The spotlight will be on historic sites in Maritime Greenwich as it marks two decades as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Landmarks will be illuminated on Tuesday, April 18, to launch a year-long programme of 20th anniversary events.

They include the Royal Museum Greenwich sites, the Cutty Sark, the Queen’s House, National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Old Royal Naval College.

Maritime Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College. Credit Visit Greenwich

The lighting event is set to run from 8.30pm-11pm and will be the first time the buildings have been lit up in unison. It also marks World Heritage Day.

Greenwich Park and the grounds of the National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College will also be opening until 10pm for the occasion.

Maritime Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College. Credit Visit Greenwich

Inscribed by Unesco in 1997, Maritime Greenwich was given the prestigious World Heritage Site status due to its role in the progression of English artistic and scientific endeavour in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Maritime Greenwich, Cutty Sark. Credit Visit Greenwich

The buildings that form the site reflect two centuries of Royal patronage, as well as the preservation of the works of great architects Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren, which represent an important point in the evolution of European architecture.

Royal Museums Greenwich director Kevin Fewster said: “The 20th anniversary event is a fantastic opportunity for us to bring people together to see the architectural beauty of Maritime Greenwich.”

Maritime Greenwich, Queen's House. Credit Visit Greenwich

Maritime Greenwich has also obtained global significance due to its association with the development of navigation and astronomy. For over 250 years it was the national centre for research into astronomy, time-keeping and early solar and magnetic astronomy, leading to the Greenwich Meridian being named as the Prime Meridian of the World in 1884.

The borough welcomes 18million people a year, bringing £1.24billion into the local economy.

Maritime Greenwich, Royal Museums. Credit Visit Greenwich

Chair of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site Steering Group chair and Greenwich Council leader cllr Denise Hyland said: “Greenwich is renowned around the world as the home of time and a place with a rich royal and maritime history.

“A lot has changed in our borough in the 20 years since Maritime Greenwich became a World Heritage site but one constant that has remained is the appeal that it has with visitors from around the world.

Maritime Greenwich, Cutty Sark. Credit Visit Greenwich

“As we reach this momentous anniversary, the celebrations we have planned will help to reinforce why people keep coming back here time after time.”

Maritime Greenwich is located a short walk from Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations.

Maritime Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College. Credit Visit Greenwich

The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

The lighting event has been supported by of SLX, a division of Stage Electrics Partnership Limited.

Maritime Greenwich, National Maritime Museum. Credit Visit Greenwich

Tuesday April, 18, 8.30pm – 11.00pm. Greenwich Park and the grounds of the National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College will be open late until 10pm. Cutty Sark will be lit up until 11pm

Visitors can enter the grounds to view the lights free of charge.

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