The Capital of England, London is also the Capital of the United Kingdom. It has many landmarks, but for lack of space we have to reduce it to the Top Twelve. I have been to London many times since the 1960s. It is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I have seen all changes that came with almost 50 years. But the landmarks are the same as they were then.
Spectacular night view of the Tower Bridge London
Tower Bridge London
It consists of two towers tied together with a suspended bridge held by the two towers. The name Tower Bridge comes for its close location to the Tower of London. It is an iconic symbol of London. Please do not confuse it with the London Bridge, which is another one upstream over the same Thames River.
The Tower of London
The official name is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. It is located on the north bank of the River Thames in the center of London.
The tower gives the name to the actual castle and was built by William the Conqueror first used as a prison although it was not mean for that. Since these times it has served as a palace and a Royal residence. It is a group of several buildings with defensive walls and a moat. During the reign of Richard the Lionhearted, Henry III and Edward I it was expanded to what it is today.
Nelson Column at Trafalgar Square London
It is located in the Center of Trafalgar square where we have been with the children feeding the pigeons. It was laid out during the years 1829-1841 as an honor to Lord Nelson’s victory over France. It is 185 feet high and above that stands a Nelson’s statue of about 18 feet.
Around the base four proud lions stand there guarding the column and friezes made of actual captured French cannons, representing Nelson’s battles.
National Gallery London
This is an important art museum located on Trafalgar Square. Founded in the 1820s is today one of the most visited museums of art in the world after the Louvre in France, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the United States and the British Museum. It houses over 2,500 paintings dating since the 13th century the 1900s.
St Paul's Cathedral in London
St Paul's Cathedral
This is Cathedral of the London Diocese that encompasses five Episcopal areas: Kensington, London, Stepney, Edmonton and Willesden.
St Paul’ Cathedral is the center of spiritual life in London and serves as a wide community meeting place while keeping the Heritage of the British people alive.
This is one of the most significant of London Landmarks from the British History point of view. As such it was designated by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.
Since the crowning of William the Conqueror in 1066, many Kings and Queen have been crowned in this Abbey, including the current Monarch Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. This site is also the venue for Royal Weddings and Funerals. The most recent wedding was that of Kate Middleton to Prince William, future King of England.
Great scientists and writers are buried at Westminster Abbey including Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin. There is also a corner for scientists as a memorial for Isaac Newton.
The building itself is impressive and offers photo opportunities to the visitor.
For more information go to London Tourist Information
Westminster Abbey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Capital of England
This giant wheel of about 135 meters and a diameter of 120 meters is located on the banks of the Thames River adjoining the western end of the Jubilee Gardens. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and was built in 1999. Until then it also was the tallest in the world, then surpassed by the Star of Nanchang and the Singapore Flyer. It provides an amazing view of the city.
It was called many names in such a short period. It was inaugurated as the British Airways London Eye, and then the Merlin’s Entertainment London Eye and now due to a sponsorship deal, the Energy London Eye
The picture of the famous Big Ben has been around for decade as a number one landmark of London. It was completed in 1859 and it started ticking that same year.
Houses of Parliament
Next to the Big Ben stand Westminster Palace which houses the British Houses of Parliament, which is formed of two houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Both houses have their meeting halls in the building. Once a year the Queen sits on her throne, puts her crown and officially opens the session of Parliament.
The Big Ben and Houses of Parliament dominate the Capital of England
British Museum London
This museum is considered among the greatest world museums at the lever of the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has a permanent collection of about eight million works originating from all over the world and from all ages of human history.
Because of the years of the immense British Empire, this museum houses many items that call to controversy with the original countries like for example the Elgin Marbles of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Egypt and Greece among others call for restitution of some of the most precious pieces of their countries.
This is a relatively new landmark completed in 2004. It is also known as the Gherkin Tower or the Swiss Re Tower. It is a missile-shaped building rising behind the Tower of London. This is a building with all environmental advances optimizing light and energy.
Queen Elizabeth II Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace in the Capital of England
This is one of the first sights every visitor wants to visit during a London visit and one of the most important London Landmarks. I remember joining the big crowd with our small children, sticking our noses to the fence just to see the changing of the guard; it is a nice experience not to be missed.
Buckingham Palace has been in service of the British Sovereigns since the first half of the 19th century and until today it is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.
The palace houses the offices of the staff that take charge of all administrative functions of Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family. It houses an array of valuable pieces of art and priceless antique furniture. Many great Royal Ceremonies take place in this building.
Images credits for the capital of england:
tower bridge by andre engels
big ben by steve f
westminster abbey n/a
buckingham palace by alan eisen
trafalgar square by david castor
all courtesy of wikimedia commons