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The Wellington Museum – A Museum with a Difference

Famously known as ‘Number 1 London’, Apsley House was the splendid home of the first Duke of Wellington.  The house displays many aspects of his life, especially his magnificent art collections that include works by Velazquez, Rubens, Van Dyck and Goya that are exhibited on the first floor. The Duke’s excellent collections of porcelain, silver, sculpture. Furniture and memorabilia are also displayed in the stunning interiors of the house.

Also known as The Wellington Museum, Apsley House was bought by the Duke after his victory at Waterloo and suitably modified by him. He added the Waterloo Gallery which was extensively used by him for the large number of lavish banquets that he held. It was opened as the Wellington Museum in 1952 as a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Inside the museum there is a magnificent collection of paintings and gifts that he had received after the war. It also exhibits the 83 pictures that he had captured at the Battle of Victoria. These paintings were in Joseph Bonaparte’s baggage train and formed a part of what was called ‘the biggest loot in history’ and most of which was lost after the battle. However the Duke of Wellington decided to return the paintings, which included works from the Spanish Royal Collection but King Ferdinand VII of Spain presented the paintings to Wellington saying that they were ‘well deserved’.

If you are visiting London and would like to stay close to most attractions, particularly Apsley House, it would be best to stay at Park Grand Paddington Court as it offers luxurious accommodation with the best of facilities and is located in the heart of London, close to most attractions.

Not all the paintings acquired by the Duke have been put up for public display and were kept in a private part of the house. However, three newly attributed Titians went on display for the first time in the twenty-first century. The other exhibits include Wilkie’s “Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Waterloo Despatch”, portraits of his comrades at arms, and Napoleon with his family.

Guests staying at Park Grand Paddington Court London can not only enjoy luxurious accommodation but also a strategic location that is close to most places of interest.

The Waterloo Gallery has been renovated with banqueting table and magnificent Portuguese silver gilt dinner service. Apsley House stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park facing south towards the busy traffic roundabout in the centre of which stands the Wellington Arch. It is a Grade I listed building.

English Heritage now runs the Apsley House and this museum and art gallery is open to the public. Part of the building is still under the control of the 9th Duke of Wellington. The house is probably the only one of an English aristocratic town house from its period, still existing. Efforts are always made to preserve and maintain the rooms in the same original style and decor as far as possible.

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