London-a town in south-eastern part of Great Britain, the capital of the country, as well as the capital of England. Located on the Thames, is the second largest city in Europe (after Moscow, from Paris), is also one of the largest cities in the world both in the same city as the scale and agglomeration. Population of London (within the so-called. Greater London) is around 8.2 million (2006) in the area of 1 607 km ² and the entire London metropolitan area, including all the neighboring towns (from Tonbridge in the southeast to the northwest of Windsor) has about 20 million people (the so-called area. megalopolis). About 20% of the population comes from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Contemporary London is the largest financial center in the world (since 2006 against New York). Here shall be 30% of global trade currencies and 40% of global trade Eurobonds. In London, hundreds of banks are located, the largest exchange in Europe (third world), many insurance companies and investment. London is also a great media center. A city full of monuments and museums annually attracts around 30 million tourists.
The first traces of settlement activity in London is discovered remains of a fortified Roman camp dating from the years AD 70-80 in the hills of Cornhill and Ludgate Hill. Roman Londinium stone marked the center of London, which is now visible on Cannon Street. However, it is likely that the settlement of local people were here before the arrival of the Romans to the British Isles. London mainly due to the development of trade with the countries of the European continent (the Roman name Londinium) was then one of the richest cities of the Empire. In the year 313 the diocese was founded here, and in the early seventh century the capital of the kingdom of Essex. In the eleventh century London began to function as de facto capital of the country. For several centuries, a small, numbering 133 hectares, the area of Roman Londinium corresponded basically medieval London. Only in the twelfth century began a dynamic development beyond the city walls, mainly along the transportation routes to the west. The capital of England has moved to London from Winchester in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries after the construction of the Palace of Westminster and to make the same palace, the seat of the royal court, and thus the political capital of the whole British people. In 1666 a great fire destroyed most of the city. Then, within a few days burned over 13 thousand. homes and nearly 90 churches. The event will exacerbate the damage initiated in the previous year by an epidemic of bubonic plague, the result of which killed up to 100 thousand. residents. During the reconstruction of the city tried to control the evolution of the capital, including through the introduction of building regulations, failure to build a wooden fire, etc. Some, however, has brought benefits, especially Wrenowi Sir Christopher, who commissioned the task of rebuilding the burned city. Thus arose such masterpieces as the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich and St. Stephan's Cathedral. Paul. In the sixties the eighteenth century the medieval walls were demolished. Development, accompanied by an increasing number of city populations, especially rapidly during the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century. In this century there has been a seven-fold increase in population. In 1851 London hosted the Exhibition of Industry of All Nations, which is the de facto predecessor of today's Expo. A few years later, the city saw the opening of the world's first underground railway line, attended the opening ceremony of Queen Victoria herself. In 1908 took place in London Summer Olympics, one of the first modern games in the world. During World War II the city was bombed by German planes and rockets, which resulted in the destruction of the port district and partly the City. After the war began on the spatial development plan of the capital, including, inter alia, elimination of slums, the consolidation of the green belt surrounding the city (London's Green Belt) and the construction, within a radius of several kilometers from the city, several city-gardens (including Basildon, Harlow, Hemel, Hempstead, Crawley). There were also efforts aimed at the liquidation of the London "smog" (it seems this problem has already existed in the fourteenth century, and reached a climax in 1952, when "the great smog of London") and the purification of water of the Thames.