London is a capital city of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island. It is the largest city in the country, the residence of monarch, the representatives of the Church, the Government, Parliament, Supreme Court, etc. London is the centre of cultural, political and social activities. Its population is about 8 million people. London lies on the river Themes in southern England.
London city includes the City of London (the heart of the city), the City of Westminster (the seat of parliament), the west End.
The Romans came here in the year 43 A.D. They built a small town on the Themes and named Londinium. In 1066 William the Conqueror came to England from Normandy after the battle of Hastings. He became the King of England and he chose London as his residence. Since then London has been the seat of British kings. In 1666 there was a devastating fire. Most of the city was destroyed and had to be rebuilt.
There are many places of interest in London. The Tower of London is the oldest building. Originally it was fortress. It used to be a Royal Palace, a Zoo, a prison and a place of public executions. Today it holds a museum where the Crowd Jewels are kept.
The Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It was built in 1894 in the style of Victorian Gothic. It can break in the middle of and rise up to allow large ships go through.
Many sightseeing tours begin at Piccadilly Circus. It is one of the busiest places in London. Piccadilly is famous for its neon advertisements and for a statue of Greek God of Love Eros.
We can walk from Piccadilly Circus through Regent Street and Oxford Street, which are the most famous shopping centre, and we come to Hyde Park, the largest green park in London. There is the famous Speaker’s Corner in it, where anybody can say anything except and offence to the Queen and the Royal Family. There are lots of the parks not only a Hyde Park. Tourist can also visit Regent’s park with a Zoo and St.Jame’s park near Buckingham palace. It is the oldest park in London.
From Hyde Park we can go to Buckingham palace. It is Classicist building of the Queen and the Royal Family. It was built by Lord Buckingham in 1703. In front of the palace there is Baroque monument with a golden statue of Queen Victoria. Every noon there is one of the biggest London parades- changing of the Guard.
Then we can visit Westminster Abbey, It was founded in the 11th century. British Kings and Queens have been crowned here and many of them are buried here.
The Houses of Parliament are also in Gothic style. There is a famous clock tower with Big Ben and its characteristic bell ringing.
On the opposite bank of the river Themes you can see The Big Wheel– it is a great chance how to observe whole London from above.
From Whitehall, where The Horse Guards Parade takes place, we come to the Downing Street 10. It has been the official home of British Prime Minister since 1731. At the end of Whitehall there is Trafalgar Square. It was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon. Nelson’s statue is here.
The financial centre of London is called City. There are many banks and financial institutions, such as the Bank of England. In the City there is also one of the largest cathedrals in in the world- St. Paul’s cathedral. This great Renaissance dome is the work of the famous architect Sir Christopher Wren and it was built in the 17zh century after the great fire. Newton, Nelson and other very famous people are buried there in the crypt.
With 40 theatres and music halls London is the centre of cultural life. The most important theatres are: The Globe, The National Theatre, The Royal Festival Hall and The Royal Albert Hall.
London’s underground, often called The Tube, is the quickest and easiest way to get around central London. Very popular means of transport in London are Double-decker buses or yellow taxis. London has three main airports: Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
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