Thursday, March 05, 2015

Trip of a Lifetime: London - Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms

Continuing on in sharing our trip with you, today I'll show you pictures from Westminster Abbey and The Churchill War Rooms.

This day was rainy, and we stood outside Westminster Abbey for probably 30-45 minutes for the tour.  It was a pleasant morning of exploring yet another famous historical landmark. The Abbey was built, as were many other landmarks, over 1,000 years ago. While the architecture was absolutely amazing, what I found most interesting were the hundreds of people buried inside the building! There are quite a few "chapels" containing the remains of various members of royalty, but the floor is also full of graves! I knew there were graves at the Abbey, but I assumed there was a cemetery; I had no idea people were buried in the floors!

Waiting in the rain
We saw the graves of many famous people, but the one we most enjoyed seeing was the grave of missionary David Livingstone. I wish we could have taken a picture of it, but again, there were no pictures allowed inside. You can see the memorial inscription inlaid in the floor at the link above, which also briefly tells the story of Livingstone's life, the transportation of his body home to England, and how his grave site was chosen. We were pleased to see that it was in the centre of the Nave, the large room where weddings, funerals, and coronations take place. Also buried in the Nave are other famous people, such as Sir Isaac Newton and, ironically, Charles Darwin!

I loved standing in the Abbey and imagining the royal weddings and the Queen's coronation taking place there - and I was standing in the same spot! It was definitely a beautiful building, but so full of tradition and man's religion.

We walked a few blocks from Westminster Abbey and visited the Churchill War Rooms, which was the actual bunker for Churchill and his War Cabinet during World War II. All the rooms are set up exactly as they were during the war - offices, briefing rooms, living quarters. I found the personal living areas most interesting, especially the room Mrs. Churchill occupied when she was in residence at the bunker (which wasn't very often). It was (almost) a home away from home! Never mind there were bombs exploding above your head! There is also an interactive Churchill Museum that I enjoyed very much; again, finding his personal life most interesting. He was an amazing man with much drive, determination, and wisdom, but he also had his faults - like cursing and drinking. I was inspired by his life and thankful for his leadership during the war, even though it was 20 years before I was born. Think what our world would be had Germany and Hitler had their way!

Trip of a Lifetime!
South Africa
London - Windsor Castle
London - Tower Bridge
London - Tower of London
London - Buckingham Palace
London - Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms
London - Bunhill Field

2 comments:

  1. So neat to hear about the places you visited. I can't imagine standing in a place with so many hundreds of years of history.

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    Replies
    1. I kept trying to imagine what life must have been like at each place in different times during history. I loved standing in Westminster Abbey and imagining royal weddings! LOL

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