standard Tower of London – a castle , a fortress and a prison

Tower of London

Tower of London - Panoramic View

Tower of London - Panoramic View

The Tower of London was built at the beginning of the 11th century by William the conqueror. The tower was expanded during the 13th century into the fortified complex that we know today. The Tower was also a royal residence: several kings lived here, especially during turbulent times when the donjon seemed a lot safer than the palace in Westminster. The Tower of London also was a prison famous by it’s prisoners , including Walter Ralegh – kept in the Bloody Tower  for 13 years . The prisoners were only fromm middle and higher classes .  The prison was once surrounded by defensive walls and a moat , which now is drained and concerts are taking place there in the summer .

the Tower of London

Tower of London

Best Tower of London Tourist Attractions

The White tower

The White Tower is the oldest part of the fortress and was completed in 1097 . For a long time the White Tower was the tallest  building in London (27.4 meters).It’s façade waspainted white during the reign of Henry III – since then it’s name became the White Tower . The fortress has four turrets at each corner and three of them have a square shape and the forth is round because of it’s staircase .

Bloody Tower , St. Thomas Tower , Beauchamp Tower and others

A significantly expansion was held in the 13th century during the reign of the same Henry III when , around the White  tower , two defensive walls were built and used to imprison political opponents – the inner wall and the outer wall .

The most famous prisoners kept in the Tower were the king Edward IV’s two princes which were locked in the Bloody Tower by their uncle , later king Richard III .The princes have never been seen after that moment , most probably they were murdered by the guards or even Richard III himself .

The Saint Thomas Tower is next to the Bloody Tower . The prisoners were brought here with boats through the Traitor’s gate .

Traitor's Gate , Tower of London

Traitor's Gate

Very important prisoners were locked in the Beauchamp Tower , sometimes with their servants . Lady Jane Grey was executed on Tower Green nine days after she was crowned Queen  . Specialists think she was locked in Beachamp Tower after some inscription related to her were found in this Tower .

Thomas More was imprisoned in the Bell Tower until his execution after he refused to accept king Henry VIII as head of the Anglican church. Even Queen Elisabeth I was confined here for some time.

Yeoman Warders and Yeoman Warden

At the Byward Tower is the main entrance to the Tower of London . Yeoman Warders (or Beefeaters) in historic clothes can be found here , they guard the tower and give tours of the fortress . The Ravenmaster is responsible for the ravens that live here for centuries – he’s also a Yeoman Warder .

The tower of London Yeoman Warders

The tower of London Yeoman Warders

The legend says that the kingdom will fall if the ravens leave this place .King Charles II put the ravens under royal protection . The wings of the ravens are clipped so the birds can’t fly away . This way the kingdom is going to last forever , right ?

Crown Jewel

The Crown Jewels represent one of  the most famous attractions in the Tower of London . The collection of jewels are here since 17th century , since the regin of Charles II . Most of them were created around  the year 1660 when the monarchy was reinstalled . The Crown Jewels (most of them) were destroyed by Cromwell. The Crown Jewels are situated in the Jewel House from Waterloo Barracks . Some of the featured pieces of the collection are the 530 carat First Star of Africa, which is set in the Imperial State Crown Scepter of the Cross, the Imperial State Crown with more than 2800 diamonds and the famous Koh-I-Noor, a 105 carat diamond.

The Tower of London is the location you can’t miss in a lifetime and so is the city of London .

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