Note: I would like to share with you through these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional experience as though you were actually there with us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were really there looking at the actual scene. You are an armchair traveler with us.
If you would also like to see the post in a larger or smaller size, I suggest you follow this procedure: If you right-handed, with your left hand, press down continuously on the Control Function Key with your left hand and with your right hand, move the little cursor wheel either forwards or backwards to make the text in the post larger or smaller.
We had a four week holiday in England from Australia in May 2003. These are some of the things we saw or attended:
Globe Theatre of William Shakespeare
The Theatre is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599 where Shakespeare worked and for which he wrote many of his greatest plays. Every year the Globe Theatre rediscovers the dynamic relationship between the audience and the actor in this unique building.
Southwark Cathedral …. see the website: Southwark Cathedral
…. Already the site of a Roman Villa, Pagan Shrine and Saxon monastrium, the first church to be built was St. Mary Overie (meaning Over the River) in 1106. Fire damaged it in 1212, and again in 1390’s, the church was extensively repaired being confiscated by Henry VIII. Used as a heresy court for Mary I and a swine yard in Elizabeth I’s reign, in 1614 the parishioners pooled their resources and bought the church (now called St. Saviours) from James I. The new 19th century London Bridge approach road threatened the building but by sacrificing some its smallest chapels, St. Saviours was saved and became a Cathedral in 1905. A thousand years of restoration and rebuilding, Southwark Cathedral now contains a varied mixture of architecture: from the original Norman walls to the new Millennium restoration and landscaping.
Also see: Images for Southwark Cathedral
Drake’s Ship: ‘The Golden Hind’ ….. a replica. …. see the website: Golden Hind first English ship to sail around the world
Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) sailed around the World from 1577-1580 in his ship: “The Golden Hind”. He was an experienced and daring seafarer. Among many adventures, the ‘famous voyage’, his successful circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580 ensured that he would be one of the best remembered figures of Tudor England. In his own lifetime, he was thought of with mixed feelings, both at home and abroad. Some English people regarded him as a hero, but he was distrusted by others, who saw him as having risen ‘above his station’. Although he was feared and hated by the Spanish, he was also regarded by some with secret admiration.
Opening in 1769 as William Pitt Bridge (after Tory Prime Minister) …. The unpopular name was soon changed and named after the Blackfriars, Dominican Monks that settled in London in 1279. The Bridge itself has nine elliptical arches of Portland stone, resting on piers of Greek columns. These badly deteriorated a century later and then was rebuilt with five cast iron arches on granite piers.
See The Website: http://www.parliament.uk/
Westminster Abbey .… A Brief History
See the Website: www.westminster-abbey.org/
An architectural masterpiece of the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history – the Confessor’s Shrine, the tombs of Kings and Queens, and countless memorials to the famous and the great. It has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other Royal occasions. Today it is still a church dedicated to regular worship and to the celebration of great events in the life of the nation. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is a “royal peculiar” under the jurisdiction of a Dean and Chapter, subject only to the Sovereign.
Westminster Abbey, a work of architectural genius, a locus of daily worship, deploying the resources of high musical expertise, a burial place of kings, statesmen, warriors, scientists, musicians and poets is the result of a process of development across the centuries, which represents the response of a monastery and later a post-Reformation church to the stimulus and challenge of its environment.
Edward the Confessor, a curious and in some ways a remote English monarch, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings sought to re-endow and greatly enlarge a Benedictine monastery on Thorney Island close to his palace of Westminster. Unfortunately, when the church was consecrated on 28 December 1065 he was not present, and died a few days later. His mortal remains were entombed behind the High Altar.
The only traces of this Norman monastery is to be found in the round arches and massive supporting columns of the Undercroft in the Cloisters. This now houses the exhibition of treasures but was originally part of the domestic quarters of the monks.
Among the most famous ceremonies that occurred in the Norman Abbey were the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas day, 1066, a grim proceeding which taxed all his resources of nerve and endurance and the canonisation of Edward the Confessor in 1161.
The Norman Abbey was destined to survive for only two centuries. In the middle of the 13th century, Henry III decided to pull down the Norman Abbey and rebuild it in a new architectural design. It was a great age for cathedrals: in France it saw the construction of Amiens, Evreux, Chartres, and in England Canterbury, Winchester and Salisbury, to mention a few. King Henry III briefed his architect, Henry de Reyns and sent him abroad to study the contemporary developments in architecture. Under the decree of the King of England, Westminster Abbey was designed to be not only a great abbey and a place of worship, but also a place for the coronation and burials of monarchs.
Every monarch, since William the Conqueror with the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII was crowned in the Abbey. It was natural that Henry III should wish to translate the body of the saintly Edward the Confessor into a more magnificent tomb behind the High Altar. Where Edward is buried, kings and their consorts cluster around Henry III, the second founder of the Abbey; Edward I; Richard II; Henry V under his Chantry Chapel, and a galaxy of others. Thus began a process which has continued to this day. Over three thousand people are either buried or memorialised in Westminster Abbey. Notable among these is the Unknown Warrior, whose grave, close to the west door, has become a place of pilgrimage.
