London is the capital of Great Britain. The city has over eight million inhabitants which makes it one of the largest cities in Europe. It is located in the south-east of England, on the banks of the River Thames, which flows in to the North Sea.
Around 100 years ago London was the largest city in the world. At that time the British ruled over a huge empire that stretched over a quarter of the earths surface. Even today, London is an important city for European politics and economy. With six international airports and several main train stations, it is also an important transport hub.
London offers a lot of places for music and culture. One of the most famous museums in London is the British Museum with cultural assets from all over the world. In addition to the old sights in London such as Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, a particularly eye-catching one was added in 2000: the London Eye is the fourth largest Ferris wheel in the world.
What happend throughout Londons history?
London was founded by the Romans around 50 AD. Back then it was called Londinium. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the germanic tribe of the anglo-saxons destroyed the city. Eventough it was rebuilt, it only remained a small settlement until the High Middle Ages.
In 1066 French king William the conquerer ruled over England. He made London the capital city again. In early modern times British sailors conquered many colonies throughout the world. Therefore London became an important city for trading.
In the era of industrialization Londons population increased heavily. Therefore many poor neighborhoods emerged. A well-known one is Whitechapel. The famous writer Charles Dickens wrote many novels about the London of that time and the people in those neighbourhoods.
In second world war, the city was heavily bombed by Nazi Germany. Many Londoners seeked refuge in the cities underground stations. After the war, many parts of the city were rebuilt in a more modern way.
In 1965 London politicians decided to extend the city’s borders. The Londoners found it unfair that the residents of the suburbs could benefit from things like the public transport without paying taxes to the city of London. Therefore the “Greater London Area” was established, which made the city even bigger.
What you should know about the Londoners?
More than fourteen million people live in London and the surrounding area. Many Londoners were born abroad. They often come from countries that used to belong to the British Empire like India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland or Egypt.
There are also many people who moved to London from other parts of Great Britain, because they are students or found a better paid job. Therefore you can hear many different dialects throughout the city. Most Londoners are protestant christians. But there are also jews, muslims and hindus.
London attracts many rich people. Nowhere else in the world you find so many billionaires in one city. The prices for property in some areas are so high that only the superrich can afford to live there.
Londoners love football. Londons metro area is home to seventeen professional football clubs. The most famous ones are Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. Arsenal is the most successful club from the capital with thirteen domestic titles. Rugby and Cricket are also very popular among Londons population.