London - the city of dreams, to visit which dreamsevery traveler. The British capital, stretched on the banks of the Thames, attracts tourists to its unique color, inherent only to it. The sights of London are located throughout the city, and to see at least half of them, it is necessary to spend at least a week in the metropolis. Interesting places in London are not only historical buildings, museums, squares and picturesque gardens, but also modern skyscrapers and shopping and entertainment complexes. The capital of Great Britain is the most expensive real estate on the planet, the acquisition of which is a matter of honor for any self-respecting millionaire.
Big Ben is London's most recognizable watch
Every tourist who has set foot on the land of London, firstbusiness seeks to see the historical buildings of the city. One of these attractions is Big Ben. The legendary clock, counting the exact time for a century and a half, is considered the business card of the metropolis. The construction of the clock tower lasted during the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1859. The height of the building is 320 feet (97 meters). The name Big Ben refers to the largest of the 6 bells of the tower, the weight of which is 13.5 tons. However, both Londoners and visitors to the city used to call this name and clock, and the entire tower as a whole. In 2012, in honor of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Queen's stay on the throne, the main symbol of London was officially called the Tower of Elizabeth. Once there was a prison in the clock tower, in which parliamentarians were placed, who did not agree with the will of the queen. Today Big Ben is one of the most popular and recognizable sights of London. His chimes opened the Olympics-2012, breaking exactly 40 times, for the first time in 60 years, changing his exact schedule. The clock tower became so fond of directors and animators that they repeatedly showed it in their film productions. Big Ben can be seen in the frames of the films "Mars Attacks", "39 Steps", "Flood", "Shanghai Knights". Scenes in which the action takes place in the famous tower, there are in the popular children's cartoons "Peter Pan", "Cars-2" and "101 Dalmatians".
Westminster Palace and Westminster Hall
Big Ben is one of the palace towersWestminster Palace - no less famous sights of the city. Until the beginning of the XIV century, the palace, located on the banks of the Thames, housed the residence of kings. The monstrous fire in 1834 destroyed most of the old castle. Of all the premises of the luxurious building, only Westminster Hall, which served as a hall for ceremonial receptions, and the Tower of Jewels, in which the coffers of King Edward III was once kept, were escaped. In the middle of the XIX century, a new one was erected on the site of the old palace. Today it hosts sessions of the English Parliament. The modern Westminster Palace belongs to the Neo-Gothic architectural style. There are almost 1200 rooms in it, you can get to them through corridors, the total length of which is 5 kilometers. Westminster Hall deserves special attention, as it is considered one of the most valuable architectural monuments of the Middle Ages. A luxurious hall for receptions began to be erected at the end of the XI century, and 300 years later it was rebuilt, laying out the walls with a stone and constructing wooden ceilings that were not supported by any support. Westminster Hall survived not only during the fire that destroyed the old royal castle, but also in 1941, when German bombers ruthlessly destroyed the hall of the House of Commons that was in the neighborhood. The area of the grand Westminster Hall occupies 1800 square meters, its height reaches 28 meters. Until the end of the XIX century in this room was the Supreme Court of England. It was here that Thomas More and King Charles I. were sentenced to death.
Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace
A little west of Westminster PalaceWestminster Abbey or St. Peter's Church rises. This Gothic structure was built with interruptions exactly 500 years (1245-1745). Throughout its history, Westminster Abbey has served and serves to this day as the only place of enthronement and burial of British monarchs. In addition to the royal blood, in the abbey are buried famous Britons who have glorified their country to the whole world. In the Corner of the Poets located on the territory of the Church are buried Charles Dickens, J. Chaucer, E. Spencer and others. In Westminster Abbey the ashes of I. Newton and Charles Darwin rest. Inside the building there are many memorial plaques and sculptures of famous political and cultural figures of Great Britain. The western façade is decorated with statues of the martyrs of the last century. The main attractions of London is Buckingham Palace, in which today is the residence of Queen Elizabeth II. The construction of the castle was started in 1703, and the original owner was the Duke of Buckingham. The main residence of the British monarchs was the palace in 1837 during the coronation of Queen Victoria. The whole territory of the apartments has more than 600 rooms. Elizabeth II lives with her husband in the northern part of the castle. If the Queen is in her residence, the British flag flies over the building. When the monarchy is away, Buckingham Palace conducts excursions for tourists, which include visits to the throne and ballrooms, the picture gallery and the royal stables. Also guests of London can see the ceremony of changing the guard of honor, which takes place daily at 11.30 on the square in front of the palace.
