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Information about London

Published on February 7, 2008

Author: Hillary


Exploring London by: Brandy Gulliford: Exploring Londonby: Brandy Gulliford Trafalgar Square: Trafalgar Square Laid out in 1829, Trafalgar Square has recently become car free, creating an attractive open space, with seats and cafes, so it can be used for concerts and entertainment. Looming 172 foot high above the Square is Nelson’s Column, with the famous naval commander standing on its top.   Below it, huge bronze lions stand guard and the famous fountains light up the Square at night. On the north side, the National Gallery holds one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world – and it’s free.   Around the corner, the National Portrait Gallery is another of London’s great free attractions. Charing Cross, which leads off the Square,  is the center of London – literally – it’s the point where all distances to England’s capital are measured to.   Today it is a huge railway terminus, but its name comes from the cross marking the funeral procession of Eleanor, beloved wife of Edward 1. National Gallery: National Gallery In 1831 Parliament agreed to construct a building for the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. There were lengthy discussions about the best site for the Gallery, and Trafalgar Square was eventually chosen as it was considered to be at the very center of London. The national gallery houses the artwork of several artists including: Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. Tower of London: Tower of London One of the most famous fortified buildings in the world. Begun in 1078 by William the Conqueror, the Tower has been a palace, prison, treasury, arsenal and even a zoo! Today the Tower houses the priceless Crown Jewels. Also on view are the Medieval Palace, the infamous Bloody Tower and over 90 inscriptions made by prisoners in the Beauchamp Tower. The 'Crowns and Diamonds' exhibition, charting the evolution of Royal Crowns in Britain and the important relationship which diamonds have with them is housed in the Martin Tower. Westminster Abbey: Westminster Abbey One of Britain's finest Gothic buildings. Scene of the coronation, marriage and burial of British monarchs. Visitors can see the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Royal Tombs, the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the Coronation Chair, Lady Chapel and Poets' Corner, Pyx Chamber, Nave and cloisters, the Royal Chapels, and the Undercroft Museum. The 'Service of Light' on New Millennium Eve saw the inauguration of the Abbey's spectacular new lighting system. Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge Tower Bridge was completed in 1894, after 8 years of construction. Originally, London Bridge was the only crossing over the Thames. As London grew, some more bridges were added, but these were all to the west of London Bridge, since the area east of London Bridge had become a busy port. In the 19th century, the east end of London became so densely populated that public pressure mounted for a bridge to the east of London Bridge, as journeys for pedestrians and vehicles were being delayed literally by hours. Houses of Parliament: Houses of Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom has developed over hundreds of years from the group of nobles that once advised the King of England to the present day Parliament of the Monarch, House of Lords, and House of Commons. Parliament has gradually taken control over many of the powers previously exercised by the Monarch. The Monarch now has a constitutional role which means that their actions are governed by convention. Over the years Parliament has become more representative of the people for whom it takes decisions. Today nearly everyone aged 18 and over has the right to vote for a local Member of Parliament to represent them in the House of Commons. Buckingham Palace: Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors on a regular basis. The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. Kensington Palace: Kensington Palace Originally a private country house, the building was acquired by William III and Mary II in 1689 and was adapted for royal residence by Sir Christopher Wren. For the next 70 years the palace was at the center of the life and government of the kingdom and played host to the courts of William and Mary, Queen Anne, George I, and George II. In the 19th century Kensington was the birthplace and childhood home of Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria). Kensington's best known resident in recent years was Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-97) who occupied apartments in the north-west part of the palace from 1981 to 1997. Hyde Park: Hyde Park Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, England, and one of the Royal Parks of London. The park is divided in two by the Serpentine Lake. The park is contiguous with Kensington Gardens, which is widely assumed to be part of Hyde Park, but is technically separate. The park was the original site of the Crystal Palace, built by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Additionally, it has been the venue for some famous rock concerts, including those featuring Pink Floyd (1970), Queen (1976), The Rolling Stones (1969), Roy Harper (1971) and Jethro Tull (1968). In addition, the photography for the Beatles album Beatles for Sale occurred at Hyde Park in autumn of 1964. St. Paul’s Cathedral: St. Paul’s Cathedral A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has overlooked the City of London since 604AD. The current Cathedral – the fourth to occupy this site – was designed by the court architect Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. This is where people and events of overwhelming importance to the country have been celebrated, mourned and commemorated since the first Service took place in 1697. Important services have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the launch of the Festival of Britain; the Service of Remembrance and Commemoration for September 11th 2001, the birthdays of Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother; the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, most recently, the Thanksgiving for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. References: References Title Slide Images: Union jack. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from London map. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from Queen Elizabeth. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from Slide 1 Text and Image: Enjoy England. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 2 Text: National Gallery. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 2 Image: About this particular macintosh. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 3 Text and Image : Enjoy England. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 4 Text and Image: Enjoy England. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 5 Text and Image: Tower Bridge. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from References: References Slide 6 Text: Explore Parliament. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from Slide 6 Image: Houses of Parliament. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from Slide 7 Text: Buckingham Palace. Retrieved on September 21, 2006 from Slide 7 Image: Changing of the guard. Retrieved on September 21, 2006 from Slide 7 Image: Buckingham Palace. Retrieved on September 21, 2006 from Slide 8 Text and Image: Kensington Palace. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 9 Text and Image: Hyde Park. Retrieved on September 22, 2006 from Slide 10 Text: St. Paul’s Cathedral. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from Slide 10 Image: St. Paul’s Cathedral. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from

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