Friday, April 15, 2011

The Old Royal Naval College

The painting on the Ceiling below represents triumph of Peace and Liberty over Tyrany and pays tribute to William and Mary and British maritime power.

After my visit to the Greenwich Market, I proceeded to visit The Old Royal Naval College. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren during the reign of William and Queen Mary in 1694 for the relief and support of seamen and their dependants but as the nineteenth century wore on, the numbers of Pensioners declined and the Hospital finally closed in 1869. Soon after this, it became a naval training place for officers from around the world but this soon ended when they moved out in 1998.

One of the most beautiful feature of the old Royal Naval College was The Painted Hall, probably the finest dining hall in the Western world. It is decorated with stunning paintings by James Thornhill who took 19 years to finish it. He did such a fine job that he was eventually knighted. Today, visitors from the world come to see it in the day while at night, special event dinners are organised. During my visit, the hall was spectacularly lit by electric candlelights.The visual would be complete with a grand feast like in the Harry Potter movies. Though there wouldn't be magical flying objects, the scene would nevertheless be as spectacular !

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