Hyde Park is one of the biggest park in London centre,England and one of the Royal Parks of London,famous because of its Speakers´ Corner.Lake Serpentine divides Hyde Park in two halves.The park is next two Kensington Gardens; althoughpeople think that Kensington Gardens belongs to HydePark, the gardens have been considered a differentPark since 1728, when Queen Caroline divided theplace into two different parks. Hyde Park is 350 acres long and Kensington Gardensare 275 acres long, that means that the total area is 675acres; that is a place bigger than Monaco (485 acres).
During the day, both parks seem just one, but at nighttime Kensington Gardens are closed and Hyde Park isstill open until midnight.The great Exhibition of 1851 took place in the park.This was the reason why the Crystal Palace designedby Joseph Paxton was built.There have also been many demonstrations in HydePark, organised by almost any kind of political party ororganization.On the 20th July 1982 two bombs attacks took place inHyde Park and Regents Park. The attacks were relatedto a group that belongs to the IRA and there were eightvictims from the Household Cavalry and the RoyalGreen Jackets. Seven horses were also killed.
Henry VIII bought Hyde mansion to the membersof Westminster Abbey (it had belonged to themfrom the Normand time).The mansion was closed as a deer park and it wasused for hunting purposes. It was a privatehunting field until Jacob I let some people in witha gamekeeper responsible for them.Carlos I created the Ring (on north of theSerpentine river) and in 1637 opened it to publicin general.
In 1689, when Guillermo III moved his bedrooms toNottingham House in the small town of Kensington ,in the distant part of Hyde park and he renamed it as“Kensington Palace”, sketched a path on south sideand led it to St. James Palace. This route was known asroute du roi, but this name became corrupted and nowit is known as Rotten Row, which still exist s today as awide gravel road for carriages leading straight fromwest (Hyde Park Corner) to south limit.
The first design of a coherent landscape was realizedby Charles Bridgeman for the Queen Caroline underthe supervision of Charles Wither, General Supervisorof Woods and Forests. It was completed in 1733 with acost of 20.000 £.Bridgemans water body called The Serpentine wasformed thanks to damming the small Westbourne thatflowed through the park, but it was not really in the“line of beauty” described by William Hogarth, it wassimply an irregular and modest curve. The 2ndViscount of Weymouth was made Hyde Park Keeper in1739 and short after he began to dig the Serpentinelakes in Longleat. The Serpentine is divided by Long Waters bridge,designed by George Rennie (1826).
One of the most important events that took placein the park was the Great Exhibition of 1851. TheCrystal Palace was constructed in the south sideof the park. Most of the public did not want thebuilding to be kept in the park after the closingof that exhibition, and the architect, JosephPaxton, collected funds and bought it. Later hemade it move to Sydenham Hill, in southLondon.
The Great Entry to the park, at Hyde Park Corner nextto Apsley House, was constructed from DecimusBurtons designs in 1824-25 and it is described thisway: “It consists on a screen of beautiful fluted ioniccolumns with three carriages entrance archways, twofoot entrances, a lodge, etc.” The extension of thewhole frontage is closely 107 feet (33 m). The centralentry has a firm projection: the planking is supportedby four columns, and the capitals of the outsidecolumns of each side of the entry are formed inangular direction, to exhibit two complete faces. Allthese income are finished by a blockade, the sides ofthe central entry are decorated by a beautifulfrieze, representing a naval and military triumphalprocession. This frieze was designed by Mr.Henning, Jr., the son of Mr. Henning that was well-known for his models of Elgins marbles.
The gates were manufactured by Messrs. Bramah.They are of iron, bronze, and fixed or hung to the piersby rings of gun-metal. The design consists of abeautiful arrangement of the Greek honeysuckleornament; the parts are definite well designed and thedetails of the leaves are done in the most extraordinarymanners.A rose garden, designed by Colvin & Moggridge, wasadded in 1994.
Sites of interest in the park include Speakers Corner (located in the northeast corner nearMarble Arch), close to the former site of Tyburnsgallows, and Rotten Row, which is the northboundary of the site of the Crystal Palace. On thesouth of lake Serpentine there is the Diana,Princess of Wales, Memorial, an oval ring stonefountain inaugurated on July 6, 2004. To the east ofthe Serpentine, just beyond the dam, it is theHolocaust Memorial.
