London is a city that keeps its visitors spellbound every time with its numerous historical and cultural landmarks, a city that houses all manner of tourist attractions, perhaps only too many to be able to savour them all, especially if your stay is limited to a few days only. We’ve compiled a list of the most notable and noteworthy landmarks of the city that you simply must see.
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the House of Parliament, is a gothic building consisting of the House of Commons and the House of Lords (the two parts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom). The story of the Palace of Westminster started in the middle-ages when it was used as a royal residence. The English, and later the Parliament of the United Kingdom gathered in the spot for the first time in 1295. In October of 1834, a massive fire destroyed the old palace, which had served as the House of Parliament since 1512.
Westminster Abbey or the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is the oldest religious building in London. It contains the remains of deceased members of the royal family, as well as some other famous Brits. The famous Westminster Abbey was originally a Benedictine monastic church, until it was blessed in 1065 when it officially became an abbey. The building was renovated and enlarged several times during its existence – between 1285 and 1517 numerous gothic details were added to id, while two main towers were built in the 18th century.
Big Ben is one of the most famous and favorite spots in all of London. It was built to honor Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. It still serves its purpose to this day, with its bells tolling each 15 minutes. The Big Ben stands tall and proud as a part of the Palace of Westminster. The tower was built in gothic style, standing at 96 meters tall, with the top having four clocks on each side of the tower.Construction of the tower ended in 1856, the design being the idea of Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. Construction efforts lasted for 13 years, with 2600 square meters of brick and 850 square meters of stone being used for the tower’s completion. The clock started moving on 31st May, 1859.
The Tower Bridge is actually a suspension bridge spanning over the Thames. As London was expanding quite quickly, many bridges were constructed to connect the two banks of the Thames, with the first one being London Bridge, followed by many more mostly being built west of it so as not to obstruct the functioning of the city pier. In the 19th century, London experienced a boom to the east of London Bridge, which made it necessary to construct a new bridge. It was decided that the construction of a suspension bridge would not obstruct river traffic on the Thames.
Buckingham Palace has been the residence of the royal family since 1837, and is currently where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh reside.The palace was built in 1703 as the city residence of the then-Duke of Buckingham. In 1761 it became property of King George III, which was when it became the private residence of Queen Charlotte. Because of this, the palace was then renamed as the Queen’s Palace. Since the 18th century, the palace was renovated and expanded multiple times.