London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, and the most populous city in the European Union.
London is one of the world's major business, political and cultural centres. It is a leader in international finance, politics, communications, entertainment, fashion and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the world's major global cities, and has been an important settlement for nearly 2000 years.
London has an estimated population of 8 million (as of 2011metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. London has an extremely cosmopolitan population, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.
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The city is an international transport hub and a major tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
London has three main central business districts: the City of London, the West End in Westminster and Canary Wharf in Docklands. The City of London is the largest financial and business district in Europe.
Postman's Park is a 0.67-acre (2,700 m2) park in the City of London, adjacent to the site of the former head office of the General Post Office and a short distance north of St Paul's Cathedral. Opened in 1880 on the site of the former churchyard and burial ground of St Botolph's Aldersgate church, it expanded over the next 20 years to incorporate some adjacent burial grounds and nearby land previously occupied by housing. A shortage of space for burials in London meant that corpses were often laid above existing graves and covered over with soil instead of being buried, and thus Postman's Park, as an interment site for over 800 years, is significantly elevated above the streets which surround it. Since 1900 it has been the location of the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, a monument erected by George Frederic Watts to ordinary people who died saving the lives of others, and who might otherwise have been forgotten. In 1972, key elements of the park, including the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, were grade II listed to preserve their character. Following the 2004 film Closer, Postman's Park experienced a resurgence of interest, as key scenes were filmed in the park.
Photo credit: Colin
The western departures concourse of King's Cross railway station. Designed by John McAslan, it opened in 2012. The architect claims that the roof is the longest single-span station structure in Europe.
Samuel Johnson, 20 September 1777. Quoted in The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791) by James Boswell
||When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Edgar Speyer (1862–1932) was an American-born financier and philanthropist. He became a British citizen in 1892 and was chairman of Speyer Brothers, the British branch of his family’s international finance house, and a partner in the German and American branches. He was chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited from 1906 to 1915, a period during which the company opened three underground railway lines, electrified a fourth and took over two more. Speyer was a supporter of the musical arts and a friend of several leading composers, including Edward Elgar, Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy. He was chairman of the Classical Music Society for ten years, and he largely funded the Promenade Concerts between 1902 and 1914. His non-musical charitable activities included being honorary treasurer of the fund for Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition. For his philanthropy he was made a baronet in 1906 and a Privy Counsellor in 1909. After the start of the First World War, he became the subject of anti-German attacks in the Press. In 1921, the British government investigated accusations that Speyer had traded with the enemy during the war, and had participated in other wartime conduct incompatible with his British citizenship. Speyer denied the charges, but his naturalisation was revoked and he was struck off the list of members of the Privy Council.