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15 February 2010

Find the Crystal Palace Sphinx

When London hosted the Great Exhibition in 1851, it was a chance for London to show the world the power and greatness of Britain in the Victorian Age. As such, it was decorated with various architectural and aesthetic flourishes which reflected the global nature of the exhibition. A Sphinx was inevitable really...

The 990,000 square ft Crystal Palace was built in Hyde Park as a place for more than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world to gather and celebrate the progress of the industrial revolution and the might of the empire.

The 'Palace', originally designed by Joseph Paxton, who had been gardener at Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, was subsequently relocated to Sydenham, to the area we all now know as Crystal Palace. Many of the sculptures and flourishes were relocated with it, and whilst the palace itself burned down in 1936, some of the other elements remain and the Sphinx still stands guard at the entrance, keeping watch to check who accesses the empty terraces where once a palace stood.

For more on the Crystal Palace, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crystal_Palace

^Picture by GoforChris^