Do you ever feel life is a bit hectic? I feel like this a lot of the time. Working, cooking, cleaning, making sure all the clothes are washed – it sometimes feels like a never ending cycle that needs to be broken. Every so often I take time out and attempt a jigsaw puzzle. There is something relaxing about putting together the pieces. Once you open a jigsaw there is a feeling that you must finish it. I hate letting the puzzle beat me. Recently I was sent one of the Ravensburger Historic Royal Palaces range to try. The 1000 piece puzzle of Hampton Court Palace was ideal for a few moments challenge as I rushed about. Inside the box there is a leaflet with a small picture of the puzzle and some information about the palace. This makes the jigsaw easier to complete as it is much easier to look at the smaller picture to see what pieces go where.
Hampton Court Palace is somewhere I have never visited but as I completed the puzzle I felt as if I was on a virtual tour of the palace. The palace belonged to Cardinal Wolsey until he fell out of favour with King Henry VIII. The king seized the palace for himself and Hampton Court Palace is one of only two surviving palaces owned by King Henry VIII. The palace underwent lots of rebuilding work when it was taken over in the next Century by King William III. As a result there are two distinct palaces on the site, a Tudor palace and a Baroque palace. The jigsaw shows both of these as well as many details of the inside of the palace and the gardens.
Ten statues of heraldic animals stand on the bridge to the moat leading to the great gatehouse. These are known as the King’s Beasts and were commissioned by Henry VIII before his marriage to Jane Seymour. Four of them can be seen in the puzzle and these are one of the easier parts of the puzzle to complete with their distinctive colours.
The Baroque palace was designed by Christopher Wren, and was intended to be bigger and grander than Versailles. It is a striking building with a contrast between pink brick and pale stone. The back leads to the privy garden and ornate iron work gates designed by Tijou. These are shown on the puzzle and were rather a hard part of the puzzle to complete.
As well as the exterior of the palace and its grounds, including the maze and formal gardens we get glimpses of the interior of Hampton Court Palace. Henry VIII’s Astronomical Clock was one of the first parts of the puzzle I completed. It is interesting to learn this is one of the few surviving medieval clocks. It was made prior to Copernicus discovering that the earth goes around the sun and depicts the earth as the centre of the universe.
Murals from the ceiling in The Queen’s Drawing Room are also depicted and I found this hard to put together. The pieces have tangles of limbs from angels and other god like figures in the heavens. Finding which leg went with which arm and body was hard work.
I did manage to complete the puzzle in reasonable time which is amazing. I can sometimes take months to complete a puzzle if it is really difficult. The last 1000 piece puzzle I tried, called The Puzzle Factory took ages. I have had more success with the Ravensburger 3D puzzles like the Medieval House I completed. Ravensburger Historic Royal Palaces – Hampton Court Palace would be a great gift for anyone who likes jigsaws. It is lovely to learn some of the history behind the palace and see it taking shape as you do the jigsaw. Any purchase of a puzzle from the Historic Royal Palace range helps to support the work of Historic Royal Palaces.
Do you like doing jigsaws? What is the hardest one you have attempted?
I was sent the jigsaw in order to review it. My opinions are honest and my own.