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Monuments of England

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Monuments of England

Mensaje  Sigfrido el Sáb Oct 25, 2008 8:50 pm

The England is a european contry, England have much interesting monuments.
Some monuments are the Big Ben and Backhingams palace which is the queens house.

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Tower of London

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 16, 2009 7:42 pm

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London (and historically as The Tower), is a historic monument in central London, England, on the north bank of the River Thames. It is located within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and is separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill.
The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower, the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.
The tower's primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (particularly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower" (meaning "imprisoned"). It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

Location

The Tower is located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, at the eastern boundary of the City of London financial district, adjacent to the River Thames and Tower Bridge. Between the river and the Tower is Tower Wharf, a freely accessible walkway with views of the river, tower and bridge, together with HMS Belfast and London City Hall on the opposite bank.

Construction History


The White Tower

At the centre of the Tower of London stands the Norman White Tower built in 1078 by William the Conqueror (reigned 1066-87) inside the southeast angle of the city walls, adjacent to the Thames. This was as much to protect the Normans from the people of the City of London as to protect London from outside invaders. William appointed Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, as the architect. Fine Caen stone, imported from France, was used for the corners of the building and as door and window dressings, though Kentish ragstone was used for the bulk of the edifice. According to legend the mortar used in its construction was tempered by the blood of beasts. Another legend ascribed the Tower not to William but to the Romans. William Shakespeare in his play Richard III stated that it was built by Julius Caesar.
The White Tower is 90 feet (27 m) high and the walls vary from 15 feet (4.5 m) thick at the base to almost 11 feet (3.3 m) in the upper parts. Above the battlements rise four turrets; three of them are square, but the one on the northeast is circular, in order to accommodate a spiral staircase. This turret was briefly used as the first royal observatory in the reign of Charles II. Completing the defences to the south of the Tower was the bailey.
In the 1190s, King Richard the Lionheart (reigned 1189-99) enclosed the White Tower with a curtain wall, and had a moat dug around it filled with water from the Thames. Richard utilised the pre-existing Roman city wall, to the east, as part of the circuit. Part of the wall he built was incorporated into the later circuit wall of Henry III and is still extant, running between the Bloody Tower and the Bell Tower, the latter of which also dates to his reign. In 1240 Henry III had the exterior of the building whitewashed, which is how it got its name.

The Inmost Ward

In the early thirteenth century Henry III (reigned 1216-72) transformed the Tower into a major royal residence and had palatial buildings constructed within the Inner Bailey to the south of the White Tower. This Inmost Ward was entered by the now ruined Coldharbour Gate to the NW and bounded by a wall, fortified by the Wakefield Tower to the SW, the Lanthorn Tower to the SE, and the now ruined Wardrobe Tower to the NE. The well appointed Wakefield Tower and the Lanthorn Tower were integral parts of this new royal palace, and adjoined the now demolished Great Hall situated between them. The Tower remained a royal residence until the time of Oliver Cromwell, who demolished some of the old palatial buildings.

The Inner Ward

The White Tower and Inmost Ward are situated in the Inner Ward, defended by a massive curtain wall, built by Henry III from 1238 onwards. In order to extend the circuit the city wall to the east was broken down, despite the protests of the citizens of London and even supernatural warnings, according to chronicler Matthew Paris.

The Outer Ward

Between 1275 and 1285 by Edward I (reigned 1272-1307) built an outer curtain wall, completely enclosing the inner wall and thus creating a concentric double defence. He filled in the moat and built a new moat around the new outer wall. The space between the walls is called the Outer Ward.
On the north face of the outer wall are three semicircular bastions, the Brass Mount, the North Bastion and Legge's Mount.
The water entrance to the Tower is often referred to as Traitor's Gate because prisoners accused of treason such as Queen Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas More are said to have passed through it. Traitor's Gate cuts through St Thomas's Tower and replaced Henry III's watergate in the Bloody Tower behind it. Behind Traitors Gate in the pool was an engine used to raise water to a cistern located on the roof of the White Tower. The engine was originally powered by the force of the tide or by horsepower and eventually by steampower; this was adapted around 1724 to drive machinery for boring gun barrels. It was removed in the 1860s. The Tudor Timber Framing seen above the great arch of Traitor's Gate dates from 1532 and was restored in the 19th century.

Prisoners

The first prisoner was Ranulf Flambard in 1100 who, as Bishop of Durham, was found guilty of extortion. He had been responsible for various improvements to the design of the tower after the first architect Gundulf moved back to Rochester. He escaped from the White Tower by climbing down a rope, which had been smuggled into his cell in a wine casket.

Torture

Inside the torture chambers of the tower various implements of torture were used such as the Scavenger’s daughter, a kind of compression device, and the Rack, also known as the Duke of Exeter's Daughter.
Anne Askew is the only woman on record to have been tortured in the tower, after being taken there in 1546 on a charge of heresy. Sir Anthony Kingston, the Constable of the Tower of London, was ordered to torture Anne in an attempt to force her to name other Protestants. Anne was put on the Rack. Kingston was so impressed with the way Anne behaved that he refused to carry on torturing her, and Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor had to take over.

Executions

Lower-class criminals were usually executed by hanging at one of the public execution sites outside the Tower. High-profile convicts, such as Sir Thomas More, were publicly beheaded on Tower Hill. Seven nobles (five of them ladies) were beheaded privately on Tower Green, inside the complex, and then buried in the "Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula" (Latin for "in chains," making him an appropriate patron saint for prisoners) next to the Green. Some of the nobles who were executed outside the Tower are also buried in that chapel.
George, Duke of Clarence, the brother of Edward IV of England, was executed for treason in the Tower in February 1478, but not by beheading (and probably not by being drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine, despite what Shakespeare wrote).
When Edward IV died, he left two young sons behind: the Princes in the Tower. His brother Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, was made Regent until the older of his two sons, Edward V, should come of age. According to Thomas More's History of Richard III, Richard hired men to kill them, and, one night, the two Princes were smothered with their pillows. Many years later, bones were found buried at the foot of a stairway in the Tower, which are thought to be those of the princes. Richard was crowned King Richard III of England.
The last execution at the Tower was that of German spy Josef Jakobs on 14 August 1941 by firing squad formed from the Scots Guards.

Recent history

The military use of the Tower as a fortification, like that of other such castles, became obsolete with the introduction of artillery, and the moat was drained in 1830. However the Tower did serve as the headquarters of the Board of Ordnance until 1855, and the Tower was still occasionally used as a prison, even through both World Wars. In 1780, the Tower held its only American prisoner, former President of the Continental Congress, Henry Laurens. In World War I, eleven German spies were shot in the Tower. Irish rebel Roger Casement was imprisoned in the Tower during his trial on treason charges in 1916.
In 1942, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, was imprisoned in the tower for four days. During this time, RAF Wing Commander George Salaman was placed in the same cell undercover, impersonating a Luftwaffe officer, to spy on Hess. Although acting covertly and not held as a true inmate, Salaman remains the last Englishman to be locked in the Tower of London. The tower was used as a prison for German prisoners of war throughout the conflict.
Waterloo Barracks, the location of the Crown Jewels, remained in use as a base for the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) into the 1950s; during 1952, the Kray twins were briefly held there for failing to report for national service, making them among the last prisoners of the Tower; the last British citizen held for any length of time was the traitorous Army officer Norman Baillie-Stewart from 1933 to 1937.
Although it is no longer a royal residence, the Tower officially remains a royal palace and maintains a permanent guard: this is found by the unit forming the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace. Two sentries are maintained during the hours that the Tower is open, with one stationed outside the Jewel House and one outside the Queen's House.
In 1974, there was a bomb explosion in the Mortar Room in the White tower leaving one person dead and 35 injured. No one claimed responsibility for the blast, however the police were investigating suspicions that the IRA was behind it.
In 2007 Moira Cameron became the first female Beefeater in history to go on duty at the Tower of London. Cameron beat five men to the job as a Yeomen Warder.
The Tower was featured in the BBC documentary series Tales from the Palaces.

Administration

The Tower of London and its surrounding area has always had a separate administration from the adjacent City of London. It was under the jurisdiction of Constable of the Tower who also held authority over the Tower liberties until 1894. In addition the Constable was ex-officio Lord Lieutenant of the Tower division of Middlesex until 1889 and head of the Tower Hamlets Militia until 1871. Today the Tower is within the boundaries of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Yeomen Warders

The tower is fully staffed with 35 Yeomen Warders (also known as Beefeaters), at all times, the most senior is titled the Chief Yeoman Warder, and his second-in-command is titled the Yeoman Gaoler, they answer to the Constable of the Tower. Yeomen Warders have served as defenders of the Crown Jewels, prison guards, and, since the time of Queen Victoria, tour guides to visitors, and they have become a tourist attraction in their own right, something the warders themselves acknowledge. The current role of the Yeoman Warder is that of tour guides, and, should the need arise, prison guards.

Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels have been kept at the Tower of London since 1303, after they were stolen from Westminster Abbey. It is thought that most, if not all, were recovered shortly afterwards. After the coronation of Charles II, they were locked away and shown for a viewing fee paid to a custodian. However, this arrangement ended when Colonel Thomas Blood stole the Crown Jewels after having bound and gagged the custodian. Thereafter, the Crown Jewels were kept in a part of the Tower known as Jewel House, where armed guards defended them. They were temporarily taken out of the Tower during World War II and reportedly were secretly kept in the basement vaults of the Sun Life Insurance company in Montreal, Canada, along with the gold bullion of the Bank of England.

Ghosts

The Tower of London is reputedly the most haunted building in England. The ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn, beheaded in 1536 for treason against King Henry VIII, has allegedly been seen haunting the chapel of St Peter-ad-Vincula, where she is buried, and walking around the White Tower carrying her head under her arm. Other ghosts include Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Pole, and the Princes in the Tower. In January 1816 a sentry on guard outside the Jewel House witnessed an inexplicable apparition of a bear advancing towards him. The sentry reportedly died of fright a few days later.


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Tower Bridge

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 10:45 am

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is one of several London bridges owned and maintained by the City Bridge Trust, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.
The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge to the left and the right. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. Its present colour dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Before this, it was painted a chocolate brown colour.
Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream. A popular urban legend is that in 1968, Robert McCulloch, the purchaser of the old London Bridge that was later shipped to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, believed mistakenly that he was buying Tower Bridge. This was denied by McCulloch himself and has been debunked by Ivan Luckin, the seller of the bridge.

Design


In the second half of the 19th century, increased commercial development in the East End of London led to a requirement for a new river crossing downstream of London Bridge. A traditional fixed bridge could not be built because it would cut off access to the port facilities in the Pool of London, between London Bridge and the Tower of London.
A Special Bridge or Subway Committee was formed in 1876, chaired by Sir Albert Joseph Altman, to find a solution to the river crossing problem. It opened the design of the crossing to public competition. Over 50 designs were submitted, including one from civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette. The evaluation of the designs was surrounded by controversy, and it was not until 1884 that a design submitted by Horace Jones, the City Architect (who was also one of the judges), was approved.
Jones' engineer, Sir John Wolfe Barry, devised the idea of a bascule bridge 800 feet (244 m) in length with two towers each 213 feet (65 m) high, built on piers. The central span of 200 feet (61 m) between the towers was split into two equal bascules or leaves, which could be raised to an angle of 83 degrees to allow river traffic to pass. The bascules, weighing over 1,000 tons each, were counterbalanced to minimize the force required and allow raising in five minutes.
The two side-spans are suspension bridges, each 270 feet (82 m) long, with the suspension rods anchored both at the abutments and through rods contained within the bridge's upper walkways. The pedestrian walkways are 143 feet (44 m) above the river at high tide.
Construction started in 1886 and took eight years with five major contractors – Sir John Jackson (foundations), Baron Armstrong (hydraulics), William Webster, Sir H.H. Bartlett, and Sir William Arrol & Co. – and employed 432 construction workers. E W Crutwell was the resident engineer for the construction.
Two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete, were sunk into the river bed to support the construction. Over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and walkways. This was then clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a pleasing appearance.
Jones died in 1887 and George D. Stevenson took over the project. Stevenson replaced Jones' original brick facade with the more ornate Victorian Gothic style, which makes the bridge a distinctive landmark, and was intended to harmonise the bridge with the nearby Tower of London.
The bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), and his wife, The Princess of Wales (Alexandra of Denmark).
The bridge connected Iron Gate, on the north bank of the river, with Horsleydown Lane, on the south – now known as Tower Bridge Approach and Tower Bridge Road, respectively. It largely replaced Tower Subway, 400 m to the west, the world's first underground railway (1870). Until the bridge was opened, the subway was the shortest way to cross the river from Tower Hill to Tooley Street in Southwark.
The total cost of construction was £1,184,000.

b]Hydraulic system[/b]

The original raising mechanism was powered by pressurised water stored in six hydraulic accumulators.
The system was designed and installed by Sir W. G. Armstrong Mitchell & Company of Newcastle upon Tyne. Water, at a pressure of 750psi, was pumped into the accumulators by two 360 hp stationary steam engines, each driving a force pump from its piston tail rod. The accumulators each comprise a 20-inch ram on which sits a very heavy weight to maintain the desired pressure.
In 1974, the original operating mechanism was largely replaced by a new electro-hydraulic drive system, designed by BHA Cromwell House. The only components of the original system still in use are the final pinions, which engage with the racks fitted to the bascules. These are driven by modern hydraulic motors and gearing, using oil rather than water as the hydraulic fluid.
Some of the original hydraulic machinery has been retained, although it is no longer in use. It is open to the public and forms the basis for the bridge's museum, which resides in the old engine rooms on the south side of the bridge. The museum includes the steam engines, two of the accumulators and one of the hydraulic engines that moved the bascules, along with other related artefacts.

The third steam engine

During World War II, as a precaution against the existing engines being damaged by enemy action, a third engine was installed in 1942: a 150 hp horizontal cross-compound engine, built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at their Elswick works in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It was fitted with a 9 feet diameter flywheel weighing 9 tons, and was governed to a speed of 30 rpm.
The engine became redundant when the rest of the system was modernised in 1974, and was donated to the Forncett Industrial Steam Museum by the Corporation of the City of London.

Navigation control


To control the passage of river traffic through the bridge, a number of different rules and signals were employed. Daytime control was provided by red semaphore signals, mounted on small control cabins on either end of both bridge piers. At night, coloured lights were used, in either direction, on both piers: two red lights to show that the bridge was closed, and two green to show that it was open. In foggy weather, a gong was sounded as well.
Vessels passing through the bridge had to display signals too: by day, a black ball at least 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter was to be mounted high-up where it could be seen; by night, two red lights in the same position. Foggy weather required repeated blasts from the ship's steam whistle.
If a black ball was suspended from the middle of each walkway (or a red light at night) this indicated that the bridge could not be opened. These signals were repeated about 1,000 yards (910 m) downstream, at Cherry Garden Pier, where boats requiring to pass through the bridge had to hoist their signals/lights and sound their horn, as appropriate, to alert the Bridge Master.
Some of the control mechanism for the signalling equipment has been preserved and may be seen working in the bridge's museum.

Reaction


Although the bridge is an undoubted landmark, professional commentators in the early 20th century were critical of its aesthetics. "It represents the vice of tawdriness and pretentiousness, and of falsification of the actual facts of the structure", wrote H. H. Statham, while Frank Brangwyn stated that "A more absurd structure than the Tower Bridge was never thrown across a strategic river".
Architectural historian Dan Cruickshank selected the bridge as one of his four choices for the 2002 BBC television documentary series Britain's Best Buildings.

Incidents


In 1952, a number 78 double-decker bus was on the bridge when it opened. Back then, the lights would change to red, the gateman would ring bells to encourage the pedestrians to move off the bridge quickly and close the gates, and the head watchman would order the bridge to lift when it was clear. On this day in December, there was a relief watchman, and something went wrong. Albert Gunter, the driver, saw that the road ahead appeared to be sinking. In fact, his bus was perched on the end of an opening bascule, which was giving the illusion of a sinking road ahead. He realised that he would not be able to stop in time to prevent going into the water, and making a split second decision, decided he would go for it. He accelerated and jumped the three feet gap, landing on the north bascule, which had not started to rise. None of his dozen passengers were seriously hurt, and he received £10 for his bravery.
On 5 April 1968 a Hawker Hunter FGA.9 jet fighter from No.1 Squadron RAF, flown by Flt Lt Alan Pollock, flew under Tower Bridge. Unimpressed that senior staff were not going to celebrate the RAF's 50th birthday with a fly-past, Pollock decided to do something himself. Without authorisation, Pollock flew the Hunter at low level down the Thames, past the Houses of Parliament, and continued on to Tower Bridge. He flew the Hunter beneath the bridge's walkway, remarking afterwards it was an afterthought when he saw the bridge looming ahead of him. Pollock was placed under arrest upon landing, and discharged from the RAF on medical grounds without the chance to defend himself at a court martial. (See also: Hawker Hunter Tower Bridge incident.)
In May 1997, the motorcade of United States President Bill Clinton was divided by the opening of the bridge. Thames sailing barge Gladys, on her way to a gathering at St Katharine Docks, arrived on schedule and the bridge was duly opened for her. Returning from a Thames-side lunch at Le Pont de la Tour restaurant, with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Clinton was less punctual, and arrived just as the bridge was rising. The bridge opening split the motorcade in two, much to the consternation of security staff. A spokesman for Tower Bridge is quoted as saying, "We tried to contact the American Embassy, but they wouldn't answer the 'phone."
On 19 August 1999, Jef Smith, a Freeman of the City of London, drove a "herd" of two sheep across the bridge. He was exercising an ancient permission, granted as a right to Freemen, to make a point about the powers of older citizens and the way in which their rights were being eroded.
Before dawn on 31 October 2003, David Crick, a Fathers 4 Justice campaigner, climbed a 120 ft (37 m) tower crane near Tower Bridge at the start of a six day protest dressed as Spider-Man. Fearing for his safety, and that of motorists should he fall, police cordoned off the area, closing the bridge and surrounding roads and causing widespread traffic congestion across the City and east London. The Metropolitan Police were later criticised for maintaining the closure for five days when this was not strictly necessary in the eyes of some citizens.

