Today I would like to invite you for a promenade in the Westminster Borough of London, one of the most famous central area in the City. Sounds maybe like a cliché, right? In this area indeed there are concentrate most of the principal attractions of the City. In few words, a must. This is the heart of every trip to London. In these few miles, the most important symbols of the British Empire are gather together.
This area, which raise on the Tames, has always been the political and ecclesiastic pivot of London: here came in succession queens, kings, bishops and premiers who made the history of England. But let’s see what you could admire just with a short promenade: exit from the tube, if you look up at your left, you’ll see immediately the Big Ben. (St Stephen’s Tower or Clock Tower) Big Ben is the name of the principal bell of the clocktower.
The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) is the location of the Parliament starting from half XIII century; till 1512, also the Royal Palace was located here. In 1834 a great fire destroyed almost the whole building: after that, started the reconstruction of what you can see nowadays on the Tames northern bank.
Crossing Westminster Bridge, your sight will sure be caught by the London Eye, the great panoramic wheel located in the Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank.
On the way back. following Victoria Street, you’ll find the famous Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral: since 1066 the abbey is the place where royals incoronations take place. A church stood here already in the eight century but the history of the current abbey starts in 1050, when King Edward The Confessor decided to build a monastery. Only a small part of this Norman monastery, consecrated in 1065, survived. Most of the present building dates from 1245 to 1272 when Henry III decided to rebuild the abbey in the Gothic style.The abbey is stuffed with tombs, statues and monuments: here were buried the most important historical characters of the english history, like the writer William Shakespeare.
To end the tour in this area, let’s go back to Trafalgar Square: ever since the Middle Ages, this area has been a central meeting place. In the middle of the square stands a tall column honoring admiral Nelson. The name of the square commemorates the victory of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson over the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.
The square was originally called Charing. Later it became known as Charing Cross, after a memorial cross on the square. The nearby underground station is still named Charing Cross.