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London Montage B.jpg
Basic data
Part of the country: England
Coordinates : 51 ° 31 ′  N , 0 ° 7 ′  W Coordinates: 51 ° 31 ′  N , 0 ° 7 ′  W
Height: 15  m ASL
Time zone : In winter: UTC +0
in summer BST : UTC + 1
Metropolitan Area:
1,572 km² (city)
8382 km²
Inhabitants :
Metropolitan Area:
8,961,989 (2019)
Population density :
Metropolitan area:
5,667 inhabitants / km²
1675 inhabitants / km²
Telephone code: 020
Postal code section : E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, TW , W, WC
City structure: City of London
and 32 boroughs
Mayor Sadiq Khan ( Labor )
Greater London in the United Kingdom

London (German pronunciation [ lɔndɔn ] English pronunciation [ lʌndən ]) is the capital of the United Kingdom and part of the country England . The city is located on the Thames in south east England on the island of Great Britain . The current administrative area with a total of 33 boroughs was created in 1965 with the establishment of Greater London . Around 8.96 million people lived there in 2019, around 3.3 million of them in the 13 boroughs of Inner London .

Founded by the Romans in 50 AD as a settlement " Londinium ", the city became the capital of the Kingdom of England after the Norman conquest in 1066 and subsequently the seat of the British royal family . London became an important trading center in Europe as early as the Middle Ages . During the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century, its importance as a port city on the North Sea increased . With the start of industrialization in the 18th century, London's population also grew, so that around 1800 the city was one of the first to exceed the limit of one million inhabitants. By 1900 the population had multiplied sixfold, and London became not only the capital of the British Empire in the 19th century , but also the largest city in the world , which it remained until 1925. It developed into an important city of technology , industry and politics , making it one of the world's cities to this day .

London is one of the most important cultural and commercial centers in the world with numerous universities, colleges, theaters and museums. With a GDP of € 801.66 billion in 2017, London is the largest urban economy in Europe . Besides New York , Singapore and Hong Kong , the city ​​is one of the largest financial centers in the world. Historic buildings such as the Palace of Westminster or the Tower of London are among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites . With over 19 million tourists from abroad every year, London was the second most visited city in the world after Bangkok in 2016 .


Geographical location

Location of London in England
London from the Terra satellite seen from

The geographical coordinates of the city center near Trafalgar Square are 51 ° 30 ′ north latitude and 0 ° 8 ′ west longitude. The location near the prime meridian is no coincidence, because this was laid by the royal observatory , the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich; it is the starting point of the longitudes and thus the time zones .

London extends approximately 44.3 kilometers along the navigable Thames and averages 15 meters above sea ​​level . London grew out of a settlement on the north bank, today's City of London . The London Bridge was the only bridge over the river until 1739.

Because of this, most of the city is north of the river. With the construction of more bridges in the 18th century and the construction of the railways in the 19th century, the city began to expand in all directions. The landscape is flat to slightly wavy, which promoted unhindered growth.

The Thames used to be much wider and shallower than it is today. Today it is almost entirely bounded by dams and most of the 15 or so tributaries flow underground. The tides of the North Sea are still clearly noticeable in London, which is why the city is endangered by floods and storm surges . At Woolwich - east of Greenwich - the Thames Barrier was built in the 1970s to contain this danger.


South-east England with the capital London, the climatically most favored part of Great Britain , differs in many ways from the other parts of the island. The geological structure is determined by the Mesozoic sediments , which gave rise to a generously structured layered landscape. Their heights do not rise high anywhere, so that the entire space enjoys the climatic advantages of the southeast. Historically, London has benefited from its location in the middle of an arable farming region. The south-east, close to the continent, has always been the heavyweight of the island kingdom. Here the conquerors coming from the mainland - Romans , Saxons , Normans - first established a foothold. Even when, with the discovery of America and the development of overseas shipping, the outsides of the island were more animated due to their more favorable location, the old cultural center was able to hold its own. London remained the gateway to the island.

City structure

London is divided into 32 boroughs and the City of London .

  1. City of London
  2. City of Westminster
  3. Kensington and Chelsea
  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
  5. Wandsworth
  6. Lambeth
  7. Southwark
  8. Tower Hamlets
  9. Hackney
  10. Islington
  11. Camden
  12. Brent
  13. Ealing
  14. Hounslow
  15. Richmond
  16. Kingston
  17. Merton
London boroughs.svg
  1. Sutton
  2. Croydon
  3. Bromley
  4. Lewisham
  5. Greenwich
  6. Bexley
  7. Havering
  8. Barking and Dagenham
  9. Redbridge
  10. Newham
  11. Waltham Forest
  12. Haringey
  13. Enfield
  14. Barnet
  15. Harrow
  16. Hillingdon


London is in the temperate climate zone . Summers are warm but rarely hot; the winters are cool, but the temperature rarely drops below freezing point. The warmest month is July with an average of 16.3 degrees Celsius, the coldest January with an average of 3.9 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature ever recorded in London was 37.9 degrees Celsius, measured during the 2003 heat wave . The large built-up area retains the heat and thus creates a microclimate . Sometimes it is up to five degrees warmer in the city than in the surrounding countryside.

The average annual temperature is 9.7 degrees Celsius and the average annual rainfall is 611 millimeters. In the months of October, November and December there is the most precipitation with an average of 57 millimeters and the least in February with an average of 36 millimeters. Snow falls rather seldom, at most a few centimeters per year. Events like the snow disaster of 1978 are rare. At the beginning of February 2009 there was the worst snow chaos in 18 years when more than 15 centimeters of fresh snow fell. In contrast, inversion weather conditions are not uncommon . One of them led to a major smog disaster in 1952 .

Model calculations from 2019 on the consequences of man-made climate change show that London would be relocated to another climate zone as soon as the RCP4.5 scenario, which is considered to be optimistic, occurs ; According to this, the climate in London in 2050 would already be more similar to the previous climate in Barcelona , which is located much further south than the previous one in London.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for London
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 7.2 7.6 10.3 13.0 17.0 20.3 22.3 21.9 19.1 15.2 10.4 8.2 O 14.4
Min. Temperature (° C) 2.4 2.5 3.8 5.6 8.7 11.6 13.7 13.4 11.4 8.9 5.1 3.4 O 7.6
Precipitation ( mm ) 53 36 48 47 51 50 48 54 53 57 57 57 Σ 611
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.5 2.2 3.5 5.2 6.5 6.8 6.4 6.0 4.8 3.1 1.8 1.3 O 4.1
Rainy days ( d ) 14.8 10.8 13.4 12.7 12.5 10.5 10.1 10.9 10.5 11.6 14.0 13.2 Σ 145
Humidity ( % ) 88 84 79 73 72 70 72 75 80 85 88 89 O 79.6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec



Map of Ancient Londinium

The existence of a pre-Roman settlement of the Celts in the area of ​​the City of London could not be proven. Probably in AD 47, the Romans founded the city of Londinium . In AD 60 or 61, the Iceni , led by Queen Boudicca , destroyed the settlement. Londinium was rebuilt and replaced Camulodunum ( Colchester ) as the capital of Britain at the beginning of the 2nd century . From 197 AD Londinium was the capital of the province of Britannia superior , from about 300 AD of the province Maxima Caesariensis . Wall systems were built around the city.

In 410 AD the Romans withdrew their legions and the population was increasingly defenseless against the raids of Germanic tribes. After the Angles and Saxons conquered England , Londinium fell into an uninhabited collection of ruins by the end of the 5th century.

middle age

By 1300 London was still within the Roman city walls

The Anglo-Saxons initially avoided the immediate vicinity of the destroyed city. In the later 7th century they founded the settlement Lundenwic to the west of it, which initially belonged to the Kingdom of Mercia and later to the Kingdom of Essex . Under the leadership of Alfred the Great , King of Wessex , the Anglo-Saxons recaptured the area at the Thames estuary from the Danes in 878. In the years that followed, the area within the Roman city walls was repopulated. The newly created city was called Lundenburgh.

