More about London
London is the capital of England, the capital of Great Britain, and the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the largest town in Europe and one of the oldest towns in the world. The old Celts gave it its name, the Romans! made it the centre of their new colony, the Germanic invaders tried to burn and to destroy it, the victorious Normans made it the capital of the country.
The central part of London is full of historical remains. Nearly every building, every bridge, every street, palace, house, and stone — each of them has its own story, its own past. In London past and present are so mixed together that they cannot easily be separated and when you are in London you see the past in the present and the present in the past.
The oldest part of London is called the City. In the City the streets and pavements are very narrow and the traffic is very heavy on weekdays. That is because the most important London firms and banks have offices there. But at weekends the City is almost dead.
The most fashionable and the most expensive part to live in is the West End. It is situated between the City and Hyde Park. The City and the West End are the heart of London; they are the parts which everybody who comes to London must see and wants to see, because they are more interesting than any other part of London. All the most interesting buildings, shops and offices are situated here.
The Tower of London, the Bank of England, the Mansion House where the Lord Mayor lives, the Law Courts, and many interesting old churches are situated in the City. The Houses of Parliament with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery and many theatres and good shops are in the West End.
London has many bridges over the Thames, more than twenty but the most interesting of them all is the Tower Bridge situated near the Tower of London.
The Tower of London is an old castle, with high walls, high towers, small windows and large gardens. Once it was a royal residence, a strong fortress and a state prison. Here many important people, among them two wives of Henry VIII, were imprisoned and beheaded.
One of the oldest and the most famous places of London is St. Paul's Cathedral. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times since the original construction in the 7th century. It stands in the centre of the so-called Little Britain. A large part of Little Britain was destroyed during the war: the houses that were close to the Cathedral's walls disappeared and for the first time in centuries St. Paul's Cathedral's beauty can be seen.