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Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
#About the Square

London's main square commemorates Britain's victory over France in Trafalgar in 1805. The square is surrounded by interesting roads and buildings; the National Gallery, Canada House, St. Martin's Church and more. In 2003, the northern portion of the road circling the square became a pedestrian crossing.

Nelson Column rises from the center of the square, where the statue of Lord Admiral Horacio Nelson is also raised. Nelson was the commander of the glorious British fleet who won the Battle of Trafalgar. The statue is guarded by four bronze lions. Four large fountains were built there in 1845.

Three sculptures can be found in the square: King George IV,
Henry Havelock and Sir Charles James Napier.

Originally, the fourth sculpture was meant to be a statue of King William IV. However, due to budget problems preventing the completion of the statue, it was never made. Today, the podium is used to show specially commissioned temporary artworks. A chief activity among the visitors is feeding the pigeons in the square. Due to damage inflicted on the sculptures, efforts to prevent feeding the pigeons have been in play since 2003.

The city of Oslo sends a Christmas Tree to the city of London every year since 1947. The tree is then placed at the center of the square during the holidays. This is a token of Norway’s gratitude to Britain for its help during World War II.


#The History of the Square

The square was once part of the royal stables and the lodging of the Whitehall Palace grooms.

In 1820, architect John Nash was hired to plan the square and turn it into a public area. His work was completed by architect Sir Charles in 1845.

The square was named in 1830, for the naval battle in which British naval forces defeated the forces of France and Spain near Cape Trafalgar. The battle thwarted Napoleon's plan to invade Britain and hence its great importance in the history of the kingdom.

One of the leaders in the battle and its victory was Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was killed in these efforts. A Nelson Column was placed in the center of the square in his memory. The height of the column is more than 50 meters tall, atop which a granite statue at an altitude of another 5 meters is erected. In 1867 bronze lions guarding the pillar were added.


#The Trafalgar Battle

The Battle of Trafalgar was a famous naval battle that occurred
on October 2, 1805. It was a battle in which the British Royal Navy,
commanded by Admiral Horacio fought against the French and Spanish navies commanded by Admiral Pierre Villeneuve. It was one of the most famous battles in history.

The battle took place during the reign of French general Napoleon, upon his decision to conquer Britain. By order of Napoleon, the French had assembled a fleet of flat invasion ships and planned to transport the French army to the British island. Nelson and his fleet pursued them through the Channel and along the Atlantic coast. Near Cape Trafalgar in Spain, not far from Gibraltar, Nelson's forces seized and defeated the French fleet.

France suffered a great defeat in Trafalgar and its fleet was
almost completely destroyed by Nelson. In so doing, the English admiral belittled the great victories of the French general Napoleon and shattered his glory. Furthermore, when Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the Spanish and French naval forces of Napoleon Bonaparte, he ensured British rule for more than 100 years. In the attempt to prevent the invasion, Nelson confirmed Britain’s naval supremacy established during the eighteenth century.

Yet the victorious battle led by Admiral Nelson was also his last. He was killed shortly after signaling the famous message to the Navy under his command: " England expects that every man will do his duty." He struggled to fight for his life for several hours. When the victory of Britain was evident, he took his last breath.

Historically, the results of the battle ensured the naval superiority of England for many years. Nelson, after a series of spectacular victories in large naval battles, became an English hero. The square in London was christened Trafalgar Square to commemorate the victory.

The battle is named after Cape Trafalgar, a cape located northwest of Gibraltar in southwest Spain, where the battle took place.



A Closer Look at the Square:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do7NiINE9hI
The Cenotaph
The Cenotaph
#About the Monument

Cenotaph is a central monument dedicated to all the fallen soldiers from British wars. The meaning of the word is "empty grave," composed of two Greek words: Kenos meaning empty, and Taphos meaning grave.
The cenotaph is located opposite the British Foreign Office building on Whitehall Road in London. The monument is made of limestone and was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1919-1920.

This is the most famous monument among modern monuments of this design. It is composed of horizontal steps that create a diagonal vertical and is mounted on a stage consisting of three steps. On its two narrow walls are engraved wreaths of stone, with the inscription: "The Glorious Dead." The expression was suggested by the famous British author, Rudyard Kipling, whose son was killed in World War I. The two broad sides of the monument are adorned with masts with various cloth flags that are switched every few years.

A memorial ceremony is held on Memorial Day at the foot of the monument every year for the fallen from British wars. The uniformed officers and police are obliged to salute the monument as they pass by.

