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The Palace of Westminster on the River Thames
London shown in the UK
London shown in the UK
Coordinates: 51°30′28″N 00°07′41″W / 51.50778°N 0.12806°W / 51.50778; -0.12806Coordinates: 51°30′28″N 00°07′41″W / 51.50778°N 0.12806°W / 51.50778; -0.12806
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region Greater London
Districts City & 32 London boroughs
Settled by Romans as Londinium ca. AD 50
 • Regional authority Greater London Authority
 • Regional assembly London Assembly
 • Mayor Sadiq Khan
 • HQ City Hall
 • UK Parliament
 - London Assembly
 - European Parliament
74 constituencies
14 constituencies
London constituency
 • City 1.00 sq mi (2.6 km2)
 • Greater London 609 sq mi (1,580 km2)
Elevation[1] 79 ft (24 m)
Population (mid-2006 est)
 • Urban 9.7 million
(Greater London Urban Area)
 • Metro 13–14 million
 • Density 8,215/sq mi (3,172/km2)
 • Greater London 7,512,400
 • Greater London density 12,331/sq mi (4,761/km2)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)

London is by far the largest city in England and the United Kingdom. 8.63 million people live in London,[2] which is on the River Thames. It is the capital of the United Kingdom.

London is the biggest city in Northwestern Europe, and the world's largest financial centre.[3][4][5]

London was founded by the Romans in AD 43 and called Londinium. London is also known as Lunnainn in Scottish Gaelic,[6] Llundain in Welsh and Londain in Irish.

For a long time, London was a small city. All its people lived inside the walls that were built by the Romans. This area is still called the City of London. There were many villages around the city. Gradually, more and more people came to live there. Then, step by step, the villages joined together into one huge city.

The city has a huge network of transport systems. The Victorians built a number of railway systems in the mid-19th century. Their main stations are in London, and the lines go to every corner of Great Britain. There were originally five major companies, which were merged into a national rail network in modern times.

There is also the world's first underground railway system, London Underground, which is the main way commuters get into London. There are five airports, though only one is actually in London (London City Airport). There is the London end of the London–Birmingham canal, which was important to the industrial 19th century.

Most people in London are British. However, London also has many immigrants. These people come from many different countries. They speak many different languages and have different religions and cultures. There are also many people from different countries who stay in London on business. Many people visit London as tourists. They may see the famous "Sights of London". These sights include palaces, churches and museums.

London is one of the world's most important cities for business, finance, and politics. It is also important for culture: media, entertainment, fashion, and art.

History[change | change source]

The Romans built a city called Londinium on the River Thames in AD 43. The name Londinium (and then 'London') came from the Celtic language of the Ancient Britons. In the year AD 61, Queen Boudica (a British Celtic queen) and her army destroyed the city. Boudica killed herself when Romans trapped her. Then the Romans rebuilt London. London became an important trading city. After the Romans left Britain, few people lived in the city for a long time. This is because the Anglo-Saxons liked living in the countryside. In the 9th century, more people started living there again. It became the largest city in England. However, it did not become the capital city of England until the 12th century.

After the railways were built, London grew very big. Greater London has 33 London Boroughs and a mayor. The old City of London is only a square mile in size but has its own Lord Mayor.

Another famous old part of Greater London is Westminster, which was always a different city from the City of London. In Westminster is Westminster Abbey (a cathedral), The Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament, with Big Ben), and 10 Downing Street (where the Prime Minister lives).

Events[change | change source]

Climate[change | change source]

London has an oceanic, or temperate climate. It is not usually very hot or cold. It is often cloudy.

Climate data for Heathrow Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
Rainfall mm (inches) 55.2
Source: Met Office

Landmarks[change | change source]

The Millennium Dome, seen from the River Thames.
A panorama of modern London, taken from the Golden Gallery of Saint Paul’s Cathedral

Twinnings[change | change source]

The Tower Bridge in London

London has twin and sister city agreements with these cities:

London also has a "partnership" agreement with Tokyo, Japan.

London Underground[change | change source]

The London Underground is a system of electric trains which are in London, United Kingdom. It is the oldest underground railway in the world. It started running in 1863 as the Metropolitan Railway. After the opening the system was copied in many other cities, for example New York and Madrid. Even though it is called the Underground about half of it is above the ground. The "Tube" is a slang name for the London Underground, because the tunnels for some of the lines are round tubes running through the ground. The Underground has got 274 stations and over 408 km of track. From 2006–2007 over 1 billion passengers used the underground.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Greater LondonLondonCity of London