Balinese royalty has always felt it imperative that they demonstrate their prosperity and standing by building magnificent palaces. The carved wooden doors of these palaces are especially famous for their beauty. The teak doors of the main palace of Denpasar were so large that they required forty porters to carry them.
In the palaces bright colors and gold leaf abound for the display of opulence in even the smallest and most insignificant of details is deemed proof of nobility.
Unlike Europe, Balinese palaces are not single huge buildings but rather a collection of numerous structures each with a special function such as the 'bale gede', an open pavilion of 12 columns, where the oldest male of the family sleeps.
During important ceremonies like tooth filing this will serve a place to commune with the ancestors and gods who descend from heavens to partake of the many offerings placed on the beds.
As in the temple the four directions of the Balinese compass are critical in determining the layout and positioning of buildings.
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