Banqueting House, London

We stumbled upon this treasure, because the line was too long at the Churchill War Room.  We were so happy to find this.  The Banqueting House was part of the original palace at Whitehall.  The building was used by the King for the reception of foreign ambassadors and to stage elaborate masques, which were more like theatrical presentations.  The architect was Inigo Jones and the amazing ceiling frescoes were painted by Peter Paul Rubens.  The interior painting was commissioned by Charles I and meant to honor his father, James I.  About a decade later, Charles I was executed just outside the Banqueting House.

There is an excellent audio for the interior.  Since the highlight is the spectacular ceiling, there are comfortable bean bags chairs around the room to make viewing comfortable.  It only takes about a half-hour, but it is well worth a stop by and it was convenient to the Household Calvary Museum and many other points of interest.


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