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Trafalgar Square is in the heart of London. It is a large pedestrian square, bounded on three sides by roads. It serves as a refuge, and a major traffic intersection. Important roads go from the square: Whitehall goes to Parliament, the Mall goes to Buckingham Palace, and the Strand goes to the City of London. The square is also close to Covent Garden and Charing Cross station.
More than 15 million people go to visit there every year. It contains a large statue of Admiral Lord Nelson. The square celebrates the Battle of Trafalgar, fought in 1805. It contains Nelson's Column, a statue of Nelson mounted on a tall column, with four statues of lions around it. The column is 56 meters tall while the statue is 5 meters tall. The National Art Gallery is one of several important buildings facing the square.
Use of the Square
The square is visited by many tourists. Mainly, it is used for pleasure and relaxation, but sometimes there are meetings and demonstrations in Trafalgar Square.
When the square was first built, demonstrations were banned. The ban lasted until the 1880s, when the new Labour movement start to hold demonstrations. One group that did this was the Social Democratic Federation. On "Black Monday", 6 February 1886, there was a major demonstration about unemployment which led to a riot in Pall Mall. There were demonstrations in the 1980s against South African apartheid. In 1990 there were riots against the Poll tax. In the 2000s there have been demonstrations against the Iraq war.
In recent years the square has become a gathering place for celebrations. When England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 thousands of fans gathered in the square. This public festivities again happened when London won its bid to hold the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
The square was also the scene of a large gathering after the terrorist bombings in London on 7 July 2005.