In 1066 the Normans conquered England and London replaced Winchester as the capital. The new ruler William I confirmed the special rights of London. Richard the Lionheart appointed the first Lord Mayor in 1189 , who was then elected by the increasingly powerful merchant guilds from 1215 onwards. In 1209 the first stone bridge, London Bridge , was completed, which until 1750 was the only bridge in what is now the city center. London suffered looting several times by insurgent peasant armies, for example in 1381 during the peasant uprising of 1381 and 1450 during the Jack Cade rebellion .

In the War of the Roses , which ended in 1485 with the coronation of Henry Tudor as Henry VII , the city was part of the York party . The Reformation broke the power of the church, which until then owned around half of the land; the redistribution of church goods from 1535 ushered in an era of economic growth and London rose to become a leading trading city.

Early modern age

Map of London 1682
View of London 1751
City map of London from 1770

London suffered a number of setbacks in its eventful history. After the establishment of the first large trading companies and the Royal Exchange in the 16th century had promoted economic growth, the city was ravaged by the " Great Plague " in 1664 and 1665 , which claimed over 70,000 lives. In September 1666 the " Great Fire of London " devastated large parts of the city. Around 13,000 houses and 89 churches fell victim to the flames.

The city was rebuilt after the devastating fire. However, plans for a fundamental redesign failed because the costs were too high, which is why the new houses were essentially built along the old winding streets. The architect Christopher Wren was responsible for the reconstruction . As a result, almost all of the aristocratic residents moved away from the old city center for good and had new representative houses built in the up-and-coming West End . The poorest sections of the population who had to make a living in the expanding port were pushed into the East End . At the end of the 17th century, London rose to become the most important financial center in the world.

During the 18th century, London grew beyond its historical boundaries. New bridges across the Thames enabled the city to expand south. In June 1780, London was the scene of the Gordon Riots , when fanatical Protestants fought against Catholic equality.


In the course of the 19th century the population multiplied, the construction of numerous suburban railways and subways enabled the built-up area to expand rapidly. London gained great importance as the capital of the British Empire during the Victorian Age . In 1851, according to the census, London was the largest city in Europe and the center of the industrialized world with a population of 2,651,939. In the same year, the “ Great Exhibition ”, the first world exhibition, took place here.

The sprawling metropolitan area was split up into numerous parishes and judicial districts. The Metropolitan Police was founded as the first special purpose association in 1829 , which subsequently took over the fight against crime, which had previously been carried out on a private basis, throughout the metropolis. In 1855 a standardization in the field of construction followed with the Metropolitan Board of Works . The London sewer system , built under the direction of Joseph Bazalgette , is considered the largest construction project of the entire 19th century. In 1889, the County of London was the first to create a unified administrative region for the entire metropolitan area.

View from St Paul's Cathedral after the hail of lightning bombs in World War II

The first half of the 20th century was marked by the expansion of the built-up area to an extent never known before. The new suburbs were almost entirely outside the County of London : all of Middlesex , west Essex , north Surrey , north-west Kent and south Hertfordshire .

During the Second World War , especially in 1940/41, London suffered severe damage, particularly in the eastern industrial areas, as a result of attacks by the German Air Force . These bombings went down in the history of the city under the name " The Blitz ". A second wave of attacks followed in 1944/45 as part of the Steinbock company and with the V1 and V2 rockets. Almost 30,000 residents died and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.

The Cityhall and the Shard

After the war ended, the population fell considerably as many Londoners settled in new satellite cities . In 1965, the Greater London administrative region was created, which also includes the suburbs that emerged in the 20th century. Meanwhile, London lost its role as a major port, and the facilities in Docklands fell apart.

An extensive urban development program began in 1981 and tens of thousands of service jobs were relocated or created from the City of London to the Isle of Dogs . In the Canary Wharf a vast high-rise complex was built. The population has increased again since the low point in the 1980s. In the years that followed, London consolidated its position as one of the most important cities in the world for the global financial industry.

For Islamist terrorist attacks on July 7, 2005 , several dozen people were killed. As a result, city security has been expanded. In 2011 the population rose to over 8 million, so that a new high was reached. In 2012 the Olympic Games were held in London .

In 2020, London was the city with the third most surveillance cameras per capita in the world.



Westminster Abbey is a major church in London. Traditionally, the kings of England (later British monarchs ) are crowned and buried here.
Synagogue in Upper Clapton, Hackney Borough

The 2011 census showed the following religious distribution:

20.7 percent of Londoners do not belong to any religion. No information was given by 8.6 percent of the population.

The majority of Christians belong to the Anglican Church of England . The main church and seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of London is St Paul's Cathedral . The royal church is Westminster Abbey . The main Catholic church of Wales and England and the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster is Westminster Cathedral . Another metropolitan Catholic church is the Archdiocese of Southwark Cathedral , St George's Cathedral on the south side of the Thames. Since the English royal family adopted the Protestant faith (Anglican Church), there have been no Catholic places of worship in London for several centuries. Only in the 19th century did Catholic parishes reestablish themselves. Other Christian religious communities are the United Reformed Church , the Salvation Army , the Quakers and the Orthodox Church . In London is the headquarters of the Medical Mission Sisters (ger .: Medical Mission Sisters (MMS)).

The city is the center of Islam in Great Britain. About 38 percent of Britain's 2.7 million Muslims lived in London according to the 2011 census. Settlement centers are predominantly the boroughs of Tower Hamlets , Newham and Redbridge . The Bait ul-Futuh is the largest mosque in the capital. The East London Mosque was built in 1985. The alleged long-term political toleration of fundamentalist currents and Islamist terror planning has temporarily earned the city the reputation of a " Londonistan ".

Neasden Temple in Brent

Of the 817,000 British Hindus, around half lived in London in 2011. Settlement centers are primarily the districts of Brent and Harrow . The Neasden Temple was until the opening of the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple in Tividale ( West Midlands ) in August 2006, the largest Hindu temple outside India.

A large number of Sikhs live in the borough of Southall , located in the western borough of Ealing , as well as in the borough of Hounslow .

About 56 percent of the 267,000 British Jews lived in the capital in 2001. Settlement centers are Stamford Hill in the district of Hackney and Golders Green in the district of Barnet .

Population development

Population density in London 2011
Age pyramid of the population of London 2006
Ethnic composition of London according to the 2011 Census

As early as 140 AD, 30,000 people lived in London, by 1300 there were already 100,000 and in 1801 the city's population exceeded the limit of one million. London was the most populous city in the world from 1825 to 1925 when it was overtaken by New York . The 2001 census counted 7,172,091 inhabitants, and in 2011 8,173,900. Due to the sustained growth, the city is forecast to have a population of 9,134,000 by 2020 and 10,487,000 by 2040.

London has traditionally been a magnet for different nationalities, cultures and religions. While at the beginning of the 20th century mainly Irish , Poles , Italians and Eastern European Jews came to London, since the middle of the 20th century mainly people from the former British colonies such as India , Pakistan , Bangladesh and Nigeria have immigrated.

At the 2011 census, 6.6 percent of the population came from the Indian subcontinent and 4.9 percent from other parts of Asia . 7 percent came from Africa and 4.2 percent from the Caribbean . A total of 37 percent were born outside of the UK. The number of people in London, which as "white British" (English white british designated), fell from 58% in 2001 to 45% in 2011. The number of general white population in 2011 in London was 60%. About 20% had Asian roots and 13% were black. 5% were from mixed ethnic backgrounds and the remaining 2% were different.

