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Banqueting House

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Address: Whitehall Palace | Horse Guards Avenue, London SW1A 2ER , England
Phone Number: +44 (0)844 482 7777
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a...
This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a Palladian style by Inigo Jones, was finished in 1622 for James I. Intended for the splendour and exuberance of court masques, the Banqueting House is probably most famous for one real life drama: the execution of Charles I which took place here in 1649 to the ‘dismal, universal groan’ of the crowd. One of Charles’ last sights, as he walked through the Banqueting House to his death, was the magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1630-4. Banqueting House is the last and only surviving part of Whitehall Palace, once the largest palace in Europe, destroyed by fire in 1698.
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The most chilled museum I'd ever visited.

I wasn't expecting to spend long here as it is basically one room with an interesting painted ceiling, but ended up having a long and relaxing visit. It stared with an... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 30, 2015
gr33nsp1der
,
Bangor, United Kingdom
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178 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Bangor, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
16 attraction reviews
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015 NEW

I wasn't expecting to spend long here as it is basically one room with an interesting painted ceiling, but ended up having a long and relaxing visit. It stared with an introductory video. I usually hate these but this one explained the history and context without visual gimmicks and without making assumptions about the visitors' prior knowledge. Then you get... More 

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Bude, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
32 attraction reviews
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

The last place on this earth that King Charles 1st saw before he went into history. This place has exceptional historic connections and the film show before you enter the main room was very interesting. The ceiling pictures are so good that you can have a bean bag to lay on and just look up as you listen to the... More 

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tavira
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
33 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

Enjoyed the filmshow which set the scene before visiting the main hall. The mirrors reflecting close ups of the ceiling were great. Useful to have floor cushions to view the ceiling in comfort.

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london
Top Contributor
655 reviews 655 reviews
272 attraction reviews
343 helpful votes 343 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

I last came here around 30 years ago and of course the Rubens ceiling panels were pretty much the same then. What has improved tremendously is the telling of the story via modern technology. You start off with a video in the 'crypt' that last about 15 minutes and is informative and worthwhile. Once you have viewed this you get... More 

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Brisbane, Queensland
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
176 attraction reviews
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015

A visit to Banqueting House consists of a short introductory video and then the main hall with the beautiful Rubens ceilings. The beanbags to sit on while craning your neck up to admire the paintings are a welcome addition and it was great to sit for an hour and listen to the audio guide after a long morning of sightseeing.... More 

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Australia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2015

I really enjoyed my visit here, however you need to know what you are getting yourself in for otherwise you may be tempted to give the Chief Wiggam response I heard in the foyer as two prior viewers were departing; "nothing to see here." This is not a hall in which banquets were held. The interest is really in the... More 

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Millington, Tennessee
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
19 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2015

I was here on Jan. 30 for a special ceremony. There is currently scaffolding covering the building because major conservation is being done. After the exterior is done, they will start in on the interior. The results should be splendid.

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York, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

We've joined Historic Royal Palaces for a year and the Banqueting House is one of the places included. We visited, in true Yorkshire fashion, because we wanted to get our money's worth and we thought it would be quite interesting. We expected to be there 30 mins max but spent over an hour and felt we'd rushed it a bit.... More 

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Melbourne
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2015

Lovely room and ceiling worth a look and, of course, has historical significance - but other than the impressive hall not a lot to see (however, for the modest price it's worth a look if in the area)

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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
67 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

There's not a whole lot to see here, it's ALL about the ceiling, which is pretty impressive! If you're an art lover then it's worth a look. If you're a history buff then it's worth a look - Charles I lost his head here! It's also the last surviving bit of Whitehall Palace. There's an interesting short film which explains... More 

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Westminster
If you only had an afternoon to experience London on a grand scale, Westminster would be a wise place to start. The ornate Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent at a corner of Parliament Square, and a short stroll along The Mall leads to Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are just up the road as well. As captivating as the architecture is, the wonders of Mother Nature are highlights of the area too. St James's Park (arguably London's loveliest), the expansive Green Park, and pedestrian friendly tree lined paths along the river showcase the exquisite manicure provided by English gardeners. Just beyond the landmarks and the gorgeous outdoor spaces, quiet residential squares and age old local pubs offer a more subdued take on this global seat of power in the heart of London.
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