Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Top Attractions in London-Leicester Square London

Named for the 2nd Earl of Leicester, London's Leicester Square is at the heart of the city's prime entertainment district. The square is embellished with several monuments; including a fountain dedicated to Shakespeare.

History of the Square
Situated in an area that was once part of a four-acre (1.6 ha) tract owned by Robert Sydney, the 2nd Earl of Leicester, The Square was opened to the public around 1640, after locals protested against the privatisation of the land that was once common ground.

Development of the area began around 1670; and it quickly became a fashionable place to live; with homes springing up around the original Leicester House which, for some time during the very early 1700s, was the home of Frederick, Prince of Wales.

By the late 18th century, however, the character of the square changed and it soon became an area known for its entertainment venues, one of the first of which was a "museum of natural curiosities"; known as the Holophusikon.

By the 19th century, more entertainment facilities sprung up around Leicester Square, including Wyld's Globe, which was built for the International Exposition; and housed a giant scale map of the world; and the 1854-built Alhambra, which for many years, dominated the square. It was joined thirty years later by the Empire Theatre of Varieties. All would help to establish Leicester Square as the heart of the West End entertainment district.

The square is car-free and can be very crowded, especially on weekend evenings. It is often the starting point for people who want to visit one of the many cinemas, theaters, snacks and restaurants that are in the neighborhood.

Several major cinemas line the square, giving it its nickname "Theatreland". Visitors will also find a "TKTS" half-price ticket booth here, where discount tickets can be purchased for popular West End 
shows and musicals. A handful of TV and radio stations also have their headquarters at Leicester Square.

Shakespeare Fountain
But the square itself has some interesting sights as well. In the centre of the square, for instance, visitors will find a garden. In the middle of the garden is a marble fountain with a statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins. The fountain, created by Giovanni Fontana in 1874, is known as the Shakespeare Memorial Fountain.

At each corner of the park is a statue of other famous Londoners, including Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Hunter, and William Hogarth. Another likeness, which is that of Charlie Chaplin, was created by John Doubleday and added in 1981.

In addition, the square is surrounded with floor plaques that include the names and handprints of famous actors, similar to those found at the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.
Are you considering visiting London and the U.K.? Then contact the London official visitor agency-Visit London and Partners at: 08701 566 366     

You can also contact the City of London Information Centre: Opposite St Paul's Cathedral:
City of London, Guildhall, PO Box 270, London, EC2P 2EJ
Telephone: 020 7606 3030

They can offer you credible, pursuable and realistic information and advice on the following fronts: Cheap flights to London, hotels in London, cheap hotels in London, boutique hotels in London, bed and breakfast in London, guest houses in London, holiday apartments in London, timeshare accommodation in London, youth hostels in London, transportation in London, bus tours in London, river tours in London, coach tours of the U.K., entertainment in London, tourist attractions in London etc.

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