London began on two little spots of dry land in the center of a fen on the north bank of the Thames. That was long before the Romans came. In Roman times it was named Londinium, and was already a booming Centre of trade. Since so London has grown and grown in political and military importance, in trade and wealth.
After the pestilence of 1665 and the Great Fire of London of 1666, much of London was rebuilt under the way of Christopher Wren. The Industrial Revolution ( 18th
century ) and the coming of the railwaies ( mid. 19th
) accelerated its growing. Much was destroyed by air foraies in the Second World War, and rebuilding has given parts of London a new perpendicular, geometrical facet. It is a multiracial metropolis with big population groups from former British Empire.
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Today London covers a greater country than any other metropolis in the universe. London has approximately eight million dwellers, and it is the capital of England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the former British Empire.
London is one of the biggest ports in the universe, though it is situated far from the sea. It stands on the river Thames, about fourty stat mis from its oral cavity.
London is traditionally divided into several parts: the City, the West End, Westminster and the East End.
The City of London
The City of London is the commercial and fiscal bosom of the UK. The City is approximately the London of the Middle Ages. It is about one square stat mi in country and merely a few thousand people live here. But about half a million people come here to work during the twenty-four hours. The Stock Exchange, the Royal Exchange, the Bank of England are all situated in the City.
The Tower of London and St. Paul & # 8217 ; s Cathedral are the chief sights located in this territory.
The Tower of London
was founded by William the 1st
in 1078. Originally it was a fortress, so a prison, a castle, and now it is a museum lodging the national Collection of Armour, the Crown Jewels and the Royal Regalia. The Imperial State Crown is exhibited in the Tower. It contains about three thousand cherished rocks ; its weight is about 16 kg. The eyeball and the sceptres represent the power of the monarchy that you can experience everyplace here. The Royal Scepter has the largest cut diamond in the universe & # 8211 ; the 530 carats Star of Africa.
The Tower was the eyewitness of the most tragic and bloody events in British History. Edward the Fifth and his brothers, Charles Stuart, Queen Elizabeth the Fitst, Thomas More, Guy Fawkes and many other outstanding Englishmans and adult females were among the Tower & # 8217 ; s captives.
The Tower is still guarded by the Yeoman Warders, the celebrated yeomans, who wear a traditional 16th
century Tudor uniform. Modern Yeoman Warders ( of whom there are about fourty ) are still members of the Queen & # 8217 ; s escort and are all former warrant officers from Her Majesty & # 8217 ; s Forces. Today the yeomans combine their traditional function with the function of the ushers.
Aboard with the yeomans, for many centuries the Tower has been guarded by the Corvus coraxs, and these birds are a symbol of the Tower. There is a fable that every bit long as the Corvus coraxs are in the Tower, Britain will be. Fortunately, these respected occupants, since the reign of King Charles the Second, have been protected by the royal edict. The Corvus coraxs are cared for by one of the Yeoman Warders called the Ravenmaster. The wings of the bird are now clipped to forestall them from winging off.
The ancient ceremonial of the Keys takes topographic point every dark at 10 p.m. and attracts many tourers. At this ceremonial, a version of which has been performed every night for 100s of old ages, the outer Gatess of the Tower are locked and the keys are delivered to the Resident Governor of the Tower.
St. Paul & # 8217 ; s Cathedral
is besides in the City of London. It is a chef-d’oeuvre of the well-known English designer Sir Christopher Wren. The old edifice of the Cathedral, founded in 604 and rebuilt several times, was unhappily in demand of fixs and Christopher Wren was called on to transport out the fixs and alternations. But he was prevented from making this by the pestilence and the Great Fire of London of 1666 that destroyed the cathedral.
Merely eight old ages subsequently, after the ruins were cleared off, the new work was begun. It took Wren 35 old ages to construct the Cathedral. When he died he was buried in St. Paul & # 8217 ; s.
