Portal:London

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Introduction

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 2011) and a metropolitan 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.

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.

Featured article

Detail of painting from 1666 of the Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of London from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. It threatened, but did not quite reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster and Charles II's Palace of Whitehall and left the suburban slums surrounding the City largely untouched. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul's Cathedral, and nearly all the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated that it made homeless 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants. The death toll from the fire is unknown and has traditionally been thought to have been small, as only a few verified deaths are recorded. (more...)

Featured picture

Clapham Common Tube Station Platforms - Oct 2007.jpg
Photo credit: David Iliff

The platform at Clapham Common, a station on London Underground's Northern line. With tracks on either side serving trains moving in opposite directions, this is an example of an island platform.

Selected quotation

Samuel Johnson, 20 September 1777. Quoted in The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791) by James Boswell

Featured biography

Noël Coward, c. 1920s

Noël Coward (1899–1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise". Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama, In Which We Serve, and was knighted in 1969. In the 1950s he achieved fresh success as a cabaret performer, performing his own songs, such as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", "London Pride" and "Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans". His plays and songs achieved new popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and his work and style continue to influence popular culture.

Did you know...

Rotten Row - Hyde Park.jpg
  • ...that Victoria Park was laid out between 1842–1846, partially on the former hunting grounds of the Bishop of London. It contains two alcoves from old London Bridge and the oldest model boat club in the world founded in the Park on 15 July 1904.

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Transport

London has one of the oldest and largest public transport systems in the world. Many components of its transport system, such as the double-decker bus, the Hackney Carriage black taxi and the Tube, are internationally recognised symbols of London.

The majority of transport services in the capital are provided by Transport for London (TfL), an executive agency of the Mayor of London. The Oyster card is accepted as payment across most TfL-controlled transport modes. In the past ten years TfL has invested heavily in walking and cycling to promote more sustainable travel choices in London, including a Velib-style bike hire scheme which opened in Summer 2010.

Routemaster LDS402A.jpg Hackney carriage.jpg Westminster.tube.station.jubilee.arp.jpg Tramlink-Beckenham Jn.jpg BA Planes T4 2004.jpg

London has a comprehensive rail network with several major railway stations. London has two international train stations, at St. Pancras railway station and Stratford International, which connect London to mainland Europe through the Eurostar service. London also has six international airports.

In addition to public transport, London is the start point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.

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1908 Summer Olympics medal table · 1910 London to Manchester air race · 1948 Summer Olympics medal table · 1993 Boat Race · 2003 Boat Race · 2012Boat Race · Albert Bridge · Aldwych tube station · Anne of Denmark · Harriet Arbuthnot · Arsenal F.C. · History of Arsenal F.C. (1886–1966) · Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield · Alice Ayres · Baden-Powell House · BAE Systems · Baker Street and Waterloo Railway · Enid Blyton · Battersea Bridge · Battle of Barnet · Horatio Bottomley · David Bowie · Boydell Shakespeare Gallery · Brown Dog affair · Bruce Castle · Buckingham Palace · William Henry Bury · Kate Bush · Elizabeth Canning · Caroline of Ansbach · Central London Railway · Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway · Charles II of England · Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office · Chelsea Bridge · Chelsea F.C. · Christopher Smart's asylum confinement · Churches preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust in Southeast England · City and South London Railway · Cleveland Street scandal · Cock Lane ghost · Covent Garden · Noël Coward · Charles Darwin · East End of London · Edward III of England · Edward VI of England · Elizabeth I of England · English National Opera · Edmund Evans · An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump · Gilbert Foliot · Former and unopened London Underground stations · Robin Friday · Prince George of Denmark · George IV of the United Kingdom · John Gielgud · Gray's Inn · Great Fire of London · Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway · Stanley Green · Joseph Grimaldi · Gropecunt Lane · Richard Hakluyt · Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies · Death of Jimi Hendrix · Her Majesty's Theatre · Herne Hill railway station · Georgette Heyer · Great Stink · Henry III of England · Hoxne Hoard · Len Hutton · Iranian Embassy siege · Jack the Ripper · Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution · Hattie Jacques · James VI and I · Samuel Johnson · Early life of Samuel Johnson · The Kinks · Cosmo Gordon Lang · George Lansbury · Dan Leno · Marie Lloyd · Local nature reserves in Greater London · London Necropolis Company · London Underground stations · John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan · The Magdalen Reading · Marshalsea · Mary II of England · Mellitus · Metropolitan Railway · Henry Moore · Motörhead · Noel Park · Laurence Olivier · Emmeline Pankhurst · Peep Show episodes · Frank Pick · Peasants' Revolt · Pig-faced women · Harold Pinter · Postman's Park · Queens Park Rangers F.C. players · RAF Northolt · RAF Uxbridge · Talbot Baines Reed · Restoration spectacular · Richard II of England · Ralph Richardson · Richmond Bridge · Robert of Jumièges · Rokeby Venus · Rosetta Stone · Royal Gold Cup · Royal National College for the Blind · The Royal Opera · Sex Pistols · William Shakespeare · Jack Sheppard · Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Greater London · Edgar Speyer · Streatham portrait · Tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice · Tallest buildings and structures in London · Terry-Thomas · Theatre Royal, Drury Lane · Murder of Julia Martha Thomas · Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion · Timeline of the London Underground · Death of Ian Tomlinson · Tower of London · Turner Prize winners and nominees · Dick Turpin · Underground Electric Railways Company of London · Vauxhall Bridge · Venues of the 1948 Summer Olympics · Wandsworth Bridge · Whitechapel Murders · William Wilberforce · William III of England · William the Conqueror · Winners of the London Marathon · Mary Wollstonecraft · Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft · Henry Wood ·

