Standing between these fantastic buildings of the past history looking on over the Thames and to the modern Canary wharf buildings.
The Royal Naval Hospital
William III did not want to live at Greenwich, preferring Kensington, and eventually his Queen, Mary, decided to build a naval alms-house, the Royal Naval Hospital, on the site of the old palace, incorporating the King Charles Block. Sir Christopher Wren was engaged as surveyor, assisted by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Wren, probably realising that he would not live to see the work to completion, insisted that the footings for all four blocks be laid first, so that later trustees or architects could not change his design substantially. Later a number of other leading architects were also involved, such as Campbell, Ripley and James. The main work took place between 1696 and 1712, although the construction was not finished completely until 1752.
The buildings comprise four separate blocks, each with its central courtyard. Along the riverside are King Charles Block and Queen Anne Block, and behind them to the south are King William Block and Queen Mary Block. The latter two are the domed buildings which contain the two main points of interest for the visitor, the Painted Hall and the Chapel.
The Painted Hall is a masterpiece of decoration. The artist was Sir James Thornhill, and it took him nineteen years to complete the work, finishing in 1727. He was paid three pounds a square yard for the ceiling and one pound a square yard for the walls. The Hall was designed as a dining room for the pensioners, but proved to small for the population. It was not used for this purpose again until 1939, when the Navy used it as their Mess until 1998. In 1806 the body of Nelson lay in state in the Painted Hall until he was taken upriver by funeral barge for burial at St Pauls Cathedral.
The interior of the Chapel, situated in the Queen Mary Block, was destroyed by fire in 1779 and was redesigned by James 'Athenian' Stuart in a completely different style, using intricate patterns of plaster mouldings on pale Wedgewood coloured backgrounds. Services recommenced in 1789 and continue to the present day.
In 1705 the first disabled or retired seamen came to live in the hospital, the numbers rising to about three thousand by 1814, after which they declined sharply, mainly because of the end of the Napoleonic wars. Despite the magnificence of the buildings in which they were housed, there were many complaints about poor food and pettiness on the part of the trustees. For even minor offences the old pensioners were forced to wear their uniform coats inside out; the yellow lining making them very noticeable and causing unnecessary humiliation to the proud old sea-dogs. By 1869 the numbers had fallen so low that it was decided to close the hospital.
Critiques | Translate
dta (79525) 2014-01-27 1:23
Hello IAin ,
I like here the strong effect of the distortion . It looks like ifeach building wanted to lean twards the other one .
Romano46 (18472) 2014-01-27 2:16
splendida la composizione con le diagonali che convergono verso l'infinito e eccellenti anche i colori con la contrapposizione del verde del prato all'azzuro un po' movimentato del cielo.
Una foto molto ben riuscita.
Ciao e buona settimana
Nicou (145114) 2014-01-27 2:18
quel ensembble sueprbe vue et cpatage quel contraste entre le deux parties de cahque côté les colonnes et ce jardin vert et en fond la modernité avec ces idiffices sueprbe ensmeble et vue.
Bravo et amitié
chrislo (4097) 2014-01-27 3:43
It seems these buildings have been designed to offer the viewer a nice symmetric view. Great perspective with the pathway making a good lead-in to the modern BG towers. The lens distortion gave the buildings a leaning tower of Pisa effect. Nice capture.
snunney (101602) 2014-01-27 4:58
The point of view is splendid, pointing out the differences in styles between Wren's classical architecture and the modern high rise buildings of Canary Wharf to be seen in the background. The people animate the scene and give a sense of scale. Excellent technical presentation.
Oceania (5202) 2014-01-27 7:26
It's a great picture of great architecture from UK. The symmetrical composition is wonderful, a very nice job well done!
fabbs99 (17167) 2014-01-27 19:41
A nice and interesting view of the Royal Naval Hospital with good sharpness, depth, beautiful light and color. Thanks for sharing this good work.
emka (100793) 2014-01-27 23:40
Nice composition from famous Greenwich buildings. I would be tempted to correct perspective a bit, but it looks great in this way too. Nice mixture of old and new architecture.
I was on the equator (yellow line dividing Southern and Northern hemisphere) and could jump on it, I would like to do the same with East and West.
Yes, we have finally quite a lot of snow, I even bought yesterday a new shovel to remove it from the pavement. But I have posted already many photos of warsaw under snow, so I wait for other pleces with winter atmosphere (soon! the next week :).
Warm :) regards
dkmurphys (60683) 2014-01-31 3:33
Well chosen pov, I like the symmetry and the fresh green grass color. Good catch, enjoy the weekend.