London is the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the 9th largest city in the world. It was founded as a Roman settlement. It is situated on the river Thames in the south-east of England. Its population is about 10milions[ with suburbs]. The great fire in 1666 destroyed almost all city.
There are many places of interest. You can see them by walk or by various means of transport. London’s famous red double-deckers are very popular and they go almost everywhere. For fast transport you can go by the Underground. It is the oldest underground in the world. Now it operates 11 lines and is 418km long[ only tree city in Britain have the underground: London, Glasgow and Newcastle]. There are tree airports in London. The most important are Heathrow and Gatwick.
The Houses of Parliament are in gothic style but were built between 1840-1852 after the old building had burnt down. The only part which escaped the fire was Westminster Hall. There is also the famous clock-tower ad Big Ben with its characteristic bell-ringing. It is said that it got its name after one rather fat and round MP called Benjamin.
Whitehall is the street where government offices are. Horse Guards Parade takes place here.
Downing Street 10 is the official home of British Prime Ministers since 1731.
Westminster Abbey was founded in the 11th century. Britain’s Kings and Queens are crowned here. England’s great poets, statesmen, artists and other famous people are buried here in the Poet’s Corner[ Newton, Handel, Holer]. The Abbey is an excellent example of gothic architecture. Since 1066 the Abbey is the place where royal weddings and many state occasions take place.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedral in the world. It stands in the City. This great renaissance dome is the work of the famous artist Sir Christopher Wren and it was built in the 17th century. The Cathedral is know for its Whispering Gallery. Stands on this gallery you can clearly hear what is whispered on the opposite side 107feet far from you. During the Second World War it was damaged by bombs. In 1981 Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married here.
The City is the oldest part of London. There are many banks and offices here.
The Tower was built in the 11th century, it served as a royal palace first, then prison and fortress. Now it is a museum. The Crown Jewels guarded by the Beefeaters in their traditional Tudor uniforms are kept here.
Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It was built only in the last century. It can open in the middle and let large ships go through.
Trafalgar Square was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson’s statue is situated on a high column. The square with its fountains is a very popular place for various meetings and demonstrations. At Christmas time a big Christmas tree stands here and on New Year’s Eve people gather here at midnight, sing and dance.
The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square. It houses paintings by nearby all the great European artists of the past and large collection of British paintings and sculptures. The admissions is free.
The British Museum is the largest museum in the world. It houses the biggest collection of all kinds of animals and minerals and rocks. There is a collection of fine and applied arts off all countries, periods and styles. The British Museum’s library is the largest in the world. The admission is free.
Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s residence in London since the Queen Victoria’s reign. One of the biggest London’s parades is Changing the Guard here.
The most famous shopping centres in London are in Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street. You can make day trips to various places such as Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury, Stone Hange, Salisbury and Brighton.
Windsor Castle is the residence of nearly all the British sovereigns outside London.
Kew Gardens are the Royal Botanical Gardens with the largest collection of living plants in the world.
Greenwich is the seats of the National Maritime Museum where the Royal Observatory is – here is a bras strip which marks the prime meridian.
22. červenec 2008