The agglomeration of London extends beyond the actual urban area of Greater London and has 8,278,251 inhabitants (2001), in 2010 the population of the Greater London Urban Area was estimated at 8,979,158. This is more than Scotland and Wales combined. This makes London one of the largest agglomerations in Europe.

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status . These are estimates up to 1750, census results from 1801 to 2001, and a calculation in 2006 and 2019.

Population development of London
year resident
50 7,500
140 30,000
200 50,000
300 15,000
400 4,500
500 500
700 5,000
900 5,000
1000 10,000
1100 15,000
1180 40,000
1300 100,000
1350 50,000
1500 125,000
Year / date resident
1600 200,000
1650 375,000
1700 575,000
1750 675,000
March 10, 1801 1,096,784
May 27, 1811 1,303,564
May 28, 1821 1,573,210
May 30, 1831 1,878,229
June 6, 1841 2,207,653
March 30, 1851 2,651,939
April 7, 1861 3,188,485
April 2, 1871 3,840,595
April 3, 1881 4,713,441
April 5, 1891 5,571,968
Year / date resident
March 31, 1901 6,506,889
April 2, 1911 7.160.441
June 19, 1921 7,386,755
April 26, 1931 8,110,358
September 29, 1939 8,615,050
April 8, 1951 8,196,807
April 23, 1961 7,992,443
April 25, 1971 7,368,693
April 5th 1981 6,608,598
April 21, 1991 6,679,699
April 29, 2001 7,172,091
July 1, 2006 7,512,400
2011 8,173,900
2019 8,961,989

Development of the living situation

Upscale townhouses on the outskirts of the city center near Earl's Court Square
Residential houses in Croydon

The residential and commercial areas from the 19th century have a relatively high residential density and a disproportionate proportion of immigrants and people with low incomes. Less dense forms of living, especially single and semi-detached houses inhabited by owners, are the dominant settlement pattern here.

The earlier contrast in the housing and living conditions of the population of British nationalities with high incomes in the West End and immigrants with low incomes in the East End is overshadowed by opposing trends. House prices in Great Britain roughly doubled between 2000 and 2011, but London has decoupled upwards. The average price of London houses is twice the UK average. In centrally located but quiet residential streets, especially in the west, in Kensington and Chelsea , prices averaged almost 6 million euros in 2011, 30 times the UK average. In the premium segment, 55 percent of the houses are bought by foreigners. A further increase of 20 percent was forecast up to 2016.

A new development is hidden behind the term “poor doors” (for example: “Doors for the poor”): Since social housing always has to be built in luxury new buildings, architects are planning a separate entrance and a separate staircase for the socially disadvantaged tenants.

At the end of 2015, for the first time in the city's modern history, the number of rented apartments exceeded the number of owner-occupied properties. The development is accelerating further, by 2025 over 60% tenants are expected. Reasons for this are seen in the steadily growing real estate market as well as in the enormously increasing number of inhabitants in recent years and decades.


City government

The City Hall , home of the Greater London Authority

In 1965, the Greater London administrative region , an amalgamation of the old Counties of London with Middlesex and parts of the counties of Essex , Hertfordshire , Kent and Surrey , was founded. Greater London is divided into 32 London Boroughs and the City of London . The boroughs are responsible for local self-government and the operation of most of the public facilities in their area. The City of London is historically administered by the City of London Corporation .

The Greater London Authority (GLA) coordinates the cooperation between the individual boroughs, is responsible for strategic planning and operates public institutions that operate across the city; this includes the London Fire Brigade , the police and public transport. The GLA consists of the Mayor of London (Lord Mayor) and the London Assembly (city parliament with 25 seats), both of which are located in City Hall . The current Mayor of London is Sadiq Khan ( Labor Party ). His predecessor was Boris Johnson , his predecessor Ken Livingstone . The latter ran against the official Labor candidate in 2000 , was expelled from the party after a nomination debacle, resumed under criticism in 2004 and confirmed for a second term before he was ultimately defeated by Johnson in the 2008 election. The Lord Mayor of London , the Mayor of the City of London, performs only ceremonial functions. On May 5, 2016, Sadiq Khan (Labor) was elected as the new Mayor of London. This is the first time that a Muslim is the highest representative of the British capital.

Previous administrative bodies were the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) from 1855 to 1889, the London County Council (LCC) from 1889 to 1965 and the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1965 to 1986. The GLC was established by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after political disputes dissolved between the government and GLC chairman Ken Livingstone. For 14 years London had no superordinate administration; Most of the tasks were delegated to the boroughs, some directly to the central government. This measure led to major coordination problems. Even after the establishment of the GLA in 2000, the boroughs have greater autonomy than they did during the GLC.

The police authority of the 32 London Boroughs is the Metropolitan Police Service , better known under the name Metropolitan Police or "the Met" for short. The City of London has its own police department, the City of London Police .

Town twinning

London has partnerships with the following cities.

City friendship

In December 2009, London became friends with the following city:

Culture and sights


Shakespeare Globe Theater London

London offers a wide range of cultural events. There are more than a dozen theaters in London's West End . Everything from classic to modern is played. There, among others, were Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals Cats and Phantom of the Opera premiered.

The Royal National Theater of the National Theater Company in Southbank and the Barbican Center of the Royal Shakespeare Company are among the many centers of professional theater spectacle. The Royal Court Theater , one of the most traditional stages in London, reopened in February 2000 after four years of renovation.

The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the most important British opera house. It is home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet . The first theater building at this point, the then Theater Royal (see Patent Theater ) was designed by Edward Shepherd. It opened on December 7, 1732 with a performance of William Congreve's The Way of the World . Although operas, for example by Handel , were performed as early as 1735 , the house remained mainly a theater.

The Theater Royal Drury Lane is a theater in London's West End. It has been home to major musical productions such as 42nd Street , Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady since the mid-1980s . The London Palladium is arguably the most famous London theater. In the 1950s, the popular in Great Britain variety show Sunday Night at the London Palladium was broadcast live on television.

The Theater Royal Haymarket (Haymarket Theater) is a theater on London's Haymarket. It was founded in 1720 by John Potter as the Little Theater - in allusion to the larger King's Theater (now Her Majesty's Theater ), which was also on Haymarket. Her Majesty's Theater is mainly used for musical performances. The Phantom of the Opera has been performed daily since October 9, 1986 .

St. Martin's Theater in the West End has been the venue for the play The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie since 1974 . The piece was previously played at the Ambassador Theater for over twenty-one years before it seamlessly moved to its current venue. Due to the uninterrupted running time since 1952, Die Mausefalle is the longest uninterrupted play in the world.

The Globe Theater on the south bank of the Thames is a reconstruction of the open-air theater designed in 1599. It was for this theater that William Shakespeare wrote many of his greatest plays. The season runs from May to September with productions by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and modern authors. Another well-known theater is the London Coliseum , which houses the English National Opera Company.

The London Dungeon is not a theater in the traditional sense. The Chamber of Horrors has been located on Westminster Bridge Road since March 2013 and presents its visitors with well-known events in the city's history from the past 2000 years. Actors guide you through the underground vaults and bring the Great Plague of London , the Great Fire of London , Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd back to life , among others .


London is home to five professional symphony orchestras. These are the London Symphony Orchestra , the London Philharmonic Orchestra , the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra . The highlight of each year is the "Last Night of the Proms" from the Royal Albert Hall, which is broadcast worldwide by the BBC .

Concert halls are the Barbican Hall , the Royal Festival Hall and Saint John's Church in Westminster. One of the most popular concert halls is Wigmore Hall behind Oxford Street. In June 2002, after extensive renovation work, parts of the Roman amphitheater, discovered in 1988 in what is now the financial district, were opened to the public.

