The river Thames.
One of the most famous and visited monuments in the planet.
Have you already guessed what are we talking about?
The Tower of London!
For nearly a thousand years, the Tower of London has been an essential presence in the history of England. This imposing fortress and palace, but also a prison and a torture chamber, hasa remarkable history to tell and a turbulent past that still haunts it. Its gates were crossed by kings, queens, men of the cloth, politicians and judges: some left with innocence and glory, but others “disappeared” inside the tower and were never seen again.
Some of the happenings hosted by the Tower of London changed the course of English history, but we bet there’s something about this monument you don’t know. Could you even imagine that this house of horrors and suffering was once a fun zoo? Yep, a lively menagerie filled with exotic and wild animals. In the early 13th century, King John had lions in the Tower!
The first wild animals to live in the tower arrived Henry III received three leopards, a polar bear and an elephant from the other European monarchs, as a gift. Over the years, more animals were added to the collection and, between the Elizabethan period and the 1830s, the menagerie was finally open to the public.
These were the first animals ever to be transferred to the new zoo in Regent’s Park, when the facility was built, but most of the people who visit London have no idea that the scary Tower of London was once the city’s menagerie. This is an example of something that only a true Londoner can share. Fortunately, this infographic gathers some of the most well kept secrets in town. Spare a few minutes to boost your knowledge about one of the greatest cities in the world.