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Borough Market
Borough Market
#About London's Food Market

The Borough Market is certainly the most enjoyable of London's food markets. For hundreds of years, this market operated as a food market and popular English dishes were available. In recent years the market has become a colorful market, full of fresh agricultural produce and gourmet food.

Despite the expensive products, and the lack of breakfast- the stands and restaurants only open up later, most of the experience is roaming about, walking through the stalls and looking around. Many of the stands offer a taste of their merchandise.

If you happen to be in the market past noon, you can wait for the market to switch over to trendy bars. These fill up quickly with the Londoners who come for an afternoon beer.

#Recommendation for a Tasty Market Dish

If you are in search of a fish and chips dish, try the restaurant Fish, or the stall Fish! Kitchen on the road that cuts across Borough Market. You can choose several types of fish. You can then venture to the sitting area or the church courtyard to enjoy your meal.

For those not interested on spending money- if you arrive an hour before closing time, you will find that many stalls sell their goods at half price. You can buy pastries, bread, cakes, cookies, soups and cooked foods.

#A Short History of the Market

The Borough Market dates back to the days the Romans ruled the area that would one day be London. The market was placed elsewhere 2000 years ago. In the Middle Ages, the entire area adjacent to the London Bridge continued to serve as a commercial center. In 1756, the Borough Market was relocated to its present site. The market has been here for 250 years.

The Borough Market underwent serious renovations before becoming what it is now: a market for good quality gourmet food, with prices to match. The market began to function as a social and cultural center, offering many culinary activities. The best chefs of Britain and Europe frequent the market, venturing to see and be seen.

A Closer Look:

The Amsterdam Dungeon
The Amsterdam Dungeon
#About Amsterdam's Dungeon

Most of us like experiences, especially those that raise the adrenalin. Amsterdam's dungeon is actually a route consisting of walking through a maze, riding a roller coaster, touring water canals and more.

During the course you will encounter a team of masked actors who will appear in front of you as various characters related to the history of the Netherlands. The purpose of the place and its staff is to make you feel the darkness and the cultural darkness, the fear and the fears that the local inhabitants lived during the Middle Ages. You can go back 500 years, to the days of the Christian Inquisition and torture in basements, a time of pirates and witchcraft tricks and intrigues. Dark history comes to life in eleven live performances and in a breathtaking experience.

The tour is 80 minutes long and is a fascinating, if somewhat frightening, a way to learn about the history of Amsterdam. The visual, vocal and interactive effects will create for you one of the most extreme but interesting experiences in Amsterdam.
O2 Arean
O2 Arena
#About the O2 Arena, Formerly Called the Millennium Dome, Located in Northern Greenwich

The indoor sports hall, housed in a spacecraft-like building, called the Millennium Dome, is located on the banks of the River Thames, and when it was built in 1999, the structure was severely criticized, and only after a few attempts was the exact recipe for its use found.

In the complex of the Arena is located a small auditorium, a night club and a large exhibition space. Around the Arena are restaurants, bars, cinema and the Sky TV studios.

O2 Arena is also known as the "North Greenwich Arena", but its name "O 2 Arena" is after the British mobile communications company. The works began in 2003 and ended in 2007. It has 20,000 seats, making it the second largest sports venue in the UK.

An interesting detail about building arena, is that cranes were not able to be used for construction, because of the dome of the compound. Therefore, the roof of the dome was built on the ground and only later was hoisted to its place at altitude. The dome occupies about 40% of the arena.

A sound problem created initially was the echo that we know from indoor places. As part of building the hall, U2's sound manager, together with the acoustics engineers of the hall, worked to solve the sound problem. They succeeded in doing so, and to this day sound inside the arena does not suffer from sound problems.

At the O2 Arena you'll find an active bungee facility 48 feet high.

A Closer Look at the O2:

Design Museum
Design Museum
#About the Design Museum of London, a Museum of Useful Arts

The Design Museum is situated in what was in the 1940's a... banana warehouse. It was later converted into a building and became a museum.

This is one of the most popular museums in London, and for a good reason. It focuses on industrial design, fashion design and architecture.

The building is comprised of 3 floors, each room has a different design concept, including the bathroom. Temporary exhibitions fill the first floor. The second floor is designed as a swimming pool, and on the third floor the permanent exhibitions, which presents the history of design in England, as well as an educational center for design.

Yet along with historical matters, the London Design Museum is known for its openness to innovations in art and design. A large sum of money is given to designers each year as a prize. This award is now considered the most prestigious in the world of design. Renowned designers submit their candidacy every year and regard it as a great honor and proof of their professionalism.