At Trafalgar Square stands the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields . It was built between 1721 and 1726 according to the plans of the architect James Gibbs . Concerts are often held in the church; The orchestras performing there include the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the New Trinity Baroque Ensemble from the USA. In the crypt cafe was set up in the sometimes jazz groups occur. The parish is also home to one of the most famous church choirs in the world.

Abbey Road Studios are located in the City of Westminster . The building on the street of the same name was bought by EMI in 1929 and the studios opened on November 12, 1931. At the opening ceremony, Sir Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in Studio 1 and the historic recording of Land of Hope and Glory was made. The Beatles dedicated the album " Abbey Road " (1969) to the music recording studio .

Pink Floyd , who recorded their albums in the studios in the 1970s, soon became known as the studio's “house band”. Among other things, " The Dark Side of the Moon " was created here . Studio 1 has also been used as a recording studio for orchestral film music since the 1980s. The first film that got its background music here was Raiders of the Lost Ark with the music of John Williams . The music for The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter films were also recorded here.

The O₂ is an entertainment complex formerly known as the Millennium Dome. Numerous well-known international artists have performed in the O2 Arena, the actual concert hall, such as Britney Spears , Justin Timberlake and the Spice Girls .


The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square

The British Museum in Bloomsbury is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world . There are over six million exhibits in it. The Reading Room, a circular reading room where Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi studied, is also famous . The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court (architect: Norman Foster ) was completed in time for the millennium . It is the largest covered courtyard in Europe.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington has a collection of art treasures from around the world, including sculptures, clothing and costumes, precious china and glass vessels, furniture and musical instruments. Not far away are the Science Museum (Science Museum) and the Natural History Museum (Natural History Museum) .

In the Science Museum , exhibitions from the fields of astronomy, meteorology, biochemistry, electronics, navigation, aviation and photography are shown in the galleries on five levels. The classics among the exhibits include telescopes from Galileo Galilei and a microscope from George Adams , the first steam locomotive Puffing Billy , the first telephone from Alexander Graham Bell , a Rolls-Royce from 1909, a flying machine from Otto Lilienthal and the command module of the Spaceship Apollo 10 .

The Natural History Museum contains around 40 million different objects from the flora and fauna , including numerous dinosaur skeletons , fossils (including an Archeopteryx ), a 30-meter-long skeleton of a blue whale or the model of the dodo bird, which died out around 1690 .

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square has a rich collection of paintings, from its early beginnings in Italy to works by Cézanne and Seurat. Next door is the National Portrait Gallery , which has over 9,000 portraits on display. In 1897, the Tate Gallery opened on the quayside between Chelsea and Westminster. It includes the largest collection of British paintings from the 16th century to the present day. Across from St Paul's Cathedral, the Tate Modern , an offshoot of the Tate Gallery, opened in June 2000 and was built by the two Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron . The Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square shows modern art. It was opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi.

The Imperial War Museum (Reichskriegsmuseum) is one of the most important war museums in the world. It primarily shows exhibits from the two world wars, such as cannons and vehicles. One of four floors is devoted in detail to the Third Reich . Smaller sections apply to some other wars of the 20th century such as the Vietnam War and the Falklands War . There are also temporary exhibitions.

Madame Tussaud's wax museum is one of the capital's greatest attractions. Lifelike wax figures of historical figures and people from contemporary history , such as athletes, film stars, fashion designers and models, are exhibited. Receiving a place in the Madame Tussauds exhibition is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a person today. The founder of the museum, which opened in 1835, was Marie Tussaud (1761–1850).

Right in the city is the Museum of London , whose exhibitions show the development of London from its beginnings to the present day. Other well-known museums and exhibitions include the Cabinet War Rooms , the London Transport Museum , Somerset House and the Sherlock Holmes Museum on 221B Baker Street .

Entry to all state museums and galleries has been free since 2001. This does not apply to Madame Tussauds, as it is a private exhibition. Entry is also required in the Cabinet War Rooms. The Churchill Museum is affiliated with the CWR, and no separate entry is required to visit it.


Streets and squares

The Trafalgar Square is a large square in the center of the British capital, as its real center, he is considered by many. It is the largest square in London and has been a central meeting place since the Middle Ages. In 2003 it was reopened after a major renovation. In the center of the square is a memorial that the Londoners erected in gratitude for Admiral Nelson's victory by the British over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar . The Nelson Column (German: Nelsonsäule), built in 1842 with the admiral on top, is 55 meters as high as Nelson's flagship HMS Victory from the keel to the top of the mast.

About two thirds of the route from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square is called Whitehall , the remaining third is called Parliament Street . The Cenotaph , the main war memorial in Britain, is in the middle of the street and is the site of the annual Remembrance Day commemorations . The central part of the street is dominated by military buildings, including the British Ministry of Defense and the former headquarters of the British Army (now Horse Guards ) and the Royal Navy ( Admiralty ).

The Downing Street , the famous street in the city center, the official official and residences are located on over two hundred years ago by two of the most important British government members - the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Chancellor of the Exchequer. The most famous number on Downing Street is number 10. This is the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury and thus the Prime Minister, as both offices are held by one and the same person. Downing Street is a side street off Whitehall in central London, steps from the Houses of Parliament and runs towards Buckingham Palace.

Piccadilly Street is in the city center and is one of the most famous streets in the city. It stretches from Piccadilly Circus in the northeast to Hyde Park Corner in the southwest. Worth seeing are the Fortnum & Mason store from 1707, which specializes in food , the Hotel Ritz with its neoclassical architecture from 1906 and the Royal Academy of Arts from 1868 in Burlington House . Piccadilly Circus is best known for its Eros fountain and the huge neon advertising wall on a winding corner house. The square was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street to Piccadilly shopping street. Due to its central location in the heart of the West End, its proximity to major shopping and entertainment venues as well as the major traffic arteries that intersect here, it is a very popular meeting place.

Secular structures

360 degree panorama of St Paul's Cathedral (2007)

Tower of London

The Tower of London as seen from the River Thames.

On the north bank of the Thames is the Tower of London , a medieval complex of several fortified buildings along the river that served as a fortress, stronghouse , royal palace and prison, especially for upper-class prisoners. The mint, the state archive, an arsenal and an observatory were also housed there.

All English kings and queens lived there for a time up to James I. It was customary for the monarch to spend the night in the Tower before the day of his coronation and then ride in a ceremonial procession through the city to Westminster. Today the British Crown Jewels are kept in the Tower , as well as a rich collection of weapons.

In 1078, William the Conqueror ordered the White Tower to be built here. It was supposed to protect the Normans from the people of the City of London , but also from London in general. In the centuries that followed, the fortress was constantly expanded.

It is surrounded by a wide moat. An outer wall protects the inner buildings. In the middle of the area stands the mighty “White Tower”. From a distance it looks square, but three of the corners do not form right angles and all four sides are of different lengths.

In 1988, UNESCO declared the building a World Heritage Site.

Tower bridge

The Tower Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames. It connects the City of London on the north side with the borough of Southwark in the borough of the same name ( London Borough of Southwark ) on the south side. It is a bascule bridge built in the neo-Gothic style and the Thames bridge located on the easternmost point; The main road A100 runs above it. The Tower of London (after which the bridge is named) and St Katharine Docks are on the north bank, and City Hall is on the south bank . The bridge is owned by Bridge House Estates, a City of London Corporation charity that is also responsible for its maintenance. Tower Bridge is sometimes incorrectly called London Bridge , but this is the next bridge upstream.

The Tower Bridge is 244 meters long, the height of the two bridge towers is 65 meters. The roadway between the towers, which are 61 meters apart, is nine meters above the river, and the pedestrian bridge is 43 meters. The two receiver can be folded up to an angle of 83 degrees to allow larger ships to pass through. Tower Bridge was completed in 1894.

