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Blenheim Palace - birthplace of Winston Churchill

Blenheim Palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987

Blenheim Palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987

Throughout the palace was an art exhibition called Victory is Not an Option by Italian Maurizio Cattelan; this piece is We'll Never Die evoking an 1874 sculpture of Joan of Arc

Throughout the palace was an art exhibition called Victory is Not an Option by Italian Maurizio Cattelan; this piece is We'll Never Die evoking an 1874 sculpture of Joan of Arc

This, largely inaccurate, model of Blenheim Palace is made from 100,000  matchsticks!; the palace is just 8 miles north of Oxford

This, largely inaccurate, model of Blenheim Palace is made from 100,000+ matchsticks!; the palace is just 8 miles north of Oxford

The ceiling of the Great Hall is 20 meters high and was painted by James Thornhill who also painted the dome at St. Paul's Cathedral

The ceiling of the Great Hall is 20 meters high and was painted by James Thornhill who also painted the dome at St. Paul's Cathedral

The Triumph of the Duke of Marlborough, 1720, is the ceiling painting in the saloon; the Peace Treaty of Utrecht was about to be signed, so all the elements in the painting represent the coming of peace

The Triumph of the Duke of Marlborough, 1720, is the ceiling painting in the saloon; the Peace Treaty of Utrecht was about to be signed, so all the elements in the painting represent the coming of peace

This self-portrait of Maurizio Cattelan is asking us to reflect on the ways we are used to seeing influential and powerful people represented; the current Duke of Marlborough and his family still live here

This self-portrait of Maurizio Cattelan is asking us to reflect on the ways we are used to seeing influential and powerful people represented; the current Duke of Marlborough and his family still live here

This drummer boy is based on Grass's 1959 novel The Tin Drum which tells the story of a boy who wills himself to stay a child through WW2; the motif of the drumming becomes like an act of resistance

This drummer boy is based on Grass's 1959 novel The Tin Drum which tells the story of a boy who wills himself to stay a child through WW2; the motif of the drumming becomes like an act of resistance

This is where Cattelan's $6 million gold toilet entitled America was before thieves stole it last week; the work highlighted how we all share the same bodily needs regardless of economic or social differences; sadly, it has still not been recovered

This is where Cattelan's $6 million gold toilet entitled America was before thieves stole it last week; the work highlighted how we all share the same bodily needs regardless of economic or social differences; sadly, it has still not been recovered

This was Winston's baby saddle as he learned to ride his horse, Rob Roy; there was an exhibition within the palace dedicated to Churchill's life

This was Winston's baby saddle as he learned to ride his horse, Rob Roy; there was an exhibition within the palace dedicated to Churchill's life

The Great Court had a walkway of Union Jack flags by Cattelan alluding to Britain's history of colonialism and political conflict; if you take public transit, you get 30% o the palace admission price

The Great Court had a walkway of Union Jack flags by Cattelan alluding to Britain's history of colonialism and political conflict; if you take public transit, you get 30% of the palace admission price

This is the bed in which Winston Churchill was born (prematurely) in 1874; his mother was here attending a party when she suddenly went into labor

This is the bed in which Winston Churchill was born (prematurely) in 1874; his mother was here attending a party when she suddenly went into labor

At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough's marriage to American railroad heiress, Consuelo Vanderbilt

At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough's marriage to American railroad heiress, Consuelo Vanderbilt

The Temple of Diana is where Winston proposed to his girlfriend Clementine; they were married just a month later with the marriage lasting 56 years (when Winston died)

The Temple of Diana is where Winston proposed to his girlfriend Clementine; they were married just a month later with the marriage lasting 56 years (when Winston died)

Cattelan has created a miniature replica Sistine Chapel; he suggests that the act of copying can in fact be an act of creation

Cattelan has created a miniature replica Sistine Chapel; he suggests that the act of copying can in fact be an act of creation

Efforts are underway to restore the Great Lake which has silted up so the Great Cascade is not so great right now; considerable evidence suggested ongoing efforts to improve the property

Efforts are underway to restore the Great Lake which has silted up so the Great Cascade is not so great right now; considerable evidence suggested ongoing efforts to improve the property

Blenheim Palace, is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace

Blenheim Palace, is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace

The Column of Victory, 1730, was built to commemorate the Duke of Marlborough's military successes; it was inspired by the pillar in the Piazza Navona in Rome

The Column of Victory, 1730, was built to commemorate the Duke of Marlborough's military successes; it was inspired by the pillar in the Piazza Navona in Rome

The Long Library has an English oak floor laid in 1722 and contains 10,000  volumes; it was originally envisioned as a picture gallery

The Long Library has an English oak floor laid in 1722 and contains 10,000+ volumes; it was originally envisioned as a picture gallery

The 1891 Willis (any relation Evan?) Organ is believed to be the largest in a private home in the UK; it is still in use during the annual Churchill Memorial Concerts

The 1891 Willis (any relation Evan?) Organ is believed to be the largest in a private home in the UK; it is still in use during the annual Churchill Memorial Concerts

