Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Admiralty Arch - London

Admiralty Arch in the corner of Trafalgar Square leading onto the Mall, London.

This photo up the Admiralty Arch in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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Admiralty Arch has actually no connection with the navy, except that it is adjoins the Royal Navy HQ located in the Old Admiralty Building. However, the name continues the naval theme of Trafalgar Square on whose southwest corner the arch is located.

Admiralty Arch forms a gateway from Trafalgar Square to The Mall, the processional road running along St. James Park and linking Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade. There is always a lot of traffic passing through Admiralty Arch, except on a Sunday when traffic is not permitted down most of The Mall.

Admiralty Arch is quite a new building being commissioned by King Edward VII in 1910 in memory of his mother Queen Victoria. Edward did not live to see the project completed. It was designed by Sir Aston Webb (also worked on Buckingham Palace and the Victoria and Albert Museum) who also widened the Mall at the same time and provided the gilt statue of Victoria at the far end of the Mall just in front of the Palace.

Admiralty Arch has 5 arches and is faced with Portland Stone. Just below the top of the building is an inscription which reads: ANNO DECIMO EDWARDI SEPTIMI REGIS VICTORIÆ REGINÆ CIVES GRATISSIMI MDCCCCX (translates to : "In the tenth year of the reign of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria from a grateful nation, 1910"). The 2 smaller outer arches are for pedestrians only, and the central large arch is only ever used for processional purposes. Thus Admiralty Arch presents the largest processional arch between Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

In July 2006 Greenpeace scaled Admiralty Arch and suspended banners accusing the British Government of “trashing rainforests” by using unsustainable timber during renovation of the Cabinet Offices within. Apart from closing the Mall to traffic for a couple of hours, nothing much more happened and the protest ended peacefully. Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square has also been used as a high profile protest point by Greenpeace in the past.

The nearest tube stations to this point are Leicester Square and Charring Cross stations.

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The full panoramic image showing more of more of the surrounding buildings and Trafalgar Square can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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