Hampton Court Palace, southwest of London, was the palace of Henry VIII, the brutal ruler of the well-watched television series The Tudors.
the life of Henry VIII
Henry VIII was an English king who reigned from 1509 until his death in 1547. He is most famous for having six wives, two of whom he divorced, and for his role in the English Reformation. He had a daughter, Mary, with Catherine of Aragon, his first wife. The second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, gave birth to Elizabeth. Anne was executed by Henry when she failed to bear a male heir. A third wife, Jane Seymour, eventuallyhim a son, Edward VI. After giving birth, Jane tragically passed away. He dissolved marriage Anne van Kleef after only a few months of marriage because she was not physically attractive to him. The fifth wife of Charles Howard was and young, but unfaithful, and she was executed as a result of her adultery. In the end, Henry married Catherine Parr, his sixth and last wife. She survived him and married Thomas Seymour after he died.
history of the palace
It was Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who built Hampton Court Palace in 1515, but Henry VIII eventually removed him from the role when he became chancellor. When Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to build an extension to the palace in the 17th century, it was already one of the most sophisticated palaces in Europe. During Queen Victoria’s reign, the palace first opened to the public in 1838, featuring a stunning mix of Tudor and ‘understated baroque’ architecture. The palace was opened to the public by her in 1838.
After entering through the large main gate you enter the Base Court. You can get a good sense of the Tudor era from the paneled rooms and arched doorways in the Young Henry VIII’s Story above Base Court.
The Base Court is also home to Andrea Magenta’s nine-painting series entitled The Triumphs of Caesar, which was purchased in 1629 by King Charles I and depicts Julius Caesar returning in triumph to Rome. There are steps in Anne Boleyn’s Gateway that lead to Henry VIII’s Apartments, including the breathtaking Great Hall. Next to the Horn Room, which is adorned with beautiful antlers, the Great Watching Room, where guards monitored the King’s every move, is where guards controlled access to the King.
Henry VIII’s kitchen
As the largest kitchens in Tudor England, Henry VIII’s kitchens at Hampton Court Palace were one of the largest in the world. More than 200 cooks, sergeants, grooms and pageboys worked every day to prepare more than 800 meals for Henry VIII’s hungry household.
No one should leave Hampton Court without visiting the half-mile maze. The Hampton Court Palace Maze is the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze. Built around 1700 by order of William III, this maze spans 3 hectares and is known for its many twists, turns, and dead ends, which can be confusing to visitors. On average, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the center of the maze. This maze was designed by George London and Henry Wise and has a trapezoidal shape. It was originally planted with hornbeams, but then replanted with yews.
Hampton Court Palace is a must see destination for lovers of history and the British Kingdom.
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how do you get there?
tickets can be purchased for Hampton Court station at London Waterloo train station. The direct train runs every half hour.