The Monument to the Great Fire of London

Miguel Angel Victoria Fotógrafo

A great fire scourged the city of London in England from September 2 to September 5, 1666.
The fire destroyed the center of the medieval town within the old roman wall. It threatened but did not reach the new aristocratic district of Westminster, the royal palace of Whitehall and most of the suburban settlements in London.

It was one of the greatest calamities in London history.
The fire destroyed 13,200 houses, 87 churches, 44 old Guild Houses, the Custom House, St. Paul Cathedra, London City Hall, the correctional palace of the medieval center and other prisons, four bridges over the rivers Thames and Fleet, as well as three city gates.

It was one of the greatest calamities in London history.
The fire destroyed 13,200 houses, 87 churches, 44 old Guild Houses, the Custom House, St. Paul Cathedra, London City Hall, the correctional palace of the medieval center and other prisons, four bridges over the rivers Thames and Fleet, as well as three city gates.
It left about eighty thousand people homeless, a sixth part of the inhabitants of the town at the time. The amount of deaths caused by the fire remains unknown, and it was thought that it had been small because only a few of them had been registered.
This reasoning has been recently challenged by considering that the death of the poor and the middle class were not registered, and that the heat could have incinerated many victims beyond the point of recognition.
The fire started in the early morning of September 2, 1666. It started at Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane, shortly after midnight on Sunday, and propagated rapidly.
The use of the main firefighting technique of the time, the creation of firewalls through demolition, was delayed due to indecision from the Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth.
By the time, the large scale demolitions were ordered on Sunday night, the wind had already turned the house fire into an igneous storm that overcame such attempts to quell it.
On Monday, the fire advanced north, towards the heart of the city.
In the streets, riots began to form because of the rumors that said that foreigners had lit the original fire.
Suspicions were aimed towards the Frenchmen and the Dutchmen, enemies of England in the then ongoing Second English-Dutch War.
These groups of migrants were victims of street violence and lynching.
On Tuesday, the fire extended by most of the town, destroying the gothic St. Paul Cathedral and crossing the Fleet river to threaten Charles II’s Royal Court in Whitehall, while the coordinated efforts in the fight against the fire took simultaneous action.
The battle to quell the fire is considered to have been won because of two factors: the strong east wind stopped, and the garrison from London Tower used gunpowder to create effective firewalls to stop the additional extension of the fire to the east.
The social and economic issues created by this disaster were overwhelming.
The king encouraged evacuating the city and settling in other places, because he feared a rebellion in London amongst the homeless refugees.
Despite the numerous radical proposals, London was rebuilt essentially in the same plane of the old streets used before the Fire.

The Monument to the Great London Fire is a Doric column that stands 200 feet tall and can be found in London City, near London Bridge. It lies in the intersection of Monument Street and Fish Street Hills, 200 feet from where the Great London Fire started in 1666.

The Monument to the Great London Fire is a Doric column that stands 200 feet tall and can be found in London City, near London Bridge.
It lies in the intersection of Monument Street and Fish Street Hills, 200 feet from where the Great London Fire started in 1666.
Another monument, the Pye Corner’s Golden Man, marks the place where the fire ended.
The monument consists of a large Doric column built on Portland stone and crowned by a golden urn in the shape of a fire; it was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke.
The west side of the base of the monument shows an emblematic sculpture by Caius Gabriel Cibber, with high and low reliefs that represent the destruction of the City; with King Charles II and his brother Jacob, Duke of York, surrounded by Freedom, Architecture and Science, giving instructions for the rebuilding of the city.
Its 200 feet mark the distance from the monument to Thomas Farynor, the King’s Bakery in Pudding Lane, where the fire started. At the time of building (between 1671 and 1677), it was the world’s tallest independent column.
It is possible to reach the top of the monument by climbing a narrow spiral staircase, of 311 steps. Halfway through the XIX century, bars were added to the top of the monument to keep people from jumping off it, after six people committed suicide from 1788 to 1842.
Three of the sides of the monument’s base have inscriptions in Latin.
The south side describes the actions undertaken by Charles II after the fire.
The east side describes how the monument was built and who was the Mayor.
The north side describes how the fire started, the damages it caused and how it was extinguished.
The first Rebuilding Act, approved in 1669, stipulates that “the best way to preserve the memory of this terrible happenstance” was for a bronze or stone column to be created in Fish Street Hill, in or near the Farryner bakery, where the fire started.
Wren was asked, as the General Supervisor of the King’s Works, to propose a design.
It was not until 1671, when the City Council approved of said design, and six more years passed until the 200 feet column was finished.

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Monumento al Gran Incendio de Londres
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Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa

Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa

Traducción al idioma inglés realizada por la Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa a través del Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán. English language translation made by Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa through the collaboration of Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán

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