The Banqueting House is the last major survivor of the Palace of Whitehall, once the greatest palace of its time in Europe, which was almost totally destroyed by fire in 1698.
When it was completed in 1622, the new building caused a sensation. Inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Rome, architect Inigo Jones created a building for King James I unlike anything Londoners had ever seen. This revolutionary building hosted some of the most exuberant and decadent masques – royal theatrical performances – ever performed, and some of the most splendid state receptions. It also saw the installation of the magnificent baroque ceiling paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, which is the only complete, large-scale series of the artist's paintings to remain in its original location. Charles I would soon walk beneath them on the way to his execution just outside the building. The Banqueting House has also been a royal chapel, museum, and is now restored to its former glory as a popular banqueting venue and historic building.
Whitehall, London, Greater London SW1A 2ER England
0844 482 7777
Before making a visit, check opening hours with the venue