London: Feature Story

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Welcome to Westminster Abbey!

On the coldest March day in ten years, I arrived at the doors to London’s famous Westminster Abbey. At 1 in the afternoon, the Abbey was busy even during shoulder-season. Still, I waited a mere 20 minutes before being allowed inside the gothic wonder.

Westminster Abbey was first built during the 10th century and has been the place of crowning Kings and Queens since 1066. The Abbey is home to over 1,000 years worth of history. It still holds services 29 times a week!

While the Abbey boasts many historical artifacts, including the burial sites to 17 kings and queens, I was particularly impressed with the burial shrine to Sir Issac Newton to the left of the High Alter, the beauty of the choral benches in both the main chapel and in the lady chapel, as well as the wonderful gothic architecture built into the Abbey by Henry III in 1245.

The vaulted arches on the inside of Westminster Abbey alone make this trip worth it. This was again confirmed when I first viewed the burial chamber of Queen Elizabeth I and the symmetrical chamber for Mary Queen of Scots across the Lady Chapel. The two chambers honor these lovely ladies from history with huge statues laying on stone beds covered by tall elaborate canopies. The site is simply breathtaking.

The cost to enter Westminster Abbey is £22 ($30.38) for adults at the counter, £20 ($27.61) for adults online, and £17 ($23.47) for students. International student IDs are accepted here. The included audio guide tells you all the historical facts a person could want as you go through the Abbey.

Westminster Abbey is located at next to Westminster Palace and Big Ben. The tube station is Westminster (easy enough). The Abbey is usually open from 9:30 to 3:30, but check their website for exceptions such as services and holidays: Westminster Abbey

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