London is not characterised by any particular architectural style, having accumulated its buildings over a long period of time. Few structures predate the Great Fire of 1666, notable exceptions including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Banqueting House and several scattered Tudor survivors in the City of London. In itself, the City contains a wide variety of styles, progressing through Wren’s late 17th-century churches and the financial institutions of the 18th and 19th century such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, to the early 20th century Old Bailey (England and Wales’ central criminal court) and the 1960s Barbican Estate. Notable recent buildings are the 1980s skyscraper Tower 42, the Lloyd’s building with services running along the outside of the structure, and the 2004 Swiss Re
building, known as the “Gherkin”. London’s generally low-rise nature makes these skyscrapers and others such as One Canada Square and its neighbours at Canary Wharf and the BT Tower in Fitzrovia very noticeable from a distance. High-rise development is restricted at certain sites if it would obstruct protected views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Nevertheless, there are plans for more skyscrapers in central London (see Tall buildings in London), including the 72-storey “Shard of Glass”, which is now completed and is currently the tallest building in the European Union. Other notable modern buildings include City Hall in Southwark with its distinctive ovular shape, the British Library in
Somers Town, the Great Court of the British Museum, and the striking Millennium Dome next to the Thames east of Canary Wharf. The 1933 Battersea Power Station by the river in the southwest is a local landmark, whilst some railway termini are excellent examples of Victorian architecture, most notably St Pancras and Paddington. London County Council was responsible for public housing projects such as the Edwardian Bourne Estate in Holborn. Several monuments pay homage to people and events in the city. The Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area whilst commem-
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic, church in the City of Westminster, London, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom and is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The abbey is a Royal Peculiar and between 1540 and 1550 had the status of a cathedral. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the 7th century, at the time of Mellitus (d. 624), a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church was begun in 1245, on the orders of Henry III.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe.When erected in 1999 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel”. It offered the highest public viewing point in the city until it was superseded by the 245-metre (804 ft) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013. The London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, was officially called the British Airways London Eye and then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye. Since 20 January 2011, its official name is the EDF Energy London Eye following a three-year sponsorship deal. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annual-
The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens (previously the site of the former Dome of Discovery), on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth. The London Eye was formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on 31 December 1999, although it was not opened to the public until 9 March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its opening, the Eye has become a major landmark and tourist attraction.Since 1 January 2005, the Eye has been the focal point of London’s New Year celebrations, with 10-minute displays taking place involving fireworks fired from the wheel it-
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in Tower Hamlets, London, United Kingdom. It is one of London’s two main financial centres – along with the traditional City of London – and contains many of the UK’s tallest buildings, including the second-tallest, One Canada Square.
The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, commonly known as the Olympic Stadium, is a stadium located in Stratford, London, England. It is located at Marshgate Lane in Londonâ€™s Stratford district in the Lower Lea Valley. It was constructed primarily to serve as the host stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, where it hosted the track and field events, along with its opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium is located 6.5 miles (10.5 km) from Central London, but six minutes away from the London St. Pancras rail station via Stratford International Highspeed rail services. Bids surrounding potential use of the stadium following the Games included those by the association football clubs Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (alongside Anschutz Entertainment Group) and West Ham United, several rugby clubs, and several cricket clubs (who saw the benefits of its high capacity and shape). West Ham was chosen by the London Legacy Development Corporation as the preferred tenant for the stadium in December 2012, with work on the stadium set to begin in late-2013. In the meantime, Olympic Stadium will host various concerts beginning in July 2013, the London Grand Prix of the IAAF Diamond League, and will also host both the 2017 IAAF World Championships in Athletics and the 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships.
Visit London 2014