THE UNION JACK When Parliament is sitting ,a Union Jack flies on the tower.
As well as being the capital of England and Great Britain, London is the capital of the U.K.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE It is the official London residence of the Queen and the Royal Family. When the Queen is at home the Royal Flag flies on top.
Queen Victoria was the first monarch who lived at Buckingham Palace.She moved there in 1837 and this palace is now the official London residence of the British Monarch. Most of the palace was built between 1820 and 1837, and it has six hundred rooms.
Queen Victorian Memorial stands in front of Buckingham Palace.
The only places open to the public are the Queenâ€™s Gallery and the Royal Mews. You can see the Changing of the Guard at the gates of Buckingham Palace at 11:30 every day.
The Mall is a lovely tree-lined street which goes from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. Along one side of the Mall you can see beautiful historic buildings and houses such as St. James's Palace, once the home of King Henry VIII, Marlborough House, Clarence House and Lancaster House.
WESTMINSTER Westminster is about a mile west of the City. For centuries Westminster was the political and religious centre and the City was London's business centre. Today Westminster is still the centre of Government.
THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT The building stands on the north bank of the River Thames and is the place where the House of Lords and the House of Commons meet to discuss and pass laws .
The Houses of Parliament were built in the 19th century. In 1834 the Houses of Parliament were destroyed by fire and were rebuilt in Gothic style.
Oliver Cromwellâ€™s statue stands in front of the Houses of Parliament.
BIG BEN Big Ben is the landmark of London. It is the nickname of the bell inside the clock tower next to the Houses of Parliament. It was named after the bulky commissioner of works â€œBenjamin Hallâ€? and it rings every quarter of an hour.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest buildings in London and one of the most important religious centres in the country. William the Conqueror was crowned here on the coronation throne.
POETSâ€™ CORNER Poets' Corner is located in in Westminster Abbey and it is a special place where Britain's greatest writers are either buried or remembered with a memorial plaque. Chaucer, Spencer, Dickens, Kipling and many other great writers are buried in Poets' Corner. Memorial plaques remember great people who are buried in other places, such as William Shakespeare, the BrontĂŤ Sisters, Oscar Wilde and others.
THE LONDON EYE The London Eye is the worldâ€™s highest observation wheel, towering 135 metres above the centre of London.It offers magnificent panoramic views.
If you walk along Whitehall you will see Britain's most important government offices and buildings: the Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Banqueting House, Horse Guards Parade and the Prime Minster's famous residence at 10,Downing Street.
10, Downing Street is the official London residence of the Prime Minister.
The West End is an exciting part of London. It is home to Londonâ€™s finest museums, theatres, art galleries, shops, restaurants and hotels.
TRAFALGAR SQUARE Trafalgar Square was named after Horatio Nelsonâ€™s victory over Napoleon at Trafalgar in 1805.
NELSONâ€™S COLUMN Nelsonâ€™s column commemorates the victory. The statue on top is over 5 metres tall, and shows Nelson without one arm and one eye. He lost them in battle.
Trafalgar Square is often called the heart of London because it connects the political area of Westminster to the rest of West London.
To the east of Trafalgar Square there is the Church of St. Martin in the Fields.
PICCADILLY CIRCUS Piccadilly Circus is the centre of Londonâ€™s entertainment world. In this area there are many theatres, cinemas, restaurants, discos and nightclubs. The statue of Eros , the God of love, stands in the middle of the square.
Piccadilly Circus is a big public space built in 1819. The word â€˜circusâ€™ comes from the Latin word for circle and it means a big open space where people meet.
SOHO Soho is an area north of Piccadilly Circus near Oxford Street. It attracted many foreigners, artists and writers in the past. Old Compton Road is the heart of Soho and here you can find French, Italian and Middle Eastern food shops, coffee shops and restaurants.
Charing Cross Road divides Soho from Convent Garden and is famous for its many bookshops. Foyleâ€™s in Charing Cross Road is Londonâ€™s largest bookshop and a fun place to visit.
The City is the business and financial centre of the UK. It is one of the worldâ€™s most important business and financial centres, with the Royal Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England and over 500 banks.
ST. PAULâ€™S CATHEDRAL St. Paulâ€™s Cathedral is in the centre of the City.It was built by Sir Christopher Wren after the old Cathedral had been completely destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.Its dome is 110 metres tall and it is the second tallest dome in the world.
THE GLOBE Shakespeare's Globe theatre is a reconstruction of the original openair Elizabethan Globe theatre first built in 1599, where many of Shakespeare's greatest works were performed.
THE TOWER OF LONDON The Tower of London is the old Norman fortress built by William the Conqueror. It was a fortress , a royal palace and a prison.
It is guarded by Beefeaters in traditional Tudor Uniforms. They are the guards and tour guides of the Tower.
The Crown Jewels are on show here. They belong to the state and are used by the Royal Family only on state occasions.
Many people, such as Anne Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, were executed here.
Eight ravens are kept at the tower; a legend says that the tower will fall if they leave.
TOWER BRIDGE It is on the River Thames and is a drawbridge which can be raised to let ships pass through.
London offers lots of examples of modern and contemporary architecture such as the Shard by Renzo Piano, Europeâ€™s tallest building, the Olympic Stadium, Millennium Bridgeâ€Ś
There are more than 240 museums in London and most of them are free.Some are small and others are very large, and they are all fun to visit.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM The British Museum is the largest and richest museum in the world. It was founded in 1753 and contains one of the worldâ€™s richest collections of antiquities.
It has more than seven million objects from all over the world:Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The Egyptian Galleries contain human and animal mummies and the Rosetta Stone, which enabled us to decipher hieroglyphic texts.
