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Cenotaph, London

4.4
#569 of 3,736 in Things to do in London
The Cenotaph is a war memorial on Whitehall in London, England. Its origin is in a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's official 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 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 in other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda and Hong Kong.
The first cenotaph was 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. It 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, Whitehall's was not proposed until two weeks before the event. Following deliberations by 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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Cenotaph Reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This memorial originally dedicated to the fallen in World War I (estimated at roughly 1 million) is incredibly poignant!  more »
  • Located on Whitehall just set back from the Thames. It was covered with Poppies in June. A reminder to us all when enjoying our sightseeing that this country is built on the bravery of so many in the ...  more »
Google
  • The Cenotaph is the focal point for the British in remembrance of armed forces personnel who died in various conflicts. It's made entirely from Portland stone and is shaped on a rectangular plan, with gradually diminishing tiers. The Cenotaph is flanked on each side by three flags representing each of the branches that make up the British Armed Forces, The White Ensign, Union Flag, and Blue Ensign.
  • A very evocative memorial. Surrounded by majestic buildings and statues.
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