Royal Albert Hall was planned by Prince Albert, the husband
of Queen Victoria, inspired by Roman amphitheatres he had
seen in Europe. Albert's original concept was for an
ovoid auditorium for 30,000 people but money constraints meant
that the hall was reduced to seat just over 5,000. Designed
by engineer, Francis Fowke, the hall was completed in 1871.
The red brick and terracotta
building is topped by an iron and glass dome, and a frieze
representing arts and science, runs around the exterior.
Originally to be called the Hall of Arts and Science Queen
Victoria changed it to the Royal Albert Hall in memory of
This much-loved London landmark,
the Albert Hall is used for a variety of events, from fashion
and pop concerts to wrestling.
From mid-July to mid-September
it is devoted solely to the Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts
or 'Proms', that are organized by the BBC and feature the
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra These concerts were originally
held in the Queen's Hall, Langham Place, but moved to the
Albert Hall after the Queen's Hall was destroyed in the Blitz.
The 'Proms' have a varied programme
including modern symphonic music and classics. Seats
are removed from in front of the stage, leaving an open space
in which members of the audience either stand or sit
on the floor. The very English 'Last Night of the Proms'
has become a national institution and tickets sell out weeks
in advance. Tickets for the 'Proms' can be bought on
the day of the performance but long queues build up.
Tel: 020 7589 8212 (
Box Office) 020 7589 3203