London is the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the 9th largest city in the world - its population is about 10 million. London is situated on the Thames River in the south-east of England. The Romans came to London in 43 A. D. They built a small town on the Thames and its name was Londinium. In 1066, William the Conqueror came to England. He came from Normandy after the Battle of Hastings. He became the King of England. On a Sunday, on the 2nd of September in 1666, there was a Great Fire which destroyed almost all of the city. There are many places of interest in London. We can see them by walking around or takingvarious means of transport. London´s famous red double-deckers go almost everywhere even though a lot of people think double-deckers are too high and too big for such frequent and busy traffic in London. To be faster, we can use the underground which is the oldest underground in the world. There are also 3 airports in London (the most important are Heathrow and Gatwick).
We can visit The Houses of Parliament. They are in the gothic style but they were built only in 1840 after the old building had burnt down. The only part which escaped the fire was Westminster Hall. There is also a famous clock tower named Big Ben and it has a characteristic bell-ringing. The best photo can be taken from Westminster Bridge.
We can continue along to Whitehall, in which the Horse Guards Parade takes place. Here we can go to Downing Street 10, which has been the official home of British Prime Ministers since 1731. At the end of Whitehall is Trafalgar Square. It was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon. Nelson’s statue is here. This place is a very popular place for demonstrations and meetings. At Christmas time, a big Christmas tree stands here.
One of the best known parts of London is the City. Now there are no narrow crooked streets but it is a business centre – it has been completely rebuilt. The most important symbols are still there though. St. Paul´s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. In the dome there are great acoustics - this place is called the Whispering gallery. This great Renaissance dome is the work of the famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, and it was built in the 17th century after the Great Fire. The Cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery.
The famous and now one of the last interesting places in City is The Tower of London. It was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. It served firstly as a royal palace , then as a prison, during which time the prisoners were brought by a ship through Traitors gate. It is a museum now. In one part of the Tower, in the Jewel house, the Crown Jewels are kept. They are not however the same jewels which were made by William the I and the II. Those were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. After his death, the new King Charles II. made new jewels.
Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It was built only in the last century. It dominates the town with two Victorian gothic towers. It is hydraulic and can open in the middle to let large ships go through. Inside Tower Bridge there is now a museum.