National Gallery London
Art lovers will definitely want to visit the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery during a vacation in London
Founded in 1824, the National Gallery in London features a great collection of over 2300 Western European paintings which date as far back to the middle of the 13th century.
The National Gallery began with a collection of paintings purchased by the British government from the estate of art patron John Julius Angerstein. At that time the collection was located in his former townhouse on Pall Mall. The collection outgrew this location and was moved to the current location at Trafalgar Square in 1838. Over the years several wings have be added to the gallery to keep up with the growing collection.
Adjoining the National Gallery is the National Portrait Gallery where visitors can view portraits of famous and historically significant people of Great Britain. This gallery opened in 1856 and was relocated to it's present location at Trafalgar Square in 1896. Over the years the gallery has had two expansions. The Portrait Gallery also features the Portrait Restaurant offering Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with views of the surrounding area.
The permanent collections of art in both Galleries belong to the people of the United Kingdom and therefore admission is free with the exception of any special rotating exhibits.
The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery are open daily from 10 am to 6 pm and until 9 pm on Friday (Thursday and Friday for the Portrait Gallery) except on December 24-26th.