The Tower of London ravens legend

Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to visit London for sure he wandered into the Palace and Fortress of Her Majesty. This unique tourist attraction, built by William the Conqueror, not only boasts a massive defensive and Palace structure, but also wonderful views at the River Thames. The building houses the crown jewels studded with the largest diamonds in the world. The Tower of London is known primarily for its bloody history of the prison from which there was no escape. To the only entrance led solely a waterway, consequently prisoners were sent to the penalty place on boat.

In this most famous medieval fortress the pitch-black crows found their home and are being taken care by the guards called Yeomen Wards. The crows legend has it that: ”Should all the ravens ever leave the tower, then the British crown and British Kingdom will fall” and this is why the ravens are preciously kept with their wings clipped so they are not capable of flying away. It is said that King Charles II of England wanted to scare noisy birds away but he was warned that it may bring bad luck. Nobody knows whether the power of tradition or unwillingness to provoke unpleasant events stopped the king before this deed. After all, the fact that ravens can cruelly retaliate was known by Habsburg dynasty which was tormented by supernatural beings in the form of ravens called the Turnfalken. Those birds heralded to the dynasty many woes. Therefore, it was decided that the Tower of London will be keeping at least six ravens.

However, in 2004 a historian of The Tower of London revealed that the first notes of ravens dates back to 1895, thus it became obvious to all that the entire legend was invented in Victorian times which in turn abounded in stories enriched with fantastic elements such as ghosts, spectres or phantoms. In the Victorian era, mostly amongst royal courtiers, there were extremely popular ghost séances or pervasive fascination with the dark side of the nature. Perhaps the authors of the legend were inspired by works of Edgar Allan Poe, in particular „The Raven” poem?

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