Royal Albert Hall Guided Tour
One-hour full grand tours of the Royal Albert Hall . Buy online for the cheapest price.
Royal Albert Hall Backstage Tours
Get a glimpse behind the curtains, behind the scenes and backstage on this one-hour tour at the Royal Albert Hall . Buy online for the...
Royal Albert Hall
Built in 1871 thanks in part to the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition organised by Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband), this...
Royal Albert Hall
This splendid Victorian concert hall hosts classical-music, rock and other performances, but is famously the venue for the BBC-sponsored...
Ognisko has been a stalwart of the Polish community in London since 1940 (it's part of the Polish Hearth Club). The grand dining room is...
Kensington Gardens · interesting places nearby
Albert Memorial information
This splendid Victorian confection on the southern edge of Kensington Gardens is as ostentatious as its subject. Purportedly humble, Queen Victoria’s German husband Albert (1819–61) explicitly insisted he did not want a monument. Ignoring the good prince’s wishes, the Lord Mayor instructed George Gilbert Scott to build the 53m-high, gaudy Gothic memorial – the 4.25m-tall gilded statue of the prince, surrounded by 187 figures representing the continents (Asia, Europe, Africa and America), the arts, industry and science, went up in 1876.
An eye-opening blend of mosaic, gold leaf, marble and Victorian bombast, the renovated monument is topped with a crucifix. The statue was painted black for 80 years, originally – some say – to disguise it from WWI Zeppelins (nonetheless, the memorial was selected by German bombers during WWII as a landmark). To step beyond the railings for a close-up of the staggering 64m-long Frieze of Parnassus along the base – carved in situ and described by Scott as 'perhaps one of the most laborious works of sculpture ever undertaken' – join one of the 45-minute tours.