Wow this is a big history post . . . .
Today we originally decided to just visit St Paul's and Westminster Abbey, but ended up seeing a few other things along the way.
St Paul's cathedral
St Paul's is an Anglican cathedral in the City of London. The first St Paul's was founded in about 604 AD. The Old St Paul's ( 4th church) was totally gutted in the great fire of London in 1666. The new St Paul's was commenced in 1669 by Sir Christopher Wren. The cathedral miraculously survived the Blitz, sustaining minimal damage.
Many famous events have occurred here , the funerals of lord Neilson, the Duke of Wellington,Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher . Of course prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married here and the Queen has had thanksgiving services for her silver, golden and diamond jubilees in St Paul's.
We climbed the 528 stairs to the top to see what you would have to say are pretty spectacular views. Above you can see the new Globe theatre. And below the London Eye.
The front facade of St Paul's.
I would have to say St Paul's is definitely up there as one of the most Beautiful churches I have seen, it's light airiness and the beautiful mosaics it's just stunning. Sadly it was a " no photo" site so I can't share the interior with you.
So on our way to Westminster we came out of the underground and seen this big guy.
Big Ben stands at 96metres tall and is at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Up until 2012 it was really just known as the clock tower, however it was renamed to celebrate the queens diamond jubilee and is now known as Elizabeth tower. Unfortunately for us we didn't get to hear Big Ben as, just two weeks before we arrived in London , Ben ( the bell) fell silent, as you can see in the image the tower has scaffolding inching up around it as it undergoes restoration.
Westminster Abbey was founded in 960 AD The church is predominantly gothic in style. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, Westminster Abbey ( not it's official name) has been the site of all English and British coronations. There has been 16 Royal weddings at the Abbey, including the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and of course just recently Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Many kings and Queens have been buried here, especially from Plantagenet and Tudor periods. Actually A lot of people are buried here including Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Darwin. Unfortunately for me after the light airyness of St Paul's, Westminster seemed very dark and gloomy, but that is all part of the architecture. I particularly liked the area known as innocents corner where the ? Bones of the missing princes are interned and there is two other graves of royal children.
We really only walked around the outside of Westminster Palace, it's an impressive building, with spectacular architecture.
We decided to head towards No 10 Downing Street for a look as we wandered we came across the
Household cavalry museum
And as we had time we had a look in this small museum dedicated to the Queen's Household Cavalry. Whilst we were there we were fortunate to see the changing of the guard and in this case Horse as well. There is a very strict criteria for the horses, they are a breed called a Welsh Black and need to be no less than 16 hands high. The household cavalry was created by Charles II when the royal family were restored to the throne.
Unfortunately when we reached Downing Street the gates at the End of the street were closed and it was not possible to see the house.
We continued walking down the road until we reached Trafalgar Square and we could see
Nelsons Column was built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson. Admiral Nelson is famous for his leadership, strategies and unconventional tactics that resulted in a number of decisive victories for the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. The memorial stands at just under 52 metres tall. It was commenced in 1840 and took 3 years to complete. The column appropriately stands in Trafalgar Square, which was created to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar.
On his day Gadget and I walked almost 12km and we weren't finished , after all this wandering we headed into the west end to see Mumma Mia, which was absolutely amazing.
Thank you for continuing to follow our journey