The Victoria Memorial also Known as "White Palace" is a memorial building dedicated to Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India located in Kolkata, India - the capital of West Bengal and a former capital of British India. It currently serves as a museum and a tourist attraction. It is an autonomous organization within the Government of India's Ministry of Culture.
The memorial was designed by Sir William Emerson in an architectural style similar to Belfast City Hall. Earlier asked to design the building in the Italian Renaissance style, Emerson was against the exclusive use of European styles and used Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating Mughal elements in the structure. Vincent Esch was the superintending architect while Lord Redesdale and Sir David Prain designed the gardens. The work of construction was entrusted to Messrs Martin & Co. of Calcutta. The foundation stone of the memorial was laid down in the year 1906, by Edward, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII). Apart from being a memorial, the monument was intended to serve as a tribute to the success of the British Empire in India. Lord Curzon was the one who envisaged the main idea of the erection of the Victoria Memorial Hall, which was to serve as the architectural culmination of the Kolkata city.
Even the classical style of the monument was specified by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy. However, it was Sir William Emerson, a renowned architect, who laid down by the actual plan of the memorial. The design of the structure represents an amazing fusion of British and Mughal architecture. White Makrana marbles were used in the construction of Victoria Memorial Hall and the building was inaugurated in the year 1921. The massive hall is 338 by 228 feet and rises to a height of 184 feet. Facade of the Victoria Memorial. British government money was not used in its construction at all. Rather, the British Indian states, along with the individuals who wanted some favours from the British government, were the main contributors towards the cost of building the Victoria Memorial Hall.
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