The Tower of London is an internationally famous monument and one of England’s most iconic structures. William the Conqueror built the White Tower in 1066 as a demonstration to the world of Norman power, whilst acting as both fortress and gateway into the capital. In 1988 the Tower of London became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is the most complete example of an 11th century fortress palace remaining in Europe.
I have been to London more times than I can count, which is great to have grown up fairly close to the historic capital. However, one thing I had never got round to visiting was the Tower of London. Yesterday I finally made that visit.
The main reason for the visit was due to the powerful art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red‘ that is currently featured at the Tower of London to mark one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
You truly cannot imagine how many British military lives had been lost until your eyes glimpse the sea of 888,246 red poppies spilling out of the London tower into the famous moat. With each poppy representing a life, you really will feel the powerful message each individual poppy holds.
The poppies completely encircle the Tower of London, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all around the Tower but also a location for personal reflection. The sheer scale of the installation does such a perfect job to reflect the powerful visual commemoration.
Tower of London Remembers Video
A video displaying the making of the installation – well worth a view to see just how much work goes on behind the scenes!
With the centenary anniversary coming up soon, the poppies at the Tower of London will be one of the most poignant and visually powerful representations of the sacrifice made by those brave servicemen. It’s hard to comprehend the sheer enormity of the loss of life, but to see this as an installation really hits home how many lost their lives.
If you want to try avoid the tourist crowds, my tip is to get there early in the morning. You will not only manage to avoid the crowds of tourists surrounding London’s iconic landmark, but you’ll be able to get into the Tower of London without waiting for too long. If you are planning on visiting the Tower of London whilst you are here, then make sure you visit the Crown Jewels whilst its quiet. I managed to get there early enough to walk straight in, and spend a good amount of time inside the attraction before everyone turned up. (When all the tourists turned up, the queue turned into a 2+ hour wait – be warned!)
Don’t miss this major art installation
Tower of London Remembers: 5 August – 11 November 2014
Article written by Adam Boston
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