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Somerset House is a historic building erected in central London on the south side of the Strand, east of Waterloo Bridge. This is a large-scale structure that occupies an entire block near the Thames. It is a monument of classicism by the architect William Chambers. This is a rather impressive complex of buildings with a height of 182 meters in front.
Somerset House was originally a palace that belonged to the first Duke of Somerset - Edward Seymour, a relative and adviser to the king. In the middle of the 16th century, his city residence was located here. However, soon the duke, who was distinguished by his waywardness, went into disgrace, and Somerset House became the property of the state treasury. After that, the residence has seen many noble persons. During the reign of Mary Tudor, the palace sheltered the queen's sister, Elizabeth, and in the 17th century - the consort of a number of kings. At that time, the palace underwent its first redevelopment, which was carried out by Inigo Jones.
Chambers took up the reconstruction of the building much later - in the 18th century. He expanded the palace by completing a number of buildings - the north and east wings. The buildings are Victorian in style.
In the 19th century, Somerset House acquired public importance, it began to be used by government civil services and some scientific societies, the patronage of which was provided by the throne. The palace housed the Royal Society and the Antiques Society for a time. The building gained new life in the late 20th century, when Somerset House acquired the status of a center for the visual arts. The main terrace over the Thames was rebuilt and opened to the public.
Somerset House offers an audiovisual exhibition about the history of the building, a collection of decorative art items and the Hermitage Halls, where exhibits temporarily borrowed from the St. Petersburg Hermitage are exhibited. The east wing of the building houses the music department of King's College London. They also come to Somerset House to look at the gilded barge of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, which can be seen from the wing overlooking the Thames.
The central courtyard of the attraction turns into an ice rink in winter. In summer you can see beautiful fountains here. In the middle of summer, Somerset House hosts the Summer Series concerts, where popular musical groups perform.
In addition, the palace is famous for the fact that in 2008 the film The Duchess was filmed there.
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Topic: Somerset House in the UK, London Resort.