A jewel of a building set amongst ranks of government office blocks. Completed in 1622 this is the only surviving building of Whitehall Palace destroyed by fire in 1698. Commissioned by James I it represents, along with the Queen's House Greenwich designed three years earlier, the introduction of the Italian classical Palladian style into English architecture. Inigo Jones's design is a hall of double cube proportions incorporating a beautiful ceiling added by Rubens in 1630-36 (representing the Apotheosis of James I) and for which he received £3,000 and a knighthood from Charles I. Jones was not only the King's surveyor but also a famous masque designer, the hall being frequently the scene of courtly entertainments with Jones's scenery and costumes. From a window here, Charles I walked to the scaffold and his execution in 1649; at the restoration in 1660, Charles II received the Lords and Commons. Here also in 1689, William and Mary received their formal offer of the throne.
Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Telephone: 020 3166 6154
Address: Whitehall, SW1
Website: Banqueting House
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