"The King's fortress!" Tower of London Tip by cheezecake_deli
Tower of London, London: 523 reviews and 935 photos
Construction of the Tower of London, essentially a fortress with a series of towers, began in the late 11th century following William the Conqueror's successful invasion of England from Normandy. The original purpose of the Tower was to dominate the city and to ensure that Londoners remain keenly aware of who is in charge. Successive monarchs enlarged the fortress by adding new towers and walls. In the Tudor years, the Tower became notorious for being the site of execution of political and religious prisoners - these included two of Henry VIII's wives. In 1649, the Tower was wrestled from royal command by the victorious Parliamentarians in the English Civil War - the original Crown Jewels were broken down, and the gold and silver melted down. Only 11 years later, the monarchy was restored. Today, the "new" (i.e. from the mid-17th century onwards) Crown Jewels are displayed in the Tower, in Jewel House. The last prisoner to be executed in the Tower was a German, in 1941. Britain has since abandoned capital punishment. Besides the Crown Jewels, the Tower is today also famous for its resident ravens (big black birds fed on raw beef) and ceremonial guardians dressed in red (the Yeoman Warders or "Beefeaters").
The main entrance to the Tower is at its west. It is open daily from 0900 to 1730 (1000 on Sundays and Mondays). Admission fee is £16.40 for adult and £9.50 for child aged 5-16 years (£1 discount if booked online). Audio tours are available in various languages for £4. See the website for latest details.
Address: Tower Hill, London EC3N 4AB
Directions: Nearest tube stations: Tower Hill (Circle and District lines) or Tower Gateway (DLR).
Phone: +44 20 77090765
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