Much of the beauty of Covent Garden is in the infrastructure of the streetscape, there are many different influences from architectural design fashions from five different centuries.
Like his father, Charles I had a keen interest in architecture and he recognised that, although London had many fine churches and palaces, municipal and procedural buildings were as nothing compared with the elegant structures in the rest of sophisticated Europe. It was this monarch who set about making Covent Garden and London a showcase of fine style, a crusade which has been subsequently adopted by landowners and architects.
The centrepiece of Covent Garden, Inigo Jones’s Market Piazza was built in the 1630s and it was soon surrounded by a varied array of neighbours. Many of the erections you can see here today are original buildings although there are also many newer buildings as older ones have been ravaged variously by fire, the weather, the Luftwaffe and zealous property developers.
Many of the country’s most famous architects have designed buildings around the area: Christopher Wren, Norman Foster, Edwin Landseer, Nicholas Hawksmoor… the list goes on and on. The best way to appreciate the splendour of the architecture is to take your leisure and amble around the sights, many of the most stunning examples are open to the public so you can also appreciate the sumptuousness of their interiors.