Trafalgar Square (London)
Trafalgar Square is one of the famous focal points of London, and indeed of the world.
On the edge of the West End, it is situated at the end of the Strand and also of Whitehall.
The square was laid out by John Nash in the 1820s, as part of his grand design which included Regent Street leading up to Regents Park. On the site was the King's Mews, where Royalist captives were imprisoned during the Civil War.
In the centre of Trafalgar Square is the 170 foot Nelson's Column, erected in honour of the great naval hero in 1842.
The equestrian Charles I Statue predates the square, having been erected on the site of the Eleanor Cross which was usually known as Charing Cross. The replacement Cross was erected in the forecourt of Charing Cross Station in the Victorian period.
The National Gallery, one of the world's foremost art galleries, was designed by William Wilkins and completed in 1838.
St. Martin-in-the-Fields was designed by James Gibbs in the 1720s on the site of a mediaeval church, and is well known for its concerts and as a shelter for the homeless.
Admiralty Arch, the entrance to The Mall, was built in 1911 as a memorial to Queen Victoria.
Trafalgar Square is well known as a site for political demonstrations and New Year celebrations.
Every year, there is a tall Christmas tree in the square. Since the Second World War, a tree has been donated annually by Norway.
In 1848 the square was the scene of the first display of electric lighting in London.