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1836 Boat Race · 1839 Boat Race · 1840 Boat Race · 1841 Boat Race · 1842 Boat Race · 1845 Boat Race · 1846 Boat Race · 1849 (March) Boat Race · 1849 (December) Boat Race · 1852 Boat Race · 1854 Boat Race · 1856 Boat Race · 1857 Boat Race · 1860 Boat Race · 1861 Boat Race · 1866 Boat Race · 1867 Boat Race · 1868 Boat Race · 1869 Boat Race · 1870 Boat Race · 1871 Boat Race · 1873 Boat Race · 1875 Boat Race · 1876 Boat Race · 1878 Boat Race · 1880 Boat Race · 1881 Boat Race · 1882 Boat Race · 1883 Boat Race · 1884 Boat Race · 1888 Boat Race · 1889 Boat Race · 1890 Boat Race · 1891 Boat Race · 1892 Boat Race · 1893 Boat Race · 1894 Boat Race · 1897 Boat Race · 1898 Boat Race · 1899 Boat Race · 1901 Boat Race · 1903 Boat Race · 1904 Boat Race · 1905 Boat Race · 1906 Boat Race · 1907 Boat Race · 1908 Boat Race · 1909 Boat Race · 1911 Boat Race · 1920 Boat Race · 1921 Boat Race · 1922 Boat Race · 1923 Boat Race · 1924 Boat Race · 1925 Boat Race · 1927 Boat Race · 1928 Boat Race · 1929 Boat Race · 1930 Boat Race · 1932 Boat Race · 1948 Summer Olympics torch relay · 1950 Boat Race · 1951 Boat Race · 1952 Boat Race · 1953 Boat Race · 1954 Boat Race · 1955 Boat Race · 1956 Boat Race · 1957 Boat Race · 1958 Boat Race · 1961 Boat Race · 1963 Boat Race · 1964 Boat Race · 1965 Boat Race · 1966 Boat Race · 1967 Football League Cup Final · 1968 Boat Race · 1970 Boat Race · 1971 Boat Race · 1973 Boat Race · 1974 Boat Race · 1975 Boat Race · 1976 Boat Race · 1977 Boat Race · 1978 Boat Race · 1979 Boat Race · 1980 Boat Race · 1981 Boat Race · 1982 Boat Race · 1983 Boat Race · 1984 Boat Race · 1985 Boat Race · 1986 Boat Race · 1987 Boat Race · 1988 Boat Race · 1989 Boat Race · 1990 Boat Race · 1991 Boat Race · 1992 Boat Race · 1993 Bishopsgate bombing · 1994 Boat Race · 1995 Boat Race · 1996 Boat Race · 1997 Boat Race · 1997–98 Arsenal F.C. season · 1998 Boat Race · 1999 Boat Race · 1999 FA Charity Shield · 2000 Boat Race · 2001 Boat Race · 2002 Boat Race · 2003 Boat Race · 2004 Boat Race · 2005 Boat Race · 2006 Boat Race · 2007 Boat Race · 2008 Boat Race · 2009 Boat Race · 2010 Boat Race · 2011 Boat Race · 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony · 2012 Summer Paralympics · 2013 Boat Race · 2014 Boat Race · 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone · A1 road in London · A215 road · Abbey Mills Mosque · Henry Allingham · Murder of Tom ap Rhys Pryce · Arsenal Stadium · Cicely Mary Barker · Joey Barton · Battersea Power Station · Baynard's Castle · BBC Symphony Orchestra · Kate Beckinsale · Belgian government in exile · Tony Benn · The Bill · Blackadder II · Blackwall Tunnel · Bloc Party · BOAC Flight 712 · Ernest Radcliffe Bond · James Bond · Boosey & Hawkes · Bow Back Rivers · John Boydell · British