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Alexandra Palace and its familiar antennae are visible from miles away thanks to their prominent position in Muswell Hill (Picture: Miles Willis/Getty Images)
In a city full of buildings with extraordinary histories, Alexandra Palace still manages to stand out.
Over a century and a half, the London landmark has served many purposes.
It’s been a Victorian exhibition centre; an internment camp for prisoners of war; the broadcast site for the world’s first HD television service; a sports arena for major annual snooker and darts tournaments; and a concert venue hosting artists from Led Zeppelin to Jay-Z.
The hilltop building, affectionately known across the country as Ally Pally, has more than earned its proud position in British cultural life.
So it’s only right that the site is marking its 150th birthday with an enormous party today, featuring DJ sets, film screenings, a craft beer festival, street food and an ice disco.
We wanted to celebrate the monumental milestone too, by taking a look back at some of the defining moments in the life of one of the UK’s favourite venues.
It’s safe to say Alexandra Palace had an inauspicious beginning – just 16 days after the beautiful structure opened its doors on May 24 1873, it was destroyed in a fire (Picture: SSPL/Getty Images)
The new building, more familiar to people today, officially opened a little under two years later on May 1 1875 (Picture: The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
The instantly recognisable huge circular window at the south end of the Central Hall can be seen in this image from 1875 (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The site played an important role in both world wars, operating as an internment camp for Austrian and German civilians from 1915 to 1919 and hosting refugees in World War Two – as seen in this image (Picture: Northcliffe Collection/ANL/REX/Shutterstock)
Alexandra Palace became famous across the country when the BBC based their television service there. It was visited by visitors including the legendary songwriter Irving Berlin, who is pictured here being interviewed by Welsh broadcaster Wynford Vaughan-Thomas (Picture: George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Of course, there’s a long history of music at Ally Pally too, with the Rolling Stones drawing an enormous crowd in 1964 (Picture: Frank Monaco/REX/Shutterstock)
The wild 14 Hour Technicolor Dream concert in 1967 was attended by John Lennon and headlined by Pink Floyd, who took to the stage at 5am (Picture: Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock)
Ozzy Osbourne sent the crowd into a frenzy with Black Sabbath in 1973 (Picture: Ilpo Musto/REX/Shutterstock)
The darkest day in Alexandra Palace’s long history was July 1 1980, when a devastating fire destroyed a third of the building in a tragic echo of the 1873 disaster (Picture: Ian Tyas/Keystone/Getty Images)
The shell of the building was used as a filming location for the dystopian Victory Square in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s book 1984. It was another four years before Alexandra Palace was fully restored and reopened its doors (Picture: FLPA/REX/Shutterstock)
On November 4 2009, two decades after bouncing back from the blaze, Ally Pally hosted one of the world’s best-selling musicians: US rapper Jay-Z (Picture: Simone Joyner/WireImage)
The first of four Red Bull Soapbox Races at Alexandra Palace was held on July 14 2013, with the Spit-Phya team from Newcastle coming out on top in their vehicle inspired by Donald Campbell’s Bluebird (Picture: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Kaleidoscope Festival, held in the grounds of the building, is billed as ‘London’s highest festival’ – meaning musicians on stage have to compete with a stunning view over the city (Credits: Jack Dredd/REX/Shutterstock)
Groove Armada performed at the festival in 2021. This year’s event will feature Hot Chip and comedians Joe Lycett and Nina Conti (Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
In October 2021, Alexandra Palace was the venue for the first ever Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony, attended by William and Kate (Picture: Alberto Pezzali/WPA Pool/REX/Shutterstock)
The then-Duchess of Cambridge presented one of the awards for the prize, which was founded by her husband and David Attenborough (Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Earthshot)
Ally Pally is also familiar to millions as the home of daft costumes and tense action at the World Darts Championship, most recently won in January by Michael Smith (Picture: Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
The stunning building is stuck in the memory of millions as the venue for some wonderful days and nights (Picture: Getty Images)
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