Monday, July 21, 2008

Tower of London* 07-12-08

It turns out that the Tower of London is more like a fort or something with several towers all inside a wall. So, it's more like TowerS of London, but whatever. They can call it what they want I suppose. There's a rather large square building that was apparently quite impressive when William of Normandy built it in the 1066 after conquering the Saxons . It houses some/all of the royal jewels along with some old weapons and armour and junk. They're kind of neat I suppose. 0=) We don't have a photo of it, though.

All of the queens that good ol' King Henry VIII (you know that great defender of the Catholic faith who killed his wives, his priests and his Protestants with tremendous zeal and fervor) were executed here. I was disappointed that they didn't talk about St. Thomas More (apparently the only identifiable remains are his head, which his daughter stole from where it was hanging from London Bridge [maybe] and was eventually transported to somewhere way outside of London, which was disappointing), but they did talk about a priest who was imprisoned and escaped. There was also a Protestant woman who was killed. He wasn't a very nice man at all at all. Though it's possible St. Thomas wasn't beheaded in the "tower" but rather in some more public space (King Henry only used the "tower" for "private" executions of which the public might not approve).

They had some lovely drawings and remains of the apparatuses of torture. There was one where the victim was placed on their knees and then bent forward so that their butt was over their feet and their head was over their knees within a rather unholy looking device consisting of two curved metal "straps" which then compressed them. It looked pretty dreadful to say the least. We don't have any photos of that either. I just wanted to tell you about it. And now, without further adieu, the pictures!

Apparently this is the gate through which prisoners came. It was truly fearsome too - all those tourists stopping up the flow really put a kink in my day!

So you're probably wondering why all of the photos are from OUTSIDE the "tower". That's because when we got to London we discovered most of the buttons on the camera weren't working, so we couldn't zoom in or out or change the aperture speed or whatever it is you do to adjust for lighting. It was after we'd gone through the entire "tower" that we discovered it had started working again. So Andy took some photos from the outside.

I don't know what everything is or even what order it's all supposed to be in, so if you'd like to connect the dots, feel free. ;) The gate above is just inside the entrance we went in, which I believe you can see in the second photo below. Don't ask me, I just wandered around with my headset and looked silly. =)

*This actually took place before the photos of the lamps.

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