Friday, September 4, 2015

Blenheim Palace

Hi everyone! This week we went to somewhere really cool, Blenheim Palace! Blenheim Palace has been the home of the Duke of Marlborough since it was opened in 1722, so pretty new compared to most other things we've seen. Blenheim Palace was built to reward John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, for his military triumph at the Battle of Blenheim, in 1705. By the time of the ninth Duke of Marlborough, the family was running out of money. So the ninth Duke married Consuelo Vanderbilt, heiress of the Vanderbilt railroad fortune, problem solved. Up until this day, there have been 12 Dukes or Duchesses of Marlborough.
 Did you know that Sir Winston Churchill was related to the Duke of Marlborough's family? Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim, 2 months premature, during a ball. I bet that's a funny story to tell at banquets. For most of his childhood, Winston lived at Blenheim with his Grandmother. When he was a child, Winston's passion for art flowered and he drew the setting around Blenheim. As Winston Churchill grew older, he did many great things such as fighting in World War I, becoming Prime Minister, playing a major role in ending World War II, leading Britain through a time of great hardship, before, after, and during World War II, and being Knighted. Also, I bet you didn't know that President John F. Kennedy offered Sir Winston Churchill an Honorary Citizenship for the U.S.A, and Churchill accepted.
Behind Blenheim Palace there is a beautiful garden that we visited. This garden has many beautiful fountains, flowers, and hedges. But this is only a small part of Blenheim's 2000 acres of gardens, forests, and parkland. The area surrounding Blenheim was designed by landscape architect Capibility Brown.
 About half of a mile away from the palace, there is a large monument called the Victory Column. The Victory Column is dedicated to the First Duke of Marlborough, and his victory at the Battle of Blenheim, which took place where the column stands. The Battle of Blenheim was a major victory in the War of Spanish Succession, in 1704, against the Franco-Bavarian army.

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