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Westminster


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Westminster

Published by Carolina Mesquita — 9 years ago

Despite being touristic, is still a beautiful area to visit and no one should miss it. I used to love going around the London Eye, crossing the bridge during the night and just feel in a really special place. It's amazing to see the Parliament, the Abbey inside and out is jaw dropping, the view from the London Eye are stunning...

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

Translated by Ross Smith — 3 years ago

Original text by Paola Villegas

A little about the history of this interesting place (it involves a huge fire and a royal dispute)

This stop is obligatory for whoever finds themselves in London, especially because this area is host to a lot of tourist attractions which can all be reached on foot: The London Eye, Westminster Palace, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey (yes, where Kate and William got married).

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

In this photo, that bus was very close to parliament, so you can't see it completely, but what you can see which was very rare, was a very sunny day in London. Simply beautiful!

This is another of the attractions which is located just next to the famous River Thames, but why is it so important? It could be said that this is where the representative parliamentary government was born and housed. The building is so old seeing as it was built in the 11th century and it actually is part of UNESCO, who declared it as a World Heritage site. It used to be a place of Royal residency during the medieval times. The Royals actually had various residencies, not only Buckingham palce but also other castles in the United Kingdom.

To tell you honestly, this palace isn't as old as we thought. It was founded in 1840 and its construction took approximately 30 years. However, there is a story which is a little sad behind its construction. Westminster Palace is found on top of what used to be the old palace which was destroyed by a huge fire in 1834. The fire destroyed almost all of the palace except for the tower where the crown jewels are kept, the crypt and the cloister of St Sebastian.

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

I am most proud of this photo. You can see the beauty of parliament a bit more here, that's why I always recommend walking. Photos are not the same when you're travelling on a bus seeing as you'd get off to take the photo and the bus wouldn't wait for you.

Parliament is the other name that Westminster palace is called, since it hosts two houses: The House of Lords and The House of Commons, the latter represents the town and it's surprising to know that the King and Queen aren't allowed to go in. (Who would have thought it?! ) They were founded thanks to a dispute which took place between the aristocracy.

The palace is enormous inside, although I never imagined that it would be so big that it has more than a thousand bedrooms, so in theory, it has more bedrooms that the Palace of Versailles which I thought was a lot bigger. Although currently it's not a place of Royal residency, it is where the host state ceremonies and some coronations.

We couldn't see it inside

There were a lot of reasons as to why we weren't allowed to see inside, the first was that it's open until 12:00pm and to get in you have to arrive for 9:00am. The second was the price, because London isn't a city that can be considered cheap, it's the complete opposite. The entry fee is £15, which is approximately 18€.

Design

A large part of its design is clearly Gothic and when illuminated at night, it's so beautiful that it looks like it's made of gold, it's simply beautiful to see at any time of day. Parliament consists of 3 important towers: The Victoria Tower, which is the tallest, then there's the Central Tower and finally the Isabel Tower or the Clock Tower, which is the most famous because that's where the Westminster Clock is, which is where Big Ben is found. A lot of people wrongly think that's the name of the clock, but it's actually the name of one of the bells. This tower is more important than you think; it's not only visually representative but also it has acquired a historic importance since it awaits the records of the two houses, those being the House of Lords and the House of Commons and those are older than parliament itself, since they wait for them since the year 1497. Imagine that - more than half a millenium!

Recommendations

  • If possible, pass through this area at different times of day and also at night. It's beautiful to see the building at midday, but when the sun is going in, you can see some pink patches in the sky, and although parliament is facing away from the light in photos, it'll be worth it. At night when parliament is lit up, it makes it seem like it's made of gold.
  • If you're going on the hop-on hop-off bus, you should definitely "hop-off" and walk around the area, you will find cultural things which will grab your attention. There's nothing better than walking around to get to know cities that you're visiting a little better.

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

I found myself with the biggest dog I have ever seen in my life and also the most loving. I didn't want to go without taking a photo of myself with him, which of course was the most expensive photo that anyone has paid to take with someone else's dog - I paid a pound. I regretted it quite a lot afterwards, because the woman was practically making a living off a dog dressed as a cowboy and who obviously didn't seem happy. So, still to this day I'm regretting my decision, but the dog was so cute.

  • Walk by Westminster bridge since you will be able to admire parliament from a different point on one side, and the London Eye on the other side.

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

Behind me and on the other side of Westminster Bridge, you can see one of the newest and most famous attractions in London: The London Eye. When I went, I sadly didn't go on.

  • Crossing Westminster Bridge, there are a lot of stops for the variety of companies of tourist buses, so take advantage of what you're waiting for - buying a souvenir, since at that point we bought enough and for a good price (well, for London that is). We were seeing approximate prices in different places to where we went to buy and this is where we sat the cheapest magnets. We thought that they would have the cheapest postcards here as well, but afterwards, we saw another place by the Tower of London that was cheaper.

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

I like this photo a lot because it captures the pink parts of the London sky when it started getting late. It's because of this that I recommend coming to this area at any time of day. You can also see a small part of the souvenir stand which I recommended, the other part was behind me.

  • Have your photo shoot from each and every angle with your loved ones. Appreciate and live the moment but also you'll have something to take home with you as a souvenir. This moment is unique and there is no comparison, but the photos with our loved ones is places like this cannot be lacking.

Westminster Palace: A jewel of London

I present to you, my mum, who travelled to Spain at the end of my exchange so we could go travelling together with my best friend and my cousin. If you're interested to know more about what we did each day, as well as any advice, you can check out my blog (which is still in progress) about our trip to London.

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