Founded by Edward the Confessor in 1065 it has been the coronation and burial site of many Kings & Queens since then, it is also now the preferred choice for royal weddings. Take a short stroll across the Thames to head up on the Coca Cola London Eye – the largest observation wheel in Europe – and take in the spectacular 360 view of London.
Westminster Abbey, officially known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, is one of the most iconic and historically significant religious buildings in London, England. It is located in the heart of London, near the Palace of Westminster and the River Thames.
Here are some key facts and information about Westminster Abbey:
1. History: Westminster Abbey has a long and storied history, dating back to the 7th century. It was originally a Benedictine monastery, established by King Edward the Confessor in the 11th century. The present-day Gothic structure was largely built between the 13th and 16th centuries.
2. Coronations: Westminster Abbey is renowned as the site of British royal coronations. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, almost all British monarchs have been crowned there. The coronation chair, known as the Coronation Chair or St. Edward’s Chair, is a prominent feature of the abbey.
3. Burial Place: Westminster Abbey is the final resting place for numerous British monarchs, statesmen, poets, scientists, and notable figures from various fields. Some of the famous individuals buried or commemorated there include Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and Charles Darwin.
4. Poet’s Corner: The South Transept of the abbey is known as Poet’s Corner and is a tribute to many famous British literary figures. It contains memorials and burials of poets and writers, including William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Charles Dickens.
5. Gothic Architecture: The abbey is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, characterized by its stunning stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and rib-vaulted ceilings. Its soaring spires and flying buttresses are also notable features.
6. Royal Chapels: In addition to the main worship area, the abbey contains several smaller chapels, including the Lady Chapel and the Henry VII Chapel. These chapels are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and beautiful stained glass.
7. Daily Worship: Westminster Abbey continues to serve as a place of daily worship, and the choir school attached to the abbey maintains a tradition of choral music that dates back centuries.
8. Tourist Attraction: Westminster Abbey is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world who come to admire its architecture, history, and the final resting places of famous figures. Guided tours are available.
9. Special Events: The abbey hosts various special events, including royal weddings. Notably, it was the venue for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.
10. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Westminster Abbey was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 in recognition of its architectural and historical significance.
Westminster Abbey stands as a symbol of British history, culture, and spirituality. Its rich history and stunning architecture make it a must-visit landmark for tourists and a place of reverence for those interested in British royalty and history.