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London United Kingdom Architecture

London architecture combines grandeur of  ancient complexes, dating from the Norman invasion, with daring elegance of modern experimental projects. Among multitudinous landmarks of the city, The Tower of London is the first to be associated with medieval heritage. It is a defensive castle complex, famous alike for its history and legends. It is the main tourist attraction in London.

Westminster Abbey, built in 13th century in Gothic style,  with pointed arches, towering spires, highly vaulted ceilings and huge, colourful stained glass windows, is the traditional place of coronation.

Originally built in the early 1600s, the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre shows some Tudor influence but is mainly in the English Vernacular style.

The Banqueting House at Whitehall designed for Inigo Jones in 1622 for King James I, represents the Palladian style, inspired by the classic architecture of Rome.  Being once converted to a museum, it now serves its original purpose – hosts the banquets for Royal Family and prominent politicians.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, is distinguished by intricate baroque ornamentation. Other London buildings by Wren are Royal observatory at Greenwich, the Naval Hospital at Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace.

The Regency style of the early nineteenth century can be observed in the central districts of London. John Nash (1752-1835) designed Buckingham Palace, along with Marble Arch and imposing Trafalgar Square.

The Houses of Parliament represent the unique English Gothic revival, which flourished in the XIX century. The architect Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860) rebuilt them, after they were destroyed by fire in 1843. Barry merged the surviving sections of the old buildings with the new structures.

London also presents striking examples of hi-tech architecture, of shining glass and  lace-like metal constructions, such as City Hall, Ark West and Hammersmith Flyover, London Centre Point, Swiss Re Building and of course London Eye Millennium Wheel - world’s largest observation wheel.

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