However, at times, the Design Museum often receives press that is unlinked to innovation and creativity, or remotely linked to art. From time to time, the often switch of directors and curators has brought about publicity. Surprisingly, there is a lot of passion and fervor surrounding this event. It lead to many arguments regarding artistic matters, the tension between art and usability and sometimes simply the character of the design museum. Every manager brings his own agenda and the rumpus continues...

A Closer Look at the Museum:


Winter in London

Charles Dickens Museum
Charles Dickens Museum
#About the Museum in the Home of the Famous English Writer

Charles Dickens, a writer, a prolific literary historian, a journalist and an English theater actor, lived in this building, where the museum named after him is located today. He had also lived in other apartments throughout the city.

Although he lived in this house for only two years, between 1837 and 1839, Dickens wrote some of his most famous works here, such as "Oliver Twist" and "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" - two books that became popular classics dealing with the lives of the commoners.

Some of the rooms in the house are preserved just as they were at the time of Dickens and are an authentic reflection of what the house looked like while he lived there. Articles, letters, furniture and portraits related to the author can be found in other rooms of the house.

#Works by Dickens

Dickens’ Georgian house is located between the streets of London, which were a great source of inspiration for the writer. This house is only one of his houses open today to the general public. During the visit, you can really feel the presence of the British writer.

When Charles Dickens moved here in 1837, he was only 25, not yet a successful writer. Every day, from eight in the morning until the afternoon, he would sit in his room studying and writing. His famous desk can be found in the house. During his three fruitful years here, he managed to write his first novel "The Pickwick Papers" and two other novels; "Oliver Twist" and "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby." Here he also began to write the novel "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."

#Dickens’ Childhood

The museum manages to convey the story of Charles Dickens the man, almost like the story of Dickens the artist. As a child, Dickens experienced a difficult life. Though in his early years as a child the family lived in a large house with two servants, a comfortable and good life, it soon turned out that the family lived beyond its economic capabilities. His father, who for years served as a clerk in the navy, drowned in debt because of his lavish lifestyle. When the debt that was not returned Dickens’ father was arrested and thrown into the Marshalsea prison in 1824. The prison was a private prison and run for profit gains. This fact apparently ignited in Dickens the passion for social justice.

This was the turning point in Dickens' childhood, who at age 12 left his family to work for a living. He worked 10 hours a day in a shoe factory, pasted stickers on jars and did everything he could to make some money. These years are reflected in Dickens' writing: his attitude toward orphans, abandoned children and the poor. Many of Dickens' characters, such as Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, are based on experiences he endured in his childhood. He referred to the long working hours, the harsh labor conditions, the meager wages and the exploitation. Dickens often testified that if he had not become a writer, he would probably have become a criminal.

#About the House

Charles Dickens’ life changed drastically during the years spent in this house. It was here that his two daughters were born to his wife Catherine.

The kitchen and the dining room were the most important to Dickens and his wife. They would host quite a few parties and evenings together, with friends and people of high status. The Dickens were particularly social and they hosted a great deal.

Throughout the house you can see many paintings and pictures on the walls, caricatures and small sculptures.

Catherine's 17-year-old sister, Mary Hogarth lived in one of the rooms. She passed away, and the loss influenced Dickens and his writing substantially in the years to follow.

The main room of the house was the drawing room. People would come here to drink, eat, dance and play. Dickens loved this room dearly. Guests were especially lucky if he’d read what he had written in his study that day out loud. The copies of what he has written and read in this room are now in this museum.

3.1 million euros has been invested in this house to date. Special events are held throughout the year. The museum offers activities that are suitable for children of all ages.

The museum also runs an exciting program for families. The program reads together excerpts from Dickens' works, and there are also entertaining performances, with actors and temporary exhibitions.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

Sir John Soane's Museum
Sir John Soane's Museum
#About The Archeology Museum

At the "Soane" Archeology Museum you will find some of London's most spectacular treasures. This museum displays illustrations and models of buildings designed by the British architect John Soane. Among the exhibits you will find archaeological collections of his. The museum is located in the Holborn neighborhood of central London. Sir John had left the house and all its collections of art to the British nation.

The museum was established while Sir John was still alive. After his passing, the British Parliament enforced a law determining that the house should be preserved exactly as it was in his lifetime. The law is still valid to this day. In the 19th century the museum expanded. Today this area serves as the museum's offices, library and gallery for temporary exhibitions as well.

