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Friday, February 1, 2013

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a London district on the eastern edge of the West End, between Drury Lane and Saint Martin's Lane. The name Covent Garden is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square which famously appeared in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and the resultant musical, My Fair Lady. Covent Garden is now a popular shopping and tourist area as well as home to the Royal Opera House, which is also known as "Covent Garden".

Covent Garden in London

The 4th Earl of Bedford (1593-1641) commissioned Inigo Jones to build some impressive houses to attract wealthy tenants to Covent Garden. Jones designed the Italianate arcaded square as well. The square's design was new to London, and its influence on modern town planning was significant.

The fruit and vegetable market moved to a new location in 1974, and the central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980. Covent Garden is now a tourist location containing shops, cafes, pubs and a craft market called the Apple Market (see photo below).

Covent Garden in London

Covent Garden is easily accessed via the London underground's Piccadilly line at Covent Garden tube station which is on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. Visitors to Covent Garden may also want to visit the nearby British Museum or enjoy shopping at Selfridges on Oxford Street.

Covent Garden Underground Station, London, UK

Map of Covent Garden

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