Tower Fortress and Tower Bridge
Listing the main attractions of London,One can not help but mention one more symbol of the city - the Fortress Tower. This ancient building, built in 1078, is located in the historical part of the British capital. Rising from the north side of the Thames, the Tower for all its centuries-old existence managed to visit a fortress, a residence of kings, a mint, an observatory, a place of imprisonment for prisoners and even a zoo. The prison past of the Tower is impressive, not only ordinary townspeople languished in its walls, but also such crowned persons as the king of Scotland Jacob I and the Duke of Carl of Orleans. During the Second World War, German prisoners of war were kept in the fortress, among them Rudolf Hess. The Tower consists of several buildings, the main of which are the armory and the museum with the jewels of the English crown. The Tower Bridge received its name in honor of the Tower near it. The steel bridge, connecting the two banks of the Thames, was opened in 1894. Characteristic for him is the Gothic architectural style. The Tower Bridge consists of two 65-meter towers interconnected by a central passage, whose wings rise to an angle of 83 degrees to pass large vessels. Pedestrians can cross the bridge even at a time when its wings are in a diluted state. For this purpose, at a height of 44 meters, special footpaths are constructed, which can be climbed on the stairs located in the towers. Today, the upper part of the Tower Bridge is used as a viewing platform for tourists.
Kensington and St. James Palaces
Kensington Palace, located inKensington Gardens, since the XVII century is one of the royal residences. It was here that in 1981 the newly married prince Charles and Princess Diana settled. After their divorce in 1991, Diana of Wales remained in the palace with her sons. After her death at the gate of the palace, almost always lie bunches of flowers. Today, Kensington Palace is the unofficial residence of Prince Darya's son Diana. The palace has a glorious history, in its walls were born Queen Victoria and the grandmother of the ruling monarch of Elizabeth II, Queen Maria. Part of the Kensington Palace apartments is open to tourists. In the luxurious halls of the castle there is a museum in which paintings of XVII century artists and collections of clothes of British monarchs and their court servants are collected. St. James Palace was erected in the XVI century for King Henry VIII. The castle served as the second metropolitan residence of the monarch, it was here in 1558 that Queen Maria Tudor (Bloody) died. Her heart and internal organs are buried in the palace chapel. King Charles I lived in the castle in recent years before his execution. St. James Palace is a building of red brick. It is quite well preserved, its entrance, the tapestry hall and parts of the chapel are today exactly the same as they were in the time of Maria Tudor. Elizabeth I lived in this palace until her ascension to the throne, and Princess Diana spent days there waiting for a marriage with Charles. In the St. James Palace, the British Queen traditionally receives birthday greetings every year. The ancient castle is closed and tourists are not allowed in it.
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
London squares and streets are not impressive at allless than palaces. The famous Trafalgar Square is a landmark located in the heart of London. On it is the magnificent 44-meter Nelson column, made of gray granite. At the top of the column stands the statue of Admiral Nelson, whose squadron in 1805 dealt a crushing defeat to the French-Spanish fleet during the sea battle near Trafalgar. The column is surrounded by fountains and sculptures of lions. The decoration of the square can be called the Admiralty Arch, the National Gallery and the Church of St. Martin. It was on this square in 1945 that the country's Prime Minister Churchill proclaimed the victory of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition over fascist Germany. Every year on the eve of Christmas holidays on Trafalgar Square the main tree of London is established. Piccadilly Circus has a nearly 200-year history. It was founded in 1819 at the intersection of Piccadilly Street and Rigenst Street. On it there is the famous cafe "Royal", in which a century ago English poets, writers and artists liked to gather. In 1906, Piccadilly Circus was opened underground. Guests of London come to the square to see the fountain located on it, the top of which is crowned by a statue of the naked winged ancient Greek god Anteros, armed with a bow and arrows. Piccadilly Circus was one of the first, where at the beginning of the last century on the walls of buildings appeared bright neon signs. There is an unusual underground theater hall Criterion-theater, which seats 600 spectators. The theater gave its first performance in 1874. Of the modern structures of the square, the Amura London Museum, founded in 2007, is of interest.
