London, Londýn

The population of London is 7 million in central part and 12 million including conurbations. The area is 1,580 sq. km. It is the seat of the British Monarch, the Government, and Parliament. It is situated on the Thames River as well as on the Prime Meridian which is in Greenwich. The city is divided into 32 districts.

Regarding history, in 800 BC the city was occupied by the Celts and by the Romans in 55BC. They stayed until the 5th century. The town was called Llyndum, which means a walled but high place. The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes came during the 10th and 11th centuries. This was known as the invasion of Danish kings. In 1066, The Battle of Hastings left William the Conqueror in charge. Other Norman kings came into power and the capital of the country was moved from Winchester to London. The city flourished. In 1665, the Black Plague killed 70 000 people. In 1666, the Great Fire of London started on Baker Street.

Regarding transportation, you can take red double-decker buses or the Underground, also known as the tube. It’s a huge net, the oldest in world, with 273 stations and 420 km of length. There are also black taxi cabs that may seem old-fashioned. London’s airports are Heathrow and Gatwick.

Regarding sightseeing, the City of London consists of the East End, which is a poor area, and the West End, which is the rich, commercial, financial and cultural part of London. The Tower was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. It houses the royal jewels as well as many weapons. It used to be a zoo, a prison, and an execution site (two of Henry VIII.´s wives and Thomas Moore were executed there). There is a legend about ravens around the Tower and it is guarded by beefeaters. The Tower Bridge was built in 1894. It contains an exhibition of history. It takes 90 seconds to raise. St. Katherine´s Dock, built in 1828, was a commercial centre and is now a place to display historic ships. St. Paul´s Cathedral was built in 1711 by Sir Christopher Wren. It is built in the Baroque style and contains a Whispering Gallery. Many events were held there such as the funeral of Winston Churchill or the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. There are many people buried there, such as Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, and Sir Christopher Wren. The Monument is a lookout which was built to commemorate the Great fire of London in 1666. The City of Westminster is a political and administrative centre. The Houses of Parliament were built in the Neogothic style in 1840. In contains the House of Lords and the House of Commons as well as Big Ben, a clock tower. Big Ben is the name of the bell and it strikes every hour. Westminster Abbey, built in the 11th century, contains the Coronation Chair with Stone of Scone (a symbol of Scottish Royalty). Coronations have been held here since William the Conqueror was crowned. Elizabeth I, Mary Stuart, and Henry VII are all buried there. In Poet´s Corner, there are the tombstones of John Milton, Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and William Shakespeare. At No. 10, Downing Street, there is the house of the Prime Minister and it has been so since 1735. Buckingham Palace was built by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. Since 1993, it has been open to the public because they need money for reparations of Windsor Castle. There is the regular changing of the guard which is interesting to see. The Queen Victoria Monument is nearby. Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London. It has Nelson´s Column and the National Gallery is nearby. It has a great collection of paintings ranging even from the 13th century. The entrance is free. Piccadilly Circus is a busy center of entertainment for the West End (there are theatres, cinemas, and restaurants).

Regarding shopping and entertainment, there is Oxford St., Regent St., Bond St., Piccadilly St., Harrod´s, and the Soho. Museums include the British Museum, Madame Tussaud´s the wax figures, the Tate Gallery with paintings from the 20th century, and Royal Albert Hall which holds concerts. Parks include St. James´s Park which is the oldest and the location of the royal residence of St. James´s Palace, and Hyde Park, a center for boating, swimming, and horse riding. It is the location of Speaker´s Corner where everyone is free to speak publically but cannot speak badly about the queen. There are also the Kensington Gardens and Regent´s Park which is most elegant and even has a zoo.




Přidal: sheeni 19. 5. 2011
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