Standing before me was a masterpiece of stone and glass. I was speechless standing in the shadow of this 700 year old building carved and refined to a grandiose medieval sanctuary. My family and I all stood there taking in it's monstrous beauty. We waited in line for tickets and stepped into midst of the Abbey. There was a silent stillness looming. In the dim lit immense room, the sunlight peeped through the pocket-sized stain glass windows and you could see a light dust in the air. When proceeding onto the ambiguous stone pathways the children were given a scavenger hunt to search for different kings, queens, and objects to look for in the Abbey. It is a final resting place of many monarchs and other historical icons. It is a church with crypts and stone graves. The Westminster Abbey although its a giant burial ground still holds regular daily worship. I found the atmosphere very somber and it was hard for me to keep a smile on my face while with my kids. They participated in the scavenger hunt in gasps of wonder about the crypts and graves having the bodies still in them. Most of the royalty were placed in tombs of polished stone with their coffins inside. The children remember seeing the graves of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, Edward the Confessor, Mary Queen of Scotts, and a few King Henrys. The tourists all tiptoed and were being quiet in respect. My older children did surprisingly well, whispering and walking slowly. My husband and I had to frequently take turns walking our three year old outside of the tombs. She was rather mesmerized with the candles and worship service that was luckily taking place at the same time. The thing we all found despairing was walking on peoples graves. Yes, most of the walkways were stones with actual graves underneath. It just didn't feel right to be walking directly on someones grave. I felt as if we were being disrespectful. Even writing about it now 4 years later gives me a chill. Although I think its an unequivocal must see if you are in London.
|My 10 year old daughter's journal entry for Westminster Abbey|