Black crows - a symbol of the Tower
• The black crows - a symbol of the Tower of
Black Crows - perhaps not only one of the top legends, but also an important symbol of the modern Tower. In XVII century, King Charles II issued a decree under which the castle constantly have to be six ravens. Follow this was a special guard guardian ravens, whose responsibilities included the complete content of the birds. This tradition is still alive to this day. And for good reason.
In 1666 in London trouble came - there was the Great Fire of London. Three days of fire central part of the city was covered. The fire destroyed almost all residential buildings within the old Roman city walls.
The Great Fire of London in 1666.
The fire almost reached the palace of King Charles II, just at Westminster. But despite the fact that the king's life threatened great danger, he left the palace than inspired people in London to fight the fire. And the miracle happened: the fire was stopped and Whitehall castle remained intact.
The burned-out ruins of the city flocked to thousands of pigs, cats and wild ravens - in London, complete chaos ruled. Therefore, the king called to exterminate all the wild animals in the city to save the city from diseases that could potentially spread at a rate no less than the just finished a fire.
Ravens Tower of London.
However, the royal astrologer made the important caveat that the kingdom may fall, when there will be killed last raven. Pragmatic monarch listened to this prediction and ordered to leave 6 dead crows on his orders were placed in the Tower.
The Tower of London, seen from the River Thames.
Perhaps this is just a legend, but to this day live in the Tower of London ravens, which are considered part of the royal family. Birds have a strict diet - they eat 170 grams of raw meat a day, and use a dry birdseed, soaked with blood.
Chris Skayf, the current Ranger and Keeper of the crows.
By the way, today, in addition to the six "mandatory" ravens in the Tower of lives and a "spare." Crows live literally in royal terms, as many people today believe that without these birds empire will fall. These birds actually live in the palace, and to him the charge of the servants. Ravens are maintained at the public expense, and all that is required of them, it is from time to time be provided to the public.
The Raven on the lawn near the Tower.
During World War II bombing of London has experienced only one of the ravens, so Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a special order to restore the number of birds. Since crows were officially enrolled in the ranks of the Royal Army, although it's worth noting that they are "demoted" for unacceptable behavior.
A Beefeater feeds ravens.
These extraordinary helpers Crown certainly are the most pampered birds in the country. Caring for them Caretaker special ravens, which is selected from the 38 members of the Ceremonial Guard yomenskoy Tower, also known as "Beefeaters". Nobody, except them, the birds can not be approached.
The six ravens of the Tower.
In 1987, a special program for the number of ravens poderzhaniyu population was launched in the UK. Since 2013 lives in the Tower 8 of these birds: 6 "core" of ravens, 1 "spare" and another "student". Bird called Merlin, Hugin, Munin, Jubilee, Port Erin, Rocky and Grip (on behalf of the manual crow Charles Dickens).
Crows today - one of the main attractions of the Tower. They trimmed the flight feathers, but that they are free to move around the territory of the fortress. Ravens are able to speak and imitate sounds.