London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium.London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence.
Together with New York City, London is the world's leading financial centre. London is known for its cultural diversity. More than 300 languages are spoken in London. In March 2011, London had an official population of 8,174,100, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union, and accounting for 12.5% of the UK population
London contains four World Heritage Sites:
1. The Tower of London:
First built by William the Conqueror in 1078 as a palace and royal residence. It lies on the bank of the River Thames.
2. Kew Gardens:
The world’s largest collection of living plants.
3. The site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church:
Historic buildings showcase the growth of the English monarchy.
4. The historic settlement of Greenwich
In which the Royal Observatory marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library, Wimbledon, and 40 West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.
The Tower of London One of the most important tourist attractions in London is the Tower of London.Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country.
Kew GardensKew Gardens, an internationally important botanical research and education institution in London.The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, comprises 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. The institition of Kew Gardens is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is an internationally important botanical research and education institution with 700 staff and an income of £56 million for the year ended 31 March 2008, as well as a visitor attraction receiving almost two million visits in that year. Created in 1759, the gardens celebrated their 250th anniversary in 2009.
The Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.The two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom meet at the Palace of Westminster. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London.
Westminster Abbey The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, commmonly know as Westminster Abbey.Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth realms, the sovereign states within the Commonwealth of Nations that currently have Elizabeth II as its reigning constitutional monarch and shares a common royal line of succession with the other realms. The abbey is a Royal Peculiar, a place of worship that falls directly under the jurisdiction of the British monarch, rather than under a bishop, and briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1540 to 1550.
Saint Margaret's Church The Anglican church of St. Margaret, Westminster Abbey is situated in the grounds of Westminster Abbey on Parliament Square, and is the parish church of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in London. Saint Margaret's Church is dedicated to Margaret of Antioch, also known as Margaret the Virgin. She was considered as a martyr, and is celebrated as a saint by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches on July 20; and on July 17 in the Orthodox Church.Originally founded in the twelfth century by Benedictine monks, St Margaret's was rebuilt from 1486 to 1523. It became the parish church of the Palace of Westminster in 1614, when the Puritans of the seventeenth century, unhappy with the highly liturgical Abbey, chose to hold Parliamentary services in the more «suitable» St Margaret's: a practice that has continued since that time.
The Historic Settlement of Greenwich Home of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich is a famous tourist destination because Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. As the United Kingdom grew into an advanced maritime nation, British mariners kept at least one chronometer on GMT in order to calculate their longitude from the Greenwich meridian, which was by convention considered to have longitude zero degrees. Most time zones were based upon this reference as a number of hours and half-hours «ahead of GMT» or «behind GMT».