In this museum you will find approximately 30,000 architectural illustrations and works of art, models and sculptures, paintings
and other works. The sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I is kept in the
cellar of the museum. In addition to the collections and artworks, there are also temporary exhibitions on various subjects, including the areas in which Sir John was interested.

Today the museum also serves as a national center for the study of architecture.

#Architecture and Construction

One of the most prominent features of the rooms in the museum
is the use of illumination. This is an original idea of Soane that he invented while planning the rooms in the Bank of England (the building where the United Kingdom Central Bank is located). Due to the special museum structure, in which the walls of the exhibition rooms are movable, it is possible to view several pictures simultaneously and rotating the display structure easily and efficiently.

The breakfast room, where you will find a concave ceiling with mirrors, was an influential feature on contemporary interior designers at the time. The museum's library is built in the Gothic style.

The house as it is today, lures the visitors into the atmosphere of Sir John Soane.

#Sir John Soane

Architect John Soane was born in 1753 and achieved a respectable career during his lifetime.

Sir John Soane decided to build his house on the north side of Lincoln’s Inn. He bought three houses adjacent to each other and rebuilt them for this purpose. Shortly after his appointment as professor of architecture at the Royal Academy, he purchased the building where the museum is located - house number 13. Originally, the house was supposed to serve him as an office.

His wife passed away in 1815, and he remained alone in the house, continuing to develop his collections and works.

In 1823, when he was 70 years old, he purchased the adjacent building, number 14, and expanded it to the museum grounds, significantly increasing them in size. Sir John Soane passed away in 1837.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

Camden Market
Camden Market
#Camden Market for Tourists

There are quite a few markets in London, and visiting them is a staple in any trip. This is one of the UK's biggest street markets – the fashionable Camden Market. Even if you aren’t looking to spend money, (the prices here are higher), you will still find pleasure in the tour and special atmosphere it offers. The market has over 150,000 visitors every week.

The Camden Market is actually made up of several separate markets: Camden Lock, Camden Lock Village, Stables Market, Buck Street, Inverness Road Market and Electric Ballroom.

The market is located in Camden Town, on the Regent River Canal. It began operating in 1974. Although it was a temporary market, it was popular and successful even during its earliest days, therefore becoming a permanent market. The opening hours also changed over time: In the past, it only operated over the weekend, but in recent years the shops have been active during the week as well.

The market has a total of over 1,000 shops and stands, where you can find clothing, antiques and furniture. It is a popular center with plenty of restaurants, shops, cafes and pubs. If you are a fan of Gothic fashion and alternative music, you will find clothing, knickknacks and records that cannot be found elsewhere.

#The Stables at Camden Market

A visit to the stables at Camden Market provides a glimpse at the past rural life that took place in the city. The life-sized bronze statues of horses provide the visitor with an experience and illustration of what used to be here in the past, before the space was converted to the market and was nicknamed the "Stables Market."

The market received its name because it is located in a building that once served as the stables of the Midland Railway Company. This section of Camden Market is its largest section, hosting nearly 700 stands and shops. In the stalls that used to house horses, there are stands today with a wide variety of items for sale.

The stables were built in 1854, and many horses hidden in these stables were used to transport goods along the canals. There were vets, carts, saddle shops, and warehouses in this space as well. Although the place looks very modern and trendy today, the stables are still here, due to the horses' statues.

A Closer Look:

The British Library
The British Library
#About the Library

The National Library of London is one of the world's largest research and study institutions. You will find 150 million items, while approximately 3 million books and other historical items are added every year. The oldest historical item found here is from the 3rd century BC.

The library was established in 1973, but already operated as a library in 1753, even when it was located in the British Museum building. The reason for the expansion was the necessity for a larger and more respectable reading space.

The library has more than 13 million books, 60,000 journals, 9 million articles, 860,000 newspapers, 1.5 million printed music, 57 million patents and trademarks, and 3 million voice recordings. In addition, this huge space hosts large and interesting exhibitions.

The library is defined as a deposit library (a library that is legally required to transfer copies of various publications) and, by law, receives a copy of any book published in the UK and even tries to purchase books printed outside the UK.

In the library you will find some particularly exciting works and documents: the Magna Carta, the first copy of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll's manuscripts (Alice in Wonderland), lyrics of the Beatles written by John Lennon, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and the Codex Sinaiticus (A manuscript from the fourth century).

A Closer Look at the Library:


The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection
#About the Museum

The Wallace Collection is in close proximity to Oxford Street in London. In this art museum you will find the private collections of Sir Richard Wallace, whose first items were collected by Hartford's third and fourth Marquis. The collection was given to the British government by Wallace's widow in 1897 and it was opened to the public in 1900. The museum is located in Manchester Square.

