Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Albert Memorial

I spent an afternoon at the Albert Memorial a few weeks back. Commissioned by Queen Victoria to honor her husband, Price Albert, who died of typhoid at the young age of 42, the memorial was opened in 1872, 11 years after this death. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic Revival style and is truly a work of art.

I'm including this shot of me beside it, so you can get an idea of its size. It stands 176 feet tall and took 10 years to build.

The statue of Albert himself was seated 3 years after the opening, and it was covered with gold leaf in the late 1990's when it underwent some restoration work.  Prince Albert faces 

the Royal Albert Hall, an arts venue that also honors him.

The canopy features mosaics from Murano, Venice,

while the spire is crowned with eight statues of the moral and Christian virtues, and above that, you see gilded angels with their arms extended towards heaven.

On the four corners are two sets of allegorical sculpture. One is a group representing the Victorian industrial arts and sciences, and the other group is of the four continents. Shown here is Europe

and the Americas. My two homes for this time of my life.

One of the most spectacular features of the Albert Memorial is the Frieze of Parnassus. Around the base of the memorial are 169 life size statues representing the arts.

Represented are sculpters

poets and musicians,


and painters.

Reading about the great love story between Victoria and Albert will whet your appetite to learn even more. Their love story is timeless, and this memorial is a testament of Victoria's adoration of her husband, and the accomplishments of Prince Albert in his lifetime.


  1. This work is exquisite, and looks like a cathedral. I like most the decorations of the canopy. Things to See List for sure.

  2. Debi, so enjoyed viewing the pictures and reading your essay. I got interested in Victoria and Albert after viewing the Young Victoria film this past spring. I enjoy your writings and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful memorial, Debi. The artistry and symbolism are remarkable. I love the whole legend of Victoria and Albert. Best wishes for a lovely end of week.

  4. I love this memorial and the statue of Albert covered in gold leaf is truly remarkable ~ what a handsome man he was !!

  5. These are just wonderful!!! The detail is just amazing, isn't it?

  6. The pictures just don't do it justice! (No fault of the photographer) It is an amazing tribute.
    Another friday's favorite!

  7. I went to a Xmas Concert at the Royal Albert Hall once many years ago... These pictures brought back fabulous memories! It is all so lovely!!!

  8. Ooh, so glittery! I remember studying this in my Humanities class, but I feel a trip that direction is really NECESSARY so that I may fulllly appreciate its beauty...