For nine centuries, the Royal Castle Tower has been a gloomy symbol of brutal judging, imprisonment, torture and execution. Apparently, his gloomy reputation attracts so many tourists here. Add Beefers Here (guards) in red uniforms, legendary ravens and the splendor of royal jewels, and you will understand the huge popularity of the Tower.
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The construction of the Tower of London began in 1078 with William the Conqueror to control the vital route from the sea to London. The White Tower became the first stone watchtower in England. At the beginning of the XIII century, Henry III founded the palace here, and although not a single monarch lived here after Henry VII, the Tower officially remains the Royal Palace.
At various times, the astronomical observatory, the royal archives, the royal menagerie and the royal arsenal were located here.
As a result of numerous reconstructions, the Tower turned into an irregular hexagonal fortress surrounded by a moat and double defensive walls with battlements. The narrow outer courtyard (patrol space) is guarded by cylindrical towers.
Behind the wall is a courtyard, a wide space enclosed on all sides. It was here that barracks for soldiers, houses, chapels and other buildings were built for centuries. In the center rises the dungeon - the ancient White Tower, crowned with four onion domes on the corner turrets. This is one of the largest donjons in the medieval architecture of Western Europe.
Now the Tower is famous, first of all, for the treasury of the crown. Nevertheless, the bloody history brought the Tower great fame, since for centuries the Tower remained a prison where it was tortured and executed.
Legends and stories
Over the 900 years of the Tower's existence, legends and historical facts are inextricably intertwined. On the south side of the outer wall is the Tower of St. Thomas, and in it is the “Gateway to the Betrayers” facing the Thames.
Convicts in Westminster Palace for treason were taken to this entrance to the Tower in a boat, which was considered a great shame.
Immediately behind the "Gateway of the traitors" in the inner wall is the Bloody Tower, facing the courtyard. Heir to the throne, Prince Edward and his younger brother, Prince Richard, were brought here in 1483, immediately after the death of King Edward IV, on the orders of their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester. No one saw the boys beyond the walls of the Tower, and the "hunchback Dick" was crowned the same year as Richard III. In 1674, the skeletons of two boys were removed from nearby land, which gave even more reason for talking that the ambitious duke ordered the nephews to be killed. They were not the only royalty who were killed here. Perhaps it was their father who ordered the murder of his predecessor, Henry VI, who suffered from a mental illness. In 1471, Henry VI was deposed, sent to the Tower and executed, and the people were informed that the king died of sorrow.
Torture and executions are an integral part of the history of the Tower. The traitors were executed publicly on Tower Hill, the square inside the fortress, but the “privileged” minority parted with their heads on the lawn of the Tower in front of the White Tower. Among them are the two wives of Henry VIII: the indomitable six-fingered Anna Boleyn (second wife), mother of Queen Elizabeth I, beheaded by the sword of the executioner Frenchman, and the foolish Katerina Howard (fifth wife)whose head was also chopped off with an ax, like most other traitors.
The fortress and 2.5 million annual visitors to the Tower are guarded by 42 beefeaters - the Tower Life Guards. The key transfer ceremony takes place daily at 21:35 (if you want to attend the ceremony, write in advance to Constable Tower, Tower, ESZ). One of them bears the title of ranger, and it is on him that responsibility lies with them. According to legend, if the crows fly away from the Tower, the kingdom will fall, and therefore their wings are cut!
You need to stand in line to get to Waterloo Barracks, where the jewels of the English crown are exhibited, but they are worth it. Here you will see the crown of Elizabeth II with the famous Cohinor diamond and a crown made in 1837 for Queen Victoria. It is adorned with the "Small Star of Africa" diamond and sapphire belonging to Edward the Confessor.
The foundation of the Tower fortress is attributed to William I. After the Norman conquest of England, William I began to build defensive castles to intimidate the conquered Anglo-Saxons. One of the largest in 1078 was the Tower. The wooden fort was replaced by a huge stone building - the Great Tower, which is a quadrangular structure 32 x 36 meters in size, about 30 meters high. When the new king of England later ordered the building to be whitewashed, it was called the White Tower, or White Tower. Subsequently, under King Richard the Lionheart, several more towers of various heights and two rows of powerful fortress walls were erected. A deep moat was dug around the fortress, making it one of the most impregnable fortresses in Europe.
State Prison edit |
Tower of London
All travelers who make their way to the Country of Misty Albion will find the sights of Great Britain. And there are a lot of them, I must say. The Tower of London enjoys among tourists, and among the indigenous people, special honor because of its rich historical past. Literally from English “Tower of London” - “tower”. If we talk about the real structure, then it is a majestic fortress, which is located on the northern birch of the Thames.
Mysterious and alluring place
Although England is rich in sights, it is this building that is one of the oldest in the whole country. The Tower of London is rightfully considered the historical center of the capital of Great Britain. If you take an interest in the history of this mysterious (and even gloomy) place, you can find out a lot of interesting things. Thousands of tourists flock to this place in order to touch the most ancient structure of England and get acquainted with its inexplicable facts of the past.
Rich historical past
Even during the Norman conquest, this fortress towered over the Thames. For the entire long history of its existence, the residence of the king and his court was located here, there was once a treasury here, the mint made money for the whole country. However, they were not so serious at different times assigned “duties” to the fortress. So, the observatory and the zoo were also located here. But many heard that it was in this place that they were waiting for their verdict and believed in the best noble prisoners of the Kingdom at the time when the Tower was a prison. Truly, no other London sightseeing can boast an equally rich past.
The walls of this fortress were also reconstructed more than once, and the building itself was repeatedly completed and refurbished. This led to the fact that over many centuries of existence, the fortress has significantly changed its original appearance.