Opposite the Duke of Wellington's mansion, Apsley House, this majestic stone arch surveys the traffic rushing around Hyde Park Corner. Designed by Decimus Burton and built in 1828, it was created as a grand entrance to the west side of London and echoes the design of that other landmark gate, Marble Arch Both were triumphal arches commemorating Britain's victory against France in the Napoleonic Wars. The exterior of the arch was intended to be much more ornate but King
George IV was going vastly over budget with his refurbishment of Buckingham Palace and cutbacks had to be made elsewhere. Atop the building, the Angel of Peace descends on the quadriga, or four-horse chariot of war. This replaced the Duke of Wellington on his horse, which was considered too large and moved to an army barracks in Aldershot. Inside the arch, three floors of permanant and temporary exhibits reveal the monument's history and explores the world's other great arches. Don't miss the platform at the top of the arch, where you can enjoy a panoramic view over Hyde Park and peer into the private gardens of Buckingham Palace.