London:  Trafalgar Square and St. Martin in the Fields Church!


Dear Commons Community,

Today was a day of local and light sightseeing.  Elaine and I spent the afternoon in Trafalgar Square which became a pedestrian mall in 2003.  The square works well as a place for people to congregate, for musicians, and street entertainers. The center of the square has the famous Lord Nelson column, flanked by four lion sculptures, and fountains.  The square also is the main entry for the the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and St. Martin in the Fields Church. The National Portrait Gallery has a fine collection of paintings and photographs of British royalty and other important historical figures.

St. Martin in the Fields is an Anglican Church dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, a 4th and 5th century monk and bishop who renounced war and is associated with helping the poor and the homeless.  As is typical in Anglican churches, there are no statues, paintings, or religious icons.   It has a very interesting abstract window above the main altar that according to a pamphlet was designed to represent the “light” shining into the church.  There is also a bronze sculpture inside the entrance of the church depicting the famous photograph of Hector Pieterson, the 13-year old high school South African student killed in 1976 when he and fellow students staged a protest against a new government policy making Africaans and English the official languages to be used in black secondary schools.

Tomorrow we leave for Dover and the White Cliffs.



National Gallery and St. Martin in the Fields


Main Window in St. Martin in the Fields



Bronze Sculpture of Hector Pieterson Being Carried by Another Student


Original Photograph of Hector Pieterson Being Carried by Another Student

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