London is the capital city of the United Kingdom. Its population is about 10 milion. It is situated on the river Thames in south-east England. London is one of the largest ports and it has the oldest underground in the world. Of the three London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead), Heathrow is the largest in Europe. Before Christ there was a Celtic settlement called Llyndin on the left bank of the Themes. After the Roman occupation of England the most important port Londinium originated here. During the rule of Germanic tribes Lundenevic became the capital of the kingdom Essex and since 1066 it has been the capital of the English Kingdom. In 19th century it was the largest city of the world, the largest port and the most important financial centre. During WW II it was heavily damaged by the German bombing.
Buckingham Palace is the residence of the British Queen. The Houses of Parliament are the residence of MPs. Downing Street 10 is the official home of British Prime MInisters since 1731.
The gothis Westminister Cathedral (and the baroque St. Paul’s Cathedral) are the most famous churches in London. The Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It can open in the middle and let large ships go though. Other well-known bridges are Waterloo-Bridge and Wesminister Bridge. the clock tower with the massive bell called Big Ben is a part of the Parliament’s achitecture. the Post Office Tower is the highest building in Great Britain. The Tower was built in the 11th century. It served as a royal palace first, then prison and fortress. It is a museum now. The Crown Jewels are kept here. The British Museum is the largest museum in the world. The National Galery is Tragalgar Square houses paintings by nearly all great European artists of the past and a large collection of British paintings and sculptures. Madame Tussaud’s waxwork museum in Marelybone Road is very attractive for people of all kinds. London is the centre of Britain’s theatre and musical life. Among theatres the most important are the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Old Vic. Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street are the most famous shopping centres in London. The are many parks in London, St. Jame’s Park, Regent’s Park. The largest of them is Hyde Park. It is also known for its Speaker’s Corner. The City is the oldest part of London around St. Paul’s. There are many banks and offices.
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