Trafalgar Square is a large city square commemorating Lord Horatio Nelson’s victory against Napoleon’s navy at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The central monument within the square is a single tall column on which the figure of Nelson stands gazing over London. His monument is surrounded by four colossal lions and a series of large fountains. Much more than just an open plaza, Trafalgar Square is one of the most famous city squares in the world and has become a social and political location for tourists and Londoners alike.
Now home to the British Crown Jewels, the Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. It served as a prison from 1100 to the mid twentieth century. This has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower”, meaning imprisoned. Famous prisoners include Sir Thomas More, King Henry VI, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (wives of King Henry VIII) and Rudolph Hess. Today the Tower of London is one of the most popular London tourist attractions.
Situated on the banks of the River Thames, the London Eye is an enormous, 135 meter (443 ft) high observation wheel carrying 32 exterior glass-walled capsules. It offers fantastic views over central London. The wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers as the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually.
Buckingham Palace is the main residence of Queen Elizabeth II although it is owned by the British state and is not the monarch’s personal property. The Forecourt of Buckingham Palace is used for Changing of the Guard, a major ceremony and tourist attraction. Between May and July the guard changes each morning and on alternate days the rest of the year. Since 1993, the palace’s state rooms have been open to the public during August and September.
Established in 1753, the British Museum in London is a museum of human history and culture. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. Objects include the Rosetta Stone, the key to the deciphering of hieroglyphs, and the largest collection of mummies outside of Egypt.
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name and has become an iconic symbol of London.
The 150 year old Big Ben Clock Tower is one of the top tourist attractions in London. The name Big Ben actually refers not to the clock tower itself, but to the 13 ton bell housed within the tower and takes its name from the man who first ordered the bell, Sir Benjamin Hall.