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Majestic Palaces of London

London is certainly famed for its majestic palaces with their rich historical background. The amazing mixes of architectural styles of the palaces from its original state and their numerous subsequent renovations have created a grandeur and mystery that is unmistakably London, for which visitors and residents alike have always been fascinated and intrigued. Let us take a tour to some of the grand palaces of London:

Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace is most definitely a property that lets visitors relive the grand life of two very different eras.  In the 14th century, English kings spent Christmas in a grand palace here.  The Tudors used it as a base for deer-hunting but it fell to ruin after the Civil War (1642-48).  In 1935, Stephen Courtauld of the wealthy textile family restored the Great Hall which, apart from the bridge over the moat, was the only part of the medieval palace to survive.  Next to it he built a house described as "a wonderful combination of Hollywood glamour and Art Deco design."  It has been beautifully restored and is open, along with the Great Hall, the carp-filled moat and the 1930s garden.

Buckingham Palace

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Buckingham Palace is both office and home to the British monarchy.  The original Buckingham House was transformed into a palace by John Nash for George IV (reigned 1820-30). However, both he and his brother William IV (reigned 1830-37) died before the work was finished, and Queen Victoria became the first monarch to live at the palace.  The present east front, facing the Mall, was added to Nash's conversion in 1913.  The State Rooms are open to the public in summer. 

Fulham Palace

The home of the Bishops of London from the 8th century until 1973, the oldest part of Fulham Palace to survive date from the 15th century.  The palace stands in own landscaped gardens northwest of Putney Bridge.  It is here that the annual Oxford versus Cambridge Boat Race begins.

Kensington Palace

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Half of this spacious palace is used as lavish royal apartments, the other half, which includes the 18th century staterooms, is open to the public.  When William III and his wife Mary came to the throne in 1689, they bought a mansion, dating from 1605, and commissioned Christopher Wren to convert it into a palace.  Highlights of the Kensington Palace include the finely decorated state rooms, which conjures the mood of 17th- and 18th-century court life once conducted here.  On the ground floor, an exhibition of court dress from 1760 to the present includes those worn by Queen Elizabeth II.  There is also a permanent display of Princess Diana's dresses. 

Lambeth Palace

The Lambeth Palace has been the London seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior cleric in the Church of England, for eight centuries.  The chapel and its undercroft contain features from the 13th century, but a large part of the rest of the building is far more recent.  It has been frequently restored, most recently by Edward Blore in 1828.  The Tudor gatehouse, on the other hand, dates from 1485 and is one of London's most attractive riverside landmarks.

St. James's Palace

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Built by Henry VIII in the late 1530s on the site of a former leper hospital, St. James's Palace was a primary royal residence only briefly, mainly during the reign of Elizabeth I and during the 17th and early 18th centuries.  Queen Elizabeth II made her very first speech as queen here in 1952, and foreign diplomats are still officially accredited to the Court of St. James.  Its northern gatehouse, seen from St. James's Street, is one of London's most notable Tudor landmarks. 

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Comments (2)

very well done

Nicely done!

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