London 03

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London is the capital of Great Britain. It is situated in the southeast of England on the River Thames and there are lots of bridges across the Thames. The most famous of these bridges is Tower Bridge. The machinery which draws up the bridge when a ship passes under it is hidden in the two towers. Near Tower Bridge, on the north bank of the Thames there is the Tower Of London. It is a big castle, its oldest part, White Tower, dates back to the times of William the Conqueror. Back in history The Tower served as a prison - now it is one of London's main tourist attractions. Tourists are guided by "Beefeaters" in historic uniforms and the Crown Jewels are on display there.

Another magnet for tourists is St. Paul's Cathedral. It is Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. Like many other churches it was built after the great fire had destroyed big parts of London in 1666. It is 110 metres high and 627 steps lead up to the Whispering Gallery in the dome. In 1981 the royal wedding between Prince Charles and Lady Diana was celebrated there.

The London home of the Queen is Buckingham Palace where you can see the "Changing of the Guards". The coronation of the Kings and Queens takes place in Westminster Abbey. Near this enormous church there are the Houses of Parliament, the seat of the British government. They consist of a group of buildings, among them St. Stephen's Tower, the famous clock tower housing Big Ben, one of the world's biggest bells.

Not far from the Houses of Parliament there is Trafalgar Square with Lord Nelson's Column, erected in the memory of Admiral Nelson, who won against the Spanish in the Battle of Trafalgar.

London is also famous for its parks. There is Hyde Park, there is St. James's Park, which is the oldest and there is Regent's Park, which houses the London Zoo. In former times all the parks were royal gardens.

Apart from sightseeing tourists also love shopping in London. You will find the big stores in Oxford Street and the smaller shops in the little side streets.

At night the West End offers all kinds of entertainment like music, theatre or cinema.