London offers a plethora of amazing attractions and activities, but when selecting the city’s most iconic landmark, Westminster Abbey unquestionably takes the lead. A UNESCO heritage site since 1987, it has stood the test of time in various forms for over a millennium.
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A Regal Coronation Venue
Westminster Abbey has been the exclusive venue for significant regal coronation events since 1066, commencing with William the Conqueror’s reign. Over the span of a millennium, the Abbey has hosted thirty-nine such ceremonies, the most recent being on June 2, 1953, for Queen Elizabeth II. Make sure to explore the Coronation Chair, used for every monarch since King Edward in 1300, during your visit to the Abbey.
A Royal Wedding Venue
While Westminster Abbey may be a dream wedding venue for many, it’s reserved for members of England’s royal family, members of the Order of the Bath or residents of the Abbey’s precincts. A grand total of sixteen royal weddings have graced Westminster Abbey since Henry I’s union with Princess Matilda of Scotland in 1100. Fast forward to 2011, when Prince William tied the knot with Kate Middleton in the same venue setting a new global record for the highest number of livestreams ever. To experience the charm of this iconic wedding venue for yourself, book a convenient stay near the luxe Montcalm at The Brewery London City.
A Door to the Past
Westminster Abbey’s world-renowned Gothic arches are a sight to behold, but you’ll uncover more of its astonishing details as you delve deeper into its intricate spaces. One such is the wooden door leading to the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey, considered to be Britain’s oldest door. Careful analysis has revealed that the wood was harvested after 1032 AD, and the door was crafted in the 1050s during the reign of King Edward the Confessor. In fact, you’ll find historical treasures hidden throughout the Abbey, including the masterpiece Cosmati Pavement.
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The Lady Chapel
Discover the most iconic viewpoints for experiencing the grandeur of Westminster Abbey from the Lady Chapel. A masterpiece commissioned by Henry VII; historians have called the Lady Chapel a ‘wonder of the world’. Explore its awe-inspiring fan-vaulted ceiling and exquisite stained-glass windows, representing English medieval architecture. While originally conceived as a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this extraordinary Chapel has transformed into the eternal resting place for fifteen kings and queens.
Westminster Abbey is a final resting place and a place of tribute for legendary poets, authors, and artists through time. Remembered through memorials and inscribed floor stones in the renowned Poets’ Corner, this special area within the Abbey is accessible to visitors whenever the Abbey is open to the public. While you are at this iconic site, look for Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, and William Shakespeare, all of whom are honoured and remembered here.
Exploring Westminster Abbey is an immersive journey through the remarkable history of the United Kingdom. Book your luxury hotel for a perfect family stay now and make sure to devote ample time to absorb the grandeur of this historic marvel!