London

                                   London
    London is one of the largest cities  in  the  world.  More  then  10mln
people live in London  and  its  suburbs.  London  is  a  city  of  striking
contrasts. Here one can come across the past and the present,  the  old  and
the modern, live side by side in mutual tolerance and respect.
    In London, one can see architecture of different centuries and  styles.
It is inseparably connected with the history of the city.  The  Romans,  the
Saxons and the Danes settled here in turn, after them came the Normans,  and
brought the French civilisation. London survived the Plague  and  the  Great
Fire, which followed in  1666.  During  the  Fire  all  wooden  houses  were
smashed to the ground and a New London, London of stone with  bigger  houses
and wider streets was built. During the World  War  II,  many  buildings  of
great historic value lay in ruins and today the face of London is changed.
    Traditionally  London  is  divided  into  several  parts:   the   City,
Westminster, the West End and the East End.
    The city first started in the place, which is known as the City. It  is
the Heart of London, its commercial and  business  centre.  It  occupies  a
territory of a square mile. During a day, it is full of people, nearly  half
a million people work there.
    The West End is the  richest  part  of  the  city  with  its  beautiful
avenues, parks and gardens, grandhotels, theatres and fashionable shops.  It
is a symbol of wealth and luxury.
    While the City is the money of London and the West End is the  good  of
London, the East End is the hands of London, that built  the  banks  of  the
City and beautiful mansions and hotels of the West End. It  is  a  district,
inhabited by the workers. There are many factories and the  Port  of  London
there.
    As for me, I cannot imagine London without Thames.  In  fact,  painters
and writers regard the river as the source of  inspiration.  Turner,  Monet,
Canatello painted it countless times and their impression of  the  river  in
all seasons can be seen on the  walls  of  museums,  throughout  the  world.
Pope, Spensor and many other poets sang it in their poems. The  most  famous
books about the Thames are Three men in  a  boat  by  Jerome-k-Jerome  and
The wind in the willows by K. Graham. If there had been no  Thames,  there
would be no London. It was born many centuries ago in the  place,  which  is
known as the City. The City is not only the centre  of  business.  Its  the
burth place of London. London was born in the place not far from St.  Pauls
cathedral hundreds of years before our era.  It  was  called  Lynn-din  (the
lonely port) at that time. After the Norman Conquest, it became Londinium.
    If you want  to  get  some  glimpses  of  London,  youd  better  start
sightseeing with the Tower of London, that comes first  among  the  historic
buildings of the city. It  was  built  as  the  fortress  after  the  Norman
invasion of England in 1066. It has been used as the  Royal  Palace,  as  an
observatory, an arsenal and  a  prison.  For  many  visitors  the  principal
attraction is the Crown Jewels, the finest precious stones of the nation.
    A twenty minutes walk from the Tower will take you to another historic
building  St. Pauls Cathedral, the greatest of English  churches.  It  was
built by a  famous  English  architect  Sir  Christopher  Wren.  St.  Pauls
Cathedral, with its famous  Whispering  Gallery,  is  considered  to  be  a
masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. In one of its towers hangs  one  of
the largest bells in the world  Great Paul.
    Not far from Cathedral is Westminster Abbey. It was founded  by  Edward
the Confessor in 1050. The best part of the Abbey  is  a  wonderful  chapel,
dating  back  to  the  16th  century.  It  is  famous  for  its  magnificent
architecture. There are many  monuments  and  statues  there.  Many  English
kings and queens are buried  there.  Since  William  the  1st,  almost  ever
monarch has  been  crowned  in  this  great  church.  One  of  the  greatest
treasures of the Abbey is oaken Coronation Chair made in 1300. On the  south
side of Westminster Abbey is  Poets  Corner,  where  the  greatest  English
writers are buried. Here also are memorials to  Shakespeare,  Burns,  Byron,
Scott and so on.
    Across the road from Westminster Abbey is Westminster Palace, which  is
spread magnificently on the north bank of the Thames.  It  is  a  remarkable
example of Gothic architecture.


"London"