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Trafalgar Square London Architecture

Key Civic Space in England – Public Realm UK: British Built Environment

updated 27 Apr + 5 Jan 2016 ; 31 Dec 2015

Palmyra Arch for Trafalgar Square


The recreated Arch of Triumph was dismantled in Trafalgar Square in London Thursday, but will next travel to Oxford this summer and will be shown in New York this fall, according to the Architectural Record.

Palmyra Arch in Trafalgar Square


The Palmyra arch that survived an attack by ISIL is to be replicated in London and New York.

Copies of Temple of Bel entrance in Syria is to be built in both this famous London square and Times Square in ‘gesture of defiance’, reports The Guardian.

Palmyra Arch for Trafalgar Square
image : Institute for Digital Archaeology

Replicas of an ancient monument in Palmyra that has apparently survived attempts by Islamic State to demolish it are to be erected in London and New York City.

Palmyra Arch in Syria
photograph : Alamy

The 15-metre high structure is one of the few remaining parts of the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel in the Syrian city. ISIS fighters all but razed the temple as they systematically destroyed Palmyra in 2015.

The construction of the replicas will be the centrepiece of events for world heritage week, planned for April with a theme of replication and reconstruction.

Palmyra Arch Syria
photograph : Sandra Auger/Reuters

Founded in AD32, the temple formed the centre of religious life in Palmyra. It was converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine era, and then into a mosque when Islam arrived in the area. Before the Syrian conflict began in 2011, more than 150,000 tourists visited the city annually.

The monumental arch of Palmyra, Syria:
The monumental arch of Palmyra, Syria
photo : Bernard Gagnon, wikimedia commons

Palmyra, Syria. Hadrian’s Arch and Decumanus Maximus (‘long street’):
photo : Wilhelms, wikimedia commons

Read the article at Palmyra Arch for Trafalgar Square

page updated 29 Jun 2014

Trafalgar Square

central London
Date built: 1841
Contains Nelson’s Column, 170 ft high

Photos from 29 Apr 2013:

Trafalgar Square England Trafalgar Square London
photo © Adrian Welch

Trafalgar Square in London
photograph © Adrian Welch

Aerial photograph looking south:
Trafalgar Square London
photo © webbaviation

Olympic Games Information Pavilion Contest, England
Launch : 25 Mar 2011
Olympic Games Information Pavilion Competition

Nelson’s Column, looking south towards Whitehall
Nelson's Column
photograph © Nick Weall

Buildings around Trafalgar Square

National Gallery
Date built: 1838
Design: William Wilkins architect
National Gallery
photograph © Adrian Welch
National Gallery

Sainsbury Wing – National Gallery Extension
Date built: 1991
Design: Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates architects
Sainsbury Wing
photograph © Adrian Welch

St Martin-in-the-Fields Church
Date built: 1726
Design: James Gibbs Architect
St Martin-in-the-Fields Church
photo © Timothy Soar
St Martin-in-the-Fields church building

Nelson’s Column
Nelson's Column Nelson's Column
photographs © Adrian Welch

The name of this major public space in the centre of the British capital commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars over France and Spain which took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar in Los Canos de Meca, a town in the municipality of Vejer de la Frontera (in the municipality of Barbate since 1940), Cadiz, Spain.

27 Apr 2016
Trafalgar Square crazy golf course designs

26 June 2023
National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square
Design: Jamie Fobert Architects
National Portrait Gallery on Trafalgar Square

Location: central London, England, UK

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Trafalgar Square Context

National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery

South Africa House
South Africa House
image © Nick Weall

National Gallery architectural work won at the RIBA Awards 2006 for the West London category

Admiralty Arch, at the southwest corner of the square, on The Mall

Canada House, on the west side of the square

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