London London is the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the 9th largest city in the world – its population is about 10 million. London is situated on the river Thames in south-east England. It was founded as a Roman settlement. The great fire in 1666 destroyed almost all the city. Various means of transport: red double-deckers, underground – the oldest in the world, 3 airports – the most important are Heathrow and Gatwick. The Houses of Parliament are in gothic style but were built after the old building had burnt down. The only part, which escaped the fire, was Westminster Hall.There is also a famous clock-tower with Big Ben. Whitehall is the street where the government offices are. Horse Guards Parade takes place here. Downing Street 10 is the official home of British Prime Ministers. Westminster Abbey was founded in the 11th century. Britain’s Kings and Queens are crowned here. England’s famous people are buried here in the Poet’s Corner (e.g. Newton, Handel, etc.), WA is in gothic architecture, is it place where many state occasions and royal weddings take place. St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It stands in the City. The Cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery. The City is the oldest part of London around St. Paul. There are many banks (the most important is Bank of England) and offices here. The Tower was built in the 11th century It served as royal palace first, then prison and fortress. It is a museum now. The Crown Jewels guarded by the Beefeaters are kept here. Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It can open in the middle and let large ships go through. Trafalgar Square was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson’s statue is situated on a high column. The square with its fountains is a very popular place for various meetings and demonstrations. The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square. It houses paintings by nearly all the great European artists and a large collection of British paintings and sculptures. The British Museum is the largest museum in the world. It houses the biggest collection of all kinds of animals and minerals and rocks. There is a collection of fine and applied arts of all countries, periods and styles. The British Museum’s library is the largest in the world. Buckingham palace is the Queen’s residence in London. One of the biggest London’s parades is Changing the Guard here. The most famous shopping centres in London are in Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street. There are many parks in London, e.g. St. James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park. The largest of them is Hyde Park. It is also known for its Speaker’s Corner where anybody can have a speech. The Post Office Tower is the tallest building in Great Britain. It is adapted for telephone and TV services.  Theatres: The National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company  Concert halls: The Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall Windsor Castle is the residence of nearly all the British sovereigns outside London. Kew Gardens are the Royal Botanical Gardens with the largest collection of living plants in the world.