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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
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.
Tower of London
Tower of London
#About the Tower

The Tower of London is a majestic castle, located on the north bank of the Thames in central London. It was established in 1066 as part of the conquest of England by the Normans. The fortress is a complex of several buildings surrounded by two ring-shaped defensive walls.

The innermost ward contains the White Tower and is the earliest phase of the castle, and gave the castle its name “Tower of London". It was built by William the Conqueror around 1078. Inside the tower you will find St. John's Chapel, a collection of weapons and medieval armor, and a reminder of a terrorist attack that took place here in 1974. At the entrance of the citadel courtyard you can see the "Bloody Tower”, where it is presumed that King Edward V and his brother Duke of York were murdered.

Next to the "Bloody Tower" is the Wakefield Tower where the crown jewels were kept. In the Jewel House building you will find the Crown Jewels exhibition and on the ground floor you will see the Armor garments, noble and gallantry symbols, jewelry and crowns.

In the Middle Ages the Tower of London served as a prison. In this prison those opposed to the crown were arrested and beheaded. Over time, the Tower of London gained a reputation for the torture and death that took place within its walls. Seven people were executed at the Tower, and for 400 years there were more than 100 executions. Among the prisoners was Queen Elizabeth I, who managed to escape the execution.

The tower served as the residence of the British monarchs. The truth is that the control of the fortress in that era was critical for anyone who had aspirations of ruling the country. However, it was much more than a house, for it had many uses-starting from a gun warehouse, a treasure house, a zoo, through the residence of the Royal Coin, a public documents office and the home of the crown jewels of the United Kingdom.

Today, the Tower of London is a popular tourist attraction. It is crowded by visitors who come to watch the towers, the guards with the red uniforms and the crowns.

Every evening at 9:00 pm, you can watch the "ceremony of the keys," performed by the guards. During the ceremony the gates of the fortress are locked. This ceremony has been done for 700 years!



#Terror in the Tower

There are some chilling stories to tell about the Tower of London. The truth is, however, that it is not surprising considering what went on inside these walls. For hundreds of years, torture, murders, executions, suicides, and mourning have taken place here. To this day, it seems like a soft sobbing resonates throughout this vast structure, probably to remind us that the past is still a part of our present.

Ghost stories are an inseparable part of life for anyone who grew up in England. 40% of the city's inhabitants believe in ghosts and one in seven people can swear they saw one. Historically, the Tower London is one of the most prominent places for such stories.

For the record, 2,900 prisoners were held here over the years serving as a prison. These people were from all ranks and social classes. If you look in the direction of the White Tower where the torture chamber was built, know that quite a few people have died there in agony. The guards of the fortress, who used to patrol around, once testified to shouts being heard piercing the from the door of the White Tower. They assumed it was Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. Queen Anne Boleyn’s fate was sealed when she was executed on the grounds of adultery and treason against the king.



A Closer Look at the Tower:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfhbVmU4A-o
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
#About the Square

In the square, which is an important crossroads while also a tourist attraction in its own right, you will find many colorful, glowing fluorescent signs in the evening. This along with the large number of tourists make it one of the most recognizable symbols in London.

The square was established in 1819 and is located in Westminster quarter. It is a nexus between Regent, Piccadilly and Shaftesbury avenues. The square was designed by architect John Nash. Originally its shape was round like a standard square but with the construction of Shaftesbury Boulevard its shape changed to a triangle.

Before the establishment of the square, this area was a part of the London markets. The name was given to a large, grand house that stood here and belonged to a tailor named Robert Baker. Baker was a manufacturer and merchant of collars called Piccadilly –which were high collars in the 17th century. Collars became a trend and Baker became rich from selling them. The house, which caught the eye of his neighbors, is called "Piccadilly Hall". The street and the square were named after the house.

The Trocadero building is another attraction for tourists in the area. The complex includes restaurants, souvenir shops and more. Due to the proximity of the square to entertainment and shopping complexes, it is a popular tourist attraction. At the corner of the square you will find the fountain-like sculpture called "Eros" after the angel sculpture at the head. On fine days you can walk among the hordes of travelers, sit on the steps of the statue, take a picture with it and absorb a real London atmosphere. In the square there are several other buildings worth visiting: the memorial of Lord Shaftesbury, the Criterion Theater, the London Pavilion and more.



