The Tower of London, a castle made up of 22 towers, has a long and gruesome history. It has gone through many different uses, including a royal residence, a treasury, an armory, a mint, and even a zoo. There are detailed sculptures of wild animals all over the property.
The Bloody Tower was used as a prison, and several queens and a king, along with numerous nobles, died here. The famous Beefeaters stand guard at the Tower and have been since the Tudor times.
Some ancient traditions have survived to this day, such as the Ceremony of the Keys, the Gun Salutes on the Wharf, the Beating of the Bounds, and the Constable’s Dues.
The Crown Jewels is one of the highlights of the Tower of London, located in the Waterloo Barracks. The late Queen Mother’s crown is in this collection, which has a 106-carat diamond. The Imperial State Crown is also here, which is worn at the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen. Visitors are taken by all of the best jewels on a moving walkway.
The White Tower, built in Norman-style architecture, is an imposing building that stands out from the rest. The bottom floor has a Royal Armories collection, which includes a suit of armor that belonged to Henry VIII. St John’s Chapel is on the middle level, dating back to 1080, which makes it the oldest Christian chapel in London.
The Bloody Tower, across from the White Tower, is where Edward V, who was 12-years-old, and Richard, his brother, were held captive for a time before being murdered. It is believed that their uncle, the future Richard III, murdered them. Sir Walter Raleigh, author of History of the World, was also held prisoner here for 13 years under the reign of James I.
Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula
The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula had Henry VIII’s scaffold in front, which was where he beheaded two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Legend has it that if the ravens around the Tower leave, the White Tower will collapse. The ravens surrounding the area all have their wing feathers clipped.