Living up to the meaning of its name, “Royal Seat,” the Gaddi Baithak UNESCO World Heritage Site in Durbar Square is where the kings of Nepal were once crowned and legitimized and welcomed heads of state and other high-ranking foreign guests.
The United States Embassy in Nepal founded the Gaddi Baithak Restoration Project to make a case for the palace to be repaired and restored instead of it being left for eventual demolition. About one-third of Nepal’s culturally significant heritage buildings (137) were completely destroyed in the earthquake. Another 444 were severely damaged.
The project is one of the first cultural restoration and retrofit projects post-earthquake. It is the first neoclassical building to be restored, structurally strengthened and repaired in the country. Therefore, the project serves as the precedence and will define engineering practices and methods that will constitute the Department of Archaeology (DoA) guidelines for future retrofitting of this type of historical building.
The entire project was generously funded by a grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. The implementing partner is Miyamoto Relief.