May 14

Today we had a jam-packed, weather permitting, day. Although we were not able to see everything, we were still able to visit some of the main attractions in London. We visited St. Paul's Cathedral, The Bank of England, The Great Fire Monument, The War Rooms, and Whitehall. 

 For more than 1,400 years, a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. The present Cathedral, the masterpiece of Britain's most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, is at least the fourth to have stood on the site. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and services began in 1697.

 On September 4, 1666, a fire broke out in a bakehouse in Pudding Lane. Fanned by a fierce wind, the fire spread through the close-packed streets of London, destroying everything in its path. For four days the fire raged, and when the smoke finally cleared, Old St. Paul's was nothing but charred timbers and rubble. 
On the night of 29 December, 1940, the City was subjected to an intense attack by the Luftwaffe, known as The Blitz. Thousands of incendiary bombs were dropped and large areas around St Paul's were set ablaze. The St Paul's Watch had installed tanks, baths and pails of water at vulnerable points about the roof. Small squads with stirrup-pumps fought each fire separately. Nineteen churches, including 16 built by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London, were destroyed. Miraculously, St Paul’s survived.
The Bank of England was founded in 1694 to act as the Government's banker and debt-manager. Since then its role has developed and evolved, centred on the management of the nation's currency and its position at the center of the UK's financial system.

The Bank is the second oldest central bank in the world after the Swedish Riksbank, which was founded in 1668. It issues bank notes, controls the UK gold reserves and, since 1997, has set official interest rates.The need for a central bank in England was seen by a Scotsman, William Paterson, who noticed that the nation's finances had been in disarray and had no real system of money or credit.

Michaela is spotted to the left trying to pick up a solid gold bar, weighing 28 pounds. Julia, to the right, is "leveling" the inflation rate. 
Sami is seen "setting monetary policy" and Mikayla is putting together bank note puzzles. 
 The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known simply as the Monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is a fluted Doric column in the City of London, near the northern end of London Bridge, which commemorates the Great Fire of London.

 Today, we were able to climb 311 steps to the top of this historic landmark, originally built in 1677, to take in spectacular views of London.

 Once we made it back down safely we were awarded with certificates stating we successfully climbed our way to the top of the Monument.
The Churchill War Rooms is a museum in London and one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum. The museum comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, a historic underground complex that housed a British government command center throughout the Second World War, and the Churchill Museum, a biographical museum exploring the life of British statesman Winston Churchill.

'This is the room from which I will direct the war', Churchill stated. In total 115 Cabinet meetings were held at the Cabinet War Rooms, the last on 28 March 1945, when the German V-weapon bombing campaign came to an end.
During its operational life two of the Cabinet War Rooms were of particular importance. Once operational, the facility's Map Room was in constant use and manned around the clock by officers of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. These officers were responsible for producing a daily intelligence summary for the King, Prime Minister and the military Chiefs of Staff. 

Inside the museum, there are many items on display that commemorate Winston Churchill's achievements as well as some of his own personal belongings. It was clear to see the great impact he had as a Prime Minister on the United Kingdom's citizens.

 We then made our way to Whitehall, a road in the City of Westminster in central London. This area is recognized as the center of Her Majesty's Government, as the street is lined with government departments and ministries. 
 While in this area we visited where Trooping the Colour takes place.

Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. Since 1748 Trooping the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British sovereign.

 Although today was cold and rainy we made the best out of a typical spring day in London. 

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