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In this article we will present 12 interesting facts about Tower of London that you probably did not know:
1. Tower of London is not the official name. The full name is the Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, also called the Tower of London.
2. The tower was founded by William the Conqueror towards the end of 1066. The main function of the military fortress of the tower did not change until the end of the 19th century.
3. The tower is the royal residence of Her Majesty the Queen. She has a house called ″The Queen’s House″ where she can live whenever she wants.
4. There are 911 world heritage sites. The Tower of London is included in this list because it is one of the few intact medieval buildings.
5. The White Tower is 27 meters above the ground and is made of Caen stone imported from France.
6. The Crown Jewels were moved to Martin Tower after the Jewelry House was demolished. The total value of the jewelry is over 20 billion pounds.
7. There were 22 executions in the Tower of London. The last person executed here was a German spy named Josef Jakobs on August 15, 1941. He was sitting on a chair when he was shot. The seat is kept today at the Royal Armories artifact store.
8. In the 1200s a royal zoo was founded in the Tower of London and remained there for 600 years.
It was full of exotic animals such as polar bears, lions, kangaroos, ostriches, and elephants. When the zoo closed in 1835, all the animals were moved to the new zoo in Regent’s Park. Today you can see sculptures of these animals that once lived in the tower.
9. The keys were stolen from the Tower of London on November 6, 2012 following precarious security measures. Fortunately, the keys were not from high-risk buildings or entrances, such as the Jewelry Tower, but nevertheless, the locks were changed quickly, and security measures increased.
10. During the First World War, the tower did not suffer much damage. Unfortunately, World War II damaged the tower, but missed the White Tower. At the end of the war, the damage was repaired, and it was reopened to the public.
11. It is said that several ghosts live in the Tower of London including Henry VI, Catherine (the fifth wife of King Henry VIII), Dame Sybil who was Prince Edward’s assistant and even a grizzly bear who lived once in the tower.
12. Ravens have lived in the Tower of London for hundreds of years. Legend says that if the ravens leave the Tower of London, then the castle and the entire British kingdom will collapse.
If you want to find out about Trafalgar Square, check out our article on this topic: 9 interesting facts about Trafalgar Square.
[Photo from Unsplash]