The City of London
The most important landmark in the City of L. is St.Paul’s Cathedral. It’s the 2nd largest church in Europe after St.Peter’s in Rome. It was built by sir Christopher Wren who was famous for building or rebuilding 52 churches in L. But St.Paul’s is his masterpiece. It took him 35 years to build it. It was finished in 1711 and it’s is baroque style. The main nave is 180 m long. It’s dominated by the dome which is 111 m tall. In the cupola there’s Whispering Gallery. What you whisper on one side may be heard on the opposite side.
St.Paul’s is being used as the wedding place of the royal family. There are exceptions – funerals of some famous or important people take place here. Winston Churchill’s last wish was to have his funeral there – he loved the church. Some people are even buried in St.Paul’s. (Admiral Nelson, Chrisropher Wren – there’s a latin epitaf thet means „Reader, if you seek a monument, look about you“.
Not far from St.Paul’s you may find a monument – a column that commemorates the fire of L. in 1666. On top there’s an observation desk. To get there, you must climb over 300 steps. Then you may admire the beauty of the City of L. and the blend of modern architecture, represented by steel and crystal bulilding of Lloyd’s, the Bank of England and the British Stock Exchange, and historical buildings on the other side.
One of the oldest buildings is the Tower – the capital tourist attraction in L. It was built by William the Conqueror. He built only one part of it – the White Tower. He wanted to impress and frighten the English. The White Tower served as a royal home till the 16th century. The successive kings added other buildings, especially fortification around the Tower. Tower served as a royal mint (where money was engraved), prison and also menagerie. The prison was particularly important during the reign of Henry VIII. when it was also an execution site. Hundreds of people were beheaded there, among them Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two wives of Henry VIII, Thomas Moore and Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess. There’s also the Jewel House where crown jewels are.
There was a legend about the Tower. It says that 7 ravens are kept in the Tower so that they cannot fly away. If they do, the kingdom will cease.
Every evening at the closing time you may watch a ceremony of Keys which is 700 years old. The people who guard the Tower are called Yeoman Warders (of incorrectly Beeffeaters). They are wearing a uniform in Tudor style which consists of long jacket …………
Nearby is the Tower Bridge. It’s a drawbridge – it opens in the middle to allow the ships to pass up the river. It takes 90 seconds to rise. You may easily walk on the bridge, there’s regular traffic.
Near the Tower Bridge you may find St.Catherine’s Docks where you may admire the exhibition of historic ships. Cutty Sark ??? was a famous clipper that sailed to Asia and brought tea to England.
Greenwich observatory is the place where the prime meridian passes London.
Greenwich was originally a hospital for sailors.
London is known as a green city. The most famous and beautiful park is St.James’s Park. You may find there many ponds and lakes with swans.
Hyde Park is large and is well known for two places. *Marble arch, which was an execution site from the 12th to the 18th century, *Speaker’s corner – if you bring a box or a ladder or a chair, you may step on it and say anything you want except for attacking the royal family.
Another fantastic park is called Kensington Gardens. You may find there Kensington Palace, a place where princess Diana lived. There’s a museum of court dresses and uniforms including the wedding dress of princess Di.
Not far from there is Albert Hall – a concert hall.
Not far from there is a statue of prince Albert which was placed there on order of queen Victoria. (he was her husband).
The British love to go to theaters and museums.
Trafalgar Square is the heart of the West End. In the middle there’s the Nelson’s column that commemorates naval victory of the British fleet led by Admiral Nelson over the Spanish and French fleet at Trafalgar in 1805. Unfortunately, Admiral Nelson died there. The column is topped by statue of Nelson. It’s said that he still overlooks the sea – the sea of pigeons.
The National Gallery has a collection of European paintings from the 12th to the 20th century.
The Nationa Portrait Gallery is the place where you can admire paintings and photos of famous people and statesmen.
Piccadilly Circus is the heart of London’s might time. It’s the place where people go to spend the evening because many night clubs, bars, cinemas…. are located there. In the middle is a fountain with Eros, Greek god of love.
Shopping – Regent Street, Oxford Street. The most popular shop in England is Hamley’s in Regent St. (a toyshop). The best market is in Covent Garden.
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