London (2)

London

Introduction:
London is the capital of the United Kingdom. London is situated on the river Thames in southeast of England. London is a cosmopolitan city, there are people of many nationalities. Today the population is about 7 million inhabitants.
London consists of three parts: the original and historical City, West End – centre of entertainment and the East End, rather an industrial area.

History:
The city was probably founded 2,000 years ago. The Romans built their settlement  there in 43 A.D. and called it Londinium. After a fire in 61 A.D. the town was rebuilt again and surrounded by a wall. The area within the walls is now called the City of London. Later London became an important port, industrial centre and the seat of kings and queens. It was at this time that William the Conqueror came to London after the famous battle of Hastings.
A new part of the town was founded and called it Westminster. During the history the city experienced several disasters.
London survived plague (which was also known as the Black Death) killing almost 100,000 people in 1665 as well as the Great Fire in 1666 that broke out in a bakery. The Fire destroyed two thirds of the city, because most of the houses were made of wood.

Transportation:
London has an excellent transportation system. The London Underground, or tube, is the world first underground railway for passengers. It began working in 1863. The red double-decker buses are typical for the city. Traditional black taxis, or cabs, are another symbol of London. London has two airports, the smaller Gatwick and the larger Heathrow.

London’s parks:
London’s beautiful parks cover almost one third of the city and sometimes are called the lungs of London.
Hyde Park – is the largest one, mainly famous for its Speaker’s Corner.  People here often stand on chairs or boxes and talk about whatever they want except the Royal family. Anyone is welcome to say freely what they want.
St. James’s Park – is one of the oldest green spaces in the city.

Famous places:
The Tower of London stands on the north bank of Thames and its history has been made nearly a thousand years. The Tower has been put to many uses such as a royal resident, a fortress, a prison, an execution place and a royal treasury.
The Tower bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London.

St. Paul´s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It was built by the architect Sir Christopher Wren in 17th century after the Great Fire. The Cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery.

The city of Westminster is a district which occupies about 4 square miles. This is the centre of the administration, with Parliament and Government offices.The Houses of Parliament are officially called the Palace of Westminster.

Buckingham Palace has been the home of the sovereign since Queen Victoria.

Downing street number 10 has been the home of British Prime Ministers

Trafalgar square is the busiest part of London. Large crowds gather there to see Nelson´s Column. It was named after Lord Nelson´s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Piccadilly Circus is the talk of the town. Five major roads cross there and in the close surroundings there are many London theatres, cinemas, restaurants and shops.

British Museum – there you can see the largest collection of animals, minerals and rocks.

The London Eye is the largest observation wheel in the world.