House Of Gods & House Of Kings
Westminster Abbey is the place of the coronation, marriage and burial of British monarchs, except Edward V and Edward VIII since 1066. Visitors can see the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Royal Tombs and Shrine of Edward the Confessor, the Coronation Chair, Lady Chapel and Poets’ Corner, the Royal Chapels etc. The current building dates largely from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.
Westminster Abbey’s real name is “Collegiate Church of St.Peter at Westminster.” England’s most notable statesmen and distinguished subjects have been given burial in the Abbey since the 14th century. In the Poets’ Corner in the south transept one can find the tombs of Chaucer, Browning, Tennyson, and other great English poets.
The origins of the Abbey, which is the resting-place of Britain’s monarchs and the setting for coronations and other great pageants, can be traced to the 13th century. Over centuries parts of it have been rebuilt or added to. The two towers on either side of the main entrance, which has made the Abbey a recognisable edifice, was built in the mid-18th century.
Throughout the world people feel that ‘The Abbey’, as Westminster Abbey is affectionately known, is theirs. It is indeed many different things- burial place of kings and queens, the setting for coronations and other royal events, a sculpture gallery of world importance, the home of the Order of the Bath, and a symbol of the Christian faith at the heart of the nation’s government. But it was founded as a Christian monastery and remains, to this day, first a place of worship.
The Westminster Abbey is an integral part of the history of the United Kingdom. In fact, religious services have been held at this site for more than one thousand years. The view from the North Door as you enter the Abbey is truly awe inspiring with a beautiful rose window of stained glass directly in front.
Located next to the Houses of Parliament in the Westminster neighborhood of London, Westminster Abbey is a must-see for any London visitor. With the oldest parts disabled dating to the year 1050, the Abbey contains some of the most glorious medieval architecture in London. And because of its royal connections, it was spared King Henry VIII’s general assault on monastic buildings during the Reformation.
The coronation throne where monarchs of England have been crowned since the 1300s can be seen in the abbey. Fans of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and other giants of literature will enjoy the Poet’s Corner full of memorials to such as these.
English history or Christian history buffs will enjoy seeing the tombs of the Protestant Elizabeth I and Catholic “Bloody” Mary as well as the tombs of David Livingstone and Charles Darwin. Closer to our own time, in 1998 ten 20th-century Christian martyrs such as Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Oscar Romero were immortalized in stone statues over the Great West door.
Westminster Abbey is a Gothic monastery church that is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is a church owned directly by the royal family.
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