The Monument, London Its Construction and Design On Sunday, September 2, 1666, a fire began at a bakery on Pudding Lane in London and wasn’t fully extinguished until 3 days later. During that time, much of the city burned and several individuals lost their lives. Property loss was great and all activity in the city pretty much came to a halt. The only properties that survived in tact were the ones fashioned mostly from stone. In response to the fire, in 1671 the city commissioned the building of a memorial to allow visitors to reflect on this tragic event and all that was lost as the city burned. Famed architect Sir Christopher Wren was chosen to design the monument. Wren was, at that time, General Surveyor to King Charles II and had recently completed stately St. Paul’s Cathedral. Wren was assisted by Dr. Robert Hooke. The men decided a single Doric column would be best and the structure was completed in 1677. An urn of flames sits at the top of the 202-foot-high (62m) monument, which is fashioned from Portland stone. The height of The Monument is the same as the distance from the site on which it stands to the baker’s home where the fire began. Inside the column is a spiral staircase of 345 stairs, the first 311 bringing visitors to a balcony where they can enjoy an unmatched view of the city, particularly the Port of London neighborhood.turkeyarena.com Other architects and sculptors were involved in the building of The Monument as well. The four lions that sit at the base were sculpted by Edward Pierce Jr. and Caius Gabriel Cibber crafted the sculpture on the west panel on the pedestal. On the north panel, is an inscription that informs visitors as to specifics about the fire. Renovations The Monument is currently closed for a refurbishing project. At the cost of £4.5 million, the memorial’s stonework will be cleaned and repaired and the golden orb at the top of the statue will be re-gilded. Television screens at the base will allow those who don’t want to climb to the gallery to see the view from the bottom. Thus far, The Monument has been restored approximately every 100 years, with the last restoration project occurring in 1888.