Trafalgar Square, London

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Trafalgar Square, WC2

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  • Trafalgar Square, London
    Trafalgar Square, London
    by antistar
  • Trafalgar Square, London
    Trafalgar Square, London
    by antistar
  • Trafalgar Square, London
    Trafalgar Square, London
    by antistar
  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Trafalgar Square

    by sue_stone Updated Aug 22, 2006

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    Trafalgar Square
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    Trafalgar Square is the geographical centre of London. It is also one of the best known places in the city - a mecca for tourists and the occasional pigeon.

    The square is always filled with people, no matter what the weather or time of day. Touristy maybe, but beautiful definitely.

    With a backdrop of the National Gallery, the pedestrianised square is filled with photo opportunities. There are 2 large fountains and in the centre is the 43.5 metre high Nelson's Column.

    The column commemorates Admiral Nelson's victory over Napoleon off Cape Trafalgar (in Spain) in 1805. It was erected in 1843. At its base are 4 bronzed lions, which were added in 1867. When you visit they will no doubt be covered in photo-taking tourists.

    Trafalgar Square is a must see. Make sure you stop by at different times of day - it is particularly stunning at night.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    The lost dignity of a national monument.

    by breughel Updated Jul 20, 2009

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    Antony Gormley at Trafalgar Square.

    For me, as well as many tourists, Trafalgar square with the column of Nelson is one of Britain's most magnificent commemorative spaces like the Lincoln Memorial, or the Arc de Triomphe.
    At least that's what Trafalgar square looked to me on my previous visits when I overlooked the column and fountains from the Portico entrance of the National Gallery.

    This July 2009 Trafalgar square looked a mess.
    About a quarter of the square is occupied by building structures from contemporary artist Antony Gormley's new work called "One and Other".
    This consists in occupying the empty fourth plinth in the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square by volunteers who during one hour can do whatever they like on that plinth. And that goes on for 100 days, around the clock, seven days a week. It started begin July. I saw one of these volunteers on the platform a few meters high (a safety net protects from falling) making a speech which I couldn't understand because of the noise of the traffic.

    There was a time where people would stand on a box in Hyde Park to make a speech.
    Thanks to Antony Gormley this is now possible under Nelson's column and it is a "work of art".

    NOTE: Londoners are also irritated by whats going on at Trafalgar Square.
    From the Times: "The director of the National Gallery complains that the "bloody awful" state of Trafalgar Square, the noise in particular is destroying the viewing enjoyment of those whom he wishes to serve."
    From the Sunday Telegraph, a comment by Janet Daley: " We have had enough of con artists".

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  • Trafalgar Square

    by Mariajoy Updated Jan 10, 2006

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    Everyone visits Trafalgar Square on their trip to London, so take a few minutes to sit by the fountains on a warm summer's day, do some people watching, take pics of Nelson's Column but don't be tempted to feed the pigeons! I should really get a pic of Nelson myself to put on this tip but somehow I am always drawn to the activity around him and the fountains.

    In June 05 we had the hottest summers day so far in London. A few weeks previously the powers that be decided that paddling in Trafalgar Square fountains was forbidden. The tourists didn't know this and were having a great time in the water.
    There were no signs telling them they couldn't indulge in a cooling dip and the Square Security certainly weren't enforcing it - in fact they would probably have enjoyed it themselves instead of wandering about in those stifling uniforms! Well done guys - why stop people having a bit of fun if they aren't doing any harm??

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    London's heart?

    by toonsarah Written Jul 1, 2007

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    Is there a London tourist who doesn’t come at some point to Trafalgar Square? It’s rightly one of the best-known and most iconic places in the city, and on a sunny day is a great place to linger a while and enjoy the sights. These include:
    ~ Nelson’s Column, of course – a granite column 185' high, crowned by the statue of Lord Nelson
    ~ the wonderful bronze lions, by Edwin Landseer, at the 4 corners of the monument (one of my earliest memories is of my law-abiding father being told off by a policeman for letting me sit on one of them!)
    ~ the fountains, adorned with mermaids, dolphins and tritons – a cooling sight on the hottest of days
    ~ the smallest police box ever built, on the SE corner of the square (now sadly used only for storage but once a facility for the famous Scotland Yard)
    ~ the Imperial Standards of Length, marking the point from which all distances from London are measured

    The square is surrounded by great buildings, including the National Gallery on the north side, St Martin in the Fields (a beautiful Wren church, currently undergoing renovation) to the north-east, South Africa House (for years the site of a permanent anti-Apartheid protest, now thankfully no longer necessary) on the east and Canada House on the west. To the south, wonderful views can be had down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament at the end – check out my general tips for a suggested walk that will take you through much of this area.

