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16 Most Famous Houses in the World (With Pictures)

buckingham palace in london

Rich, powerful, and famous people have been building large mansions and palaces for themselves from the beginning of time. These large and opulent houses are an endless source of fascination. Houses are simply buildings that a person, or a family, lives in full time. Despite their simple purpose, these houses can be bigger, grander, and more important than many other buildings. Famous houses are important pieces of history, vibrant tourist attractions, and glimpses into a different age and a different level of wealth. The world is dotted with famous houses that once held or currently hold simple residences.

Here are sixteen of the most famous houses in the world.

house dividerThe 16 Most Famous Houses in the World

1. The White House

White house
Image Credit: Jumpstory

The White House is perhaps the most famous house in the world. Not only does it have the word house in its official name, but it has also been the official residence of the president of the United States since 1800. George Washington oversaw the construction of the marvelous dwelling, and John Adams was the first president to live in the home. Every US president since John Adams has lived and worked in the White House through the Civil War and World War II until the present day. The White House is so connected to the presidency that it has become a euphemism for the entire executive branch of the United States.


2. No. 10 Downing Street

No.10-Downing Street
Image Credit: 1000 words, Shutterstock

Number 10 Downing Street is the British equivalent of the White House. This British home in the heart of London has been the home of prime ministers for generations. The building also houses the residents and the offices of other important government officials connected to London’s parliament. The nondescript door adorned with the number ten is an extremely well-known image in Europe. Like the White House, Downing Street is synonymous with the prime ministership in the United Kingdom.


3. Versailles

Versailles
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Year Built: 1634

The very picture of opulence, wealth, and power, the palace at Versailles was the crown jewel of old European monarchies for nearly two hundred years. Today, the palace and its incredible grounds are a world heritage site. Versailles was the residence of the French royal family until their tragic downfall during the French Revolution. There are few houses in the world as grand or famous as the palace of Versailles. The house itself is expansive and made in a classic French baroque style.


4. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom
Year Built: 1703

Buckingham Palace, located in London, has been the primary residence of the British royal family for generations. This iconic home has been the scene of some of the most famous events in British history, including public displays of triumph and tragedy. The iconic square construction is instantly recognizable and is one of the most famous residences in history. While the palace today is an expansive administrative hub, the original house was more modest and simply known as Buckingham House. The original house is still a part of the grounds and heart of Buckingham Palace.


5. Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace
Image Credit: Jumpstory

The imperial royal family is the oldest unbroken monarchy in history. The Imperial Japanese family lives in the Tokyo Imperial Palace, a modest home in the heart of a manicured garden in the world’s largest city. The old walls and quaint gardens are recognizable sights to all Japanese people. The Imperial Palace housed the emperor during World War II. The site of the palace is built on the bones of the old Edo Castle. The palace has undergone numerous rebuilds and renovations in the past century, with the modern residence within the grounds being completed in 1993.


6. Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: Windsor SL4 1NJ, United Kingdom
Year Built: ~1100

Windsor Castle is an ancient dwelling associated with the English royal family. The castle was built around 1100, making it nearly a thousand years old. It is the longest continually inhabited royal residence in Europe. The castle was a headquarters during the English Civil War. It was also used as a bomb shelter during World War II. The late Queen Elizabeth II lived in the palace full time from 2011 until her death in 2022. When it comes to primary residences, there are few as grand or as old as Windsor Castle.


7. Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
Year Built: 1895

Biltmore Estate was the expansive home of the Vanderbilt family. The Vanderbilts were some of the wealthiest people in American history. Biltmore is the largest home in the United States and has been said to be the largest house in the world at times. Biltmore Estate includes 175,000 square feet of living space and 250 rooms, including 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. The home included an indoor pool and basement bowling alley, which was the height of modern technology at the time. Today, curious people can visit the expansive manor and large gardens taking in the grandeur of the place for a modest cost.


8. Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP, United Kingdom
Year Built: 1687

Even if you don’t recognize the name, you will likely recognize the appearance of Chatsworth House. Chatsworth House is an old house in the United Kingdom that has been the site of numerous period dramas, including popular movies and TV shows such as Peaky Blinders, Pride and Prejudice, and The Duchess. This house is the very image of Victorian Britain and has become an eponymous image of that time period. You can visit the iconic house and take a tour with the purchase of ticketed admission.