There is a story that illustrates the importance of the monument to the British. It is of a soldier driving the carriage that led Princess Diana's coffin during her funeral. During the funeral procession, they found on TV cameras that he avoided a salute while driving even to the queen, but just as the carriage passed by the cenotaph he made a point of saluting the monument.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyGJBRI8B1E
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
#About the House of Parliament

One of the most famous symbols of London is the Palace of Westminster, commonly known as the House of Parliament. It consists of two houses: the House of Lords and the House of Representatives, also called the "house of commons". These bodies deal with legislation and have authority in the United Kingdom.

The Gothic-style palace is located on the banks of the River Thames in Westminster.

The Parliament House was built in the 19th century and includes the famous clock structure, the Big Ben. The House of Parliament has a distinguished history and represents values ​​are a cornerstone of British leadership - political honor. In its early days, the palace served as the residence of the king's legislative advisers. The changes made over the years were caused by unification and disconnection of the countries which make up the United Kingdom: Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

The palace is one of the largest buildings in the world. It features about 1,200 rooms and more than 3 kilometers of corridors. Although it has an especially ancient wing from the 11th century, most of the present building was built in the second half of the 19th century. This was after a great fire destroyed the palace in 1834.

On days when the parliament is active, visitors can even go inside and watch the discussions.



#Prohibition of Death in Parliament

It’s interesting to learn about some strange laws upheld in different countries. In London, we have come across one of the strangest ones yet; it is prohibited to die in Parliament. It may sound funny, but it is not a joke and the law actually exists. The law prohibits dying in any royal palace in Britain, claiming that anyone who dies in it will technically have to receive a state funeral, even if they are not part of the royal family. If you had any such plans, sorry to put a damper on them…



#About the Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot was an attempt to assassinate King James I and all his men. It was a conspiracy in 1605, in which a group of Catholic extremists attempted to murder King James I of England, his family, and the proletarian nobility by blowing up the British Parliament building in Westminster Abbey.
The gunpowder plot was a scheme led by Catholics in England. They hoped to seize the monarchy in the kingdom and return it to Catholicism, so that England would return to the control of the Pope. The plot was foiled after a Catholic MP received a warning from one of the conspirators not to attend the opening ceremony of the parliament. He preferred to report it and searched the entire parliament building.

A guy named Guy Fawkes was caught in the search holding a lamp and a watch. In the basement of the parliament there were also 36 barrels of gunpowder. After research and modern experiments, it was discovered that had the barrels exploded, the king and everyone else in the building would have died immediately. Guy Fawkes betrayed the rest of the conspirators after severe torture. After a show trial all the conspirators were executed in a particularly cruel manner, treated as traitors of the worst kind.

The plot may have failed, but it was the anonymous Guy Fawkes who left a real mark in English history. As a general term for man, the word "guy" in English comes from his name. England also has a day called “Guy Fawkes Day” on November 5th, when bonfires are held with fireworks, it is a kind of celebration of the failure of the plot throughout the commonwealth: from England to Australia.

Today, masks of the "Anonymous" group – a group of permanent conspirators that are currently working against many regimes - were also designed according to Guy Fawkes' face.

The night of the thwarted conspiracy is mentioned in a ceremonial practice held in English Parliament before every opening ceremony of the Parliament. In this occasion, the members of the Parliament Guard search all the rooms in the building for bombs.
Imperial War Museums
Imperial War Museums-Churchill War Rooms
#About the Museum

If you are a World War II enthusiast, this museum comprised of war rooms is for you.

In the war rooms, which are located in the basement of the British Ministry of Finance, you will be exposed to the conduct of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, his cabinet and the military and intelligence chiefs during World War II. The rooms were preserved as they were in the 1940's and includes maps and charts.

The 21 rooms were opened to the public in 1984, including living rooms, and also rooms used for military functions: a war room, a map room and a hospital. The map room remained as neat as it had been on the last day of the war. Churchill managed the Battle of the English against the Nazi army, until the fortress was bombed and closed.

In 2003 the museum was expanded and additional rooms were opened to the public. In 2005, another section of the museum was opened, presenting Churchill's work with original documents and photographs. The Churchill Museum also offers a modern twist on the subject: digital presentations, films, archive materials and personal belongings.

Along with the entrance fee, you will receive a voice guide that will allow you to catch a glimpse at the amazing historical events that took place here.



A Closer Look at the Museum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XpgYfMcCn4

Big Ben Tour to Trafalgar

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
#About the Abbey

Westminster Abbey and St. Peter's Church, are the place where the kings of England are crowned and married. It is here that many of the old kings, alongside the writers and scientists of England are buried. Founded in 970 CE, the monastery is also a national museum.

