Tower of London and Tower Bridge

Summer 2002

London Tower Tower Bridge

The Tower was founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 to provide protection for and from his subjects. The fortification is made up of 20 towers connected by massive walls and gateways. In the old days, condemned were brought to the tower via boats through the "Traitors Gate". Many people were beheaded here or left in the prisons half submerged in water.

London Tower There are several of the buildings which you can go into. My favorite, of course, was the Jewel House! Here you can see many of the Queen's crowns studded in jewels, serving sets, and the "Sceptre with the Cross" featuring the Stars of Africa cut from the Cullinan Diamond. Also, they have the Queen Mother's Crown which contains the Koh-I-Noor diamond. They put you on a little conveyor belt and you slowly go by the jewels! The great thing is that at the end of the belt you can go around and get on again if you haven't drooled enough the first time!

The next building I visited was the White Tower (completed in 1097). It contained many weapons and armor from the old days. I didn't think I'd enjoy seeing armor that much, but it was really interesting and great displays.

White Tower

Armor Armor Armor

Armor Armor

We also visited the Wakefield Tower which has various rooms depicting what the castle would have been decorated like and used for in the past.

London Tower

London Tower

The Tower Bridge (not the same as London Bridge is falling...) was completed in 1894 after 8 years of construction. It was built mainly to ease traffic congestion for the east end of London. The bridge is a draw bridge operated hydraulically, first by steam and later by oil and electricity. Originally the Tower Bridge was painted a brown color, but in 1977 it was repainted red, white, and blue to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

The sword & shield End

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