartements synthesized with the iconography of the gardens. In 1664, Louis XIV commissioned a series of statues intended to decorate the water feature of the Parterre d’Eau. The Grande Commande, as the commission is known, comprised twenty-four statues of the classic quaternities and four additional statues depicting abductions from the classic past.
Wikipedia


VERSAILLES. — Terrasse du Château (côté Jardin). — Terrace of the Castle (Garden side).
Only publisher details: Editions d’Art “LYS”, Versailles, 9 Rue Colbert

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