Religious Attractions in London
Visiting London can be sometimes a very difficult task, as there are so many beautiful, historically rich places to be seen. We thought about helping you and recommend some of the most interesting sacred attractions. There are plenty of churches, cathedrals and temples, as the capital city of the United Kingdom is known for its multiculturalism and religious diversity.
On Byward Street, you can find the oldest Anglican Church named All Hallows by the Tower, founded 1.337 years ago. Kind Edward IV used to temporarily bury here the victims that he beheaded in the Tower of London. This place was rebuilt several times and it managed to escape the Great Fire of London with the help of Admiral William Penn, who thought of destroying the houses nearby. All Hallows by the Tower was also witness to the Blitz, during the World War II. If you are interested in seeing the artefacts that were discovered in this ancient church during the centuries, then you have the chance to visit the so-called Crypt Museum.
Another interesting Anglican church is the Christ Church, Spitalfields, located on the Commercial Street. In 1711, the Act of Parliament decided its construction. In the beginning, it was only used for major events like weddings, burials and baptisms, while the daily worship was done in smaller chapels. Regarding its beautiful interior, the ceiling is richly decorated and there is a certain influence of the Palladian Architecture, seen in the existence of the portico and the Venetian windows. It also had the largest organ in England, with over 2.000 pipes, created by the famous Richard Bridge.
The oldest synagogue in London is the Bevis Marks Synagogue, completed in the year 1701. Its members have been interested in the Jewish problems on a world-wide level ever since it was founded. Some of the most important issues were the Jamaican appeal for less taxes from 1753 and the helping of Moses de Paz, a seven-year-old child that managed to escape the Gibraltar and was forced into becoming a Christian (1777). The architecture of the synagogue is unique. A candelabra with seven hanging brass is located in the centre and it represents the seven days of the week. Candles are still preferred to the electric lights when it comes to weddings or Jewish festivals.
The Southwark Cathedral is the first Gothic church in London, known for the great number of personalities that crossed their paths with it during its many years of existence, not always in the most favourable conditions. Amongst other important events, it has witnessed the condemnation to death of the Bishop of Gloucester, the burials of Edmund Shakespeare, John Fletcher and Philip Massinger, and the birth of John Harvard. The cathedral has managed to shock the world while it hosted a service especially for the Lesbian and Gay Movement in 1996. The interior appeared in several cinematographic productions, like Doctor Who and the main cathedral choir performed Mr Bean’s theme song series.
The above mentioned religious places are just a hint of the many formidable London cathedrals and churches. You are more than welcome to visit The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.
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