LONDONLondon is the capital city of England and theUnited Kingdom, and the largest city, urbanzone and metropolitan area in the UnitedKingdom, and the European Union by mostmeasures. Located on the River Thames,London has been a major settlement for twomillennia, its history going back to its foundingby the Romans, who named it Londinium.
Big BenBig Ben is the nickname for the great bellof the clock at the north end of the Palaceof Westminster in London, and oftenextended to refer to the clock and theclock tower. The tower is now officiallycalled the Elizabeth Tower, after beingrenamed to celebrate the DiamondJubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. TheElizabeth Tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is thethird-tallest free-standing clock tower. Thetower was completed in 1858 and had its150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, duringwhich celebratory events took place. TheElizabeth Tower has become one of themost prominent symbols of both Londonand England and is often in theestablishing shot of films set in the city.
London EyeThe London Eye is a giant Ferriswheel situated on the banks of theRiver Thames in London, England.Itis the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe,and the most popular paid touristattraction in the United Kingdom,visited by over 3.5 million peopleannually. The London Eye adjoins thewestern end of Jubilee Gardens, onthe South Bank of the River Thamesbetween Westminster Bridge andHungerford Bridge, in the LondonBorough of Lambeth. The site isadjacent to that of the former Domeof Discovery, which was built for theFestival of Britain in 1951
Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace is the officialLondon residence and principalworkplace of the British monarch.Located in the City of Westminster,the palace is a setting for stateoccasions and royal hospitality. Ithas been a focus for the Britishpeople at times of national rejoicingand crisis.Originally known as BuckinghamHouse, the building which forms thecore of todays palace was a largetownhouse built for the Duke ofBuckingham in 1705 on a site whichhad been in private ownership forat least 150 years. It wassubsequently acquired by George IIIin 1761 as a private residence forQueen Charlotte, and known as"The Queens House".
Saint Paul´s CathedralSt Pauls Cathedral, London, is aChurch of England cathedral StPauls sits at the top of LudgateHill, the highest point in the Cityof London, and is the motherchurch of the Diocese of London.The present church dating fromthe late 17th century was built toan English Baroque design of SirChristopher Wren, as part of amajor rebuilding program whichtook place in the city after theGreat Fire of London, and wascompleted within his lifetime.
Tower BridgeTower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is acombined bascule and suspension bridgein London, over the River Thames. It isclose to the Tower of London, fromwhich it takes its name.The bridge consists of two towers tiedtogether at the upper level by means oftwo horizontal walkways, designed towithstand the horizontal forces exertedby the suspended sections of the bridgeon the landward sides of the towers.Originally it was painted a mid greenish-blue colour. The nearest LondonUnderground station is Tower Hill on theCircle and District lines, and the nearestDocklands Light Railway station is TowerGateway.
Westminster AbbeyWestminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church,in the City of Westminster, London, located just tothe west of the Palace of Westminster. It is thetraditional place of coronation and burial site forEnglish, later British and later still (and currently)monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. The abbeyis a Royal Peculiar and briefly held the status of acathedral from 1540 to 1550.Westminster Abbey is acollegiate church governed by the Dean and Chapterof Westminster, as established by Royal charter ofQueen Elizabeth I in 1560Henry III was unable to becrowned in London when he first came to the thronebecause the French prince Louis had taken control ofthe city, and so the king was crowned in GloucesterCathedral.
Trafalgar SquareTrafalgar Square is a public space andtourist attraction in central London, UnitedKingdom, built around the area formerlyknown as Charing Cross. It is in the boroughof the City of Westminster. At its centre isNelsons Column, which is guarded by fourlion statues at its base. There are a numberof statues and sculptures in the square,with one plinth displaying changing piecesof contemporary art. The square is alsoused for political demonstrations andcommunity gatherings, such as thecelebration of New Years Eve.The name commemorates the Battle ofTrafalgar (1805), a British naval victory ofthe Napoleonic Wars over France. Theoriginal name was to have been "KingWilliam the Fourths Square", but GeorgeLedwell Taylor suggested the name"Trafalgar Square".
River Thameshe River Thames flows through southernEngland. It is the longest river entirely inEngland and the second longest in theUnited Kingdom, behind the RiverSevern. While it is best known because itslower reaches flow through centralLondon, the river flows alongside severalother towns and cities, including Oxford,Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Windsor,Kingston upon Thames and Richmond.The river gives its name to severalgeographical and political entities,including the Thames Valley, a region ofEngland around the river between Oxfordand west London, the Thames Gateway,the area centred on the tidal Thames,and the Thames Estuary to the east ofLondon. The tidal section of the river iscovered in more detail under Tideway.
National GalleryThe National Gallery is an artmuseum on Trafalgar Square,London. Founded in 1824, ithouses a collection of over 2,300paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Galleryis an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of theDepartment for Culture, Mediaand Sport. Its collection belongs tothe public of the United Kingdomand entry to the main collection isfree of charge. It is the fourthmost visited art museum in theworld, after the Musée du Louvre,the Metropolitan Museum of Artand the British Museum.
Picadilly CircusPiccadilly Circus is a road junction andpublic space of Londons West End in theCity of Westminster, built in 1819 toconnect Regent Street with the majorshopping street of Piccadilly. In thiscontext, a circus, from the Latin wordmeaning "circle", is a round open spaceat a street junctionPiccadilly now links directly to thetheatres on Shaftesbury Avenue, as wellas the Haymarket, Coventry Street(onwards to Leicester Square), andGlasshouse Street. The Circus is close tomajor shopping and entertainment areasin the West End. Its status as a majortraffic intersection has made PiccadillyCircus a busy meeting place and a touristattraction in its own right.
UndergroundThe London Underground isa metro system in the UnitedKingdom, serving a large partof Greater London and someparts of Buckinghamshire,Hertfordshire and Essex .Itincorporates the firstunderground railway in theworld, which opened in 1863The first tunnels were builtjust below the surface; latercircular tunnels (tubes) weredug through the LondonClay.
Greenwich ObservatoryRoyal Observatory, Greenwich in Londonplayed a major role in the history of astronomyand navigation, and is best known as thelocation of the prime meridian. It is situated ona hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the RiverThames. The observatory was commissioned in1675 by King Charles II, with the foundationstone being laid on 10 August. At that timethe king also created the position ofAstronomer Royal, to serve as the director ofthe observatory and to "apply himself with themost exact care and diligence to the rectifyingof the tables of the motions of the heavens,and the places of the fixed stars, so as to findout the so much desired longitude of places forthe perfecting of the art of navigation." Heappointed John Flamsteed as the first AR. Thebuilding was completed in the summer of1676. The building was often given the title"Flamsteed House", in reference to its firstoccupant.