Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tower of London, etc.
So this is the famous Tower of London. My biggest mistake with the Tower of London is not researching more beforehand as to what this is actually all about. Also, it was all uneven cobblestone and stairs, so making this the first stop on the vacay made the rest of the trip quite painful on the feet and calves. But regardless, there was some cool stuff, and now that I'm home and can research, I can tell you more about it than what I actually knew while I was there. It was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1077 AD, I think as proof that he officially conquered the peeps in London. From what I can gather, it was used from that time, up until the mid 1700's for residence and various other purposes (most popularly know for its uses as a prison). After that it continued as a prison, treasury and armory until after WWII, when it was opened up as a tourist attraction. Some famous people that lived here, used the building, were imprisoned here or executed here were Richard the Lionhearted, Henry IV, Henry V, King James, the 2 princes of the Bloody Tower who disappeared (probably killed), Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, Mary I, Lady Jane Grey, and Walter Raleigh. Also it was sort of an ancient personal zoo of the king, so there were lions and monkeys and elephants here, apparently. Basically there's a lot of history in one castle.
Next I saw the royal armory. Here I could take pictures, so I got one of the actual armor of Henry VIII: