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The Monument to the Great Fire of London

This much-loved monument pays homage to the devastating fire that swept across the city in a raging blaze in 1666, destroying almost everything in its path.

The Monument to the Great Fire of London is a tall podium-like statue that commemorates the Great Fire, an infamous blaze that set alight the entire city in 1666. Ascend the narrow staircase to reach the viewing platform at the top, where you can enjoy an excellent view of the River Thames and the city skyscrapers.

Note the elegant appearance of the monument, which was designed by Christopher Wren, the architect behind St. Paul’s Cathedral. It stands at a height of more than 200 feet (62 meters), not far from the spot on Pudding Lane where the fire started in 1666. 

Inspect the impressive stone structure from street level and look for the Latin inscriptions at the base. These describe the events of the fire. Turn your gaze upward and you should be able to see a gilded orb statue sitting atop the fluted Doric column. This sculpture is said to represent fire. The height of the monument is exactly the same as the distance in length between it and the bakery where the fire began. 

Climb to the top of the monument and look out over London from the viewing platform. The 311 steps are narrow, winding and rickety, but the superb view of the city skyline from the top is worth the arduous ascent. Try to pick out the city’s most famous buildings.

You may want to combine a visit here with a trip to nearby Smithfield, where another monument, known as Golden Boy of Pye Corner, allegedly marks the point where the Great Fire of London stopped. 

The memorial opens daily from morning until late in the afternoon. There is a small fee to enter, with discounts for kids and groups.

To reach the monument, take the London Underground to Monument Station. The Monument to the Great Fire of London is located just east of central London on the northern shore of the River Thames, overlooking London Bridge and the Tower of London.


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