The Jubilee Bridge is quite unique, at least compared to the other bridges in London. First, it is the newest bridge I crossed–Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra dedicated the bridge on July 2, 2003. Second, it is one of only two pedestrian bridges. Third, it crosses the Thames twice.
Built on either side of one of the underground bridges which connects to the Embankment station, this bridge is really two bridges. Particularly for my project, it was very thoughtful of the builders to put a bridge on either side of the underground one so that pedestrians can choose which view of the river they get.
Downriver shows a great view of the changing skyline of London Town. St. Paul’s Cathedral still dominates its part of the skyline, but more towers are popping up around it. It almost seems like there are more cranes than buildings in this view of London.
The upriver span of the bridge provides an excellent view of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. And speaking of Parliament, I recently saw that Big Ben has been renamed Elizabeth Tower (see article in the BBC news). While I agree that it is a great accomplishment for Queen Elizabeth to have reached her 60th year on the throne, I am quite dismayed by the decision to rename Big Ben. Big Ben is such an iconic and catchy name. I don’t see how Elizabeth Tower could possibly catch on. It is one thing to rename the King’s Tower as Victoria Tower, but quite another to rename Big Ben. It seems like there surely must be something else that Parliament could rename to honor the Queen.
Lambeth Bridge toned down the color schemes a bit by using only two main colors, compared to the three or more colors found on the Vauxhall and Albert bridges (see June 20 and June 16 posts). Also, the character of the area surrounding Lambeth Bridge changed from that surrounding the bridges I crossed previously. There was much more of the older, classic London around Lambeth Bridge. The southern shore combines the old and new. On the left, looking from the bridge is the historic Lambeth Palace, the site of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s London residence since the 13th century. (This accounts for the building’s religious appearance. I had assumed when seeing it in person that it was some kind of church, so when I looked it up from the comfort of home and saw it was a palace I was initially disappointed at my error.) To the right across the street from the Palace, is a sleek, modern, glass building housing the Parliament View Apartments. In retrospect, I regret not taking a picture that includes both the Palace and the apartments in one frame.
The views up- and down-river from the bridge correspond to the sites at the southern end of the bridge. Downriver, the side corresponding to the old Lambeth Palace, the view is dominated by old London architecture particularly the Houses of Parliament. At the same time the upriver view is dominated by newer architecture, like the Parliament View Apartments upriver from Lambeth Palace.
I would like to add a correction to my post on the Battersea Bridge where I identified the tower under construction, also visible in the Lambeth Bridge upriver photo above, as the Shard. In the Battersea Bridge post, I identified the building as the Shard because it was the only tower under construction in London on which I could find any information on. Also, one of the photos labeled as the Shard looked similar to this building. However the Shard is closer to central London. Today I learned that the complex next to the tower is the St Georges Wharf Apartments, which are rented by the night. Based on the style of architecture of these buildings and the tower and their proximity to each other, I have a suspicion that they are related. It would probably be a good thing if the tower was an expansion of the apartments because the current apartments are completely booked. Out of curiosity, I searched multiple dates between now and June 2013; none of them had any availability.