Is the Royal residence of the English / British monarchy 23 miles from the centre of London. The original castle was built in the 11th century by William the conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been the residence of the reigning monarch. It is the longest occupied castle in Europe.
Henry III built the first luxurious royal residence, however William the conqueror was the first to build here due to its defensive position on the Thames. Edward III rebuilt it to make it even grander, creating what was to be known as the most expensive building project in the Middle Ages in England. His design lasted through Henry VIII and Elizabeth I 's reign , with them both adding further to the palace. In underwent another rebuild in 1660 and in the 18th century further improvements were made to create the castle we see today. Our present Queen was forced to attend work on the palace after the fire that almost destroyed it in 1992.
As part of the tour we were fortunate enough to see the official state rooms. Windsor castle has been home for 39 Monarchs, and as such reflects their tastes, however it mainly reflects the tastes of Charles II and George IV. Charles II set out to rival Louis XIV and Versailles, he modernised the palace and added painted ceilings by Verrio and carvings by Grinling Gibbons. George IV employed an architect and created a new grand entrance, staircase and the Waterloo room. The state apartments are furnished with some very famous works of art, including Ruebens, Rembrandt and Canaletto.
Of course there was a no photo policy, however many people ignored this snapping away on their mobile phones, and even after they were asked to stop by staff they continued to do so at every opportunity.
In 1992 a fire destroyed and damaged more than 100 rooms in the castle. The grand St George's Hall and the grand reception rooms had to be totally rebuilt. Fortunately the staff acted quickly removing as much artwork and furnishings as possible.
This is a grand palace and lavish, however to me it seems more tastefully decorated then Versailles, however in saying that Versailles is a time capsule of how it looked in Louis XIV's time were as Windsor has mellowed over the years.
The original keep ( fortress) above now contains / stores the royal photo's.
St George's Chapel
This chapel is located in the lower ward of Windsor castle. It was founded(as St George's chapel) in 1348 by Edward III however the chapel itself actually was built by Henry III. St George's chapel became the spiritual home of the order of the garter, and a special service is held in the chapel every June that all members of the garter attend.
St George's chapel is also the final resting place of many members of the royal family, including Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, the queens mother father and sister princess Margaret.
It is a stunning chapel , very peaceful.
We headed back to
London arriving at the beautiful Paddington station. I just love the architecture of this train station. Apparently the architect for Paddington station Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was inspired by the crystal palace, in Hyde park. Amazingly his glass roof ( built in 1854) remained intact until 1990's when the station underwent some refurbishment.
Of course Paddington is famous for its very furry passenger who arrived from deepest darkest Peru. Paddington Bear acquired his name As the Brown family found him at Paddington station.
Well that's about it for this post.
We had a lazy afternoon and spent some time enjoying a local called the Ship and Shovel