Of the many monuments that London has, the Tower of London is one of the best known and most visited in the city. Built-in early 1066, it has been a fortress, arsenal, and royal residence for more than 900 years. And how could it be otherwise, countless legends and stories, some somewhat macabre, surround the history of this fortified enclosure?
The Tower of London is located on the banks of the Thames next to another well-known monument, London Bridge, yet another of the many symbols of the city. Before we talk more about the Tower of London. Did you know ? London Bridge was the first drawbridge built with the idea of not interrupting river traffic and connecting the two banks of the river after the great expansion of the city.
Tower of London.
Of all the buildings that can be visited inside the castle, the White Tower stands out, located in the center of the architectural complex. The oldest of those built served as an armory and royal residence Today, it houses a collection of armor, the Royal Chapel, and several exhibitions that explain the history and the different uses of the Tower.
Undoubtedly, the most visited place in the Tower of London is the building that houses the British crown jewels, known as the Crown Jewels. Located in a vault, the security measures are very strict. You can’t make a video or take pictures, there is even a conveyor belt, like in shopping malls, so that people don’t linger in front of the windows for too long. Look but don’t linger too long.
The Tower of London has other interesting points that are well worth spending some time on your visit, such as:
- Medieval palace
- Wall Walks, walk the wall with panoramic views over the city
- Traitors Gate, access to the castle from the River Thames
- The Fusilier Museum https://www.fusiliermuseumlondon.org/home
The Beefeater, guardians of the Tower of London, are in great demand to take the typical photograph with them. For 700 years, the “ceremony of the keys” has been held at 9:53 pm sharp. A symbol of British punctuality that was only delayed during a WWII bombing raid.
In addition to the guardians of the keys to the Tower. There are Ravemmasters who job it is to take care of the crows that live in the fortification. These seven crows reside in the Tower, and they stay there as their wings are clipped. According to legend, the day the crows leave the Tower, the British Empire will fall, thus ensuring the end of their existence.
Practical information for the visit:
- The subway or bus stop to get there is Tower Hill
- The entrance fee is 25 pounds, or free if you buy the London Pass
- The usual time of entry is from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
- Highly recommended taking an audio guide (price 4 pounds) at this writing.
- The Beefeater run guided tours in English
- On the website, there is information on schedules and activities
It would be very long to complete an article on the Tower of London, each one of its corners breathes history. Many are the historical figures who have resided or have been related to this emblematic monument of the United Kingdom.
In the interior gardens, medieval fights and other typical scenes of the time are staged. There are temporary art exhibitions, in the different buildings and monuments of the enclosure, detailed information on its history.
As in any castle worth its salt, there are legends of illustrious ghosts that continue to roam the Tower of London, such as that of Anne Boleyn or that of Henry VI, who was stabbed by Edward IV, among other famous characters who lived within its walls.
A minimum visit will take you 2 to 3 hours, depending on the people who are visiting it and the time you want to spend on one of the itineraries that the audio guides recommend. Although a complete visit touring each of the buildings and rooms that compose it well can occupy a whole day.
Take comfortable walking shoes and if you go in the summer a light jacket.