07 September 2011
The buildings of the Old Royal Naval College, one of London’s most famous riverside landmarks, have attracted visitors from around the world for hundreds of years. Before Sir Christopher Wren’s buildings of the Royal Hospital for Seamen were built, a Tudor Palace stood on the site. Ambassadors from the royal courts of Europe were regular visitors, and the sumptuous Palace and its royal inhabitants hosted many banquets and jousting tournaments. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Royal Hospital buildings were a refuge for naval veterans. Sailors recruited into the Royal Navy from far and wide – from the Caribbean to the East Indies – came to Greenwich to live out their final days in peace.
From 1873 to 1998, the Royal Naval College was established in the buildings. The College quickly became the most highly rated naval officers’ training college in Europe. Students from overseas navies who wanted to gain a detailed knowledge of modern naval practice came to study in Greenwich, with officers from Russia, Japan and China among the first arrivals.
Today our on-site partners are the University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, each of whom have a high proportion of international students, who greatly appreciate the value of studying in such a historic environment. The one 1.5 million visitors who come to the buildings of the Old Royal Naval College each year ensure that our global cultural connections are continuing into the future.
Posted by Jo Hall, Old Royal Naval College
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