Wherever you’re staying as a tourist, whether it be a youth hostel or one of the Luxury Hotels in London, one of your first stop offs on the tourist hot spot list will be Trafalgar Square, home to the iconic Nelsons Column and one of the most recognisable areas of London as a city. Of course, a lot of culture has built up around this amazing monument, including several museums and lots of places to eat. So if you’re visiting London for the first time and have no idea where to begin your urban exploring, Trafalgar Square may be a great starting point.
History of Trafalgar Square
The Public Square has been a landmark since the 13th century, when it contained the Kings Mews. Its name was dedicated to the Battle of Trafalgar, a British Naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars. The square was eventually named after its gradual construction by John Nash a famous British architect in the 19th century, resulting in completion in 1844. Since then. The square has been the epicentre for community gatherings, anti-war and climate change protests as well as legendary News Years celebrations. The square itself is known for its abundance of Pigeons, seen to some as pests but as welcome attributes to the square to others. Trafalgar Square is very useful in regards to its location with amny landmarks being within walking distance. Just down the road one can find the heart of the British Government, Whitehall, while the other side holds Leicester Square and Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus and Soho.
London Trafalgar Square Sunset Nelson Column in England
Alongside the looming lion plinths and glorious fountain, Nelsons Column towers over Trafalgar Square. Named and built in memory of the heroic endeavours which won Horatio Nelson the Battle of Trafalgar in forfeit for his life, this 51 metre tower holds a model of Nelson on the top. One great fact about Nelsons Column is that the 4 relief panels on either side of it were made from the metal of captured French guns. The E.H Baily designed model of Nelson himself is made from Sandstone and the lions guarding its base, designed by Edwin Landseer were created from bronze.
The Fountain View at Trafalgar Square, London, UK
The fountains, created originally in 1841 were initially designed to cool the reflected heat from the asphalt ground of the square. The pump which drew water into the fountain was pumped by a steam engine, just behind the national gallery. Come the 20th century, the centre pieces were replaced with memorials to Lord Jellicoe and Lord Beatty, eventually completed after the Second World War at a price of 50,000 pounds.
National Gallery and Trafalgar Square in the early morning
Holding over 2,300 pieces of art works, the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square is among the most visited art museums in the world. As an exempt charity, the museum is owned by the British Public and is therefore free of charge. The museum holds notable works, dating back to the 12th century. Among its artists, the National Gallery holds work by the British JMW Turner and Holland’s Vincent Van Gogh.