Theaters of London: "Globe" and Covent Garden
The modern theater "Globe", opened in 1997,is a copy of the building of the same name theater of the first half of the XVII century. It was restored thanks to archaeological finds and surviving descriptions of Shakespeare's contemporaries. The new "Globe" is located on Bankside Street, which is 200 km from the place where the old theater once stood. Architects and builders were able to accurately convey all the details of the legendary Shakespearean "Globe", even the roof in a modern building is lined with straw. Speaking scene, inclined tiers with expensive seating seats and cheap standing places - everything in the "Globe" takes the audience into the Shakespearean era. The roof covers the theater only half, its middle part is under the open sky. For this reason, it only takes place in the warm season. But the tours in the "Globe" are held year-round. Covent Garden is known throughout the world as the main theater, in which soloists of the London Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera of London perform. The present building was built in 1858 on the site of the old theater burned two years earlier. The first performance, which was given on the stage of the restored Covent Garden, was Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera The Huguenots. The theater managed to survive during the two world wars. At the end of the last century, it was reconstructed. To date, Covent Garden is the largest theater in the UK capital. On its stage there are world-famous ballet dancers and opera tenors. Tickets for the performances are inexpensive, so anyone can take pleasure in enjoying high theatrical art.
Madame Tussauds and the Sherlock Holmes Museum
All the sights of London deserveattention, but there is a place in the capital where you can take pictures next to the stars of show business, members of the royal dynasty or historical figures from different eras. For this it is only worth visiting the Madame Tussauds Museum, located on Marylebone Road. Wax figures of celebrities, exhibited in the halls of the museum, can not be distinguished from living people. In total, the London Museum exhibited more than 400 exhibits, including the legendary group The Beatles, Keith Middleton with Prince William, Michael Jackson and other famous people. Fans can tickle their nerves by visiting the Chamber of Horrors, which contains wax copies of maniacs, thieves and executioners who lived in Britain for the last 5 centuries. The collection of exhibits of the Madame Tussauds Museum is constantly being replenished with new figures. The London Museum has branches in 14 cities around the world. The British are so fond of Sherlock Holmes that they even set up a museum in the house on Baker Street dedicated to the famous literary detective. The museum is located in a four-story building, built in 1815. On the ground floor there is a small hall and a souvenir shop. The second floor is occupied by the living room and Sherlock Holmes room. The floors above are the rooms of Dr. Watson and Mrs. Hudson. At the very last, fourth floor are wax figures of characters from books about Sherlock Holmes. The British tried to recreate to the smallest detail the house in which the detective lived. In the museum you can sit in Holmes's favorite chair in front of the fireplace, see his smoking pipe and violin. In the premises there is a slight mess, as if the hosts were away for a minute and are about to return home to deal with the next high-profile crime.
Residential complex in Knightsbridge
Tourists in London are attracted not only by the ancientbuildings, but also modern buildings. One such is the elite residential complex of One Hyde Park, located in the Knightsbridge area. The miracle of architecture, erected from glass and reinforced concrete structures, is 4 separate towers. Wan Hyde Park has become famous for the whole world astronomically high prices for its apartments. It is here that the most expensive apartment on the planet is located, for which the owner had to shell out $ 220 million a few years ago. But other apartments of the residential complex are not much cheaper. You can not see the luxurious furniture of the apartments in which the billionaires live. But a walk in the prestigious area Knightsbridge and take pictures against the background of such expensive buildings can afford any tourist. It is impossible to describe all the sights of London. There are so many that you can talk about them endlessly. Being in the capital of Great Britain, it is worth taking a walk on the Avenue of Stars, where the imprints of palms of British artists are immortalized in plates. Special attention is deserved by the National Picture Gallery, which presents works by Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Monet and many other world-famous artists. The London district of Soho is famous for its shopping and entertainment complexes, brothels and gay clubs. Considering the main attractions in London, do not forget about the capital's public transport. The double-decker bus (dabledeker) has long been a no less famous symbol of the metropolis than Big Ben or Buckingham Palace.