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London - Hisotry, Places of interests

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8 London a) London Characteristic: London is the capital of both England and United Kingdom. It lies on the river Themes. Almost 7 million people live in London and over 15 million in its conurbation1 . It includes City of London and 32 boroughs2 . London is the seat of the Monarch, Parliament, Government and the Supreme Court. The Prime Meridian of the World runs across Greenwich in the east London. History: The first inhabitants wereCeltsin 800 BC. Then the place was occupied byRomansin 55 BC and in 43 BC they established Roman Londonium there. After the Romans left, this city remains the capital forBritons.In 12th centuryNormanKings moved the royal court3 from Winchester to London forever. In 16th century there were established trading companies and Royal Exchange it seriously contributed to rise of London. The 17th century brought suffering for London. In 1665 the Plague epidemic and in 1666 the Great Fire of London. After the fire four fifth of the city were destroyed. The main architect after the fire was Christopher Wren and his masterpiece is St. Paul’s Cathedral. Then the first insurance, bank and the Stock Exchange were established. One of the important things for London is the Port, which became the biggest in 19th century. In the 19th century the infrastructure was established and a lot of suburbs4 were connected. In the 20th century the City was also seriously damaged during the World War II. The prime5 economic importance of London is financial and commercial center. Twenty-two percent of the world’s transactions take place in London. More than 50 per cent of cargo shipping and air transport is also centered in London. In London there are 5 airports (the biggest are Heathrow and Gatwick). The other main means of transport in London are: busses, underground and well known black taxis. Places of interests: There are two cities in the center of London: the City of London and the City of Westminster. The City is the oldest part of London. Now is the home to the financial district6 . The city of London: - the oldest part of the town, near the river Themes - West End – shops, theatres and cinemas - East End – here are situated the docks and many immigrants and workers live here Tower of London- built by William the Conqueror in 11th century - it was royal palace before and then a prison and royal mint - it is a museum now with a crown jewels (in Jewel House) , weapons - the White Tower is in the complex and it’s whole white - the tower is guarded by Yeomen Warders, who still wear Tudor uniforms - six ravens are kept in the tower to protect whole kingdom Tower Bridge- several exhibitions in two main towers about the history of the bridge - the bridge can break in the middle to allow tall ships to go through - it takes 90 seconds to raise St Paul’s Cathedral- built by Sir Christopher Wren in 17th century - it stands on the place where was the Cathedral which was destroyed in Great fire - it is in Baroque style - it is the second largest church in the world - inside is also the Whispering7 Gallery - there were many famous occasions8 :Churchill’s funeral service wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 - Britain’s heroes are buried there (Nelson, Wren, Duke of Wellington) The Monument- commemorating9 the place where the Great Fire started - it is 60 meter-high Other- the other famous buildings here are Bank of London, the Stock Exchange, and Lloyds insurance The city of Westminster: - known as a political and administrative centre - familiar face of London Houses of Parliament- political centre of United Kingdom, the home of British Parliament - after Great Fire rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style, only Westminster Hall is original House of Lords- in Gothic style, decorated in red with the throne of sovereign - there also Woolsack where Lord Chancellor presides the House House of Commons- consists of parallel rows10 of green leather benches11 , which face the table where the mace is placed - the Speaker presides this House Big Ben- rises above the Parliament - 97,5 metres high - the name is not of the clock but of the bell Westminster Abbey- monarchs are crowned and heroes buried here - it was built in the 11th century - there is Coronation Chair with a historic Stone of Scone - there is also Poet’s Corner where some famous poets are buried Buckingham Palace- home of kings and queens of Great Britain - built in 1703 by Duke of Buckingham - the first monarch who lived here was the Queen Victoria - outside the palace Changing of the Guard is very big attraction - the royal family occupy the north wing of the palace - the royal Standard12 is flown when the queen is in the palace Queen Victoria Monument- in front of Buckingham Palace - commemorate the queen - from the palace goes the Mall (expensive shops, gentleman’s clubs) Trafalgar Square- largest square in London with busy traffic - the square commemorates the naval victory of Admiral Lord Nelson over the French and Spanish fleet - in the middle there is Nelson’s Column (50 m high) with Nelson’s statue (5 m) - the column is surrounded by four lions statues National Gallery- on the Trafalgar Square - is owns on of the greatest collection of Western painting from 13th to 19th century - pictures from many famous painters ( da Vinci, Rubens, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Monet, Manet) - there also National Portrait Gallery with photos of a famous people Piccadilly Circus- there is a lot of colour advertisements - in the middle there is a fountain with a statue of a Eros the God of Love Shopping: - most best shops are in the West End -Oxford street– the best known -Regent Street– galleries, antiques13 and jewellery shops -Piccadilly – clothes shops -Soho– a lot of restaurants, very dubious14 night life Parks: -St. James’s Park- the oldest one, the home of many water birds -The Hyde Park- the most famous, consists of trees and grass - there is a Serpentine lake (boating and swimming) - the Marble Arch was the executing place from 12th to 18th century - at Spe

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