Istana Balai Besar, Alor Setar, Kedah


Istana ini dibina semasa pemerintahan Sultan Muhammad Jiwa dan siap sepenuhnya pada tahun 1726. Kerja-kerja pembinaannya dilakukan oleh tukan kayu mahir di bawah seliaan baginda sendiri.

Istana Balai Besar dibina mengadap ke arah Qiblat. Sebanyak 18 buah meriam ditempatkan di sini dan setiap rusuk istana diletakkan sembilan buat meriam secara bertentangan.

Semenjak penaklukan Siam ke atas Kedah, Istanan Seri Besar ditukarkan kepada Balai Besar.

Pada tahun 1770, Istana Balai Besar mengalami kemusnahan teruk akibat serangan Bugis terhadap Alor Setar.

Apabila Balai Besar mengalami kemusnahan maka segala aktiviti istana dipindahkan ke dewan Kota Kuala Kedah.

Selepas bangunan ini dibaikpulih ianya digunakan untuk acara petabalan Sultan Ahmad Tajudding sebagai Sultan pada tahun 1804 dan bagi meraikan majlis kesyukuran selama tujuh hari tujuh malam. Apabila Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin dapat megalahkan Siam pada tahun 1836 serta sekaligus menaiki takhta semula, Balai Besar dijadikan sebagai pejabat untuk tugas-tugas rasmi.


The palace was built by Sultan Muhammad Jiwa and completed in 1726 by selected skilled craftsmen under the supervision of the Sultan. The palace was oriented towards the Qiblat. At that time, 18 cannons, 9 on each side, flanked the sides of the palace.

In 1767, the Siamese invasion of Kedah resulted in partial destruction of the Balai Besar.

Then in 1770, the Balai Besar was seriously damaged by fire during an attack by the Bugese. Functions which were previously been held in the building were carried out in the hall in the Kuala Kedah Fort. After the renovation of this building, it was used as the venue for the coronation of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin in 1804, where a banquet was held for seven consecutive days and nights.

Kedah was finally regained by Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin in 1836 from the Siamese and the Balai Besar was again used for official functions.

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