A gathering place for tourists and Londoners alike, and home to the iconic Nelson's Column.
Trafalgar Square commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Originally, it was the site of the Royal Mews - where the falcons and horses were kept - but they were moved in 1820. The buildings were demolished in 1835, and The National Gallery now occupies the site. The architect of the square was Sir Charles Barry, but Nelson's Column was planned independently of his work. A competition was held and William Railton's design won, and the column was raised in 1843. It is 51 meters high and surrounded by four lions. The lions were not installed until 25 years later, and were the work of Sir Edwin Landseer. He struggled to complete them and the saga became renowned, with bets being placed on whether the lions would ever be finished.
Today, Trafalgar Square is the gathering place for rallies, parties and sporting victories, which have included the Royal Wedding, Olympics One Year to Go, St Patrick's Day and Chinese New Year. Every Christmas, the Norwegians send a spruce, which is erected in the square, as a gesture of gratitude by Norway for the British support during the Second World War. Feeding pigeons once attracted many to the square, but these pigeons have been seen off by a trained falcon. You will probably notice that there is a plinth at each corner of the square, with a statue. But one is missing: a statue of William IV was supposed to be erected but money ran out and now no one can agree on what should be there. The square has the oldest brass statue in Britain; cast in 1633, it is the first equestrian statue of a king, Charles I.
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N 5DN
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