A magnificent botanical curiosity is “WeepingBeech”, Fagus sylvatica pendula, cherished as “thetree upside-down”.Opposite Hyde Park Corner is one of the biggesthotels of London, The Lanesborough, which offersits better suite for 8,000£ a night.
The park of Santiago, Saint James, Sainte Jacob or St.James´s Park is a extent of 23 hectare in the zone ofWestminster, in the centre of London. It is the oldestof the Royal Parks of the city. It is situated in theextreme south of the zone of St. James´s, which wasnamed in honour of a leprous hospital devoted toSantiago the Minor.
St. James´s Park is surrounded by Buckingham Palaceon the west, The mall (London) and St. James´sPalace on the north, Horse Guards on the east andBridcage walk on the south. the park has a small lake,the St. James-Park´s lake, with two island, Duck Islandand West Island. A bridge that crosses the lake offers awonderful view of the west side of BuckinghamPalace framed by trees and springs, and a fantasticview of the principal building of the Foreign andCommon Wealth office, on the east.
The park is the most Eastern of the chain of Londonparks that also includes, towards the west, GreenPark, Hyde Park and Kensington Garden´s. The closestentry to the underground are the St. James´s Park,Victoria Station and Westminster.
In 1532, Henry VIII bought the zone from themarsh, often flooded by the Tyburn stream, to the EtonSchool. This zone was limited on West by YorkPalace, recently bought by Henry to the CardinalWolsey, acquired to transform York Palace in anappropriate residence for the king. When Jacob Ibecame king in 1603, he made drain the park andprepare landscape gardens, and he put in it severalkinds of exotic animals, among which there werecamels, crocodiles and elephants, and an aviaryprepare to hold exotic birds.
During the King’s exile in French during theCommonwealth of British, Charles II, the young kingwas very impressed by the elaborated gardens of theroyal French palaces, and after his return from Francehe ordered to sketch the park to give it a more formalair. This work was probably asked to the Frenchlandscaper André Mollet. These schemes include thecreation of a canal of 775 by 38 metres. Charles IIopened the park to the public, and used itto entertain guests and lovers, as Nell Gwyn.During XVIII century it saw manychanges, including the claim of part of thechannel by Horse Guards Parade and in 1761 the RoyalFamily acquiredBuckingham House (now Buckingham Palace).
Subsequent renovations made between 1826 and1827,commissioned by the Regent Prince (later GeorgeIV) and supervised by landscape gardener andarchitect John Nash, showed how the channelwas transformed into alake, and formal avenues becamemore romantic walks . At the same time, Buckingham House was expandedto create the present palace and Marble Arch wasbuilt as the entrance, while The Mall becamea ceremonial grand tour, opened to the public 60years later, in 1887, the Arch was movedto its current location at the intersectionof Oxford Street and Park Lane in 1851 and wasreplaced by the Victoria Memorial between 1906 and1924.
In early July 2007 the Tour deFrance started in London.The first day was thePrologue, which took in atour round the Royal Parks inLondon before the tourproper set off through Kentto the English Channel onthe following day.These delightful topiarycyclists were commissionedby Mark Wasilewski, ParkManager of St James Park, tocommemorate the occasion.
Regent`s park is one of the London Royal Parks. It islocated in the north zone of the city, a part inWestminster city another part in Camden.
Apart from two union paths between these, the parkis reserved for pedestrians. Side south, east and mostpart of west are surrounded by elegant rows of whiteterraced houses designed by John Nash. On north´slimit it is Regent´s Canal, which connects GrandUnicorn Canal to London Docks, the ancient Londonharbour
The park, of 2km square, is mainly formed by opengreen areas in which there are a lot of differentfacilities for free time activities and gardens, a lake forwater birds, an area for boats, sports fields andchildren´s playground on the North-East limit of thepark there is the London Zoo, the oldest zoo park ofthe world.
Regent´s Park also has flower and botanical gardens,among which Queen Mary´s Garden in the InnerCircle (where it is also the Open Air Theatre) is themost important.
In Regent´s Park we can alsofind the London CentralMosque, known as Regent´sPark Mosque, WinfieldHouse, official residence ofthe United Statesambassador in the UnitedKingdom, and the Regent´sCollege, in which severalinstitutions of highereducation are located. Central Mosque
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