During a day tour around London we stopped and what was my fifteenth UNESCO World Heritage Site, The London Tower. The Tower of London was built almost 1000 years ago, in the year 1066. It was built as a symbol of Norman power after the Norman conquests took over England. The tower was used both as a defensive mechanism, and a place to garrison and execute criminals. Over the centuries additional buildings and fortification were added to the tower, further increasing its size and stature, as the surrounding area literally sat in its shadows.
Today the Tower of London is a tourist hotspot, and is open to the public most days. Â Hotel in LondonÂ are easy to find and close by the tower for your convenience. Besides being a piece of English history itself, the tower grounds house a museum and are home to the British Crown Jewels, which, in my opinion, are the highlight of the visit, as you are able to see two of the largest diamonds in the world up close and personal along with countless other jewels and gold creations.
Here are a few photos I snapped during our tour of the tower of London!
Traitor’s Gate. For centuries criminals were brought by boat to the Tower of London to be executed on the green there. The list of people beheaded here includes many members of royalty and ex-wives of many kings.
Members of the Royal Guard patrol the tower grounds, keeping an eye on all of the sneaky tourists. Of course this is more of a tradition than anything else, and maybe it is quite an honor to be chosen to do this, but you couldn’t pay me enough money to do what these guys do. No facial expressions, no reactions to anyone, and hundreds of tourists taking your photo each and every day. At least this guy was roped off from the crowds. Others weren’t so lucky.
The museum offered quite a few displays, but this one was by far the most interesting to me. In a large display full of suited armor, sat these two specimens. The one on the right is easily eight feet tall, while the other on the left is no more than two feet. Apparently they sent both their giants and their children into battle.
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