London, Day 3, May 24, 2016

Day 3, and back to walking around town!  We catch the “tube” at this Elephant and Castle statue that marks the area near our hotel and nearest tube station.  Great landmark!

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Above is the Church of St Margaret, on Parliament Square, next to Westminster Abbey.           One of the highlights of today’s tour was Westminster Abbey!  WOW!!   (NO pictures allowed inside the Abbey however).

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Westminster Abbey was founded in AD 960 as a Benedictine monastery.  King Edward, the Confessor, rebuilt it around 1042 to 1052, as a royal burial church.  Christmas Day, 1066, was the first recorded Coronation in the Abbey, of William, the Conqueror.            The above Gothic church was ordered in 1245 by King Henry III.  In 1560, the Reformation brought many changes and Elizabeth established the Abbey as an Anglican Church.  There have been at least 16 royal weddings, over 3000 burials and numerous coronations of England, Ireland and Scotland royalty.  Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to visit the abbey in 2010.

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Flying buttresses line the south facade of the Abbey

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Above and below are pictures of the west facade and towers (225 feet high) of the Abbey.

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Hall of the cloister in the Abbey

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The Chapter House, next to Westminster Abbey, built between 1246 and 1255, on orders of King Henry III, is a beautiful place of medieval architecture. (above and below)

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Across from Westminster Abbey are the Houses of Parliament (House of Commons and House of Lords), also called the Palace of Westminster (below).

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Bobbies protecting Parliament!

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Across from Parliament is Jewel Tower (below)

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St Paul’s Cathedral, London, is Sir Christopher Wren’s most famous Baroque church.  The 365 foot dome tops Europe’s 4th largest church.  Rebuilt by Sir Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 which destroyed the church site which had been there since 604.

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Queen Anne’s statue in front of St Paul’s.  She was queen when St Paul’s was built in 1710.  The figures on the base represent England, Ireland, France and North America.

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London Bridge over the Thames, above and below from the bus tour.

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Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister.

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St Bride’s Church, began in the 7th century, founded by St. Bridget.  This building, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and reopened after the Great Fire in 1675, is at least the 7th church built on the site.  The spire is supposed to have been the inspiration for wedding cake designs!

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And with these parting shots, we said goodbye to London!

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