Almost a thousand years old and shrouded in legends. What used to be a castle and a prison serves nowadays as storage facility for the crown jewels and is one of London’s most visited tourist attractions.
Back in the day it had some prominent inmates. The twelve years old Prince Edward and his two years younger brother Prince Richard, for example. Oddly enough, they both went in, but “somehow” went missing. And, of course, nobody knows what happened to them…
Guy Fawkes was another famous “guest” who enjoyed accommodation after an unusual amount of gunpowder was found in his cellar. However, this unlucky lad was evicted from the Tower for a festive execution. Apparently, he was so seriously unamused that he was denied the Tower’s further hospitality, that he took it personal and threw himself over the gallows, breaking his own neck, and party-crashing his own execution celebration.
William Wallace also indulged in the Tower of London’s hospitality before his execution. He took it a little less emotional though, and attended his execution ceremony until the very end, providing the attending crowd their promised show. A true leader, it appears.
Nowadays the prisoners are all gone. However, the beefeaters are still left. You know, those friendly tourist guides in their red and black uniform who walk you through the castle, telling you all the historical details. They also serve as guards, so better don’t mess with them. It requires a military career to even apply for the job and those lucky enough to get accepted, get accommodation inside the Tower of London! How awesome is that?!? Each year millions of people are willing to pay to spend just a few hours in there and those lucky fellas even get paid to live in there.
To summarize all this in a two words review, it seems like “legendary hospitality” fits the Tower of London’s bill pretty well.
Next month, we’re going to take a look at castle Runkelstein, a.k.a. Roncolo in Bolzano, South Tirol, Italy.
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