When studying History of England in university I found truly interesting all the evolution of this complex and all the scenes that happened inside. If only walls could talk..
The Tower of London is a castle located next to the River Thames in London. Built in late 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest by William the Conqueror, it was the symbol of power and oppression. The castle was in fact a prison from 110 to 1952, but it also had buildings that were royal residences. This is a complex of several buildings that were built and added over time.
The Tower has served as an armoury, treasury, menagerie, home of the Royal Mint, public record office, and home for the Crown Jewels of England. In the 15th century the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. With the Tudors reigning in England, the Tower became used less as a royal residence.
The Tower of London is known everywhere, one of the must-visit places in London. It is the most complete 11th Century fortress palace remaining in Europe, a unique survival of royal building from the 11-16th centuries, it became one of the symbols of royalty, and it has been the setting for historical events in European history, including the execution of 3 English queens.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its Outstanding Universal Value thanks to its cultural qualities. It has a landmark siting, and as gateway to the city, it was strategically placed at a bend in the River Thames.
Many important historical events took place here. It helped to give distinction and prestige so it is now an iconic structure. For example: imprisonments of Edward V and younger brother in 15thC and 4 English Queens in 17thC -3 of them executed on Tower Green (Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Jane Grey), Elisabeth I escaped. This shaped English history. The building also serves as historical setting for the Reformation in England, as Catholic and Protestant prisoners recorded their experience and helped define the building as a place of torture and execution.
The first time I visited London there were many places I wanted to visit but maybe The Tower was on top of the list, apart from the Dickens museum (which I haven't been able to see yet due to my usual luck). My friend thought it was too pricey (it's abut 20 pounds but believe me, worth it for those interested in England, history, or London itself). So I told her I would visit it anyway on my own, if I go there and spent many hours studying its history fr my tests it was something I owed to myself!
We went inside and followed the guided tour with a very friendly guide who explained everything super well and made it very interesting, showing us the places where assassinations of princes and queens happened, telling historical events and anecdotes and making jokes about English history which made it all very dynamic and understandable.
Inside the castle we could visit several floors which are mostly museum with explanations, original objects and pictures, drawings, documents... amazing! Also we could get inside the building that houses the Crown Jewels (no pictures allowed) and that was really interesting and impressive.
The building itself is outstanding and stands out looking at you with a feeling of power and strengths not many buildings have kept in the middle of a city. The second time I visited London
it was only for a weekend and having already seen it from the inside and realizing there were super long queues we decided to take some pictures outside the building and feel the presence of kings and queens from ages ago in front of us.
Have you visited The Tower of London
? Did it meet your expectations? :)