Wichlinski ’14 Finds More Amazing History

Neil Wichlinski ’14 –  After spending a week with my head tilted back, eyes toward the ceiling of London’s most astonishing structures, I had thought my yearning for sights outside the country were sufficiently satisfied. For this reason, as we approached Westminster Abbey I found myself less excited to enter than I might have been five days earlier.

Somewhat reluctantly, I filed through the gigantic wooden doors, exhaling as I cracked my neck, preparing it for another hour of inversion. But this reluctance soon subsided as my love for history kicked in like a Tylenol with the first sight of the main hall. All the previous depictions I’ve seen and heard did not even scratch the surface of the brilliance of the Abbey. You could feel the events that had taken place there, all the burials, coronations, and controversies that made the Abbey what it is. This might also have been egged on by my superstitious inclinations which were agitated by all the graves I inadvertently walked over. But all the grave dodging made my appreciation for this location grow as I looked down and saw names like Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. I was even more astonished by the thought of the men and women who walked through this Abbey, sat in the coronation throne, and were laid to rest within the many nooks and crannies scattered throughout the Abbey. It was also great to see who was not buried in, but honored by the Abbey like Martin Luther King Jr. and William Shakespeare which brought to light the people valued by English culture. This factor was driven home to me by the irony that Charles Darwin’s body could be found in a church.

Overall, this was a great location to visit, it’s definitely one of those places you have to visit in your lifetime. I was absolutely amazed by what human beings could create without modern technology. It was also great to see the center of the connection between religion and English politics which really brought to light how valuable the church was to the stability of the government.