    At Christmas the square is extra-special, with the large tree donated every year by the Norwegian government (in gratitude for Britain's assistance during WW2) a focal point for carol singing and in recent years a European-style Christmas Market. The square is also the centre for major celebrations (when London was awarded the Olympic Games, for example, and when England won the Rugby World Cup) and for demonstrations. In fact, there is nearly always something going on here - so do come and join in!

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Admiralty Arch

    by mallyak Written Sep 17, 2008

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    Admiralty Arch is a large office building in London which incorporates an archway providing road and pedestrian access between The Mall, which extends to the southwest, and Trafalgar Square to the northeast.
    The gate through which you walk – Admiralty Arch – may look like a monument, but it is actually an office block with rooms inside.
    The inscription along the top reads ANNO DECIMO EDWARDI SEPTIMI REGIS VICTORIÆ REGINÆ CIVES GRATISSIMI MDCCCCX, which is Latin for In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910.

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Trafalgar Square

    by mallyak Written Sep 17, 2008

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    Trafalgar Square is a square in central London, England. With its position in the heart of London, it is a popular tourist attraction; its trademarks are Nelson's Column, which stands in the centre, the four lion statues that guard the Column, and the large number of pigeons that live in the square. Other statues and sculptures are also on display in the square, including a fourth plinth displaying changing pieces of contemporary art, and it is a frequent site of political demonstrations.

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    Admiralty Arch

    by toonsarah Updated Apr 4, 2012

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    Admiralty Arch

    Every visitor to Trafalgar Square will spot this grand arch leading from its south west corner, but relatively few know its history. Admiralty Arch was built in 1910, commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria. The Latin inscription along the top of the arch reads:

    “ANNO DECIMO EDWARDI SEPTIMI REGIS VICTORIÆ REGINÆ CIVES GRATISSIMI MDCCCCX“,
    which means
    “In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910”

    The arch leads from Trafalgar Square to the Mall, and as you pas through it you are faced with an excellent view of that road and at its end Buckingham Palace, with (if you look carefully) a statue of that same queen in front of it. But unlike some famous arches elsewhere in the world, this one also includes offices above the archways, which currently house the Cabinet Office and other government departments. None of these rooms is open to the public, which is a shame as I imagine the views, especially along the Mall, must be excellent.

    One famous feature of Admiralty Arch is the so-called “nose”, a small protrusion the size and shape of a human nose which can be found on the inside wall of the northernmost arch. The nose is at a height of about seven feet (that is waist height for anyone riding through the arch on a horse). There is a tradition that the nose is there in honour of the Duke of Wellington, who was known for having a particularly large nose, and that soldiers would rub the nose for good luck as they rode through.

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  • easyoar's Profile Photo

    Nelson's Column and Trafalgar Square

    by easyoar Updated Aug 20, 2005

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    Nelson's Column and Trafalgar Square

    Nelson's Column was built in 1843 to honour one of Britains greatest naval tacticians Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. Trafalgar Square used to be famous for its pigeon population and a popular passtime was buying seeds to feed the pigeons who would land on anyone who would feed them. These days feeding the pigeons has been banned as they are a health hazard, and the population has diminished.

    Another popular thing to do in Trafalgar square is to climb the bronze lions that are seated around Nelson. You can also get your picture or caricature drawn there by one of the countless street artists that congregate there.

    As a final point of interest, check out the statue plinth that would be to the far left of the square as you see it in the attached picture. Sometimes it is empty, and sometimes it holds the work of a guest artist - this changes frequently and as far as I know there are no plans to put a permanent display on it.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Trafalagar Square

    by angiebabe Updated Aug 26, 2007

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    Lord Nelson wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar
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    This busy and very central square that is such a significant London landmark gives tribute to Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, born 1758, who became a hero after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 fighting the French.

    Lord Nelson was made a Baron Nelson of the Nile in 1798 and Viscount in 1801.

