Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Incantato Introduces You to London's Churches

London's magnificent churches create the city's unique skyline and tell the story of the capital's history. One of the oldest of these is the cathedral church of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overy, originally founded in 606 AD. It was in this cathedral that John Harvard was baptized in in 1607, which is why there is the Harvard Chapel. On the north bank is where you will find some of the most famous churches, including Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral. However, with such monumental buildings, it is easy to overlook some of the other churches, such as St. Margaret, the church of the House of Commons. It was founded in the 12th century; the current building dates back to 1523 and is particularly noteworthy for the 15th-century stained glass in the east window. Just a footpath away from Westminster Abbey, this is where Winston Churchill was married. 
Westminster Abbey itself is, of course, no to be overlooked either. Steeped in more than a thousand years of history, Benedictine monks first came to the site in the middle of the 10th century and established a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day. Begun in 1245, it is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country. The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is also the final resting place of 17 monarchs. 
Equally imposing is St. Paul's Cathedral. The current building is the fifth to stand on the site since 604 and it was built between 1675 and 1710 after the previous building had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Throughout its long history, there have been several commemorating events, such as Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee celebrated here in 1897. Catherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur were married here in 1501, as well as the famous wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana in 1981. Most recently, Queen Elizabeth II also celebrated her 80th birthday here in 2006 and her own diamond jubilee in 2012. 


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