1ST DIVISION KUCHING > KUCHING CITY > PLACES OF INTEREST > Astana
The Astana palace (formally the Government House) in Kuching is on the north bank of the Sarawak River, opposite the Kuching Waterfront.
It is the official residence of the the Governor of Sarawak.
The palace is not open to the public except the landscaped gardens are.
Astana can be reach by a boat ride across the Sarawak River.
The Astana was built in 1870 by the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke, as a wedding gift to his wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt.
The couple married at Highworth, Wiltshire on 28 October 1869 and Ranee Margaret arrived in Sarawak in 1870. The royal couple then occupied The Astana as their main home.
Ranee Margaret later reminisced about life in The Astana and colonial Borneo in her memoir “My Life in Sarawak”, which was published in 1913.
The residence was originally three separate buildings, with each connected to the other by short and narrow passageways.
In 1883, a clock tower was added at the front of the palace in memory of Charles Brooke, who was the first resident.
The Astana has since undergone major renovations and alterations befitting it as the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak.