10 of the world's most influential leaders and where they live

Being a world leader is no doubt a huge privilege, but with the top job comes a lot of stress and pressure. Presidents and Prime Ministers make decisions that affect the lives of millions of people so naturally, at the end of the day, they'd need a nice place to wind down.

Luckily, with the role comes a few handy perks, and I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that their official residences are one of them. So from the White House to the Kremlin, let's take a look at the world's most influential leaders and the places they call home.

1. Scott Morrison - Kirribilli House, Australia

Kirribilli House
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Let's start close to home. Scott Morrison, the current Prime Minister of Australia and his family moved from their home in The Shire to the Kirribilli House in Sydney last September.

The traditional choice of housing for the Prime Minister is usually 'The Lodge' in Canberra, however, Morrison chose the harbourside Sydney location as he was concerned that a move to the nation's capital would affect his children's schooling.

The Kirribilli House was built in 1855 by the merchant Adolphus Frederic Feez, however, it was purchased for government purposes in 1919. It was the residence for the Governor General at the time, but after 1956 it became the official secondary residence for Australian prime ministers who needed to stay in Sydney.

"The Kirribilli House was built in 1855 by the merchant Adolphus Frederic Feez, however, it was purchased for government purposes in 1919."

Only two prime ministers in the past have chosen the Kirribilli House over The Lodge, but looking at the grand sandstone structure you could hardly blame them. The two-story Gothic-revival mansion is no less than blue ribbon real estate and offers breathtaking harbour views. It's estimated to be one of Australia's most expensive properties valued at over $40 million.

2. Justin Trudeau - 24 Sussex Drive & Rideau Cottage, Canada

24 Sussex Drive
Source: Chris Roussakis | Postmedia Network File Photo from Toronto Sun

The official Canadian Prime Ministerial residence is 24 Sussex Drive, a building that was originally commissioned in 1868 as a wedding present for the MP Joseph Merrill Currier, and since 1951 has become the official residence for prime ministers.

The Georgian revival property has a prime view across the Ottawa River, but in recent years has been in a state of decline.

Rideau Cottage
Source: Justin Trudeau | Twitter

Prime Minister Trudeau decided it best to move down the road to the equally as eloquent Rideau Cottage, so that renovations could be made on the official residence - which to date has totalled roughly around $1 million! It really puts your new kitchen into perspective!

Besides, Trudeau isn't really missing out, as he spent part of his youth at Sussex Drive while his father was still Prime Minister in the 1970's.

3. Xi Jinping - Zhongnanhai, China

Zhongnanhai
Source: iStock

Xi Jinping is China's General Secretary, the highest position of power in the world's most populous country. A man of such a title surely requires a home of the same calibre, and no doubt the property in question, Zhongnanhai, fits the role.

The building is located to the west of the Forbidden City in central Beijing. Zhongnanhai is a bit of a mystery, as not many have laid eyes on its interior, but the name translates to 'central and southern seas' - a reference to the two lakes that are enclosed within.

Zhongnanhai
Source: Money Smart

The property is said to enclose expansive gardens which have been in construction as far back as the Jin Dynasty in the 1100s.

It has been the official government residence since Mao Zedong moved in, following the Chinese revolution in 1949.

4. Vladimir Putin - The Kremlin, Russia

The Kremlin
Source: iStock

The Kremlin is a fortified complex that sits high on Borovitsky Hill, in the centre of Moscow. The property watches over the Moskva River and is the official residence of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Much of the complex, including its fortified walls and towers, were built in the years following 1326 when the Russian Orthodox Church relocated to the city. The name roughly translates to 'fortress within a city', an accurate title when you observe the imposing walls that line the perimeter.

"Much of the complex, including its fortified walls and towers, were built in the years following 1326 when the Russian Orthodox Church relocated to the city."

The Kremlin has been home to the Russian Government since the revolution in 1917, and large parts of it are open to the public, including its museums and cathedrals.

Vladimir Putin lives inside the Grand Kremlin Palace which was built in 1849, and in 2013 he ordered the construction of a helipad to stop the obstruction of motorcades within greater Moscow. How convenient!

