Piccadilly Circus

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Piccadilly Circus in 1896, with a view towards Leicester Square via Coventry Street. London Pavilion is on the left, and Criterion Theatre on the right.
Staue of 'Eros' with young tourists

Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space in London's West End in the City of Westminster.[1]

The Circus links Piccadilly with Regent Street, and the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue, as well as the Haymarket, Coventry Street (onwards to Leicester Square), and Glasshouse Street.

The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in the West End. Its status as a major traffic intersection has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right.

The Circus is particularly known for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side, as well as the fountain and statue of an archer popularly known as Eros. Actually the statue is that of Anteros, who in legend was the brother of Eros. The fountain is a pedestrian area: it and the Circus there is surrounded by several noted buildings, the London Pavilion and the Criterion Theatre. Directly underneath the plaza is Piccadilly Circus tube station, part of the London Underground system.

Panorama of Piccadilly Circus from the southern side in front of Lillywhites

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning "circle", is a round open space at a street junction. Oxford English Dictionary 2nd ed, 1989

Coordinates: 51°30′36″N 0°8′4″W / 51.51°N 0.13444°W / 51.51; -0.13444