The Symbol of Power - The Tower of LondonThe tower of London has been an integral part of British Royal History for nearly 1000 years. Only at this place one can marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Crown Jewels and stand on the execution site of three British queens.
The Tower of London has a very interesting story behind it. It was begun by a man who was not even English, William of Normandy. At the time he was the cousin of England's Kind Edward. It all started because William became outraged when Edward backed down on his promise to give the throne to William and ended up giving the throne to his English brother-in-law, Harold. William sailed his army across the English Channel to conquer England. On October 14, 1066, he met Harold at Hastings and conquered him.
On Christmas Day later that year, popularly known as William the conqueror - was crowned King of England. Immediately after William took over as king, he built forts everywhere. One stood in the southeastern corner of London, near an old Roman wall on the north bank of the Thames River. William ordered that this fort be removed in 1078 to be replaced by a huge stone stronghold. This would be the "symbol of his power, a fortress for his defense, and a prison for his enemies". He named it the Tower of London.
The Tower was finished twenty years later, rising nearly one hundred feet high, with its walls fifteen feet thick in certain places. Inside were a chapel, apartments, guardrooms, and crypts. The Tower was protected by a wide ditch, a new stone wall, the old Roman wall, and the river. This was done to secure the fact that this tower was a prison that no prisoner would escape from.
After the death of Henry VII, the Tower of London was never again used to house an English queen or king.
One can gain a fascinating insight into the role of the Crown Jewels in royal pageantry with introductory films which include rare color footage of HM Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Once inside the Treasury, one can marvel at the Imperial State Crown worn at the State Opening of Parliament and be dazzled by the world's largest, top-quality cut diamond, Cullinan I, set in the Sovereign's Sceptre.
The Yeoman Warders have guarded this royal palace and fortress for centuries they captivate one with amazing stories, passed on from generation to generation, and guide to the infamous Traitors' Gate and the execution site.. A spectacular programme of special events runs throughout the year. Costumed guides bring the intrigue, tales and daring exploits associated with The Tower to life.
Is it any wonder that the Tower Of London is the Britain's leading historic visitor attraction? It was here that Anne Boleyn was executed. Guy Fawkes interrogated. Richard II and Elizabeth I incarcerated and the 'Princes in the Tower' disappeared without trace.
Standing guard by the River Thames, The Tower is an impressive London landmark. Find out the secrets that lie within its walls, marvel at the breathtaking Crown Jewels, stand on the site where three English queens were beheaded and explore the myths and legends that make a visit to The Tower a fantastic day out.