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Victoria Memorial
Kolkata and surrounding
Architecture,  Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions,  Palaces
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions, 

In the very heart of the city of Kolkata, like a snow-white angel, soars a marvelous representative of a mix between Italian palatial luxury of the Renaissance and fine intricate elements typical of the Eastern architecture school. The Victoria Memorial was erected in 1921 under the project of William Emerson, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in honor of the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Empress of India. The foundation stone was laid by Prince of Wales and later British King George V. The construction of the marble palace continued for 15 long years and was finalized when a bronze figure of Nike, the goddess of victory, was fixed atop the central dome. It received the name of the Angel of Victory. Later, Scottish botanist David Prain and British lord Redesdale added gorgeous landscaped gardens with fountains and ponds, sculptures and statues, the most famous of which is the bronze statue of Queen Victoria.

Annually, the memorial attracts more than 2 million tourists. It is considered to be the key landmark of the former Indian capital. From the middle of the 20th century, it has been housing the collections of one of the biggest museums of the country. The number of valuable exhibits counts about 30 000, while 4 000 of those are genuine masterpieces of pictorial art.

The museum hosts 25 galleries, including the Royal Gallery with portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The protagonist of this hall is the painting depicting Victoria’s coronation scene in Westminster Abbey. Personal belongings of the members of the royal family, furniture, and even a piano of Victoria herself can be seen in the Queen’s Hall. Spacious halls of the sculpture and antique arms galleries and the impressive exhibition devoted to the history of Kolkata starting from the 17th century and until the transfer of the capital of India to New Delhi deserve equal attention. Besides, here you can find rare coins, valuable stamps and stunning pieces of cloth embroidered in gold and silver.

Address: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Maidan

Published by

Diane Mikheeva

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