United Kingdom
Westminster Abbey

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    • Day 16

      Westminster Abbey 1

      August 21, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066, and is the final resting place of 17 monarchs. The church we see today was begun by Henry III in 1245. It’s one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, and has the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint at its heart.

      1. Great West door
      2. Cloister Garth
      3. Nave
      4. Coronation Chair, always in this location
      5. West Windows
      6. Memorial to Winston Churchill
      7. Grave of Sir Isaac Newton
      8. Grave of Stephen Hawking
      9. Ceiling of the organ that you walk under
      10. The Organ
      11. The Quire
      12,13,14. High Alter
      15. The floor of the high alter
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    • Day 10

      Coronation Day, Westminster

      May 6, 2023 in England ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      Suzie - As Nik has already said, plans for today got scuppered and while it was beyond my control, I wasn't happy that I needed to watch part of the coronation on my phone!! What the?! Apparently the Mayfair Garden Party peeps copped a lot of complaints. Good!! However, singing God Save The King with other people in a pub in England on Coronation Day was pretty special.

      Anyway enough of that, the rest of the day went pretty well and Phantom of the Opera was phenomenal!! I have seen Phantom 4 times now, twice in Brisbane and twice in London at her Majesty's Theatre, the home of Phantom 💜💜💜 It's another late night, but it's our last night in London!! Well, before we come back here to leave the UK in 3 weeks time 😀😀😀 Many more adventures to come, tomorrow we are off to Chester!!
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    • Day 3

      In Westminster Abbey

      June 26, 2022 in England ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      “My name is Natalia. I am from Poland, and I am Catholic, but I have not been inside a church for many years. I have grown weary of guitars and green screens. But I have heard of this church, and I think that if I ever find God, it might be in a place like this.”

      We didn’t know how long it would take us to get to Westminster Abbey. After all, we’re over here in Greenwich southeast of the city. So we boarded the tender at 8:30 am for the 11:15 service called “the Sung Mass.” The tender took us to Greenwich pier where we boarded an Uber Clipper water bus. Estimates from folks who had made the trip before ranged from thirty minutes to an hour. We didn’t want to be late. We wanted to be sure to get a seat. After a few false starts caused by a faulty ticket machine, we boarded the boat that took us along the Thames for a tour that equaled any excursion we have ever had in London. We passed the Tower of London, the Globe Theater, the Millennial Bridge. Finally the Elizabeth Tower on the Parliament Building came into view and we heard Big Ben strike ten o’clock.

      “Plenty of time before the worship service,” I told Glenda as we walked through the West Door under a saintly statue of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. An usher met us at the door, and I told him that we were here for the eleven-fifteen “Sung Mass.” He directed us to a row of chairs lining the north wall, where one young woman, maybe in her twenties, sat alone. He said, “Wait here. We will call you into the choir when it’s time for the mass to begin.”

      Glenda smiled and took a seat beside the girl, and I sat down beside my wife. The young woman did not return Glenda’s smile, but looked nervous as she spoke. “My name is Natalia. I am from Poland, and I am Catholic, but I have not been inside a church for many years. I have grown weary of guitars and green screens. But I have heard of this church, and I think that if I ever find God, it might be in a place like this.”

      After forty minutes the usher told us we could go up to the choir where the service would be held. He told us how to access the order of worship for today’s liturgy on our cell phones. About two hundred chairs had been set up on each side of the crossing, so that all of us worshippers were facing inward toward a lighted candle on a table. I was on the fourth row of the south transept, so that I could literally reach out my right arm and touch the lectern from which the lessons were read. When it was about time to start, less than four hundred people were present. We should not have worried about arriving early enough to get a seat.

      In a few minutes music emerged from an organ I could not see. It produced twenty-first century music with mysteriously beautiful dissonances pointing to a God beyond our notions of simple harmonies. It was ethereal. And even though it is not the kind of music I listen to every day, it was magnificent. Unpredictable. Eerie, even. Like God.

      There was to be a confirmation today. The resident bishop would confirm two of the choir members, named Barnaby and Ben. We sang a familiar hymn of Charles Wesley, and the bishop prefaced his confirmation of two of the boys in the choir with a thoughtful sermon centering around the cost of following Christ. Yet, he assured them that even when their faith was costly, Christ would be with them to strengthen them. It was a message of grace not condemnation. It was a message about God, not political opinion.

      Before the two boys emerged from the choir to come forward for their confirmation, they joined the choir in offering the “Sanctus,” another modern piece reflecting cosmic mystery. When the boys bowed before the bishop, they answered his questions firmly and with apparent understanding. The bishop, with a giggle, slung holy water on the boys and on us, turning a somber rite into a moment of joyful laughter for us all.

