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Major Cities of the World: London, UK

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London, England
 
Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston
 

London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, and one of the world’s most important cities. It serves as a major financial, cultural, and entertainment center. It is the largest city in the European Union.

London was founded as a city in the Roman Empire in about 43 AD. In its early history, the city was plagued by frequent Viking raids, however by the 11th century it had become the largest city in England. Under the control of William the Conquerer in the late 1000’s, London and the city of Westminster merged, forming the basis of modern London. London continued to grow in size and influence after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. In the 1600’s, the city endured years of plague and the Great Fire of London, which destroyed much of the city. Nevertheless, by 1831, London became the largest city in the world. In 1863, it became the site of the world’s first subway, known as the London Underground.

Today, London is a city of seven and half million people. It is full of world famous attractions such as Buckingham Palace – the official home of the British monarch, The Tower of London – a large fortress originally built by William the Conqueror in 1078, Westminster Abbey – a large gothic church that has served as the burial center for British monarchs since the 11th century, and Big Ben – a 316 foot tall clock tower built in 1834.

 

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