Pictures of Westminster
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The city of Westminster has always been known as the home of Court and Government. It lies at the heart of the capital and shows a range of buildings whose beauty and history remains unrivalled in the whole of Europe. Here, all within a stone's throw of each other are some of England's finest treasure houses. The Houses of Parliament are on the site of the Palace of Westminster, former Royal home of Kings and Queens of England from the 11th-century until early in the 16th-century. Wren's waterside Hospital can be seen and there are other, smaller buildings of interest such as the Blewcoat School in Caxton Street. Richly decorated St.Paul's Cathedral make an impressive sight amidst the towering modern office blocks that infill every spare patch of ground. Horse Guards parade, setting for the ceremonial Trooping of the Colour, has magnificent buildings dating from around 1760, while in Whitehall there is the outstandingly beautiful Banqueting House renowned for its fabulous 110ft long, 55ft wide and 55ft high Double-cube room with magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens, for Charles I in 1635.
Of all the jewels in the City of Westminster, none shines more brightly than Westminster Abbey, stunning setting for the coronation of almost every English monarch since William the Conqueror was crowned there in 1066. Mystical and magical, of flowing graceful proportions, the abbey is a glorious historical treasure chest with so many reminders of its noble past that it is, at a glance, simply overwhelming. Lavish decoration is everywhere. Henry VII's Chapel, where Henry and his queen lie together in a great tomb, in almost isolated splendour beneath a beautiful, intricate fan vaulted roof is quite breathtaking. The chapel has numerous statues and, like the rest of the building is blessed with a hallowed atmosphere of cool serenity born of standing silent witness to centuries of pomp and circumstance of which there is no equal, and which gives the abbey its richly deserved 'Royal' status.
Westminster has always been the scene of high society. The London homes of landed gentry, politicians, the great and the good can be found within its boundaries. Apart from other illustrious addresses, perhaps Westminster's best known address is 10, Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister.
No one can visit Westminster without catching sight of the great river whose waters flow beneath historic Westminster Bridge linking the City of Westminster to the City of London, financial hub of England. The River Thames is England's major outlet to the sea. For centuries it has been the life blood off London and Westminster. The Thames is the very reason why the capital is where it is.
An exploration of Westminster will reveal many hidden gems, it will provide you with a rewarding, unforgettable experience and leave you with an overwhelming feeling that for just a little while, you have truly walked with history. Just as you will find great houses, you will also find historic pubs, attractive restaurants, interesting museums, boutiques, shops and glamorous theatres. And, when your feet tire of the pavements, then take to that 'modern day' phenomena - The London Eye which gives a 'birds eye view' of both London City and the great City of Westminster.
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