Sightseeing in London
London is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. At the same time it is the largest city in the country, the residence of the monarch, the representatives of the Church of England, government representatives, Parliament, and the Supreme Court. London is the center of cultural, political and social activities. Tourists come here at all seasons of the year to visit the monuments, museums, galleries, scientific institutions, but also the theatres, of which there are about fifty in London.
London is home to about 9 millions inhabitants. London is one of the largest cities of the world - it occupies an area of 1600 km2. The metropolis is divided into Old London and thirty-two districts. The city’s history is very rich. Several disasters have afflicted London. In 1665 the Black Plague killed 70,000 people. In 1666 the Great Fire broke out, destroying most of the city.
Despite this, many of London’s monuments have survived. Parliament is one of the most prestigious buildings in London. Its predecessor was Westminster Palace. It was built during the reign of King Edward and extended during that of William the Conqueror. The typical symbol of the capital of Britain is the Tower of London. Its construction was started by William the Conqueror. Today the Tower is the best preserved fortress in the country. Many important personalities were arrested and executed there. At the present time it houses a museum.
Tower Bridge stands next to the Tower. This is the last bridge on the Thames before it empties into the sea. It was built in 1894. It has two characteristic towers with a height of 65 m.
The Temple is a district with Gregorian buildings and parks. Originally it was the Templar’s residence. Buckingham Palace has become the official royal residence. The royal family has lived there since 1837. During most of the year it is not open to the public.
Trafalgar Square is one of the most important squares. In the center of the square the statue of Captain Nelson was raised. It stands atop a 55 meters-high column.
Hyde Park - the foundations were laid out by King Henry VIII who had the park Westminster Abbey turned into an English park. In 1635 the area was opened to the public. Westminster Abbey is the important historical building in London. The first church was built there as early as the 7th to 8th centuries. The present monastery was established by King Edward.
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