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Tower Bridge Review
Despite its medieval, fairy-tale appearance, this is a Victorian youngster. Constructed of steel, then clothed in Portland stone, the Horace Jones masterpiece was deliberately styled in the Gothic persuasion to complement the Tower next door, and it's famous for its enormous bascules—the 1,200-ton "arms" that open to allow large ships to glide beneath. This still happens occasionally (the website has details), but when river traffic was dense, the bascules were raised about five times a day.
The Tower Bridge Exhibition is a child-friendly tour where you can discover how one of the world's most famous bridges actually works before heading out onto the walkways for the wonderful city views. First, take in the romance of the panoramas from the east and west walkways between those grand turrets. On the east are the modern superstructures of the Docklands, and on the west is the Tower of London, St. Paul's, the Monument, and the steel-and-glass "futuristic mushroom" that is Greater London Assembly's City Hall. Then it's back down to explore the Victorian engine rooms and discover the inner workings, which you learn about through hands-on displays and films.
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