#More About the Square

Very few people who come to London pass up on a visit to this famous square. The glow of its neon signs reach far and wide. The first of them was set up here in 1923 and within a short time the whole square was filled with glowing signs. The attempts to economize on the lighting of fluorescent lights, led to the transition to a light-emitting LED, only one corner of the square is lit up in the dark by neon signs today.

The construction of the square began 200 years ago, in 1819, at the intersection of Piccadilly and Regent Roads. In the past, the square was considered the center of the world and to this day it is considered a popular meeting place especially for tourists. There is a western road departing from the square leading out of the city, and therefore important and significant.

The square was designed by architect John Nash, who designed Trafalgar Square and Park Regent. Over the years, the square underwent many changes. Though initially the purpose of the square was meant for vehicles alone, additional sections were opened later for pedestrians. The magnificent fountain at the center of the square was added only a few years later. The square's initial shape was round, but it changed in 1886, once Shaftesbury Avenue was built.

The square is located in the Westminster district and is the city's classical cultural center. Along the main avenue you will find booths selling tickets to the various plays running in the various theaters in the quarter.



#The Memorial Fountain

In the southwest corner of the square you can see Lord Shaftesbury's Memorial Fountain, erected in 1892. It originally stood in the center of the square and was erected in memory of Anthony Ashley Cooper, the first Earl of Shaftesbury who was a philanthropist, politician, reformer, and British social reformer.

At the head of the fountain stands the sculpture of "the Angel of Christian Charity," by sculptor Alfred Gilbert, which has become one of the city's most popular symbols. For some reason, despite its angel-like appearance, the public identified him as Eros and mythological love. In early years, the sculptor caused controversy because the statue is of a naked man. However as time passed the public became accustomed to it and even appreciated its uniqueness - the first aluminum sculpture in the world.

Originally, the statue faced the north, but during World War II it was lowered to protect it, and when it was returned it was placed facing southward.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl7KR9FEJOw

Must See in London

Oxford Street
Oxford Street
#About London’s Main Shopping Attraction

Oxford Street, London's main shopping road, has long been occupied by well-known brand stores and huge shops. In the past it was possible to find early designers and interesting and independent shops, but today corporations and fashion chains have taken over.

One end of the road begins at the eastern end of Hyde Park and crosses Oxford Square and St. Giles Square. The street is more than 2.5 kilometers long and named after Count Oxford, who lived here in the 16th century.

It’s common to come across public figures and celebrities while going on your shopping spree on Oxford Street. Politicians, actors, movie stars and the British royal family - all assemble here to for some shopping. The prices in the stores are high, but if you arrive at sales season, there are many bargains to be found.

During its most popular months, the road is packed with tourists looking for a place to spend their money. Even if it’s not within your budget, you can always sit down and eat a hot soufflé and people watch.

Among the shops and chains on the road are popular chains like Zara, Gap, Nike, Primark, Uniqlo, H & M and more.



#"God's Tribunal"

In the past, Oxford Street was named Tyburn, after the underground river Tyburn below.

This links to the chilling history in the city. On the evening of October 23, 1783 at a secluded spot on the street, a robber named John Austin was hanged mercilessly. This cruel act was the last time the ancient custom occurred -the procession of prisoners from the Newgate prison to the gallows in Tyburn, and their on-the-spot execution.

For 300 years, death row prisoners made their way directly from Old Bailey to Marble Arch. Such processions took place eight times a year and were among the most intriguing events in the capital, to the extent that even the deer gathered at the edge of the roads. People’s heads would peep from the windows of the houses. The procession was 2 kilometers long and took three hours.



A Closer Look at the Street:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r75_GZ-X74M
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
Hyde Park
Hyde Park
#About the Park

Hyde Park is one of the Royal Gardens of London. It is located in the center of London and was originally purchased by King Henry VIII, from the Westminster Abbey monks in 1536. Like many royal gardens at the time, it was also closed to visitors at first, and the roads were open to the carriage of the aristocracy only.

In earlier periods, the area served as a hunting ground and an arena for battles, horse races, executions, and more. During World War II, the land in Hyde Park was used to grow potatoes.

