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, the Government, Parliament and Supreme Court. London is the centre of cultural, political and social activities. Its population is about 8 million people. London lies on the river Thames in southeast England.
London was built by Romans. It was named Londonium. In 11th century the King of England William the Conqueror chose London as his residence. Since then London has been the seat of British kings. Another important year was 1666 when there was a great fire in London and it destroyed almost the entire city. Sir Christopher Wren built the new London we know today with wide paved streets and stone buildings.
There are many places of interest in London. The Tower of London is the oldest building. Originally it worked as a fortress. Later William the Conqueror rebuilt it. It also holds a museum where the Crown Jewels are kept.
The Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It is built in the style of Victorian Gothic. It can break in the middle and rise up to allow large ships to go through.
We can go to Piccadilly Circus which is one of the busiest places in London. This place is famous for its neon advertisements and for a statue of the Greek God of Love Eros.
Right from the Piccadilly Circus we can go through Regent Street and Oxford Street, which are the most famous shopping centres. We would then come to Hyde Park, the largest green park in London.
From Hyde Park it´s very near to Buckingham Palace. It is a residence of the Queen and the Royal Family. Every noon there is one of the biggest London parades-the Changing of the Guards. Crowds of people wait in front of the Palace for hours just to see it.
Another significant monument to visit is Westminster Abbey built in Gothic architecture. Many Kings and Queens have been crowded here and many of them are buried here.
The Houses of Parliament is also in Gothic style, but they were built after the old buildings had burnt down. The only part that escaped the fire was Westminster Hall. There is also a famous clock tower with Big Ben.
There are many banks and financial institutions such as Bank of England. There is also one of the largest cathedrals in the world-St. Paul´s Cathedral.
London is also the centre of cultural life with its 40 theatres and music halls. The most important theatre is The National Theatre.
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