Tower Bridge today


Road traffic

Tower Bridge is still a busy and vital crossing of the Thames: it is crossed by over 40,000 people (motorists and pedestrians) every day. The bridge is on the London Inner Ring Road, and is on the eastern boundary of the London congestion charge zone. (Drivers do not incur a charge by crossing the bridge.)
In order to maintain the integrity of the historic structure, the City of London Corporation have imposed a 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) speed restriction, and an 18 tonne weight limit on vehicles using the bridge. A sophisticated camera system measures the speed of traffic crossing the bridge, utilising a number plate recognition system to send fixed penalty charges to speeding drivers.
A second system monitors other vehicle parameters. Induction loops and piezo-electric detectors are used to measure the weight, the height of the chassis above ground level, and the number of axles for each vehicle.

River traffic

The bascules are raised around 1000 times a year. River traffic is now much reduced, but it still takes priority over road traffic. Today, 24 hours' notice is required before opening the bridge. In 2008, a local web developer created a Twitter feed to post live updates of the bridge's opening and closing activities.
A computer system was installed in 2000 to control the raising and lowering of the bascules remotely. Unfortunately it proved less reliable than desired, resulting in the bridge being stuck in the open or closed positions on several occasions during 2005, until its sensors were replaced.

Tower Bridge Exhibition

The high-level walkways between the towers gained an unpleasant reputation as a haunt for prostitutes and pickpockets and were closed in 1910. In 1982 they were reopened as part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition, an exhibition now housed in the bridge's twin towers, the high-level walkways and the Victorian engine rooms. The walkways boast stunning views of the River Thames and many famous London sites, serving as viewing galleries for over 380,000 tourists who visit each year. The exhibition also uses films, photos and interactives to explain why and how Tower Bridge was built. Visitors can access the original steam engines that once powered the bridge bascules, housed in a building close to the south end of the bridge.
A Behind the Scenes tour can be booked in advance, during which it is possible to see the bridge's command centre, from where the raising of the bascules is controlled for a vessel to pass through, and go down into the bascule chambers too.

2008–2012 facelift

In April 2008 it was announced that the bridge will undergo a 'facelift' costing £4m, and taking four years to complete. The work entails stripping-off the existing paint and repainting in blue and white. Each section will be enshrouded in scaffolding to prevent the old paint falling into the Thames causing pollution. Starting in mid-2008, contractors will work on a quarter of the bridge at a time to minimise disruption, but some road closures are inevitable. The bridge will remain open until the end of 2010, but is then expected to be closed for several months. It is hoped that the completed work will stand for 25 years.

London Bridge Tower / The Shard

Plans emerged in 2000 for the building of a skyscraper close to London Bridge, called London Bridge Tower or 'The Shard'. English Heritage, in particular, protested against the plans, claiming that the 385 metre-high structure would destroy the views of St Paul's Cathedral and adversely impact the setting of the historic areas around Tower Bridge. A later design of The Shard, at a reduced height of 310m, still attracted criticism, and English Heritage claimed that the Tower of London's status as a World Heritage Site would be threatened. English Heritage's opposition was unsuccessful, and development on the site started in 2008.

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Globe Theatre

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 10:51 am

The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613. A second Globe Theatre was rebuilt on the same site by June 1614 and closed in 1642.
A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named "Shakespeare's Globe", opened in 1997. It is approximately 230 metres (750 ft) from the site of the original theatre.

History

The Globe was owned by actors who were also shareholders in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Two of the six Globe shareholders, Richard Burbage and his brother Cuthbert Burbage, owned double shares of the whole, or 25% each; the other four men, Shakespeare, John Heminges, Augustine Phillips, and Thomas Pope, owned a single share, or 12.5%. (Originally William Kempe was intended to be the seventh partner, but he sold out his share to the four minority sharers, leaving them with more than the originally planned 10%). These initial proportions changed over time as new sharers were added. Shakespeare's share diminished from 1/8 to 1/14, or roughly 7%, over the course of his career.
The Globe was built in 1599 using timber from an earlier theatre, The Theatre, which had been built by Richard Burbage's father, James Burbage, in Shoreditch in 1576. The Burbages originally had a 21-year lease of the site on which The Theatre was built but owned the building outright. However, the landlord, Giles Allen, claimed that the building had become his with the expiry of the lease. On 28 December 1598, while Allen was celebrating Christmas at his country home, carpenter Peter Street, supported by the players and their friends, dismantled The Theatre beam by beam and transported it to Street's waterfront warehouse near Bridewell. With the onset of more favourable weather in the following spring, the material was ferried over the Thames to reconstruct it as The Globe on some marshy gardens to the south of Maiden Lane, Southwark.
On 29 June 1613 the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry the Eighth. A theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching. According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a man whose burning breeches were put out with a bottle of ale. It was rebuilt in the following year.
Like all the other theatres in London, the Globe was closed down by the Puritans in 1642. It was pulled down in 1644, or slightly later, to make room for tenements.
Examination of old property records has identified the plot of land occupied by the Globe as extending from the west side of modern-day Southwark Bridge Road eastwards as far as Porter Street and from Park Street southwards as far as the back of Gatehouse Square. The precise location of the building however, remained unknown until a small part of the foundations, including one original pier base, was discovered in 1989 beneath the car park at the rear of Anchor Terrace on Park Street. The shape of the foundations is now replicated on the surface. As the majority of the foundations lie beneath Anchor Terrace itself, which is a listed building, no further excavations have been permitted.

Layout

The Globe's actual dimensions are unknown, but its shape and size can be approximated from scholarly inquiry over the last two centuries. The evidence suggests that it was a three-storey, open-air amphitheatre approximately 100 feet (30 m) in diameter that could house up to 3,000 spectators. The Globe is shown as round on Wenceslas Hollar's sketch of the building, later incorporated into his engraved "Long View" of London in 1647. However, in 1988-89, the uncovering of a small part of the Globe's foundation suggested that it was a polygon of 20 sides.
At the base of the stage, there was an area called the pit, (or, harking back to the old inn-yards, yard) where, for a penny, people (the "groundlings") would stand on the rush-strewn earthen floor to watch the performance. During the excavation of the Globe in 1989 a layer of nutshells was found, pressed into the dirt flooring so as to form a new surface layer. Around the yard were three levels of stadium-style seats, which were more expensive than standing room.
A rectangle stage platform, also known as an 'apron stage', thrust out into the middle of the open-air yard. The stage measured approximately 43 feet (13.1 m) in width, 27 feet (8.2 m) in depth and was raised about 5 feet (1.5 m) off the ground. On this stage, there was a trap door for use by performers to enter from the "cellarage" area beneath the stage.
Large columns on either side of the stage supported a roof over the rear portion of the stage. The ceiling under this roof was called the "heavens," and was painted with clouds and the sky. A trap door in the heavens enabled performers to descend using some form of rope and harness. The back wall of the stage had two or three doors on the main level, with a curtained inner stage in the centre and a balcony above it. The doors entered into the "tiring house" (backstage area) where the actors dressed and awaited their entrances. The balcony housed the musicians and could also be used for scenes requiring an upper space, such as the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. Rush matting covered the stage, although this may only have been used if the setting of the play demanded it.


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Millennium Bridge

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 11:09 am

The London Millennium Footbridge is a pedestrian-only steel suspension bridge crossing the River Thames in London, England, linking Bankside with the City. It is located between Southwark Bridge (downstream) and Blackfriars Bridge (upstream). With construction beginning in 1998, it is owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.
Londoners nicknamed the bridge the Wobbly Bridge after crowds of pedestrians felt an unexpected swaying motion on the first two days after the bridge opened. The bridge was closed and modified, and further modifications eliminated the "wobble" entirely.
The southern end of the bridge is near Globe Theatre, the Bankside Gallery and Tate Modern, the north end next to the City of London School below St Paul's Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view of St Paul's south facade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports, thus providing a scenic view of the cathedral.

