LONDON

London, the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, is
situated on the banks of the river Thames. The city is very old, it’s
more than 20 centuries. Its population is nearly 9 million people. The
area known as «Great London» occupies the territory of about 1.8
thousand square km.

The capital of the country is the important financial centre and
one of the largest ports of the world. Administratively London is
divided into 33 districts, but at the same time there are some parts of
London, which have some distinctive features: the West End, the East
End, the City, Westminster.

The City of London is the commercial centre of all the country.
It contains the Bank of England, business firms, companies,
corporations, office buildings. Besides the Bank of England, London has
5 largest commercial banks of the United Kingdom and well-known London
Stock Exchange.

The masterpiece of architecture in the City today is St. Paul’s
Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren, the famous English architect of
the 17th century. In this Cathedral there are statues and tombs of the
national English heroes: Nelson, Wellington and others.

The Tower of London is an old castle, situated in the City. It
was used as a fortress, a palace and a prison. During its long period of
existence it was time when the Tower was even the Zoo. It was the Royal
Zoo, of course. Now the Tower is a museum and houses the Crown jewels
and other treasures. There is a legens in England that the Tower will
fall if it loses it’s ravens. That’s why these birds are carefully
guarded.

Wesminster is the aristocratic, official part of London. It’s
very attractive for tourists because it has historical places full of
customs and traditions. Parliament is situated in the Palace of
Westminster. The famous Big Ben, the clock from which all people of this
country take the time is in one of its beutiful towers.

Westminster Abbey is very beautiful church, which is more than
900 years old. Nearly all the kings and queens of Britain were crowned
and buried there. Many famous people of this country were buried in the
Abbey, among them Newton, Darwin, Dickens, Kipling and others. In the
Poet’s corner there are memorials to Shakespeare, Burns, Byron, Scott,
Thackeray and Longfellow.

The official residence of the Queen of England is Buckingham
Palace. The changing of the guard before Buckingham Palace several times
a day is wached by hundreds of people.

London has 30 museums. One of the best known museums is the
British Museum, its library has unique collection of manuscripts; the
richest collection of antiquities and seven million of books. The Art
Galleries of London such as the Tate Gallery, the National Gallery, the
Royal Academy of Arts are considered to be the largest in the British
Commonwealth.

Visitors of London are surprised by the famous Madam Tussaud’s
Exhibition, which was opened in 1802. It’s an exhibition of hundreds of
wax models of famous politicians, kings, queens, sportsmen. Here you can
meet Elton John, Picasso, Lenin, Hitler, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and
so on.

London has more than 80 theatres. The best known are the Royal
Opera House, the Royal Shakespeare Theartre, the Old Vic located in the
West End of London.

London is the centre of education and science. Higher
educational establishments among which the London University, the
British Academy, the Greenwich Observatory are well known in the world.
Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest universities in England.

The capital has 17 bridges, the famous Tower Bridge being most
attractive among them.

Nice parks and gardens of the capital are loved by inhabitants
of the city. The capital has a number of beautiful parks such as
Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, St. James Park, Green Park, Regent Park
and others. Regent Park has open air theatre, where every summer
Shakespeare’s comedies are performed. Regent Park has the largest Zoo in
the country. But the most famous park is the Hyle Park because of its
famous «Speaker’s Corner» ( a corner where everyone can stands there
with a microphone and tell other people whatever they want)

The part of London, called Soho is known as restaurant centre
where Londoners and visitors can taste Russian, Italian, Frech exotic
food. This is also the district of cinema producers. All the biggest
film companies have offices in Soho. The capital has more than 200
cinemas and a lot of concert halls.

The East End of the capital includes the Port of London, Docks
and the poorest districts. Rather unattractive in appearance it is very
important to the country’s commerce.

The streets of London are always of great interest to tourists.
Fleet Street is the street of British Press. Oxford, Regent, Bond
streets are the main shopping centres. Downing Street is famous as the
official residence of the Prime Minister of the country. Piccadilly
Circus is the place where people gather on New Year’s Eve.

The English are fond of sports, they have a great number of
sport federations, associations and clubs. The most interesting tennis
and football competitions and tournaments are held in Wimbledon court
and Wembley stadium.

The West End is the richest and the most beautiful part of
London, symbol of wealth and luxury. English aristocracy lievs there.

London is the chief port of the country, it has 2 airports and
16 railwaystations.

London is an important manufacturing centre. It’s well known for
printing, film production, manufacture of clothing, food. Automobile and
aircraft industries are centred there.

The oldest underground called «tube» is still one of the largest
in the world. It was opened in 1863. The famous red double — deckers are
also an important part of the public transport system.

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