Why You Have to Take Your Shoes Off to Stand in This Famed Spot in Westminster Abbey

Visitors on the "Church and Crown" tour will be able to stand in the same spot where King Charles will be crowned, sans shoes.

Abbey Marshal Howard Berry stands at the centre of the Cosmati pavement, located before the altar, during a photo call at Westminster Abbey

Jonathan Brady/Getty Images

This special tour at Westminster Abbey puts you right at the center of King Charles III's May 6 coronation — as long as you take your shoes off.

According to The Associated Press, Westminster Abbey officials are opening a section of the Cosmati pavement, a marble, stone, glass, and metal mosaic floor commissioned by King Henry III in the 1200s that sits at the Abbey's High Altar. The area, crafted by Italian and English masons, is where coronations — including that of Queen Elizabeth's II — have taken place throughout history. It's also where several royal weddings have taken place, including that of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

"It's a unique piece of art to Westminster Abbey but also to Britain itself — there are no other mosaic pavements like this in the U.K.," Vanessa Simeoni, the abbey's head conservator, told the Associated Press. But, to stand on the floor, guests will be asked to remove their shoes to avoid further wear and tear. But, as Westminster Abbey explains on its website, the tiled area measures 24 feet 10 inches square. The abstract pattern includes triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles made of onyx, purple porphyry, green serpentine, and yellow limestone, along with red, turquoise, and cobalt blue colored glass. So truly, it's worth unlacing your sneakers for.

The spot is normally roped off.

"Standing on the pavement and feeling that sense of awe of being in the central part of the abbey is a really amazing experience," Scott Craddock, the head of visitor experience at Westminster, told the AP of the "Church and Crown Tour." "It will give people the opportunity to feel what it's like being at that center stage of the coronation."

Unfortunately the tour dates are already sold out, however in the chance more dates are added, Westminster Abbey has shared all information as well as other coronation events for visitors — including a high tea, a coronation exhibit, and more.

The mosaic fell into disrepair after the last royal coronation of Queen Elizabeth's, in 1953. It was subsequently covered in carpeting to protect it and underwent a 2-year conservation project, which was completed in 2010.

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