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London 08
September 30, 2008
Pete's Pics > London 08
 
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Tucked behind the Tower of London and Tower Bridge is this little backwater, smartly named St Katherine Docks it is home to upscale shops, expensive housing and Starbucks. What more could a person want?


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What a clutter! The old business district, a square mile known as the City, is a frantic mixture of old and new as it struggle to remain relevant in the 21st century while not destroying its own history and mystique


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A hundred yards further on, suddenly there is All Hallows Church - the oldest church in the city no less! First established in 675 it was named All Hallows Barking and its proximity to the Tower meant that it acquired royal connections, with Edward IV sending the beheaded victims of Tower executions for temporary burial at All Hallows


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With no real congregation anymore the church hosts a variety of organizations with a little reflection and prayer on the side


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This statue group, a proud mother watching baby's first steps is nicely done but didn't seem to relate to anything else


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The Parish Church of St Olave is one of the smallest in the City and is one of only a handful of medieval City churches that escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is dedicated to the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II, who fought alongside the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred the Unready against the Danes in the Battle of London Bridge in 1014


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Great name for a pub


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St Dunstan's Church is well past its "Best By" date


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Built about 1100, St Dunstan's was severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was just patched up in 1671 after which a Christopher Wren steeple was added 30 years later. The church was severely damaged in the WWII Blitz of 1941 and the Anglican Church decided not to rebuild and the ruins were converted into a public garden that was eventually opened in 1971


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St Mary-at-Hill was founded in the 12th Century but has been rebuilt many times. It was rebuilt in the 15th century only to be destroyed again when the Great Fire of London broke out just a few feet away. Rebuilt again by Christopher Wren in 1676, it has since been restored in 1788, 1827, 1849 and 1991 - two restorations following fires


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Internally, St Mary's is more like a community hall than a regular church


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Major disappointment! Inside the tower of scaffolding is the 202 feet high London Monument, built in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London. The slender column contains a narrow 311 step spiral staircase leading to an observation balcony near the top. In addition to the commemorative purpose, many features of the structure were designed to facilitate scientific experiments


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Here is a Wikipedia picture of the Monument without the scaffolding. Needless to say, the staircase is quite dizzying


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St Mary Abchurch is a Church of England church on Cannon Street in the City of London. Built by Christopher Wren in 1687, it has a 51 feet high tower topped by a spire and a red brick exterior. The church suffered damage in the WWII Blitz but was subsequently restored


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The epicenter of London's business world, the Royal Exchange was founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the city. The triangular complex, bounded by the converging streets of Cornhill and Threadneedle Street, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571


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Detail of the Exchange clock


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The Exchange has a central courtyard where the traders operated until 1939. In recent times, the use has been changed to an exclusive shopping complex


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Mansion House was built in the years 1739 to 1752 and is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London


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Next door to Mansion House is the London Magistrates Court and down Walbrook Street between the two is St Stephen Walbrook church


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St Stephen, Walbrook is a small church and is part of the Church of England's Diocese of London dating back to a Saxon church from the 7th century. Rebuilt in the 15th century, that building was destroyed in the Great Fire, the current Christopher Wren church was completed in 1680. I wonder when Starbucks crept in there?


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Sculptor Henry Moore's controversial massive white polished stone altar, installed in 1987, sits unusually in the centre of the church


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The Temple of Mithras is a Roman temple whose ruins were discovered during rebuilding work in 1954. Built around 350 CE, it is probably the most famous twentieth-century Roman discovery in the City of London.


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St Mary-le-Bow - the Big Bell of Bow in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons - is in the City on the street known as Cheapside. Before the Great Fire, the previous church had been on this site since before the Normans arrived and its steeple had been a well known landmark


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The current building - Christopher Wren yet again - was completed in 1673 and the steeple was added in 1680. The Bow bells were once used to signal a curfew in the City of London
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