Close to the Palace is the renowned mountaintop fortress; the Citadelle Laferrière, built under decree by Henri Christophe to repell a feared French invasion. France, the former colonial power in Haiti, did not recognize Haiti's independence before the 1820s.
Crippled by a stroke, King Henri I committed suicide on the grounds of the palace on October 8, 1820. According to Haitian legend, he shot himself with a silver bullet. He was subsequently buried in the Citadelle.
His son and heir, Jacques-Victor Henry, Prince Royal of Haiti was bayoneted to death by revolutionaries at the Palace on October 18, 1820.
A severe earthquake in 1842 destroyed a considerable part of the palace and devastated the nearby city of Cap-Haïtien; the palace was never rebuilt. The palace (before its destruction) are acknowledged by many to be the Caribbean equivalent of the Palace of Versailles in France.
UNESCO designated it—and the Citadelle—World Heritage Sites in 1982.