In 1728 Queen Caroline took 300 acres from the west side of the park and turned it into Kensington Gardens. It was also the same period the Serpentine lake was built. This is a snake-shaped lake where you can sail or watch the ducks.

It also has a touching memorial to Princess Diana, the "Princess of Hearts", may she rest in peace.

You can stroll around the park easily and see its monuments, enjoy the café or the children's playground.

In 1851, the Crystal Palace was built in Hyde Park for a large exhibition held in London that year. In 1857, the Marble Arch was moved here - a marble arch designed by architect John Nash as the entrance gate to Buckingham Palace and inspired by the Arch of Victory in Rome.



#The Speakers' Corner in the Park

A popular point in the park is "speakers' corner," where many people gather and conduct public discussions to this day. At the "Speakers' Corner" any person may stand and speak at will. People milling about or those who come especially may listen and participate.

Some of the speakers are particularly smart, for example past speakers include Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell. Others might poke fun or provoke arguments... This particular custom of speeches has been partially preserved to this day, and every Sunday you will be able to hear various speakers who talk about political, economy and other issues.



#Hyde Park

This park is the perfect pace to take a break from your demanding routine. Locals come here to wander about, get some fresh air and exercise or bike around. The park is one of the eight royal parks within the capital of the United Kingdom and is one of the most prominent green spaces in London.

This park, with 350,000 square meters of a pastoral and green landscape, has hosted quite a few exhibitions, demonstrations and large concerts. The name "Hyde" may be related to a unique space measured in according to the fertility of the soil. The area contains a range of 60,000 to 120,000 square meters.

The southeast corner of the park is actually connected to the backyard of Buckingham Palace, which incidentally is also connected to St. James Park. The palace cavalry uses the park on a daily basis.



#Hyde Park for Tourists

Entrance to the park is possible between 5 am until midnight. There are about 5 million visitors each year. The park has miles of bicycle lanes, special pathways for horses, hiking trails, playgrounds and sport fields for football, tennis, golf, bowling and cricket. The park has street lamps which allow a pleasant atmosphere in the evening, benches which allow relaxation, taking in a view of the park, cafes, restaurants, water fountains and even a police station. In the summer, about 500 green and white sun loungers are regularly placed in the open air.

Children can also be entertained here, especially in the park named after Princess Diana located inside the big park, where children can play in sand and water. Admission to adults is only possible if they have children.

Some very large musical performances took place in this park. Among others; Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Kevin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more. Hundreds of thousands of spectators attended the performances.

If you're looking for what to incorporate on the day you visit the park, you can add Westminster, Oxford Street, Notting Hill or the Museum Quarter to your plan.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG-vnMLaMlE
Big Ben
Big Ben
#Important - the Big Ben will be under construction until 2021

#About the Name "Big Ben"

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


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
Abbey Road
#The Pedestrian Crossing of Abbey Road

The most famous pedestrian crossing in London and possibly the world, is situated on Abbey Road Street in Britain. One of the most famous photographs in the history of rock and modern culture was taken here. In 1969, when the four musicians recorded their last album, they decided that a photograph would be printed on the cover. Someone suggested posing across the road from the studio. They went out and walked across the pedestrian crossing and called the album named after the street where it was recorded.

Thus the pedestrian crossing opposite Abbey Road became a pilgrimage site for masses of tourists. Just like "Abbey Road Studios", the crossing was also declared a British heritage site over the years. Hundreds of tourists recreate the album cover every day, just like the Beatles. They take their photo on the crossing and recreate that great moment. For a moment, they can feel like Paul, John, George, or Ringo. .

The crossing has been moved a few meters from its original location due to renovations and changes that occurred at the intersection over the years. If you see a difference, you will now understand why.



#Abbey Road Studios

This is the studio where countless albums were recorded which are now a staple in musical history. Aside from The Beatles, the most famous is the "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd.

Incidentally, Abbey Road Studios were not always called by this name. Many do not know that the name of the street and the pedestrian crossing opposite the Abbey Road Studios preceded the names of these studios. Only after the success of the album and the transformation of the pedestrian crossing to a sacred site for the fans of the band, the studios were renamed the Abbey Road Studios. Now, both these spots became a "Mecca" of Beatles fans all over the world.

