Trafalgar Square, London Overview

A central and prime location in the city, Trafalgar Square is located in the city of Westminster and is a public square with many cultural spaces, museums and galleries around the square. Distances to other places are measured from Trafalgar Square, which was initially designed by famous architect John Nash in the 1820s.

A location as central as Trafalgar Square gives you access to many other fun tourist attractions to be at, like ChinaTown, Big Ben, and even Buckingham Palace. It is named after Admiral Lord Nelson who led the British to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Erstwhile known as Charing and Charing Cross, present day Trafalgar Square was asked to be redone and redeveloped by King George IV. However, before he could see his plans come to fruition, Nash passed away. A new design was proposed by architect Charles Barry, with its construction taking 5 years and getting completed in 1845.

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Things to See

Nelson’s Column- Built in 1843 and standing tall at 169 feet, it commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson, who defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Trafalgar but died a tragic death during that battle. The base of this statue has 4 bronze lions, famously called the Landseer Lions, made and added later in 1868 by Sir Edwin Landseer.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields- An official parish Church for the Buckingham Palace, it has been here since the 13th century. It also serves as a centre for homeless people and also has a very nice self-service café

Canada House-
Designed by Robert Smirke in neoclassical style, it has been the office of the Canadian High Commission since 1925. The building is not entirely open to the public, but the Canada Gallery with its Canadian artefacts is open to everyone.

Admiralty Arch- Built in 1910 in honour of Queen Victoria, the road is the entrance to The Mall, leading up to Buckingham Palace.

National Portrait Gallery- Dating back to 1856, this was the 1st portrait gallery in the world to open with the largest collection of photographs and paintings

The National Gallery- Founded in 1824, this neoclassical gallery showcases works of some of the greatest and world renowned artists such as Titian, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Cezanne.

Fun Facts

- Every year, Norway donates a huge and magnificent Christmas Tree- a Norwegian Spruce- to the square for their contribution in liberating them from the Nazis

- The fountains in the square have been shut down due to an extended period of drought in 2012

- Out of the 4 plinths in the square, 3 have statues of former English Kings. The 4th one, however, keeps changing

- The square was quite famously home for plenty of wild pigeons. In 2003, the then Mayor, Ken Livingstone banned feeding them or selling the feed nearby, thus making the space pigeon and pigeon dropping-free. Courtesy of that move, the place remains clean of bird droppings and hosts live shows and concerts

- The square is a crossroads of the London traffic, with as many as 17 bus routes passing through it

- The southeast corner of the square has a police phone which is in fact the world’s smallest police station.

How To Reach Trafalgar Square

Underground- Charing Cross, Bakerloo & Northern Line
Leicester Square- Northern & Piccadilly Line

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