Trafalgar Square, London

Trafalgar Square, London (must see)

Trafalgar Square holds the distinguished title of being the foremost square in Britain, making it the closest you can get to the heart of London. Interestingly, Charing Cross, a small traffic island situated to the south of the square, is the official reference point from which all distances to London are measured. Speaking of measurements, Trafalgar is also home to the Imperial Standard measures that were utilized in the UK prior to 1965, encompassing units like inches, feet, yards, links, chains, perches, and poles. These measures were originally installed in the northern terrace wall in 1876 but were relocated behind the cafe and arranged along the steps in 2003, coinciding with the conversion of the north side of the square into a pedestrian area.

The name "Trafalgar Square" pays homage to Admiral Lord Nelson, who met his fate on October 21, 1805, at the Battle of Trafalgar. This historic naval battle was part of the Napoleonic Wars and witnessed the British, led by Admiral Nelson, taking on the combined French and Spanish fleet. The Royal Navy achieved a resounding victory, regarded as its greatest triumph in history. In commemoration of this event, the name "Trafalgar Square" was officially bestowed in 1835.

Eight years later, another tribute to Lord Nelson emerged in the form of Nelson's Column, which was erected at the square's center. Constructed from Devon granite, the column featured four bronze reliefs at its base, illustrating Nelson's most renowned battles: Saint Vincent, Copenhagen, The Nile, and Trafalgar. In 1868, four guardian lions were added at its foot, replacing the original stone ones, which were considered inadequate. Sculpted by Edwin Landseer, these bronze statues were crafted with remarkable anatomical precision, although a notable error was made in depicting the concave back of a lying lion, contrary to reality.

Lord Nelson stands amidst cascading fountains, bustling crowds, and, until recently, a multitude of pigeons. A previous London mayor deemed the city's "winged rodents" a public annoyance and consequently removed the long-standing bird-feed vendors from the square.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place to unwind in the evening, surrounded by the charm of traditional London buildings.

Tip:
Sit on the steps as the sun sets, absorbing the sounds of London...
...or use Trafalgar Square as a starting point for exploring London's attractions.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in London. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Trafalgar Square on Map

Sight Name: Trafalgar Square
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
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The name "Jack the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles

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