Today, tourists are not allowed to enter and even "peek" into the Abbey Road Studios buildings, and certainly not into the studios themselves.
However, photographs on the front steps is allowed. You can compete with tourists from all over the world, all of whom take a turn to stand on the steps of these studios and take the necessary photo op.



A Closer Look at the Studios:

https://youtu.be/so7Hg6NLkyI
The National Gallery
#About the National Gallery- the Museum for British and European Art

The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square and has 2,300 works of art dating between the 13th to 19th centuries. The museum was founded in 1824. Its purpose is to encourage appreciation of the art British citizens and other artists around the world. The building itself is built in the style of a Greek temple and is very special.

The museum's collection began when the British government purchased 36 photos from the banker John Julius. Over the years, the collection grew through additional donations and acquisitions. The collection belongs to the entire British public and therefore the entrance is free, though it is customary to donate an entrance fee in favor of the museum.

The exhibits follow chronological order: the earliest works will be found in the Sainsbury Wing, inaugurated in 1991 with natural lighting and optimal conditions. The later works, from 1500 onwards, will be found in the three wings of the old building.

Today you can find some spectacular and exciting works in the gallery halls. Make sure to find the "Portrait of Pope Julius II", Botticelli's "Venus and Mars," "The Madonna of the Carnations," "The Crucifixion" by Raphael, "The Madonna" by Leonardo da Vinci, "Venus in the Bathroom" by Velazquez, and others.



#The National Gallery

Over 2,000 masterpieces are exhibited in the National Gallery, among them Van Gogh's "Sunflower" painting. This is one of the most important galleries in the world, evident by the many pieces by famous artists. The most dated pieces of art in the museum are from 1250 and the newest ones are from the 20th century.

The first collection the British government purchased for 57,000 pounds was a collection of 36 works when the gallery opened in 1824. The collection, which belonged to a banker named John Julius, was the foundation for the impressive collection in the gallery today.

Over the years additional works arrived in the form of donations or acquisitions, which enriched the growing collection. In 1838, the collection was moved to the large and impressive building in Trafalgar Square. The location suited both the upper and lower classes, so it seemed that this area was perfect for the establishment of the gallery.

In 1906 it was acquired by the gallery "the Rokeby Venus" by the National Art Collections Foundation. In 1914, it was damaged as part of Mary Richardson's political protest over the arrest of Emilia Pankhurst as part of the campaign to grant women's rights.



#Architecture of the Gallery

John Nash was the architect who proposed building the designated building for the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. He purposely wanted to establish it where the royal stables had been. As part of an architecture competition which took place in 1832, Nash offered the plan for the building, but another architect, William Wilkins, won the competition. Initially the building served both the National Gallery and the Royal Academy. Due to budgetary and planning constraints, its original plan was changed. Another reason was the museum's many critics.

It was determined that the space was too small to contain two large institutions in and therefore only the National Gallery remained.
Over the years, and with the expansion of the collection, additional sections of the gallery were built. The most important of all is the Sainsbury Division, which opened in 1991.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jxxHLQzRmM
St. Paul's Cathedral
#About the Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral sits atop the hill of Ludgate in the center of the city of London. It is the seat of the Bishop of London. Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married here, and Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 80th birthday.

The cathedral was built in the late Renaissance and Baroque style. If the combination of styles sounds strange to you, know that in quite a few churches built by Christopher Wren this style appears, and is now called "Wrenaissance." It was in this cathedral that revolutionary architectural elements such as the Dome of the Cathedral – inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome – were built.

The Cathedral’s height is 108 meters. Two rows of Corinthian columns adorn the main entrance.

259 steps from the ground floor you will find the "whisper gallery," which got its name because of the echo created when people talk at one end and can be heard at the other. 119 steps above it is the "Stone Gallery," and yet another 152 steps lead to the top "Golden Gallery." The dome has a small window through which one can look down and see interior of the cathedral from a height of 85 meters.

The church organ installed here is the third largest in the UK and has 7,189 tubes.

The cellar of the church has various treasures: the tomb of architect Christopher Wren, the grave of Admiral Horatio Nelson who was the fallen conductor of the Battle of Trafalgar, and several memorial plaques including numerous ones in the memory of soldiers killed during the British Mandate in Palestine.



