View of the The Red London Eye with red color from red reflection
London, UK , England. A metropolitan Urban , City of London. It was no clouds that night.
London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is the tallest (135 metres (443 ft)) Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, visited by over 3 million people a year.
At the time it was erected it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang (160m) in May 2006, and then the Singapore Flyer (165m) on February 11, 2008. However, it is still described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel" (because the entire structure is supported by an A-frame on one side only).
The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
The nearest London Underground stations are Waterloo and Westminster.
Since 1 January 2005, the Eye has been the focal point of London's New Year celebrations, with 10-minute fireworks displays taking place involving fireworks fired from the wheel itself.
During the bidding process of the 2012 Olympic Games, the London bid organisers announced the Olympic emblem would be attached to the Eye for the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In August of 2007, it was announced that London Eye could be
temporarily renamed "The McCartney Eye" after Sir Paul
McCartney of the Beatles. The renaming would coincide with the release
of a McCartney related DVD set titled "The McCartney
The London Eye is the vision of David Marks and Julia Barfield, a husband and wife architect team. The wheel design was used as a metaphor of the turning of the century.
British Airways was the main sponsor of the London Eye until February 2008 and up until November 2005 were joint shareholders with Marks Barfield Architects and The Tussauds Group. British Airways also privately funded the London Eye project from the early stages of conception.
The project was truly European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany, the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK. (Mann, Thompson, Smits, 2001)
It was formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at
20:00 GMT on December 31, 1999, although it was not opened to the
public until March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its
opening, the Eye, operated by Merlin Entertainments but sponsored by
British Airways, has become a major landmark and tourist attraction.