Maritime Greenwich includes the Old Royal Naval College, the Queen's House, National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory, Greenwich Royal Park, the Ranger's House and the historic town centre. Many of its buildings are by the greatest British architects of the 17th and 18th centuries, and as a whole the Site is a unique historic townscape.
Equally important, it embodies themes of great historical significance: as a major royal site under the Tudors and Stuart monarchs; as the home of ground-breaking astronomy and 'Greenwich Time', through the 300-year role of the Royal Observatory in improving navigation and global time-keeping; of the former Royal Hospital for Seamen, later the Royal Naval College and now a modern university campus; of Cutty Sark, the last great tea clipper; and of the world's pre-eminent maritime museum.
Visit January 2004
Greenwich is part of London, but actually more a kind of village to itself. Going there via the Dockland Railway you pass glittering skyscrapers and modern industrial scenery.
The National Maritime Museum is one of the attractions here: large, with well-presented exhibits. Next door is the Queen's House, a small white building where you really have to see the inside (lovely rooms!). On the hill behind these two buildings is the Royal Observatory - another must see.
Besides these monuments, Greenwich is also a very attractive place for a walk. The distances are not big, and there are things to see in almost every street. The whole village has a good atmosphere. I found it a great destination for a weekend trip.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|Frederik Dawson (Netherlands):|
Greenwich is the name that commonly appeared since one of the first things that travelers normally do before travelling aboard is checking the differences of local time and the Greenwich Mean Time which is the international time standard, so coming to England and not visit the place is not a wise way to spend time in this country. On my last day in England, I went to Greenwich which is very easy accessible by tube and DLR systems.
The village of Greenwich was quite lovely with its rural village styled with many cute shops and restaurants. I walked along the river Thames to see the famous clipper, Cutty Sark, along the way there were many banners of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, celebrating the new royal status bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II last year. Then I went to the large complex of Royal Naval Collage, I was surprised that most of the people I saw was students of University of Greenwich which I leant later that the university uses the complex as their campus. The complex is designed by the famous Christopher Wren, I really liked his design that separating the complex into four parts with open courtyard in the middle while the Queen’s House is located far behind, forming a nice landscape link for all these buildings from River Thames. I was very disappointed that I did not have a chance to see interior of these three buildings due to its closing for renovation.
Then I walked uphill to the Royal Observatory to see the mark of Prime Meridian line and the Greenwich Mean Time clock. The observatory building is quite strange with design that does not go well with other part of Greenwich’s riverside but it is still fine and interesting, and I did not like the shiny modern addition line on the ground and its futuristic statue, I think they are tourist trap for those who want to stand on both hemispheres in the same time, I prefer the traditional red line painted on building. After adjusted my watch with the actual Greenwich Mean Time, and found out that I only had few more hours in this country, I hurry walked back to DLR station and end my trip for Greenwich unhappily, I really liked Greenwich and would be happy to come back again if I have more time to spend in London.
| Date posted: May 2013|
|Hubert Scharnagl (Austria):|
London is one of my favourite cities in Europe and Greenwich is one of my favourite places in London. I've been several times in London, most recently in August 2010, and each time I visited Greenwich. In my view, the Royal Greenwich Observatory is the most beautiful place of the WHS. The view from the observatory to the Queen's House, the Royal Naval College, and the modern office buildings on the Isle of Dog in the background is marvellous (photo). On the roof of the observatory a red Time Ball was installed. This ball is still being pulled up every day and falls down exactly at 1 pm. Once the ships on the Thames used this procedure to set their chronometers to the exact Greenwich Mean Time. The problem of exact time measurement and thus the accurate determination of longitude of a ship at sea and how it was resolved is a major theme of the museum. There you can admire the historic marine chronometers by John Harrison. And of course I stood on the prime meridian and took a photo of my feet.
Also worth a visit are the Painted Hall at the King William Building and the Queen's House with the tulip stairs. Part of the WHS is also the lovely centre of Greenwich with its Georgian and Victorian buildings. And it's funny to walk through the Greenwich foot tunnel (not for people with claustrophobia) to the opposite bank of the Thames. There you can enjoy the view from the Island Gardens to Greenwich.
| Date posted: March 2012|
|Klaus Freisinger (Austria):|
Greenwich is a site that truly deserves its listing on the WHS. Apart from being very easy to reach from central London, Greenwich´s importance in the fields of science, navigation, and world exploration is really universal and thus adds a lot to experiencing it. I was there on a warm summer evening, so all the buildings were unfortunately already closed, but the park was still open - a great place for a stroll. Also the first meridian in the Royal Observatory could at least be seen, if not actually touched.. This is a place I certainly have to return to soon.
|Ian Cade (England):|
This is the third of London’s four UNESCO site’s to be added to the WHC list, and it is one of my favourite parts of the city. The Town of Greenwich (gren-itch) itself is a quaint place and has a much more relaxed atmosphere than the rest of the city. Greenwich was included for both its architecture and its role in the scientific developments. The Old Royal Naval College is the largest building in the site, and provides it’s highlight in the Painted Hall which is features the finest Baroque decorative paintings in Britain and it is breathtaking I must admit.
The highlight of the scientific side is the Royal Observatory up on the hill through which runs the Greenwich Meridian which divides the globe into an Eastern and Western hemispheres. The museum here is very interesting especially if you like clocks! And to make things better all of the museum’s here are now free, as most of the world class museums of London now are! The park is a really nice place to sit and relax and there is also the Cutty Sark ship so you should plan on spending at least half a day here to get the best out of it.
It is reasonably easy to get out to Greenwich, the Docklands Light Railway runs there from central London (one station next to the Tower of London!) or you can get a boat down the Thames if you want a more relaxed way to get there.
|C H Ho (Hong Kong, China):|
I just visited the Observatory. I haven't had enough time to visited the Maritime Museum. I guess listening the story at Greenwich Observatory is very interesting.
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