In our time it is difficult to find a person who does not have at least a general idea of London. Being the capital of Great Britain and England, it can rightly be called one of the world capitals of politics, economics, finance, culture and art. Greater London (one of nine administrative regions in the south-east of England) is the largest metropolis in Europe, spread over 1,579 thousand km2, with a population of nearly 9 million people. (2018). It is here that the Greenwich area (full name Green village - Green Village) is located, along which the zero meridian passes, serving as a conditional border between the Eastern and Western hemispheres of our planet.
Outer Limits of the Jurisdiction of the Capital of the United Kingdom
Most people know perfectly well which city is the capital of Great Britain, but not everyone clearly understands the borders of the state itself. Some confusion may arise from the fact that most of the United Kingdom is located on a single island, which is itself part of the British Isles, located in the northwestern part of continental Europe. ATthey include Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands, and over 6,000 other small islands.
The United Kingdom is a sovereign nation made up of four separate countries: England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. But there are also British Overseas Territories, a number of which are still subject to British rule. Being the largest both in terms of territory and population, England has taken on the role of the basis in creating a single state, and its main city London is the capital of Great Britain. Therefore, often (albeit erroneously) the name England is used as a term to describe all subjects of the English crown.
Italian roots of English greatness
The history of the capital of Great Britain dates back to the time of the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. where they founded the city of Londinium at the mouth of the River Thames. Occupying an area of approximately 2.6 km2 (one square mile), surrounded by a stone wall, it still forms the oldest area of London, called the City.
Large financial institutions are located here, including the Bank of England and the world's most influential London Stock Exchange.
By the middle of the third century, Londinius became the largest city in Britain with a population of about 50 thousand inhabitants, and its borders practically corresponded to the historical central part of the modern capital of Great Britain.In the 5th century, the Romans, besieged by the German invaders, left Londinium. The city entered a long period of decline. It was revived only in 878 after the invasion of the Danes, already as Londontown (Londontown), when King Alfred of Essex (Alfred of Wessex) recaptured and began its restoration, significantly expanding the boundaries of the city to the north.
The island of Thorney, located upstream of the Thames to the west of the original center of London, began to develop, surrounded in those days by marshy lands. A palace was built here for King Edward the Confessor (1003-1066), where he lived during the construction of the abbey of the "Western Church" (West Minster).
This was the beginning of Westminster's history as the home of roy alty, and then the British Parliament and the seat of the Prime Minister. With the development of Greater London, this area became part of it and for several centuries has had the status of a City, which implies the presence of a municipality and police independent of the city government. Since that time, the question of which city is the capital of Great Britain has received an unambiguous answer. Absolutely all the kings of England, and later of Britain, ruled from London, and Westminster, located along the Thames, became the political center of the state.
The path from a small fortress to a huge metropolis
London can be divided into three concentric areas that reflect the city's growth over time. Based on the historic City of London. It was part of a larger contiguous area,known as Inner London. This part developed from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. That in turn is surrounded by outer districts, consisting of residential suburbs built in the middle of the last century, which formed the modern look of Greater London.
The main landmark in Inner London is the River Thames, which divides the city into north and south. Another important feature of the city is the contrast between east and west: the richer and more prestigious parts of the metropolis are located in the west, while industrial enterprises, delivery services and sleeping areas are located in the east, where workers and maintenance personnel mainly live.
London is always like this… London
The inhabitants of England themselves often call their capital The Big Smoke (“Big Smoke”), thanks to the London smog that has already become a classic. The local population also uses the definition of The Great Wen, which does not have a literal Russian translation and means approximately “a crowded city”. During the period of world hegemony of the British Empire, London was unofficially nicknamed the "Capital of the World", and during the Cultural Revolution of the sixties of the last century, the city was called Swinging London ("Swinging London").
Forever alive and always young
London is a city with a thousand-year history, which gave the world a galaxy of the greatest personalities from legendary conquerors and politicians to brilliant writers and musicians. The capital of Great Britain either almost completely perished from the "Black Death" (a plague pandemic in the 14th century), then heldchampionship of the most populous city on the planet (1825 - 1925). Having become the center of the industrial revolution in the middle of the 18th century, London amazed the whole world with the wonders of technological progress and the severe social disasters that it created at the dawn of its formation. In the 20th century, the city rebuilt and rebuilt itself after devastating bombing raids (1939-1945), opening a new chapter as a post-imperial, multi-ethnic metropolis.
The capital of Great Britain entered the new century (and the third millennium of its history) not as a decrepit and prim old man savoring past victories, but as an active, rich and ambitious dandy, forcing everyone around him to reckon with himself and listen to his opinion.