      We all received the Eucharist, and then sang “Now Thank We All Our God,” and I teared up at my favorite lines in verse three, “Oh may this bounteous God, through all our lives be near us; with ever joyful hearts, to comfort and to cheer us; and keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed; and free us from all ills, in this world and the next.”

      The service ended with a more conventional organ piece by Edward Elgar, the blessing of the bishop, and then using the organ to play the “Danse” by Claude Debussy, God spoke through it a message of joy.

      I had to search through the crowd for Natalia as the mass of worshippers exited the church. When I finally spotted her across the way, she was smiling.

      Many of us found God here at Westminster Abbey this morning. As I left the church, I prayed for Barnaby and Ben. And I prayed for Natalia.
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    • Day 4

      Big Ben and Westminster Abby

      April 16 in England ⋅ ☁️ 55 °F

      After lunch, we walked to St. Martins in the field, home of Sir Neville Mariner and the St. Martins in the Field Orchestra. Tralfargar Square is right actoss the street. Impressive even in the rain. Then, down the street that housed all the political buildings. We saw the changing of the guard by the King's Own Mounted Guards. Downey Street, which is controlled access with security. We took a picture under Big Ben and learned that it was attached to the House of Parliament. Learn something every day! We walked around Westminster Abby but decided we were not interested enough to pay 40 pounds each for the tour. One note of interest. The coronation processions of kings and queens have passed by Westminter Abby since 1066. We decided to go home and take a nap before dinner.Read more

    • Day 13

      Westminster Abbey

      May 15, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      After returning to London, we went to Westminster Abbey, along with it seems every other tourist in London. This was also a special place - the burial place of kings and queens and other notables - the names you learnt about at school. The coronation chair used last week was also on display. As with Windsor Castle, it is almost impossible to describe the grandeur of this place. It was a special place to visit.Read more

    • Day 10

      Coronation Day

      May 6, 2023 in England ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      Today has unfortunately not gone to plan. The coronation garden party was poorly planned and we ended up not getting access. We decided to do the crazy thing (extra crazy because of the rain) then and brave the crowds at Westminster Abbey. No words to describe the number of people, and we didn't get to see anything exciting. (Though did hear Big Ben strike at mid day. And I found a squirrel). We made a hasty exit though and had a drink at the pub before retreating to our warm and dry room. We've not stopped since we got here and a few hours to just be still was much needed. It's not takes us long to get board though so now we're heading back to Westminster to see what can be seen...AND we've managed to score tickets to Phantom of the Opera tonight. I've seen it before but it's exciting to see it in its home theatre.

      PS - Decided to come back to Westminster before we head off to dinner and got a few photos.
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    • Day 7

      Westminster Abbey Crash

      September 2, 2022 in England ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      My body got out of bed at 6am and prepared itself for the double tour of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. It shaved its face, shampoo'd its hair, dried itself and got dressed in - oh, who cares. I think it put perfume on itself, my body.

      My body walked down to the tube station and caught the Victoria Line to Victoria, then East to Westminster. It stood underneath the statue of Winston Churchill as our tour group gently coalesced out of the chaos around the Portcullis Building. My body put headphones on and followed the talking lady as she walked into the oneiric wonderland that is Westerminster Abbey.

      And there, in that place of death and grandiose self-pity, I felt like I was suddenly in my element. I came to, right in time to enjoy the tour as I walked over the top of Henry Purcell's grave, where he is laid in earth. Sorry about that Henry. You really are my favourite composer a lot of the time.

      Our tour guide Emily was astonishingly good. It was almost like I was getting two tours at once: a learnèd discourse on the history of London and its relationship to the Abbey, and a living demonstration of how you can turn a history lesson into a theatre performance that occurs on the move. Emily was erudite and funny, and was mostly progressive and poetic. I did rankle a little when she gave a tiny disquisition on why Suffragists should be given statues but not Suffragettes, but apart from that she and I were in sync.

      Seeing Handel and Newton was an absolute privilege, especially to know that their faces were sculpted from death masks. Seeing Ted Hughes' memorial stone was disarming; he is one of my favourite poets of all time. I know his ashes are scattered over Dartmoor, but even so I felt like I was running into him somehow.

      There were a thousand things to see and photograph in Westminster Abbey, but the tour moved along at such a clip that I made a decision to do 99% looking and 1% photographing. The place is a vast gothic extravaganza with so many intersecting points with British history that it would take many visits to get some familiarity with the place. If I had any remorse it was that I didn't get time to look at the Cosmati Pavement, which I have studied in depth when I was replicating Holbein's "The Ambassadors" painting. We flew past it to get to some anecdote about Mary Queen of Scots I think. I don't know, it was a blur.