Palace of Westminster

The best- known tower in London is the 98-meter-high Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben , the heaviest of the five bells that play the famous Westminster chime at 13 tons . The clock tower is part of the Palace of Westminster , a monumental, in the neo-gothic built style building where the from the House of Commons and the House of Lords existing British Parliament in session. The palace is located in the City of Westminster on Parliament Square , in close proximity to Whitehall . It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

The oldest surviving part of the palace is Westminster Hall from 1097. Originally it was the residence of the English kings, but no monarch has lived here since 1529. Little remains of the original building, as it was almost completely destroyed in a devastating fire in 1834. The architect responsible for the reconstruction was Charles Barry .

The main rooms of the palace are the council chambers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. There are also around 1,100 other rooms, including meeting rooms, libraries, lobbies, dining rooms, bars and sports halls. In British parlance, the term Westminster is often synonymous with parliament, so it is a metonym for parliament.

Buckingham Palace

The Buckingham Palace in the district City of Westminster is the official residence of the British monarch in London. In addition to its function as Queen Elizabeth II's apartment , it also serves as a venue for official state events. It welcomes foreign heads of state on their visit to Great Britain. It is also an important attraction for tourists. The original Georgian interior design included, at the suggestion of Sir Charles Long, the lavish use of marble painting ("Scagliola") in bright colors and blue and pink lapis lazuli .

Under King Edward VII a large-scale refurbishment in the style of the Belle Époque took place. A color scheme consisting of a combination of cream tones and gold was used. Many of the smaller reception rooms are designed in the Chinese Regency architectural style. They were furnished with furniture and decorations that were brought from the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and Carlton House after the death of King George IV .

St James's Palace

The St James's Palace is located in the City of Westminster. The building was the official London residence of the respective British monarchs until 1837. It is still the official administrative seat of the royal court today. Great Britain's ambassadors are accredited here . The proclamation of a new monarch also takes place here. The building was erected by Henry VIII between 1532 and 1540 .

Today the palace is inhabited by the Prince of Wales and other relatives of the Queen. The former seat of the British Queen Mother , Clarence House , is within the palace walls. The property is only separated from Buckingham Palace by St. James's Park . An interesting spectacle is the changing of the guard at the palace. In the summer months from April to July this takes place daily, otherwise every two days.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a castle in the district of Richmond upon Thames, next to Bushy Park . Buildings and parks were changed and expanded among the various residents, so that architectural elements of the Tudor style and the English Baroque are preserved today. The castle was the residence of numerous British kings and queens.

Since the reign of George III. British monarchs inhabit other London castles and Queen Victoria opened the palace to the public in 1838. Parts of the palace were rented to deserving veterans. In 1986 a fire broke out in such an apartment, which partially destroyed the palace. The reconstruction work lasted until 1995.

Kensington Palace

The Kensington Palace is located in the district of Kensington and Chelsea . Remodeled by Sir Christopher Wren , the castle was previously a private estate and was owned by Mary II and William III in 1689 . developed so as not to have to endure the moisture of the Whitehall in winter . Over the next 70 years the palace became increasingly important for the social and political life of the country.

During the lifetimes of George I and George II , the property was lavishly furnished with state apartments and received an outstanding collection of furniture and paintings. The elaborate ceiling decorations by William Kent are particularly well-known . After George II suddenly died in 1760, the building became less and less important. To this day, a ruling monarch has never lived here again. However, parts of the palace are inhabited by members of the royal family.


The Shard is the tallest building in Great Britain Skyscraper in the City of London
The Shard is the tallest building in Great Britain
Skyscraper in the City of London

Since the turn of the millennium, London has been experiencing a construction boom in the field of skyscrapers, which can be seen in the 310 meter high The Shard , the 288 meter high Pinnacle and around thirty other skyscrapers with a height of more than 150 meters. The Shard was the tallest building in Europe from July to October 2012.

East of the city center are the Docklands on both sides of the Thames , which also includes Canary Wharf with One Canada Square . At 236 meters tall and 50 stories tall, it is the second tallest habitable building in Britain after The Shard . (The Emley Moor television tower , the tallest free-standing structure in Great Britain near Huddersfield , is 330 meters high.) The building is flanked by two other skyscrapers, which were built ten years later and are both 200 meters high: HSBC Tower (8 Canada Square) and Citigroup Center (25 Canada Square). Other skyscrapers can be found in central London, including Tower 42 and 30 St Mary Ax .

London Eye

The London Eye at night with Christmas lights

On the south bank of the Thames, near Westminster Bridge , is the London Eye ferris wheel . The facility, which with a height of 135.36 meters was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world until the beginning of 2006, should be completed by the turn of the year 2000. Due to safety deficiencies, the construction was not put into operation until a few weeks later.

The London Eye has 32 capsules made almost entirely of glass, each of which can accommodate up to 25 people. The wheel rotates at a speed of 0.26 m / s and takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution. If visibility is optimal, you can see up to 40 kilometers from the Ferris wheel, including as far as Windsor Castle, which is a little outside the city . The axis of rotation and supports of the ferris wheel were supplied by the Czech engineering company Škoda , the hub ( spherical roller bearing ) by FAG Kugelfischer from Schweinfurt .

Battersea Power Station

The Battersea Power Station is a former coal plant in the district of Wandsworth , which was from 1933 to 1983 in operation. The distinctive four-chimney building is on the south bank of the Thames near Grosvenor Bridge .

Battersea Power Station is featured on the music albums of numerous British pop and rock bands. The best known is the illustration on the cover of the 1977 album Animals by Pink Floyd , which shows the power plant with a large plastic pig floating between the chimneys. Other examples include the album Quadrophenia by The Who (1973), Adventures Beyond The Ultra World of The Orb , Live Frogs: Set 2 of Les Claypool 's Frog Brigade (a cover of Animals ) and Power Ballads by London Electricity .

Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier on the River Thames in the Woolwich borough is the largest movable flood protection barrier in the world. Planning for the structure began after a severe storm surge in 1953 that killed 307 people. Construction began in 1974. The inauguration took place on May 8, 1984 by Queen Elisabeth II.

The barrage consists of ten pivoting gates. In order not to hinder shipping traffic, they are lowered to the bottom of the Thames when open. Ships with a draft of up to 16 meters can then easily pass through the barrage. The four middle gates through which the shipping traffic runs are each 60 meters wide, 10.5 meters high and each weigh 1500 tons. The entire structure is 523 meters long. If a storm surge threatens, the gates can be closed within 15 minutes.

Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge has been a direct link between St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Gallery of Modern Art since June 10, 2000 .

Sacred buildings

St Paul's Cathedral

In the City of London , about 300 meters north of the Thames, is St Paul's Cathedral , designed by Christopher Wren , the main church of the Anglican Church in London. The carvings of the choir stalls are by Grinling Gibbons , the wrought iron choir screens by Jean Tijou . It was not until 1890 that the glass mosaics on the ceiling above the choir were completed by William Richmond. The high altar , built according to Wren's plans, is the work of Dykes Bower and Godfrey Allan, who completed it in 1958.

The cathedral has a cruciform base that is oriented in an east-west direction. In the middle of this cross is a dome on which there is a 750 ton lantern that ends at a height of 111 meters. In order to dissipate this enormous load, a conical stone structure is located between the outer and inner dome, which rests on the massive crossing pillars.

Located on the dome base in about 30 meters high in the church an annular dealing with a diameter of 34 meters, known as the Whispering Gallery , the whispering gallery . The sound is reflected back again and again into the interior of the ring through the curved walls, so that a whispered word can be carried to the other side of the dome. She is 365 feet tall, one foot for every day of the year.

If one climbs up to the top, one arrives at the Golden Gallery, with the possibility of a view over London. Under the church there is an extensive crypt in which many important figures from British history are buried.

St Margaret's Church

The St Margaret's Church is an Anglican church. It is located in the City of Westminster on Parliament Square , next to Westminster Abbey and across from the Palace of Westminster . It is the parish church of the British Parliament .

