Detective Shaw’s London: The Shard

In Southwark, not far from the Thames and the City, located on the opposite side of the river, there is the tallest skyscraper in London, third in Europe: The Shard, also called Shard of Glass and 32 London Bridge, which derives from its address (32 London Bridge Street).

There is a lot of Italy in this tower with the shape of an irregular pyramid completely covered in glass: it was designed by the well-known Genoese architect Renzo Piano. Its construction began in 2009 and finished in July 2012, although it only opened the following year.

The last time I was in London was August 2012, for the Olympics, not long after its inauguration on 5 July of the same year, and I was able to admire it from afar, as I wandered near the Tower of London, in the City. The photo above was taken by me during my short stay (the one below is by Cmglee). But I didn’t get close to it, and therefore I didn’t have the opportunity to visit it. However, it is on the list of attractions of this city that I intend to see more closely or perhaps inside sooner or later.

The building is almost 310 meters high and includes 87 floors, of which 72 are habitable. Inside, it houses a variety of premises, including offices, luxury flats, a shopping centre, restaurants, bars, and a five-star hotel, Shangri-La, which includes 202 rooms and occupies floors 34 to 52.

Floor 69 and the terrace on 72 offer an unrivalled panoramic view
of the metropolis which allows you to see 360 degrees up to approximately 60 km away.

These are open to the public. The visit is quite expensive, but you can save something by booking it online. For those who live in London or plan to stay there for a long time, there is also the possibility of purchasing an annual ticket which allows you to go up to the terrace every day.

The Shard appears in two scenes of “Syndrome”, the second book in the Detective Eric Shaw trilogy. Both concern a character wanted by the police.
The first takes place inside one of the flats where this character is hiding (I won’t say his name to avoid spoilers about the book).
The second features DI Miriam Leroux and Sergeant Mills sitting in a police car near the entrance to the Shangri-La. The identification of the suspect will lead to a chase through the busy streets of the city, up to another attraction which I will talk about in the next article.

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