Design

The design of the bridge was the subject of a competition organised in 1996 by Southwark council. The winning entry was an innovative "blade of light" effort from Arup, Foster and Partners and Sir Anthony Caro. Due to height restrictions, and to improve the view, the bridge's suspension design had the supporting cables below the deck level, giving a very shallow profile. The bridge has two river piers and is made of three main sections of 81 metres (266 ft), 144 metres (472 ft) and 108 metres (354 ft) (North to South) with a total structure length of 325 metres (1,066 ft); the aluminium deck is 4 metres (13 ft) wide. The eight suspension cables are tensioned to pull with a force of 2,000 tons against the piers set into each bank — enough to support a working load of 5,000 people on the bridge at one time.

Construction

Construction began in late 1998 with the main works beginning on 28 April 1999 by Monberg Thorsen and Sir Robert McAlpine. The bridge was completed at a cost of £18.2m (£2.2m over budget) and opened on 10 June 2000 (2 months late). Unexpected lateral vibration (resonant structural response) caused the bridge to be closed on 12 June for modifications.
Attempts were made to limit the number of people crossing the bridge: this led to long queues, but dampened neither public enthusiasm for what was something of a white-knuckle ride, nor the vibrations themselves. The closure of the bridge only three days after opening attracted public criticism, as another high-profile British millennium project suffered an embarrassing setback, akin to how many saw the Millennium Dome.
Further modifications to the bridge successfully eliminated the "wobble," which has not recurred since the bridge reopened in February 2002.
The bridge was temporarily closed on 18 January 2007, during the Kyrill storm due to strong winds and a risk of pedestrians being blown off the bridge.

Resonance

The bridge's movements were caused by a 'positive feedback' phenomenon, known as Synchronous Lateral Excitation. The natural sway motion of people walking caused small sideways oscillations in the bridge, which in turn caused people on the bridge to sway in step, increasing the amplitude of the bridge oscillations and continually reinforcing the effect.
The bridge opened on an exceptionally fine day, and it was included on the route of a major charity walk. On the day of opening the bridge was crossed by 90,000 people, with up to 2,000 on the bridge at any one time.
Resonant vibrational modes due to vertical loads (such as trains, traffic, pedestrians) and wind loads are well understood in bridge design. In the case of the Millennium Bridge, because the lateral motion caused the pedestrians loading the bridge to directly participate with the bridge, the vibrational modes had not been anticipated by the designers.
The lateral vibration problems of the Millennium Bridge are very unusual, but not entirely unique. Any bridge with lateral frequency modes of less than 1.3 Hz, and sufficiently low mass, could witness the same phenomenon with sufficient pedestrian loading. The greater the number of people, the greater the amplitude of the vibrations. Other bridges which have seen similar problems are:

-Birmingham NEC Link bridge, with a lateral frequency of 0.7 Hz
-Groves Suspension Bridge, Chester, in 1977 during the Jubilee River Regatta
-Auckland Harbour Road Bridge, with a lateral frequency of 0.67 Hz, during a 1975 demonstration

After extensive analysis by the engineers , the problem was fixed by the retrofitting of 37 fluid-viscous dampers (energy dissipating) to control horizontal movement and 52 tuned mass dampers (inertial) to control vertical movement. This took from May 2001 to January 2002 and cost £5m. After a period of testing, the bridge was successfully re-opened on 22 February 2002. The bridge has not been subject to significant vibration since.
An artistic expression of the higher-frequency resonances within the cables of the bridge were explored by Bill Fontana's 'Harmonic Bridge' exhibition at the Tate Modern museum in the summer of 2006. This utilised acoustic transducers placed at strategic locations on the cabling of the Millennium Bridge and the signals from those transducers were amplified and dynamically distributed throughout the Turbine Hall of the Tate by a program Fontana entered into the sound diffusion engine of the Richmond Sound Design AudioBox


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St Paul's Cathedral

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 11:34 am

St Paul's Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral on Ludgate Hill, in the City of London, and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and is generally reckoned to be London's fifth St Paul's Cathedral, although the number is higher if every major medieval reconstruction is counted as a new cathedral. The cathedral sits on the the highest point of the City of London, which originated as a Roman trading post situated on the River Thames. The cathedral is one of London's most visited sites.

Design and construction

The task of designing a replacement structure was officially assigned to Sir Christopher Wren in 1668, along with over 50 other City churches. St. Paul’s went through five general stages of design. Wren initially began surveying the property and drawing up designs before the Great Fire of 1666, and these drawings for the most part included the addition of a dome on the existing building to replace the dilapidated spire, and a restoration of the interiors that would compliment the 1630 Inigo Jones-designed facade. After the fire, the ruins of the building were still thought to be workable, but ultimately the entire structure was demolished in the early 1670s to start afresh. Wren’s second design, the first to be a completely new building, was a Greek cross, which was considered to be too radical by his critics because it lacked the programme necessary to conduct mass.
Wren’s third proposal for the new St. Paul’s used many of the same design concepts as his Greek cross design, though it had an extended nave. This design was embodied in his creation in 1673 of the "Great Model". The model, made of oak and plaster, cost over £500 (approximately £32,000 today) and was over 13’ tall and 21’ long. His critics, members of a committee commissioned to rebuild the church and members of the clergy, decried the design as being too dissimilar from churches that already existed in England at the time to suggest any continuity within the Church of England. Clergymen also preferred a Latin cross plan for services. Another problem was that the entire design would have to be completed all at once because of the eight central piers that supported the dome, instead of being completed in stages and opened for use before construction finished, as was customary. Wren considered the Great Model his favorite design, and thought it a reflection of Renaissance beauty. After the Great Model, Wren resolved to make no more models or publicly expose his drawings, which he found to do nothing but "lose time, and subject his business many times, to incompetent judges".
Wren's fourth design, the Warrant design, sought to reconcile the Gothic, the predominant form of English churches, to a "better manner of architecture." Wren attempted to integrate the same concepts of Renaissance harmony into a much more Gothic style. This design was rotated slightly on its site so that it aligned not with true east, but with sunrise on Easter of the year construction began. This small change in configuration made by Wren was informed by his knowledge of astronomy. His design of the portico was influenced by Inigo Jones’s addition to Old St. Paul’s.
The final built design differs largely in ornamentation with the official Warrant design. Wren received permission from the king to make "ornamental changes" to the submitted design, and Wren took great advantage of this. Many of these changes were made over the course of the thirty years as the church was constructed, and the most significant was to the dome: "He raised another structure over the first cupola, a cone of brick, so as to support a stone lantern of an elegant figure... And he covered and hid out of sight the brick cone with another cupola of timber and lead; and between this and the cone are easy stairs that ascend to the lantern" (Christopher Wren, son of Sir Christopher Wren). The final design was strongly rooted in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The saucer domes that were eventually added to the design were inspired by François Mansart’s Val-de-Grâce that Wren had seen during a trip to Paris in 1665. The first stone of the cathedral was laid in 1677 by Thomas Strong, Wren's master stonemason.
The cathedral was completed on 20 October 1708, Wren's 76th birthday. On Thursday, 2 December 1697, thirty-two years and three months after a spark from Farryner's bakery had caused the Great Fire of London, St Paul's Cathedral came into use: it proved to be well worth the wait. The widower King William III had been scheduled to appear but, uncomfortable in crowds and public displays, had bowed out at the last minute. The crowd of both the great and the small was so big, and their attitude towards William so indifferent, that he was scarcely missed. The Right Reverend Henry Compton, Bishop of London, preached the sermon. It was based on the text of Psalm 122, "I was glad when they said unto me: Let us go into the house of the LORD." The first regular service was held on the following Sunday.
The consensus was as with all such works: some loved it ("Without, within, below, above the eye/ Is filled with unrestrained delight."); some hated it ("...There was an air of Popery about the giled capitals, the heavy arches...They were unfamiliar, un-English.."); while most, once their curiosity was satisfied, didn't think about it one way or another.