9. Graceland

Address: Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116
Year Built: 1939

Few people are as iconic in the music world as Elvis Presley. Elvis was so famous that even after his death, his home remains a popular and iconic tourist attraction today. Graceland is a beautiful home in its own right featuring a strong Colonial Revival style. The house is often visited by Elvis enthusiasts who make the pilgrimage to his famous house to pay homage to the King of Rock and Roll. The house has 23 rooms sprawling over 17,552 square feet. Graceland is located outside of Memphis, Tennessee, and is a staple of the region.


10. The Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452
Year Built: 1919-1947

William Randolph Hearst was a publishing magnate and one of the world’s wealthiest and most eccentric people. Hearst decided to build himself a castle in California, befitting his hobbies and his money. Hearst built the castle in a Spanish style, and its iconic towers are still visible today in San Simeon. Like the old European castles and palaces that inspired him, Hearst filled his castle with expensive treasures and artifacts that he collected throughout his life. Hearst also threw elaborate parties in his castle in the 1920s that attracted the richest and most famous people of the era. Hearst Castle remains an oddity and an architectural wonder and you can visit and tour the house to this day.


11. Monticello

Monticello
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Monticello was the classic estate of President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson’s estate is done in a classic colonial and Greek style that is synonymous with American architecture. Monticello inspired many of the styles of building that inhabit Washington, DC, today. The home is so famous that it adorns the United States nickel coin. Thomas Jefferson oversaw 5,000 acres of plantation land from his home. Jefferson also designed the University of Virginia in a similar style. Together, the house and the university have been designated an architectural and cultural heritage site. If you can’t make it to Virginia to see the house, take a look at a nickel instead to see the architecture in miniature.


12. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Mount Vernon was the estate of the first president of the United States, George Washington. Washington never lived in the White House, but he did spend extensive amounts of time at Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is the second most visited presidential estate in the United States after Monticello. Today, Mount Vernon is steeped in American history and colonial architecture. Its importance to American history and deep connection to George Washington make it a popular tourist attraction and one of the most famous houses in the world.


13. Fallingwater

Fallingwater
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: 1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA 15464
Year Built: 1939

Fallingwater is a house built by world-famous architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. Numerous Frank Lloyd Wright houses could have made this list, but Fallingwater is perhaps the most striking. The house is built over an active waterfall on a small river in Pennsylvania. The house seems to exist in nature and apart from nature all at once. It is hauntingly beautiful. The house is so unique and so iconic that the Smithsonian named it as one of the top 28 places everyone needs to see before they die, alongside things like the Grand Canyon and the Taj Mahal, which shows how deeply impressive this house is.


14. The Breakers

The Breakers
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Address: 44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840
Year Built: 1898

The Breakers is another house built by the eminent Vanderbilt family. While the Vanderbilts spent most of their time at their expansive Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, they summered in Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers is a mini-Biltmore built on the shores of the cold North Atlantic. The name comes from the powerful waves that crash against the seawall at all times of the year. The house is an architectural marvel, even if it is not as large as Biltmore. The Breakers still encompasses 125,339 square feet making it one of the largest houses in America. Newport is home to numerous mansions and old estates, but The Breakers is by far the best and most famous of this group.


15. Élysée Palace

Élysée Palace
Image Credit: Jumpstory

The Élysée Palace is the French version of the White House. This old palace is the current home and residence of the sitting French president. It is routinely named one of the most opulent residences for world leaders in the whole world. The palace has been the official home of the French president since 1848. The interior offices are often photographed and seen in relation to official French governmental business. The French government conducts its official weekly meeting every week in the Élysée Palace.


16. The Blue House

The Blue House
Image Credit: Jumpstory

The Blue House is the official presidential home of the president of Korea. The house is built in a traditional Korean architectural style and is iconic for its bright blue roofs. The Blue House has been the official residence of the president of South Korea since 1948. The whole complex sits on 62 acres of land and sprawls over 250,000 square feet. The Blue House is an iconic home in Asia and is one of the more recognizable government buildings in the world.

house dividerConclusion

From instantly recognizable places like the White House to the pinnacle of the talents of Frank Lloyd Wright, there are some truly amazing houses in the world. Some of these houses could be recognized by people around the world, while others are appreciated for their history and their size. The good news is that many of these houses can be visited today so if you have an interest in famous houses and architecture you can plan a trip and tour many of these places yourself.


Featured Image Credit: balichaca, Pixabay

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