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Albertopolis

Albertopolis

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Albertopolis is the area centred on South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

, Kensington & Chelsea, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England, between Cromwell Road
Cromwell Road
Cromwell Road is a major road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, and is designated part of the A4. It was created in the 19th century and is named after Oliver Cromwell....

 and Kensington Gore
Kensington Gore
Kensington Gore is a street in central London, England, the same name having been formerly used for the piece of land on which it stands. It runs along the south side of Hyde Park, continuing as Kensington Road to both the east and west. A gore is a narrow, triangular piece of land.The road is part...

, which contains a large number of educational and cultural sites, including:
  • Imperial College London
    Imperial College London
    Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

  • Natural History Museum
    Natural History Museum
    The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

  • Royal Albert Hall
    Royal Albert Hall
    The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

  • Royal College of Art
    Royal College of Art
    The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

  • Royal College of Music
    Royal College of Music
    The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England.-Background:The first director was Sir George Grove and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry...

  • Royal Geographical Society
    Royal Geographical Society
    The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

  • Science Museum
    Science Museum (London)
    The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
    Victoria and Albert Museum
    The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

  • Albert Memorial
    Albert Memorial
    The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the...



The following, which were originally institutions in their own right:
  • City & Guilds College, now a subsidiary of Imperial College as the City and Guilds of London Institute
    City and Guilds of London Institute
    The City and Guilds of London Institute is a leading United Kingdom vocational education organisation. City & Guilds offers more than 500 qualifications over the whole range of industry sectors through 8500 colleges and training providers in 81 countries worldwide...

  • Geological Museum
    Geological Museum
    The Geological Museum is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the Natural History Museum in London...

    , now a subsidiary of the Natural History Museum
  • Royal College of Science
    Royal College of Science
    The Royal College of Science was a higher education institution located in South Kensington; it was a constituent college of Imperial College London from 1907 until it was wholly absorbed by Imperial in 2002. Alumni include H. G. Wells and Brian May and are distinguishable by the letters ARCS ...

    , now a subsidiary of Imperial College
  • Royal School of Mines
    Royal School of Mines
    Royal School of Mines comprises the departments of Earth Science and Engineering, and Materials at Imperial College London.- History :The Royal School of Mines was established in 1851, as the Government School of Mines and Science Applied to the Arts...

    , now a subsidiary of Imperial College


Institutions formerly in Albertopolis include:
  • Royal College of Organists
    Royal College of Organists
    The Royal College of Organists or RCO, is a charity and membership organisation based in the United Kingdom, but with members around the world...

    , from 1904 to 1991.
  • Royal School of Naval Architecture
    Royal School of Naval Architecture
    The first School of Naval Architecture opened in 1811 in Portsmouth and closed in 1832. The Royal School of Naval Architecture or Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering was an institution founded in South Kensington in 1864 to train naval architects...

    , from 1864 to 1873.
  • Royal School of Needlework
    Royal School of Needlework
    The Royal School of Needlework is a hand embroidery school in the United Kingdom, founded in 1872.It has an archive of over 30,000 images covering every period of British history...

    , from 1903 to 1987.
  • Imperial Institute, later Commonwealth Institute
    Commonwealth Institute
    The Commonwealth Institute was an educational charity connected with the Commonwealth of Nations, and the name of a building in West London formerly owned by the Institute...

    , from 1893 to 1962


Recent additions to Albertopolis:
  • Ismaili Centre
    Ismaili Centre
    The Ismaili Centres are symbolic markers of the permanent presence of the Ismaili Muslim community in the countries and regions in which they are established. Each building is architecturally unique, and incorporates spaces for social and cultural gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection,...



Following the advice of Prince Albert
Prince Albert
Prince Albert was the husband and consort of Queen Victoria.Prince Albert may also refer to:-Royalty:*Prince Albert Edward or Edward VII of the United Kingdom , son of Albert and Victoria...

  the area was purchased by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 is an institution founded in 1850 to administer the international exhibition of 1851, officially called the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, held in The Crystal Palace in London, England...

 with the profits made from the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was held in a site in Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

 nearby to the north-east. This is commemorated in the name of the principal north-south street laid out on their estate, Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, forming a semi-border between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster...

.

Prince Albert was a driving force behind the Great Exhibition and President of the Royal Commission, and the name "Albertopolis" seems to have been coined in the 1850s to celebrate and somewhat satirise his role in Victorian cultural life. After his death the term fell into disuse, and the area was more widely referred to as South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

. It was revived by architectural historians in the 1960s and popularised by the nascent conservation
Historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...

 movement to bring attention to the complex of public Victorian buildings and the surrounding houses built on the Commissioners' estate, that were threatened with demolition by the expansion and redevelopment plans of Imperial College. Among the buildings threatened was the Imperial Institute, designed by T. E. Collcutt
Thomas Edward Collcutt
Thomas Edward Collcutt was an English architect in the Victorian era who designed several important buildings in London.-Biography:...

.

There is a central axis between the Albert Memorial
Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the...

 in Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. It is shared between the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The park covers an area of 111 hectares .The open spaces...

 to the north, and the central portal of the south façade of the Natural History Museum. The Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music, the former tower of the otherwise demolished Imperial Institute (now the Queen's Tower
Queen's Tower (London)
The Queen's Tower is situated in the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College London, England. It is tall with a copper covered dome at its top...

 of Imperial College London) and the 1950s rear extension to the Science Museum are all aligned on this axis, which cannot be seen on the ground. This regular geometric alignment of Albertopolis can only be observed readily from the balconies of the Queen's Tower (very rarely open to visitors) although the northern part can be glimpsed from the top floor of the Science Museum.

The closest tube station is South Kensington
South Kensington tube station
South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines. On the District and Circle lines, the station is between Gloucester Road and Sloane Square, and on the Piccadilly Line, it is between Gloucester Road and...

 which is linked to the museums by a tiled tunnel beneath Exhibition Road constructed in 1885. This tunnel originally continued as a covered route to the south porch of the Royal Albert Hall via a second tunnel (subsequently used for a period as Imperial College's shooting range
Shooting range
A shooting range or firing range is a specialized facility designed for firearms practice. Each facility is typically overseen by one or more supervisory personnel, called variously a range master or "RSO – Range Safety Officer" in the United States or a range conducting officer or "RCO" in the UK...

) before emerging into the arcades and conservatory of the former gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society
Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 in London, England as the Horticultural Society of London, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert...

.

See also

  • Henry Cole
    Henry Cole
    Sir Henry Cole was an English civil servant and inventor who facilitated many innovations in commerce and education in 19th century Britain...

  • Charles Wentworth Dilke
    Charles Wentworth Dilke
    Charles Wentworth Dilke was an English liberal critic and writer on literature.-Professional life :He served for many years in the Navy Pay-Office, on retiring from which he devoted himself to literary pursuits.- Literary life:...

  • Exhibition Road
    Exhibition Road
    Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, forming a semi-border between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster...

  • Serpentine Gallery
    Serpentine Gallery
    The Serpentine Gallery is an art gallery in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, central London. It focuses on modern and contemporary art. The exhibitions, architecture, education and public programmes attract approximately 750,000 visitors a year...

     in Hyde Park
    Hyde Park, London
    Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

    to the north

External links