Lord nelson, britain’s greatest military hero and the mighty lions that surround him, are a testament to the position of Trafalgar Square at the heart of the capital, the heart of the nation, and at one time, the heart of an empire that controlled three-fifths of the world.
Yet, though it is dominated by these imperial symbols and by the magnificent victorian edifice of the national gallery, the square is no relic of a bygone age. Instead of statues of military heroes, the plinths are now used for exciting and controversial modern art, the first of which was mark quinn’s nude statue of armless alison lapper. Fantastic, free outdoor events are held here, highlighting the best of london’s multicultural music and dance scene. the square also acts as the traditional end point for protest marches and is a key rallying point for british counterculture. It is often the final stage in any night out in London.
In all these ways, trafalgar square has retained its status as the heart of london, and one of every londoner’s most treasured spots.