London is the capital of the United Kingdom (since the 12th century).The area of London is about 1600 square kms and its population is about 9 milion. It is an economic,cultural and important political centre of Great Britain.London is situated on the river Thames in south-east England.In spite of the fact London isn´t situated on the coast it is the biggest port because the river is deep enough and ships can go up the river.
There are many quarters in London.The City is the historical centre of London but also it is the centre of commerce and banking.For example it seats the Stock-Exchange there. The West End has everything from chic shops, theatres, beautiful residential areas, great parks and the famous Trafalgar Square.The best shops are in Oxford Street or Bond Street..The houses are very expensive in the West End and that´s why only rich people can afford to live there.In the East End there are many factories.The London port and docks are situated in this part.
The city’s history is very rich.London began as a Roman settlement in 43 AD where the City stands today.In this time London was called Londonium.It comes from an old Celtic word Llyndum („A walled place situated high“).In 1665 was in London the Great Plague and 75,000 people died.The Great fire in 1666 destroyed almost all the city but nobody died.The fire started at bakery.Sir Christopher Wren was the main architect who rebuilt the city..He constructed about 50 churches and other public buildings.His masterpiece was St.Paul´s Cathedral.
There are many quarters and many places of interest in London.The symbols of London are famous red double-deckers and London´s black taxis.For fast transport we can go by underground.It was founded in 1863 and it is the oldest underground in the world.There are also 3 airports in London.The traffic is still on the left side.
Westminster Abbey is a very old cathedral founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.This buildingis in gothic style.William the Conqueror was the first king who was crowned there.Since then all British kings have been crowned in Westminster Abbey.British greatest poets,artists,statesmen and other famous people are buried there – for example Mary Stuart.
The other cathedral is St.Paul´s Cathedral.It´s the principal church of London,one of the largest cathedrals in the world.It stands in the City and it´s in renaissance style. During the second World War the cathedral was hit twice but it wasn´t destroyed totally which is regarded as a miracle.The heir to the throne,prince Charles,has got married there.
On the left bank of the river Thames there are the Houses of Parliament built in Gothic style.They are the seat of the goverment.A clock and bell on the tower of the Houses of Parliament are called Big Ben.The clock and the bell are named after one very popular minister.His name was Benjamin Hall.
Downing Street 10 is the official home of the British Prime Ministers.
The Tower was a fortress and a royal palace.But later the Tower became a prison.Now it is the museum.The Crown
Jewels are kept there. The Tower is guarded by Yeomen Warders (incorrectly called beefeaters) who still wear the uniform of Tudor times. Near the Tower is a Tower Bridge. It is the most famous bridge of London.It can open in the middle and ships can go through the river.It was built in the 19th century and it has got 2 towers with a height of 65 meters.
Eight ravens are kept to protect the whole Kingdom.The legend sais that the Kingdom will cease /sís/ to exist when the ravens leave the tower.
Another sight is the Buckingham palace.It is the royal residence in London.Since 1837 it is the residence of the Queen. In front of Buckingham Palace is the Queen Victoria Monument.
Piccadilly Circus is one of the best-known squares.It´s a place with the column in the centre and a beautiful Eros on top.Trafalgar square is named after the famous battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In the middle of the square is Nelson's Column with a five-meter tall statue of Horatio Nelson at the top. The column is surrounded by two fountains, several other monuments to famous people, and usually lots of pigeons.The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square.
There are many parks in London.One of the largest park is Hyde Park.There is Speaker´s Corner where everybody can speek about everything but nobody can critize the Queen.
Greenwich is the seat of the National Maritime Museum where the Royal Observatory is.The highest building in London is Canary Wharf.It is about 240 meters high.The Dome is the millenium building with 14 zones to explore.London eye is the biggest observation wheel in the world.
London is rich in museums and galleries whose exhibitions are usually free of charge.The most famous is the British Museum which was founded in 1753 and British Library.At 221b,Baker Street is the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
The critic,Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) said: „When a man is tired of London,he is tired of life.“
1. srpen 2008