Queen's House

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The Queen's House, Greenwich
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The Queen's House, Greenwich

The Queen's House, Greenwich, (designed by architect Inigo Jones for Anne of Denmark (the queen of King James I of England) and afterwards used by Queen Henrietta Maria) is one of the most important buildings in British architectural history. It is a gleaming white Palladian villa which is regarded as the first consciously classical building to have been built in the United Kingdom. Some earlier British buildings such as Longleat had made borrowings from the classical style, but these were restricted to small details and were not applied in a systematic way. Nor was the form of these buildings informed by an understanding of classical precedents. This Queens House would have appeared revolutionary to British eyes in its day.

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Queenshouse.jpg
The Queen's House viewed from Observatory Hill

The Queen's House is located in Greenwich, London. It was built as an adjunct to the Tudor Palace of Placentia at Greenwich, which was a rambling mainly red brick building in a vernacular style and would have presented a dramatic contrast of appearance to the newer building. However the palace was demolished later in the Seventeenth Century and replaced by the Greenwich Hospital which is often referred to as the Royal Naval College after a former use. The Queen's House is connected to the Hospital by colonades and forms the centrepiece of an impressive architectural ensemble which stretches from the Thames to Greenwich Park.

The Queen's House belongs to English Heritage and is open to the public free of charge. It was entensively restored in the early 1990s and contains a collection of protraits of naval figures.

The "Queen's House" was also the designation of Buckingham Palace, when it was Queen Charlotte's residence during the reign of George III.

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