Visit Victoria Square to see city landmarks, admire sculptures and an ornamental fountain, and shop at the annual Christmas market and craft fair. The square was originally called Council House Square. It took its present name on January 10, 1901, to commemorate Queen Victoria. Curiously, the queen passed away less than two weeks later.
Take time to admire the buildings surrounding the square. On the west side is Birmingham Town Hall, a popular concert venue. Check out its Corinthian columns and Roman-revival architectural style. The Council House occupies the square’s north side. Built between 1874 and 1879, the building houses part of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Look for the clock tower. Locals call it Big Brum, which refers to its likeness to London’s Big Ben.
The square’s artwork offers plenty of photo opportunities. The centerpiece is The River (also known as The Floozie in the Jacuzzi), a large ornamental fountain. Indian sculptor Dhruva Mistry designed it in 1993. Check out the 20-foot (six-meter) tall Iron: Man statue by Antony Gormley and a statue of Queen Victoria created by Thomas Brock.
Come to Victoria Square to enjoy its cultural events. Try German food and mulled wine, and shop for handicrafts at the annual Frankfurt Christmas Market in December. Younger visitors will enjoy riding the market’s carousel. Watch performances by local and international jazz musicians during the Birmingham International Jazz Festival, held in July. Full details of concerts are on the Live Brum event listings website.
Victoria Square marks the heart of Birmingham city center. Major city attractions, such as Symphony Hall and The Mailbox, are a short walk away. A pedestrian-only street runs west to Brindley Place and east to the Bullring Shopping Centre. The nearest train station is Birmingham New Street. Public buses also stop close to the square.