Otázka: A trip to London
London is the capital city of the UK. London is situated in southeast England on the Thames River. It is the 9th largest city in the world. With a population of about 8 million, this is a vast metropolis. London is a cosmopolis city, there are people of many nationalities.
Parts in London
There are four parts in London. The City of London, Westminster, West End and East End. The City of London is the oldest part but it is only a very small part. It is a business, financial and economical centre. There are a lot of banks (Bank of England), government offices and also well-known London Stock Exchange.
The City of Westminster is known as the centre of political and administrative life of GB. There are most of places of interest as Westminster Abbey or Houses of Parliament.
West End is the shopping and entertainment centre with many shops, theatres, cinemas and clubs.
East End used to be a poor dockland area but it has been changing. Now it is rapidly developing area
The city was probably founded 2000 years ago. The Romans built their settlement and called it Londinium. The name- London probably comes from Celts (Llyn- lake, dun-fort). In 19th century it was the largest and most influential city in the world. London is still one of the world’s major financial and cultural city.
At the beginning of the 20th century London was paralysed with fear because of the series of murders committed in the East End. The murderer, Jack the Ripper, was never caught.
London is a major world financial centre with a number of banks and the well/known London Stock Exchange. LSE id the second most important stock exchange dating back to the 17th century.
London transport is one of high quality, so unless you feel like walking in the city’s parks, you may take one of the means of transport used in London. For example, why not to have a ride on one of the world-famous red double-decker buses, though now in the historical parts only as except for two lines, these buses have by now been abolished. They have been used since The World Exhibition in the 19th century.
Another alternative is the underground, or tube as it is known in London. Tube is the oldest and one of the most perfect underground networks in the world. Traditional black taxis or cabs are another symbol of London. It may be a little bit too expensive, but then you can be sure you will get exactly where you want. London can also boast an extensive bus network. Moreover, buses are the only possible way to travel after midnight. You can also travel by river buses. Heathrow and Gatwick are huge London airports.
Parks in London
London’s beautiful parks cover almost one third of the city and once were defined as the lungs of London. Hyde Park is the largest one, mainly famous for its Speaker’s Corner. Here, people, often standing on chairs or boxes, could make speeches on anything they wanted.
St. James’s Park is one of the oldest green spaces in the city. In the 16th century, Henry VIII transformed this unhealthy and marshy area into a hunting domain. Today, the park has a lake, black swans, squirrels, colourful flowerbeds and borders Buckingham Palace.
One of the most famous palaces in the world, Buckingham Palace (or “Buck House” as Londoners sometimes call it) has been used as a royal residence since 1837 when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. Queen Victoria Monument, made of marble and bronze, was erected in front of the palace. The statue of the queen herself is surrounded by allegorical statues representing Victorian virtues such as Maternity, Justice, Truth and Courage.
(Lehčí verze: Buckingham Palace has been the home of the sovereign since Queen Victoria. It was built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingam. The Changing of the Guards is one of the biggest London’s spectacles and it takes place every day at 11 a.m.)
The Monument of the Great Fire
The Monument is an important historical site commemorating the Great Fire in 1666. It stands on the place where the fire broke out.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London stands on the north bank of the Thames and its history has been made nearly a thousand years. The White Tower, the oldest part of the Tower, was begun by Wiliam the Conqueror in 1708. The other buildings were built until the nineteenth century. The Tower has been put to many uses such as a royal resident a fortress, a prison, an execution place, a royal treasury and museum. The Bloody Tower used to be a prison, and so did the Green Tower.
There are ravens in the Tower that mustn’t leave it, otherwise the Kingdom would fall apart, as the legend says. To make sure they don’t leavge, their wings are cut short.
Today the Tower is a museum of historical weapons and there are coronation jewels.
The Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge is a great symbol of London. It was erected between 1886-94 and it is the best-known of all the bridges spanning the Thames. It was designed by Sir Horace Jones and Sir John Wolfe Barry. The Bridge opens in the middle and goes up when huge ships want to pass through. (Najít informace o zavřený části towerbridge- prostitutky)
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest in the world. It was built by the architect Sir Christopher Wren in 17th century after the Great Fire. Standing at the top of Ludgate Hill on the site of former Saxon and Norman churches, it is the residence of bishop of London. The Whispering Gallery is a famous curiosity, running around the inside of the dome. The excellent acoustics of the place brings any sound to the opposite side, 107 feet away in a straight line. Many famous people are buried there, among others the Duke of Wellington, Horatio Nelson…Princ Charles and Lady Diana had their wedding ceremony there.
The Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament are officially called the Palace of Westminster. They were rebuilt between 1840-60 in Neo-Gothic style. In the middle ages there was a royal palace there, but Henry VII gave it over the government. There is the Victoria Tower, the highest Gothic tower in the world and the Clock Tower with the famous bell named after the first Commissioner of Works, Sir Benjamin Hall, Big Ben (it was his nickname). The Clock tower also has a prison cell for MPs who transgress against Parliamentary privilege- it was last used in 1880 for this purpose. The sound of the bell can be heart in the tune on the BBC Radio.
Westminster Abbey was founded in 11th Century and today’s appearance is Gothic. It was rebuilt by Hendry VIII in 1245. It is burial place of kings, site of modern coronations.
There are other interesting things in the cathedral- Poet’s Corner where greatest poets, artists, politics and famous British people are buried there. (Newton, Darwin, Dickens…)
Marble Arch is an arch design by John Nash in 1828. First, it was meant to be the entry to Buckingham Palace, but the gates of the palace gardens were never really moved so far to make the plan work.
Downing Street number 10 has been the home of British Prime Ministers.
Trafalgar Square which was built somewhere between 1829-1841 has a 18-foot high statue of Horatio Nelson restin on a 151-foot high column, and the whole monument dominates the square. The Square is surrounded with St Martin-in-the-Field Church and the National Gallery which houses one of the richest collections of 13th to 19th century paintings in the world.
Piccadilly Circus is the talk of the town. Five major roads cross there and in the close surroundings there are many London theatres, cinemas, restaurants and shops. At night the huge advertising hoarding are lit up- advertising brands like McDonald’s, Samsung, Coca-Cola…In the middle of the square is the statue of Eros.
The British Museum
The British Museum founded in 1753 is the biggest in the world. It contains world famous collections of antiques from Egypt, Western Asia, Greece and Rome for example drawings, coins, medals…The Museum’s collections include some six-and-a-half million objects ranging in size from little pieces to colossal statues. It houses the world’s largest collections of all kinds of animals, minerals, rocks etc… There is also the collection of drawings by the Czech artist Václav Hollar.
Madame Tussaud’s Museum
Madame Tussaud’s Museum holds a collection of wax figures. It has become a real institution and keeps changing and expanding. The figures look more and more convincing. The famous personalities who have their wax counterpart at Madame Tussaud’s include the young Queen Victoria, Picasso, members of The Royal Family, singers and many more.
Theatre the Globe stands on the south bank of the river Thames. It is a faithful reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original theatre that was closed by the Puritans in 1642 and pulled down two years later.
The London Eye
The London Eye is the largest observation wheel in the world. It was built to celebrate the new millennium. This wheel never stops (one turn takes about 30 minutes) and about 200 employees look after it.
No visit to London would be complete without a trip round the shops. Knightsbridge is home to the upmarket department stores. Harrod’s and Harwey Nichol’s. Other elegant stores include Liberty in Regent Street and Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly. Or you can visit Oxford Street. Shopping in Portobello Road Market and Camden Market is a bit cheaper and you can find really unusual bargains. Anything from antiques to second hand clothes are sold there.