Monday, November 11, 2013

Albert Memorial - Royal Albert Hall

 It's a dreary November day today, but then Remembrance Day always is.  I guess it is fitting that it should be so.

Here are some more London photos.  The Albert Memorial, built by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband Albert,  is at the southern edge of Kensington Gardens.  From a distance, it didn't strike me as very remarkable, and I found the design a bit odd with the peaked roof looking too big for the rest of it. 

 When I got close to it though, I liked it better as the proportions change when you are near it.
 Although it is a memorial to Albert, it has a lot to say about Queen Victoria herself and about her people throughout the empire.  The carved band depicts some of the significant  creative people of the empire:
Writers, musicians, painters, sculptures, etc.
 On the inner four corners carved in white marble, are representations
of  the four major areas of enterprise: agriculture, engineering, commerce, and manufacturing.

The sculptures on the outer corners represent the continents of the empire.  Each group includes an animal symbolic of the continent:  Africa - camel,  Asia -elephant,  America -Bison, and Europe -Bull.  The sculptures are all beautifully done .  The people and animals all look outward.  That seems very apt as Victoria was certainly someone who had a big view of things.

 Across the road from the Albert Memorial is the Royal Albert Hall. It was built in 1871 and originally had a seating capacity of 8,000, but today's regulations only allow for about 5,000 people.
It is used for all sorts of concerts and fundraisers.  When it was first built, the acoustics weren't good and performers were challenged with echoes.  Over the years, improvements have been made to solve the acoustical problems.


  1. I must remember to get closer to the memorial next time I'm in the area as I've always thought it was a rather grotesque edifice too. The RAH I've always had a soft spot for, ever since going to hear my first ever classical concert there.

  2. My Mum talked a lot about going to Royal Albert Hall as a young woman (she was English). It left quite the impression on her!