The district of Southwark which is on the south bank of the Thames was long deserted by the inhabitants following the bombardments during the second war. Over the years, the south shore has modernized and many redevelopments have taken place.
The most notorious are the restoration of the Borough market with its many colorful stalls, the renovation of Queen's Walk, a pedestrian promenade that runs along the Thames and offers a magnificent view of the buildings of the City. But the most spectacular attraction is without a doubt the Shard! This 310 m high building was, at its inauguration in 2012, the tallest skyscraper in the European Union.
Today Southwark is a trendy district with a village spirit with its many local shops and countless restaurants and bars.
Opened in 1894, Tower Bridge was at the time the largest (246 meters in length and 65 meters in height) and the most sophisticated of the bascule bridges ever built. Today it is one of the emblematic monuments of London that can be visited.
An interactive exhibition presents the history of the bridge and a glass walkway provides a unique point of view from which you can see boats and pedestrians under your feet and even observe the lifting of the seesaws. The impressive Victorian engine room where the old steam engines are kept is open to visitors.
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The cruiser HMS Belfast
Built in 1938, the cruiser HMS Belfast is a British ship which participated in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, and was the first to bomb the German defenses on Gold Beach and Juno Beach.
His visit is an immersion in contemporary history and presents the different workstations of the crew and their living space after the shift.
Children will love visiting the bridge to take the helm and imagine themselves captain!
Address : The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2JH
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This gallery covered with an elegant glass barrel vault culminating at 30m high houses cafes, restaurants and shops. Redesigned in the 1980s, the gallery was initially a warehouse where spices and tea from China or India were stored.
Address : 1 Battle Bridge Ln, London SE1 2HD
London City Hall: London City Hotel
Designed by the architectural firm Norman Foster, this glass shell, inaugurated in 2002, opens its heart to 360 ° degrees over London. Its unconventional shape lends itself to many combinations. The building has been compared to a warped egg, an onion, the Darth Vader helmet, and even a glass testicle according to former London Mayor Ken Livingstone!
This modern building specially designed to promote energy savings is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority and the Town Hall.
You can freely climb the first 2 levels of the building by taking the helical ramp and admire London through the glass walls from Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am to 18:00 pm and Friday from 8:30 am to 17:30 pm.
On the other hand, the rooftop of the city hall (London's Living Room) located on the 9th floor is open to the public once a year as part of the heritage day: Open House London festival.
Address : The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA
The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
Installed in the attic of the church on the site of the former Saint-Thomas hospital, this unusual museum traces the history of medicine and surgery. The museum has the oldest operating theater in Europe (1st half of the XNUMXth century) demonstrating the Spartan conditions in which surgical procedures took place before the invention of anesthesia and antiseptics.
Access to the museum is via a spiral staircase that is difficult to access for people with reduced mobility.
Address : 9a St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
Borough Market: London's oldest market
Borough Market is the most famous and the oldest food market in London where more than 130 traders (bakery, fishmonger, butcher ...) offer exceptional products.
The market is the place to taste the essential fish & chips more precisely at the restaurant Fish! or to taste the street-food in one of the many stands.
Address : 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
Erected from 1106, Southwark Cathedral is London's oldest Gothic building. In the south nave a monument erected in 1912 pays homage to William Shakespeare, who lived in Southwark from 1599 to 1611.
In addition to daily services, the cathedral is the scene of a program of organ recitals and concerts. Guided tours in English are also available.
Address : London Bridge, London SE1 9DA
The Shard or the Southwark shard of glass
At 310m high, the Shard is the highest vantage point in London and Western Europe offering 360 degree views of London and up to 64km on a clear day. At its top, you can admire the meanders of the Thames as well as many monuments such as Tower Bridge, the Tower of London or st paul's cathedral.
Opened in July 2012, it is the work of Italian architect Renzo Piano, who also designed the Center Pompidou in Paris and the Paul Klee Center in Bern.
Address : 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG
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Prison Museum: The Clink Prison Museum
Built in 1144, the Clink Prison is one of Britain's oldest and most famous prisons. There are reconstructions of cells and instruments of torture. Until its destruction in 1780, Clink was the prison used by successive bishops of Winchester. They locked up recalcitrant priests as well as prostitutes.
Address : 1 Clink St, London SE1 9DG
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Golden Hind: a galleon in Southwark
Golden Hinde, is a life-size replica of the privateer galleon on which Sir Francis Drake traveled around the world from 1577 to 1580. The visit is ideal for children during which actors dressed as privateers retrace the history of the galleon and bring life to life frenzied privateer, Francis Drake.
Address : St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral Street – London, SE1 9DE
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Shakespeare's Globe an open-air theater in Southwark
Initially, Shakespeare's Globe is an open-air Elizabethan theater built in 1599 to accommodate William Shakespeare's troupe. It was devastated by flames in 1613 before being closed and destroyed by the English Puritan administration in 1644.
It was not until 1949, on the initiative of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, that the theater was rebuilt about 230 meters from the historic site. The reconstruction is faithful to the original with mud walls, galleries and a thatched roof.
It opened its doors to the public in 1997 where a modern and interactive exhibition was presented explaining theater design techniques. Storyteller guides tell the story of the theater through many anecdotes. During the visit, you can freely access the stands and approach certain engravings, the guide of which will reveal their meanings to you.
Address : 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
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This old factory that is the Tate Modern is today one of the most beautiful museums in London which brings together more than 70 works representing various movements such as surrealism, abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism or conceptual art.
The museum is often referred to as "the cathedral of modern art", in reference to St Paul's Cathedral across the River Thames and its spacious, light-flooded setting.
In addition to being a free museum, the Tate Modern has two panoramic terraces on the 3rd and 6th floor offering a beautiful view of the London skyline.
Address : Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Millenium Bridge: a bridge between two banks of the Thames
Inaugurated on the occasion of the new millennium, Millenium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that connects the two banks of the Thames at the height of the st paul's cathedral and the Tate Modern. This 320m suspension bridge is the result of the collaboration of the famous architect Norman Foster with the sculptor Anthony Caro.
For the anecdote, Millenium Bridge appears in the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where he is attacked and destroyed by Death Eaters.
Address : Thames Embankment, London SE1 9JE
Queen's Walk a walk between Southwark and South Bank
Queen's Walk is a pretty pedestrian promenade along the Thames, a link between South bank and Southwark. It was inaugurated in 1977 on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II