The final months of 2016 witnessed a tumultuous countdown to the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. It has been impossible to avert the media frenzy that inundates us with images of the White Housea building few would fail to recognize as the residence and workplace of every United States President since 1800.
But what of other presidential abodes? Do any boast near the same notoriety? Where do the momentous decisions that shape history take place? Where do our world leaders return to at night and wake up each morning? And what do the buildings they live in tell us about the nations they lead?
They may be lavish palaces, glitzy cathedrals or unassuming houses. They may be imposing, over-bearing, beautiful works of art, or modest, simple and functional. These emblematic buildings often epitomize a country's unique culture, character and charm but few are familiar outside their own country. Occasionally press releases and significant events grant brief moments in the limelight. Be it Uruguay's former President Jos Mujica's decision to forgo presidential privileges in favor of his wife's farmhouse and his beaten up '87 VW Beetle, or the unveiling of Turkey's extravagant new one thousand roomed presidential complex. Rarely, however, do the homes of other world leaders make international news and only a handful come anywhere near the prominence of the White House.