Explore Rubens' ceiling in super close-up detail

Discover the characters and details of Rubens' masterpiece using new super-zoom technology

Discover the characters and details of Rubens' masterpiece using new super-zoom technology

When

  • Daily

Ticketing information

Devices are permanently installed in the Banqueting House and the virtual tour is included in the price of your admission ticket.

During busy periods, a small number of extra devices are available from a member of staff.

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Get an artists' eye view of Rubens' ceiling, down to the level of individual brush strokes added during its creation in the 17th century.

Created using 4,000 high-resolution photos of the ceiling, this new interactive tablet display uses digital super-zoom technology to bring Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece to life.

The accompanying virtual tour includes stories behind the scene's characters and symbols, as well as some unexpected and easy-to-miss details.

The tour is available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, and Italian. A British Sign Language (BSL) version will be available from summer 2019.

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Close image of Rubens' ceiling at Banqueting House, showing a cherub riding an animal

The crowning glory of the Banqueting House

The Union of the Crowns Rubens ceiling

The Rubens' ceiling is believed to have been commissioned by Charles I in 1629-30. The ceiling includes a powerful depiction of Charles’ father, James VI and I, James VI and I, being carried up to heaven on the wings of a huge eagle.

Just a decade later, after his fall from power, Charles walked under his magnificent ceiling on his way to his execution, on a scaffold erected just outside the Banqueting Hall.

Exterior of Banqueting House with Whitehall in the foreground under a blue, partially cloudy sky
Things to see

Walk in the footsteps of the condemned King and stand on the spot of Charles I's execution, just outside Banqueting House.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Things to see

Experience James I's breathtaking Banqueting Hall, created in 1622 as a venue for extravagant Jacobean entertainments.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Arches lit by candlelight in the Undercroft of Banqueting House Whitehall, London
Things to see

Explore the vaulted drinking den beneath the Banqueting House, which was used by James I for decadent royal parties.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Exterior of Banqueting House at night with Whitehall in the foreground under a clear sky.

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