London is an old city, its history counts more than two thousand years. London is situated upon both banks of the Thames, about forty miles from the mouth. The population is more than 9 million people. Actually, London can be divided into several parts: the City or Downtown of London, Westminster, the West End and the East End.
The City of London is the financial centre of the UK. There are many offices, companies and banks in this part of London. 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 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 in the West End. Only well-to-do people can live there. The heart of the West End is Piccadilly Circus. It is one of the busiest places in London. Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the sovereign. The weekly ceremony of the Changing of the Guard attracts many spectators with its music and soldiers’ traditional uniforms.
There are many nice squares in London. Trafalgar Square is one of them and it is in the centre of the West End. Nelson’s column in the centre of the square is very tall with a statue of the Admiral on the top and four bronze lions around it.
Another important district of London is Westminster, where most of Government buildings are situated. Westminster Palace is the seat of the British Parliament. It was founded in 1050. Since the 11th century almost all British monarchs have been crowned, married, and buried in Westminster Abbey. There you can also find the Poets’ Corner which is the resting place of some outstanding people like Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling.
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”. The clock “Big Ben” came into service in 1859.
The East End is very large and crowded. It used to be the poorest district of the city, but now it is a developing area. It has many interesting sights including an exact copy of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
London’s numerous parks are an all-year-round attraction both for Londoners and the guests of the city. The parks are called “the lungs” of London and they are true oases in the polluted and overcrowded city. Hyde Park and Green Park, St. James’s Park and Kensington Gardens are beautiful in any season and please the eye with their trees, bushes, flowers and ponds.
London museums are so numerous that it’s difficult to name them all. The most important are the British Museum and the Library, the National Portrait Gallery and Madame Tussaud’s Gallery. The latter displays the wax figures of famous people.
There is the Tube (an underground) in London too. The underground, constructed in London, was the first underground in the world.
1. Is London a young city?
2. Where is London situated?
3. What is the oldest part of London?
4. What is situated in the West End?
5. Where are most of Government buildings situated?
6. Where is the largest clock of the country located?
7. When did the clock “Big Ben” come into service?
8. What is the official London residence of the Queen?
9. What square is in the centre of the West End?
10. The East End is very large and crowded, isn’t it?