When we think of Paris, Rome.
Madrid, Lisbon and other European capitals, we think of them as "cities'.
When we think of the whole of modern London, the capital city of England and
the United Kingdom, that great area covering several hundred square kilometres,
we do not think of it as 'a city. not even as a city and its suburbs. Modem
London is not one city that has steadily become larger through the centuries;
it is a number of cities. towns, and villages that have, during the past
centuries, grown together to make one vast urban area.
London is situated upon both banks
of the River Thames, it is the largest city in Britain and one of the largest
in the world. Its population is about 7 million people.
London dominates the life of
Britain. It is the chief port of the country and the most important commercial,
manufacturing and cultural centre. There is little heavy industry in London,
but there is a wide range of light industry in Greater London.
London consists of three parts: the
City of London, the West End and the East End.
The City extends over an area of
about 2.6 square kilometres in the heart of London. About half a million people
work in the City but only less than 6000 live here. It is the financial centre
of the UK with many banks, offices and Stock Exchange. But the City is also a
market for goods of almost every kind, from all parts of the world.
The West End can be called the
centre of Tendon. Here are the historical palaces as well as the famous parks.
Hyde Park with its Speaker's Corner is also here. Among other parks are
Kensington Gardens, St.James's Park. In the West End is Buckingham Palace.
Which is the Queen's residence, and the Palace of Westminster which is the seat
The best-known streets here are
Whitehall with important Government offices. Downing Street, the London
residence of Prime Minister and the place where the Cabinet meets. Fleet Street
where most newspapers have their offices, Harley Street where the highest paid
doctors live, and some others.
Trafalgar Square is named so in
commemoration of Nelson's great victory. In the middle stands the famous Nelson
Column with the statue of Nelson 170 feet high so as to allow him a view of the
sea. The column stands in the geographical centre of the city. It is one of the
best open air platforms for public meetings and demonstrations.
One of the "musts" for the
sightseer are the Houses of Parliament, facing the Thames, on one side, and
Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey, on the other. The House of Commons
sits to the side of the Clock Tower (Big Ben), the House of Lords - to the
Victoria Tower side.
Westminster Abbey is the crowning
and burial place of British monarchs. It has its world famed Poet's Corner with
memorials to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, the Bronte's sisters. Tennyson.
Longfellow, Wordsworth, Burns, Dickens, Thackeray, Hardy, Kipling and other
leading writers. Only a few however, are actually buried there.
Here too is that touching symbol of
a nation's grief. The Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
The name "West End" came
to be associated with wealth, luxury, and goods of high quality. It is the area
of the largest department stores, cinemas and hotels. There are about 40
theatres, several concert halls, many museums including the British Museum, and
the best art galleries.
It is in the West End where the
University of London is centred with Bloomsbury as London's student quarter.
The Port of London is to the east of
the City. Here. today are kilometres and kilometres of docks, and the great
industrial areas that depend upon shipping. This is the East End of London,
unattractive in appearance, but very important to the country's commerce.
In recent times London has grown so
large. that the Government has decided that it must spread no farther. It is
now surrounded by a "green belt" - a belt of agricultural and wooded
land on which new buildings may be put up only with the permission of the
Some facts about Lоndon
London has been home of many famous
Englishmen. Some were born there. Some lived there all their lives. Others
lived in London only for a short time but all gave something to this great city
One of the first names of importance
is that of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet. He lived most of his life in London. He
knew the courts of King Richard II d King Henry IV. His most famous work, 'The
Canterbury Tales", opens at the Tabard Inn, in Southwark. Chaucer held
official posts in London and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
William Shakespeare also lived in
London. He lived there for more than twenty years. He acted at the Globe
Theatre and wrote his plays in London. But London's famous men are not only
writers. Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, spent most of his life in London.
He designed many beautiful churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. He also
designed palaces and fine houses.
Music is represented by a very
interesting figure. This is George Frederick Handel. He came to London from
Hanover in 1710. He lived for a time at Burlington House, Piccadilly, now the
Royal Academy. After some success and some failure he at last became famous.
This happened when he composed "The Messiah". "Judas
Maccabeus". and 'The Music for the Royal Fireworks". Like Chaucer and
many other great artists. Handel is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Another famous London figure is one
of England's greatest seamen. Admiral Lord Nelson. He has a very special
memorial in Trafalgar Square. The monument consists of a very tall column. On
top of it stands a figure of Nelson. It is called the Nelson Column. Equally
famous is the general who led the army at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. This
was the Duke of Wellington. His house stands at Hyde Park Comer. It is
sometimes known as Number One, London. Like Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington
is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.
1. Where is London situated?
2. Is London the largest city in
3. What is its population?
4. What is the role of London in the
life of Britain?
5. What parts does London consist
6. What can the West End be called?
What places of interest are situated in the West End?
7. What are the best known streets?
8. What is the most famous park in
9. What is Downing Street known for?
10. What is the name "West
End" associated with?
11. Why is Trafalgar Square named
12. Where were British monarchs
13. London is a big cultural centre,
14. Why is Buckingham Palace so
interesting for tourists?
15. What is the financial centre of
16. Is East End of London attractive
17. Who lives there?
18. What famous museums would you
like to visit in London?
19. What is the symbol of London and
20. If you found yourself in London
what would you like to visit first?
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