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Must See Places In London - London Attractions
# 1 The Tower of London
The Tower of London is known as her majesty's royal palace and fortress. Located on the Thames River, the Tower London encompasses over 1000 years of London's history. Originally the Tower of London served as a royal palace for the king and queen of England, but in the 16th and 17th centuries the palace started to be used as a prison. The tower has held various famous prisoners such as Anne Boleyn who was beheaded at the tower. The tower is now the home to the crown jewels as of 2012. Visitors can tour the inside of the tower and see the prison cells and torture mechanisms that were used on prisons hundreds of years ago.
# 2 Westminster Abbey
This gothic church is located in the heart of London. Westminster Abbey is one of the most well known religious buildings in Europe. The Abbey began being built between 1042 and 1052 by King Edward the Confessor. Many coronations and burials have been held at the Abbey including the burial service of Princess Diana. The Westminster Abbey has been named a World Heritage Site and most recently was the site of Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding.
# 3 St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral sits at the highest point in London at the top of Ludgate Hill. The church was built in the 17th century and is one of the most recognizable sites in London. The cathedral reaches 365 feet at its highest point. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower if they feel physically fit enough. There is not elevator to the top. The cathedral has been the location of many important British individuals' funerals. It also was the place where Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee was held. The dome of the cathedral has dominated the London skyline for hundreds of years and the architecture is well worth visiting the cathedral.
# 4 Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894. The Tower Bridge is named after the Tower of London because the bridge is very close in proximity to the Tower of London. The Tower Bridge has quickly become an important symbol to the British in terms of representing their beautiful city. The bridge has two towers which reach heights of 213 feet high. The bridge itself is 800 feet long. One unique aspect about the bridge is it's suspension bridge system. The bridge opens up to allow large boat to pass under it.
# 5 Parliament and Big Ben
Big Ben is located at the north end of the parliament building. Big Ben is also a very important symbol in to the British and has appeared in many movie and animated cartoons. Big Ben was completed in 1858. Visitors are not allowed to tour the inside of the clock tower. The clock tower chimes on the quarter hour, half hour, quarter til, and on the hour.
Parliament is refereed to as The Palace of Westminster. This is the location where the House of Commons and The House of Lords meet, to create the houses of parliament. The parliament building lies beside the Thames River.
# 6 British Museum
The British Museum is one of the oldest museums in the entire world. Visitors can see the famous Rosetta Stone and various artifacts from Egypt, such as mummies. The museum holds over 8 million works. First opening to the public in 1759, it holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of history. The museum is also know for its grand round library room, which is worth the trip alone.
# 7 Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the primary residence and work place for the British Monarchy. In 1837, Buckingham Palace became the primary residence for the monarchy. Another reason Buckingham Palace is so popular is the changing of the queen's guard, which can be seen daily outside of the palace
# 8 Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre is an open air playhouse built as a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre. The original theatre was built in 1599, and held many of Shakespeare's famous plays. In 1997 the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre opened for visitors to tour. The reconstruction is 750 feet away from the original location of the Globe Theatre. To stay true to the original Globe Theatre there are not speakers, microphones, amps, or stage lights in the theatre.
# 9 Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is located just outside of London but well worth the drive. The castle is highly famous for its unique architecture and has been a residence of the monarchy for hundreds of years. The castle was built in the 11th century and the castle grounds cover over 13 acres of land. Visitors can tour parts of the inside of the castle and see the glorious artwork and intricate room designs.
# 10 Hampton Court Palace
The Hampton Court Palace is the former home of King Henry VII. The royal family has not lived in The Hampton Court Palace since the 18th century. Visitors can visit the grand vineyard and see over 200,000 flowering bulbs if present during the right season. The Hampton Court Gardens cover over 60 acres of land.