The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. Also known as the Millennium Wheel, its official name was originally the British Airways London Eye, then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye, between January 2011 and August 2014, the EDF Energy London Eye and is now called the London Eye. From late January 2015, the London Eye will be sponsored by Coca-Cola.
The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). When erected in 1999 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Its height was surpassed by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchangin 2006, the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008, and the 167.6 m (550 ft) High Roller (Las Vegas) in 2014. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel”.
It is currently Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, and offered the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 245-metre (804 ft) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013.
It is also the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.5 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.