Bloody Tower in London. London Attractions: Bloody tower
Attractions in London includesuch interesting sites as St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace (the official residence of the Queen), Windsor Castle (the home of the royal family), the Temple of the Knights Templar and many others. But this article will be devoted to only one historical monument - the Tower. It is one of the largest medieval castles in Britain. Throughout his long history, he visited the royal palace, prison, mint, arsenal of weapons, warehouse, menagerie, until he became, finally, a museum. For the English, the Tower is always a symbol of royal power and the prison of its enemies. In the walls of this fortress, so many people were executed or secretly killed, that now ghosts often appear to visitors. We will mention the beheaded queens and the smothered princes. But the focus of our attention will be the Bloody Tower.
The castle was built by William the Conqueror in1066 as a sign of his Norman rule in Britain. It was built according to all the rules of medieval fortification architecture. In the middle of the citadel the donjon rose. Now it's the White Tower. On the perimeter was a fortress wall. It was cut through numerous towers, which have defensive, defensive functions. Some of them served as pommel gates and bridges. Now the Tower of London is surrounded by two rings of defensive structures and a moat. For a long time it served as a royal residence. He repeatedly rebuilt and strengthened, because the monarch always felt a threat from his barons. With the invention of gunpowder artillery, the Tower ceased to be considered a safe place and began to be used as a prison for dignitaries. In it, they held uninvited pretenders to the throne, opponents of aristocratic origin and infidel queens. Therefore, soon the Tower appeared another name - the Bloody Tower in London.
Construction of the White Tower
The Donjeon Tower was built in the followingdecade after the defensive walls. The Rochester manuscript (12th century) mentions that the work was led by Bishop Gandalf. The white tower was completed in the 1090s and was at that time the tallest secular building in London. In a spacious and luxurious dungeon, the royal family lived. But already in 1100 in the basement was imprisoned Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham. Its name - "The White Tower" - the dungeon received under King Henry III (first half of the 13th century). This monarch expanded and fortified the Tower. He also ordered and bleed the Great Tower with plaster, according to the European fashion. King Henry built his home, enriching the interior with statues and paintings.
But in the next century the White Tower is increasinglyIt is used as a place of confinement. Under Edward III (1360), there was the King of France John II Good, in 1399 - the contender for the English throne Richard II. Contained here and women - Anna Boleyn and Catherine Howard, the second and fifth wives of Henry VIII. So the former dungeon was called the Bloody Tower in London.
Fortifications of the Tower
The Royal Palace was protected by walls withdefensive towers. They all had names: Martin, Lanthorn, Flint, Devereux, Beuchamp, Salt, Garden. The latter at first served as a habitat for the commandant of the fortress and his family. She got her name because she left the outer wall of the Lieutenant Garden. Later, the commandant built a house inside the fortifications. And the Garden Tower began to serve as a prison for dignitaries. Here lived in imprisonment Judge Geoffrey, Wilhelm Laud, Thomas Cranmer and other officials. After the mysterious murder of two young princes of the royal blood in the late fifteenth century, the former commandant's house was also called the "Bloody Tower". It was believed that a beautiful, cozy and spacious room on the first floor of this building was the last place of dwelling of boys. But was it really so?
Bloody Tower in London: History
This defensive structure was builtmuch later than the main dungeon, only in 1220. The garden tower is located on the banks of the Thames. When the Tower surrounded only one ring of walls, it served as the main entrance to the citadel. Later, the tower of St. Thomas was built with a new gate. Initially, the commandant's house had an archway to the walls. The gates were equipped with a two-sided descending grilles. The bloody tower in London has repeatedly been rebuilt. Now the gate is driven by a winch installed at the level of the second floor. The basement of the tower testifies that a well-to-do family lived here. There is a fireplace, and the floor is nicely tiled. The opinion that there were prisoners in this room is contradicted by large windows.
Bloody Tower in London: a legend
During the tour of the Tower tourists will find out thatThis place in a series of fortifications is called Prison Princes. What kind of children were they and what was their fate? The twelve-year-old King Edward V and his younger brother Richard, the Duke of York, were last seen alive in the summer of 1483. In June, they disappeared without a trace. There are two versions concerning their death. One says that the princes were stolen and later killed in captivity by Richard III. On the other, the customer of the crime was Henry Tudor (future Henry VII). When King Jacob visited the Tower in 1600, he was told the story of the murder of two princes. Allegedly the oldest boy was stabbed with a dagger, and the youngest was strangled with a pillow. According to legend, the site of the bloody crime was the Garden (Bloody) Tower in London.
The real place of the death of princes
At the end of the seventeenth century, the Tower once againbegan to rebuild. In 1674 it was decided to demolish the upper third floor of the White Tower erected in the 1490s. On June 17, when the ladder was broken, workers found under her the skeletons of two children, wrapped in velvet fabric. Immediately it was decided that these were the remains of Edward Fifth and his brother Richard. Princes were buried with honor in Westminster Abbey (the city of London). Thus, there was no doubt that the children were abducted and kept for some time in the White Tower. After the murder, their corpses were hidden under a staircase leading to the top floor. Therefore, it is the former Tower of the Tower that has every reason to bear the name "Bloody Tower in London". History shows that the commandant's house also served as a prison. The last prisoner in it was Sir Walter Raleigh, imprisoned in the Tower because of the palace conspiracy against the monarch Yakov.
What to see in the museum?
Arriving in the city of London for at least a day, youmust necessarily visit the Tower. In the White Tower you will see a treasure chest and an armory. In the chapel of St. John (a typical example of Norman architecture), many prisoners prayed before they ascended the scaffold. To the north of the dungeon there is a memorial plaque in place of their execution. On the walls of the rooms you can still read the inscriptions that the prisoners left. The Tower works as a museum from 9 am to 5.30 in the summer and until 4.30 in the winter.