London Part 1 of 4: Interview – History – Big Ben – Westminster Abbey – London Eye -Trafalgar Square – Tower of London – Tower Bridge



00:00 – 01:20 > Intro & Interview David
01:21 – 02:35 > Population, History, Basics
02:36 – 03:05 > Big Ben
03:06 – 03:25 > Westminster Abbey
03:26 – 04:15 > Trafalgar Square
04:16 – 04:34 > National Gallery
04:35 – 05:15 > London Eye
05:29 – 06:10 > Tower of London
06:11 – 07:00 > Tower Bridge

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With around nine million inhabitants, London is by far the largest city in England. About one seventh of the country’s total population lives here. London is a real multicultural city: it is home to people from all continents. London was founded in 43 BC by the Romans under the name of ‘Londinium’. By the 14th century, it had become one of Europe’s largest cities. Despite such events as the plague and the great fire, London finally became a real metropolis. Today London is one of the most important economic centres in the Western World. It is a major location for various industries, the centre of the British Commonwealth, and a popular tourist attraction which welcomes almost ten million visitors a year.

Big Ben, the bell within the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, is one of London’s most famous sights and landmarks. It is named after the man who had it built, Sir Benjamin Hall, and weighs thirteen tons. Directly opposite Big Ben we find Westminster Abbey, a famous Gothic church. This is the place where English kings and queens are crowned and buried.

Trafalgar Square is London’s largest and most famous square. Once it was the site of the royal stables, today it is dominated by two large fountains. Whenever you go to Trafalgar Square it is crowded with people. During the hot summer months some of them enjoy a refreshing bath in one of the fountains. At Trafalgar Square we once again meet the famous English hero, Admiral Nelson. His statue towers far above the square on a sixty metre high column. Close to Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery with works of famous painters such as Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. This is a picture by Rubens.

This is the world’s largest observation wheel on the south bank of the Thames. It was built to celebrate the new millennium and is called The London Eye. Up to 135 m above the ground, glass capsules offer breathtaking views of the Thames and of the city itself. Only a few metres from the London Eye we find another structure which was built not long ago: Hungerford Bridge, a modern footbridge, which was opened in spring 2002.

The famous Tower of London is set on the north bank of the Thames, somewhat away from the centre of London. It was built by William the Conqueror and was a Royal Palace until the beginning of the 17 century. Later on, it was used as a prison and as the Royal Mint. Today it is home to the world-famous crown jewels. The guardians of the Tower of London are called Beefeaters. Today they also serve as tourist guides. Tower Bridge is another landmark of the city of London. It is quite close to the Tower of London. The impressive building with its powerful, neo-Gothic style towers was opened in 1894. The two iron arms can be lifted so that large ships can pass. The River Thames divides London into two halves; it flows into the North Sea some 64 km out-side of the city.