London Tour Guide
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London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core and financial centre − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that closely follow its medieval limits. The adjacent City of Westminster is an Inner London borough and has for centuries been the location of much of the national government. Thirty one additional boroughs north and south of the river also comprise modern London. London is governed by the mayor of London and the London Assembly.
London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been called the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment-friendly, and most-popular-for-work city. It exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. London ranks 26th out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres. It is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games.
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Top Historical Places
Sir Christopher Wren
Queen Elizabeth II
Sir Christopher Wren
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Elizabeth Tower houses Big Ben, one of the most famous bells in the world. The 150+ year old tower was recently renamed the Elizabeth Tower to honor Queen Elizabeth's 60 years' of reign. Visit Westminister Palace to get close up views of the tower.
The British Museum is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely collected during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
HMS Belfast is a Town-class light cruiser that was built for the Royal Navy. She is now permanently moored as a museum ship on the River Thames in London and is operated by the Imperial War Museum.
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England.
The Royal Observatory, or the Old Royal Observatory, is located in Greenwich along the River Thames. The Observatory is famous for sitting along the Prime Meridian, giving its name to Greenwich Mean Time (also known as Universal Time). For years, the Observatory has played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is currently number 000 (first on the list) among the International Astronomical Union.
Saint Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London.
The cathedral is a working church with hourly prayer and daily services.
The Tower Bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London. It is a suspension bridge that was constructed between 1886 and 1894. The Bridge connects the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Southwark. The Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic symbols of London and sometimes gets confused with the London Bridge, which is more than a half a mile upstream.
Tower of London
The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078.
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and a burial site for English and, later, British monarchs.
Sir Christopher Wren
In 1669, I was assigned the task of designing St Paul's Cathedral. The Great Fire of London burned down many of the churches in the area. St Paul's Cathedral was one of about fifty churches that I helped rebuild. At first, we tried to renovate what was left of the existing structure but in the early 1670's we demolished it entirely and started over. Today, St Paul's Cathedral is one of the most famous sites in London. Over 300 years later, its dome is still one of the highest in the world.
I belonged to the acting company, The King's Men (previously known as The Lord Chamberlain's Men) which built the Globe Theatre on this location in 1599. It has since been rebuilt. On 29 June 1613, the theatre caught fire during a performance of Henry VIII. The modern theatre that is here today was built in 1997 to be an approximation of the original design.
Queen Elizabeth II
I became Queen of the United Kingdom along with six other Commonwealth countries in 1952. I am married to the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with whom I've had four children. I am the longest living, longest reigning British monarch and the world's longest female head of state. In 2017, I became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee when I honored as being Queen for sixty-five years. If you look up over Buckingham Palace today and see the Royal Standard flag, it means that I'm currently in residence within the palace.
Sir Christopher Wren
In 1675, I received commission from King Charles II to design the Royal Observatory. This was a special project for me as it combined my love of science and mathematics with my love of architecture.
I was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during some of the most difficult years of World War II, and 1951 to 1955. I led our country to victory over Nazi Germany.
Before the Second World War, I fought in the British Army in the Anglo-Sudan War and the Second Boer War. I was the First Lord of the Admirality during World War I. There, I oversaw the Gallipoli Campaign, a costly defeat that would have me demoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. I would be re-appointed to the position again at the beginning of World War II.
During World War II, I oversaw the British involvement in the Allied war effort against Germany. These were very difficult years for our nation. London was bombed from the air for almost 2 months straight. Our brave men and women defended our nation and never gave up hope. During this time, I remained confident that we would persevere and eventually win the war. Five years later the Axis powers were defeated.
I served a second term as Prime Minister in 1951 but I had to resign in 1955 due to poor health.