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 Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror and was primarily used as a prison, fortress and armory. The Tower has a rather grim story, as the prison within its bounds was notorious for the imprisonment and torture of enemies of the monarchy. Most of the prisoners never even lived enough to be executed on Tower Hill. Among the imprisoned were many famous and respectable people from the kingdom, including Anne Boleyn, Baron William Hasting and Thomas More, followed by King Henry VI and his wife Helen of Anjou, King Edward V and his brother Richard. The tower of London wasn’t originally supposed to be a prison, but one of the largest royal residencies during the reign of Henry III in the 12th century.
Piccadilly Circus is the default gathering point in London for locals and tourists alike. It is situated in the heart of the city, leading those who gather there to many shopping centers and other fun-filled spots. This incredible landmark was constructed at the start of the 19th century and has since been one of the most famous and important landmarks of London.
Many visitors who come to London inevitably come to see the changing of the guard in front of Buckingham Palace. The ceremony itself takes place in front of the palace when the old guard, those soldiers who are to be relieved of guard duty, are replaced by other soldiers. All of this takes place with the presence of the marching groups from the military. The ceremony itself lasts for around 45 minutes while soldiers wearing red uniforms and hats made out of bear skin march next to the guards themselves. If visitors want to visit London between May and July, they can witness this ceremony every day at exactly 11:30am.
The London Eye, or the Millennium Wheel, is one of the most famous tourist attractions of London. The wheel is an architectural marvel, as its construction lasted seven years, and required hundreds of skilled workers who worked endlessly to finish it. The construction itself was finished in 2000, and the wheel quickly became a symbol of the city, towering at an impressive 135 meters. The Wheel was actually opened for the public by the then-Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair on 31st December 1999, but the Eye started turning only in 2000. As the popularity of this landmark grew, it reached an incredible number of 2.8 million visitors in the first two years.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is unique in the world. This magnificent cathedral, which towers at a height of 100 meters, was designed by the famous Cristopher Wren. It is the second-largest cathedral in Great Britain, second only to the Liverpool Cathedral. The site where St. Paul’s Cathedral is located used to house several religious buildings, some dating back to the year 604, some to the 17th century. There is evidence that there used to be a Greek temple at the site before the construction of other religious buildings.