Monuments in London: The Tower of London

Visiting London, but unsure of which monuments to go to? We’d recommend you visit the Tower of London! This Medieval monument has something for everyone, from solo travellers to families and everyone in-between.

The Tower of London is a historic building dating back to the Middle Ages. It was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s. William, originally from France, defeated King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings making him the King of England. He built the Tower as a sign of his royal power and because he was afraid of a rebellion. The Tower has a rich and complex history, but what is it exactly? A fortress, a palace or a prison?

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Throughout British history, the Tower has both been a symbol of awe and fear. Its primary purpose was as a fortress to protect the city and the citizens of London. However, since its construction, it has been used for many different purposes. Up until the 17th century it was used as a royal residence, some monarchs used it as a luxurious palace, it has also been home to the royal mint, at one point it was a governmental records office, it has also been a jewel house, an observatory, an armoury, and even a zoo! Nevertheless, it is most well known for being a state prison. From 1100 to 1952 many Kinds and Queens used the Tower to imprison their rivals and enemies.

Nowadays this UNESCO World Heritage Site is an extremely popular tourist attraction. Located next to Tower Bridge, this grand structure is hard to miss. It is pretty big and there are plenty of things for you to enjoy while visiting. To learn more about the Tower’s history and about those who were imprisoned, tortured and executed there, go on a guided tour with one of The Yeoman Warders, the Tower’s guards. Afterwards, you should visit the oldest and most important part of the Tower: The White Tower. When it was built, in the late 11th century, it was one of London’s tallest buildings. Inside you can visit an exhibition dedicated to suits of armour and swords. Then, why not stroll along the Tower’s walls. From here, not only will you be able to view the Tower’s grounds from above, you will also get amazing views of London and the River Thames. If you only have time to do just one thing, you must visit the Crown Jewels collection! Here you can see and marvel at some of the British Monarchy’s most spectacular royal Jewels. Some of which are still used today.

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What other monuments have you visited in London? What would you recommend, and do you have some top tips to share?

The Tower of London: Reading Comprehension Quiz

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Tower of London True or False

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Royal Baby Born | English Reading Exercise

On 6th May, 2019 Megan Markle, after a long, anticipated wait, gave birth to a baby boy: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Archie is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child. He was born at 05:26 (BST) and weighed 7lbs 3oz. Huge crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace to welcome baby Archie into the world!

Interestingly, Prince Harry and Megan have broken the mould by choosing non-traditionally royal names to name their bouncing baby boy. The name Archie means “brave” and some sources have been quick to point out that it is a very close anagram of ‘Rachel,’ Megan’s first name. Harrison, originally used as a surname, actually means “son of Harry.” Mountbatten-Windsor is the surname created in 1960 to combine the surnames of the Queen and Prince Philip when they got married. Altogether, creating a truly unique name.

You may have already noticed that baby Archie doesn’t have an official royal title. By royal decree, only the children and grandchildren of a monarch can have a royal title. The Queen made an exception and broke this rule by giving William and Kate’s three children royal titles! Archie will therefore simply be Master. This means he will lead a privileged life but not be bound by royal duties like his cousins.

You may be wondering, if Master Archie will ever be King! Succession to the British throne is by direct bloodline, making baby Archie currently 7th in-line to the throne. After his father, his three cousins, Prince Luis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George respectively, his uncle Prince William and his grandfather Prince Charles. All after the Queen of course, who is the longest-reigning British monarch and has reigned for a whopping 67 years!

Do you know any other interesting facts about the British Royal Family? Write them in the comment box below!

Royal Baby: Vocabulary Quiz

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Una giornata a Londra: cosa fare in 24 ore

Per leggere l’articolo in inglese, clicca qui.

Londra è conosciuta come la città che non dorme mai. Con una storia di oltre 2000 anni che risale all’epoca dell’Impero Romano e con così tante cose da fare e da vedere, ci vorrebbero settimane per godersi al meglio questa città. Ecco allora una lista di cose da fare assolutamente a Londra in sole 24 ore!

Per prima cosa, iniziate la vostra giornata concedendovi una tipica English Breakfast che potrete trovare nella maggior parte dei pub! La colazione all’inglese offre molta scelta e può essere accompagnata da bevande calde come tè e caffè. Non si tratta solo di una buona occasione per provare la tradizione culinaria locale, ma vi darà anche molta energia per affrontare la giornata.

Una volta saziati da questa grande colazione, incamminatevi verso il Palazzo di Westminster e il Big Ben. Da qui, potrà iniziare il vostro vero e proprio tour, con la visita dell’abbazia di Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Squadre e Covent Garden! Girare a piedi è il modo migliore per ammirare Londra anche dal punto di vista architettonico; vi serviranno circa 2 o 3 ore per vedere tutto. Assicuratevi di arrivare a Buckingham Palace in tempo per vedere il Cambio della Guardia (tutti i giorni alle 11:00).

A questo punto sarà già ora di pranzo! Prendete la metropolitana fino a Camden Town, dirigetevi a Camden Market e assaporate lo street food migliore della città. Potrete passare l’intero pomeriggio esplorando Camden, i suoi mercati e i suoi canali, oppure potrete prendere un drink al famosissimo e imperdibile pub The World’s End. Altrimenti, perché non visitare alcuni degli altri mercati più famosi della città? Alle bancarelle di Portobello e Old Spitalfields potrete acquistare dei fantastici pezzi d’antiquariato. In caso di pioggia, i musei di Londra (per la maggior parte gratuiti) sono un buon rifugio dove poter approfondire anche la vostra conoscenza della cultura inglese.

Ma una visita a Londra non può dirsi completa senza un bel panorama. Per una vista mozzafiato della città alle luci del tramonto, andate verso Primrose Hill a Regent’s Park. In alternativa, per vedere gratuitamente da vicino i più bei grattacieli di Londra, a Sky Gardens potrete sorseggiare un cocktail godendovi il panorama! P.s. Per evitare la coda, è consigliato prenotare in anticipo.

Per concludere al meglio la vostra giornata londinese, consigliamo una visita a Shoreditch, un quartiere vivace e di tendenza nella parte est della città. Qui potrete anche fare un giro a Brick Lane, dove ammirare stupende opere di street art e assaggiare del pollo al curry di qualità in una delle tantissime “curry house”. Una curiosità: lo sapevate che il pollo al curry è uno dei piatti nazionali preferiti? Terminate la giornata con qualche drink e, perché no, con un ballo in uno dei bar più trendy di Shoreditch.

E tu? Sei mai stato a Londra? Hai qualche altro suggerimento da aggiungere alla visita di questa fantastica città?