London: historical monuments
SPEAKER´S CORNER: Hyde Park is the personal property of the Queen, who inherited it from Henry VIII. It is one of the largest, the best known and most extensive parks in London. It was opened to the public by Charles I. and there is Speaker´s Corner, where variou orators come every Sunday morning. Speaker´s Corner quickly became a public institutions, acquiring international prestige and attracting the talents of speakers. It is listed in all the guidebooks to London. During the 18th century it was a fashionable rendezvous for duellists. The right to hold meeting was not given legal recognition until 1872.
There are widely different topics: politics, economics, religion, international relations and about Britain´s current problems, such as unemployment, the arms race, high prices, etc. There can be seen individual singers and musician.
The distinguishing feature of the style of oratory practised at Speaker´s Corneris the opportunity given to members of the public to interject their own comments and questions while the speaker is addressing his audience.
Hyde Park is one of the best-known London parks. It has the Serpentine, a little lake and Speaker´s Corner. Hyde Park is a large green area. You can come and relax and have a picnic. Some people go fishing or boating. Lots of people go for long walks and jogging.
Speaker´s Corner is one of the most popular attraction of London. On Sunday anyone can come and choose a theme and he can start speaking about it. People can comment everything, but they can´t speak bad on royal family. His listeners often give him questions. Speaker´s Corner is good for practising one´s speaking talent.
TROCADERO: It is situated not far from Picadely Circus. It is place where we can see amazing holograms. There are many shops and shows, cafe´s and restaurants, cinema, casino, etc. There is one of the largest and best music shop. It has 300 years history. It was built in 1740´s, then it was tennis court. Since that time it is used for entertainment.
Trocadero is one of the most visited places in London. There can be visited Light Fantastic, which are world´s largest exhibition of holograms.In International Village we can order different deliocious meals from all over the world.
NATIONAL GALERY: It is situated along the north-west side of the square, with the National Portrait galery behind it. National Galery includes works by all the great Europa masters. There are collections of paintings from Duccio and Margarito of Arezzo to Monet or Ronoir.
John Wilkes proposed that a collection of pictures then for sale be bought by the nation and that a nobel gallery be built to house than. This pictures were dissapeared into Russia and Wild conception wanished into air.
After 47 years of dealay in April 1824 Parliament voted the money and on 10th May the galery was opened to the public.
REGENT STREET: Regent Street was designed by John nash as a „Royal Mile“ (along which the Prince Regent might drive from his mansion at carlton House, St. Jame´s to his new park, the Regent´s Park). John nash (1752 – 1835) was an English architect and pioneer of town planning. Above Picadely Circus in the curred portion of Regen Street known as the Quadrant.
THE TOWER OF LONDON: in the Tower of London many people were excented, for example Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard (Henry VIII´s wives) and many people were prisoned there, for example Queen Elizabeth I. Today we can see there some of the apparatus of fortune, for example the Scavenger´s Daughter, an iron ring compresing head, body and feet into a circle. There is a Jewel Tower, where the Crown Jewels in price of $ 100 million, shimmer behind some of the most sophisticated electronic protective device on earth.
The Tower of London consists of the White Tower (the oldest part), Waterloo barracks (Crown Jewels), Site of Scaffold, Tower green (there are many ravens), Bloody tower (prison), Site of Lion Tower (there was a collection of wild animals) and Traitor´s Gate.
The Beefeaters: there are about 40 farmer soldiers who will show visitors round the Tower. They wear very colorful uniforms.
The Tower of London dtes from the eleventh century. It was a palace and a state prison. It is the most beautiful of Norman buildings. The Tower is a museum of armoury and you can see the crown jewels in Jewel Tower. There is also a White Tower.
Wild animals were kept at the Tower until the 19th century, when the Zoological Gardens were founded.
Before Tower of London are Beefeaters, ex-army men, which guard the security of this building.
MADAME TUSSAUD´S: Madame Tussaud´s is one of the best known tourist attraction in London, the most famous waxworks in the world. At the first it was opened in 1835 by madame Tussaud. She made waxworks of famous people during the French Revolution.
The museum is devided into sections. One of them is devoted to prominent characters from British history. Another is full of the stars like Elvis Presley, Beatles, Michael Jackson. The number of rooms are devoted to world leaders from Royal Family. In the other there are model of various wellknown murderers – such as jacj the Rippers – the legendary multiplate killer. This is the best – known wax exhibition in the world. It consists of 6 areas: the Tableaux, the conservatory, superstars, the Grand Hall, the chamber of Horrors and the battle of Trafalgar.
