In 2006, I visited some of London’s top tourist destinations including Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. The following are pictures I took along with some background information.
Buckingham Palace is the primary residence of the British Monarch. It was originally built in 1705 as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham and it was not until 1837 that it became the primary residence of the monarch. The first monarch to live in the palace was Queen Victoria. The Palace is known for its splendid décor. Tourists are known to gather outside the palace’s gates to watch the famed foot guards, wearing red and marching to the beat of their music.
London’s Nation Gallery features some of London’s top works of art. Established in 1824, the British public owns the museum and entry into the main galleries is free of charge. Such highlights at the museum include Francesca’s The Baptism of Christ, Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, and Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus.
London’s famed Westminster Abbey, a large gothic church was established in 1080, although the current structure wasn’t constructed until later. Besides being a church, it has also functioned as a burial site, primarily for British monarchs. However, the Abbey is also the final resting place of people such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin. A section of the Abbey, called Poet’s corner also serves as the final resting place of famed writers such as T.S. Eliot, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, and William Blake.
Another nearby site is London’s Tower Bridge, one of the most recognizable symbols in all of London. Going over the Thames River, Tower Bridge was completed in 1894. A steam engine was originally used to power the suspension bridge. Tourists can visit the bridge as it features interior walkways and exhibits.
The Tower of London is probably the most historic and famous castle in all of England. It began construction in 1189 and has seen many changes over the years. It’s known as having served as a prison for such historic figures including William Wallace, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Thomas Cromwell. The castle also features the Crowned Jewels.