It was designed by architect Sir Charles Barry in the 1840s and named in honour of the Battle of Trafalgar, a key naval victory for the British Royal Navy against the combined French and Spanish fleets in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars.
At the heart of the square stands the prominent 52m high Nelson’s Column, a monument dedicated to Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, who led the British to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar and died in the process. The column is topped with a statue of Nelson and guarded by four bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer. The column is one of the best-known landmarks in the city.
National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are located on the square’s north side. In addition, there are often street artists on square chalk drawings directly on the tiles. Trafalgar Square is a popular place for holding events and is sometimes closed during the events. The square also features fountains designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the early 20th century, later updated with lighting and water displays.
Trafalgar Square has long been a centre for public gatherings, political protests, and various events, including New Year’s Eve celebrations and London’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. In addition, the square is surrounded by important buildings, such as the National Gallery, a renowned art museum, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a historic Anglican church.
Today, Trafalgar Square remains an essential destination for tourists and locals, symbolising national pride and a hub for cultural events and gatherings.