London replica torched to commemorate Great Fire Anniversary

A 120-meter long model of the 17th century London skyline is set alight on the River Thames to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A replica of 1666 London is torched.

The date was September 2, 1666. The day flames engulfed the city of London, destroying homes, ending the livelihoods of many and irreparably changed its landscape.

The Great Fire of London started in Thomas Farrinor's bakery on Pudding Lane and raged until September 5, destroying 80 percent of the mostly wooden, walled inner city. 

An estimated 70,000 of the 80,000 residents were rendered homeless by the disaster. By the time the fire was extinguished a total of 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches and Saint Paul's Cathedral had been destroyed.

A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

On Sunday, onlookers crowded along the River Thames to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London as a massive wooden replica of 17th century London was torched.

The 120-metre long wooden model was set alight along the river that winds through the British capital.

Spectators snapped photographs on their smartphones as the flames devoured 120-metre wooden model complete with replica buildings floating on the water. 

The torching of the 17th century model of London, was executed by US "burn artist" David Best and live streamed online. 

The final touches are made to a 120 metre-long wooden sculpture of London's skyline from the seventeenth century as it is moored up on the river Thames in London.

Recreating the fire on Sunday was part of a wider series of events to mark the anniversary of the inferno, celebrating the city's ability to rebuild and thrive.

Nick Bodger, head of cultural and visitor development for the City of London, said the capital's resilience, witnessed again during the 1940s Blitz, helped it rebuild and survive.

"350 years ago, when embers from a baker's oven sparked one of the most catastrophic events the capital has ever witnessed, London's economic prowess almost came to a fiery end," he told reporters in the run-up to the anniversary.

"A renewed sense of purpose saw the great city we enjoy today rise from those ashes, develop and thrive."

The dome of St Paul's Cathedral is lit up with a fiery projection ahead of the London's Burning festival commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

The London's Burning programme saw flames being projected onto Saint Paul's Cathedral, one of the capital's most iconic monuments which was completed 44 years after the Great Fire.

TRTWorld and agencies