London - Лондон (9)

London is the capital of Great Britain. It is a political, economic and commercial center. It is one of the most enjoyable cities. Visited by millions of tourists, the city offers them an astonishing variety of scenes.

London is one of the largest cities in the world and its population is about 9 million. London is situated on the river Themes. The city is very old. It has more than 20 centuries old history. Traditionally the city is divided into several parts: the City, the Westminster, the West End and the East End.

The City is the oldest part of London; it's financial and business center. Numerous banks, offices and firms are concentrated here, including the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange and the Old Bailey. Two masterpieces are situated within the city: St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.

St. Paul's Cathedral was built in the 17th century by Christopher Wren. It has always dominated the center of London. It is an architectural masterpiece. All Londoners have a particular affection for St. Paul's, which is one of the largest Protestant Church in England. Its high dome, containing the remarkable Whispering Gallery, is a prominent landmark towering above the multi-storied buildings, which line the riverbank.

The Tower of London was built in the 11th century. It was one of the first and most impressive castles built after the Norman invasion of England in 1066. The Tower has been used as a royal palace, an observatory, an arsenal, a state prison and many famous and infamous people have been executed withing its walls. It is now a museum. For many visitors the principal attraction is the Crown Jewels, the finest precious stones of the nation. A fine collection of armour is exhibited in the Keep.

Trafalgar Square is the geographical center of London. It was named so to commemorate Nelson's Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.The monument in the middle of this square known as Nelson's Column is surmounted with the Statue of Nelson 16 feet high. The pedestal of the Column is decorated with the bas-reliefs representing Nelson's most famous victories. At the base of the column, there are four big lions.

On the north side of the square are the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. The National Gallery has an outstanding collection of finest arts from Britain, Italy, Denmark and other countries. The Westminster is the aristocratic, official part of London. It includes Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives and the House of Parliament stretching for nearly 1000 feet along the north bank of the Themes.

Westminster Abbey is a national shrine where the kings and queens are crowned and famous people buried. Chaucer, Tennyson, Newton, Dickens, Hardy, Kipling were buried in Westminster Abbey. The House of Parliament called officially the Palace of Westminster, were formerly a palace for kings and queens. The Palace was used both as used as a royal residence and as a parliament house until the 16th century. In the course of the 16th when the royal family moved to the new palace within half of mile Whitehall Palace, the Westminster Palace was occupied by the Parliament and became its permanent home.

The Parliament of the United Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of just over 1000 members of the different grades of nobility. In the House of comments, there are 635 members. The Clock Towers, with contains the hour bell, called "Big Ben" is known all over the world. The bell is named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first Commissioner of Works.

The West End is the richest and most magnificent part of London. It is a real symbol of wealth and luxury. The best hotels, restaurants, shops, clubs, parks and houses are situated there. The East End is the industrial district of London. There are many factories and the Port of London there. The region is densely populated by working class families. London hasps buildings that express all the different areas of its history. London manages is a unique way to reflect its past and at the same time to fulfill the functions of a modern city.