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Charging Bull

A guerilla installation following the 1987 stock market crash, the Charging Bull remains in the financial district as a symbol of energy, strength and unpredictability.

TravelCurious Tip

Allegedly, grabbing the bull’s testicles will bring you luck. Don’t worry, you won’t look strange — there’s usually a queue of people waiting to do it

The Charging Bull is one of New York’s most recognisable landmarks. Coming in at 5 metres from nose to tail and made of pure bronze, it weighs a massive 3.5 tons. Pictures do not do its size justice: you have to see it in person, with people all over it like ants on jam, to feels its formidable presence.


It is now located at Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan, but it was not always so. The bull was initially a piece of guerrilla art: during the night of December 15th, it was loaded into a truck and driven to the New York Stock Exchange by the artist Arturo Di Modica and some co-conspirators. They plonked it unannounced under the NYSE Christmas Tree; the next morning, with throngs of bemused visitors admiring the statue, the stock exchange was far from amused. They had it taken to storage in Queen’s and the NY Post ran the headline: “BAH HUMBUG.. N.Y. Stock Exchange grinches can’t bear Christmas-gift bull”.


Although they refused to release the bull until their expenses for removing it were covered, the New York mayor and the ensuing public outcry eventually persuaded them to let it go and it was relocated to its current location, where it has become an iconic image of New York.


Brazen & Bullish

But why a bull? Take a look at the statue: the muscles are taut, the head is lowered, the nostrils flare and those wicked horns are ready to gore. It captures something of the energy, strength and volatility of a stock market which simply won’t be stopped. It seems to be an ambivalent tribute, both admiring and condemning the aggressive finance and macho posturing of Wall St.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
New York Stock Exchange
The world's most valuable stock exchange, trading billions of dollars daily.
Federal Hall National Memorial
A monument on the site of the old Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States.
Trinity Church
A venerable church in the Wall Street area, with a turbulent history and reported land holdings of over $2 billion.
Bowling Green
Small park where a statue of George III used to reign over Lower Manhattan
Fraunces Tavern
The place where George Washington gave his farewell address after the Revolutionary War
Castle Clinton
19th century fort in Battery Park

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Historic Wall Street District
The past of New York is always close to the southern tip of Manhattan. From the legacy of Dutch settlers to the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in 2001, it remains a place at the forefront of the human story. Go with your own guide on a journey around the city’s historic heart.   

  • Learn about New Amsterdam in the Historic District of New York
  • See the best financial sights of Lower Manhattan, including Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange
  • Visit the National 9/11 Memorial and see how the tragic events of 2001 are remembered
America: Humble Beginnings and Financial Power

Your  tour  starts with the unpretentious tale of the early settlers to the city, from a sleepy Dutch trading post to the dazzling rise of the world's busiest financial capital. You will have the pleasure of visiting Stone Street in the Historic District before moving north, just as the settlers did.

As you make your way through Wall Street you will discover how an 18th century street bazaar would eventually become a center for global commerce. Your expert local guide will give you valuable behind the scenes insight into some of the world’s most powerful financial institutions, as you walk by New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. Here you will see the spot where George Washington was inaugurated and enjoy the handsome Federal Reserve. There will also be a chance to pop into Trinity Church, which has roots dating back to 1697.
 
 A Moving Memorial
 

 At the National 9/11 Memorial your guide will share with you the history of the World Trade Center, discuss the tragic events of 9/11, and walk you through the Memorial’s design. The area formerly known as 'Ground Zero' is now the site of a moving memorial and has indeed become an important historic landmark. Next to it is the rebuilt One World Trade Center. Often referred to as Freedom Tower, it stretches 1776 feet above the ground. 

Here your knowledgeable guide will tell you of the events leading up to the untimely destruction of the towers, as well as sharing some of the heart-wrenching stories of the families, survivors and 9/11 heroes. You will also visit St. Paul's Chapel, that miraculously survived the 9/11 attack. 
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