      At the end of that tour, we crossed the road ready to start the next tour, the Houses of Parliament.

      The body didn't want to go, and it bade Stuart a good tour and went back to Westminster Station. Enough was enough. I needed rest, which is what I did for the rest of the day. A coffee in Vauxhall proper (away from the waterfront) that evening and a visit to a great big Tesco to buy a frozen pizza ended the evening gently. But I was still a fucking mess.

      A post-prandial stroll along the sunset Thames, looking gauzy and Turner-ish, did nothing to lift my mood.

      I was Lon-DONE.

      I have decided that for the rest of the visit I can do the British Museum and the Eye, and that's it. I'm encouraging Stuart to come up with his must-do list now before it's too late. As for me, it's time to catch up on some self-care: mindfulness, exercise, art. I need to level out. Totally crashed.
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    • Day 4

      Westminster Abbey

      March 15 in England ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Heute war unser letzter Tag in London. Und es erwartete uns ein straffes Programm, denn wir wollten noch unseren London Explorer Pass vollends einlösen, und da waren noch zwei Attraktionen fällig. Wir fingen an mit der Westminster Abbey - und was soll ich sagen: der Platz, an dem die königlichen Krönungen und Hochzeiten stattfanden und auch immer noch stattfinden, ein Gänsehautmoment. Was auch erstaunlich war: dass hier so viele Königinnen und Könige begraben wurden oder sich bekannte Personen wie Charles Darwin und Shakespeare!
      Eines meiner Highlights war der Coronation Chair, zuletzt 2023 von King Charles III. verwendet, davor 1953 von Queen Elizabeth II.
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    • Day 24

      Day 24: Westminster Abbey

      December 29, 2023 in England

      Westminster Abbey! Today first started with disappointment, then turned out to be a lucky day! The adventure started with Westminster Abbey. Since we would like to use the 2For1 promotion offered by the National Rail, we could only get the tickets on-site. However, we saw a sign saying ‘unfortunately, all tickets are sold out today’. Chris was brave enough to ask the staff about the offer. The staff just let us in. We discovered that the 2For1 promotion was an express entry. We didn’t even have to queue up with other people who had online reservation! We could get in to the Abbey within 5 minutes. So thankful that Chris has asked the staff and we didn’t waste our day.

      This was my second (Chris’s first) visit to the Abbey. It is a royal church still offering services for all. It has been the location of the coronations of 40 English and British monarchs and burial site for different English, Scottish and British monarchs.

      Ticket price is a bit steep, £29 per person. With the 2For1 offer, we paid £29 for two of us. We spent a few hours inside with the self-guided tour. Such a nice UNESCO World Heritage to visit!
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    • Day 2

      Westminster Abbey - Hauptschiff

      December 11, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

      In der Kathedrale gab es kunstvoll verzierte Mamorböden, Buntverglasung, Gräber und Denkmäler anzusehen.

      Am Ende der Führung erwartete uns der berühmte Königsstuhl - der Thron, auf dem der jeweilige britische Monarch während seiner Krönung Platz nimmt. Er wurde 1296 von König Eduard l. in Auftrag gegeben.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Westminster Abbey, Westminster-abdy, دير وستمنستر, كنيسة ويستمينيستار, Vestminster abbatlığı, Вэстмінстэрскае абацтва, Уестминстърско абатство, ওয়েস্টমিনস্টার অ্যাবে, Abati Westminster, Vestminsterska opatija, Abadia de Westminster, Westminsterské opatství, Abaty Westminster, Αββαείο του Ουέστμινστερ, Abatejo Westminster, Abadía de Westminster, Westminster abadia, کلیسای وست‌مینستر, Abbaye de Westminster, Abtheach Westminster, Westminsterska opatija, מנזר וסטמינסטר, वेस्टमिंस्टर ऐबी, Westminsteri apátság, Վեստմինստերյան աբբայություն, Abbazia di Westminster, ウェストミンスター寺院, უესტმინსტერის სააბატო, 웨스트민스터 사원, Vestminsterio vienuolynas, Vestminsteras abatija, Вестминстерска катедрала, वेस्टमिन्स्टर अ‍ॅबी, ဝက်စမင်စတာ၊ အက်ဗေး, वेस्तमिनिस्तर एब्बे, ਵੈਸਟਮਿੰਸਟਰ ਐਬੇ, Opactwo Westminsterskie, ویسٹ منسٹر ایبی, Catedrala Westminster, Вестминстерское аббатство, Wastmeenster Abbey, Westminsterské opátstvo, Вестминстерска опатија, வெஸ்ட்மின்ஸ்டர் மடம், เวสต์มินสเตอร์แอบบีย์, Вестмінстерське абатство, Tu viện Westminster, 西敏寺

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