The east window with Flemish stained glass from 1509, made in memory of the engagement of Arthur Tudor , the older brother of Henry VIII , to Catherine of Aragon is worth seeing . Other stained glass windows recall William Caxton , the first English printer, Sir Walter Raleigh , who was buried here in 1618, and the poet John Milton , a member of the parish.

The Bohemian engraver Wenceslaus Hollar is one of the people who found their final resting place in the church . Numerous celebrities were married at St Margaret's, including Samuel Pepys and his wife, as well as Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier. The church was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

Westminster Abbey

Main entrance to Westminster Abbey, in the background on the right the Victoria Tower

Westminster Abbey is a church in the City of Westminster. Traditionally, the kings of England are crowned and buried here. The Collegiate Church of Collegiate St. Peter, Westminster belongs to the Church of England , but not because of their function diocese belong, but own church (royal Peculia) of the British monarchy.

The main entrance is on the west side. The portal is framed by depictions of the four Christian virtues Truth, Justice, Mercy, Peace and martyrs of the 20th century. In the central nave is the grave of the Unknown Soldier . In the soil of the Belgian battlefields, an unknown soldier from the First World War rests “in the midst of the kings, because he served his God and Fatherland well”, as an inscription on black marble proclaims. The fallen of both world wars are also remembered in the St. George's Chapel.

Numerous famous British statesmen are buried in the left (north) transept, including William Pitt , Palmerston , Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone . From the northern part of the transept one enters the "Chapel of Edward the Confessor " , located behind the high altar . In the middle is the coffin of the king who died in 1066. Behind it is the coronation chair, in which the stone from Scone was located until 1996 .
The Scottish kings were crowned on this stone for centuries until Edward I took it from the Scots in 1297. The stone was stolen at Christmas 1950 and only found again after a long search. It was officially returned to Scotland in 1996 and has been in Edinburgh Castle ever since . The stone is a symbol of the unity of the kingdoms of England and Scotland.
In this chapel there are also the coffins of Henry III. , Edward I., Edward III. , Richard II. And Heinrich V. UNESCO declared the church a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Westminster Cathedral

The Westminster Cathedral is the Catholic Main Church of Wales and England. It is located in the City of Westminster . Archbishop Nicholas Wiseman (1802–1865) began fundraising for the new cathedral. He was the first Roman Catholic cardinal and archbishop in England after the Reformation . However, construction could not begin until 1895. The cathedral was opened in 1903.

The Byzantine style was chosen for the construction . From the outside, the building captivates with the elaborately designed brick facade, the high dome and, last but not least, the free-standing bell tower, which is completely atypical for this width . Inside it surprises with the spatial effect and above all with the mosaics on the ceilings and walls, which are constantly being completed. In the Holy Souls Chapel in the aisle, more than 100 different types of marble were used.

Neasden Temple

The Neasden Temple (Shri Swaminarayan Mandir) in the district of Brent is the largest Hindu temple outside of India after the temple in Tividale ( West Midlands ) . It was established in the 1990s by a Hindu sect, the Swaminarayan Mission from Ahmedabad (India). The domes and turrets are made of Carrara marble and Bulgarian limestone ; inside the altars are decorated with flowers of Hindu gods (murtis). Each of the 26,300 processed stones has a different motif.

The structure was assembled within three years and opened on August 20, 1995. Iron girders have been dispensed with in the construction, as steel, according to Hindu understanding, emits magnetic waves that disrupt meditation calm. The temple houses the permanent exhibition "Understanding Hinduism" and a cultural center.

Aziziye Mosque

The Aziziye Mosque in the Stoke Newington district is mainly used by the Turkish community.


The Greenwich Park , Canary Wharf in the background

London has a large number of luxurious green spaces. The Royal Parks were once reserved for the English and British monarchs and were converted into public parks at the beginning of the 19th century. Over 200 parks spread over around 220 square kilometers.

Greenwich Park is one of those royal parks in London. It is located in the Greenwich borough in south-east London. In 1997, Greenwich Park and its buildings were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO . On the northern edge of the 73 hectare site are the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House , a former royal palace. On a hill in the middle of the park is the Royal Greenwich Observatory . The small square in front of the observatory is adorned with a statue of General James Wolfe .

The Hyde Park with Marble Arch and Speakers' Corner , which at the Kensington Gardens adjacent, has been a long time referred to as the "lungs of London". Regent's Park in the north of the West End is surrounded by elegant residential buildings designed for the Prince Regent . This park also includes the zoological garden ( London Zoo ). In the middle of the city center are Green Park and St. James's Park .

Aerial view from Hyde Park

The Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens) are an extensive park area with important greenhouses . They are located between Richmond upon Thames and Kew in southwest London and are among the oldest botanical gardens in the world. There are plants and plants to be seen there that cannot be found anywhere else in Europe or even in the northern hemisphere. In addition to the world-famous Victorian greenhouses, Kew Gardens also features extensive parks with very old rhododendrons . On July 3, 2003, the Royal Botanic Gardens were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks, covering ten square kilometers. It is located in the boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames in south-west London. Richmond Park was originally the deer hunting area of ​​King Edward I , but today it is the largest walled park in Europe in an urban area. The main attractions are a herd of 650 elk and fallow deer that can roam freely, as well as the Isabella Plantation , an area with numerous rare plant species.

In January 2001 the Thames Barrier Park was completed; the system was built near the Thames Barrier on old docks. There are several other extensive green spaces in the outer boroughs of London, such as Bushy Park and Hampstead Heath .


London football clubs have won the national championship 21 times and the FA Cup , the national cup competition, a total of 40 times ; Both times, Arsenal FC is the most successful London club with 13 titles each. In London there are currently (as of 2018/19) at least 16 professional football clubs; most are named after the district in which they play their home games. In addition to Arsenal, Chelsea , Crystal Palace , Fulham , Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are represented in the Premier League in the 2018/19 season . In the Football League Championship , the second division, play Brentford , Millwall and the Queens Park Rangers . Plus, there's the Football League clubs Charlton Athletic and AFC Wimbledon and in the fünftklassigen National League the Barnet FC , the FC Bromley , Dagenham & Redbridge , Leyton Orient and Sutton United .

There are six professional rugby union clubs in London, five of which play in the top division, the English Premiership : Wasps , Saracens , Harlequins , London Irish and the London Welsh, which were promoted in 2014 . London's Twickenham Stadium is the largest rugby stadium in the world. The English national rugby union team traditionally plays their home games here, for example at the annual Six Nations . The stadium was also the venue for the final of the World Cup between Australia and New Zealand , which the "All Blacks" won 34:17. The London Scottish play in the 2nd division, the RFU Championship . The rugby league club London Broncos plays in the Super League .

London Marathon 2013

In Wembley , a part of the borough of Brent , the legendary was Wembley . This is where the finals of the 1966 Soccer World Cup , the 1996 European Soccer Championship and the 2021 Soccer Championship took place. It was replaced by a new building when it was officially opened in 2007. The stadium is the annual venue for the final of the FA Cup , the largest round-based cup competition in English football. The Rugby League has held its Challenge Cup final in the stadium since 1929 . In addition to special events, Wembley has also hosted regular events such as greyhound races and motorcycle races . The wrestling league WWF (now WWE ) also hosted the 1992 Summerslam event at Wembley Stadium.

One attraction is the boat race between the two most prestigious English universities, Oxford and Cambridge . The famous rowing race of their two eights takes place annually in March or April on the Thames .

