London Eye

The London Eye (German: Eye of London), also known as the Millennium Wheel is, with a height of 135 meters, currently the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. It stands in the center of London on the south bank of the River Thames, Westminster Bridge, and is now one of the landmarks of the British capital.

Construction of the Ferris wheel was 1998. On 10 October 1999, the construction was erected. The opening for visitors was delayed due to technical problems until 9 March 2000. Inventors had their Idea submitted in a competition for the Millennium celebrations, where it was rejected. The London Eye was originally to be used only for a limited period of about five years. Given the great success it was discarded.


The London Eye has 32 air-conditioned, almost fully formed from glass gondolas that can accommodate up to 25 people. The glass gondolas are stored in two rotating rings so that the gondolas are always in the horizontal. The gondolas are located outside of the wheel, which allows an almost unrestricted views. The wheel rotates at a speed of 0.26 m / s and takes for one revolution about 30-40 minutes. Due to the low rate of passenger flow possible while driving, so that the wheel just continues to allow wheelchair users to get started, among others. It is driven by four units, each with four tires that fit with the rim and turn it, thus a total of 16 driving wheels. If the visibility is optimal, it can be seen from the Ferris wheel from up to 40 km wide, up, by lying just outside of London Windsor Castle.

Planning and construction

The Ferris wheel was designed by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield. The design of the gondolas is from Nick Bailey. The construction was carried out by the Dutch construction company Hollandia. The axis of rotation and the one-sided, slanted support of pipes and clamping elements were supplied by the Czech engineering company Škoda. The capsules and the stabilization system are from the French company Sigma. The drive was supplied by Bosch Rexroth. On 10 September 1999, the Dutch specialist company Smit Tak tried with one of the largest floating cranes in the world, lying assembled wheel of the London Eye erect, but the attempt failed. Only a month later, the wheel are first raised to 60 degrees. It took another week to lift it into its final position.


The Merlin Entertainments Group owns and operates the Ferris wheel, it is sponsored by EDF Energy since 2011. At the opening in 1999 it was still part of the Tussauds Group, British Airways and the Marks Barfield Architects family together. 2006 acquired Tussaud, the shares of the other shareholders and was then itself taken over by Merlin in 2007.


Currently it is the third largest observation wheel in the world. By 4 January 2004, the London Eye was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, but then was replaced by a new 160-meter -high Ferris wheel, the "Star of Nanchang " in Nanchang, China replaced, in turn, with the opening of the Singapore Flyer on 1 March was replaced in 2008 as the largest Ferris wheel in the world. (see also Dubai Wheel)

4D Experience

The 4D Experience is a 4D cinema near the London Eyes that can see spots with the normal ticket. Shown is a four-minute 3D film, are simulated in the wind, clouds, snow or fireworks.