Лондон — столица Соединённого Королевства
London is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It covers a greater area than any other city in the world and has about 8 million inhabitants. It is a great political, economic and financial centre and a big port. It is more than two thousand and five hundred years old. It stands on the bank of the river Thames.
London began on two small patches of dry land in the middle of a marsh on the north bank of the river Thames. In the year 43 AD the Romans came. In Roman times the place was called Londinium and became the main trading centre in Britain.
For two hundred years after the Romans left the city was almost forgotten. Its full importance returned in the eleventh century, after the Norman conquest of England. The government was based in Westminster and the Tower of London was started. In 1193 the first mayor of London was elected.
In the Middle Ages London grew quickly and by the time of Shakespeare it had become a prosperous capital city. London survived the Plaque which killed nearly 100 000 people. It was followed by the great fire in 1666. Most of the buildings were made of wood and London was almost all destroyed by the fire which lasted for several days. That was a great tragedy, but it is true that many fine buildings we admire now were planned during the rebuilding of the city.
During the Second World War many historical buildings were destroyed and lay in ruins after the fascist air raids. Today the face of London is changed. London has buildings which express different periods of its history. It manages to reflect the past and yet to be a modern city.
Parts of London
London is traditionally divided into four parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End. Besides, there is Greater London which includes the suburbs. It forms a kind of circus with a radius from 15 to 20 miles.
The City of London is roughly the London of the Middle Ages. It is about one square mile in area and only a few thousand people live there. It contains the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange. The offices of very many of the biggest companies and corporations in the world are situated there. It is the financial and business centre of Great Britain.
Westminster is an official part of London where most of the government buildings and offices are situated. It includes Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives and the Houses of Parliament which stretch along the north bank of the Thames.
The West End is a fashionable shopping and entertainment centre to the west of the City. It is a symbol of wealth and luxury. Rich people live in this region. There are many various shops, clubs and cinemas in it.
Industrial and the poorest part of London is the East End, situated to the east of the City. It includes the port with docks and a lot of industrial enterprises. There are many old houses there built still in Dickens’s times. Londoners call them “slums”. The majority of those who live in the East End are hereditary inhabitants of the area. They are proud of this fact and consider themselves to be true Londoners. They are called Cockneys and speak a special Cockney dialect.
СМОТРИТЕ: Фильмы о Лондоне