The Five Most Iconic Buildings in London

There are many factors which make a building iconic; usually a mixture of its size, architecture and history. Location often plays its part, too, and London is home to many buildings notable for each one of these aspects. With a constantly evolving skyline, in a few years’ time there may well be another couple of additions to this list of the capital’s most iconic buildings.

Houses of Parliament

Pictured on every other postcard from the city, the Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben) are renowned across the world as the home of the UK’s government. Situated next to the River Thames, the building and location has undergone plenty of change since King Canute settled on it as his medieval seat of power. Most recently it was rebuilt from 1840-70 after fire damage, though it’s set to undergo further repairs in the near future after years of neglect.

30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

Opened in 2004 and commonly referred to as The Gherkin due to its unique shape, it quickly established itself upon the London skyline. Standing at 180m high with 41 storeys makes it the tenth tallest building in the capital (for the time being). However, due to its emerald colour and vegetable like shape it’s more recognisable than most on that list, apart from…

The Shard

The tallest building in the UK and EU at a staggering 306m high (a massive 70m larger than London’s second tallest building, One Canada Square), The Shard is the newest addition to this list. Completed in 2012, it hosts a mix of hotels, apartments and offices.

Buckingham Palace

Home of the Royal family in the city of Westminster, Buckingham Palace is one of the capital’s most popular tourist attractions. Whether or not you’re a fan of the monarchy, it’s easy to see why the palace is such a draw with its imposing gates, magnificent front and significance as a place of important historical events. Plus, of course, the Queen’s guard always put on a good show.

St Paul’s Cathedral

London’s tallest building for over 250 years until 1962, with a dome still amongst the highest in the world, St Paul’s Cathedral is also the UK’s second largest church building. It famously survived the blitz in World War Two and has played host to a number of other memorable events in the country’s history, from Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral to the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana.



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