London is the capital of Great Britain or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is an old city, its history counts more than two thousand years. London is both the capital oi the country and a huge port. London is situated upon both banks of the Thames, about forty miles from the mouth and is divided into two parts by the river: north and south. There are 17 bridges that cross the river. The population of London is more than 9 million people.The history of London goes back to Roman times. Due to favourable geographical position, soon after the Roman conquest, a small town became an important trade centre. Actually, London can be divided into several parts: the City or Downtown of London, Westminster, the West End and the East End. The City is the oldest part of London with narrow streets and pavements. There are many offices, companies and banks in this part of London. The City of London is the financial centre of the United Kingdom. Only a few thousand people live there, but in the day-time it is full of people: as about half a million people come to work there. The biggest Banks and offices are concentrated in the City. The West End is the centre of London. It is full of richest hotels, largest supermarkets, best cinemas and concerthalls. There are a lot of beautiful houses and gardens. Only well-to-do people can live there.Another important district of London is Westminster, where most of Government buildings are situated. Westminster Palace is the seat of the British Parliament. Westminster Palace was founded in 1050. It is situated in the centre of London. Many great Englishmen were buried in the Abbey: Newton, Darwin and others.
The Towers of the Houses of Parliament stand high above the city. On the highest tower there is the largest clock in the country which is known to the whole world as Big Ben. One can hear Big Ben strike every quarter of an hour. The clock «Big Ben» came into service in 1859. Big Ben is the biggest clock bell in Britain. The official London residence of the Queen is Buckingham Palace. It was built in the 18th century.There are many nice squares in London. Trafalgar Square is one of them and it is in the centre of the West End. One can see a statue of Lord Nelson in the middle of this square. There are many museums, libraries and galleries in London. The Tate Gallery is one of the well-known galleries in London. Henry Tate was a sugar manufacturer. He was fond of paintings and collected many pictures. The British Museum is a very interesting place in London. It was founded in 1753. The library of this museum has lots of books.The East End of London is the industrial area and the place where the working people live. There are many factories, workshops and docks there. The East End, lying eastwards from the City is very large and crowded. There are many cars and buses in London. There is the Tube (an underground) in London too. The underground, constructed in London, was the first underground in the World.