Her name was Marie Grosholtz in 1761 in France. Later she inherited the wax exhibition after the family´s friend Dr. Curtis. In 1802 she moved to England. In 1835 she decided to settle the exhibition in London at the bazaar on Baker Street. Madam Tussaud died at the age of 89.
NATIONAL THEATRE: National theatre is new building with 3 stages for performances on 3 floors. Ample space for refreshment. Shelves full of literature on the subject of the theatre. From a building we can enjoy a fantastic view of London, on the side Westminster, St. Paul´s catedral and the River.
In Britain are 200 profesional theatre. Center of theatrical activity is London because there are about 30 theatres.
RIVER THAMES: In 43 AD Roman army built bridge across the Thames. This was the beggining of the City of London. First docks were built in 17th century.
Land nearby grew into a key port with a trade. This trade booming kept until the time of Wiliam Conqueror in 1066. In the next 500 years was London a great industry port (expored: wool, catle, herrings,... and imported: wines from France, furs,...).
People who work in trade formed guilds (group of people with some interests or work they join together to help one another).
Bridge over the Thames: Vauxhall Bridge, Lambeth Bridge (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben), Waterloo Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Tower Bridge, ...
In Victorien times was Thames every wasted (fishs died and terrible smell), but since 1950´s is much less polluted.
Near Waterllo Bridge is Royal Festival Hall, whih is modern building. Near The River are Queen Elizabeth Hall, National Theatre, etc. From Blackfriars Bridge we can see the dome of St. Paul´s.
People, who work on the bridge eat, sleep and many other there.
In 43 AD the Roman army marched through the marches and they built first bridge. Through a port is make a trade with the continent.
Chelsea Bridge is the Royal Hospital. Vane Hall Bridge was in 17. century beautiful gardens and now there are offices.
LONDON DOCKLAND´S: far almost two centuries, up till the 1960´s, London was one of Britain´s main port. But when the docks closed, the whole area went into a steep decline. In the 1980s the London Dockland Development Corporation was set up to try to stop this and the whole area under went massive redevelopment.
The Dockland s used to be a strongly working-class area. Now they are full of the offices of national and international firms and housing for the wealthy, who are attracted by the closeness of the area to the city centre and its transport link, which include a modern light railway and even a brand new airport right in the middle of the city.
The old Tobaco Dock and St. Katherine´s Dock are now malls with shops and restaurants.
The futuristic Thames Barrier can be found here, as can the Millenium Dome, a huge editice being built to celebrate the year 2000. It is opposite the Isle of Dogs, named so, because Henry VIII kept his hunting pack there. Canary Wharf is now the home of the tallest building in the United Kingdom, a tower over 250m high. Docklands represens the meeting of the past, the present and the future.
WHITEHALL: Whitehall is a London street in which there are many government offices. It runs from Trafalgar square to Parliament square. The name comes from White Hall Palace. In 1698 fire destroyed the Palace. Horse Guards in Whitehall are famous and popular. Many people come to see Changing of the Guards which takes place at 11 a. m. om weekdys and at 10 a. m. on Sundays. The Household Bridge is compoed of 2 regiments of Household cavlry, the Life Guards and they Royal Horse Guards and the 5 regiments of Foot Guards.
Whitehall is a street with government offices, which starts at the statue of Charles I. Whitehall is the residence of the archbishops of York. Whitehall was used by the Staurts and Cromwell. In 1961 was destroyed by fire. Before Whitehall are Horse Guards.
10 DOWNING STREET: Downing Street is very visited street in London. At 10 Downing Street is a residence of Britain´s Prime Minister and the number 11 is the official residence of the Chancellor of Exchequer. When the Prime Minister is in London, cabinet meets there for a few hours once or twice a week. They meet in long white room with has shape like aeroplane wing. It was designed so that the Prime Minister can see everyone who sits at the table.
10 Downing Street is a street in Westminster, London. It was built by Sir George Downing. Many tourists come to a narrow line see Number Ten, the official reidence of Britain´s Prime Minister. There is the Cabinet Room where Cabinet meetings are held.
Nearby is a museum of Sherlock Holmes.
