Tower of London seen from River Thames cruise
The Tower of London brings the city’s history to life more vividly than any other landmark. The 20 towers tell the tales of treasures, heraldry, sovereigns and princes. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Britain, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a window into Britain’s compelling and sometimes gruesome history.
White Tower, Tower of London
Work on the central White Tower began in the 1070s under the watch of William the Conqueror. Over the centuries, it served as a mint, royal residence, arsenal and treasury before becoming famous as a prison under Henry VIII in 1529.
St. John’s Chapel in Tower of London
Today, the Romanesque White Tower houses the city’s oldest church, the ninth-century St. John’s Chapel, and a fascinating collection from the Royal Armories.
Jewel House in Tower of London
The Waterloo Barracks stand to the north. The spectacular Crown Jewels are displayed inside, including the late Queen Mother’s platinum crown and the Imperial State Crown.
the City Hall of Tower of London
The Bloody Tower stands on the White Tower’s far side. Edward V was held there as a young child and later murdered at the site by the future Richard III. Other famous prisoners who served time in the Bloody Tower include the fifth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, the future Queen Elizabeth I, Guy Fawkes, Sir Walter Raleigh and William Penn, the future founder of Pennsylvania.
scaffold of Henry VIII, Place of execution, Tower of London
The scaffold of Henry VIII stood on the small patch of grass nearby, where seven people were beheaded, including Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn.
Queen’s House in Tower of London
It takes at least three hours to explore the entire complex, and the Beefeaters are happy to take visitors on free guided tours every 30 minutes from the main entrance.
Tower of London from The Shard