A Closer Look at the Cathedral:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hJzhVRjv48
Tate Modern
#About the Museum of Modern Art of Britain

The Tate Modern is a Museum of Modern Art, and a section inside the Tate Gallery. Is one of the most prestigious and valued museums in the world and has made the entire South Bank region a particularly trendy area.

The museum is located inside the Bankside Power Station, built in 1947-1963 by architect Giles Gilbert Scott. It was only after the station was shut down in 1981 that the building was redesigned and turned into a museum by the architects Herzog and De Meuron. The appreciation of architecture is an integral part of the museum's visit. The museum opened in 2000. Among the exhibits, you can find works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol.

On the first floor, you will pass through the impressive Turbine Hall. On the second floor is a café surrounded by transparent windows through which you can take in the beautiful view of the Thames. Though we are accustomed to museums displaying their exhibits by historical periods, in this museum you can walk around on the third, fourth and fifth floors, which are arranged according to themes. On the third floor, you will find mostly abstract art and expressionism, while the fifth floor features conceptual and minimalist works of art.



#Turbine Hall

On the first floor, you will find a large hall called the "Turbine Hall" since it used to be the turbine of the power plant. Due to the height of the hall (5 stories) and its wide area (3,400 square meters), very large pieces can be displayed in the hall.

Turbine Hall is the nexus of visitors, a place to rest and the heart of the entire structure. It is in this point that the traffic to and from the museum leaves and enters. It certainly provides a special experience.

Due to its enormous size (it makes up almost half of the entire building), the space allows for a display of large and impressive works. Up to 2012, “The Unilever Series” was exhibited in the hall, which was exposed in 2000. Note the spider at the entrance to the museum and the silver slides you can take to the lower floor.



#Tate Modern for Tourists

The Tate Modern, located at the end of the Millennium Bridge, brings 5 million visitors a year and is one of the most successful museums in the world. When the Queen of England first opened the gallery in 2000, no one imagined it would be such a spectacular success. The museum succeeded in increasing the prestige of the entire region and even led to a significant increase in property prices.

Items from 1900 until today are exhibited in the museum, and the entrance to the permanent exhibitions is free. If you decide to add a view to the temporary exhibitions there is a special fee for entry. A tour of the entire museum takes over an hour and a half to two hours for the average tourist, but art lovers can find themselves drifting here for a whole day. The museum tries to encourage the arrival of children and therefore offers various activities and guided tours (free) on a daily basis.

Tourists arrive by public transport and not in a private vehicle, because the entire area is jammed and parking is free. Young people enjoy a nighttime visit to the museum (it is open until 22:00). It is highly recommended to combine the museum visit with the interesting sites nearby - the Globe of Shakespeare, the London Bridge and the Borough food Market.



#The Basement Floor

One of the museum's most interesting spots is the basement, which is a nostalgic remnant of the original power station. On this floor you can see the three huge gas tanks made of concrete.

The reason why archeology was expressed in the structure lies, of course, in the selection of the architects Herzog and de Meuron, who discovered and exposed interesting underground spaces during their excavation. The architects used what they found inside the tanks: the sloping concrete columns and concrete openings that emphasized the special nature of the containers themselves. These spaces were the first to be designed specifically for the stronghold itself.

From the basement level you can ascend to the ground floor by a spiral staircase.



#The Museum's New Wing

The Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron accepted the project of expanding the museum. The new wing was built as the Switch House. The purpose of the nickname was to illustrate the difference from the existing structure of the power station, called the Boiler House.

According to the plan, the new wing was supposed to be inaugurated in 2012, but the design plans encountered quite a few objections, causing the architects to adjust their plans. In addition, those years suffered from an economic crisis, which did not help promote the project, only delaying it.

The new wing consists of 10 floors, but there were several challenges and limitations that eventually led to the pyramid shape that characterizes the new wing of the building. The factors taken into account were the angles of the streets that enclosed the building, the height restrictions imposed on it to avoid harming the sunlight of nearby buildings, an attempt not to damage the view of central London, and especially not harm the view of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.

The wing was built by concrete from the factory, but was assembled here, at the construction site. The architect, Giles Gilbert Scott, planned the taut front on the concrete. The idea was to create a kind of detachment between the entrance and the concrete structure itself - and therefore the architects omitted the bricks from the front, so that light and refreshing air would enter the building. The missing bricks create the illusion of lace and add value to the wide surfaces within the structure. The architects say they wanted to provide a different perspective on the art within the museum. This was also the reason they chose traditional construction materials, yet looked for a different way to use them.



