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Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus is a famous road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly.
Piccadilly now links directly to the theatres on Shaftsbury Avenue, as well as the Haymarket, Coventry Street , and Glasshouse Street. The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in the heart of the West End. Its status as a major traffic intersection has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction.
History Piccadilly Circus connects to Piccadilly, a thoroughfare whose name first appeared in 1626 as Pickadilly Hall, named after a house belonging to one Robert Baker, a tailor famous for selling piccadills, or piccadillies, a term used for various kinds of collars. The street was known as Portugal Street in 1692 in honour of Catherine of Braganza, the queen consort of King Charles II of England but was known as Piccadilly by 1743. The circus lost its circular form in 1886 with the construction of Shaftesbury Avenue.
The Piccadilly Circus tube station was opened March 10, 1906, on the Bakerloo Line, and on the Piccadilly Line in December of that year. In 1928, the station was extensively rebuilt to handle an increase in traffic. History
The intersection's first electric advertisements appeared in 1910, and, from 1923, electric billboards were set up on the facade of the London Pavilion. Traffic lights were first installed on August 3, 1926, at the junction. History
Location and sights Piccadilly Circus is surrounded by several major tourist attractions, including the Shaftesbury Memorial, Criterion Theatre, London Pavilion and several major retail stores.
Shaftesbury Memorial The Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain, erected in 1892-1893 to commemorate the philanthropic works of Lord Shaftesbury, who was a famous Victorian politician and philanthropist.
«The Angel of Christian Charity» The monument is topped by Alfred Gilbert's winged nude statue of an archer, sometimes referred to as The Angel of Christian Charity and popularly known as Eros after the mythical Greek god of love.
Criterion Theatre The Criterion Theatre, listed building, stands on the south side of Piccadilly Circus. Apart from the box office area, the entire theatre, with nearly 600 seats, is underground and is reached by descending a tiled stairway. The theatre was designed by Thomas Verity and opened as a theatre on March 21, 1874.