Friday, July 31, 2015

London, 2015: Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

The Palace of Westminster, better known today as the Houses of Parliament 
(the House of Commons and the House of Lords), 
is the oldest royal palace in London, 
a world heritage site and one of most recognized buildings in the world. 

Built on the site of a medieval palace, and possibly a Roman Temple dedicated to Apollo, right on the River Thames, 
the palace has been in continuous use since the first half of the 11th century.

Today the oldest existing part of the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Hall. 
Built in 1097, it is the oldest ceremonial hall in Britain and was the largest hall in Europe. 

The present Gothic palace has over 1100 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards and a 200m riverside terrace used for entertaining. 

The most famous part of the magnificent Neo-Gothic building is the Clock Tower which houses Big Ben. 

Golden Sunset

"The sunset faded and blended from pink to peach to mango in a smoothie in the sky. 
For as long as she doesn’t love me, I will love her."

Jarod Kintz

Sunday, July 19, 2015

London, 2015: Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. 

The museum is exhibiting a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. 
It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, 
welcoming more than five million visitors annually. 

It is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: 
botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology, 
spanning billions of years. 
The museum is a world-renowned centre of research specializing in taxonomy, identification and conservation. 

Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, 
such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin. 
The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons and ornate architecture - 
sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature. 

London, 2015: The Tower of London - The Figurines

"How gorgeous this chess set is.
Each piece was a delicate marble fantasy of medieval warfare. 
The paint had long ago worn off, 
except for faint touches of red, 
in the fury of the king's eyes, 
on the queen's lower lip, 
in the bishop's robe."

Eloisa James

London, 2015: The Tower of London - The Exhibition

The Line of Kings exhibition was first put together between 1688 and 1692 
and it's still going strong today.
Around 1688 the Board of Ordnance decided to create an exhibition promoting the Stuart monarchy. 
The Ordnance were mainly concerned with arming the army and navy, 
but they also provided pageantry to promote kingship. 
They created an exhibition called the Line of Kings. 
It featured royal armour and life-sized wooden horses and wooden royal figures 
made by Grinling Gibbons and several of Britain’s best woodcarvers.