    This square is handy for buses(which is also part of what makes bus passes such good value for tourists!esp the weekly passes), including night buses - a bus from home travels directly to or from here so is very handy for me when i need to come into the city or depart from as the New Zealand shop is nearby! or the British Tourist Office for monthly updates of the London Planner (see the relevant tip!) from whereever Ive needed to be in the city centre - up the mall from work to here or down from Tottenham Court if at our employer's education centre - and not far Charing Cross station or the tube stations of the Embankment or Picadilly Circus or Leceister Square.

    Right here at the Square is the National Gallery and St Martins-in-the-Fields church which has lovely classical music evenings and its daily Cafe-in-the-Crypt in its historic Brass Rubbing Centre.
    Just around the corner is the National Portrait Gallery and Covent Garden and just up further is Leceister Square.
    Just south is St James Palace and the Horse Guards, Whitehall, Banqueting House, the well guarded entrance to 10 Dowling Street, and Westminster with Big Ben and just over a little is Embankment tube station and the Hungerford Bridge over to Waterloo Station and the busy South Bank area!!

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    TRAFALGAR SQUARE

    by LoriPori Updated Mar 8, 2006

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    Trafalgar Square
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    The main hub of acitivity in central London is TRAFALGAR SQUARE which was built in 1843 in honour of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and his great naval victory in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar.
    The Square is bounded by The National Gallery, St. Martin in the Fields, the South African and Canadian Embassies, the Admiralty Arch and Whitehall.
    When I was there the first time, I do remember there being so many pigeons and people feeding them and what a mess they made there. It seems that is discouraged now and only a handful of pigeons are present now.

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  • Marpessa's Profile Photo

    In the centre of things

    by Marpessa Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Lovely fountains at Trafalgar Sq
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    Trafalgar Square, one of London's many icons. In the centre of the square stands Lord Nelson's Column (Lord Nelson was an Admiral of the British Navy, the column is as tall as the highest mast on the ship he commanded, the H.M.S Victory: 185 feet high). There are fountains and it is a popular place for tourists and locals alike (although there are mainly tourists here in the summer).

    At the time when I was at Trafalgar Square (the first time) the 2004 Athens Olympics were on - so they had numerous mini-Olympic sporting events set up around the square.

    When I was here in August 2007 there were some book stalls set up in the square, nice to have a bit of a look through.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    LIONS IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE

    by LoriPori Written Mar 10, 2006

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    Hansi & LION
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    The four bronze LIONS IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE that surround Nelson's Column, were sculpted by Sir Edward Landseer. The metal used supposedly came from the old cannons of the French Fleet.
    It is a fun place for kids and kids at heart like my Hansi, to sit on or be photographed, beside the LIONS.

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  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    Trafalgar Square

    by Paul2001 Updated Jul 21, 2013

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    Pigeons, Trafalgar Square
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    Trafalgar Square is the most famous square in London. Named in honour of the most famous naval figure in British history, the square is dominated by a large 44m column called Nelson's Column. Trafalgar was the naval battle fought by Nelson against the French and Spanish fleets in 1805. Nelson won the battle but paid the ultimate price as he was mortally wounded. The battle is considered to be one of the most strategically important in military history as it cemented Britian's control of the seas during the Napoleonic Wars.
    The square is where Londoners like to congregate when important events take place such as New Year's Eve celebrations and political demonstrations. A highlight of the visit here is the surrounding buildings. On the northeast corner is St Martin' Academy in the Fields, on the northside is the National Gallery and on the northwest corner is Canada House. All are wonderful examples of Victorian architecture and gives the square a very regal atmosphere.
    This regal feel can be spoiled then they set a television screen to show football matches as they did when I visited London in 2010 for the World Cup. The square is also frequently used for live free concerts.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    SAINT MARTIN IN THE FIELDS

    by LoriPori Written Mar 8, 2006

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    St. Martin in the Fields & Trafalgar Square
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    Located on the corner of Trafalgar and Charing Cross Road, the present SAINT MARTIN IN THE FIELDS was erected in 1721 and designed by the Scot, James Gibbs who was influenced by the Italian Baroque style.

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  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Trafalgar Square...

    by BluBluBlu Updated Oct 18, 2005

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    This is kinda the heart of London...its where we celebrate New Years Eve...its where London distances are measured from...its where this year we celebrated winning the 2012 Olympics and regaining the Ashes...the pigeons are still a pain...but much reduced!

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