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Monument to the Great Fire of London

The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as the Monument, is located in the City of London, near the northern end of London Bridge close to where the Great Fire of London (1666) started.

The Monument

It consists of a large fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire, and was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. The west side of the base of the Monument displays an emblematical sculpture, by Caius Gabriel Cibber, in alto and bas relief, of the destruction of the City; with King Charles II, surrounded by Liberty, Genius, and Science, giving directions for its restoration. It stands 61 metres (202 feet) tall, the height marking the monument's distance to the site of Thomas Farynor, the king's baker's shop in Pudding Lane, where the fire began. It is possible to reach the top of the monument by climbing up the narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. A cage (see picture) was later added at the top of the Monument to prevent people jumping off, after a spate of suicides.

The base of the Monument

It was constructed between 1671 and 1677 and at the time it was the tallest freestanding stone column in the world. A Latin inscription at the base of the monument describes how the fire was extinguished. In 1681 the words "but Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched" were added to the inscription. The words were eventually removed in 1831.

Monument tube station is named after the monument.

See also: The History of London

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