There are 28 rooms in the museum with a warm and intimate environment. China pieces, armor of various kinds and French furniture fill the rooms. Among other things, you will also see oil paintings by Titian, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Gainsborough.

The museum also has a conservation department where you can learn about the traditional production of furniture and armor. The coolest secret for children and young souls is the opportunity to experiment with the fascinating collection of armor of all kinds, spears, swords and other ancient weapons. If you like, you can wear a helmet and armor, snap a photo and feel their heavy weight.

#A Visit to the Museum

Visiting the museum will make you feel as if you are touring an old and nostalgic palace, but luxurious and impressive all the same. A large indoor lawn fills the first floor, used for holding events. In the other rooms you will encounter designs from different historical periods: the Victorian period, the Renaissance period and more. Fascinating items such as war tools, armor and other items are scattered through the rooms. The souvenir shop offers catalogs and copies of exhibits for sale.

Notice the charming work "The Swing," which was painted by the painter Fragonard in 1767.

There is no entrance fee though it is customary to leave a tip in the donation box at the entrance. Fans of art and culture will enjoy a visit in this museum, though it is not well known among tourists.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

National Army Museum
#About the Museum

The National Army Museum of London manages to encompass the entire history of the military of England, a unique and difficult feat. This museum tells the story of the armies of England throughout history - including the battles against Napoleon, battles during the rule of the Roman Empire on the British Island and both World Wars.

The museum was first established in 1960, in a building that was used as a riding school. In the 1970's it was transferred to a building serving as the Chelsea Hospital. During World War II, the building was severely damaged.

The museum sports a permanent exhibition of soldiers' letters from the battlefield as well as a review of the soldiers' wives stories. The temporary exhibitions display various war tools, spears and swords, ranging all the way to cannons and modern weapons.

At present day the National Army Museum is subsidized by the Department of Defense. At the end of each first week of the month, special events are held at the museum, which includes activities in cooperation with older soldiers after service, activities for children, lectures and various demonstrations.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

Imperial War Museum
#About the War Museum in London

A charming 19th-century building is nestled at the heart of the garden. It once served as a hospital, and is now a museum founded in memory of British soldiers killed in the First World War. The museum's main building with a dome and a huge column lobby was built in 1846 by Sydney Smirke. The museum was founded in 1917 and until 1936 was adjacent to the Crystal Palace. With the outbreak of the fire, the museum moved to Lambeth, an area in southern London.

The museum pays respect to soldiers in the British army and tries to convey this feeling to viewers. The museum will expose visitors to wars from both the front and the rear of battle. These include tanks, artillery, planes, espionage equipment, and more. The museum also features a "surrender letter" of German forces in Europe. In addition, you will find approximately 10,000 works related to war, paintings and sculptures. Information on the lives of the residents of the home front during the fighting is also on display. One of the chilling permanent exhibits you will see in the museum deals with the Holocaust.

In the museum you will also find the war rooms of Churchill, Her Majesty’s warship Belfast, and Her Majesty's Air Force Museum. There is also a café and a tea room.

A Closer Look:

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
#About the Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew were established in 1759 as Lord Chappelle's private gardens and are located on the banks of the River Thames, between Richmond and Kew. During the following years they were expanded further and in 1840 they became royal gardens. The gardens cover over a million square meters and constitute an important research and educational institution in the field of botany.

In the gardens you can also see the four largest glasshouses in the world, a variety of sculptures, palaces, temples, pagodas, art galleries, glass houses and pavilions. The largest collection of vegetation in the world is found in this garden. A library of over 750,000 volumes and a collection of over 175,000 illustrations can be found here. The gardens have a staff of about 800 people, of whom 650 are researchers. The famous palm house can be found here, built by the Victorian architect Decimus Burton. The gardens also have the largest seed bank in the world.

During 2010, over one million visitors passed through the garden’s gates.

#Kew Palace

Fans of architecture will enjoy a visit to the 17th-century Kew Palace which served the kingdom. It was a mansion built near the original Kew Palace. The building was first built in 1663 and is known as the Dutch House. In 1781 King George III purchased it for residential purposes but when he abdicated the throne, parliament voted against building the palace and his wife remained in the Dutch House until her death in 1818. In 1837 upon being crowned, Queen Victoria bequeathed these grounds to the British public. She kept the Dutch House as her summer home.
In the years between 1996 and 2006, the building underwent rehabilitation and restoration work.

