Long-Closed Part of Westminster Abbey to Open to the Public for the First Time in 700 Years

The triforium in 2009
The triforium in 2009
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

On June 11, 2018, visitors to London's Westminster Abbey will get a look at a section of the historic church that has been off-limits for 700 years. That’s when the triforium, located high above the abbey floor, will open to the general public for the first time as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

The 13th-century space, located 70 feet above the nave floor, had previously been used for abbey storage. (One architecture critic who visited before the renovation described it as a “glorified attic.”) After a $32.5 million renovation, it will now become a museum with killer views.

The view from the triforium looking down onto the rest of Westminster Abbey
The view from the triforium looking down toward the ground floor of the abbey
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

To access the area, which looks out over the nave and altar, architects built a new tower, the abbey’s first major addition since 1745. The 80-foot-tall, window-lined structure will provide brand-new vantage points to look out on surrounding areas of Westminster. Inside the triforium, the windows of the galleries look out onto the Houses of Parliament and St. Margaret’s church, and visitors will be able to walk around the upper mezzanine and look down onto the ground floor of the abbey below.

The museum itself will show off objects from Westminster Abbey’s history, such as a 17th-century coronation chair for Mary II and an altarpiece from Henry III’s reign, when the triforium was first constructed. Oh, and it will also display Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage license, for those interested in more modern royal history.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

10 Travel Hacks That Will Save You Time and Money

iStock.com/a_namenko
iStock.com/a_namenko

Traveling can be one of life's greatest experiences, but if things go wrong, you might wish you had stayed at home. In an effort to help you spend less and stress less on your next vacation, the London Luton Airport has created an infographic containing helpful travel advice.

Some of the tips are gentle reminders—like book your flights early, avoid peak traveling seasons, and please be nice to the airline staff—while others are less obvious. For instance, it's best to avoid flying over a seven-night block of time. If you book flights over a period of six or eight nights instead, "you've got a better chance of scoring a lower fare," the airport claims. (Also worth noting: If you're flying domestic in the U.S., the cheapest days to travel are usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, according to Fare Compare. For international flights, weekdays are typically cheaper, although it depends on the exact route.)

In general, anything you can take care of in advance is a good idea. Check to see if you can get a better parking rate by pre-paying online, and take the time to apply for a TSA PreCheck. It's easy to do, and when it's all said and done, you'll be able to join the express line at airport security. If only Starbucks had a fast lane, too.

Keep scrolling to read more advice from the London Luton Airport, and for more travel tips, check out Mental Floss's guides to booking flights, packing a suitcase, and crafting the perfect itinerary.

10 TRAVEL HACKS TO SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY

Climate Change Is Threatening Nearly All UNESCO Sites Around the Mediterranean

iStock.com/tunart
iStock.com/tunart

The Mediterranean is home to some of the world's most famous cultural wonders, with 49 UNESCO-recognized world heritage sites in the region in total. Now, the organization warns that all but two of these sites are threatened by flooding and erosion linked to climate change, Artnet News reports.

For a recent study, published in the journal Nature Communications, a team of researchers looked at how various possible outcomes of rising sea levels could impact the Mediterranean coast between now and 2100. They found that even if global temperatures rise just 2°C (about 3.6°F) above pre-industrial numbers, the area's most treasured sites will still be at risk.

The places most vulnerable to rising sea levels include the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, the Renaissance city of Ferrara, and the city of Venice. When it comes to erosion, Tyre in Lebanon, the archaeological sites of Tárraco in Spain, and the Ephesus in Turkey face the most pressing danger.

A handful of world heritage sites along the Mediterranean Sea, like the Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna and the Cathedral of St. James, could potentially be relocated as an extreme final option. Only two sites on the list—Medina of Tunis and Xanthos-Letoon—would be safe from the flooding and erosion spurred by climate change.

Rising global temperatures are on track to reshape coasts, not just in the Mediterranean, but around the world. In addition to historic sites, homes and airports are also under threat.

[h/t Artnet News]

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