Political protests, fireworks, carols and architectural inspiration – It has to be Trafalgar Square!
Nothing in London, bar perhaps the Shard and the London Eye, makes you look skywards in marvel quite like Nelson’s Column. Guarded by four lions at its base, Nelson’s Column was erected in honour of Britain’s greatest and most famous admiral – Lord Nelson.
Originally conceived by architect 1812 to commemorate Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, this world famous landmark has undergone three renovations in its 170-year-old history. Whilst the foundations of the Column were laid in 1839, the statue was not completed until 1843.
Today hoards of tourists gather at the beautiful wide open space of Trafalgar Square and it is one of the most popular tourist spots in the whole of the capital. Asides admiring Nelson’s Column and the impressive fountains and musing through the many interesting and quirky stalls the plaza is home to, this multicultural square hosts many great events throughout the years.
One of the most famous yearly gatherings at Trafalgar Square is for the New Year celebrations. So big is this annual show that it is always televised for those unwilling to battle with the crowds and the cold can witness the magnificent fireworks and festive celebrations from the comfort of their armchair.
Each Christmas a huge tree is erected here, with carol services being held intermittently throughout the festive period. The tree is a present from Norway and is symbolic of the friendship between the cities of Oslo and London.
Traditionally political protests in the capital take place in Trafalgar Square. There were the famous and bloody riots of the late 19th century when the populace protested against unemployment. More recently, the poll tax riots under the Thatcher regime took place at Trafalgar Square, which became one of the most famous political protests to have ever have taken place in this momentous square.
When any big sporting events are taking place which involve the home nation, huge screens adorn Trafalgar Square, where tourists and locals alike can watch the excitement unravel in a fantastic atmosphere.
One tip that is worth considering is that next time you are in London be sure to approach Trafalgar Square from under Admiralty Arch – the contrast between the darkness of the Arch and the high-flying and admirably grand Lord Nelson is pronounced and exhilarating.
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