Some parts of Athenâ€™s Parthenon are in Greek section.
THE BRITISH NATIONAL LIBRARY In the British National Library there are the originals of the Magna Charta and of many famous books and also the original manuscripts of some Beatlesâ€™ songs.
THE NATIONAL GALLERY The National Gallery stands on the north
side of Trafalgar Square. It contains paintings from the 13th century to this century.
The collection includes paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Rubens, Turner, Constable, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh...
It contains famous British paintings by Constable, Turner, Blake, Hogarth and the Pre-Raphaelites. It contains paintings from the 16th century to this century.
THE TATE MODERN The impressive Tate Modern is Britainâ€™s modern art National museum.The gallery dispays major paintings by Matisse and Picasso as well as contemporary exhibitions .
MADAME TUSSAUD’S Madame Tussaud’s is an exhibition of hundreds of life-size wax models of famous people of yesterday and today.
Here you can meet Cassius Clay, Marilyn Monroe,Humphrey Bogarth, Elton John, Picasso, the Royal Family, the Beatles, Adolf Hitler and many other writers, film stars, singers, politicians, footballers and so on.
THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEM The Natural History Museum contains a permanent dinosaur exhibition and a collection of the biggest animals in the world.
The parks have been called the â€œlungsâ€? of London. They give Londoners the opportunity to walk in the green, have picnics, row boats, go horse- riding, feed and watch animals, and all this without leaving the city.
ST. JAMES’S PARK St. James’s Park is the most ancient of London’s Royal parks. The area was bought by Henry VIII in 1530 and in 1660 Charles II had it landscaped by a French architect.
HYDE PARK Hyde Park is the peopleâ€™s park. It is used for very kind of public occasion.
The Serpentine is the lake which separates Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens, a park which used to be the private garden of Kensington Palace.
â€ŚThe corner of Hyde Park near
Marble Arch is known as Speakerâ€™s Corner. If you have anything to say you can go there, stand on a stool and express your opinions to the crowd.
These gardens have amazing fountains and statues and lots of colourful plants and flowers. Peter Panâ€™s statue is located here and it is a big attraction for everyone who loves his wonderful story.
REGENTSâ€™ PARK Regent's Park is the right place to go if you like animals. Here you can feed the ducks and watch the pelicans. You can also visit the Zoological Gardens, the largest zoo in the country.
What to Eat
If you like shopping, London is the place to go! If you walk in Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street or Piccadilly Circus, you will find thousands of shops and department stores.
Regent Street offers a good range of fashion stores, including some of the cityâ€™s oldest and most famous shops. New Bond Street is one of Londonâ€™ s most exclusive shopping areas and Oxford Street has about 300 shops and landmark stores.
Piccadilly is an important street that goes from Hyde Park Corner to the famous Piccadilly Circus. One of the best and oldest department stores is Fortnum and Masons at 181 Piccadilly. It sells fine food, tea, coffee, sweets and many other products.
Donâ€™t forget to pay a.visit to Harrods and Selfridges, the largest department stores in Europe.
Selfridges is in Oxford Street. It offers banking services and the opportunity to eat in many restaurants. Harrods is in Knightsbridge and it is the official London shop of the Royal Family.
If you like street markets you will enjoy Portobello Road Market, one of the oldest and most famous markets in London, Petticoat Lane Market, open only on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Camden Lock Market, open on Saturdays and Sundays.
CARNABY STREET Carnaby Street was the birthplace 0f the fashion and cultural revolution of the Revolution of the 1960s.It is still home to some of the worldâ€™s most exciting fashion and design talents and it is filled with trendy clothes.
CAMDEN LOCK MARKET Camden Lock Market is one of the busiest markets in London. It offers a wide range of high- quality goods, arts, clothes, crafts, food and furnishings. You can find craft workshops, stalls, shops, cafĂŠs, bars, and restaurants there.
COVENT GARDEN Covent Garden is a modern shopping centre and tourist attraction with shops, restaurants, cafĂŠs, street performers and musicians. The famous Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet are at Covent Garden.
Covent Gardenâ€™s old name was Convent Garden because the garden of a medieval convent was located there. In 1630 the great architect Inigo Jones created Covent Garden Piazza, the first Italian-style square in London. For centuries it was Londonâ€™s biggest fruit, vegetable and flower market but in 1974 the market moved away.
Convent Garden is a modern shopping centre and tourist attraction with shops, restaurants, cafĂŠs, street performers and musicians.\
London was founded by the Romans in 43 A.D. and was called Londinium. In 61 A.D. the town was burnt down and when it was rebuilt by the Romans it was surrounded by a wall. That area within the wall is now called the City of London.
In 410 the Romans abandoned London at the mercy of Saxon invaders. In the 9th and 10th centuries the Danish Vikings attacked and invaded the city.
When William the Conqueror, leader of the Normans, conquered England in 1066 he made London his base. He built a fortress where the Tower of London now stands and he was crowned in the original Westminster Abbey.
During the Middle Ages many churches and monasteries were built. Merchants and craftsmen lived inside the City walls and worked in particular areas.
In 1348 the city was hit by the Europe-wide Bubonic Plague, the Black Death.
During the Tudor period (16th century) London became an important economic and financial centre and the centre of culture and the arts.
During the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) London witnessed a specifically English Renaissance, especially in the fields of literature and drama. The Londoners of the Elizabethan period built the first theatres. The main playwrights were Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare.
In 1665 the Great Plague killed about 1,000,000 people.1666 was the year of the Great Fire of London, which destroyed most of the city. After the fire many buildings were rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren.
During the Victorian period (1837-1901) London was one of the most important centres of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution.
Today London is a cosmopolitan city and its population is almost 7,000,000.