Read the following text.
The Tower of London
In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England. As soon as he came to England, he started to build castles all over the country to show how powerful he was. Among those buildings was the White Tower in London, the first of the twenty towers which belong to what is nowadays called the Tower of London. The White Tower was the strongest of those buildings. It was built to strengthen the River Thames against Danish attack, and to protect the Royal family. In the Middle Ages1, it was used for keeping weapons and later for the famous Crown Jewels. It was also used as a prison, and its really bloody and cruel history started in the 15th century. It is not known when the ravens became an important part of the Tower. A lot of historians think that they were first there in the 17th century. Legend has it that should the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, England would be afflicted by a terrible disaster. This is why even today, six to seven ravens are always kept and looked after. Today, the Tower of London is one of the world’s major tourist attractions. About 2.5 million visitors come every year to admire the beauty of the building and the Crown Jewels.
The so-called Beefeaters are responsible for the building and the safety of the tourists. Sometimes they also work as tour guides. The nickname “Beefeater” dates back to the Middle Ages when the king’s bodyguards had to try his food, which was mainly beef, to make sure that it wasn’t poisoned2. Nowadays, the Beefeaters are important members of the Queen’s bodyguard, but they do not have to taste the food for the Queen.
1Middle Ages = Mittelalter
2poisoned = vergiftet
Answer the questions in full sentences.
- Who began building the Tower of London?
- What is the White Tower?
- What was kept there during the Middle Ages?
- Why are six to seven ravens still kept today?
- Who looks after the Tower of London today?