“City of parks and gardens”
Capitol of the UK and England
Situated on the river Thames
Population more then 6,75 million people
Two city centres: City of London, City of Westminster
London is the capitol city of UK. It has been major settlement for two millennia and its history goes back to its founding by the Romans, when it was named Londinium (43 AD). Many theories have been advanced about the name London one of them claims that it comes from the Celtic word “Lyndon”, which means “shadowy waters”, referring to the Thames River.
Londinium lasted for just 17 years. Around 31, the Iceni tribe led by Queen Boudica stormed the first settlement, burning it to the ground. By the 7th century, the Anglo-Saxons had created new settlement called Lundenwic (today’s place of Covent Garden). Viking attacks continued to increase around the rest of South East England. 886 Alfred the Great recaptured London and made peace with the Danish leader Guthrum. The original Saxon city of Lundewic became Ealdewic (old city), a name surviving to the present day as Aldwych, which is in the modern City of Westminster.
Following victory at the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, then Duke of the Normandy, was crowned King of England in the newly finished Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. He built what is now known as the Tower of London, to keep citizens of the city under control.
1666 The Great Fire of London broke out in the original City and quickly swept through London’s wooden building, destroying large parts of the town. The main architect after the Great fire was Sir Christopher Wren who rebuild the city and add his masterpiece St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The 18th century was a period of rapid growth for London and during the 19th century London was the biggest and most important city in the world.
Now days London contains 4 World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London, the historical settlement of Greenwich, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the complex of Westminster including Westminster Abbey.
The City of London
The City of London is the oldest part of the town and is not far from the River Thames. East of the City is the East End where docks are situated. The West End is famous for its shops, theatres and cinemas. There are a lot of sights in the City.
The Tower of London built by William the Conqueror in 11th century. It was once of royal palace, then prison and once even a royal zoo. Today is a museum of the Bloody Tower guarded by Yeoman Warders called Beefeaters. There is a legend about seven ravens, which lives in this area since the William’s days. It says that when one of the ravens fly away the kingdom will fall. Every evening there is a 700 years old ceremonial of locking the main gates of the Tower, which attracts many tourists.
Tower Bridge is another famous landmark. There are several exhibitions in the two main towers. The bridge “breaks” in the middle to allow tall ships through.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. In 1981 Charles and Diana were married here. It is also the place where we can find the famous Whispering gallery.
The City of Westminster
Is known as the centre of political and administrative life of Great Britain.
The Houses of Parliament on the left bank of the Thames was rebuilt in the Gothic style on the site of the Palace of Westminster, which was demaged by fire. One part of the originbal building Westminster Hall dating from 1097 is still there
Big Ben is the bell of the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. It was called after Sir Benjamin Hall, one of the ministers, whom did people call Big Ben.
Westminster Abbey is the place where many English kings and queens have been corowned and later buried. Famous British writers, scholars, dramatists and poets are buried in Poet’s Croner.
Backingham Palace is the London home of Queen. Since 1993 parts of the Palace have been opened to the public, including Queen’s Picture Gallery.
No.10 Downing Street, has been the official residence of the Prime Minister since 1715.
…there are ofcourse many other interesting places
Other places of interest
Oxford Street is one of the busiest streets in the London, full of shops
Covent Garden famous fruits and vegetable market
Globe Theatre where W. Shakespear acted
National Gallery in the Trafalgar Square, collections of 20th cent.
Hyde Park one of the biggest parks in London with Lake Serpentine
Ke stažení zde: London v2