Westminster Abbey

London, United Kingdom

Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and a burial site for English and, later, British monarchs.

The building itself was originally a Catholic Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral and seat of the Catholic bishop. After 1560 the building was no longer an abbey or a cathedral, after the Catholics had been driven out by King Henry VIII, having instead been granted the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign—by Queen Elizabeth I.

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