In general, the church is an example of medieval architecture. However there are also other styles embodied in it; starting from the Gothic style to the 18th century. There is a large stained glass window at the entrance on which the three fathers and the 14 prophets are commemorated. Also note the "floating arches" in the northern wing of the monastery. They serve as a supporting base that holds the huge structure.

The first time the entire world was exposed to the church was in 1997, at Princess Diana’s funeral ceremony. The church received a lot of attention at the wedding of Prince William and Kate, who became Princess. In 1987, UNESCO declared the monastery and the palace a World Heritage Site.



#The History of the Abbey

One of the most prominent symbols of London is Westminster Abbey with special attention to its unique architecture. Prince Edward was one of the founders of the monastery. The monastery was built in a place where, according to legend, the fishermen who were fishing in the river saw the image of St. Peter. Construction took almost twenty years, between 1045 and 1065. It was eventually completed, only one week before the Prince's death.

A year after the building was completed, William of Normandy invaded Britain and tried to rule the kingdom. After quite a few wars and intrigues, he was crowned king in the monastery and became King William I. Legend has it that he entered the coronation ceremony while riding on a horse and ever since then, all coronation ceremonies occur in the monastery, although the kings do not arrive riding horseback.

The monastery underwent significant renovations over the years, which ended in 1514. It then was established with a Gothic style known to this day.

However celebrations and new beginnings are not the only events that occurred here; there were funerals and burial ceremonies as well. The most famous funeral held here was that of Princess Diana in 1997.

Another attraction in the church worth seeing is the grave of Edward "the Confessor" who founded the church. See also the coronation throne facing his grave, the tomb of Elizabeth I and that of Mary, her half-sister. Note the Chapel of King Henry VII. The chapel dedicated to the Royal Air Force should also not be missed.



#The Abbey for Tourists

The religious services conducted in the abbey are not intended solely for noble or royalty, but also for ordinary people who want to enjoy the beauty of the Church. If you go towards the altar you can search for the space devoted to the scholarly monks, consisting of 8 symmetrical sides. On its walls there are interesting murals.

During the singing of the enchanting choir, you can listen to the amazing acoustics of the place.



#The Da Vinci Code Film

When the famous film "The Da Vinci Code" was produced in Hollywood in 2006, the director sought permission to film the relevant scenes throughout the church, focusing especially on the murals that received much space in the original book and later in the film. The dean of the church refused to cooperate with the filming, because the original book did not follow exact historical facts. The Catholic Church in general criticized the film for its controversial interpretation. Some bishops even recommended boycotting the film and not watching it at all.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD9Xli8mMN0
London Eye
London Eye
#The Largest Ferris Wheel in Europe, The Eye Gazing of London

London Eye, known as the "Millennium Wheel," was opened for the millennium celebrations on December 31, 1999. 8.5 million visitors road the wheel in its first two years alone, and is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in London. It stands at 135 meters high. The ferris wheel is located on the south bank of the Thames, north of the Westminster Bridge and across from the Westminster Palace.

The construction of the ferris wheel was conducted with the cooperation of several European countries. The wheel was supposed to operate for only five years, but was later given permanent approval. Since 2005 the London Eye has been used as an area for the celebrations of New Year's and dozens of spectacular fireworks are sent from the body of the wheel itself.

Architect Richard Rogers said: "The Eye has done for London what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, which is to give it a symbol and to let people climb above the city and look back down on it. Not just specialists or rich people, but everybody." The wheel has 32 air-conditioned and pleasant capsules, each seating up to 25 people. Each capsule weighs 10 tons and represents one of London's neighborhoods. The ride in the wheel is very slow. It takes about half an hour while you look down at London. London itself is flat and has no hills or mountains. Therefore, the owners of the wheel claim that on sunny and pleasant days visitors can see for a distance of 40 kilometers. The capsule seats are comfortable to sit on, or, if you opt for it- there is enough space to stand up and enjoy the ride.

Have you noticed something interesting? Even when new passengers board it, the giant wheel does not stop! The huge wheel of London, the eye of the British capital, continues to move slowly, all the time ...



A Closer Look at the Wheel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0DSDUR5Ww4


At night:

https://youtu.be/8hygCya0-sY


Bloggers:

https://youtu.be/4vP_EUxYSHE


Guidance:

https://youtu.be/DIB_vr-txEs
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
#The Palace of the British Monarchy

The royal palace is the most famous palace in London. It is the main residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Buckingham Palace is one of the symbols of the British monarchy, along with Victoria Square, just around the corner.