THE CITY OF LONDON: London originated as the Roman settlement of Londinium. London with its population is greater than that of all Slovakia (4000 km2). There are two cities, London and Westminster and 28 boroughs. The Buckhingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are not in the City of London at all. The City is one of the world´s leading financial centres. There are many banks: Bank of England (Old Lady of Threadneedle street), Lloyds of London, Stock Exchange, Royal Exchange.
A typical Englishman: Black jacket, pinstriped throusers, bowlor hat, umbrella and rolled-up copy of the Times, he is a thing of the past. In 1665 75.000 Londoners died from the plague.
On September 2nd 1666 a bakery in Pudding Lane near London Bridge cuaght fire. After the fire, the city was rebuilt. Many buildings were designed by Sir Christopher Wren. He built The Monument to the Great Fire – 202 feet = 65 m and St. Paul´s Cathedral completed in 1708 by his son, which was the place of Prince Charles wedding to Princess Diana.
The City of London is area around St. Paul´s Cathedral. It is very small and tiny. It has only 2 square miles. It is seat of the Chairman, the head of the Greater London and the Lord Mayor of London, a chief officer of the City.
SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN: He was born in 1632. He built 53 churches within the St. Paul´s Cathedral. Much of the St. Clement Domes was destroyed by bombs in 1941, during WWI, but the outside walls and the steeple were left standing. When it was restored St. Clement´s Domes was rededicated, becoming the central church of the Royal Air Force in 1958. His earliest architectural works are to be found in Oxford and Cambridge.
TRAFALGAR SQUARE: Trafalgar Square is named after the cape in Spain near which a great sea battle was fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined French and Spain navies in 1805. The British won and the result was that Bonaparte lost command of the seas for ever. A statue of the victor of Trafalgar, the one-armed oneeyed Admiral Horatio Nelson, dominates the square on top of 56-metres high column guarded at each corner by splendid bronze lion designed by sir Edwin Landseer. Important streets that join it include Whitehall, synonymous with government, the Mall, which leads directly to Buckingham Palace, Regent Street, a major shopping street, Charring Cross Road, the heart of the book trade, and the Strand, named after its position on what used to be the bank of the river Thames. On the corner of this street is Charing Cross railway station. The present-day cross dates from 1863, the original was destroyed during the Civil War. The square is lived with important buildings, for example the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The biggest and probably the best known is the National Gallery. As a large open speal in the heart of the city, the square is a natural meeting place to enjoy the atmosphere, to see the sights, to demonstrate, to celebrate – sport victories, for instance, or X-mas (every year there is a huge X-mas tree there, a present from the people of Norway) or New Year, to feed the pigeons, or just to meet friends.
On a Trafalgar Square are the Royal Horse Guards whit dark uniforms and helmets.
TOWER BRIDGE: Tower Bridge is in the City and is the most interesting bridge acoss the Thames because it opens in the middle to let large ships pass up and down the river. Visitors to London can go inside, where there is a museum.
THE HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT: There are two Houses of Parliament: the Lords and the Commons. They are in the same building – the Palace of Westminster. There is also Westminster Hall and the famous Big Ben next to Westminster Bridge.
BIG BEN: Big Ben is a bell which strikes the hours in the clock tower of the Houses Of Parliament in London. The bell weighs 13.5 tons and was named after Sir Benjamin Hall in 1858. Sir Benjamin Hall was one of the ministers in the middle of the last century. He was nicknamed „Big Ben“ because he was very tall.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY: westminster Abbey is a church in London. Its history began in the 11th century. The Abbey is the place where kings and queens are crowned and buried. Memorials to famous British poets and writers are found here in Poet´s Corner.
Westminster, now the political centre of London, was, until the 11th century, a sacred place called Thorney Island. It was covered in brambles and surrounded by swamps. It was here that King Edward the Confessor, inspired by the churches he had visited in Normandy, decided to build a great abbey church. Sadly the church he built was consecrated on December 28, 1065, when he was too weak to attend. Eight days later Edward the Confessor died and was buried in the abbey. His tomb became a popular place of pilgrimage and it is still found at the heart of the present Westminster Abbey.
As Edward the Confessor died, the first monarch to be crowned here was Wiliam the Conqueror. His coronation took place on Christmas Day 1066 and since then all Coronations have been held here. The Coronation Chair, which has been used since 1308, can be seen in Confessor´s Chapel.
Im the 13th century Henry III began rebuilding the old Abbey – a process which lasted some 300 years to create most of the building we know today – although the West Towers were not finished until 1745. Henry III added a Lady Chapel in 1220.