Description

The cathedral is built of Portland stone in a late Renaissance style that is England's sober Baroque. Its impressive dome was inspired by St Peter's Basilica in Rome. It rises 365 feet (108 m) to the cross at its summit, making it a famous London landmark. Wren achieved a pleasing appearance by building three domes: the tall outer dome is non-structural but impressive to view, the lower inner dome provides an artistically balanced interior, and between the two is a structural cone that supports the apex structure and the outer dome. Wren was said to have been hauled up to the rafters in a basket during the building of its later stages to inspect progress.
The nave has three small chapels in the two adjoining aisles – All Souls and St Dunstan's in the north aisle and the Chapel of the Order of St Michael and St George in the south aisle. The main space of the cathedral is centred under the Dome; it rises 108.4 metres from the cathedral floor and holds three circular galleries – the internal Whispering Gallery, the external Stone Gallery, and the external Golden Gallery.
The Whispering Gallery runs around the interior of the Dome and is 99 feet (30.2 m) above the cathedral floor. It is reached by 259 steps from ground level. It gets its name because a whisper against its wall at any point is audible to a listener with an ear held to the wall at any other point around the gallery. This works only for whispered speech - normal voiced speech is not focused in this way.
The base of the inner dome is 173 feet (53.4 m) above the floor. The top of the inner dome is about 65 m above the floor, making this the height of the enclosed space. The cathedral is some 574 feet (175 m) in length (including the portico of the Great West Door), of which 223 feet (68 m) is the nave and 167 feet (51 m) is the choir. The width of the nave is 121 feet (37 m) and across the transepts is 246 feet (75 m). The cathedral is thus slightly shorter but somewhat wider than Old St Paul's.
The quire extends to the east of the dome and holds the stalls for the clergy and the choir and the organ. To the north and south of the dome are the transepts of the North Choir and the South Choir.
Details of the towers at the west end (illustration, left) and their dark voids are boldly scaled, in order to read well from the street below and from a distance, for the towers have always stood out in the urban skyline. They are composed of two complementary elements, a central cylinder rising through the tiers in a series of stacked drums, and paired Corinthian columns at the corners, with buttresses above them, which serve to unify the drum shape with the square block plinth containing the clock. The main entablature breaks forward over the paired columns to express both elements, tying them together in a single horizontal band. The cap, like a bell-shaped miniature dome, supports a gilded finial, a pinecone supported on four scrolling angled brackets, the topmost expression of the consistent theme. The north-west tower contains 13 bells hung for change ringing while the south-west contains four, including Great Paul, at 16½ tons - the largest bell in the British Isles, cast in 1881, and Great Tom (the hour bell), recast twice, the last time by Richard Phelps, after being moved from St. Stephen's Chapel at the Palace of Westminster.

Post-Wren history

This cathedral has survived despite being targeted during the Blitz - it was struck by bombs on 10 October 1940 and 17 April 1941. On 12 September 1940 a time-delayed bomb that had struck the cathedral was successfully defused and removed by a Bomb Disposal detachment of Royal Engineers under the command of Temporary Lieutenant Robert Davies. Had this bomb detonated, it would have totally destroyed the Cathedral, as it left a 100-foot (30 m) crater when it was later remotely detonated in a secure location. As a result of this action, Davies was awarded the George Cross, along with Sapper George Cameron Wylie.
On 29 December 1940 the cathedral had another close call when an incendiary bomb became lodged in the lead shell of the dome but fell outwards onto the Stone Gallery and was put out before it could ignite the dome timbers. A photograph taken that day showing the cathedral shrouded in smoke became a famous image of the times.

Modern-day

The Royal Family holds most of their important marriages, christenings and funerals at Westminster Abbey, but St Paul's was used for the marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. The religious service for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee was also celebrated there.
In 2001, Britain's memorial service to honour the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks was held at the cathedral, attended by the Royal Family and then-U.S. ambassador William Farish. Prince Philip spoke, as did Farish, and Farish said in 2004 in The Times just before he resigned as ambassador that this service showed the strong relationship between the US and Britain. On 1 November 2005 it held a memorial service for the 7 July bombings.
The cathedral is open to the public, with a charge for non-worshipping visitors. It is possible to climb the 530 steps to the golden gallery, where there is a fine view of London. In 2000, the cathedral began a major restoration programme, scheduled for completion in 2008, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its opening. A ceremony to celebrate the anniversary was directed by Patrick Garland. The restoration programme is expected to cost £40 million, and involves repair and cleaning of the building, and improvement of visitor facilities, such as accessibility for the disabled, and provision of additional educational facilities.
In 2007, Dean and Chapter commissioned public artist Martin Firrell to create a major public artwork to mark the 300th anniversary of the topping-out of Wren's building. The Question Mark Inside consisted of digital text projections to the cathedral dome, West Front and inside onto the Whispering Gallery. The text was based on blog contributions by the general public as well as interviews conducted by the artist and the artist's own views. The project presented a stream of possible answers to the question: 'what makes life meaningful and purposeful, and what does St Paul's mean in that contemporary context?' The Question Mark Inside opened on 8 November 2008 and ran for 8 nights.
In 2007, the World Monuments Fund and American Express awarded St Paul's a grant as part of their Sustainable Tourism initiative. The project will open up rarely seen areas, relieve crowding in the nave - which suffers heavily from foot traffic and fluctuations in humidity - and fund a new Exploration Centre in the crypt. This centre will provide insight into a variety of topics relating to the cathedral, including architecture, history, science, music, and, of course, religion. A lapidarium of recovered medieval stones and the room containing Wren's "Great Model" (currently only seen by appointment) will also be opened to the public.


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Westminster Abbey

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 12:30 pm

The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, which is almost always referred to popularly and informally as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth Realms. It briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1546–1556, and is currently a Royal Peculiar.

History

According to tradition the Abbey was first founded in 616 on the present site, then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island); based on a late 'tradition' that a fisherman called ' Aldrich ' on the River Thames saw a vision of Saint Peter near the site. This seems to be quoted to justify the presents of salmon from the Thames fishermen that the Abbey received in later years. The proven origins are that in the 960s or early 970s, Saint Dunstan, assisted by King Edgar, planted a community of Benedictine monks here. A stone Abbey was built around 1045–1050 by King Edward the Confessor as part of his palace there: it was consecrated on December 28, 1065, only a week before the Confessor's death and subsequent funeral and burial. It was the site of the last coronation prior to the Norman Invasion, that of his successor King Harold. It was later rebuilt by Henry III from 1245, who had selected the site for his burial.
The only extant depiction of the original Abbey, in the Romanesque style that is called Norman in England, together with the adjacent Palace of Westminster, is in the Bayeux Tapestry. Increased endowments supported a community increased from a dozen monks in Dunstan's original foundation, to about eighty monks.
The Abbot and learned monks, in close proximity to the Royal Palace of Westminster, the seat of government from the later twelfth century, became a powerful force in the centuries after the Norman Conquest: the Abbot was often employed on royal service and in due course took his place in the House of Lords as of right. Released from the burdens of spiritual leadership, which passed to the reformed Cluniac movement after the mid-tenth century, and occupied with the administration of great landed properties, some of which lay far from Westminster, "the Benedictines achieved a remarkable degree of identification with the secular life of their times, and particularly with upper-class life", Barbara Harvey concluded, to the extent that her depiction of daily life provides a wider view of the concerns of the English gentry in the High and Late Middle Ages. The proximity of the Palace of Westminster did not extend to providing monks or abbots with high royal connections; in social origin the Benedictines of Westminster were as modest as most of the order. The abbot remained Lord of the Manor of Westminster as a town of two to three thousand persons grew around it: as a consumer and employer on a grand scale the monastery helped fuel the town economy, and relations with the town remained unusually cordial, but no enfranchising charter was issued during the Middle Ages. The abbey built shops and dwellings on the west side, encroaching upon the sanctuary.
The Abbey became the coronation site of Norman kings, but none were buried there until Henry III, intensely devoted to the cult of the Confessor, rebuilt the Abbey in Anglo-French Gothic style as a shrine to honour St Edward the Confessor and as a suitably regal setting for Henry's own tomb, under the highest Gothic nave in England. The Confessor's shrine subsequently played a great part in his canonisation. The work continued between 1245-1517 and was largely finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of King Richard II. Henry VII added a Perpendicular style chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1503 (known as the Henry VII Chapel). Much of the stone came from Caen, in France (Caen stone), the Isle of Portland (Portland stone) and the Loire Valley region of France (tuffeau limestone).
In 1535, the Abbey's annual income of £2400-2800 during the assessment attendant on the Dissolution of the Monasteries rendered it second in wealth only to Glastonbury Abbey. Henry VIII had assumed direct royal control in 1539 and granted the Abbey cathedral status by charter in 1540, simultaneously issuing letters patent establishing the Diocese of Westminster. By granting the Abbey cathedral status Henry VIII gained an excuse to spare it from the destruction or dissolution which he inflicted on most English abbeys during this period. Westminster was a cathedral only until 1550. The expression "robbing Peter to pay Paul" may arise from this period when money meant for the Abbey, which was dedicated to St Peter, was diverted to the treasury of St Paul's Cathedral.
The Abbey was restored to the Benedictines under the Catholic Queen Mary, but they were again ejected under Queen Elizabeth I in 1559. In 1579, Elizabeth re-established Westminster as a "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign, rather than to a diocesan bishop—and made it the Collegiate Church of St Peter, (that is a church with an attached chapter of canons, headed by a dean). The last Abbot was made the first Dean. It suffered damage during the turbulent 1640s, when it was attacked by Puritan iconoclasts, but was again protected by its close ties to the state during the Commonwealth period. Oliver Cromwell was given an elaborate funeral there in 1658, only to be disinterred in January 1661 and posthumously hanged from a nearby gibbet.
The abbey's two western towers were built between 1722 and 1745 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, constructed from Portland stone to an early example of a Gothic Revival design. Further rebuilding and restoration occurred in the 19th century under Sir George Gilbert Scott. A narthex for the west front was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the mid C20 but was not executed.
Until the 19th century, Westminster was the third seat of learning in England, after Oxford and Cambridge. It was here that the first third of the King James Bible Old Testament and the last half of the New Testament were translated. The New English Bible was also put together here in the 20th century. Westminster suffered minor damage during the Blitz on November 15, 1940.

