Westminster, London

Westminster, London is home to a number of iconic attractions and major galleries, including the Palace of Westminster, National Gallery, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Academy, Buckingham Palace and the Tate, but the area is best known for its famous abbey.

More than just a stunning place of worship, Westminster Abbey is a living pageant of the country's history. Each year, more than a million visitors explore the 700-year old building, first built in the 11th century under King, and later Saint, Edward the Confessor. Although the church has undergone two other major renovations and additions since then, it still retains it glorious original character.

Palace of Westminster, London, England, United KingdomAlthough it is hailed as the most magnificent example of Early English Gothic architecture, the building is actually a mix of many different styles, including French Gothic and the Late Perpendicular style.

Westminster Abbey, London, EnglandThe church is the final resting place of some of the most famous and influential people in history, including poets Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Tennyson, politician and soldier Oliver Cromwell, composers Henry Purcell and George Frederic Handel, scientist Sir Isaac Newton, novelist Charles Dickens and explorer David Livingston. In total, more than 3,000 people are interred at the central London site.

The popular Poets' Corner pays tribute to Britain's long legacy of great literature. Recognizable names include William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling, John Keats and the Bronte sisters.

Other notable sights include the world's largest paint-glass rose window, the Coronation Chair, graced by nearly every British ruler since 1301 and the High Alter, used for the funerals of the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.

Visitors can explore many parts of the abbey for free, including the cloister and the nearly one thousand-year old College Garden, which is filled with medicinal herbs and is a delightful diversion from the city. Each Wednesday during the summer, the abbey hosts free concerts, and tours are held multiple times a day. Visitors may also attend services, held three times each week day and throughout the day on Sundays.

Located at Parliament Square in central London, Westminster Abbey is easy to access from the Tube's St. James' Park and Westminster stop. Five local busses also stop near the abbey.


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