Most English sovereigns were also buried here, and the Abbey contains many outstanding royal tombs. The Abbey contains many other tombs and memorials to eminent men and women, but perhaps the most popular ones are those writers, actors and famous musicians, politicians and churchmen in Poets´ Corner. Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to be buried, in 1400, in Poets´ Corner. Winston Churchill is remembered with a marble slab placed near the tomb of an unknown soldier.
One of the Abbey´s many beauties is the 16th century Henry VII´s Chapel, where the king and his wife lie beneath the most exquisite fan vaulting.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE: Buckimgham palace is the London residence of the Queen Elizabeth II. and her husband and family. The Royal Standard is on top when the Queen is in residence. There are the guards in red coatand with high bearskin hats.
ST. PAUL´S CATHEDRAL: St. Paul´s Cathedral is the heart of City of London. It is very large and it was built between 1675 and 1710. It is the work of a well-known English architect Sir Christopher Wren. This great renaissance church is dedicated to the honour of Saint Paul.
The history of St. Paul´s begins in 604 A.D. when it was probably a wooden structure. The cathedral was 4x destroyed and rebuilt. Lastest was rebuilt, when the Great Fire of 1666 had destroyed the Norman Church of „Old St. Paul´s“ Sir Christopher Wren designed a new church again which has more or less the same appearence today.
The inscription above Wren´s tomb in the Crypt reads: „If you seek the monument, look around you“.
In the crypt there are the tombs of some Britain´s great heroes, including Admiral lord Nelson, Sir Alexander Fleming , the Duke of Wellington, etc.
A person standing at the entrance to the Whispering Gallery can be hear clearly what a guide on the opposite side may be saying.
During the WWII the cathedral suffered two direct hits from high-explosive bombs.
St. Paul´s Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of London and the spiritual centre of the City. It has a longer history than any other existing English institution. Its history is definite from the year 604 onwards, with Saxon buildings, then a vast medieval cathedral. The Great Fire of London in 1666 ruined it. Sir Christopher Wren rebuilt 52 City churches and St. Paul´s Cathedral is his masterpiece. He supervised its building from acros the river, in a house from which he could watch his magnificient opus arise. His mammoth achievement took 35 years.
It has a nave 180 feet long and a height of 365 feet from the floor to the top of the cross. There are a lot of artistic paintings and frescos which can be seen from the Whispering Gallery 100 feet above floor level. The famous Whispering Gallery is the spot, where the slightest sound can be heard right round its circumference.
Its bells, its organ and choir are familiar to those who love the City. It is often the scene of great occasions: services attended by Royalty, consecrations of bishops, services for the Forces, for sailors, the Red Cross, many Church, educational and musical activities. The Cathedral was a place where the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana took place in 1981.
St. Paul´s is the resting place of Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. While it has witnessed sombre funeral processions, the bell called Great Tom is generally only tolled for the deaths of members of the royal family, bishops of London, deans of St. Paul´s and the Lord Mayor of London, should he or she die in office.
St. Paul´s is also a resting place of Sir Christopher Wren with the simple inscription on Wren´s tomb, repeated on a stone under the dome: „If you seek a monument, look around you.“
MONUMENT: In 1666 the Great Fire destroyed a large part of London. The fire broke out in a baker´s shop. There were a lot of wooden houses so the flames spread fast. The memorial was built in 1671 – 77 to commemorate the Great Fire of London. The columns is 202 feet and has 311 steps in it.
PICCADILLY CIRCUS: Piccadilly circus is the very famous square in the heart of London. In the middle of Piccadilly there is a statue of Eros – the God of Love. A winged figure, balancing on one foot and holding a bow in one hand, and shooting an imaginary arrow. Eros first came to PC in 1893, paid for by the nation as a memorial to great social reformer, Lord Shaftesbury, and intended to represent the spirit of Christian charity „flying swiftly as an arrow to help those in need.“ His sculptor was Sir Alfred Gilbert.
It is the heart of London´s entertainment world. Many buildings are decorated with bright neon signs. We find most of London´s theatres and cinemas, the most famous restaurants and nightclubs. It is particularly in the evening that PC is thronged with peole going to the theatre or the cinema, or perhaps to a restaurant. Many others have come for an evening stroll. The crowd is mixed, for it is composed of peole of many nationalities.
VICTORIA STATION: Victoria Station is one of the oldest railway stations in London. It is a place from which people travel to Europe or arriving in the capital.It looks like a very small town. There are stalls, small shops, restaurants, snack bars, cafés, information centers, an exchnge office, etc.
