The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is a Grade I listed former royal residence located in Brighton, England. Beginning in 1787, it was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century. The current appearance of the Pavilion, with its domes and minarets, is the work of architect John Nash, who extended the building starting in 1815.
The Prince of Wales, who later became George IV, first visited Brighton in 1783, at the age of 21. The seaside town had become fashionable through the residence of George’s uncle, Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland, whose tastes for cuisine, gaming, the theatre, and fast living the young prince shared, and with whom he lodged in Brighton at Grove House. In addition, the Prince of Wales was advised by his physician that the seawater would be beneficial for his gout. In 1786, under a financial cloud with investigation by Parliament for the extravagances incurred in building Carlton House, London, the Prince rented a modest erstwhile farmhouse facing the Old Steine, a grassy area of Brighton used as a promenade by visitors. Remote from the Royal Court in London, the Pavilion was a discreet location for the Prince to enjoy liaisons with his long-time companion, Maria Fitzherbert. The Prince had wished to marry her, and did so in secrecy, as her Roman Catholic religion prohibited his marrying her under the Royal Marriages Act 1772.
The richly decorated Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion, from John Nash’s Views of the Royal Pavilion (1826).
In 1787 the Prince commissioned the designer of Carlton House, Henry Holland, to enlarge the existing building. It became one wing of the Marine Pavilion, flanking a central rotunda, which contained three main rooms: a breakfast room, dining room, and library, fitted out in Holland’s French-influenced neoclassical style, with decorative paintings by Biagio Rebecca. In 1801–02 the Pavilion was enlarged with a new dining room and conservatory, to designs of Peter Frederick Robinson, who worked in Holland’s office. The Prince also purchased land surrounding the property, on which a grand riding school and stables were built in an Indian style in 1803–08, to designs by William Porden. These provided stabling for 60 horses and dwarfed the Marine Pavilion.
Between 1815 and 1822 the designer John Nash redesigned and greatly extended the Pavilion, and it is his work that is still visible today. The palace is striking in the middle of Brighton, for its Indo-Islamic exterior is unique. The fanciful interior design, primarily by Frederick Crace and the little-known decorative painter Robert Jones, was heavily influenced by both Chinese and Indian fashion (with Mughal and Islamic architectural elements). It is a prime example of the exoticism that was an alternative to more classicising mainstream taste in the Regency style.
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El Royal Pavillion de Brighton, también conocido como el antiguo Palacio de verano de la familia real inglesa, es hoy uno de los reclamos turísticos de Brighton. Siente el placer de pasear por sus jardines o admirar su arquitectura hindú y sus decoraciones de estilo asiático.
Historia del Royal Pavillion de Brighton
El Rey Jorge IV se enamoró de la ciudad de Brighton y de su clima atípico de Inglaterra, es por ello que decidió instalar allí su residencia de verano construyendo un Palacio típico de las tierras del norte de la India. Hizo traer mobiliario y decorados asiáticos, así como vajilla de porcelana china, lámparas del Siam y alfombras de Pakistán. Este suntuoso Palacio dejó de ser residencia de verano durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, ya que se transformó en hospital para los solados hindúes que acudieron a la contienda.
Actualmente el Palacio es un museo público en el cual se exponen las joyas cedidas por la familia Real, además de cuantiosas obras pictóricas y escultóricas que decoraron (y decoran) las estancias del Palacio.
Los jardines forman el parque público de la ciudad donde poder disfrutar de un buen picnic y sentirnos como verdaderos reyes.
Muchos son los visitantes que acuden cada año a la ciudad de Brighton, y la mayoría de ellos vienen para visitar el Royal Pavillion, considerado como patrimonio de la humanidad por la Unesco debido a la riqueza cultural que el palacio residencial aguarda tras sus puertas. No podemos dejar pasar la oportunidad de disfrutar de una belleza que representó y representa el poder del antiguo Imperio Británico.