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London, also known as Greater London is the capital city of the United Kingdom with a population of around 9787426 according to 2011 census. It is the most populous city in the country and located on the Thames River towards the south-east of the Great Britain. The city is also referred as metropolis around the ancient core and Greater London which comprises Surrey, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Essex, and Kent regulated by the London Assembly. In the era of globalisation, the city is crowned as a leading centre in the fields of education, infrastructure, healthcare, tourism, entertainment and professional services.
The history of the city traced its roots back to the Roman period and Romans named it Londinium. Recently, two discoveries found on the south bank near the Thames River showing the remains of Bronze Age Bridge gave access to a lost island in the river and foundations of large timber structure situated on Thames foreshore. The walled city of London was abandoned with the downfall of the Roman rule during the fifth century and new settlement Lundenwic was developed to the west of the old city. The city became a major port and established Danelaw in the Vikings period. The city developed dramatically after the abandonment of Lundenwic and became the largest town and trading centre of the country.
The population of the city grew from 18000 to approx. 100,000 by the end of 13th century and became England’s principal commercial and administrative centre. The focus of the city changed to private ownership with the establishment of exchange, mercantile and trading companies during the Tudor period. The city was severely affected by Great Plague disease resulted in the death of 100,000 people and also faced destruction in the large parts of the city with the great fire of London. The city also remained as the largest city in the world till 1925. London was the prime target by German bombers during the First and Second World War, destroyed many residential projects and commercial buildings across the city. In 1948, Summer Olympics were held in the city and attracted a large number of immigrants from Commonwealth countries.
With the presence of various diverse buildings with varying ages, the walled city cannot be represented by any specific architectural style. Few structures in the central London including Tower of London, National Gallery, and Hampton Court Palace were constructed during Roman and Tudor period. While other famous buildings include churches and financial institutions that represent the modern architecture and formed part of the varied architectural heritage. Central London has some tall skyscrapers including the tallest building in the European Union and older buildings decorated with beautiful carvings and white plaster mouldings. The other famous buildings of the city are British Library, City Hall, and Millennium Dome.
The majority of the population of the city follows Christianity followed by Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, and Buddhists. A large number of churches and well-known cathedrals are constructed in the city including Southwark Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral. Muslim communities are largely based in the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets and famous mosques in the city are London Central Mosque, East London Mosque, and Baitul Futuh Mosque. There are approximately 42 Hindu temples in the city and Hindu communities are mainly settled in the Harrow and Brent boroughs.
The city is ranked among the leading tourist destinations in the world and crowned top city destination by Trip Advisor users. The notable buildings of the city are Natural History Museum, The British Museum, Tate Modern, Science Museum, Tower of London, Southbank Centre, National Portrait Gallery and many more exciting attractions.
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