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According to historical data, in the 7th century, a Roman settlement settled on the site of one islet of the Thames, which is west of London. There was erected the Church of St. Paul and the monastery, which received the name West Minster, which means"western monastery".
However, the first reliable historical mention of the abbey dates back only to the 11th century. In those days, a monarch named Edward the Confessor began to completely rebuild the ancient church and brought rich gifts to the monastery. Nearby, he ordered the construction of a royal palace, in which the English kings lived until the 16th century, and then Parliament began to sit there.
Westminster Abbey has undergone many rebuildings. Only fragments remain from the building, which was distinguished by the Norman architectural style. In the 13th century, Henry III undertook the reconstruction of the abbey, and English architects gave the monastery a Gothic character. At the beginning of the 16th century, a splendid chapel of King Henry VII was built in Westminster. In the 18th century, for some reason, one of the facades of the building was changed and the western towers were erected on the cathedral, which were considered unsuccessful. Completed the"barbaric", according to contemporaries, modification of the alteration of the north portal.
Now the abbey is one of the main attractions of London. Westminster Church amazes guests of the city with its luxurious size. The length of the temple building exceeds 156 meters, and the central nave is recognized as the tallest in England, its height is 31 meters.
The historical significance of Westminster Abbey is exceptional. It had a home church for monarchs, which became a religious center on a national scale. Here they crowned the English rulers and found a resting place for them after death. Burial in the abbey is a great honor, which was awarded to many famous British politicians, science and art: King Edward the Confessor (relics) himself, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Richard Sheridan. The funeral of Princess Diana was also held here. In total, there are about three thousand burials in this necropolis.
Also in the abbey building you can find various busts and memorial signs erected in honor of those who made a great contribution to British culture, among them William Shakespeare, William Blake, Lord Byron, Lewis Carroll, Wilde Oscar, Winston Churchill.
Westminster Abbey is rightfully one of the symbols of the city, it is ranked among the world cultural heritage. From an architectural point of view, the monastery building is a monument of the Gothic Middle Ages. The facades, decorated with round rose windows, vaults and pointed arches, which support tall columns, evoke admiration. Inside, the abbey seems even more spacious. The main nave impresses with its narrow decorative gallery, which is recognized as one of the best architectural details of the building.
Everyone who visits the abbey inspects its main sanctuary - the Edward the Confessor's chapel, where the relics of the monarch are located. The north side of the chapel contains the tomb of Henry III, opposite the tombs of kings Edward III and Richard II. Here you can see the carved gates of the 15th century, separating the chapel from the rest of the space, as well as the throne on which all English monarchs have been crowned since the time of Edward I. The throne contains a particle of a simple stone, which is considered the"stone of fate". Here you can also see the shield of King Edward I.
In addition, in the abbey, tourists will see a room of wax figures of the great English figures of history, the ancient chapel of Pique Chapel and many other equally visited places.
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Topic: Westminster Abbey in the UK, London resort.