006: Like King Edward III and his wife, take pity on the burghers of Calais


The Burghers of Calais is admittedly one of Rodin’s most famous sculptures. It shows the 6 wealthiest men of Calais surrendering to King Edward III after he besieged the city for a whole year in the 14th century. The story goes that Edward III had planned to execute the burghers for their fierce resistance, but that his wife persuaded him to show mercy and spare the defeated men’s lives.

The Burghers of Calais by Rodin

It is somewhat surprising to find one of the 12 originals of the sculptures in Victoria Tower Gardens, a rather small and discrete garden just behind the Parliament. Even though it is located few minutes away from the busy Parliament Square, the garden and its sculpture usually go unnoticed. But it really is a shame, as they offer a nice piece of history (and a view on the river Thames).

view from Victoria Tower Gardens

Nearest Tube: Westminster

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