(My) Reasons to Love London: #6

#6: The Dragons of London
There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere. – Vivienne Westwood


Entering the City of London is something most tourists to the city might not notice unless taking some guided tour whereby they have some automated voice telling the about the invisible boundary and history of segregation between the City and the rest of London. The reality is that the square mile of London is host to a… herd? murder? zazzle? of mythical creatures, marking the boundaries of the city in both a legal and symbolic sense.

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The griffins standing guard along the boundary are fascinating. I run past one on Upper Thames Street as I enter the City on my run, and another along Victoria Embankment as I leave it. I consider the regal creature: the Tudor dragon. Certainly the kind of animal you wouldn’t want to come across in a walk through the woods, and befitting the power and majesty of the greatest city on earth. They are current, well-kept reminders of a long, colorful, and sometimes dark past.

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I find that they are often overlooked by the citizens of the city, and only occasionally noted by those not familiar with the streets they inhabit. After all, it is quite unusual to see a several foot silver statue on the side of the road, or in the middle of a traffic island, keeping a watchful eye on those who pass by. That the City itself ensures these griffins continue their earnest watch is another endearing part of a town with enough details to fill a lifetime of blog posts.

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