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Apsley House

Apsley House (102)

Famous for being the residence of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, who in 1815 defeated Napoleon in the famous Battle of Waterloo, this lavish home, on Hyde Park Corner, was designed by the architect Robert Adam and built between 1771 and 1778.

The origin of the name of the house must be found in its first owner, the Baron of Apsley, who entrusted the design to Robert Adam. The property passed into the ownership of Wellesley in 1807. 

The current aspect of the mansion is due to the intervention of the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt, who at the behest of the Duke of Wellington reformed the original building. The works consisted of enlarging and recovering the façade which until then was brick with Bath stone. The Corinthian portico also dates from this period.

These remodellings reflected the growing importance of the Duke of Wellington, who with his status of military hero added to a brilliant political career, reaching its peak in 1828 with his rise to the post of Prime Minister. The lavishness of the rooms is also due to the fact that until 1852 they were, every 18th of June, the setting for a magnificent banquet to celebrate the victory at Waterloo.

Although his descendants, who donated the house to the State in 1947, still live in some private rooms, you will be able to visit some of the luxurious interiors. It is decorated with numerous porcelain and metal trophies and decorations and precious metals that the duke accumulated during his glorious military career, as well as many works of art by great artists. 

In the space of the central stairway of the house there is a colossal statue of Napoleon, Wellesley’s great enemy, sculpted by Antonio Canova. As well as this sculpture, you will also be able to see canvases painted by grand masters such as Rubens, Murillo, Goya or Velázquez.

To complete the visit, you can go to Wellington Arch, the triumphal arch erected in honour of this famous military officer and politician, which is also on Hyde Park Corner. 

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