Taking a Trip Down the Westminster Abbey and the British Museum

British Museum

Popular Tourist Attractions

The British Museum in London houses more than 7 million artworks, which trace back to civilizations beyond to a period of more than 2000 years. The museum found feet in 1753 with around 71,000 objects, all recycled from the private collections of Sir Hans Sloane who is a Physician by trade cum a naturalist. This helped the Montagu House in Bloomsbury, now one of the best museums in Westminster Abbey, to leverage visitors in 1754.

It was not long before the museum became too small to store and exhibit the large collections and hence plans for additions were laid out eventually and the rest is history. The ‘Townley Gallery’ for the classic sculptures was the first one to be added, but it went to pave way for now existing building by Sir Robert Smirke.

The concept of the architect’s construction plans in 1823 mainly centered on the Greek revival architectural style but it took another 30 years for its completion. Even after its establishment, the King’s Library was originally intended to house the collections from King George III. The collections included an array of subjects from the days of printing to the architectural origins and all the way up to late 1700’s. It is now known as the Enlightenment Gallery, which the visitors see in the British Museum tour these days.

The gallery throws light on many artifacts including the much coveted ‘Rosetta Stone’ which steals the spotlight. However, millions peer into the museum each year in order to see collections, which date beyond reason of existence. Since the museum is epic scale, the visitors tend to prefer a walkthrough tour that highlights the collections.

Elgin Marbles

These Parthenon Sculptures recycled from the namesake Temple in Athens is a tip of the iceberg and offers a glimpse of what is yet to come in the private tour. Parthenon is prehistoric and was dedicated to Athena the Greek goddess. Parthenon sculptures reveal the myth in front of you and also features the Figure of Iris. They all reside in the eponymous Parthenon Galleries.

Assyrian Collections

They comprise of the relics from Assyrian palaces at Khorsabad, Nimrud, and Nineveh, and impress upon the viewers the adornments of an Assyrian kind. The ‘Winged Bull’ in particular is a wooden structure with carvings taken from King Sargon II’s palace. You must not miss the relics from Mesopotamian civilizations too since they are another one of museum trials and treasures.

There are many departments in the British Museum, which all dedicate artworks from Oceania, Africa, Sudan, Asia, and the Americas. So if you wanted to make the most of your trip to London’s heart, go with bilingual guides.

A trip to the Westminster Abbey

Residing adjacent to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey is a historical venue than it is religious in nature. The Collegiate Church of St. Peter offers a spiritual experience alongside some history. Since the year 1066, each coronation of British Kings and Queens has been taking place in the abbey except for Edward V and Edward III. The coronations also coincides royal Christian weddings, and funerals.

The abbey is a burial place for many native democrats, artists, sovereigns Brits, and is full of tombstones, statues, and other monuments, which you may not want to miss in the City of Westminster. Some of the tombstones include those of Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and David Livingstone. It is said around 3300 people on an approximate has been buried in the cathedral and the cloisters and that many of the coffins stand uprightly even today due to a lack of burial space.

The nave of the abbey is billed as the highest one in England. In the nave, you would come across the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Warrior’ a Brit soldier who died in combat in somewhere in occupied France during WWI. Adjacent to the tombstone is the Winston Churchill memorial.

The Cloister of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter church was constructed in 13th Century and was rebuilt following fire destruction in the late periods of the century. It was used by Benedictine monks to meditate and do exercises peacefully.

Big Ben is another must visit place when you pay a visit to the Palace of Westminster. Over the years, the chimes of the giant bell have been a central attraction to Londoners and Brits but also for the growing number of visitors here. Recently, the city council has decided to put a pause to the main attraction in the abbey but that only takes the shine of what is a great ‘instagrammable’ place on earth.