Coronations

Since the coronations in 1066 of both King Harold and William the Conqueror, all English and British monarchs (except Edward V and Edward VIII, who did not have coronations) have been crowned in the Abbey. Henry III was unable to be crowned in London when he first came to the throne because Prince Louis of France had taken control of the city, and so was crowned in Gloucester Cathedral, but this coronation was deemed by the Pope to be improper, and a further coronation was held in the Abbey on 17 May 1220. Lady Jane Grey, whose reign lasted just nine days and was of doubtful legality, was also never crowned. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the traditional cleric in the coronation ceremony. King Edward's Chair (or St Edward's Chair), the throne on which British sovereigns are seated at the moment of coronation, is housed within the Abbey and has been used at every coronation since 1308; from 1301 to 1996 the chair also housed the Stone of Scone upon which the kings of Scotland are crowned, but pending another coronation the Stone is now kept in Scotland.

Burials and memorials

Henry III rebuilt the Abbey in honour of the Royal Saint Edward the Confessor whose relics were placed in a shrine in the sanctuary and now lie in a burial vault beneath the 1268 Cosmati mosaic pavement, in front of the High Altar. Henry III was interred nearby in a superb chest tomb with effigial monument, as were many of the Plantagenet kings of England, their wives and other relatives. Subsequently, most Kings and Queens of England were buried here, although Henry VIII and Charles I are buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, as are all monarchs and royals after George II.
Aristocrats were buried inside chapels and monks and people associated with the Abbey were buried in the Cloisters and other areas. One of these was Geoffrey Chaucer, who was buried here as he had apartments in the Abbey where he was employed as master of the Kings Works. Other poets were buried or memorialized around Chaucer in what became known as Poets' Corner. These include; William Blake, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, John Dryden, George Eliot, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Gray, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Masefield, John Keats, John Milton, Laurence Olivier, Alexander Pope, Nicholas Rowe, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Shadwell, William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth.
Abbey musicians such as Henry Purcell were also buried in their place of work. Subsequently it became an honour to be buried or memorialised here. The practice spread from aristocrats and poets to generals, admirals, politicians, scientists, doctors, etc..

Schools

Westminster School and Westminster Abbey Choir School are also in the precincts of the Abbey. It was natural for the learned and literate monks to be entrusted with education, and Benedictine monks were required by the Pope to maintain a charity school in 1179 Westminster School may have been founded even earlier for children or novices, and the legendary Croyland Chronicle relates a story of 11th century king Edward the Confessor's Queen Editha chatting to a schoolboy in the cloisters, and sending him off to the Palace larder for a treat.

Organ

The organ was built by Harrison & Harrison in 1937, then with four manuals and 84 speaking stops, and was used for the first time at the coronation of King George VI. Some pipework from the previous Hill organ of 1848 was revoiced and incorporated in the new scheme. The two organ cases, designed in the late nineteenth century by John Loughborough Pearson, were re-instated and coloured in 1959. In 1982 and 1987, Harrison and Harrison enlarged the organ under the direction of the then Abbey Organist Simon Preston to include an additional Lower Choir Organ and a Bombarde Organ: the current instrument now has five manuals and 109 speaking stops. In 2006, the console of the organ was refurbished by Harrison and Harrison, and space was prepared for two additional 16ft stops on the Lower Choir Organ and the Bombarde Organ.

Chapter

The Abbey is a Collegiate church organised into the College of St Peter, which comprises the Dean and four residentiary Canons (one of whom is also Rector of St Margaret's Church, Westminster, and Speaker's Chaplain), and seventeen other persons who are members ex officio, as well as twelve lay vicars and ten choristers. The seventeen are the Receiver-General and Chapter Clerk, the Registrar, the Auditor, the Legal Secretary and the Clerk of the Works (the administrative officers). Those more directly concerned with liturgical and ceremonial operations include the Precentor, the Chaplain and Sacrist, the Organist, and the (honorary) High Steward and High Bailiff. The Abbey and its property is in the care of the Librarian, the Keeper of the Muniments, and the Surveyor of the Fabric. Lastly, the educational role of the Abbey is reflected in the presence of the Headmaster of the Choir School, the Headmaster and Under Master of Westminster School, and the Master of The Queen's Scholars.
The Abbey is governed by the Dean and Chapter established under the Elizabethan statute of 1560. This consists of the Dean and the four residentiary Canons.

Museum

The Westminster abbey museum is located in the 11th century vaulted undercroft of St Peter beneath the former monks' dormitory in Westminster Abbey. This is one of the oldest areas of the Abbey, dating back almost to the foundation of the Norman church by King Edward the Confessor in 1065.

Exhibits

The exhibits include a unique collection of royal and other funeral effigies (funeral saddle, helm and shield of Henry V), together with other treasures, including some panels of medieval glass, 12th century sculpture fragments, Mary II's coronation chair and replicas of the Coronation regalia, effigies of Edward III, Henry VII and his queen, Elizabeth I, Charles II, William III, Mary II and Queen Anne.
Later wax effigies include a striking likeness of Horatio, Viscount Nelson wearing some of his own clothes and another of the famous Prime Minister William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, modelled by an American lady called Patience Wright. During recent conservation of Elizabeth I's effigy a unique corset dating from 1603 was found on the figure and is now displayed separately.
A recent addition to the display is the late 13th century Westminster Retable, England's oldest altarpiece. It was most probably designed for the High Altar of the Abbey, although it has been damaged in past centuries. The panel has been expertly cleaned and conserved. One section shows the figure of St Peter, the patron saint of the Abbey.


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Big Ben

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 12:44 pm

Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north-eastern end of the Palace of Westminster in London. The nickname is often also used to refer to the clock and the clock tower. This is the world's largest four-faced, chiming clock and the third largest free-standing clock tower in the world. It celebrates its 150th birthday in 2009, during which celebratory events are planned.

Tower

The tower was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire on the night of 22 October 1834.
The new Parliament was built in a Neo-gothic style. Although Barry was the chief architect of the Palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the clock tower, which resembles earlier Pugin designs, including one for Scarisbrick Hall. The design for the Clock Tower was Pugin's last design before his final descent into madness and death, and Pugin himself wrote, at the time of Barry's last visit to him to collect the drawings: "I never worked so hard in my life for Mr Barry for tomorrow I render all the designs for finishing his bell tower & it is beautiful." The tower is designed in Pugin's celebrated Gothic Revival style, and is 96.3 metres (315.9 ft) high.
The bottom 61 metres (200 ft) of the Clock Tower's structure consists of brickwork with sand coloured Anston limestone cladding. The remainder of the tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. The tower is founded on a 15-metre (49 ft) square raft, made of 3-metre (9.8 ft) thick concrete, at a depth of 4 metres (13 ft) below ground level. The four clock faces are 55 metres (180 ft) above ground. The interior volume of the tower is 4,650 cubic metres (164,200 cubic feet).
Because of changes in ground conditions since construction (notably tunnelling for the Jubilee Line extension), the tower leans slightly to the north-west, by roughly 220 millimetres (8.66 in) at the clock face, giving an inclination of approximately 1/250. Due to thermal effects it oscillates annually by a few millimetres east and west.

Clock


Faces

The clock faces are large enough to have once allowed the Clock Tower to be the largest four-faced clock in the world, but have since been outdone by the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, the builders of the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower did not add chimes to the clock, so the Great Clock of Westminster still holds the title of the "world's largest four-faced chiming clock".
The clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock faces are set in an iron frame 7 metres (23 ft) in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded. At the base of each clock face in gilt letters is the Latin inscription DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM, which means O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First.

Mechanism

The clock is famous for its reliability. The designers were the lawyer and amateur horologist Edmund Beckett Denison, and George Airy, the Astronomer Royal. Construction was entrusted to clockmaker Edward John Dent, who completed the work in 1854. As the Tower was not complete until 1859, Denison had time to experiment: Instead of using the deadbeat escapement and remontoire as originally designed, Denison invented the double three-legged gravity escapement. This escapement provides the best separation between pendulum and clock mechanism. The pendulum is installed within an enclosed windproof box sunk beneath the clockroom. It is 3.9m long, weighs 300 kg and beats every 2 seconds. The clockwork mechanism in a room below weighs 5 tons.
The idiom of putting a penny on, with the meaning of slowing down, sprang from the method of fine-tuning the clock's pendulum. On top of the pendulum is a small stack of old penny coins; these are to adjust the time of the clock. Adding or subtracting coins has the effect of minutely altering the position of the pendulum's centre of mass, the effective length of the pendulum rod and hence the rate at which the pendulum swings. Adding or removing a penny will change the clock's speed by 0.4 second per day.
During The Blitz, the Palace of Westminster was hit by German bombing, on 10 May 1941, a bombing raid damaged two of the clockfaces and sections of the tower's stepped roof and destroyed the House of Commons chamber. Architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott designed a new five-floor block. Two floors are occupied by the current chamber which was used for the first time on 26 October 1950. Despite the heavy bombing the clock ran accurately and chimed throughout the Blitz.

