The Victoria Embankment dates from 1870, and runs past Hungerford Bridge to Blackfriars and The City.
Prior to its construction, the closest road to the river was The Strand – but poor drainage meant that a modern sewerage system had to be installed. The Embankment thus covers the pipes that carry our waste along the river.
Although a walk along the lamp lit bank is more-or-less a must for lovers these days, a lot of London’s loveliest views are on the wrong side of the water. The only decent pic is of the London Eye.
The Victoria Embankment is best known for Cleopatra’s Needle, which stands near Hungerford Bridge. It dates from the reign of Pharaoh Tuthmose III in 1475 BC, and didn’t gain the ‘Cleopatra’ moniker until it was moved to Alexandria.
The Viceroy of Egypt gifted it to the British in the early 19th-century as a thank you for ousting Napoleon, but the heavy weight made shipment impossible for several decades. The transportation back to Blighty resulted in several deaths on board the boat – the names of which can be seen in the plaque around the base. It was eventually stood upright in 1879.