Bad news. Unesco may soon stripLondon's two most prominent tourist sites,
Westminster's Parliament Square and the Tower of London in the City of their
world heritage status. Chief reason is the toweringShard, which will be western
Europe's tallest building, now looming over both of them from its launch pad on
the south side of London Bridge. Westminster's grouping of Abbey, Houses of
Parliament, Big Ben and Whitehall is probably far enough away to survive the
shock. The Tower of London is a different matter.
Unesco 联合国教科文组织（United Nations Educational, Scientific, and
strip of 剥夺
tourist sites 旅游景点；观光地区
loom over 赫然耸立
The rough-and-tumbleold citadelhas become such a London familiar that few
people really know it. William the Conqueror's White Tower still sits noblyin
the centre of the composition, sadly deprived of the original limewashthat gave
it its name. Inside are the original apartments, two chambers to each floor, and
a Norman chapel. In the basementis a magnificent armourymuseum. This remains the
finest 11th-century structure in Britain.
William the Conqueror 征服者威廉，即威廉公爵，法国诺曼底公爵。英格兰第一位诺曼人国王。
deprive of 剥夺；失去
armoury museum 兵器博物馆
On the river side of the Tower is Traitor's Gate and a suite of medieval
chambers fitted out for Henry III (who kept a zoo in the grounds). This
mini-palace has been recreated, complete with throne room and peaceful
oratorylooking out over the Thames – a serene view touched by the sadness of
those passing to their deaths beneath.
throne room 王宫大殿
the Thames 泰晤士河
serene adj. 平静的；安详的
Within this palace runs the last medievalstreet in London, a mazeof ancient
walls, steps and turrets. Here are the Bloody Tower, Raleigh's prison chambers,
the Crown Jewels and the "leads" where Princess Elizabeth walked and
contemplateddeath or coronationduring the reign of her Catholic half-sister,
Mary. The Tower enclave as a whole is a remarkable medieval town within a town.
When inside, we can just about lose ourselves in Beefeaters, ravens, blood,
a maze of 像迷宫般的
lose oneself in 沉浸于；沉迷于
Until the 1960s Tower Hill, overlooking the tower itself, was surrounded by
the buildings, mostly warehouses, of a working Georgian and Victorian city. Most
eye-catchingof all, Tower Bridge, designed by the City architect, Horace Jones,
in 1886, rose downstreamin deference to the tower itself. The most famous
bascule bridge in the world and still working, it perfectly complements the
battlements and vigour of the Conqueror's fortress. Visitors can climb it and
look down on river and city beneath, getting a closer and more evocativeview
than from the big wheel upstream.
eye-watching adj. 引人瞩目的
That is about it. As Unesco rightly suggests, no city in Europe has shown
less concern for the setting of its historic buildings than London. St
Katherine's Dock just downstream of the bridge has been partly restored, but its
tower facadeis wreckedby an overwhelming glass box by Lord Rogers, and by the
appalling concrete Tower Hotel. Whoever allowed this to be put up should be
shot, and one day I assume it will be taken down.
show less concern to 对……关注较少
take down 拆下；推倒
Across the river lies the benightedsite of warehouses cleared in the 1970s
and left fallow as planners argue over what to do next. Had the waterfront been
restored, as happened downstream in Wapping, this area would have been yielding
rent and jobs for a quarter of a century. That is the true cost of so-called
Directly opposite the Tower is the mayor of London's ovalbuilding designed
by Lord Foster and described by former mayor Ken Livingstone as a "glass
testicle". It lurchesstrangely towards the river with, to its right, the
frigidMore London development. Meanwhile, on the north bank upstream of the
Tower, is a giant atriumblock also by Foster, blundering across the contour.
These buildings show not the slightest respect for the Tower or Tower
Bridge. They are monumentsonly to insipid steel and glass.