WINDSOR: Windsor is a small town about 22 miles from London. Windsor Castle dominates the small town. It is a family residence. Queen Elizabeth and other members of Royal Family spend much of their time there. In summer there are thousands of visitors there.
In Windsor is a famous school for children form famous people called Eaton.
UNIFORMS IN LONDON: There are a many kinds and each have their history.
The Guards are outside Buckingham Palace and they have red coat with high bearskin hats. Outside a Buckingham Palace we can see changing of the Guards.
The Royal Horse Guards are on Trafalgar Square and they have dark uniforms and helmets.
The Police had in past truncheon and rattles and now they have whistles and walkie-talkies.
Traffic Wardens control parking since 1960s. They have navy blue uniforms and a peaked cap.
Beefeaters are outside Tower of London and they are most photographed men. They come from ex-army men and they guard the security of this building.
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL: Westminster Cathedral is a seat of the Cardinal Archibishop, and the leading Catholic Churches in England. It was built at the turn of the cenury and it is situated half a mile from Westminster Abbey, near Victoria Station.
The single bell in the 280 foot high campanile is dedicated to Edward the Confessor.
The Cathedral was designed by J. F. bentley and it was built in Early Christian Byzantine style between 1895 and 1903. It is composed of red bricks with bands of grey portland stone. More than one hundred different kinds of marble were used for the interior decoration of the Cathedral.
An early alabaster sttue of Our Lady and Child comes from the Nottingham School. The marble pulpit was the gift of Cardinal Bourne in 1934. The Cathedral has chapels to commemorate St Thomas of Cantenbury, St George and the English Martyrs, as well as saints of Ireland and Scotland.
A novel feature is the organ which can be played from either end of the Cathedral.
HISTORY OF LONDON. London has nearly 2,000 years of recorded history. It was founded, as Londinium by the Romans, following their invaion id A.D. 43. It was in the time when Westminster was still a marsh. The Roman had inhabited the land. They built the first wooden bridge and, in A.D. 120, began the construction of the defensive walls, fragments of which still be seen today. The Romans left in the 5th century and the city was largely abandoned, though by the 8th century it was again a busy trading centre, and in the 11th century it became the capital of England.
Edward the Confessor built a palace and abbey at Westminster, creating the twin centres which still exist. The Norman perion saw the construction of the Tower, old St. Paul´s Cathedral and many other buildings and the first stone bridge over the Thames. Medieval london grew in importance as a trading centre and in 1215, with the sealing by King John of Magna Carta, its citizens won the right to elect their own leader, or Lord Mayor. London saw rapid growth during the Tudor and Stuart period which led to new building outside the walls in areas such as Covent Garden and Lincoln´s Inn.
The most important building of the 16th century is the Royal Exchange, founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas gresham. On the north side is the Bank of England. The building was designed by Sir John Soane, though it has been much modified.
In 1666 the Great Fire of London broke out and destroyed three-quarters of the City. The fire started at a baker´s shop and spread very quickly destroying the houses built of wood. The rebuilding of London followed the Medieval street plan but the old timber huoses were replaced by more up-to-date buildings made of brick in order to reduce any risk of fire in the future.
Sir Christopher Wren, a famous English architect spent many years reconstructing and rebuilding the city. He rebuilt St. Paul´s Cathedral and designed 51 new churches of which 23 still stand. He designed the Monument, a 202 feet column to commemorate the Great Fire of London, which broke out a short distance away in Pudding Lane. It is worth climbing its 311 steps to get an impressive panoramic view of the surrrounding area.
In the 18th century London underwent further development, the city flourished and this led to further expansion into areas such as Mayfair, although the poor of London still lived awful conditions.
During the 19th century London spread rapidly into suburbs, swallowing up villages and countryside. This initiated the development of new frms of transport, such as buses and railways, including the underground system. In the 19th century Britain was at the height of her colonial powers and this influenced further building and constructing in London. At this time the Houses of Parliament were built as well as St. Pancras Station.
During WWII Britain was badly damaged by German bombs including large areas of London.
Today London is a sprawling, cosmopolitan metropolis, about 625 square miles in area and more than seven milion people live and work there.
The emblem of Welsh is a vegetable, a leek or a flower, daffodil. The Irish emblem is a shamrock. The English emblem is a re rose and the Scotish emblem is a wild plant, a thistle.