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Posted by Laura Orange | File under : , ,
Nelson's Column and the statue of Charles I, from outside Trafalgar Square, London


Until very recently, Trafalgar Square was an island in the midst of a roaringly busy traffic interchange surrounded by historic buildings, such as St. Martin-in-the-Fields church and the National Gallery. Then, after a major urban redesign, it reopened in 2003 with one side attached to the steps of the National Gallery, so visitors can easily get to the square without crossing any streets at all. Besides being a major tourist attraction, Trafalgar Square is the site of many large gatherings, such as political demonstrations and holiday celebrations.

Trafalgar Square, London

The square honors military hero Horatio Viscount Nelson (1758–1805), who lost his life at the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar against the French. Nelson’s Column, with fountains and four bronze lions at its base, rises 145 feet above the square. At the top, a 14- foot-high statue of Nelson (5'4" tall in real life) looks commandingly toward Admiralty Arch, passed through by state and royal processions between Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral. You don’t need more than a few minutes to take in the square.

Palomas en vuelo en Trafalgar Square para la celebraciĆ³n

The neoclassical church on the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square was the precursor for dozens of similar-looking churches throughout colonial New England. Designed by James Gibbs, a disciple of Christopher Wren, St. Martin-in-the-Fields was completed in 1726; the 185-foot spire was added about 100 years later. The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a famous music ensemble, frequently performs here. Lunchtime concerts are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 1 p.m., and evening concerts are held Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The church is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; admission is free.

See also: The Tower of London