The Cathedral represents inspiration, beauty and workmanship on a expansive graduated table. The architectural manner of St. Paul & # 8217 ; s is called Baroque, which combines authoritative lines with a strong sense of dynamic motion. The dome of the Cathedral is 365 pess high ; it is the 2nd largest in the universe, following to St. Peter & # 8217 ; s in Rome.
Beneath the dome there is the famed Whispering Gallery, called so because a susurration against the wall can be heard on the opposite side & # 8211 ; about 42 meters off. Among the many commemorations to celebrated work forces within the Cathedral are the grave of the Duke of Wellington ( the Victor of Waterloo ) and Admiral Nelson ( the hero of Trafalgar ) .
St. Paul & # 8217 ; s Cathedral is still a topographic point of regular Christian services, baptisms, nuptialss, and particular services & # 8211 ; some of national importance, for illustration, the nuptials of the Prince of Wales to the Lady Diana Spencer.
For about one thousand old ages Westminster has been the place of Britain & # 8217 ; s authorities, and for most of that clip the place of its sovereign.
Westminster, intending the monastery to the West, is a portion of London where the Queen & # 8217 ; s abode, the Prime Minister & # 8217 ; s abode and the authorities offices are situated. That is a & # 8220 ; territory of power & # 8221 ; .
The Houses of Parliament
, or Westminster Palace, is situated on the bank of the Thames, near Westminster Bridge. Edward the Confessor, England & # 8217 ; s king from 1042 to 1066, chose Westminster as the site for his royal castle. Since that clip the castle has been rebuilt many times. Almost every English sovereign altered the edifice in some manner.
In 1265 Westminster Hall, the largest hall in Europe at that clip, which was added by the boy of William the Conqueror, was the scene of England & # 8217 ; s first parliament. From the 14th
to the 19th
century the hall was used chiefly by the King & # 8217 ; s Courts of Law.
Westminster remained in usage as the royal abode, where Parliament besides met, until the 16th
century, when Henry VIII in 1512 moved his abode to Whitehall and so to St. James & # 8217 ; s Palace.
In 1834 most of the Parliament edifices were destroyed by a fire. The Houses of Parliament were rebuilt by Sir Charles Barry in the late Perpendicular Gothic manner. The House of Lords and the House of Commons were ready by 1850. The Commons Chamber, nevertheless, was once more destroyed during an air foray in 1941.
There are two large towers in the modern edifice: at the western terminal of the edifice is the Victoria Tower, completed in 1860, under which is the Sovereign & # 8217 ; s Entrance, built for the one-year ceremonial State Opening of Parliament.
At the eastern terminal is the Clock Tower, completed in 1858, so good known that it has become a symbol of London. The Tower is 320 pess high and its clock is said to be one of the most accurate in the universe. The other name of the Clock Tower is Large Ben. Actually it is the name of the clock bell called so after Sir Benjamin Hall, overseer of plants when the clock was installed. The bell & # 8217 ; s weight is about 13 dozenss. Big Ben chimes the hours to notes from Handel & # 8217 ; s music.
is situated non far from Westminster Palace. It is the main church of England ( St. Paul & # 8217 ; s is the main church of London ) . Westminster Abbey is first mentioned in a papers of the 10th
century. Originally there was a monastery or a church at that place. In the 11th
century Edward the Confessor rebuilt it. Nothing of this church remains. The contemporary edifice was begun by Henry VIII ( 13th
century ) , and from that twenty-four hours on extensions and alterations in the Westminster Abbey continued for many centuries, the last major add-on is the fa & # 231 ; fruit drink of the 18th
century. Despite the scope of clip it covers, the Westminster Abbey is a harmonious whole in the English Gothic manner.
It is non merely architecture that makes Westminster Abbey one of the most popular topographic points in London. The Westminster Abbey is besides a museum of memorials and commemorations to the great work forces of the yesteryear. Here are solons, scientists, philosophers. In Westminster Abbey the British sovereigns are crowned and many are buried.
