Trafalgar Square was named as a commemoration of the British naval victory over France at the Battle of Trafalgar. It is at the very heart of London and is famous for its statues, architecture, fountains and as a meeting point for vast demonstrations and marches over the years.
The square is surrounded by exceptional architecture including the National Gallery, St. Martin-in-the-Fields church and Admiralty Arch. At its centre stands Nelson’s Column, which rises 170 feet from the ground and supports the 18 foot statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson who died in 1805. At the base of the column are four bronze panel reliefs cast from French guns captured in the 19th century. At the foot of these panels are 4 identical bronze lions designed by Edward Landseer. Nelson’s Column has always been a symbol of British naval and military success, and held such renowned that even Hitler planned to bring the statue to Berlin if he had secured victory over Britain.
There are many statues in the square, the oldest being the bronze equestrian statue of Charles I, which was cast in 1633, and the most contemporary being the statue on the 4th plinth at the north end of the square. Having been left empty for many years the plinth now supports specially commissioned contemporary pieces on a temporary basis.
Bizarrely the fountains were not added to the square for aesthetic reasons but to diminish the space available for crowds to gather in political demonstrations.
David Shrigley’s sculpture of a huge hand with a thumbs-up was installed in Trafalgar Square on 29 September 2016 and so is nearing the first anniversary. Some controversy surrounds the ten-metre high installation but the Royal Academy have sold out of their limited edition limited size version.BFREEd◄ 2
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