Unlike other European cities like Barcelona and Paris, London has no dominant architectural style. The city in itself contains a variety of architectural styles, progressing through late 17th century churches, 18th and 19th century financial institutions, the modern skyscrapers. Read on to know more about Historic London architecture.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral now occupies the site where a Gothic church once stood. Its immediate predecessor went in ruins when it was destroyed by the 1666 Great Fire. The present structure was built between 1675 and 1710 and is the fourth cathedral to stand in the site, sacred even before the arrival of Christianity.
Westminster Abbey is a splendid London building that grew over centuries. The abbey is believed to have been erected between 1055 and 1065 by Edward the Confessor for a Benedictine monastery. It is believed to occupy the site of a Saxon church erected by King Sebert. You can still see his grave in the abbey.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the oldest and most interesting sights to see in London. It is one of the great examples of the feudal fortresses numerous in the country during the Norman times. It has a central 92-foot high donjon, with 16-foot thick walls, popularly known as the White Tower. The Tower of London was once a monarch residence.
The Houses of Parliament
The space between the Thames and Westminster Abbey was occupied by a Royal Palace as early as King Canute’s time. This London architecture is believed to have been burnt around the end of the 10th century. It was rebuilt by Edward the Confessor concurrently with the Westminster Abbey.
Despite its modern appearance and name, Trafalgar Square has had a rich and colorful history. It was the playground of the merry Flete and Chepe apprentices. At one time the equipages of the nobility filled the surrounding streets of Trafalgar Square. The stately residences had gardens that sloped down to the river.
Buckingham Palace, though considered by many, and not unjustly, as one of Europe’s ugliest royal residences, deserves a special mention as the British monarch’s official London residence. It is also the scene of a lot of important historic pageants. Buckingham Palace occupies the site of the well-known Mulberry Gardens, which were laid out by King James I to encourage silk cultivation in England.
The Albert Memorial
It was built to commemorate Prince Consort. The Albert Memorial was erected partly with the £50,000 Parliamentary grant and partly by public subscription. This London structure has beautiful shining white marble, delicate spire, brilliantly-contrasted precious stones and mosaics, and fine masses of sculpture.
Another interesting London architecture with a rich history is the Windsor Castle, a favorite residence of the Royal Family. Many people believe that a wooden structure was present on the current site as early as Edward the Confessor’s rule. It is also supposed that William the Conqueror erected the first stone buildings.