London and other British cities
London is the capital city of the UK. It is situated on the river Thames in southeast England.
London is a huge metropolis; its population is 10 million (with suburbs). It has many attractions. We can see them by walk or by various ways of transport. We can either go by bus, especially by one of the famous – red double Decker, or by underground. It is the oldest underground in the world.
Buckingham Palace has been the Queen’s or King’s residence in London since the Queen Victoria’s reign. Some of its rooms are open to the public during August and September. Outside the place the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place. It is one of the biggest London’s parades.
The Houses of Parliament are in gothic style but they were rebuilt in 1840 on the side of the old Palace of Westminster, which was destroyed by fire. There is also the famous clock tower with Big Ben.
Whitehall is the street where the government offices are. Horse Guards parade takes place here.
Downing Street 10 has been the official home of British Prime Minister since the 18th century. No. 11 is the home of the Chancellor of Exchequer.
Westminster Abbey is in Parliament Square. A church is very old. It is the crowning place of English monarchs and several generations of English Sovereigns are buried here. There are also many memorials to great statesmen, politicians, scientists, and poets.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It is a masterpiece of the architect Sir Christopher Wren and was built after the Great Fire in 1666. It took 42 years for the completion. Wren is buried here. In 1981 Charles and Diana were married here.
The City is the oldest part of London. It was founded by the Romans. At present it is the financial center of the country, the seat of the Bank of England.
Tower of London was built by William Conqueror. It is the seat of the Royal Mint and the Royal Observatory. Not far away is the Tower Bridge. It can open in the middle and let large ships go through.
Trafalgar Square was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson’s statue is situated here.
The National Gallery also lies here.
There are many parks in London, for example Regent’s Park and Hyde Park with its Speaker’s Corner where anyone can make a speech.
Greenwich is the place where the prime meridian is.