In one of London’s most beautiful royal parks, there’s an iron line with a fascinating history - the so-called Zero Meridian which has kept time for the world for 136 years. In fact, until 1884, every Nation calculated the time in different ways, based on the movement of the Sun - a Tower of Babel of Time which proved trying for travellers as they spent days and days crossing vast seas and even oceans. To resolve this problem, the delegates of 25 Nations around the world, came together in Washington D.C. and created the brilliant system of time zones. Thus “universal time” was born, based on the division of the globe according to wedges separated by lines known as meridians. As a point of reference for calculating the time in different parts of the planet, the meridian passing through the Astronomical Observatory of Greenwich in the South of London was chosen. Today, next to the iron line, are stone plaques citing the times in some of the world’s most important cities. The nearby Shepherd Gate Clock is the first electric clock capable of showing all 24 hours simultaneously. There are numerous attractions in this park designed by architect André Le Notre - from the Palladian architecture of the Queen’s House to the 1700s sailboat, the Cutty Shark, from the Neo-Gothic Castle of Vanbrugh, home of the RAF, to the Royal Observatory Museum, where one can admire ancient maps and astronomical and navigational instruments, as well as the magical Planetarium and an amazing view of the skyscrapers of the Docklands.
The dining halls of the V&A are over 150 years old. Designed by stars of interior design of the 1800s, it transformed the experience of visiting the museum and was well ahead of its time in respect to the rest of the world.