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LONDON The City of Dreams Places to see in London
“How precious it is to be here, wandering … in the midst of the greatest city in the world …”
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…” (Samuel Johnson, 1777) London Eye at night View from London Eye The London Eye is a giant wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. Also known as the Millennium Wheel, its official name was originally the British Airways London Eye, then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye, between January 2011 and August 2014, the EDF Energy London Eye and is now called the London Eye. The entire structure is 135 metres tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres. It is currently Europe's tallest Ferris wheel, and offered the highest public viewing point in London. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.5 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.
Big Ben, the voice of London, has been telling the time to the second since 1859. Construction of the 96m clock tower began in the year Queen Victoria came to the throne, 1837. Clock designer, Sir Edmund Grimthorpe, the architect and clockmaker all died before the 13 ½ ton bell was mounted behind the four clock faces, which each measure 7 m in diameter. Why Big Ben? There are two answers – either can be chosen. It could have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, chief commissioner of works at that time, and a Welshman of great girth. Or, perhaps, it was named by workmen who brought the bell from Whitechapel Foundry on a cart pulled by 16 white horses. Their hero of the day was Benjamin Caunt, a 17 stone prize fighter. “London is the most interesting beautiful and wonderful city in the world to me.” (H.G. Wells, 1911)
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of theParliament of the United Kingdom. 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. Its name, which derives from the neighbouringWestminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement New Palace that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence.
Westminster Abbey The wonders of Westminster Abbey owe much to a succession of kings and queens beginning with Edward the Confessor, a saintly man who came to the throne in 1040. Sadly the church he built on the site was consecrated on December 28, 1065 when he was too week to attend. Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every monarch’s coronation and, since 1308, they have used the Coronation Chair designed to hold the ancient Stone seized from the Scots in 1296. The Abbey presents a pageant of noble, military, political and artistic history.
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace is the London residence and principal workplace of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing. During the 19th century it was enlarged, by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who formed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
Admiralty Arch stands at the entrance to the Mall, which leads down to Buckingham Palace. It was designed by Sir Ashton Webb as a memorial to Queen Victoria. The Central gate is usually closed as only the sovereign may pass through it. The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic Revival style.
At Madame Tussauds in Marylebone visitors mingle with the famous and infamous, with the royal family, pop stars, and in the Chamber of Horrors meet executioners at work in lurid reality.
Picadilly Circus Trafalgar Square Picadilly Circus was formed in 1819 at the intersection of Picadilly and the fashionable Regent Street. The Circus is a popular meeting place for both Londoners and visitors and at night is enlivened by many illuminated advertisements. In Trafalgar Square, Nelson stands atop his 145 foot high monument. This legendary admiral, victor of the Battle of Trafalgar 1805, and here poised on a classical column, is guarded by a quartet of lions.
St Paul’s Cathedral St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The present church, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. Its construction, completed within Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme which took place in the city after the Great Fire of London.
The City of London
Tower of London Tower Bridge Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. 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. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London. The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers.
Museums British Museum Natural History Museum Victoria and Albert Museum Science Museum
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