My Visit to the Crystal Palace


Hi! My name is Kira Minnick. I just wanted to tell you a little about the big travel experience I got to have a few years ago. My family and I left our home in Algeria to head out for London, England. It was a long trip, but well worth it. We made this trip because we wanted to see what everyone around the world was talking about – The Crystal Palace. The Great Exhibition or The World’s Fair is what everyone was calling this huge display of new technologies and things that are expected to change the entire world in huge ways some day soon. I think it was a great learning experience for my family and me. My sister and I learned a lot about all of these great new things and about England, itself. So, sit back and just enjoy reading about all of these things that we saw and learned on our visit.


When we got there, we visited a tourist place first. They let us rest, because it was a very, very long trip, while they informed us of how life is there and of their queen. I learned that their ruler is a monarch. A monarch is a ruler who is absolute. The monarch at this time is Queen Victoria. She inherited the throne upon the death of William IV. She was barely even eighteen years old at that time. She is very modest and straightforward. This is why the people over there like her so much. She is married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. This World’s Fair that we visited was mainly his idea. He is very interested in art, science, and industry. From the way everyone around the world is talking about it, I think that this industrial convention that Prince Albert has organized will go along way in the future of the world as a whole.


Right now, Great Britain is considered to be a big leader in industry around the world. This Great Exhibit sort of represents the economic, industrial, and military superiority that Great Britain has gained. They say that Britain wanted to have this fair so that they could display their great inventions and technologies alongside those of the “less-civilized” countries. I think that could be true, because the best things that we saw there were usually from Britain.


The convention is being held, still, in Hyde Park in London, England. The Crystal Palace was built just for this event. It is an amazing structure. The Crystal Palace was designed specifically for this fair by an architect named Sir Joseph Paxton. He used to be the head gardener at Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. They said he designed it in only 10 days. Wow! It is a huge iron structure with over a million feet of glass. The building is used to showcase all of the great achievements from the different countries who are involved. Parts of it were big enough to surround fully grown elm trees. It was completed in less than a year and Queen Victoria opened it on May 1st. It’s said that over 20,000 people visited on opening day alone. All of the exhibits on display there totaled around 100,000 from all across the world.


The park around the Crystal Palace was a great display in itself, also. It contained a magnificent series of fountains with almost 12,000 individual jets. The largest fountain threw water 250 feet high. When all of the fountains are on at the same time, it uses almost 120,000 gallons of water. There were also a lot of statues throughout the park. Most of them were copies of great works that were previously created around the world. The thing I liked most in the park was what they called fireworks. They shoot them up into the air at night and they burst into different colors high in the sky. That was awesome. It cost us five shillings a piece to get in, but it was well worth it.


Like I said, there were over 100,000 exhibits at this thing, so I can’t tell you about all of them. I will tell you about some of my favorites that