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LONDON SIGHTS

Виды Лондона

London’s Attractions

Many tourists from different parts of the world visit London every day. No doubt, London is worth sightseeing. Let us make a tour around London.

Trafalgar Square is the geographical centre of London. It is a good starting point for any tour of London. Its main feature is the tall monument to Admiral Nelson known as Nelson’s Column. It is 185 feet high and has a figure of the great seaman on the top and four bronze lions at the base. The square was so named to commemorate Nelson’s victory over the French Fleet at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. On the northern side of the square, there is the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. They have fine collections of paintings by British and European painters.

If you go down White hall from Trafalgar Square you will see a small street where the British Prime-Minister lives. He lives at number 10, Downing Street. Whitehall is often used as a synonym of the British government, as there you can see many governmental offices. Whitehall leads to Parliament Square

On the left, there are the Houses of Parliament, officially called the Palace of Westminster. It is a magnificent building of Gothic architecture stretching along the northern bank of the Thames. The Clock Tower, which has an hour-bell, is called Big Ben. It is named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the main Commissioner of Works when the Houses of Parliament were rebuilt in 1850. The Palace of Westminster was used as a royal residence until the 16th century. Then it became the place where Parliament sat.

On the other side of Parliament Square there is Westminster Abbey. It is one of the most famous and beautiful churches in London. Kings and queens are crowned in Westminster Abbey. One of the greatest treasures of the Abbey is the Coronation Chair made in 1300. Kings and queens and many famous poets, Writers and scientists are buried in the Abby, famous for its Poet’s Corner.

St. Paul’s Cathedral dominates the centre of London. The old cathedral was built during Norman times. It was burnt down in the great fire in 1666. The present building was begun after the fire and completed in 1710. It is a masterpiece designed by Sir Christopher Wren, England’s greatest architect. St. Paul’s Cathedral is the largest protestant church in Britain.

Buckingham Palace is a wonderful building where the Queen lives. In front of it there is a monument which is the Queen Victoria Memorial. The favourite time for tourists to come here is a time when you can see Changing the guards.

The Tower is an old fortress built by William the Conqueror after the Norman invasion of England in 1066. It was used as a royal palace and then a prison. Now it is a museum. For many visitors the main sight here is the Crown Jewels, a collection of precious stones. A fine collection of armour is exhibited in the Keep. The security of the Tower, the so-called beefeaters, wear their picturesque Tudor uniform. There is a Raven Muster who looks after the ravens living on the walls of the Tower. A legend says that London will stand and prosper while ravens live in the Tower, that’s why they are looked after.

The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world. It contains thousands of priceless exhibits in History, Archeology and Ethnography. It has the largest library in the world with millions of old and modern books. Another famous museum is Victoria and Albert Museum. A constant attraction for tourists is Madame Tussaud’s Museum. It has a fine collection of life-size wax figures of famous people.

London has many parks. St. James’s Park is one of the most beautiful places in London. It is famous for its lake and a collection of water-birds. In Regent Park, the Zoo is situated. Hyde Park is the largest open space in the West End of London. Here many riders practise horsemanship. Crowds of people gather to listen to speakers in the Speaker’s Corner. 

A few more words should be said about London’s streets and squares. Trafalgar square is the meeting point of many streets: the Strand, Pall Mall, Whitehall, Charring Cross, the Mall. Another famous London’s square is Piccadilly Circus with a statue of Eros in the centre of it. Fleet Street is the synonym of the British press. A lot of editorial offices of newspapers can be found there. Covent Garden was a big fruit and vegetable market previously, and now it is a shopping centre with shops, cinemas and a famous Opera House. Oxford Street is considered the most famous place for shopping.   

the-tower-of-london

The Tower of London is the oldest palace, fortress and prison in Europe. It is one of the most popular museums nowadays. The great central Tower, the White Tower, was built around 1090 by William the Conqueror on the site of a Roman fort built there more than 1000 years earlier. Massive defensive walls and other towers were added later. Through the centuries, the Tower of London has been a citadel, a palace, a prison for offenders against the state, the home of the Mint, a menagerie, and the first royal observatory. Three queens of England have been beheaded within its walls. The Towers guardians are the Beefeaters who wear splendid scarlet and gold uniforms dating back to Henry the Seventh’s time.

tower-bridge

Tower Bridge. London’s best known and most distinctive bridge has straddled the Thames for a century. The twin draw-bridges, each weighing about 1,000 tons, have been raised more than half a million times since the bridge was built. It is a working tribute to Victorian engineering genius. The draw-bridges take just 90 seconds to rise. All the original machinery is still in place with just one concession to modem technology: electric motors now replace the steam engines. Between the massive gothic-style towers that rest on the river bed are walkways, giving superb views of the river .

buck_palace

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen’s official residence, with 775 rooms.

Trafalgar_square

Trafalgar Square. London’s most famous square was laid out in 1829 to 1841 to commemorate Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Dominating the square, on a column that is 185 feet high, is the 17 foot high statue of Nelson himself Around the base of the column are the four giant bronze lions by Landseer. Around the sides of the square are the church of St Martin’s in the Fields and the National Gallery which houses one of the world’s richest collections of paintings.

westminster

Westminster Abbey is the most beautiful of the Gothic churches in London and was founded by Edward the Confessor in the 11th century. All coronations have taken place here since William the Conqueror and most British monarchs from Henry III to George II are buried here. Also to be found in the cathedral is Poets Corner where many of our finest poets are buried, and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

St_Pauls_Cathedral-1

St. Paul’s Cathedral. Sir Christopher Wren designed this wonderful building, which was started 9 years after the medieval St Pauls had been burnt down in the Fire of London. The cathedral has been extensively restored in recent years. The exterior has had the grime of the ages removed, and clear glass (as specified in Wren’s original design) has replaced the wartime bomb damaged stained glass. You can climb up in to the Whispering gallery in the dome, where a whisper at one side carries right round the dome. Then up to the Stone Gallery giving a view over the city, and up to the Golden Gallery at the top of the dome. 

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