Bells


Great Bell

The main bell, officially known as the Great Bell, is the largest bell in the tower and part of the Great Clock of Westminster. The bell is better known by the nickname Big Ben.
The original bell was a 16.3-tonne (16 ton) hour bell, cast on 6 August 1856 in Stockton-on-Tees by John Warner & Sons. The bell was never officially named, but the legend on it records that the commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall, was responsible for the order. Another theory for the origin of the name is that the bell may have been named after a contemporary heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt. It is thought that the bell was originally to be called Victoria or Royal Victoria in honour of Queen Victoria, but that an MP suggested the nickname during a Parliamentary debate; the comment is not recorded in Hansard.
Since the tower was not yet finished, the bell was mounted in New Palace Yard. Cast in 1856, the first bell was transported to the tower on a trolley drawn by sixteen horses, with crowds cheering its progress. Unfortunately, it cracked beyond repair while being tested and a replacement had to be made. The bell was recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a 13.76-tonne (13½ ton) bell. This was pulled 200ft up to the Clock Tower’s belfry, a feat that took 18 hours. It is 2.2 metres tall and 2.9 metres wide. This new bell first chimed in July 1859. In September it too cracked under the hammer, a mere two months after it officially went into service. According to the foundry's manager, George Mears, Denison had used a hammer more than twice the maximum weight specified. For three years Big Ben was taken out of commission and the hours were struck on the lowest of the quarter bells until it was reinstalled. To make the repair, a square piece of metal was chipped out from the rim around the crack, and the bell given an eighth of a turn so the new hammer struck in a different place. Big Ben has chimed with an odd twang ever since and is still in use today complete with the crack. At the time of its casting, Big Ben was the largest bell in the British Isles until "Great Paul", a 17 tonne (16¾ ton) bell currently hung in St. Paul's Cathedral, was cast in 1881.

Chimes

Along with the Great Bell, the belfry houses four quarter bells which play the Westminster Quarters on the quarter hours. The four quarter bells are G sharp, F sharp, E, and B (see Note). They were cast by John Warner & Sons at their Crescent Foundry in 1857 (G sharp, F sharp and B) and 1858 (E). The Foundry was in Jewin Crescent, in what is now known as The Barbican, in the City of London.
The Quarter Bells play a 20-chime sequence, 1–4 at quarter past, 5–12 at half past, 13–20 and 1–4 at quarter to, and 5–20 on the hour (which sounds 25 seconds before the main bell tolls the hour). Because the low bell (B) is struck twice in quick succession, there is not enough time to pull a hammer back, and it is supplied with two wrench hammers on opposite sides of the bell. The tune is that of the Cambridge Chimes, first used for the chimes of Great St Mary's church, Cambridge, and supposedly a variation, attributed to William Crotch, on a phrase from Handel's Messiah. The notional words of the chime, again derived from Great St Mary's and in turn an allusion to Psalm 37, are: "All through this hour/Lord be my guide/And by Thy power/No foot shall slide". They are written on a plaque on the wall of the clock room.

Nickname

The nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after boxing's English Heavyweight Champion Benjamin Caunt. Now Big Ben is used to refer to the clock, the tower and the bell collectively, although the nickname is not universally accepted as referring to the clock and tower. Some authors of works about the tower, clock and bell sidestep the issue by using the words Big Ben first in the title, then going on to clarify that the subject of the book is the clock and tower as well as the bell.

Significance in popular culture

The clock has become a symbol of the United Kingdom and London, particularly in the visual media. When a television or film-maker wishes to indicate a generic location in Britain, a popular way to do so is to show an image of the Clock Tower, often with ared double-decker bus or black cab in the foreground. The sound of the clock chiming has also been used this way in audio media, but as the Westminster Quarters are heard from other clocks and other devices, the unique nature of this sound has been considerably diluted.
The Clock Tower is a focus of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom, with radio and TV stations tuning to its chimes to welcome the start of the year. Similarly, on Remembrance Day, the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and the start of two minutes' silence.
ITN's News at Ten opening sequence features an image of the Clock Tower with the sound of Big Ben's chimes punctuating the announcement of the news headlines, and has done so on and off for the last 41 years. The Big Ben chimes continue to be used during the headlines and all ITV News bulletins use a graphic based on the Westminster clock face. Big Ben can also be heard striking the hour before some news bulletins on BBC Radio 4 (6 pm and midnight, plus 10 pm on Sundays) and the BBC World Service, a practice that began on 31 December 1923. The sound of the chimes are sent in real time from a microphone permanently installed in the tower and connected by line to Broadcasting House.
Londoners who live an appropriate distance from the Clock Tower and Big Ben can, by means of listening to the chimes both live and on the radio or television, hear the bell strike thirteen times on New Year's Eve. This is possible due to what amounts to a offset between live and electronically transmitted chimes since the speed of sound is a lot slower than the speed of radio waves. Guests are invited to count the chimes aloud as the radio is gradually turned down.
The Clock Tower has appeared in many films, most notably in the 1978 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, in which the hero Richard Hannay attempted to halt the clock's progress (to prevent a linked bomb detonating) by hanging from the minute hand of its western face. It was also used in the filming of Shanghai Knights starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, and was depicted as being partially destroyed in the Doctor Who episode "Aliens of London". An animated version of the clock and its inner workings were also used as the setting for the climactic final battle between Basil of Baker Street and his nemesis Ratigan in the Walt Disney animated film The Great Mouse Detective, and is shown being destroyed by a UFO in the film Mars Attacks!.


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London Eye

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 12:51 pm

The London Eye (also known as the Millennium Wheel), at a height of 135 metres (443 ft), is the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over three million people in one year. At the time it was erected it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang (160 m) in May 2006, and then the Singapore Flyer (165 m) on 11 February 2008. However, it is still described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel" (because the entire structure is supported by an A-frame on one side only).
The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, United Kingdom, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Design and construction

Designed by architects David Marks, Julia Barfield, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, Steven Chilton and Nic Bailey, the wheel carries 32 sealed and air-conditioned passenger capsules attached to its external circumference, each capsule representing one of the London Boroughs. Each capsule holds approximately 24 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. It rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 km/h (0.5 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. The wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers: the rotation rate is so slow that they can walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is, however, stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to embark and disembark safely.
The rim of the Eye is supported by tie rods and resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel, and was depicted as such in a poster advertising a charity cycle race. The lighting for the London Eye was redone with LED lighting from Color Kinetics in December 2006 to allow digital control of the lights as opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes.
Mace were responsible for construction management with Hollandia as the main steelwork contractor and Tilbury Douglas as the civils contractor. Consulting engineers Tony Gee and Partners designed the foundation works while Beckett Rankine designed the marine works. The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete it was raised into an upright position by a strand jack system, at 2 degrees an hour until it reached 65 degrees. It was left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The total weight of steel in the Eye is 1,700 tonnes (1,870 short tons). The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany, the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK.

History

It was formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on 31 December 1999, although it was not opened to the public until March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its opening, the Eye has become a major landmark and tourist attraction. It is operated by Merlin Entertainments but sponsored by British Airways.
By July 2002, 8.5 million people had ridden the Eye. It had planning permission only for five years, but at that time Lambeth Council agreed to plans to make the attraction permanent.
Since 1 January 2005, the Eye has been the focal point of London's New Year celebrations, with 10-minute fireworks displays taking place involving fireworks fired from the wheel itself.
In 2006 the Tussauds Group bought out the other two joint owners, British Airways and the Marks Barfield family (the lead architects). Following Merlin Entertainments purchase of the Tussauds Group in 2007, it now owns 100% of the Eye. British Airways continued its brand association, but from the beginning of 2008 the name 'British Airways' was dropped from the logo.
During the bidding process of the 2012 Olympic Games, the London bid organisers announced the Olympic emblem would be attached to the Eye for the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
On 5 June 2008 it was announced that 30 million people have ridden the London Eye since its opening in March 2000.

