As London has always been the most significant city of the British Empire, it has taken the opportunity to develop and become one of the most desired excursion destinations. Let’s try to briefly describe the main historical events that had influence on the city and the most popular sights at present.
The development of London began about 43AD when the Romans built a bridge to help them cross the river Thames, thus providing a junction between the population of the south and the north. During the next few centuries there were unceasing conflicts over the area and it kept changing the administration – Romans, Vikings, English kings (911AD), Vikings again, Saxons before William the Conqueror took over the throne and put an end to it. However, one thing never changed – the river Themes helped developing the trade and London flourished, becoming a political, architectural and cultural capital of the country. Today, England is a constitutional monarchy and the present Queen is Elizabeth II from the House of Windsor, whose members have ruled since 1917.
Today London is a place of fusion of different cultures and nations, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. There are a lot of famous places worth seeing and here are some of them:
- Westminster Abbey – founded in 1065 as a convent, it adopted its Gothic design in 1245. This is where the Kings and the Queens are crowned.
- Big Ben – a bell with a 13-tone weight hanged in the 96-meter-high tower of the Westminster Palace, which is referred to with the same name.
- Downing Street 10 – the Prime Minister’s residence since 1735 and because of this – the most famous address in London.
- St James Park – the beautiful park that stretches between the Parliament and the Buckingham Palace. Former royal grounds for hunting, it was established as a park in 1820.
- Buckingham Palace – the royal castle of Britain. The Duke of Buckingham built in 1702 and it became the residence of the Royal family in 1837. The castle extends on 77 000 m2 and contains the State Ballroom (the biggest room in the building) and the 50-metre-long picture gallery that exhibits works by Rembrandt and Rubens.
- The Tate Gallery – founded by Henry Tate in 1897, it was divided into two sections – Tate Britain and Tate Modern. It exhibits unique British art collections from the 1500s to nowadays.
- The London Eye – the famous wheel is 135 metres high and one full rotation takes 30 minutes. It was built for a special occasion – the celebrations of the millennium.
- The Globe Theatre – one of the well-known theatres in the world, erected by Shakespeare’s theatre company
- The Museum of London – the place where the documents of London are stored – from prehistoric times to the present.
- Trafalgar Square – one of the city’s forums where people meet in fine weather. It was built in memory of Lord Nelson who defeated the French and Spanish fleets in 1805.
To cut a long story short, the long history of London turned it into a diverse multicultural city. It can offer something for every taste. So, if you begin to feel bored with the usual tourist destinations, try visiting London – it is a journey worth undertaking.