Trafalgar Square in London

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, London
Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - Vibin/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Vibin/cc-by-2.0

Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar. The site of Trafalgar Square had been a significant landmark since the 13th century and originally contained the King’s Mews. After George IV moved the mews to Buckingham Palace, the area was redeveloped by John Nash, but progress was slow after his death, and the square did not open until 1844. The 169-foot (52 m) Nelson’s Column at its centre is guarded by four lion statues. A number of commemorative statues and sculptures occupy the square, but the Fourth Plinth, left empty since 1840, has been host to contemporary art since 1999. The square has been used for community gatherings and political demonstrations, including Bloody Sunday, the first Aldermaston March, anti-war protests, and campaigns against climate change. A Christmas tree has been donated to the square by Norway since 1947 and is erected for twelve days before and after Christmas Day. The square is a centre of annual celebrations on New Year’s Eve. It was well known for its feral pigeons until their removal in the early 21st century.

Trafalgar Square is owned by the Queen in Right of the Crown and managed by the Greater London Authority, while Westminster City Council owns the roads around the square, including the pedestrianised area of the North Terrace. The square contains a large central area with roadways on three sides and a terrace to the north, in front of the National Gallery. The roads around the square form part of the A4, a major road running west of the City of London. The square was formerly surrounded by a one-way traffic system, but works completed in 2003 reduced the width of the roads and closed the northern side to traffic.

Trafalgar Square Fountain and National Gallery © Kkp2qlos George V © Quentin UK/cc-by-3.0 Sir Henry  Havelock statue © Richard George/cc-by-sa-2.5 © flickr.com - Vibin/cc-by-2.0 Trafalgar Square Fountain © Theworldgymnast1/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Trafalgar Square Fountain and National Gallery © Kkp2qlos
Nelson’s Column is in the centre of the square flanked by fountains designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1937 and 1939 as replacements for two fountains of Peterhead granite (now in Ottawa and Regina in Canada) and guarded by four monumental bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer. Surrounding the square are the National Gallery on the north side and St Martin-in-the-Fields Church to the east. To the south west is The Mall leading towards Buckingham Palace via Admiralty Arch, while Whitehall is to the south and the Strand to the east. Charing Cross Road passes between the National Gallery and the church. London Underground‘s Charing Cross tube station on the Northern and Bakerloo lines has an exit in the square. The lines had separate stations, of which the Bakerloo line one was called Trafalgar Square until they were linked and renamed in 1979 as part of the construction of the Jubilee line, which was rerouted to Westminster tube station in 1999. Other nearby tube stations are Embankment connecting the District, Circle, Northern and Bakerloo lines, and Leicester Square on the Northern and Piccadilly lines.

A major 18-month redevelopment of the square led by W.S. Atkins with Foster and Partners as sub-consultants was completed in 2003. The work involved closing the eastbound road along the north side and diverting traffic around the other three sides of the square, demolishing the central section of the northern retaining wall and inserting a wide set of steps to the pedestrianised terrace in front of the National Gallery. The construction includes two lifts for disabled access, public toilets and a café. Access between the square and the gallery had been by two crossings at the northeast and northwest corners.

Read more on VisitLondon.com – Trafalgar Square, London.gov.uk – Trafalgar Square and Wikipedia Trafalgar Square (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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