The last royal palace of the ultimate Burmese monarch, Kings Mindon and Thebaw's one-time residence was built between 1857 and 1859 in accordance with Buddha's prophecy that, in the year 2400 (1857 in the Gregorian calendar), a "great city" would be built at the bottom of Mandalay Hill. The east-facing palace is inside a walled fort whose four 1.24-mile walls form a perfect square. Part of the palace was transported by elephant from then-kingdom Amarapura. When the palace was later looted by invading British troops, many artifacts were swiped, and some can now be seen at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. During WWII, the Japanese took over the palace and, when bombs hit the city, it was almost entirely destroyed, with only the mint and one watchtower (which can be climbed today) surviving the attack. The structure that now stands was built in 1989 and is a faithful re-creation of the original. The palace itself is an important sight, but what's even more interesting is the village inside the citadel walls, where locals go about their daily business within spitting distance of what were once Burma's most hallowed halls.