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LONDON London, the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, is situated on the banks of the river Thames. The city is very old, it's more than 20 centuries. Its population is nearly 9 million people. The area known as "Great London" occupies the territory of about 1.8 thousand square km. The capital of the country is the important financial centre and one of the largest ports of the world. Administratively London is divided into 33 districts, but at the same time there are some parts of London, which have some distinctive features: the West End, the East End, the City, Westminster. The City of London is the commercial centre of all the country. It contains the Bank of England, business firms, companies, corporations, office buildings. Besides the Bank of

England, London has 5 largest commercial banks of the United Kingdom and well-known London Stock Exchange. The masterpiece of architecture in the City today is St. Paul's Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren, the famous English architect of the 17th century. In this Cathedral there are statues and tombs of the national English heroes: Nelson, Wellington and others. The Tower of London is an old castle, situated in the City. It was used as a fortress, a palace and a prison. During its long period of existence it was time when the Tower was even the Zoo. It was the Royal Zoo, of course. Now the Tower is a museum and houses the Crown jewels and other treasures. There is a legens in England that the Tower will fall if it loses it's ravens. That's why these birds are carefully

guarded. Wesminster is the aristocratic, official part of London. It's very attractive for tourists because it has historical places full of customs and traditions. Parliament is situated in the Palace of Westminster. The famous Big Ben, the clock from which all people of this country take the time is in one of its beutiful towers. Westminster Abbey is very beautiful church, which is more than 900 years old. Nearly all the kings and queens of Britain were crowned and buried there. Many famous people of this country were buried in the Abbey, among them Newton, Darwin, Dickens, Kipling and others. In the Poet's corner there are memorials to Shakespeare, Burns, Byron, Scott, Thackeray and Longfellow. The official residence of the Queen of England is Buckingham Palace. The changing

of the guard before Buckingham Palace several times a day is wached by hundreds of people. London has 30 museums. One of the best known museums is the British Museum, its library has unique collection of manuscripts; the richest collection of antiquities and seven million of books. The Art Galleries of London such as the Tate Gallery, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts are considered to be the largest in the British Commonwealth. Visitors of London are surprised by the famous Madam Tussaud's Exhibition, which was opened in 1802. It's an exhibition of hundreds of wax models of famous politicians, kings, queens, sportsmen. Here you can meet Elton John, Picasso, Lenin, Hitler, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and so on. London has more than 80 theatres. The best known are

the Royal Opera House, the Royal Shakespeare Theartre, the Old Vic located in the West End of London. London is the centre of education and science. Higher educational establishments among which the London University, the British Academy, the Greenwich Observatory are well known in the world. Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest universities in England. The capital has 17 bridges, the famous Tower Bridge being most attractive among them. Nice parks and gardens of the capital are loved by inhabitants of the city. The capital has a number of beautiful parks such as Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, St. James Park, Green Park, Regent Park and others. Regent Park has open air theatre, where every summer Shakespeare's comedies are performed. Regent Park has the largest Zoo in the country.