Letter from the dorm: When history comes to life

Letter from the dorm: When history comes to life

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The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle in Britain.
The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle in Britain.
Photo: Emily Ting
What I love most about studying in Britain is the chance to explore the country's history and culture. There are so many "touristy" things for me to do in London: countless museum trips; cheap tickets to see world-class operas and ballets, as well as West End musicals; and visits to landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. I try to explore something new every weekend, and last Saturday I went to Windsor with some uni friends.

Windsor, a 30-minute train journey from London, is home to Windsor Castle and Eton College. Windsor Castle, built 10 centuries ago, is famous for its beautiful architecture and link to the British royal family. It is used by the Queen as a weekend home and a place to host leaders from other countries.

When we reached the castle, the Changing of the Guard - also called Guard Mounting - had just started. The Queen's Guard (yes, those guards with the red uniforms and furry hats) marched and saluted, while a band played. It was a colourful show.

After that, we went to St George's Chapel within the castle. This is probably one of the most beautiful Gothic-style churches in the country. Many of the furnishings date from Edward IV's time in the 15th century, while Henry VIII and one of his six wives were buried there as well. I am a history fan, and I have studied English history. For me, the castle was a magical place where history really came alive.

The State Apartments, still used by the royal family today, are magnificent rooms featuring designs and decorations from the past few centuries. I loved walking down the halls, as so many great English monarchs had done so before.

Every palace, museum, or even ordinary building in England has so much history. For example, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf used to live a street away from where I live in London. It's great that the country's heritage is so well preserved and easily accessible. I just hope more people learn to appreciate the culture and history around them.

 

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