London: Capital of England, United Kingdom
Probably one of the most popular cities in the world, London has kept people fascinated with everything that it has to offer. London is England and the United Kingdom’s capital, and recently, a study has dubbed it as the Capital of the World. While the title is enough to put enough pressure on the reputation of London, the city well-deserves the attention it is getting from thousands and thousands of tourists, because it is able to live up to what it promises people. It is a city teeming with so much culture, history, fashion, and just about everything in between.
One of the four World Heritage Sites in London is the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, which is more popularly known as the Westminster Abbey. It is currently a Royal Peculiar, which means that although it is a place of worship, the British monarch has the jurisdiction over it instead of the diocese. The place hosts coronations for monarchs. Moreover, the church is a burial site for numerous monarchs and other prominent people; among them are Henry VII of England, Elizabeth I of England, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles Darwin, and Sir Isaac Newton. The structure boasts, of Romanesque or Norman architecture, thus making it a breathtaking building. The Westminster Abbey also houses a museum under the old dormitory of the monks. Royal furniture and effigies are displayed in the exhibits.
The Palace of Westminster is also an impressive building, with over a thousand rooms inside. The building uses the Perpendicular Gothic style that was famous in the 15th century. The Westminster Hall is among the largest halls in Europe, and does not fail to awe the place’s visitors.
Another World Heritage Site connected to the royals is the Tower of London, which stands by the River Thames. Aside from being a royal palace, the structure also served as a prison, an armory, an execution site, a fortress, a zoo, a public records office, and an observatory. The place is famous for the White Tower; Henry III had the facade whitewashed in 1240. The White Tower contains thirteen other towers, including the controversial Bloody Tower. The building has so much stories oozing through its walls, and it would be impossible to learn everything in just one day.
A nice view of the Buckingham Palace can be seen in St. James’ Park. Spanning more than 50 acres, the park is the perfect place for a lazy afternoon. There are also guided walks in the park, which allow visitors to witness the Changing of the Guard in Buckingham Palace. Visitors are also told stories about the monarchy and the royal palaces. Many visitors also delight in watching the wildlife officers feeding the pelicans in the afternoon.
A recent addition to London is the London Eye, or the Millennium Wheel, which was opened in 1999. This is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and tourists have been fascinated with this observation wheel. To date, more than 30 million people had already ridden the London Eye. Tourists love riding in the capsules, because it gives them an amazing view of the picturesque city that is London.