I have to admit, I walked a lot in London. It’s a wonderful city to walk around (when it’s not raining of course) and I really loved just using the underground to hop from one place to another. I just wanted to make some space here to talk about one great thing that I saw and really stayed in my memory. Some might say that the British lack of imagination, I’ll just say British people like to call things the way they are. So, let me give you few small details about a great monument called:
Well, this is what it looks like…
What you need to know about it:
The Monument is located just across the corner of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill. It was raised as a memorial to the Great Fire of London that happened in September 1666. Easy to remember, right? Actually the fire lasted for aprox. 3 days. From Sunday the 2nd of September till the 5th, and it’s said that although it destroyed a big part of London, it killed less than 10 people. There were 6 registered deaths, but of course I wasn’t there, so I can’t be sure…
It is also said that the fire started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner on Pudding Lane. This was 61-62 meters away from The Monument and the “funny” thing about it, is that The Monument is 61-62 meters tall! So if you lay it down (in the right direction), it will point you to the beginning of the fire.
As said above, there were 6 people that died from this Great Fire those days, but guess what… There were also 6 people that died falling off The Monument from 1788 until 1842. That’s when a “cage” was added at the top of The Monument, to prevent people of falling off of it.
The Monument was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who is known also for another masterpiece: The Saint Paul’s Cathedral!
There is a spiral staircase within The Monument that allows you to visit the top after climbing a bit more than 300 steps and enjoy a magnificent view of London.
I am not sure how long it took to build but I can with some certainty tell you that its design was approved in 1671 and it was finally finished in 1677. So 5 years after the fire we have the design and 6 years later it’s finished.
Let me also share with you something that I found in wikipedia about The Monument. It is a quote from Chalres Dickens’ novel (Martin Chuzzlewit – 1844) that describes it:
“if the day were bright, you observed upon the house–tops, stretching far away, a long dark path; the shadow of the Monument; and turning round, the tall original was close beside you, with every hair erect upon his golden head, as if the doings of the city frightened him.”