Um, here’s why London just intentionally set itself on fire

Why would London celebrate a festival called “London Burning?” To reenact a devastating fire from 1666 to remind Londoners of the struggle of their predecessors, of course. Why else?


“London Burning” is really just a huge memorial for the 350th anniversary of one of the most devastating catastrophes in it’s history, but it was an amazing way to celebrate history.

The Great Fire of London started in a bakery on September 2, 1666 and burned for three days, killing six people and leaving 80% of the city’s population homeless.  The fire destroyed the wooden framework of the city that dated back to the Roman construction and reduced the entire city to ashes.

To commemorate the resilincy and fortitude of the London people, “burn artist” David Best built a replica of the 120 meter long city to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the fire.

According to ABC News, Australia:

The blaze is meant to help, “the city [look] back to when it lay in ruins – with a few shuddering sights to remind Londoners of the peril faced by their predecessors.”


John Phillips/Getty Images
John Phillips/Getty Images

The modern festival started in August, and the BBC News describes it as, “London’s Burning,” saying it,“featured a series of art installations, performances, talks and tours and was organized by the company Artichoke.”

The fire was pivotal in London’s modern development, because, “Following the fire, stone started being used in the capital as a building material and an organized fire service and insurance industry were established,” says the BBC. All of that paved the way for the construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

By all accounts, it was an impressive sight that served as an incredible reminder of just how far the city has come.