Facts about Trafalgar Square you might not know

At the time of the Tudors in Trafalgar Square in London you could find the royal stables which were then moved to Buckingham Palace in the late 18th century to make way for the square.

The last building built as a stables was made in 1732 in the place where the National Gallery is now located. The famous Christopher Wren had also made a plan to build more stables, but it was never built.

In the early 19th century almost all the buildings on the square were demolished, John Nash had planned to create a square, part of his grand plan to modernise this part of London. John Nash died before he could get to work on his project.

One of the architects involved in the current project was Sir Charles Barry who also did the design of the Houses of Parliament.

Trafalgar Square is not the largest square in London; that record goes to Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

The famous Nelson’s Column dominates the square, the four bronze lions were added in 1867.  The reason for the steps found in the square is that Trafalgar Square is on a slope.

There are two equestrian statues in the square and they are both of kings: Charles I and George IV. There must have been another equestrian statue dedicated to King William IV who, however, did not leave enough money to make it when he died. So the space remained empty until 2001 when it was decided to put modern art in rotation. Each statue remains in this place for about a year.

Trafalgar Square was opened to the public on 1 May 1844

The famous fountains were not part of the initial project, they were put in place in 1845 and rebuilt in the 1930s. The sculptures of mermaids and dolphins were added after World War II.

In the southeast corner of the square there is a lamppost and in this lamppost is the smallest police station in London. However, it is not populated by mini policemen, it only has a telephone connected to Scotland Yard, but legally it is considered a real police station.

Among the buildings that overlook the square we cannot forget the National Gallery, Canada House, the church of St Martin in the Fields and South Africa House.

On the corner of the Strand and Charing Cross Road you will find a plaque, all distances from London are calculated from here.

Part of the square has now been closed to traffic since 2003.

The square is also the place where demonstrations and protests have been held since its opening in 1844.

The square’s pigeons came naturally and practically infested it for years, ruining monuments and buildings. Since 2003 it has been illegal to sell pigeon food and feed them.

There are also several birds of prey around Trafalgar Square used to control the number of pigeons. The pigeons in the square appear to have dropped from over 4000 to around 200, but it looks like the pigeons have simply moved to other parts of London.

Every year at the beginning of December a large Christmas tree is lit, donated by Norway as a thank you for the help given by Great Britain during the Second World War.

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