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

London congestion charge zone.png

The London congestion charge is a fee for motorists travelling within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ), a traffic area in London. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and raise investment funds for London's transport system. The zone was introduced in central London on 17 February 2003, and extended into parts of west London on 19 February 2007. Though not the first scheme of its kind in the United Kingdom, it was the largest when introduced, and it remains one of the largest in the world. Several cities around the world have referenced London's congestion charge when considering their own schemes.

A payment of £10 is required each day for each vehicle which travels within the zone between 7am and 6pm (Monday-Friday only); a fine of between £60 and £180 is levied for non-payment. From 4 January 2011 several changes were implemented based on the public consultation conducted in 2008, which included the removal of the Western Extension, a charge increase from £8 to £10, and the introduction of an automated payment system. Transport for London (TfL) administers the charge; Capita Group operated it under contract until 31 October 2009, and IBM took over on 1 November 2009. The system is mostly run on an automatic basis using Automatic Number Plate Recognition. (more...)

Featured picture

London Eye Twilight April 2006.jpg
Photo credit: David Iliff

The London Eye from Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth. At 135-metre (443 ft) tall it is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.

Selected quotation

William Dunbar (1460?-1520?), London

Featured biography

An 1888 Punch cartoon depicting Jack the Ripper as a phantom stalking Whitechapel

"Jack the Ripper" is the best known pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved women prostitutes from the slums whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and extremely disturbing letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired multiple works of fiction.

Did you know...

Pass Room Bridewell Microcosm.jpg
  • ...that The Clink prison in Southwark, from which the phrase "in the clink" derives, was possibly the oldest prison in England, founded in the 12th century?
  • ...that Millbank Prison, used largely to hold convicts who were to be deported to Australia, stood on the site now occupied by Tate Britain?

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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 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