advertisement

This 1696 neoclassical complex, primarily the work of Christopher Wren, is mostly used by a university but offers two main sights: the Painted Hall and the Chapel. The Painted Hall, fresh off a major conservation, is adorned with 40,000 square feet of incredible paintings by Sir James Thornhill that took nearly 2 decades to complete. It was the setting for the funeral of Admiral Nelson, but it may never have looked more glorious than today, because recent restoration removed years of candle grime and even crusty food splatters from rowdy pensioners’ banquets. The Chapel, in the Greek Revival style, is the work of James Stuart. The 90-min. tours by accredited guides run daily at 11:30am and 2pm. If the ORNC’s stately symmetry rings a bell, that’s because it was used as a stand-in for Paris in the movie musical Les Misérables. It’s also where you’ll find the Old Brewery , with plenty of garden space where you can kick back with very stiff pints.