EUROPE 2005         








LONDON   Page 1 Link Page 2 Link

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 Tower of London


Our top priority in London was seeing the Crown Jewels, so we hurried over to the Tower of London to see the Jewels.  

Founded in the 11th century, the Tower of London has been the setting for many great events during its 900-year history as a royal palace and fortress, prison and place of execution, arsenal, mint, menagerie and jewel house. Now itís also home to Tedís Fish and Chips!   Yum!   (we ate there twice!)

Tower of London
Looking across the grassy "moat" inside the outer walls.   River Thames is behind the buildings.
Tower Map (1) Middle Tower
(2) Byward Tower
(3) Bell Tower
(4) Traitor's Gate
(5) St. Thomas's Tower
(6) Bloody Tower
(7) Wakefield T.
(8) White Tower
(9) Chapel of St. John the Evangelist
(10) Queen's House
(11) Gaoler's House
(12) Tower Green
(13) Block (site)
(14) Beauchamp T.
(15) Royal Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula
(16) Waterloo Barracks
(17) Jewel House
(18) Oriental Gallery
(19) Devereux Tower
(20) Flint Tower
(21) Bowyer Tower
(22) Brick Tower
(23) Martin Tower
(24) Regimental Museum
(25) Former Hospital
(26) Workshop
(27) Constable T.
(28) Broad Arrow Tower
(29) Salt Tower
(30) Lanthorn T.
(31) Cradle Tower
(32) Well Tower
(33) Develin T.
(34) Brass Mount
(35) Legge's Mount
(36) Tower Wharf
(36) Tower Wharf
(37) Queen's Stair
Tower map (from Planetware)
Mom at Tower Salt Tower Chris at Tower
Mom with the Salt Tower in the background Salt Tower Chris at the Tower
Mom Raven

This Raven is about the size of a Buzzard!   Legend has it that England will fall if the Ravens leave the Tower.   For now, I guess England is safe.

Crown Jewels
Mom, with the White Tower in the background

We were amazed that the Jewel House was completely empty (of people) when we got there.   There is a people-mover sidewalk in front of the jewel cases to keep the crowd moving, but since there was no one there we were able to keep going around and around to see the jewels repeatedly.  It was fascinating to learn that the British monarchs were quite practical and frugal with their jewels.   Not surprisingly, the major gems were re-used from crown to crown.   In some cases, the jewels were rented for the crowns.   In one case, the queen put her own jewels into the crown because she didn't feel happy wearing rented jewels.

Mom wanted a souvenir there, but I made her keep her hands in her pockets!                                         Crown

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge has stood over the River Thames in London since 1894.  It is one of the most easily recognizable bridges in the world.   It is 880 feet long, with the longest single span being 200 feet.


Tower Bridge Tower Bridge Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
(from the south side of the Thames)
  Tower Bridge
(from the north side of the Thames)
Mom By the end of the 19th century, the city of London had outgrown itself.  Thousands of cars and pedestrians relied on a single bridge -- the London Bridge -- to travel in and out of the capital city each day. The traffic jams were unbearable. So it was with great anticipation that Londoners awaited the completion of a new bridge across the Thames, the Tower Bridge.  Once the bridge was completed in 1894, however, the public was appalled with the results.  The architectís original design was simple and had a medieval style. But he died in 1887, and a later architect added his own artistic touch. When the Tower Bridge opened to traffic in 1894, the journal The Builder cursed the bridge, calling it "the most monstrous and preposterous architectural sham that we have ever known." But public opinion mellowed over time, and today, the Tower Bridge is one of London's best loved landmarks.
Mom on the bridge