A creative new addition to the Abbey was the glorious Lady chapel built by Henry VII which now bears his name. The banners of the Knights of the Order of the Bath which surrounds its walls, together with the Battle of Britain Window by Hugh Easton at the east, give colour to this chapel. The craftsmanship of Italian sculptor Torrigiano is shown in the tomb of Henry, first of the Tudor monarchs. It was not until two centuries later that a further addition was made in the western towers, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Little remains of the original medieval stained glass, once one of the Abbey’s chief glories. The great west window and the rose window in the north transept date from the early eighteenth century but the remainder of the glass is nineteenth and twentieth century.
History did not cease with the passing of the medieval monastery at the Reformation. Queen Elizabeth I, buried in one of the apsidal chapels of Henry VII, refounded the Abbey as a Collegiate Church, a Royal Peculiar not subject to the rule of any bishop with the Sovereign as Visitor, and laid down its constitution in a charter granted in 1560. Thus the Abbey was reshaped and newly patterned to discharge a distinctive yet worshipful role in a modern age. The monastic Community had now gone, and was replaced by a Dean and twelve prebendaries, minor canons and a large lay staff. Part of the staff, under the High Steward, was responsible for the civil government of the City of Westminster.
Even today, a daily pattern of worship is offered ad gloriam Dei. Special services, representative of a wide spread of interest and social concern, are held regularly.
In 1965-66, the Abbey celebrated its 900th anniversary, taking as its theme ‘One People’. Such a theme seemed to be fitting for a church which, through a long history of involvement with the developing life of the English people, has produced a world-wide outreach, and in this outreach experienced the inevitable tension between the absolute claims of God’s kingdom and the relativities inherent in the life of man in society.
A Vertical Piece of the Berlin Wall which was pulled down.
Built in 1961, the Berlin Wall is the single most important symbol of Germany’s former division. Torn down, demolished, donated to museums and universities around the world, and sold as souvenirs – the wall almost disappeared from the city’s landscape. Die-Berliner-Mauer.de will assist you in your journey through the history of the Wall and help you to discover the last remaining pieces of this most visible embodiment of the cold war.
See the website www.die-berliner-mauer.de/en
The Imperial War Museum
IWM Duxford Retains its wartime atmosphere and many of its planes still fly. Biplanes, Spitfires, Concorde are among the 180 historic aircraft on show, complemented by our annual Air Shows.
The wars of the twentieth century have affected each and every one of us in some way, and the Imperial War Museum is here to tell all our stories, covering all aspects of life in wartime.
When the Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917, one of its functions was to be a memorial to those who had died and suffered in the First World War. The Museum has since expanded its remit to include all conflicts, concentrating on British and Commonwealth involvement from 1914 to the present day.
See the Website: http://www.iwm.org.uk/
The Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain London and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. It seeks to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘war-time experience’. It is proud to be regarded as one of the essential sights of
The Museum spans a huge range of activities not only at its main London location but also at its four further branches: the Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall, the historic ship HMS Belfast, moored in the Pool of London, Imperial War Museum Duxford near Cambridge, and Imperial War Museum North in Trafford. The information on this website tells you about the permanent displays, the archives, special exhibitions, forthcoming events, education programs, corporate hospitality and shopping facilities.
Tower Bridge in the background
….. Tower of London …..
See the website: www.camelotintl.com/tower_site/index.html
A living record of the past thousand years, a museum and monument to the Crown, and the most important place of military architecture in England. The long history of the Tower of London includes its use as an arsenal against foreign enemies; a fortress against domestic ones; a palace for medieval royalty; an execution site for traitors, martyrs and monarchs; and a high-security prison with a guest list ranging from Anne Boleyn to Rudolph Hess. It has been a treasury, record office, armory, observatory, royal mint, repository of the Crown Jewels, and a zoo (animals presented to the monarchs were kept here until 1834).
It was William the Conqueror who began the construction, building the White Tower in 1097 to secure his hold on the land of the Saxons. Around this central citadel, William’s successors added stone walls, an encircling moat, and no fewer than twenty-two towers. The Tower was virtually complete by the fourteenth century, although additional construction (like the Waterloo Barracks), would occur well into the nineteenth century. Since Edward IV, security has traditionally rested with forty Yeoman Warders (‘Beefeaters’) and eight flightless ravens whose departure will spell the downfall of England.
One of the forty Yeoman Warders (‘Beefeaters’) talking to a group of people
One of the other forty Yeoman Warders (‘Beefeaters’)
One of the twenty-two towers built around the White Tower ….
White Tower built by William the Conqueror in 1097 ….