вторник, 30 апреля 2013 г.

London


 London

London is the capital of the UK, the capital of Great Britain and the capital of England. Its population is about 9 million people and now it is one of the biggest cities of the world. London was not built as a city in the same way as Paris or New York. It began life as a Roman fortification at a place where it was possible to cross the river Thames. A wall was built around the town for defenсe, but during the long period of peace which followed the Norman Conquest, people built outside the walls. This building continued over the years, especially to the west of the city. In 1665 there was a terrible plague in London, so many people left the city and escaped to the villages in the surrounding countryside. In 1666 the Great Fire of London ended the plague, but it also destroyed much of the city. Although people returned to live in the rebuilt city after plague and the Great Fire, there were never again so many Londoners living in the city centre.
These days not many people live in the city centre either, but London has spread further outwards into the country, including surrounding villages. Today the metropolis of Greater London covers some 1,580 sq km.
The gradual growth of the city helps explain the fact that London does not have one centre, it has a number of centers, each with a distinct character: the financial and business center called the City, the governmental center in Westminster, the shopping and entertainment center in the West End, the industrial center in the East   End.
The City
The City does not refer to the whole of central London, but rather to a small area of the center, which includes the site of the original Roman town. It is an area of 2,650 sq km with a long exciting history, and it is proud of its independence and traditional role as a center of trade and commerce. This tradition is focused on the City’s Lord Mayor, whose official residence is the Mansion House. Once a year, in November, The Lord Mayor’s Show takes place. This is a colourful street parade in which a newly elected Lord Mayor travels in a golden coach, which is over 200 years old.
The City of London is one of the major banking centers of the world and you can find the banks of many nations in the famous Threadneedle Street and surrounding area. Here, too, you will find the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange.
The center of the country’s judicial system is to be found in the western part of the City. The Old Bailey houses many courts. Many solicitors and barristers have their offices.
Fleet Street is famous as the home of the nation’s newspapers but, in fact, only two of them –The Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph- are still in Fleet Street. However, people still say “Fleet Street” to mean “ the Press”.
There are some historical buildings in the City. St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London are the most famous of them.

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