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Cenotaph, London

4.4
#118 of 425 in Sightseeing in London
Monument Tourist Spot
The Cenotaph is a war memorial situated on Whitehall in London. It began as a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War but following an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's primary national war memorial.Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the permanent structure was built from Portland stone between 1919 and 1920 by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts, replacing Lutyens' earlier wood-and-plaster cenotaph in the same location. An annual National Service of Remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day) each year. Lutyens' cenotaph design has been reproduced elsewhere in the UK and other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda and Hong Kong.OriginsThe Cenotaph was originally a wood-and-plaster structure designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and erected in 1919. It was one of a number of temporary structures erected for the London Victory Parade (also called the Peace Day Parade) on 19 July 1919 that marked the formal end of the First World War that had taken place with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. As one of a series of temporary wooden monuments constructed along the route of the parade, it was not proposed until just two weeks prior to the event. Following deliberations of the Peace Celebrations Committee, Lutyens was invited to Downing Street. There, the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, proposed that the monument should be a catafalque, like the one intended for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris for the corresponding Victory Parade in France, but Lutyens proposed instead that the design be based on a cenotaph.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
152 reviews
Google
4.7
  • This monument is nothing special in terms of looks; it is in the middle of the street. However, what it stands for is what's important, those that have died in the wars fighting for freedom.  more »
  • London is full of memorials to different groups of people or organisations, but The Cenotaph unites the national spirits for all. It is situated in Whitehall, roughly around halfway from Parliament Sq...  more »
  • This war memorial on Whitehall is a must visit to pay our respects and remembrance of the fallen heroes of the wars. Remembrance services have been held here for the past decades. A must visit.  more »
Google
  • Very emotional place.. The true extent of war for peace.. Lay a flower.. Say a prayer.. Let the services know you care.. Never forget. God bless them all who paid the ultimate sacrifice.. Thank you.
  • An amazing spiritual place to pay your respects to the brave souls who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Very emotional place.
  • Fitting memorial. The War Widows' Association wreath laying the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday is truly moving.
  • The War memorial that the royal family attend each year is in the middle of the heart of the UK Parliament. It is very fitting for what it stands for and very well kept.
  • Gets one to think of the real cost of war. Area gets a lot attention specially during events such as the remembrance day.

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Where to stay in London

Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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