Tower Bridge gets an illuminating makeover

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London's Tower Bridge is a stunning sight at the best of times, but now it will look even more impressive once the sun goes down, as it's just been fitted with a state-of-the-art lighting system.

Designed to illuminate the bridge at night and draw attention to its architectural features, it will also provide a beautiful focal point during the capital's big celebrations.

And there's a particularly big one coming up this weekend as the city prepares to party for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, welcoming in thousands of royal fans.

The lights, which are designed to be extremely energy efficient, were switched on for the first time on Wednesday May 30th and will be shining brightly over the coming Bank Holiday.

During the 2012 Olympics, starting on July 27th, the bridge will play a starring role in the celebrations, with Olympic Rings and the Paralympic Agitos displayed proudly on its towers.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "Tower Bridge is already a global icon and this much-loved landmark is now even more spectacular thanks to a world-class illumination system.

"As London gears up for a summer like no other, this fantastic lighting makeover is another example of how the capital is benefiting from the Games."

Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894 and is often mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is the next one upstream, possibly because its image is so synonymous with London.

It is a combined bascule and suspension bridge that can be opened to let large vessels pass along the River Thames – a spectacular sight for those who witness it.

The Tower of London sits on one side of it, while City Hall can be found on the other. Both vehicles and pedestrians can cross the bridge and there is an exhibition housed within the high-level walkways and engine rooms.

These areas also act as conference an exhibition space, or can be hired out as unique party or wedding venues in London.

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