Istana Nurul Iman has recently surpassed the Buckingham Palace, Royal Palace of Madrid, Stockholm Palace and The Forbidden City to become the “world's largest palace” in the world by the Guinness World Record. The criteria include usage as a royal residence and actual combined area of the palace’s indoor floors.
Istana Nurul Iman is a pride of the Sultanate of Brunei which is famous for its rich oil reserves. As a symbol of richness, the palace is displayed almost politely and unassuming but not ostentatious like in Dubai. This largest residential palace is home to the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah and serves as the administrative office for the Sultan of Brunei. Named as “Palace of the Faith Light”, the palace was designed by the National Artist of the Philippines for Architecture and built in 1984 at a cost of around US$1.4 billion.
The Istana Nurul Iman is located in leafy hills on the banks of the Brunei River which is just a few miles from Brunei's capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan.
Due to the massive size, the palace uses up to 51,000 light bulbs, 18 elevators, 51,000 light bulbs and 44 stairwells. The palace also functions as the prime minister's office, the government of Brunei and the seat of the Brunei government.
The palace is decorated with golden domes and vaulted roofs on the top. The design is influenced by Islamic and Malay architecture.
The massive palace has five swimming pools, a 110-car garage, a banquet holding 4,000 guests and a mosque accommodating up to 1,500 people.
The Istana Nurul Iman surpasses Buckingham Palace and Royal Palace of Madrid to become largest residential palace worldwide (by Guinness) and largest single family residence ever built.
The Throne Chamber is used in such important occasions including the annual Birthday Investiture and the proclamation of the Crown Prince.
The golden dome, which is built 52 meters tall, is visible from anywhere in the city.
Like other Brunei's main buildings, the palace is lit up at night.
Amazing view inside Istana Nurul Iman
Istana Nurul Iman: World’s Largest Palace