Saturday, March 08, 2014

London Peace Pagoda

London The Unfinished City
Peace in our Time.
Saturday March 8, 2014.

Having never visited Battersea Park, I couldn't wait to see the place for myself. It was a warm Spring afternoon when I finally reached my destination, where I took many photographs, from various angles. But, in the end, it was the image above, which was the first one I took, that I liked the most. The light and vibrancy of the colours really gave the area a serene feel, considering the bustle of joggers, dog walkers and fitness fanatics that were all around me.

Brief History

The Greater London Council were looking for something to mark the city's 'Peace Year', in 1984, and were taken with the idea of a Peace Pagoda. One had been opened in Milton Keynes, in 1980, that had become a huge success, so the GLC contacted the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order, who had been constructing Peace Pagodas around the world, since 1947.

Buddhist monks and nuns, from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order, joined by volunteers began construction of the Peace Pagoda in 1984, with it being being completed the following year.

London The Unfinished City
The roof of the Peace Pagoda.

Constructed of wood and concrete, with four gilded bronze sculptures of Buddha adorning the sides, the Peace Pagoda stands 33.5 m high and is situated alongside the River Thames, in Battersea Park, midway between Albert Bridge and Chelsea Bridge.

London The Unfinished City
One of the four sculptures of Buddha.

  • During construction the workers lived in what is now the Children's Zoo,
  • Permission to build the Peace Pagoda was the last legislative act of the Greater London Council.
  • The London Peace Pagoda was only the second to be built in a Western capital city. The first was built in Vienna, in 1983.

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