Financial controversy

On 20 May 2005, there were reports of a leaked letter showing that the South Bank Centre (SBC) — owners of part of the land on which the struts of the eye are located — had served a notice to quit on the attraction along with a demand for an increase in rent from £64,000 per year to £2.5 million, which the operators rejected as unaffordable.
On 25 May 2005, London mayor Ken Livingstone vowed that the landmark would remain in London. He also pledged that if the row were not resolved he would use his powers to ask the London Development Agency to issue a compulsory purchase order. The land in question is a small part of the Jubilee Gardens, which was given to the SBC for £1 when the Greater London Council was broken up.
The South Bank Centre and the British Airways London Eye agreed a 25-year lease on 8 February 2006, after a judicial review over the rent row. The lease agreement meant that the South Bank Centre, a publicly-funded charity, would receive at least £500,000 a year from the attraction, the status of which is secured for the foreseeable future. Tussauds also announced the acquisition of the entire one-third interests of British Airways and the Marks Barfield family in the Eye, as well as the outstanding debt to BA. These agreements gave Tussauds 100% ownership of the Eye and resolved the debt from the Eye's construction loan from British Airways, which stood at more than £150 million by mid-2005 and had been increasing at 25% per annum.


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Buckingham Palace

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Sáb Abr 18, 2009 1:15 pm

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality, and a major tourist attraction. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by George III in 1761 as a private residence, known as "The Queen's House". It was enlarged over the next 75 years, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the present-day public face of Buckingham Palace. However, the palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb in World War II; the Queen's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle epoque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London, originally landscaped by Capability Brown, but redesigned by William Townsend Aiton of Kew Gardens and John Nash. The artificial lake was completed in 1828 and is supplied with water from the Serpentine, a river which runs through Hyde Park.
The state rooms form the nucleus of the working Palace and are used regularly by Queen Elizabeth II and members of the royal family for official and state entertaining. Buckingham Palace is one of the world's most familiar buildings and more than 50,000 people visit the palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the royal garden parties.

History


The site

In the Middle Ages, Buckingham Palace's site formed part of the Manor of Ebury (also called Eia). The marshy ground was watered by the river Tyburn, which still flows below the courtyard and south wing of the palace. Where the river was fordable (at Cow Ford), the village of Eye Cross grew. Ownership of the site changed hands many times; owners included Edward the Confessor and his queen consort Edith of Wessex in late Saxon times, and, after the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror. William gave the site to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who bequeathed it to the monks of Westminster Abbey.
In 1531, Henry VIII acquired the Hospital of St James (later St. James's Palace from Eton College, and in 1536 he took the Manor of Ebury from Westminster Abbey. These transfers brought the site of Buckingham Palace back into royal hands for the first time since William the Conqueror had given it away almost 500 years earlier.
Various owners leased it from royal landlords and the freehold was the subject of frenzied speculation in the 17th century. By then, the old village of Eye Cross had long since fallen into decay, and the area was mostly wasteland. Needing money, James I sold off part of the Crown freehold but retained part of the site on which he established a 4-acre (16,000 m2) mulberry garden for the production of silk. (This is at the northwest corner of today's palace.) Clement Walker in Anarchia Anglicana (1649) refers to "new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James's"; this suggests it may have been a place of debauchery. Eventually, in the late 17th century, the freehold was inherited from the property tycoon Sir Hugh Audley by the great heiress Mary Davies.

Home of the monarch

Buckingham Palace finally became the principal royal residence in 1837, on the accession of Queen Victoria, who was the first monarch to reside there as her predecessor William IV had died before its completion. While the state rooms were a riot of gilt and colour, the necessities of the new palace were somewhat less luxurious. For one thing, it was reported the chimneys smoked so much that the fires had to be allowed to die down, and consequently the court shivered in icy magnificence. Ventilation was so bad that the interior smelled, and when a decision was taken to install gas lamps, there was a serious worry about the build-up of gas on the lower floors. It was also said that the staff were lax and lazy and the palace was dirty. Following the Queen's marriage in 1840, her husband, Prince Albert, concerned himself with a reorganisation of the household offices and staff, and with the design faults of the palace. The problems were all rectified by the close of 1840. However, the builders were to return within the decade.
By 1847, the couple had found the palace too small for court life and their growing family, and consequently the new wing, designed by Edward Blore, was built by Thomas Cubitt, enclosing the central quadrangle. The large East Front facing The Mall is today the "public face" of Buckingham Palace and contains the balcony from which the Royal Family acknowledge the crowds on momentous occasions and annually after Trooping the Colour. The ballroom wing and a further suite of state rooms were also built in this period, designed by Nash's student Sir James Pennethorne.
Before Prince Albert's death, the palace was frequently the scene of musical entertainments, and the greatest contemporary musicians entertained at Buckingham Palace. The composer Felix Mendelssohn is known to have played there on three occasions. Johann Strauss II and his orchestra played there when in England. Strauss's "Alice Polka" was first performed at the palace in 1849 in honour of the Queen's daughter, Princess Alice. Under Victoria, Buckingham Palace was frequently the scene of lavish costume balls, in addition to the routine royal ceremonies, investitures and presentations.
Widowed in 1861, the grief-stricken Queen withdrew from public life and left Buckingham Palace to live at Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, and Osborne House. For many years the palace was seldom used, and even neglected. Eventually, public opinion forced her to return to London, though even then she preferred to live elsewhere whenever possible. Court functions were still held at Windsor Castle rather than at the palace, presided over by the sombre Queen habitually dressed in mourning black while Buckingham Palace remained shuttered for most of the year.

Interior

The palace contains 77,000 square metres of floorspace (828,818 sq ft). The principal rooms of the palace are contained on the piano nobile behind the west-facing garden facade at the rear of the palace. The centre of this ornate suite of state rooms is the Music Room, its large bow the dominant feature of the facade. Flanking the Music Room are the Blue and the White Drawing rooms. At the centre of the suite, serving as a corridor to link the state rooms, is the Picture Gallery, which is top-lit and 55 yards (50 m) long. The Gallery is hung with numerous works including some by Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens and Vermeer; other rooms leading from the Picture Gallery are the Throne Room and the Green Drawing Room. The Green Drawing room serves as a huge anteroom to the Throne Room, and is part of the ceremonial route to the throne from the Guard Room at the top of the Grand staircase. The Guard Room contains white marble statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in Roman costume, set in a tribune lined with tapestries. These very formal rooms are used only for ceremonial and official entertaining, but are open to the public every summer.
Directly underneath the State Apartments is a suite of slightly less grand rooms known as the semi-state apartments. Opening from the Marble Hall, these rooms are used for less formal entertaining, such as luncheon parties and private audiences. Some of the rooms are named and decorated for particular visitors, such as the 1844 Room, which was decorated in that year for the State visit of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, and, on the other side of the Bow Room, the 1855 Room, in honour of the visit of Emperor Napoleon III of France. At the centre of this suite is the Bow Room, through which thousands of guests pass annually to the Queen's Garden Parties in the Gardens beyond. The Queen uses privately a smaller suite of rooms in the North wing.
Between 1847 and 1850, when Blore was building the new east wing, the Brighton Pavilion was once again plundered of its fittings. As a result, many of the rooms in the new wing have a distinctly oriental atmosphere. The red and blue Chinese Luncheon Room is made up from parts of the Brighton banqueting and music rooms, but has a chimney piece designed by W.M. Feetham. The Yellow Drawing Room has wall paper which had been supplied in 1817 for the Brighton Saloon, and the chimney piece in this room is a European vision of what the Chinese equivalent would look like, complete with nodding mandarins in niches and fearsome winged dragons, designed by Robert Jones.
At the centre of this wing is the famous balcony, with the Centre Room behind its glass doors. This is a Chinese-style saloon enhanced by Queen Mary, who, working with the designer Sir Charles Allom, created a more "binding" Chinese theme in the late 1920s, although the lacquer doors were brought from Brighton in 1873. Running the length of the piano nobile of the east wing is the great gallery, modestly known as the Principal Corridor, which runs the length of the eastern side of the quadrangle. It has mirrored doors, and mirrored cross walls reflecting porcelain pagodas and other oriental furniture from Brighton. The Chinese Luncheon Room and Yellow Drawing Room are situated at each end of this gallery, with the Centre Room obviously placed in the centre.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle epoque cream and gold colour scheme.
When paying a state visit to Britain, foreign heads of state are usually entertained by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. They are allocated a large suite of rooms known as the Belgian suite, situated at the foot of the Minister's Staircase, on the ground floor of the North-facing garden wing. The rooms of the suite are linked by narrow corridors, one given extra height and perspective by saucer domes designed by Nash in the style of Soane. A second corridor in the suite has Gothic influenced cross over vaulting. The Belgian rooms themselves, were decorated in their present style, and named after, Prince Albert's uncle Léopold I, first King of the Belgians. However, at this time the suite was not reserved exclusively for foreign heads of state; in 1936, the suite briefly became the private apartments of the palace when they were occupied by Edward VIII.


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Re: Monuments of England

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