Posts Tagged With: Europe

The Dragons Of London

You must believe that the city of London is protected by Dragons. In fact, there are 13 Dragons marking the boundary of the city. There used to be a building called the Coal Exchange built in 1849. Adorning the building were 2 seven foot tall Dragons. In the late 1960’s the Coal Exchange was demolished, but the Dragons live on. The 2 Dragons were mounted on plinths on either side of Victoria Embankment to mark the boundary between Westminster and London.

These 2 Dragons served as the model for the city Dragons. Another Dragon was in contention for the honor and can be seen at the site of the original Temple Bar. This lone Dragon is much fiercer than the others.

If you have any doubt as to whether or not you are in London, look to these guardians. Each Dragon faces outward to protect the city. If you are seeing the Dragon’s backside then you are truly inside London.

Why Dragons? The City of London crest has been supported by Dragons since the 17th century. Since the 17th century the City of London crest has been supported by a pair of dragons. It makes sense as the City of London has used the St. George’s Cross and Emblem, in heraldry having animals (real or mythical) as supporters for a crest is quite common. One theory for the choice of dragons for the City is that the since the 14th century the City of London has used St. George’s cross as an emblem and a dragon. Since a Dragon is a key part of the legend of St. George, it makes sense.

Categories: Dragons, Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come Feed The Birds

Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people
She calls, “Come, buy my bags full of crumbs

Categories: Church, Disney, Europe, hdr, London, Mary Poppins, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Church of The Templars

While walking along Fleet Street, just past Wildly & Sons bookshop, keep an eye out for small stone arch. Just above the arch is an elaborate Jacobean Townhouse. This is the portal to “Temple”, once the stronghold of The Knights Templar.

Famously known as a Medieval order, The Knights Templar, are integral figures in The Crusades. The knights protected pilgrims along the dangerous route to Jerusalem. They became incredibly wealthy by running a sort of bank for the pilgrims. Before setting out on their journey, a pilgrim would give the knights all of their money in exchange for a promissory note to be redeemed in Jerusalem.

Fans of The Da-Vinci Code will remember the puzzling “In London lies a knight a Pope interred. His labour’s fruit a Holy wrath incurred. You seek the orb that out be on his tomb. It speaks of Rosy flesh and seeded womb.

Tom Hanks character, Robert Langdon finds himself at Temple Church to find it’s answer.

Should you be on your own Grail Quest check out the Temple’s website for information on how to visit.

http://www.templechurch.com/

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Spirited Theaters

One thing London does not have a shortage of is haunted places. On my sprint through the city, I mapped out a few spooky locations. Due to the pandemic and the hour of my journey, I wasn’t able to venture into any of them, but they still have that sense of something other worldy lurking in the shadows.

In St. Martin’s Lane, it was originally called The New Theater in 1903. The Noel Coward Theater has the distinction of being the home of it’s original manager, Sir Charles Wyndham. Sir Charles managed both the New Theater and the Wyndham Theater, which sits behind it.

If you see a debonair gray haired man walking the hallways or entering the dressing rooms, say hello to Sir Charles.

Towards the end of WWI, a group of friends were enjoying a performance at The London Coliseum. They noticed a friend of theirs walking down the aisle. Strangely, he disappeared into thin air. On his last day before being deployed, this young soldier had seen a production at The Coliseum. Later, the friends were notified that he had been killed in battle. There were sightings of the young soldier for many years after.

For more stories about Haunted London check out this book by my good friend, Rob Gutro.

Categories: Haunted Travel, hdr, London, Photography, Theaters, Theatres, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ghosts Of St. Paul’s

Halloween is the perfect time of the year to experience a ghost tour. The city of London has a vast array of these tours, you can choose The Theater District, Jack The Ripper or any of a number of cool locations.

The Cathedral of St. Paul may be known the spot where Mary Poppins and the children meet the bird woman. But by night, the location takes on an eerie appearance.

The Whistler is St. Paul’s most well-known haunting. Many have seen the visage of an elderly clergyman accompanied by a tuneless whistle. Your best chance of meeting the clergyman is to visit the Cathedral’s west end. On the ground floor of the northwest tower. When the tower was rededicated after WWI, a previously hidden door was uncovered. This is the exact spot where the whistling cleric appears to fade into the wall.

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There are 2 other ghost stories captured by Irish writer and Ghost Hunter, Elliott O’Donnell. In one story an American couple experience a “great black cloud” that rose out of the floor and climbed 20 feet into the air before disappearing. They described the cloud as “alive'”.

O’Donnell’s second story involves a woman who was resting in the cathedral one afternoon. This woman spotted another woman in a pew in front of her. She seemed to be frantically looking for something. The first woman got up to help the woman, but on her way down the aisle she felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around to find no one behind and when she resumed her walk, the other woman had vanished.

Several days later, at the same time of day, the woman saw the figure of the woman once again. She rose to offer assistance but was once again stopped by a tap on her shoulder. Just as before, there was no one behind her and in front of her the woman was gone.

London 20161_-45

LINKS:

Walking Tours of London

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Categories: Church, Europe, Haunted Travel, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey, Hey, We’re The Monks

No trip to Tallin, Estonia is complete without a visit to the Danish King’s Garden. Watching over the medieval walled garden are statues of faceless monks, Ambrosius, Bartholomeus and Claudius. The legend goes, that during a losing battle, the monks prayed for divine intervention on behalf of the Danish King. Out of the sky fell a large flag, which became the national flag of Denmark.

Estonia is also considered one of the most haunted places in Europe. The King’s Garden is said to be haunted by a monk, perhaps a former executioner having a change of heart.

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LINKS

Visit Estonia

Categories: Church, Estonia, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

There are more things in heaven and earth

Legend has it that Shakespeare wrote his masterpiece Hamlet, with Kronborg Castle as it’s setting. The mystery remains as to whether or not he actually visited Denmark. In 1816, on the 200th anniversary of his death, the soldiers garrisoned at Kronborg performed his play for the first time. 

When you arrive at the castle, make a point of checking out the days schedule as in the Summer months, Hamlet is performed live on the castle grounds.CPH1_-279I arrived just in time to head to the King’s Chamber for Ophelia’s mad scene. 

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

Elsinore1_-2“Good-night, ladies, good-night, sweet ladies, good-night, good-night.”CPH1_-136In between scenes, Queen Gertrude works on her crewel in her chamber.CPH1_-137

CPH1_-280One woe doth tread upon another’s heel, 
So fast they follow. Your sister’s drown’d, Laertes.”CPH1_-281“But to know a man well were to know himself.”CPH1_-282“The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.”CPH1_-283“No, no! the drink, the drink! O my dear Hamlet! 
The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”Elsinore1_“It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain”CPH1_-284

Good Night Sweet Prince

LINKS

Shakespeares-Danish-links

BBC Elsinore A Castle Fit For A Prince

Hamlet Live 2017 Facebook

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