Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey

T. S. is London’s geographical center. It was laid out during the early part of the 19th century to commemorate the naval victory of Britain over the French at Trafalgar in 1805, in which Admiral Lord Nelson took part and was fatally wounded. The Nelson column with the statue of Admiral Nelson on top of it is 185 feet (5 metres) high. At the base of the column you can see four bronze lions which are guarding it and were cast from the cannon of battleships. On October 21st there is a service under the column to commemorate Nelson. The east and west sides of the square are gracefully flanked by plane trees.

Beyond the terrace above the north side stands the National Gallery; on the lawns in front of the Gallery stands a statue of James II, to the west of the main entrance, and to the east a statue of George Washington. Among other important buildings surrounding the square are the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. T. S. has long been the place for political meetings and demonstrations,

including those of the Chartists who began their march here in 1848. More recently it has become the terminal point of protest marches.

Every year at Christmas time an enormous Christmas tree is erected, the annual gift, since the 2nd World War, of the Norwegian people. On New Year’s Eve T. S.. is always the scene of celebrations. Not far from T. S. there is a quiet little street with very ordinary houses. So you may be surprised to see a policeman who is standing at one of the houses. It is Downing Street and for the last two hundred years at No.10 each Prime Minister of England has been living there. Downing Street leads to Whitehall. There was a palace here once, where from the 12th to the 16th century the English Kings and Queens were living. Now it is just a street of government offices. Here in the middle of the read there is simple but impressive Cenotaph, the Memorial to the men who died in the two World Wars.

W. A was founded in the 11th century. It is a fine Gothic building, which stands opposite the Houses of Parliament. It is the work of many hands and different ages. The oldest part

of the building dates from the eights century. It was a monastery – the West Minster. In the 11th century Edward the Confessor founded a great Norman Abbey. One of the greater glories of the Abbey is the Chapel of Henry VII. The Chapel is of stone and glass, so wonderfully cut and sculptured that it seems unreal. There are many tombstones, monuments and statues in the Abbey. For nearly 1000 years all the Kings and Queens of England – 41 in all – have been crowned here. If u go past the magnificent tombstones of kings and queens, some made of gold and precious stones u will come to the Poets’ Corner. There many of the greatest writers were buried. Geoffrey Chauser, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling. Burns and Byron, Walter Scott and the great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Here in the Abbey there is also the Grave of the Unknown Warrior that commemorate the men who died on the First World War.

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Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey