For centuries Chelsea was a modest fishing village far from the capital. In the 18th century, Chelsea became a popular place to walk for Londoners wishing to get away from the hectic life of London.
Since the 19th century, many artists, intellectuals and personalities have settled in elegant homes in this wealthy district.
Explore this charming part of West London and admire the many pastel-colored Georgian and Victorian houses.
Michelin House: an Art Nouveau building
This building with Art Nouveau decoration was inaugurated in 1910 and was at the time the first building in England to have a reinforced concrete structure. It was the headquarters of the British subsidiary of Michelin from 1910 to 1985. Today the brand English interior design Conran Shop and two restaurants also belonging to the Terence Conran chain are located in this building.
Address : 81 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD
The Saatchi Gallery is a contemporary art museum created in 1985 by mega-collector and former advertiser Charles Saatchi. The collection occupied various places in the city, before moving to Chelsea in 2006 in a former military building of 15 m000.
The gallery hosts major cultural events such as the “Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh's Treasure” exhibition from November 2019 to May 2020.
An unmissable visit for all art lovers.
Address : Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Founded by King Charles I and built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1682 on the model of Les Invalides in Paris, Royal Hospital Chelsea was a hospital for former members of the royal army. Even today, the hospital is home to nearly 300 British Army veterans over the age of 65 wearing their red uniforms bearing the initials RH (Royal Hospital).
The hospital houses 3 magnificent rooms :
-> The Great Room covered with woodwork where the residents dine under a painting by Verrio representing Charles II
-> The Chapel housing the Resurrection, a masterpiece by Sébastien Ricci
-> The Council chamber with works by de Van Eyck and Lely.
Open to the public who can visit the white and black marble chapel, adorned with woodwork carved by Gibbons, and the small museum with many photographs, medals and uniforms.
Daily paid tours are also offered
Address : Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR
Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show is the world's most prestigious horticultural fair, held annually since 1913 in the gardens of the Royal Chelsea Hospital.
For 5 days in May, professional and amateur gardeners exhibit their floral creations in the hope of winning one of the show's prestigious prizes. Their creations are sculptures and plant statues or even English or French gardens.
The 150 visitors are amazed and discover the latest trends in plants and the pinnacle of garden design.
National Army Museum: a military museum in Chelsea
Ce military museum founded in 1960 in the district of Chelsea, on the site of a former infirmary of the Royal Hospital Chelsea traces the history of the British army from 1066 to the present day.
The National Army Museum has four chronologically arranged thematic galleries featuring a rich collection of uniforms, decorations, models, sound recordings and videos explaining the various functions of the military throughout history.
Do not miss the huge model with 70 figurines of the Battle of Waterloo and the skeleton of Marengo, one of Napoleon's favorite horses, taken in Waterloo, as well as the reconstruction of a trench.
Address : Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT
Chelsea physic garden
Founded in 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries of London, Chelsea physic garden is the second oldest botanical garden in Britain, after the University of Oxford Botanic Garden established in 1621.
Originally created by the Apothecaries for the purpose of growing medicinal plants, this extraordinary London garden has had a huge impact around the world. In 1713, the famous naturalist physician Sir Hans Sloane enriched the garden with exotic seeds such as cedars, cotton plants and tea.
Today this par of two hectares of greenery with crazy charm shelters hundreds of essences, thousands of aromatic plants, fruits and vegetables.
Guided tours are available Monday to Friday, April to October at 11:00 a.m. and 13:00 p.m. Paying visit and only by reservation.
Address : 66 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS
Chelsea Old Church
Chelsea Old Church is the old church of Chelsea dating partly from the 1528th century which was remodeled in 1477 at the initiative of the humanist Thomas More (1535-XNUMX).
Most of the church was destroyed during the bombings of World War II but spared the Thomas More chapel which according to legend has a headless body buried below.
Address : 64 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London SW3 5LT
Less known than the famous Tower Bridge, Albert Bridge one of the most beautiful buildings of its kind to see in West London. This 220m long road bridge which connects the district of Chelsea to Battersea, was built in 1873 by Rowland Mason Ordish, who notably worked on the Royal Albert Hall.
Following stability problems, the bridge was modified and consolidated between 1884 and 1887 by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. Still with a view to strengthening it, in 1973 two pillars were built under the footbridge.
Today, Albert Bridge is an unusual hybrid bridge of three different design styles. It is an English Heritage Grade II * listed building.
For the record, Albert Bridge features four curiosities :
-> Its colors pink, blue and green are intended to increase visibility in fog and prevent damage from ships.
-> It has the last toll booth on a London Bridge.
-> The presence of warning signs asking the troops to break the pace before crossing the bridge (that is, to walk normally on the bridge) because the rhythm of the soldiers' footsteps could have made the bridge tremble, even damaged it.
-> At nightfall, it is lit by 4000 LED.
The pretty colorful houses in Chelsea
Like a Notting Hill, Chelsea also has its share of colorful houses and a village atmosphere. This haven of peace where there are magnificent terraced houses with Victorian and Georgian architecture has been the place of residence of many personalities since the 19th century.
Away from the hustle and bustle of King's Road, Bywater Street is a charming cul-de-sac known for its pastel-colored terraced houses.
At number 9, would have lived the fictional character George Smiley, who played an MI6 intelligence agent in John Le Carré's detective story.
Cheyne Walk: cultural heart of Chelsea
Along the Thames, Cheyne Walk is one of the most beautiful streets in London. The most remarkable residences are the Georgian facades numbers 3-6, 15 and 16 built around 1720 and numbers 7-12 built in the 1880s.
This architectural style used between the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th century was popular among the middle and wealthy classes. The elegant brick and stone facades are marked by the symmetry and proportions inspired by ancient Greece.
Also discover numbers 38 and 39, from style Arts & Crafts (1904), and Lindsey House to 95-100, a 17th century mansion.
The street is named after the politician Lord Cheyne who lived in the Chelsea mansion until 1712 when he sold it to Sir Hans Sloane.
Finally, Cheyne Walk is also known for its many famous residents coming from the world of music, politics, art and literature. It is in this street that we find the greatest number of blue plaques per square meter. These plaques signify that a famous resident has stayed in this place.
Among those who lived on this street, we find:
- At n ° 3: Keith Richards (co-founder of the Rolling Stones group)
- At n ° 4: George Eliot (British novelist real name Mary Anne Evans)
- At n ° 10: David Lloyd George (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922)
- At n ° 14: Bertrand Russell (British mathematician, logician, philosopher, epistemologist, politician and moralist)
- At n ° 16: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (British painter, poet, translator and writer) and Algernon Charles Swinburne (Victorian poet)
- At n ° 17: Naomi Mitchison (Scottish writer)
- At n ° 21: Henry James (American writer, naturalized British)
- At n ° 27: Bram Stoker (British writer, author of Dracula)
- At n ° 42: Guy Liddell (British intelligence officer)
- At n ° 48: Mick Jagger (Co-founder of the Rolling Stones group) and Marianne Faithfull (British singer and actress)
- At n ° 92: Ken follett (Welsh writer specializing in spy and historical novels)
- At n ° 93: Elizabeth gaskell (British novelist)
- At n ° 98: Marc Brunel (Franco-British engineer, designer of the Thames tunnel) and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel (known for creating the Great Western Railway, a famous steamer series)
- At n ° 100: Roman Abramovich (Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea FC football club)
- At n ° 109: Philip Wilson Steer (Scottish painter)
- At n ° 119: Ronnie Wood (Guitarist of the group Rolling Stones) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (British painter, watercolourist and printmaker)
- At n ° 122: Thomas Stearns Eliot (Naturalized British American poet, playwright and literary critic), William Somerset Maugham (British novelist, short story writer and playwright), Ian Fleming (author of the James Bond spy novel series).
Godfrey Street is a pretty street of pastel-colored houses, located just off Kings Road and Chelsea Green.
Oakley Street et la jolie » Love Door «
About 420 meters long, Oakley Street with its Victorian and Georgian terraced houses is another plush street in Chelsea.
- At n ° 42: Bob Marley moved into this house in 1977 with his wife Rita and her band and composed the hit "I Shot the Sheriff"
- At n ° 48: The very Instagrammed " Love Door«
- At n ° 56: Robert Falcon Scott (Royal Navy officer and British polar explorer)
- At n ° 87: Oscar Wilde (Irish writer, novelist, playwright and poet)
- At n ° 89: David Bowie (English singer-songwriter and actor) lived in this house from 1973 to 1976
- At n ° 93: suffragettes lived at this address
The northern part of Sloane Street, near Knightsbridge colloquially known as Upper Sloane Street, is known for its many luxury boutiques.
On the other hand, the southern half of the street is much more individual in character. One can observe large red brick gabled houses characteristic of the Dutch style of Pont Street from the end of the 19th century.