Why London is called so, whether there is a queen in Westminster Abbey, and what the Tower represents by itself, all these you will get to know after reading the article about the motherland of the English language.
The Historical Beginning or How It Was
If you want to draw a portrait of London, you should imagine a beautiful model with delicate correct facial features and a slightly raised chin, and, at the same time, a lady beaming strength and wisdom but ... not of aristocratic origin. Yes-yes, the greatest city of our time has no exotic history of origin. Even historians with their inherent wild fantasy could not concoct a fascinating epic.
We will not intrigue you in vain as well: the history of the metropolis can be traced from 43 AD when the Romans invaded the unexplored lands of the British Isles in the heyday of the power of their empire.
There, no one yet washed down oatmeal with tea and did not conduct languorous conversations about a monarchy. London of the 1st century was more like a military warehouse, remarkable only with its good trade location, which apparently became the reason of Boudicca’s disturbance, who headed the Iceni tribe, and who burnt the town in 61 in retaliation at the Romans occupation. The city took about 40 years before becoming the commercial capital of the expanding Roman Britain.
When and Why London Became It
In the year 100, there is the first mention of the city in the annals. It was designated as Londinium. Imagine yourself in the player's armchair "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and try to answer the question: "Where does the capital of Great Britain come from?"
- A) from the Celtic toponym "Londinion" and the word "lond", meaning "wild";
- B) from the Latin "Londinium" - a place belonging to a man named Londinos;
- C) the name of Latin origin from the word "Lond", which meant a forested place;
- D) the name of Celtic origin, consisting of two words "Llyn" (lake) and "Dun" ("dun", fortification). In the Celtic period, the city was called Llyndid.
Regardless of what you have chosen, all options have the right to life because none of them has ever turned from the status of theory to a recognized truth.
For a few hundred years later, London could hardly be called a "city", and even a "town", since only by the year 250, its population reached 30 thousand inhabitants, the infrastructure was enriched with temples, public baths, paved streets, shops, and even the first offices; and the city itself was protected by a powerful stone wall, 3 miles long.
In the Footsteps of the Romans, the Saxons, and the Normans
For many centuries, the territory of Britain remembers the Romans, Saxons, Normans, French, and Vikings.
According to statistics, history very rarely gets to the top of favourite subjects in school. We do not want to kill your love for the English culture with the abundance of names, dates, and facts. Let us just face it: London was not always the place of balls, oatmeal, and exclusive politeness. The English lands have seen many people and events since they stopped being lonely.
Speed March in the Centre of the Metropolis
Going to the centre of London for a good photo of the most picturesque sights and typical scenes from the life of citizens, be aware that more than a half of people are tourists as you. It is better to try traditional English cuisine at adequate prices not on the main streets of the city but in more remote neighbourhoods.
But what to do if your father is not a millionaire, and the desire to see places that have come to life from the books about Britain is strong and unconquerable? Get on comfortable shoes, put the camera on the neck and go onwards! The discussed city is not so expensive if to book a cheap bed in a hostel and use your feet instead of a taxi. Just look around, and you will notice all the beauty hidden in every corner of an old city.
About What the History Books Fail to Mention
#1. Since the life of the famous British Oscar Wilde, more than a hundred years have passed, and his phrase "London fogs did not exist until they were discovered by art" is still relevant. We send to the scaffold the legend regarding the unbearable amount of rain in the city under the pressure of dry facts: on average, there are about 60 cm of atmosphere precipitations per year in London, in New York – 101 cm.
Do not confuse fog with smog, which covered the capital. History remembers the event of the already distant 1952 when the whole city plunged into a grim mixture of fog and industrial waste for five days. The event, called the Great Smog, claimed the lives of about 12 thousand people.
- #2. The fans of cultural life will enjoy free admission to most major museums. Visitors can leave donations to the development of a museum, but this is solely a matter of their desire.
- #3. Brand cabs look exactly the same as in the beginning of the 20th century, although their cost has increased many times since then, and sometimes it seems fantastic. Nevertheless, the fact that buses run around the city around the clock is pleasing. Furthermore, you can rent a budget one that is available almost everywhere.
- #4. A claim to fame of the city is two-story red buses, driving along the streets of the city since 1829. Their prototype was a two-story horsed omnibus. The most famous representative of two-story vehicles and the leader in popularity and recognition is Routemaster. It is in truth the master of the roads in the city and invariably attracts tourists at least by the absence of doors and the entrance only through the back opened platform, as well as by the opportunity to see the main sights by rolling along the routes No. 9 and 15.
From those who are lucky to have already visited London, we are waiting for personal notes about the city! Comments are welcomed!