Almost immediately across Whitehall from Horse Guards stands the elegant Banqueting House by architect Inigo Jones, completed in 1622, influenced by the classical buildings created by Andrea Palladio and Renaissance styles in Italy. Jones had traveled and studied there, and he was an innovator, the first to adapt Palladian styles in Britain. The building was used for grand occasions: feasts, theatrical masques, and celebrations. For more about Palladian architecture in Britain, click here.
Drawing of the building
The Banqueting House, Whitehall
The magnificent ceiling paintings are the work of Sir Peter Paul Rubens,
who completed them in 1636.
At the center, is The Apotheosis of James I
commissioned by his son, King Charles I.
These are the only ceiling paintings by Rubens still in their original placement.
The main room is a double cube, mathematically precise as these
17th century ideal structures were.
Charles I was beheaded outside the Banqueting House in 1649 after the Civil War.
His son Charles II was returned to the throne in the Restoration of 1660.
At the top of Whitehall is Trafalgar Square; A statue of Charles I stands at the head of the street.