Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace Summer Opening in London

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London is probably one of the most popular cities in the world. It is largely associated with the landmark buildings, the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace. This year, London will be especially popular amongst tourists thanks to the London 2012 Summer Olympics taking place, and the London 2012 Festival celebrations.

Over the summer months, the Members of Parliament and the Royal Family are not in London, thus the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace open their doors to the public for curious visitors to take a look inside. Thus, these two landmarks will be open this year from July the 31st to October the 7th, and from 9:45 am to 6:30pm every day.

Buckingham Palace

During your tour of Buckingham Palace, you will get a glimpse of 19 of the more than 770 rooms. This beautiful building, originally a townhouse, was built in 1703.  Some 60 years later King George bought it and it was subsequently enlarged and decorated in neoclassical style. The exterior is nothing to shout about, however the interior of Buckingham Palace is well worth a visit. Particular attention must be paid to the subtle and finer details on the many lovely walls, the floors and the furnishing in the elaborate rococo style. The highlights of lovely Buckingham Palace include the Nash Gallery, the Queen’s Gallery, and many more in which you will find masterpieces by Maes, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Dürer and Ruben to admire. Finally, in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, they are currently holding a special exhibition in Buckingham Palace entitled “Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration”. Thus, the diamonds and jewels of the British monarch from over 200 years, will be on display.

The Palace of Westminster

This Gothic structure, probably the icon of London, is particularly famous for its towering, almost 100m high clock tower, Big Ben. However, this building is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The Palace of Westminster is home to more than 1,000 rooms, including the Royal Gallery and St. Stephen’s Hall. The House of Lords Chamber is easily one of the highlights and features many mounted red seats. At the back of the room is the Royal Throne with an exquisite canopy covered in two layers of the finest gold leaf. Between the windows stand 18 bronze statues of barons and bishops, which date back to the signing of the Magna Carta of 1215. The Robing Room is also of great interest given that it is where the Queen gets ready before the State Opening of Parliament, and where she puts on her Imperial State Crown and ceremonial robes. The room features paintings by William Dyce depicting scenes from the legend of King Arthur, and the Robing Room has a beautiful fireplace.  Marble of different colours from the British Isles were used to make it, and it features two statutes, one representing George defeating the Dragon, and the other depicting St. Michael overcoming the devil.

If you would like to discover more of the architecture and fine details in Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster then make sure you don’t miss out on their summer tours. Finally, visit localnomad so that you can enjoy all this architectural sightseeing at your leisure.

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