At first glance, despite of having a church appearance, its role and importance is the one from a cathedral. It has been scenario of coronations and royal weddings and pantheon of most British monarchs and the most illustrious English personalities. Contemplating this building is walking through the nation’s history.
The original version of the church was rose up in the same ground where now the Abbey stands, it is from the XI century, and that settlement was already been chosen then because of the existence of remains from a Benedictine monastery, which was named West Monastery, that’s the reason why it was called Westminster. During that period the leading style was Romanesque art, however some centuries later it started to be expanded and restructured following the French influence from that period and conferring Gothic connotations to any new element, therefore it has turned eventually into one construction of remarkable style.
Once the first stage of conduction was completed in the XVI century, the two towers that flank the west part of the building began to be built and there were planned by the English architects Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, works in which they achieved to show how it was possible to resuscitate the Gothic style, in spite of the passing of the centuries.
As it happened in most of this sort of constructions, each of them, despite of following the stipulated canons, have also their own peculiarities. In Westminster Abbey case, the central nave ambulatory is extremely narrow compared to the whole dimensions.
All the enclosure wakes your senses, but some specific places must be visited. For example, the Chapterhouse with hundreds of windows where are imprinted the shields from the families which help to preserve the church. Besides, the Chapel roof has fan vaults with impressive buttresses that had become one of the best examples of perpendicular gothic architecture when this style was already settled.
Together with the beauty which releases the place, it can’t be forgotten the visual effect which produces this Gothic construction as it is surrounded by the Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames and the London Eye. Everything it’s a luxury sightseeing and an example of the sort of constructions and styles that the human being has been developing over the centuries.
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