Literary work forces are gathered in Poet & # 8217 ; s Corner, among them Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, William Thackeray, Rudyard Kipling. Those who have commemorations here, although they are buried EL
sewhere, include William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Robert Burns, William Blake, Jane Austen, sisters Bronte , William Shakespeare. Scientists buried in the Abbey include Newton, Darwin, Kelvin.
Near the Abbey & # 8217 ; s west door is one of the best known commemorations in the church, the grave of the Unknown Warrior whose organic structure was brought from France and buried here in 1920. The grave commemorates those who were killed during the First World War, 1914-1918, and whose topographic point of entombment is unknown. The lettering on black marble includes the sentence & # 8220 ; They buried him among the male monarchs because he had done good toward God and toward his House & # 8221 ; .
is besides in Westminster. It is the official London abode of the royal household. The castle is a gray rock edifice. The winging Royal Standard over the Palace proclaims that the Queen is in the Palace.
The edifice of the castle was constructed in the 18th
century for the Duke of Buckingham, and was called Buckingham House. King George III was greatly admired by the castle and bought it as a household place in 1762 for 28 000 lbs. In the 19th
century the celebrated designer John Nash enlarged the castle and gave it a expansive archway, called the Marble Arch, which was subsequently moved to Hyde Park, because it turned out to be excessively narrow for the royal manager. The first sovereign to populate in Buckingham Palace was Queen Victoria. The latest alteration as made in 1913, when Sir Aston Webb rebuilt the fa & # 231 ; fruit drink of the edifice in the neoclassical manner.
The populace is admitted into the castle to see the Royal Equus caballuss and managers and the Queen & # 8217 ; s gallery. The ceremonial called Changing of the Guard takes topographic point every forenoon in forepart of Buckingham Palace and lasts about 30 proceedingss. This ceremonial is a symbol of the most glorious traditions of the British monarchy.
In forepart of the Gatess of Buckingham Palace there is theQueen Victoria Memorial
. Victoria was greatly loved by her topics who placed a memorial in her honor in forepart of the castle from which she ruled the state for more than 60 old ages. The immense memorial made of marble and bronze was erected in 1901.
Buckingham Palace facesSt. James & # 8217 ; s Park
, one of the most beautiful Parkss of London. The park is celebrated for its nice lakes where all sorts of waterfowls find a place. The park extends from Buckingham Palace to Whitehall, one of the chief streets of London.The Cenotaph
, the memorial to those killed during the universe wars, is in Whitehall. The & # 8220 ; empty tomb & # 8221 ; is a Grecian word significance & # 8220 ; an empty grave & # 8221 ; . It looks like a field obelisk.
has besides become the Centre for authorities offices, most of which day of the month from the 18th
century and subsequently, among them are the Home Office, the Foreign Office, The War Office every bit good as the abode of the British Prime Minister in Downing Street. The house at figure 10 was given to Robert Walpole by George the Second in 1732.
The West End
The West End is a portion of London where people go to make shopping and entertain themselves. The most expensive and epicurean London stores, hotels, eating houses, theaters and films are in the West End & # 8211 ; in Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street. The best London museums and galleries are located in the West End.
is situated in the West End excessively. Trafalgar Square was completed in 1841. It commemorates the great conflict, which Admiral Nelson won in 1805 against the Franco-Spanish fleet ; Nelson himself lost his life in the conflict. The tall granite column, 1445 pess high, in the Centre of the square is dedicated to Nelson. The statue of the admiral is on the top of the column. At the base of the column are four tremendous king of beastss, typifying the power of Britain. Two big fountains with bluish H2O adorn the square. Trafalgar Square is the topographic point for assorted presentations.
The National Gallery
andthe National Portrait Gallery
are to be found in Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery was founded in 1824 with merely 38 pictures. Now it contains one of the best in the universe aggregations of European pictures including the chef-d’oeuvres of Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and others. The present twenty-four hours edifice was built in 1839. The National Portrait Gallery contains over 9000 portrayals of British outstanding work forces and adult females from the 16th
to the twentieth
century. It is a gallery of great people, non great creative persons.
