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Crystal Palace Dinosaurs & Their Historical Significance

London’s own Jurassic Park. Sort of.

Everyone is seeing what I’m seeing, right?

Dinosaurs, just hanging out in Crystal Palace Park on a sunny day.

This was my first visit to Crystal Palace Park and I had no idea about this.

But why? How did they get here?

Crystal Palace park’s name originates from the huge crystal palace that was built for the Great Exhibition in 1851.

The Great Exhibition was actually held in Hyde Park, not Crystal Palace. The crystal palace was (somehow) moved 10 miles to Sydenham in 1854.

The surrounding area around the crystal palace was designed around several themes. One of those themes was natural history and geology. And that’s why there are dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park.

Sadly, the crystal palace was destroyed by a fire in 1936. 438 firefighters couldn’t stop the fire, but the dinosaurs have stood the test of time.

Before 1853, most people had no idea what a dinosaur looked like, making Crystal Palace’s dinosaurs significant at the time.

Professor Richard Owen and artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkin sought to create realistic life size dinosaurs, the first geological parks of it’s kind. Owen would later create dinosaurs for Central Park in New York, which were destroyed unfortunately.

You’ll notice that all of the dinosaurs are on their four legs. It wasn’t till after the Crystal Park dinosaurs were made that they discovered some dinosaurs walked on their hind legs.

During construction, a dinner party for 21 diners was held in the belly of the iguanodon.

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