A Closer Look at the Gardens:

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:

Horniman Museum and Gardens
#About the Ethnographic Museum with its Cultural Collection from the Great World

Rich with a diverse collection of art, this museum presents exhibitions from cultures from all over the world. The museum is located in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of South London. The initiative for the museum came from the tea merchant Frederick John Horniman. This man was interested in a proper place to present his collections of musical instruments, ethnographic collections, fossils, plants and animals. The museum was opened to the public in 1901. Presently, more than 350,000 exhibits in various fields are presented at the museum.

Among the buildings is the Center for Understanding the Environment. The museum is run by the UK Department of Culture, Communication and Sport.

Well-tended gardens surround the museum, where visitors may take a stroll around. These extend over 65,000 square meters. In addition, there are walking trails in the gardens, a small zoo, a glasshouse that is a historic building for preservation and an orchestra building.
London Canal Museum
#About The Museum

The building of the London Canal Museum where you are now, was once an ice storage facility. It is ancient and has historical significance. In the museum you can learn about the development of the canal network that surrounds London, which served as the main transportation routes in the country.

The first-hand tour of the museum includes a short boat ride that tries to simulate the sailing in the 17th century, while listening to interesting information about the life of the sailors, the horses who were responsible for pulling the boats and the life under the city.

Due to the interesting history of the building as an ice storage facility, you will also find fascinating information on the import of ice from Scandinavia. You will have access to information on the ice block voyage on the giant ships, through the small boats that roamed the alleys of the city directly to the huge ice warehouses.

The canal museum is suitable for the entire family and the children will be engaged by the enriching learning experience.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

London Transport Museum
#About the Museum

The museum, dedicated entirely to the development of transportation in London, joins the list of museums associated with the history of the city. It is located in Covent Garden, and it is especially appealing to children. The fascinating tour includes a simulation ride on an old bus, a visit to an old train, attractions and games. The little ones will find a unique opportunity to drive a bus ...

The museum was opened to the public as early as 1980, but during this period it presented only exhibits relating to London's public transport. Its original name was "Transport Museum London". When the museum management was replaced in the year 2000, the exhibits were expanded to include all modes of transport in London. Today you can see ancient and modern exhibits, all standing next to each other: old buses and trains besides new motorcycles. General information is also available on London's modern transport.

The museum also includes military vehicles. In the range of topic surveyed in the museum, the future means of transport is pondered on as well as examining the influence of transportation on the design of other cities in the world. As part of the changes that have taken place in the museum over the years, additional sections have been added, such as a lecture hall. Most of the items in the museum are not displayed because of their size and are held at another branch of the museum located in the town of Acton, London.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

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:


National Portrait Gallery
#About the Portrait Gallery

The gallery displays portraits of important figures in British history. The gallery was established in 1856 and in its early years presented mainly kings, statesmen and generals. However in time, temporary exhibitions were opened offering a variety of color and other interesting figures. Amongst the portraits: William Shakespeare, Paul McCartney, Princess Diana, Charles Darwin, King Edward VI and many others.

Though the gallery is surrounded by equally significant museums (the National Gallery and the Tate Modern), is considered one of London's most important art museums. The locals arrive mainly for nighttime showings on Thursdays and Fridays.

The gallery moved to this very place in 1896. In the following years, two more wings were developed. The gallery houses over 11,000 paintings, 220,000 photographs, sculptures and various multimedia exhibits. Though the building was destroyed during World War II as a result of a German attack, it was restored relatively quickly.
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.


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.
Madame Tussauds
# About the Madame's First Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds is now a chain of museums, which span over several cities around the world. Though it is known to children and adults alike, the main and original museum was founded right here in London.

The museum was founded in 1835 by Madame Tussauds herself. Tussauds was a French wax sculptor who emigrated to London. Her talent and knowledge in wax sculpture was inherited from her mother, who was the housekeeper of an artist and sculptor who specialized in wax.

Wax sculptures of historical and famous figures of all kinds can be found around the museum: from famous politicians such as Churchill, Kennedy and even Shimon Peres, through actors and athletes, singers, cultural personalities and other celebrities.

Madame Tussauds is one of London's primary tourist destinations. Different experiences in the museum range from watching and photographing the various wax dolls, through interactive games, to a tour of the horror cellar where you can see figures of criminals and hangmen, executioners and actors to spice up the experience. Photos of important historical events of the city are on display, a train ride and a section where visitors become famous comic dolls.

Some of the characters in the horror cellar were brought from Paris to England by Madame Tussauds herself in the early 19th century.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

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:

The Cartoon Museum
St. Paul's Cathedral
Tower of London
London Science Museum
Natural History Museum

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