London

LONDON

London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It lies on the river Thames and has about 7 million inhabitants. The main economic importance of modern London is as a financial and commercial centre. Tourism is also very important. London Heathrow is the world´s busiest airport by number of international passengers.

The capital´s top tourist attraction is the Tower of London. It was built by William the Conqueror in 1066. The Tower served as a royal home, a prison, an execution site etc. Now it is a museum where you can for example see the Crown Jewels. Six ravens are kept in the Tower at all times. The legend says that the Kingdom will fall if the ravens leave.

Next to the Tower there is Tower Bridge. It is raised in the middle to allow ships to pass up the river.

Beefeaters – Guarders of the Tower Bridge

The best-known church is perhaps St. Paul´s Cathedral. It stands on the site of the previous cathedral which was damaged by the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is built in Baroque style. The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was held here.

The Houses of Parliament are the political centre of the United Kingdom, the home of the British Parliament. They became the seat of Parliament in 1547. Great Britain is the oldest democracy in the world going back to the Magna Carta in 1215. The clock tower next to the Houses is called Big Ben. It is not really the name of the clock, it is the name of the bell.

The history of Westminster Abbey goes back to the 11th century. Almost all coronations since William the Conqueror (1066) have been held there, and many British kings and queens are buried there.

Buckingham Palace is the home of British kings and queens. The first monarch to live here was Queen Victoria. A lot of tourist come here to see the Changing of the Guard.



Trafalgar Square is said to be the largest in London. Its name commemorates the victory of Admiral Lord Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In the middle of the square there is Nelson´s Column (about 50m) with statue of Nelson at the top.

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It exhibits paintings by Italian (da Vinci, Titian), Dutch (Rubens, Rembrandt) or French (Monet, Cézanne, Renoir) masters.

Others:

The London Eye – Ferris wheel (vyhlídkové kolo), get in the capsule => view

Piccadilly Circus – Neon signs

Whitehall – You can find there government buldings (district)

Downing Street 10 – seat of the prime minister

The British Museum

Covent Garden – shops, markets

Hyde Park etc. – speakers corner

Greenwich observatory

Double deckers buses

Metro – Tube

 

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