Tower Bridge with Olympic Rings (2012)

Cricket is very popular in London . The Middlesex County Cricket Club plays in Lord's , the most famous cricket stadium in the world, which the Marylebone Cricket Club heard. The Surrey County Cricket Club at The Oval Stadium . Lord's has hosted five Cricket World Cup finals ( 1975 , 1979 , 1983 , 1999 and 2019 ), more than any other cricket stadium. On July 14, 2019, England won the Cricket World Cup by number of boundaries for the first time after the actual game and the necessary Super Over against New Zealand ended in a draw.

In Wimbledon every June the most important finds Grand Slam -Tennisturniere instead. The London Marathon , one of the most popular marathons in the world , is held every April .

The 2007 Tour de France started in July in London.

With the award of the 2012 Olympic Games to the British capital, London was the first city to host the Games for the third time - after 1908 and 1948 .

Regular events

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace

On January 1st, the New Years Parade takes place from Parliament Square to Berkeley Square. The Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown in the Soho district take place on the second new moon after the winter solstice , between January 21 and February 21. Since the Chinese calendar, unlike the Gregorian calendar, is defined astronomically, the Chinese New Year falls on a different day every year.

London's Chinatown, festively decorated for the Chinese New Year celebrations

A wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Banqueting House and a procession from St James's Palace at the end of January commemorates the execution of King Charles I on January 30, 1649 (Commemoration of King Charles I).

The Changing of the Guard of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace is one of the oldest and most famous ceremonies and takes place almost every day of the year. The detachment is accompanied by military bands playing traditional marches, pieces from popular West End theater shows, and popular pop songs.

The product allegedly 700-year old Ceremony of the Keys (Ceremony of the Keys), the main gates of be Tower of London every evening from the main keeper of the Tower (Chief Yeoman Warder), escorted by guardsmen closed.

Gun salutes are fired on February 6 (Accession Day), April 21 (Queen's Birthday), June 2 (Coronation Day) and June 10 (Birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh). If the appointment falls on a Sunday, the gun salute will be fired on the following day. At 12 p.m. 41 shots were fired by the King's Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park and at 1 p.m. the Honorable Artillery Company fired 62 shots at the Tower of London. Gun salutes are also given at the flag parade and the opening of parliament.

The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street carnivals in Europe

The Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations For the occasion of Shakespeare's birthday on 23 April each year on the Saturday, which is the day closest to Shakespeare's Globe Theater. A classical music festival is the Hampton Court Palace Music Festival in early to mid June at Hampton Court Palace . The City of London Festival features music, theater and dance in a variety of locations from late June to mid-July. Promenade Concerts (The BBC Proms) there from July to September in the Royal Albert Hall .

The Notting Hill Carnival , Europe's largest street carnival with a Caribbean flair, takes place in Notting Hill at the end of August . In September, the Thames Festival hosts arts, sports and numerous events on the river between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges. Every year on the first Sunday in October in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields of the Thanksgiving Service (Pearly Harvest Festival Service) of the London market trader (Cockney Pearly Kings and Queens) instead.

The Trafalgar Day Parade to mark Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory in the Battle of Trafalgar can be seen in Trafalgar Square on October 21 . The Bonfire Night is a fireworks display to commemorate the discovery of the gunpowder plot ( Gunpowder Plot ) against the English Parliament and the arrest of their leader Guy Fawkes on November 5, 1605. It takes place Saturday night at 5 November in almost all parts of London instead.


The Camden Market in London's Camden Town

There are more than 30,000 stores in the British capital. A special feature of the city is that certain sectors are concentrated in some districts. There are numerous fashion stores on King's Road, and many designer shops and galleries on Old and New Bond Streets. Saville Row and Jermyn Street are known for their bespoke tailoring, Oxford and Regent Street for their clothing stores and large department stores such as Hamleys and Selfridges . HMV is the only remaining CD / vinyl megastore spanning three floors on Oxford Street.

Electronics and computer stores are predominantly concentrated in Tottenham Court Road. Charing Cross Road is known for its bookstores. Waterstones , one of the largest bookstores in the world, is located in Piccadilly Circus . There are numerous clothing and shoe stores on Neal Street. Covent Garden is home to many specialty shops, cafes, and stalls selling handicrafts.

The Burlington Arcade

Major shopping malls are Leadenhall Market , Burlington Arcade and Piccadilly Arcade. Harrods is one of the most famous department stores in the city. The building is located on Brompton Road in the Knightsbridge borough to the south west of the city center. The grocery department on the ground floor is famous with its so-called “Food Halls” and their various Art Nouveau furnishings. The lighting on the facade, which consists of around 100,000 light bulbs, is worth seeing. On October 30, 2008, Europe's largest inner-city shopping center Westfield opened in the Shepherd's Bush district . Westfield Stratford has been Europe's largest shopping center right next to the Olympic Park since 2011.

You can learn about local culture by visiting London's markets. Worth mentioning are the weekend market on Chalk Farm Road by Camden Lock and the antiques and flea market on Portobello Road . The Sunday markets on Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane in the East End offer almost everything from fruit and vegetables to antiques and jewelry. There is a flower market on Columbia Road, and antiques and handicrafts markets are in Spitalfields and Camden Passage in Islington. Brixton Market on Electric Avenue offers a wide variety of Caribbean food.


According to a study from 2014, Greater London has a gross domestic product of 836 billion US dollars (KKB). In the ranking of the world's best performing metropolitan regions, it was fifth behind Tokyo , New York City, Los Angeles and Seoul .

In London, the manufacturing industries have lost their importance for many years. Only ten percent of the workforce is currently employed in this sector. The printing and publishing industry still has the best sales figures. It provides a quarter of the jobs mentioned and a third of the total production in London.

The high-tech industry, which specializes in electronic and pharmaceutical products, operates successfully with high sales. Many of the industrial establishments, which are predominantly in the outer boroughs, tend to withdraw entirely from London. Clothing factories and breweries are represented in the light industry sector .

Part of the London skyline as seen from Waterloo Bridge
Skyscraper in Canary Wharf

Today, only ten percent of Great Britain's domestic and foreign trade is handled via the port of London. Since 1971, the city's economic growth rate of 1.4 percent has been lower than that of the entire country, which is 1.9 percent. Nonetheless, London has a positive trade balance, which is largely due to the service sector - especially financial services and tourism. Every year around 16 million tourists visit the city.

In 2004 the capital had a share of 19 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP). The metropolitan area's share of UK GDP was 30 percent in 1999. More than half of the 100 largest corporations in the country and over 100 of the 500 largest companies in Europe are headquartered in London. The city is also still the largest of the three global financial centers .

The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland International Stock Exchange is located in the City of London . The repeal of regulations, known as the Big Bang , enabled entry into the modern world of electronic finance in 1986. The London Metal Exchange is the most important in the world, and the London Stock Exchange ranks third behind the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange . The ICE Futures (formerly "International Petroleum Exchange," IPE) is trading platform for Europe's leading oil grade Brent . It is the largest futures exchange for options and futures on oil , natural gas and electricity in Europe.

The London Bullion Market is the main over-the-counter trading venue for gold and silver . The world market price for gold has been determined here since 1919 and the world market price for silver since 1897 . The pricing for the precious metals platinum and palladium takes place at the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM). Like the London Bullion Market, the LPPM is the exception among the commodity markets: it is not an exchange, but an OTC market.

Some of the main banks in the country, such as the Bank of England , Barclays , Barings Bank and HSBC , are based in the capital. Several hundred international banks have branches in London. Another service area is insurance, to which the city has owed its prosperity for over 300 years. Lloyd's of London is the best-known institution, not as an insurance company in the strictest sense, but as an exchange for insurance contracts. It is a community of insurers that handles almost every type of insurance in the international market.

A special feature of the London power supply was the use of the HVDC Kingsnorth , the only inner-city system for high-voltage direct current transmission to date . This system, which was put into operation in 1975, apparently did not have to have proven itself very well and has since been shut down. The privatized company Thames Water is responsible for the city's water supply . London has a water supply network that is around 150 years old and has always been invested in sparingly. Around 30 percent of tap water seeps into London underground every day.


