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 people came to live there. Then, step by step, the villages joined together into one huge city.
The population of London is 8.63 million. 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.
The Romans built the city of Londinium along the River Thames in the year AD 43 The name Londinium (and later 'London') came from the Celtic language of the Ancient Britons. In the year AD 61, the city was attacked and destroyed. Then the Romans rebuilt the city, and London became an important trading hub.
After the decline of the Roman Empire, few people remained in London. This was partly because the Anglo-Saxon people of Sub-Roman Britain were primarily agricultural. Once the Romans had gone, trade with Continental Europe dwindled. In the 9th century, more people started living in London 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 (neighbourhoods) 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).
- AD 43 - Londinium is founded by the Romans
- 61 - Londinium is sacked by Queen Boudica and the Iceni
- 100 - Londinium becomes the capital of Roman Britain
- 200 - The population is about 6,000
- 410 - The end of Roman rule in Britain
- 8th century - London is captured by Vikings
- 885 - King Alfred the Great recaptures the city and makes peace with the Viking leader Guthrum.
- 1045-50 - Westminster Abbey is rebuilt by Edward the Confessor who is buried there in January 1066.
- 1066 - William the Conqueror is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
- 1100 - The population is about 16,000.
- 1300 - The population of London has risen to 100,000.
- 1381 - The Peasants' Revolt – the first poll tax riots
- 1605 - The Gunpowder Plot is stopped
- 1665 - The Great Plague of London
- 1666 - The Great Fire of London
- 1780 - The Gordon Riots
- 1851 - The Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace
- 1908 - The Summer Olympic Games take place in London.
- 1940-1941 - London was bombed by Germany during World War II. This is known as The Blitz.
- 1948 - The Summer Olympic Games take place in London for the second time.
- 1966 - The Football World Cup final took place in London. It was won by England.
- 1990 - The Second Poll Tax Riots
- 2005 - The 7 July bombings on the London Underground and a bus. 52 people die and over 700 people are injured.
- 2012 - The Summer Olympic Games take place in London for a third time.
- 2017 - There were two terrorist attacks that happened in London this year. The first happened in March on Westminster Bridge and Parliament Square. Five people are killed outside the Palace of Westminster including the attacker and a police officer. 40 more people were injured. Another attack happened on London Bridge in June. Seven people were killed before the Metropolitan Police shot down the three attackers near Borough Market. The Islamic State has said they were responsible for both attacks.
London has an oceanic, or temperate climate. It is not usually very hot or cold. It is often cloudy.
|Climate data for Heathrow Airport|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.2
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||13.1
|Average high °C (°F)||8.1
|Average low °C (°F)||2.3
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||−4.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−13.2
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||55.2
|Average rainy days||11.1||8.5||9.3||9.1||8.8||8.2||7.7||7.5||8.1||10.8||10.3||10.2||109.6|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||61.5||77.9||114.6||168.7||198.5||204.3||212.0||204.7||149.3||116.5||72.6||52.0||1,632.6|
|Source: Met Office  Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute |
London has many celebrations, festivals and events.
Wimbledon Tennis TournamentEdit
- Championship tennis games
- Two weeks in June and July
- Held at the All England Club
- Started in 1877
The Promenade ConcertEdit
- Classical music concerts
- From July to September
- Held at the Royal Albert Hall
- Started in the late 19th century (1800s)
Notting Hill CarnivalEdit
- A festival to celebrate Caribbean culture
- One weekend in August
- Started in 1964
London Film FestivalEdit
- More than 300 films
- Last two weeks in October
- Held at cinemas all over the city
- Has International films
London Business and EconomyEdit
London has five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark.
The London Stock Exchange is the most international stock exchange and the largest in Europe.
London's largest industry is finance. This includes banks, stock exchanges, investment companies and insurance companies The Bank of England is located in London and is the second oldest bank in the world.
London has many professional services such as law and accounting firms.
The British Broadcasting Company (BBC), which has many radio and TV stations, is in London.
Tourism is one of London's biggest industries. London is the most visited city in the world by international tourists with 18.8 million international visitors per year. Within the UK, London is home to the ten most-visited tourist attractions. Tourism employed about 350,000 full-time workers in London in 2003. Tourists spend about £15 billion per year.
A growing number of technology companies are based in London.
London is a major retail centre, and in 2010 had the highest non-food retail sales of any city in the world, with a total spend of around £64.2 billion. The UK's fashion industry, centred on London, contributes tens of billions to the economy.
Manufacturing and constructionEdit
For the 19th and much of the 20th centuries London was a major manufacturing centre (see Manufacturing in London), with over 1.5 million industrial workers in 1960. Many products were made in London including ships, electronics and cars. Nowadays, most of these manufacturing companies are closed but some drug companies still make medicine in London.
London has twin and sister city agreements with these cities:
- Sister cities:
- Partner cities:
London Transportation (Trains, airports and Metro)Edit
The city has a huge network of transport systems including trains, metros (underground) and five main airports.
The Victorians built many train systems in the mid-19th century (1850s). Their main stations are in London, and the lines go to every part of Great Britain. There were originally five major companies but the five companies became a national rail network in modern times.
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. The most used airport is Heathrow International Airport although it is actually outside the city.
The metro or 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.
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- "Sister City - London". nyc.gov. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
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