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Albert Memorial

Albert Memorial (74)

Officially called the National Monument to the Prince Consort, the Albert Memorial is in Kensington Gardens, very close to the Royal Albert Hall. Prince Albert, who died in 1861 after catching typhoid, was a great patron of the arts and sciences during his life. He stands out particularly for his role in the Universal Exhibition of 1851.

Queen Victoria had the monument built to pay homage to her husband. The project was headed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who planned a structure in the form of a Gothic shrine, an extravagance highly befitting of the final years of the Victorian era. The construction works lasted from 1872 to 1876.

The roofing of the shrine, with arches made in Portland stone, is supported by solid pillars of Scottish pink granite dug from the quarries of Northern Ireland.

Seated beneath the shrine is a large bronze figure of Prince Albert which, symbolically, is holding a catalogue of his much-loved Universal Exhibition. The figure is the work of the sculptor John Foley.

The startling sculptural series is completed with marble statues that represent the different continents and with allegories of trade, agriculture, engineering and manufacturing. You will also be able to see angels and virtues in bronze. 

The base of the monument is decorated with the frieze of Parnassus, with meticulously detailed bas-relief work that represent 187 great painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and architects, a clear homage to the enthusiasm that Prince Albert felt for the arts.

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