Tower of London

I made my first — and only (so far) — trip to London during the summer of 2008.  These photos have been sitting in digital purgatory since then, so I decided to share a few from my visit to the (in)famous Tower of London.

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The first building on the site dates back to William the Conqueror’s time in the late 11th century. Since then, other structures have been built. At the time of my visit more than 900 years later, the tower was undergoing some renovations. There’s so much history here that it can be a bit overwhelming. Below is a picture of King Henry III’s throne. He ruled during the 13th century.

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Many soon-to-be-prisoners arrived at the Tower via boat from the Thames River. They passed underneath the arch known as Traitors’ Gate.

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The Tower has an interesting display of torture devices. Some are pretty exotic, but one of the simplest, and perhaps best known, is the rack.

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The room below is where Sir Walter Raleigh spent years as a prisoner. He was actually a Tower resident a couple of different times. Eventually, he was beheaded. And while we’re on that topic, the Executioner’s Axe is also on display inside the Tower. It was steady work.

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The Tower’s Royal Armouries include impressive displays of armor and weaponry from several centuries of warfare.

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The Yeoman Warders, better known by their nickname “Beefeaters,” are knowledgeable and engage with the tourists. I found them to be friendly and eager to inform and entertain.

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From the Tower, you get a terrific view of Tower Bridge and the Thames. As the Beefeaters will tell visitors numerous times, that is NOT London Bridge.

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Even if you only have a day in London, put the Tower on your list of things to see. It’s worth your time.

Bonus photo!

Yep. I hopped on the London Eye. The view at the top is impressive.

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