Standing 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’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its one square mile mediaeval boundaries and is the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core.
London is a world cultural capital and contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church; and 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, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern and the British Library. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.
London theatres are an intrinsic part of the citys culture, the West End has a special story to tell. Known as “Theatreland” because of the presence of over 40 theatres, this performing arts hub is also an up market and elite area where some of the most famous actors and businessmen rub shoulders. If you are a die-hard theatre fan then a visit to the London Theatres district is a must.
London is a perfect binding of the past and the present, a city with so many places to visit that one couldn’t find the time to view them all. Samuel Johnson was indeed right in saying when someone is tired of London he is tired of life.
London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.