The palace was originally built in 1703 for the first Duke of Buckingham, John Sheffield. In 1762 it was purchased by King George III, who expanded and enlarged it. In 1826 King George IV hired John Nash to transform the building into a magnificent palace. In 1837 it became the main palace of the British royal family and Queen Victoria moved in.

The eastern front which you must be facing now, was added after the wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert. In 1847 another wing designed by Edward Blur was added to the palace. He created the courtyard with its familiar square shape in the middle of the palace. Once completed, the palace contained 19 guest rooms, 52 royal bedrooms, 188 bedrooms for servants, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. The exterior wall of the palace underwent further renovation and a monument was built for Queen Victoria in 1912.

Like many UK buildings, Buckingham Palace was also hit during the Blitz during World War II.



#Tourism

Though the palace hosted well-known artists and celebrities (from government officials to famous composers) in its early years, the palace was not open to the general public. This was due to the fire in Windsor Castle in 1992. After the fire the Queen had to pay for its renovation. She agreed to allow visitors to visit the Buckingham Palace for a fee in order to finance the necessary renovations.

Since it opened to the public in 1993, the palace attracts crowds of visitors. Please note that only 18 of the 600 rooms in the palace are open to the public, so you can only imagine the true size of the palace. Only 100 out of a collection of 7,000 oil paintings in the Queen's possession are presented to the public. It is of-course known, that this is only one of the Queen’s residences..

It is important to note, that when the royal flag is raised, it is a sign that the queen is in the palace. On the days when the queen is in the palace, it will be closed to visitors, but you can still admire it from the outside.



#Changing of the Guard

Many visitors like to wait for the changing of the guard ceremony at the eastern front of the palace. The guards are soldiers belonging to military units subject to the royal family. They wear traditional military uniforms, which are remarkable and no longer used by the British army. The soldiers begin a half-hour march, accompanied by a military band from St James' Palace to Buckingham Palace. The march is impressive, majestic and elegant. After the new group of guards arrives at the entrance to the palace, the exchange itself takes place, in which they salute each other. At the end of the switch, the new group takes its place at the entrance to the palace and the old group makes their way back to St. James' Palace. If you want to ensure a good spot for observation, you should arrive at least an hour before the ceremony and occupy a place as desired.


#Tips

The ceremony is free to watch, be sure to come early to get a good spot to watch!

The changing of the guard is at 11:00 am daily, and 10:00 am on Sundays.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/18Z7BC6rEIg


A 360-Degree View:

https://youtu.be/FtGN2wK9g_s


Changing of the Guard:

https://youtu.be/p8Y8rhLirRw
Big Ben
Big Ben
#Important - the Big Ben will be under construction until 2021

Many tend to think that Big Ben is the name of the clock you're facing. The truth is that the nickname "Big Ben" refers to the bell above the clock.

Can you see it at the top of the tower? The truth is that the name of the clock is The Great Bell, but even on Big Ben's official site they gave up the official name in favor of its more popular nickname- Big Ben.

The clock was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who was in charge of the bell’s installation in 1859. It is told that Benjamin was a large man, prodding his co-workers to call him Big Ben.

The project of raising the bell, which weighed about 12 tons of cast iron, to the top of the tower, was complex and required great effort. Due to its size, it took 30 hours to hoist it up. This was done while the giant bell was tilted parallel rather than perpendicular to the ground. When they finally managed to place the large bell at the top of the tower, they naturally called it Big Ben.

Who would have thought that the director’s name would become one of the most prominent symbols in the kingdom?!


#Is the Big Ben Collapsing?

A survey published in 2011 revealed that the clock tower of the British Parliament is leaning sideways. The tower is 98 meters high, has apparently shifted by 48 cm to the northwest, with a slant of 0.26 degrees (one-sixth of the Pisa tower’s slanting angle).

In the past, Big Ben's slant was only a rumor, and only engineers seemed to notice. Today, if you look well, you will see it with your own eyes: the tower seems to have "bent." It is widely believed that the gradual deflection was caused by intensive construction work around the base of the tower, construction of an underground parking lot for members of the parliament and the introduction of a sewer line laid in the 1960's and underground trains. These all affected the land on which the structure stands and caused its instability.

According to the engineers' measurements, since 2003 the tower is slowly leaning over at a rate of 0.9 millimeters a year. The report also revealed that a "mysterious" incident occurred between November 2002 and August 2003, which caused the tower to tilt sideways by 3.3 millimeters. But you can remain calm at the pace of the current shift, it will take Big Ben at least 4,000 years to fall!


A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4ZeLMPects


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.