#The Tale of a Treasure

The curator's role in the museum is to produce events that cause diverse audiences to come and view the collection at the Tate Modern Museum. The truth is, this museum is so special that it does not concern only art lovers. Even people who do not dabble in this field frequent the museum. You know, painting is just a color on canvas. It is simple and not at all complex - pigments mixed with oil. When the artist's hands touch the color, it becomes a kind of inexplicable magic for something that manages to express human emotion to another person.

On the tour of the Tate Modern Gallery, one can notice that the simplicity of the building and the spaces allows these works of art to receive the respect they deserve. The cause for his is the architecture in the entrance which draws attention, while the interior is relatively clean and does not attract much attention.



#The Roof of the Museum

One of the most beautiful and spectacular parts of the museum's new wing is its rooftop. Go up to the roof and for a glimpse of a stunning 360-degree panoramic view across central London. The urban landscape is full of tall towers and cranes.

Have you seen the movie “Rear Window”? The museum's roof will provide you with a particularly intriguing experience. Pay attention to the new Bankside luxury tower, designed by Richard Rogers and located next to the museum. The proximity to the residential tower and the great visibility on the exposed side of the tower provide a direct glimpse into the apartments of the tenants, some of which are so expensive that they cost 20 million euros.

So even though not all visitors might admit it, the thrilling spying on the luxurious apartments across the street turned into a the talk of the day on the roof of the museum. Dozens of visitors gather every day on the roof, point to the various apartments, wait to see the tenants and identify luxury pieces of furniture. It is very possible that this is one of the most interesting and popular objects in the museum, which sometimes surpasses the art inside the museum.



#Architecture

The arrangement of floors in the museum building presents a clear purpose: efficiency in the use of space rather than spaces that provide an experience for visitors. The impressive front of the building is almost never reflected inside. This is an original decision that does not characterize the usual museum architecture. It represents a statement about the gallery and the art presented in it.

The spaces are almost overcrowded, especially as the floors are higher.
In order to understand the difference, let us mention the original wing of the museum (the Turbine Hall), where the high industrial spaces provided added value in the form of a relationship between the size of the Turbine Hall and the exhibition spaces that are hidden and exposed in turn.

This, by the way, is not accidental, of course. In 2000, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron undertook the expansion of the museum. The Swiss architects were responsible for planning the gallery and were entrusted with the project. They emphasized that the direction of the art world is very influenced by the urban environment. This was the reason they made the "brave" decision to establish the new wing within an office tower. If you walk around the gallery, you will notice the difference between the original wing and the new and corporate wing.
The British Museum
#About the Historical Museum of England

The British Museum is acknowledged as one of the largest and most famous in the world. Founded in 1753 by a scientist and physicist named Sir Hans Sloan, it is located in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of Camden. The museum was opened to the general public in 1759. Over 6 million items are distributed throughout the museum representing the development of the human race from prehistory to the present, from different cultures.

This large building includes a combination of Grecian style architecture (the entrance plaza) and an indoor courtyard with a glass dome, which is by far the largest in Europe.

More than 5 million visitors arrive each year to the museum. Initially it was designed for a more general display and not primarily antiques. Approximately 40,000 books, texts, stuffed animals, fossils, engravings and antiques were found in the first collection donated to the museum by Sloan. Over the years, the museum served as a showroom, mainly for archeological and cultural exhibits. The museum's exhibits are divided into complexes, each relating to a different continent - from Africa and Asia to South America and Australia.

Entrance to permanent exhibitions in the museum is free. This is because there is an ongoing debate today over the ownership of the items displayed at the museum. Many items date back to the expansion of the British Empire and therefore the Museum's right to hold them was not agreed upon. On there behalf, the British claim that the items will be kept in in good condition and anyone will be allowed to come and enjoy them. In addition, British law does not allow the return of the exhibits. The Egyptian and Greek antiquities collection, for example, is one of the largest in the world. It also contains remains from the Parthenon in Athens. Therefore, some governments, like Greece and Nigeria are still fighting for the right to receive the remains for display in their respective museums.



