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Gaia in The Painted Hall

GAIA has returned! BOOK NOW to see this mesmerising planet Earth installation floating in the spectacular Painted Hall.

How has it taken me 49 years to make my first trip to the Old Royal Naval College? Really quite flabbergasted at myself.

Often referred to as the 'British Sistine Chapel' the Painted Hall is a floor to ceiling Baroque paradise. Taking nineteen years to complete from start to finish this spectacular creation earned Sir John Thornhill a knighthood. With over 200 mythological and historical figures to spot get ready for your jaw to fully drop open. Originally meant as a dining hall for lucky naval pensioners it soon become the hottest party venue in town. Lord Nelson lay in state here (look out for the plaque on the floor).

As if a trip to this epic hall wasn't enough you can image how this floating blue marble has created an even more spectacular sight! Gaia - a monumental internally-lit sculpture measures a whopping seven metres in diameter and is an exact replica of our beautiful planet. UK artist Luke Jerram's wanted to create the same view astronauts have from space when looking back at planet Earth. The installation is 1.8 million times smaller than the Earth with each centimetre representing 18km of the Earth's surface. It's also 'grammable' heaven with beds to lay on and mirrored tables to take the best reflective pics possible.

There's also a great free activity booklet for kids, grab one at the till point in the shop before you head into the hall. Also pop in for their First Sundays storytelling sessions and pop-up events on the first Sunday of the month. £5 adults, kids free.

Have a quick look into the Chapel of St Peter and Paul before you leave. Still an active place of worship you might be lucky and catch a service.

An awe-inspiring family outing, we found it very hard to leave...

Open until 1 July


Tickets £13.50, kids free

Julia Colls, 8 June 2021

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