Radio and television

Front view of the Bush House

London is the headquarters of major radio and television companies such as ( BBC , ITV , Channel 4 , Five and Sky ). The Bush House between Aldwych and Strand housed the BBC World Service and the BBCi's New Media Department until 2012 .

The BBC was founded on October 18, 1922 in London as an independent radio station. The first broadcast of a program took place on November 14, 1922 from a London studio. The BBC operates several radio and television channels.

Print media

All of the country's major daily and weekly newspapers are based in London. The Fleet Street has traditionally been since the 18th century, the home of the British press.

The tabloids The Sun , Daily Express , Daily Mail (conservative) and Daily Mirror (closely related to Labor) and their sister newspapers, which appear on Sundays, are predominantly the largest newspapers in the city and some have circulations in the millions.

The Daily Telegraph is a conservative newspaper founded in 1855. The circulation is 905,000 copies (as of 2005). The newspaper often attracts attention because of its extremely critical reporting on the EU. Sister newspaper is the weekly newspaper The Sunday Telegraph . Another title of the group is The Spectator magazine .

The Times is a conservative daily newspaper with a circulation of 693,000 copies. Outside the UK, it is sometimes referred to as The London Times or The Times of London to distinguish it from many other newspapers called the Times . The Times was founded in 1785 as The Daily Universal Register .

The Guardian is a daily newspaper founded in 1821 with a circulation of 380,000 copies. It is counted together with the Daily Telegraph and The Times to the serious and respected newspapers in Great Britain - the "Quality Papers" -, in contrast to the tabloids, the "Tabloids". Their overall political orientation can be described as left-wing liberal. With the Observer , an important Sunday newspaper appears in the same publishing house, which shares the direction of its sister newspaper.

The Independent is one of the UK's four major reputable daily newspapers. The Sunday edition appears under the name The Independent on Sunday . Like The Guardian, it is more likely to be assigned to the left-wing spectrum of opinion. The Independent was founded in 1986 and has a circulation of 260,000 copies.

The Financial Times is one of the most important business newspapers in the world, of which a German edition was published until December 7, 2012 .

News agencies

With Reuters , one of the world's largest news agencies is based in the capital. The company was initially founded by Paul Julius Reuter in Aachen in 1850 , where he transmitted share data between Aachen and Brussels by mail pigeon . When a telegraph connection was set up between the two cities , Reuters stopped the "flight service". After emigrating to London, he set up another company to transmit stock exchange prices to Paris via the submarine cable between Dover and Calais . Today the company generates 90 percent of its sales with stock market and business information.


London is the hub of road, rail and air transport in the United Kingdom. Transport is the direct responsibility of the Mayor of London , who delegates operational matters to Transport for London (TfL). TfL is responsible for most of the local public transport . This includes the subway, buses, trams and light rail vehicles, but not suburban rail traffic and air traffic. In addition, TfL regulates the taxi business and is responsible for the maintenance of the most important main roads.

Rail transport

See also: London railway junction

The heart of local public transport is the London Underground , the world's oldest underground railway , the first section of which opened in 1863. The subway is used by more than a billion passengers annually. It opens up the city center and most of the suburbs north of the Thames . The south of the city, on the other hand, is mainly served by a close-knit network of suburban railways.

The driverless light rail Docklands Light Railway opens up the former docklands port area in the east of the city and has made a significant contribution to the regeneration of this district. After the first London tram was discontinued in 1952, the new Tramlink tram has been operating in the southern part of Croydon since 2000 .

With a few exceptions, suburban and intercity express trains do not cross the city area, but run to and from 14 main train stations that are distributed around the city center. The Eurostar trains connect London with Paris and Brussels via the Eurotunnel .

Road traffic

London double decker bus

See also: List of bus routes in London

While most journeys in the city center are made by public transport, traffic in the outer parts of the city is dominated by cars. The inner ring road around the city center, the A406 (North Circular Road) and the A205 (South Circular) in the suburbs and the M25 motorway around the entire metropolitan area connect numerous radial and busy arterial roads. Motorways only lead into the inner city districts in exceptional cases.

In 2003, an inner city toll called the London Congestion Charge was introduced to reduce traffic in the inner city, which is characterized by narrow and often congested streets. The daily fee payable was £ 5 through July 4, 2005, £ 8 through January 3, 2011, and then increased to £ 10 per day.

The network of London buses connects all parts of the city with a dense network of routes . Every day around six million passengers are carried on over 700 lines , about twice as many as with the London Underground. The red double-decker buses are just as much an internationally known symbol of the city as the black taxis .

Greater London airports

air traffic

With Heathrow, London has the busiest airport in Europe. Together with the other five international airports Gatwick , Luton , Stansted , City Airport and London Southend Airport , the metropolis forms an important center of international air traffic. In 2006, a total of 137 million passengers were handled at London airports. Heathrow and City Airport are within Greater London and the rest are outside. Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted are connected to the city center by Airport Express trains and coaches from various providers. In addition, Heathrow is the only one of London's airports to have an underground connection. City Airport is also connected via the Docklands Light Railway .

There are also several airports for private and commercial air traffic in and around London . These are Northolt Aerodrome , Biggin Hill Airport and Farnborough Airfield .

Airport IATA code ICAO code position annotation
London Heathrow Airport LHR EGLL on the western outskirts of London Europe's largest airport in terms of passenger volume and the sixth largest in the world
Gatwick Airport LGW EGKK around 40 km south of London second largest airport in London and Great Britain
London Stansted Airport STN EGSS about 55 km northeast of London in the county of Essex -
London City Airport LCY EGLC east of City of London in Docklands in the London Borough of Newham -
London Luton Airport LTN EGGW about 50 km northwest of London in the city of Luton -
London Southend Airport SEN EGMC about 50 km east of London near Southend-on-Sea Recognized as a London Airport by IATA since August 2012
London Biggin Hill Airport BQH EGKB on the southern outskirts of London Basis for private and small aircraft
London Oxford Airport OXF EGTK about 100 km northwest of London -
Farnborough Airfield FAB EGLF about 50 km southwest of London -



The universities and colleges in London can look back on a long history. London is also the city with the most students. The universities of London can be divided into two groups.

The federally organized University of London is one of the largest universities in Europe with over 100,000 students. It consists of over 50 colleges and institutes that have a high degree of autonomy. The largest and most prestigious colleges are University College London , King's College , Queen Mary , the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the London Business School . Smaller schools and institutes specialize in specific areas of knowledge, such as the School of Oriental and African Studies , the Institute of Education, and Birkbeck College .

There are also other universities that are not affiliated with the University of London, such as Imperial College and City University in the historic city center. Some universities used to be technical colleges until a change in law in 1992 gave them university status (such as the University of East London ), while others were established long before the University of London was founded. These include Middlesex University in north London, Brunel University in the west and London South Bank University .

Art schools

London is the UK's center of artistic education. The four conservatories are the Royal College of Music , the Royal Academy of Music , Trinity College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama . The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the Central School of Speech and Drama specialize in acting .

The Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design , the Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Camberwell School of Art (all part of the University of the Arts London ) deal with art , as well as Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Fine Art (both part of the University of London) as well as the Royal College of Art and the Wimbledon School of Art . The former Hornsey School of Art is now part of Middlesex University .

Medicine and research

There are numerous medical schools in London. Some have been around for centuries, including Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry , Guy's Hospital, and St Thomas' Hospital . The Imperial College is a leading center of scientific research and in terms of its reputation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to compare. The Royal Institution is also important .

City of London personalities

See also

Portal: London  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of London


Web links

Wiktionary: London  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : London  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: London  - Quotes
Wikisource: London  - Sources and full texts
Wikivoyage: London  travel guide

Individual evidence

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