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Westminster Abbey - Chapel Edward the Confessor - Chapel of Henry VII

Westminster Abbey - Chapel Edward the Confessor - Chapel of Henry VII (80)

There are many parts of Westminster Abbey that are worthy of mention, such as the cloister, which is reached from the choir, or the splendid chapter room. Nevertheless, we are going to have a look now at the two chapels that should really not be missed.

Firstly, the very important chapel of Edward the Confessor: in this space, situated above a pedestal decorated with mosaics, is the reliquary that contains the remains of this king, who was canonised in the 12th century. Just like the majority of chapels in the abbey, the Chapel of Edward the Confessor was, with time, surrounded by the sepulchres of many members of the monarchy, such as those of Leonor of Castile and Henry III, whose statues, the work of William Torel, decorate the pantheon.

All in all, the item that really makes the chapel unique is the presence of the Coronation Chair, an oak throne that King Edward I brought over as war booty when he returned from fighting the Scots in 1296. The kings of Scotland sat in this chair to be crowned, and on which the sacred Stone of Scone would be placed. Since 1308, when Edward II was crowned king, all the kings and queens of England and Great Britain have been crowned here. The last time it was used was in 1953, when Elizabeth II was crowned in this ceremony.

Once you have seen this ancient throne full of history, you can go the neighbouring Chapel of Henry VII, which is in the apse and replaced the old Lady Chapel from the 13th century. 

Frequently described as the most beautiful part of Westminster Abbey, this oratory, completed in 1519, is different from the rest of the architecture of the abbey and demonstrates the desire of the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty to provide a symbolic showing of power. 

Elaborately decorated, with different carvings, beautiful ribs and symbols of the new dynasty, it has a stunning fan vault that covers it. On the sides of the central nave there are carvings of the Knight of the Order of Bath, over which hang arms and different flags.

Behind the altar you will be able to see the splendid tomb of Henry VII and his wife, Elizabeth of York, work of the Renaissance sculptor Pietro Torrigiani. Also in this chapel is the pantheon shared by Elizabeth and Mary Tudor.

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