Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Barbican Centre - London

Outside of the Barbican Center in the City of London

This photo of the Barbican Arts Centre 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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“The Barbican is Europe's largest multi-arts and conference venue presenting a year-round programme of art, music, film and theatre.” – So says the blurb on the Barbican Website.

And this may well be true for under one roof here you can find a concert hall, two theatres, three cinemas, two art galleries, conservatory and public library, three restaurants, private function rooms, conference suites, two exhibition halls and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. It is open 363 days a year and offers a vast array of visual and performing arts. It would almost be quicker to list the types of material that is not shown at the Barbican Centre than to list what is.

In spite or all this glory, the Barbican Centre has also the dubious honour of being voted "London's ugliest building" in a poll run by the BBC in September 2003. This is compounded by an exceedingly complex and confusing layout both inside and out, which, while revolutionary at the time, has evermore left visitors often perplexed as to how to get around. Outside are some lovely terraces with fountains.

The area in which the Barbican Centre now sits was heavily bombed in WWII, yet it took quite some time for the redevelopment to happen. It was opened in 1982, being mostly funded by the City of London as a gift to the nation to the tune of £161 million (about £450 million today).

The Barbican is the home of the London Symphony Orchestra and was, until recently, the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The nearst tube is the Barbican, and the Museum of London and St. Paul's Cathedral are also nearby.

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The full panoramic image showing the outside of the Barbican Centre and the fountain terraces
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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