London is the capital city of both England and the United Kingdom. It lies on the river Thames and covers an area of 1,580 square kilometres. Almost 7 million people live there and about 12 million in its conurbation.. London is the seat of the Monarch, the Parliament, the Government and the Supreme Court. AT also contains many important museums, galleries, theatres and many historical buildings and parks.. The Prime Meridian of the World runs across Greenwich in the east of London.
The Celts settled the territory of today’s London as early 800 B. C. , but even earlier the site had been inhabited in the Stone Age. Although the place had been occupied by the Romans about 55 B. C., only later, about 43 A. D. did they establish Roman Londonium.. When the Romans left the island in the fifth century, it remained the capital of the Britons. It kept its importance during the Anglo-Saxon times and later during the reign of the Danish kings in the 10th and 11th centuries. During the 12th century reign the Norman kings ( William the Conqueror was the first to come in 1066) the royal court moved from Winchester, the former capital, to London for ever. The city continued to grow and flourish and gradually extended beyond its walls to absorb the originally separate Westminster. The 16th century establishment of the trading companies and the Royal Exchange ( 1565 ) contributed to the rapid economic rise of London. The 17th century brought much suffering to London. In 1665 more than 75 000 people died from a plague epidemic and year later, in 1666,the Great Fire of London destroyed four fifths of city. During the following decades hectic buildings activity rebuilt the whole town. Sir Christopher Wren was appointed the main architect and he constructed about 50 churches and some other public buildings, including his masterpiece St. Paul’s Cathedral. In the latter half of the 17th century, Lloyd’s Insurance Company was established, in 1649 the Bank of England and later, in 1773, the Stock Exchange.
The port had always been important for existence of Britain, but during the first three decades of the 19th century it became the biggest in Britain. In the times of Queen Victoria many buildings sprang up, including the larger part of the Houses of Parliament, the Covent Garden Opera House and the Crystal Palace. The laying of the network of railways, first line in 1836, and underground lines, first line in 1836, resulted in the construction of a wide belt suburbs, many of which were built in the typical Victorian style of red brick. German bombing during the World War II caused serious damage especially in the City, though this cannot be noticed nowadays. Since 1982 the most risky and criticised project in recent times has been the rescue and new development of the Docklands east of the City.
Industry and Commerce
From Saxon times the port of London dominated the Thames, therefore London’s traditional industries i.e. wood working, furniture-making, the chemical and rood industries were developed in close connection with the port. Other industries: clothing, printing and diamond cutting. From 1960’s there was a new industries, like paper-making, production of cement, oil refineries, the chemical and car industries.
London is a financial and economic centre – 22% of the world’s financial transactions také a place in London. The London Stock Exchange is the world’s biggest, London is an important centre of the gold, silver and platinum trade and it’s the world centre of postal services. More than 50 % of cargo shipping and air transport is also centred in London. There are also recording, broadcasting, televisin and film studios, publishing houses and national press services.
The Port of London is one of the best in the world, it after redevelopment, it is The Metropolitan Water City, with many offices, shopping and sport facilities, homes, factories, a light railway and an airport (London City Airport ).
There, further down the river, are docks for oil reloading ( Shellhaven, Thameshaven ). The main exports are cars, machinery, chemical and electrical engineering products and the main import items are oil, wood and grain.
The latest means of transport in London are riverbuses, which run on the Thames between Chelsea and Docklands and City Airport. There are 5 airports in the London area, the largest of them. Heathrow, Gatwick. It is the most significant highway and railway junction in the British Isles. There is a rail connection to all parts of the island from 15 central stations, the trains are controlled by computers There are two lines on twelve – kilometre routes.
The quickest and cheapest way to get around the central London is by underground, other name is tube.