#The History of the Museum

The purpose of the British Parliament in building the museum in 1753
was very simple: to allow citizens to discover the whole world in one building. This is one of the few buildings in the world that really makes it possible to learn and think about the whole world under one roof!

In 1750, the museum was actually a library of Gentleman's House, where visitors were able to draw, print and read the about the world. At the entrance, a visitor would receive a ticket from the library, that was also an entrance ticket to the museum. This way, a visitor would receive invitations to view the various collections presented at the museum. The idea of showing these collections to the commoners whenever they pleased was truly revolutionary at the time.

The new idea of allowing commoners to enter and behold collections in 1815, after Napoleon’s time, was truly a game-changer. The original building was replaced by the new building you see today. The museum is open to everyone today and all the collections are exhibited there. By the way, children were not allowed to enter the museum at all. This was due to the damage they caused to the stuffed animals when they got excited. The children returned to the museum as soon as the stuffed animals were transferred to the Natural History Museum. Today, by the way, children also visit there and do not inflict any real damage ...

A big change occurred in 1851. That same year, a fine exhibition was presented at the museum, and for the first time, a large number of tourists, lovers of art and culture, arrived. It was a huge success for museum in London, which became particularly popular. To this day there is an unimaginable amount of people in line, waiting to see the items in the museum, which are increasing continually in number.



#A Museum for Visitors

The museum's approach to visitors and tourists has been a special one since the early days of the museum. The founders wanted to allow people access to the objects, to think about them and discuss them, to paint them, to admire them or to swing by them – whatever they chose. The approach is that the collection is a private collection belonging to all citizens who can come and use it as they please and not a royal collection that is only intended for them.

The building you know is well suited to the large number of visitors who come here, but museum directors continue to devise new ways to give visitors better access to the collections available. Therefor the building has indeed undergone all sorts of changes over the years.

The visitors, then, do not come to the museum only to view the items of any given collection. They especially enjoy having lunch on the broad steps. In recent years, museum directors have been thinking about how to rethink the museum building in order to continue to achieve its original goal.



#About the Historical Museum of England

The British Museum underwent several architectural changes over the years. Its core, the oldest part, to date, was designed by the architect Sir Robert Smirke in 1823.

The large, modern courtyard, named after Queen Elizabeth II, was designed by Foster & Co. Architects. The courtyard was first opened to the public in 2000 and is the largest indoor courtyard in Europe. The magnificent ceiling of this courtyard is made up of no less than 3,000 transparent panels that form the harmonious and wondrous shape of the building. The waves, incidentally, are not symmetrical and the size of the panels is uneven. Also note the amount of light in the indoor yard - it is not as bright as the natural light outside – there is special material wrapping the panels, allowing only part of the light to sift through which created a special atmosphere and lighting inside.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygkWTK8nbmo
Victoria and Albert Museum
#About the Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum excels in designing items, and here you will find the largest collection in the world of decorative arts. The original purpose of the collection was to inspire creators at the time. Even with its artistic edge, the museum is not intended only for art lovers, but also those interested in anthropology and getting to know a wide variety of cultures.

The museum was established in 1852, and at first was called The South Kensington Museum, for its location in the Kensington neighborhood. At first it was established as a continuation of a large exhibition that took place in London in 1851, at the initiative of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband. In 1899 the museum received its owner's name.

The museum building was built in the Edwardian and Victorian style, and this is largely felt by looking at the windows and overhead arches.

In the 145 galleries, each with its own characteristics, you can find over 4 million items displayed. The Middle Ages and Renaissance galleries, the statue, jewelry, fashion, and furniture galleries – all these are just a few of the large amounts of displays here. In the heart of the building you will find a beautiful garden that is pleasant for a walk.

The total area of the building is 45,000 square meters.

Between 10:30 am to 3:30 pm there are free tours around the museum.



#The Museum's Courtyard

In the museum you will find two covered courtyards, called the Molding Garden, where you will find plaster moldings of statues, friezes, and coffins. All these were especially brought over to London, for artists to learn from, and be inspired by. One of the most famous piece of art is there Trajan's Column, whose height is so large it was cut into two.

With the years, many of the original pieces of art were damaged, and so the Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the only places to still see some of the works of art, exactly as they appeared in the 19th century.


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.