jueves, 11 de julio de 2013

Virtual tour of Bank of England

The Bank of England has thrown open the doors to its vaults containing £150 billion worth of gold bars - with the launch of a virtual tour.

The Bank has launched an app for smartphones which takes users on a virtual tour of its central London building, including a view of its vaults which hold more than 400,000 bars of gold.

It is part of a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, which is responsible for monetary policy and financial stability.

The app, which is available free on the Apple Store and Google Play marketplace, includes 360 degree panoramic tours and key points of interest. It also visits the bank's cash vault, which contains some of its vast stock of banknotes.

Users can also explore the Garden Court - a courtyard in the heart of the building planted with mulberry trees. The app features the tale of the "Bank Giant" - the body of a two-metre tall former clerk who was buried in the garden in 1798 to protect it from grave snatchers.

It also visits the room where the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee meets to set interest rates every month, as well as the Dealing Room, where the Bank interacts with financial markets.

The Bank of England was founded in 1694 and has occupied its site in Threadneedle Street since 1734. Sir John Soane extended the Bank's original building in 1828.

It was demolished and a new building - rising seven storeys above the ground and three below - was built between 1925 and 1939.