More than four centuries ago, in A.D. 1559, Rana Udai Singh II the father of Rana Pratap, laid the Foundation of the City Palace after the birth of his grandson Amar Singh I and on the advice of a Hermit Goswami Prem Giriji Maharaj, who had a small hut on this hill. The enormous complex of the old palace standing on a low ridge called Rana Magri (Rana’s Hill) overlooking lake Pichola on the west is a tribute to the constructive genius and architectural taste of the Maharana's of Mewar, ranging from Rana Udai Singh II to the present 76th Custodian of House of Mewar, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar.
It has been so planned and integrated with the original building that the entire structure assumes a shape of one edifice from the exterior, with canopies, towers, domes, cupolas, bastions, beautifully carved balconies and ornamental turrets.
The City Palace built by Rana Udai Singh II has been added to and extended by the successive generations of Maharanas, notably by Rana Karan Singh, and Rana Sangram Singh II. Maharana Sajjan Singh and Maharana Fateh Singh further expanded the palace in the 19th century.
The building is a unique depiction of the architectural and artistic evolution of Mewar through centuries. The City Palace has always been a self-sufficient developing centre within itself and shall continue to grow into an ideal prototype of a living palace complex.
The City Palace Museum, Udaipur was set up in 1969 by Maharana Bhagwat Singh ji to safeguard and preserve the cultural heritage and the time honoured traditions of the people of Mewar.