London Architecture

Tower Bridge in London


London attracts visitors from all over the world for many reasons. The history, shopping, entertainment and the long association of traditions involving parliament and royalty. With so much going on, this city has something to offer everyone and the choices really are limitless. What is occasionally overlooked is the diversity of building styles and rich architecture that London provides.


You can see different styles of buildings from various ages from medieval cathedrals to the modern day towers of Canary Wharf in the business area of the city. Unfortunately there are few buildings left that pre-date the great fire of London in 1666 partly because most were made of wood. Fortunately for London, high-rise tower construction has not dominated the skyline unlike many other older cities mainly due to local restrictions imposed to stop them blocking out views of some of the city'Â?Â?s famous tourist spots, like St. Paul's Cathedral.



Hampton Court Palace in Greater London finally finished construction in 1529 and was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey, but when he fell from grace it was passed over to Henry VIII who further developed the palace. The palace is home to many works of art and furnishings dating from the Tudor and early Georgian periods. Probably the most well known work is Mantegna's Triumph of Caesar located in the lower orangery. The Chapel Royal is a gothic vault with altar where the Royal family would attend services. Another famous building from Henry VIII'Â?Â?s reign is of course the Tower of London - made infamous by its history of torture and royal murders.


The Tower was built by William the Conqueror as far back as 1078. The tower has a long history of use as a prison and many well-known characters from British history were held there, including Queen Elizabeth I before she was crowned, Guy Fawkes and Sir Walter Raleigh.  



Another famous London landmark is the Marble Arch opposite Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park. The arch was built in 1833 and is made from white Carrara marble. Buckingham Palace in London is the traditional family home and residence of the British Royal family and is one of the most visited buildings in the city. The Royal family is in residence for most of the year and holds many state ceremonies there, as well as welcoming foreign dignitaries.


At the front of the palace, one of the oldest military traditions held in Britain called the Trooping of the Color is held every summer drawing large crowds of tourists to this colorful spectacle. Coach Hire is an ideal way to see these places and other popular London attractions.