London (2)


Voyages & Images, a photographic guide 

Founded by the Romans in 50 AD, London is the largest city of the United Kingdom, capital of England and one of the main business, financial and cultural centers of the world. The number of attractions to be known is only limited by the available time of the visitor.

London was the thirteenth city and final destination of an itinerary made in the United Kingdom in June 2008. The excellent services of the subway and buses must be used to access the parts of the city. There are regions that can be explored by foot, like strolls along the banks of the River Thames and in the extraordinary parks of the central region of the city. I had the intention of visiting all main attractions that I could not visit in my first trip to London. I am afraid, though, that the task is still incomplete.

A stroll in the banks of the Thames, take us to the London Eye, the tallest Ferris wheel of Europe inaugurated in 2000, that take visitors to an altitude of 135 meters and allow them to see breathtaking panoramic views of London and the surrounding regions.

The Ferris wheel is visited by 3.5 million people annually and can carry up to 800 passengers per revolution that takes 30 minutes.

The Ferris wheel has 32 capsules with 10 tons each.

In clear days it is possible to see distances up to 40 km, including the Windsor Castle. We can watch privileged views of the center of London like the Big Ben tower and the Houses of Parliament (below, on the left) and the Buckingham Palace (below, on the right).

Going on the stroll along the Thames, we reach the Big Ben tower that forms a harmonious architectural style with the Houses of Parliament.

The current buildings of the Houses of Parliament date from 1840. The complex has more than 1000 rooms and more than 3 km of corridors.

Situated beside the Houses of Parliament, the Westminster Abbey is the traditional place of coronation and burial of English monarchs and, later, of British monarchs. The first monarch to be crowned in the Abbey was William, the Conqueror, in 1066.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pleasant St. James Park can be reached by foot from the Big Ben tower. Few urban parks in the world offer so many opportunities for capturing so beautiful images like this.

St. James Park, one the royal parks in the center of London, borders the Buckingham Palace that can be seen in the distance (below, on the right) from the Pall Mall.

The Hyde Park (images below) is the largest in the center of London and has the preference of locals and tourists.

In the center of the park lies the Serpentine Lake (images below).


Next to the Hyde Park, we can find the impressive Albert Memorial monument, inaugurated in 1875 in memory of Queen Victoria's consort prince..

The late afternoon light highlights the monument, offering great opportunities for capturing great images.

In front of the monument lies the Royal Albert Hall, inaugurated in 1871 by Queen Victoria, where classical and popular concerts take place.

Trafalgar Square is the most famous square of London, where the Nelson's Column stands out with its 44 meters of altitude (below, on the left), honoring one of the greatest military heroes of England. The neoclassical building of the National Gallery also stands out in the square. The gallery houses a magnificent and comprehensive collection of western art from the 13th to the 20th century.

Below, from left to right, we can see still in the Trafalgar Square, the church St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a detail of Nelson's Column and a detail of one of the sculptures of the square.

The Millennium Foot Bridge crosses the Thames in front of the tower of St. Paul's Cathedral. The alignment of the bridge is such that cathedral tower, framed by the supports of the bridge, can be seen along all its extension.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A walk in the south bank of the Thames, take us to the Tower Bridge, one of the most recognized architectural landmarks of the world. In spite of its medieval appearance, the bridge was built in 1894.

During the walk, we can appreciate, close to the bridge, the new City Hall building (below, on the left) inaugurated in 2000.

It is possible to visit an exhibition inside the Bridge Tower, where the towers and the suspended ways between the two towers can be explored by foot.

From the top of the Tower Bridge, we can see panoramic views of the city, like the region around the new City Hall (below, on the left) e the financial center with its modern sky-scrappers (below, to the right).

Also from the top of the Tower Bridge, we can see a privileged view of the Tower of London (below, on the left), one of the most important historic monuments of the United Kingdom, on the left bank of the Thames. The Tower of the London is frequently identified by its White Tower (below, on the right), a square fortress built by William, the Conqueror in 1078.

On a visit to the Tower of London we can see rooms that have changed very little since the Middle Ages; the Traitors Gate (below, on the right), through which people accused of treason entered by boat, almost always never to get out alive again,...

...eapons and historic artifacts like an armor of Henry the VIII (below, on the left) and actors with old costumes telling stories of the place.

The British Museum has got one of the most comprehensive collections of art and historic artifacts of the world. Paying a visit is mandatory.

We can find rooms dedicated to Egypt...

... Assyria, Greece,...

... Rome, India, among many other.

he opportunities for photography are everywhere, like a street of Notting Hill (below, on the left) or the detail of the cupid of the Picadilly Circus (below, on the right).

The Hampton Court Palace, situated in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, 19 km away from the center of London, was appropriated by Henry VIII in 1525, turning it into one of the royal palaces of the court. The palace was used, then, by many monarchs that ordered changes and improvements according to their will.

The result is a reunion of constructions built in different times and with different styles.

The gardens around the palace occupy a large area and admirably well taken. The Hampton Court Palace is one of the best tourist attractions of England.

The apparently never ending quantity of attractions in London is source of images that can not be extinguished in one trip. Or two. Or three. Or...