London, England, has become THE place to be this year. Between the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, everyone has been talking about the goings-on across the pond. If you are planning a trip to England this year, here are a few of the amazing sites that England has to offer.
The London Eye is a gigantic ferris wheel that gives breathtaking views of the city. It was officially opened to the public on March 9th, 2000. It is the largest ferris wheel in Europe and is the most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.5 million people visiting it every year.
The British Museum is considered to be one of the greatest museums in the world. It was established in 1753 and opened to the public in 1759. It’s collection includes over 13 million items and the building is over 990,000 square feet. Some highlights of the collection include the Rosetta Stone, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, and artifacts from some of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Westminster Abbey is a gothic church located in London. It has served as the location of royal coronations, funerals, and weddings. Benedictine monks first came to the site during the 10th Century and Westminster Abbey became the official coronation church in 1066. The present church building began construction in 1245. It has been home to several high profile events, notably the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 as well as the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2012.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is a castle which houses the Crown Jewels and has served as a royal residence. It was founded in 1066, then built in 1078 by William the Conqueror following the Norman Conquest of England, and grew to encompass several buildings. It has a bloody history in that many people were held prisoner and some were executed here. Some of these prisoners were Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Grey, who were both executed. It is alleged that some of the prisoners’ ghosts continue to haunt the Tower. Over the course of time, all but two of the buildings built on the grounds of the Tower of London have been destroyed. These remaining buildings have been restored and are open to the public.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric site located near London and is believed to have been constructed between 2000 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The stone structure is breathtaking. Until 1977, it was possible to walk up to, touch, even climb on the structure, but it was roped off in 1977 for Stonehenge’s protection.
The National Gallery is an art museum containing pieces dating back to the mid-13th century. It has over 2,300 items in its collection including pieces by Leonardo di Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt. The National Gallery was founded in 1824 and is located in London’s famed Trafalgar Square.
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