Guide to Piccadilly Circus in London
Piccadilly Circus is possibly the most internationally known area in central London. As close as Londoners get to having a City Center not centrally located within the Metropolitan area, but nevertheless, a central London landmark. It is a major hub connecting Regent Street, Piccadilly, Leicester Square.
Piccadilly Circus dates from 1819 and features the world known aluminum EROS statue in the centre. Known in tourist folklore as the God of Love because of the Cupid like bow and arrow part of the statue, EROS is sometimes refered to as the Angel of Christian Charity, erected in tribute to the Earl of Shaftesbury, a Bible carrying reformer best known for his objections to child labour.
However, controversy surrounds EROS, as other historians claim it is designed as a statue to Anteros, Greek mythological brother of Eros, and the God of Love Returned, so much like a dynamically opposed viewpoint. Perhaps this is why the Londoners, in the main, prefer the Earl of Shaftsbury explanation and his philanthropic love for the poor as depicted by the statue.
Modern day Piccadilly Circus is a tourist magnet almost like no other. It boasts the famous neon style advertising, now mainly LED lit, similar to Times Square in New York. In addition you will find the London Pavillion, home at present to Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Also as a part of the London Pavillion there is the Trocadero). Piccadilly Tube station, originally built in 1906, is located directly under the central area of Piccadilly Circus. Piccadilly Circus has received many mentions in songs and musicals. There are few shops for the young and wealthy, however there are numerous stores, mainly aimed at tourists.
Useful Piccadilly Circus Links
- Rebuilding of Piccadilly Circus & Regent Street Quadrant (from Survey of London: Volumes 31 and 32) - The rebuilding of Piccadilly Circus and the Regent Street Quadrant from Survey of London: Volumes 31 and 32, St James Westminster, Part 2. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1963.
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Map of Piccadilly Circus in London
Areas & Streets Near Piccadilly Circus
Popular Nearby Streets & Areas: Haymarket (0.12km) Suffolk Place (0.12km) Babmaes Street (0.11km) Charles II Street (0.15km) Duke of York Street (0.16km) Jermyn Street (0.16km) Ormond Yard (0.16km) Panton House (0.09km) Princes Arcade (0.2km) Royal Opera Arcade (0.14km) St James's Market (0.06km)
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FAQs about Piccadilly Circus in London
Piccadilly Circus is one of the busiest areas of central London so unsurprisingly there is lots to see and do in the nearby area.
There are a few different theories about where the name Piccadilly originated and new theories are periodically touted. The debate has in fact gone on for hundreds of years which shows the significance of the area. There is an excellent description of the different theories available to read on British History Online (https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vols31-2/pt2/pp32-40).
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