Монологи на английском языке с текстом и переводом. №55. Тема: История лондонского Тауэра.

First up this morning, I'm going to talk about Her Majesty the Queen of England's official Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London. After briefly touching on its, umm, construction and location, I want to focus on a couple of its historical uses. Over time, the Tower has been used for pleasurable purposes and for truly terrible purposes.
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I will discuss one example of each: the Tower as a zoo and the Tower as a place of imprisonment and execution. OK, let's begin. The Tower of London is actually a complex of buildings. It's situated along the River Thames in London. Its name comes from one particular building, the, uhh, the White Tower built by William the Conqueror in 1078.
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It is surrounded by a moat, a channel of water that goes all the way around it. The use of the tower changed from being a fortress at, uh, at around the beginning of the thirteenth century. At that time, a Royal Menagerie, which is a fancy word for "zoo", was established at the Tower. Much later, this was opened to the public so that commoners could also enjoy the animals.
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Unfortunately, the animals at the Royal Menagerie were not particularly well cared for. Eventually, they were all moved to the New London Zoo, which opened in Regent's Park in, uh, in 1835. Now, for the dark side of The Tower, and by dark, I mean truly grim. For a very long time, the Tower of London was used as a prison and a place of public and private execution.
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Beheading was a popular method. This involved chopping the head off a prisoner with an axe, not always a very sharp one. The executioner often had to swing the axe several times. Hanging was another popular method, usually reserved for the lower classes. Sometimes, public executions provided great, uh, great entertainment, believe it or not.
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This was especially the case when condemned prisoners were famous people. Examples of famous people who were publicly executed are Sir Thomas More and Queen Anne Boleyn. In fact, some people say Queen Anne still walks around the Tower carrying her head under her arm! So, just to recap before we break.
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The tower of London was originally built as a defensive fortress by William the Conqueror in 1078. Starting in the 1200s, it was used as a zoo for royalty, and later, for commoners, too. Finally, it was used as a prison and a place for public execution.
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