The palace does not have much in the way of gardens but does have massive, centuries-old trees that are impressive; like practically every estate we've seen in the UK, Capability Brown worked on the landscape design

The palace does not have much in the way of gardens but does have massive, centuries-old trees that are impressive; like practically every estate we've seen in the UK, Capability Brown worked on the landscape design

Colorful zebra finch in the butterfly house; in the 1800s the family was in severe financial trouble and sold off paintings and other artwork in an effort to keep the palace

Colorful zebra finch in the butterfly house; in the 1800s the family was in severe financial trouble and sold off paintings and other artwork in an effort to keep the palace

This Giant Swallowtail butterfly was in the butterfly house in the Family Pleasure Garden; this garden is well away from the house with most people taking the miniature train to get there

This Giant Swallowtail butterfly was in the butterfly house in the Family Pleasure Garden; this garden is well away from the house with most people taking the miniature train to get there

Blenheim Palace was intended to be a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the Battle of Blenheim

Blenheim Palace was intended to be a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the Battle of Blenheim

In the Family Pleasure Gardens is the world's largest symbolic maze; cars were backed up for miles trying to visit the palace on this gorgeous September day

In the Family Pleasure Gardens is the world's largest symbolic maze; cars were backed up for miles trying to visit the palace on this gorgeous September day

The Third State Room is often called the Boulle Room because of all the Boulle-style furniture; Boulle, the greatest French cabinetmaker, is renowned for the inlay of tortoiseshell, brass and pewter into ebony

The Third State Room is often called the Boulle Room because of all the Boulle-style furniture; Boulle, the greatest French cabinetmaker, is renowned for the inlay of tortoiseshell, brass and pewter into ebony

When approaching from behind this piece looks like a little boy before being revealed as Hitler; this piece is a reminder of a single man's power to create horror and pain that would change the course of history

When approaching from behind this piece looks like a little boy before being revealed as Hitler; this piece is a reminder of a single man's power to create horror and pain that would change the course of history

First State Room; covering the walls are a couple of the Blenheim tapestries, each depicting a different campaign led by the Duke of Marlborough

First State Room; covering the walls are a couple of the Blenheim tapestries, each depicting a different campaign led by the Duke of Marlborough

Since the house is still inhabited, much of it was off-limits; the rooms we could see (all on the ground floor) were described well with the audioguide that was included with admission

Since the house is still inhabited, much of it was off-limits; the rooms we could see (all on the ground floor) were described well with the audioguide that was included with admission

Cattelan's 200  taxidermy birds take over the chapel; the artist compares swarms of pigeons to tourists who can both be unwanted presences

Cattelan's 200+ taxidermy birds take over the chapel; the artist compares swarms of pigeons to tourists who can both be unwanted presences

Green Drawing Room; the internal layout of the rooms at Blenheim was defined by the court etiquette of the day; state apartments were designed as an axis of rooms of increasing importance and public use, leading to the chief room

Green Drawing Room; the internal layout of the rooms at Blenheim was defined by the court etiquette of the day; state apartments were designed as an axis of rooms of increasing importance and public use, leading to the chief room

Blenheim has been the setting for many film and TV episodes including The Amazing Race, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Avengers and Transformers: the Last Knight

Blenheim has been the setting for many film and TV episodes including The Amazing Race, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Avengers and Transformers: the Last Knight

Troika, Rose Garden; the house and family were saved by the 9th Duke of Marlborough when he married Consuelo Vanderbilt (her mother wanted to see her a duchess)

Troika, Rose Garden; the house and family were saved by the 9th Duke of Marlborough when he married Consuelo Vanderbilt (her mother wanted to see her a duchess)

The oldest known piece of taxidermy is a crocodile that has hung from the ceiling of a little church in Ponte Nossa, Italy since the 16th century; I would have preferred a Chihully glass exhibition

The oldest known piece of taxidermy is a crocodile that has hung from the ceiling of a little church in Ponte Nossa, Italy since the 16th century; I would have preferred a Chihully glass exhibition

Cattelan has created this double self-portrait in dark funerary clothes as if visitors are attending his wake; I wonder if the stolen toilet has increased interest and attendance at the palace

Cattelan has created this double self-portrait in dark funerary clothes as if visitors are attending his wake; I wonder if the stolen toilet has increased interest and attendance at the palace

The rose garden was nice but late in the season; there were only a few varieties planted, each with its own wedge of the circular plot

The rose garden was nice but late in the season; there were only a few varieties planted, each with its own wedge of the circular plot

This taxidermy horse is one of Cattelan's most iconic works; the horse here is worn and tired which seems to symbolize how the populace feels about Brexit

This taxidermy horse is one of Cattelan's most iconic works; the horse here is worn and tired which seems to symbolize how the populace feels about Brexit

Cattelan brazenly drops a meteor on a likeness of Pope John Paul II (piece is from 1999); some see this as established seats of power being vulnerable (and this was done prior to sex abuse scandal awareness)

Cattelan brazenly drops a meteor on a likeness of Pope John Paul II (piece is from 1999); some see this as established seats of power being vulnerable (and this was done prior to sex abuse scandal awareness)

Posted by VagabondCowboy 08:02

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