5. Emmanuel Macron - Elysee Palace, France

Elysee Palace
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Elysee Palace is the official residence of the French President Emmanuel Macron. The building sits in the middle of Paris, just around the corner from the Arc De Triomphe, and was originally built for Louis Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne in 1722.

The palace's name is derived from Greek mythology and refers to a place reserved for favoured heroes in the afterlife. A perfect example of classical French architecture, Elysee was first used as an official government building in 1848 and in its life has seen many modifications.

"The palace's name is derived from Greek mythology and refers to a place reserved for favoured heroes in the afterlife."

Elysee Palace
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The interior is nothing short of luxurious, with velvet curtains, fine art and gilded finishings. It currently boasts a three-storey central section, two side wings, as well as large courtyards and gardens to the rear where annual Bastille Day celebrations are held.

Check out 8 other French castles that you can buy for less than the average Sydney home.

6. Moon Jae-in - Gwanghwamun, Korea

Gwanghwamun
Source: Storyblocks Video

The traditional residence for the Korean president is Cheong Wa Dae, which translates to 'pavilion of blue tiles' - a stately building constructed from 150,000 blue tiles set to the backdrop of Mount Bugaksan.

But despite the offer for this fine building, the current President has chosen to reside in downtown Seoul - and not just in any old house. President Moon Jae-in has chosen to live in Gwanghwamun, a palace that was first constructed in 1395 by the first King of the Joseon Dynasty. This new location allows the President to be closer to Seoul than the more isolated 'Blue House'.

7. Theresa May - 10 Downing Street, London, United Kingdom

10 Downing Street
Source: Darrell Godliman | Flickr

The official residence for the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, is the infamous 10 Downing Street - home to PMs of Britain since 1735.

You might call the building subtle by the standards of the other buildings on this list, however, that doesn't mean the building isn't equally as impressive within. Even though it looks like a modest townhouse on the outside, the inside is said to be an expansive maze of corridors and hallways.

Over the years, 10 Downing Street has merged with neighbouring buildings, and as the general public isn't allowed inside and no one really knows how big it really is, rumour has it that there are over 100 rooms.

"Even though it looks like a modest townhouse on the outside, the inside is said to be an expansive maze of corridors and hallways."

8. Donald Trump - The White House, USA

The White House
Source: iStock

The White House needs no introduction. Everyone knows that this iconic building is home to one of the most powerful leaders in the world, Donald Trump.

Construction of the House began in 1792 when President George Washington chose Irish architect, James Hoban's design proposal for a newly established federal city. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to move into the now infamous Oval Office before tragedy struck and he died.

The exterior of the building has Greek revival ques, with whitewashed walls and portico columns, but the interior of the building changes with the taste of every president. No doubt that President Donald Trump has made the place feel like home with the addition of his furniture in the 'gilded, triumphal style' of Louis XIV.

9. Narendra Modi - Rashtrapati Bhavan, India

Rashtrapati Bhavan
Source: Make My Trip

The official residence of Indian President Narendra Modi is the massive Rashtrapati Bhavan complex. It's the largest official residence of any head of state in the world and stands on 320 acres of expansive land. The building itself was designed by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, with a style that fuses elements of Indian and Western architecture together.

"It's the largest official residence of any head of state in the world and stands on 320 acres of expansive land."

Rashtrapati Bhavan
Source: Rashtrapati Bhavan

The red sandstone structure is a site to behold, with 227 columns lining the exterior and a copper-clad dome for roofing. The building also includes 37 fountains within gardens and teraces, including the Mughal Gardens, which were inspired by the Taj Mahal. The huge interior holds 340 rooms in total, stretching across 5 acres. That's one big vacuuming job!

10. Shinzo Abe - The Kantei, Japan

The Kantei, Japan
Source: Nikkei Asian Review

In 1929, construction began on the Kantei, a purpose built residence for Japanese leaders. It stood for 73 years before the whole thing was demolished to make room for a new Kantei - twice the size, with five floors above ground and five floors below.

The Kantei
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The building is located in Chiyoda in central Tokyo and is both the home and headquarters of Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The new Kantei incorporates elements of bamboo and stone and is a lot more modern than other buildings on this list. The sleek design is said to evoke the simple beauty of Japanese aesthetic.

Want to have a look at more awe-inspiring properties from around the world? Check out our next article.

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