Airways · History of British Airways · British Asian Cup · British Library · Burney Relief · Cad and the Dandy · Cannons (house) · Casino Royale (1967 film) · Chiswick Bridge · Anjem Choudray · Churchill War Rooms · City of London School · The Clash · Murder of Victoria Climbié · 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Anne Hyde · Ickenham · Imperial War Museum · Inns of Chancery · Iron Maiden · Jewel Tower · Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... · Kingstonian F.C. · Knife Edge Two Piece 1962–65 · Nigella Lawson · Lemmons · Bernard Levin · Ken Livingstone · London · London Necropolis Railway · London Necropolis railway station · London Paddington station · London Philharmonic Orchestra · London Symphony Orchestra · M11 link road protest · Madness (band) · Manor Farm, Ruislip · George Martin · Karl Marx · Mary I of England · Match Point · Freddie Mercury · Middlesex · Ed Miliband · Millwall F.C. · Millwall F.C.–West Ham United F.C. rivalry · Mongrels (TV series) · Morden tube station · William Morris · Carey Mulligan · National Gallery · National Police Memorial · NatWest · Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson · Isaac Newton · Notting Hill · Old St Paul's Cathedral · One Direction · Paper War of 1752–1753 · Charles Pearson · Pétrus (restaurant) · Prince Rupert of the Rhine · Quatermass and the Pit (film) · Queen's Hall · Question Time British National Party controversy · Daniel Radcliffe · RAF Eastcote · RAF West Ruislip · Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes · Richard Coeur de Lion (statue) · Richmond Park · Rock and Chips · Helen Rollason · Romford · Rose Tyler · Royal Artillery Memorial · Royal Philharmonic Orchestra · Royal Society · Ruislip · Ruislip-Northwood Urban District · Ruislip Woods · The Sarah Jane Adventures · Saturday (novel) · Savile Row · Senate House (University of London) · Serpentine (lake) · George Bernard Shaw · Smithfield, London · Smooth Radio (2010) · South Kensington tube station · Howard Staunton · Jamie Stuart · Jessie Stephen · The Stones in the Park · Arthur Sullivan · Swakeleys House · Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007 film) · Tipping the Velvet · Tipu's Tiger · The Tower House · Margaret Thatcher · Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard · Alan Turing · Up All Night Tour · Upminster · Upminster Bridge tube station · Uxbridge · V for Vendetta (film) · Vauxhall Gardens · Vindolanda tablets · Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps · Wanderers F.C. · Rachel Weisz · West Ham United F.C. · Westminster tube station · The Who · Oscar Wilde · Amy Winehouse · White Lies (band) · Wimbledon and Sutton Railway · Anna Wintour · Woolwich Ferry · Wulfstan · The Young Victoria

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