English pictures and modern European and American Art can be seen inthe Tate Gallery
overlooking the Thames. The gallery was opened by Sir Henry Tate, the sugar refiner, in 1897. The pictures by celebrated English creative persons Turner, Blake, Constable, Hogarth, Gainsborough and the sculptures by Rodin and Epstein are exhibited here.
The British Museum
is one of the richest in the universe. Behind its classical fa & # 231 ; ade lies one of the universe & # 8217 ; s most fabulous hoarded wealth shops. The museum was founded in 1753 with a aggregation of books, manuscripts, pictures, old-timers donated by Sir Hans Sloane, physician of George II, on status that 20 000 lbs was paid to his girl on his decease. The aggregation expanded in 1757 when King George II presented the museum with the royal Library, a aggregation of books gathered by the male monarchs and Queenss of England from Tudor times. The modern edifice of the Museum was constructed in 1852 divine by the classical Greek manner.
Among the museum & # 8217 ; s best known antiquities are Grecian sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens, the Egyptian Rosetta Stone dating from 196 BC, a aggregation of gold and silverware of the Renaissance period. The British Museum & # 8217 ; s Library contains over six million volumes.
is a portion of the West End which is sometimes called London & # 8217 ; s museumland. In the 19th
century this country was developed as a cultural Centre on the enterprise of Prince Albert ( Queen Victoria & # 8217 ; s hubby ) . There are four big museums:the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Geological Museum and the Science Museum.
The Victoria and Albert
is a museum of all right and applied humanistic disciplines of all states, manners and periods. The museum exhibits scope from armor to watercolor and woodwork.
A must for many tourers to London is a visit toMadame
& # 8217 ; s
, the bittersweets museum where the figures seem even more existent than the masters.
A two-storeyed house inBaker Street
attracts detective narrative lovers from all over the universe. This is the house where, harmonizing to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the celebrated investigator Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson lived. The house was turned into a museum in 1990.
Hyde Park is the largest in London. It was one time the belongings of Westminster Abbey. Then the park was a wood in which the sovereign hunted cervid, wolves and bears, James I opened the park to the populace. Modern Londoners like to take long walks over the park & # 8217 ; s grassy inclines, go siting at that place. Or else, they go to the Speaker & # 8217 ; s Corner, where on Sundays speechmakers of all kinds stand up and speak of anything at all.
is a little irregularly shaped square, which is considered to be the Centre of London. There is an old tradition harmonizing to which the British citizens should run into on this topographic point at least one time in their life-time. The Statue of Eros is in the Centre of the square.
The West End is besides known as & # 8220 ; theatreland & # 8221 ; . There are more than 50 theaters in London. They range in size from the bantam May Fair ( 310 ) to the elephantine Coliseum with its capacity of 2 352. The oldest theater is Drury Lane ( 1663 ) . One of the newest is the National Theatre, opened in 1976 and uniting three theaters under one roof. Covent Garden is the universe & # 8217 ; s celebrated London & # 8217 ; s Opera House. The Globe Theatre is still the topographic point where Shakespeare & # 8217 ; s dramas are staged. Until late London & # 8217 ; s two chief concert halls were the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall. In 1982 a new art Centre & # 8211 ; the Barbican was opened by the Queen. It is the largest art composite in Europe with the largest concert hall, an art gallery, several exhibition halls and eating houses.
The East End
The East End is the poorest portion of London and the industrial Centre of the capital. Most of London workss, mills, docks are situated in the East End. Workers live here. The streets here are narrower and dirtier but the stores are inexpensive. Peoples who live in the East End call themselves cockneys. The word & # 8220 ; Cockney & # 8221 ; is a reasonably broad term, intending & # 8220 ; a true Londoner & # 8221 ; . Cockneys have their ain peculiar idiom, their ain bends of phrase, Proverbs and their ain speech pattern.