Saturday, May 30, 2009

London: Tate Modern Collection and St. Paul's Cathedral

We started this day with a walk along the Thames, where we saw this picturesque market...

...and the exterior of Shakespeare's Globe, where our daughter had seen ROMEO AND JULIET a few days previous.

The Tate Modern Collection (click title of post) is housed in a rather boring-looking building...

...which is actually quite interesting, in a stark sort of way, once you're inside. I found the museum's overall design one of its most enjoyable aspects.

Modern art isn't really my thing, but they did have some works in the collection which I found of interest, including Monet's Water-Lilies (After 1916) and many paintings by Picasso.

Like many museums in London, admission to the Tate is free of charge. It is requested that you make a donation in an amount of your choosing as you enter or exit.

There is a cafe in the museum which has a counter running along a window which offers spectacular views of the Thames and St. Paul's:

Another restaurant view of the London Skyline, including the Gherkin building:

The Millennium Bridge connects the south bank of the Thames (Bankside) with St. Paul's and the City:

Later in the day we walked over the bridge and visited St. Paul's Cathedral.

Seeing the tombs of Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington in St. Paul's Crypt is a moving experience for any student of British history. Christopher Wren is also interred in the Crypt.

I was curious that there is now a fairly substantial admission fee to tour St. Paul's; apparently this began in 1991 to help pay for maintenance. There is no fee for those who are there to worship.

After an excellent lunch at a Pizza Express near St. Paul's, it was time to get on the train at Paddington Station...

...and head to Windsor!

Previously: Day One (London museums); Hampton Court Palace; Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial.

Coming Soon: Windsor Castle (with a cameo appearance by Prince Edward); Blenheim Palace; The Imperial War Museum; and more on Disneyland Paris.


Blogger Dana said...

I wish more of our museums had the no charge/donate if you like policies. It makes them so much more inviting.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

But who pays to run the museum then?

7:38 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Many of the museums are run with income from foundations and largely private resources, I believe.

The Tate, for instance, was founded by Sir Henry Tate, who paid for the building and donated his collection. According to the Tate website: "Each year, the majority of our funding must come from private sources. We depend on the support of individuals, trusts, foundations and corporations to help us continue to care for and build our Collection, and engage with our audiences."

Many of the museums have fun or attractive "containers" for donations by the doors and these always seem to fill nicely. Wonderful system. :)

The British Museum, which is also free, is a national museum and I suspect as such it receives taxpayer funding.

Best wishes,

8:34 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Why me the tax payer! All museums are free including the libraries; education should be free so man can evolve. By the way, what a great site. Andy from England XXX

5:20 AM  

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