Like I said in the previous post about Brighton, I really didn’t know much about the city apart from its pier and the fact it was the place for attempted assassination of then Prime Minister Margret Thatcher. So I decided to download an iPhone guide app for Brighton. It was while looking through this app that I stumbled onto the Royal Pavilion. As you can see with the picture below, the pavilion looked like something more at home in India, than the English Seaside.
This is why our first sight in Brighton was the Pavilion. The history behind this building is very interesting as it started out as Prince George’s (who later became king) seaside retreat. The building evolved from a simple farmhouse to the extravagant, exotic and slightly out of place building we see today. The oriental palace we see today took 35 years to create as George grew more powerful and wealthy.
The exterior was based on an Indian style by Architect John Nash. The aim of the Prince and the architect was to create a romantic exterior with the composition of domes, towers and minarets. The exterior is stunning and conjures images of India, especially if photographed out of contexts as you can see below.
The interior, well, that was completely different. Tthe fanciful interior design, primarily by Frederick Crace and the little-known decorative painter Robert Jones, is 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. Unfortunately photography is not allowed inside the pavilion, so I searched for some photo’s online to give you an idea of the interior.
What was interesting about the Pavilion was the fact that it reminded me very much of the Palacio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal as it is just as fanciful and out of place in its setting.
To anyone visiting Brighton, I highly recommend this sight, so don’t worry about paying the almost £10 entry fee as it is worth every penny and consider that you also get an audio guide to give more information on this fascinating place.