Wednesday, July 2

Today we gave ourselves a well-deserved break for the morning - we all slept late before venturing out to explore more of London. We started at St. Paul's Cathedral. This Cathedral was built in 1710 by Sir Christopher Wren, a British architect. This was one of many cathedrals built since the 7th Century. The original one burned down in 1087, was then rebuilt in 1090, and burned down again in 1136. The new cathedral was built and modernized by a man named Indigo Jones in the 1630's. This cathedral was again destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. The final design of the cathedral was composed of Gothic, Greek and Italian architecture. The final version also had a large dome, modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. It rises 365 feet over the center of the Cathedral. Wren's many innovative ideas were based on a for of English Baroque Architecture. The Cathedral's stalls and organ cases were carved in wood. Wren and a British naval commander named Horatio Nelson are buried within the cathedral. When we visited this cathedral, it was in the middle of a 5-year renovation so that it will be ready for its 300th birthday. ~David

We then walked over the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern Art Museum, which is housed in a huge old power station. We enjoyed seeing works by Picasso, Cezanne, and Monet. We also enjoyed reading about the furor caused by the Tate in the 1870's when they spent 3,000 pounds for 3 stacks of bricks from an American "artist" (Carl Andre) - the bricks are still on display along with copies of all the press generated from this purchase. After stopping at the Globe Theater and purchasing tickets for tomorrow night's showing of Richard II, we took the Tube to the Tower of London. We arrived late in the day, which was good because this is London's most popular attraction and the lines weren't long. Paula and I had remembered waiting in huge lines to see the Crown Jewels during our last visit here. ~Steve

The Tower of London is a historical fortress on the north bank of the Thames River. The 18 acre site was designed by the bishop Gundulf and was complted in 1097. The fortress is made up of 12 towers, White Tower being the original. The other towers are Bloody Tower, Wakefield Tower, Devereux Tower and Jewel Tower. The Tower of London was used for royal residence as well as a prison. It holds the lovely crown jewels of England, displays of torture equipment, and more. We viewed most of these sites and were especially interested in the dazzling crow jewels. The Tower included the original crown of the kings and queens of England, their orbs, swords and bowls. ~Katie

Distance Walked: 4.92 miles












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