Originally, London was a Celtic settlement. In 43 AD. the Romans founded the city of Londinium, and its name seems to have given the native name of the city, London, although some recent data show that London could be of the Celtic origin. In 61 AD, the new Roman city is besieged, looted and burnt to the foundations by Celtic rebels headed by Queen Boadicea.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Londinium was abandoned; to the west of it, where Aldwych is today, appeared in the 7th century a Saxon settlement named Lundenwic.
At the beginning of the 10th century, the old Roman city was resettled again. Initially, Westminster was a distinct city, but eventually London and Westminster integrated and evolved together, becoming the largest city in England, and in the twelfth century even the capital of the kingdom.
Between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, London flourished, being the capital of the British Empire.
The big fire of 1666 destroyed a large part of the city. The reconstruction lasted more than 10 years and has been led by Sir Christopher Wren, which, with that occasion, has designed and built many of the emblematic buildings of London today, such as vthe Cathedral of St. Paul. The city’s growth has accelerated in the 18th century, such as in the 1800 London was the largest city in the world.
The Nazi bombing during the Second World War, have led, besides the loss of more than 30,000 lives, to the destruction of many of the old buildings. The reconstruction, following the next decades, gave the opportunity of using numerous modern architectural styles, giving the city places an eclectic character.
London, in the past, has been a target of terrorist attacks of the IRA, and more recently suffered a series of attacks assigned to the al-Qaida an ISIS.
Big London Metropolitan Area covers 1579 square kilometers. London is port to the Thames, a navigable river. Thames had a major influence upon city development. The city was founded on its the northern bank, and by the 18th century there was only one bridge, the Bridge of London, which made that the development of the city to occur mainly in the north.
London is a huge engine of economy of the world. London has produced 365 billion $ in 2004 (17 % of the GDP of the United Kingdom), and the entire metropolitan area of London has produced about 30 percent of the GDP of the Kingdom, i.e. more than the GDP of Brazil or Russia.
London is an international center of arts, music, museums, and many others.
London houses five symphonic orchestras: London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia and BBC Symphony Orchestra. The main concert halls are Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican Center, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall. The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the house of the Royal Opera and Royal Balet.
London houses famous carnivals and parades, such as the Notting Hill Carnival or Saint Patrick (17 March) and Saint Georgee (April 23) parades.
In London there are over 30 theaters, most of them concentrated in the West End. Many of them are “commercial” and bring into the limelight musical and other popular pieces. Theaters considered “non-commercial” are National Theater, The Globe (faithful reconstruction aftwr the ancient theater of Shakespeare), Old Vic and Young Vic.
The national British collection of old western art (before 1900) is hosted by the National Gallery. Modern contains collections of western art after 1900, and Tate Britain houses the national collection of the British art. National Portrait Gallery has a collection of British portraits of famous personalities of all time.
London houses not less than 240 museums. The most well known are British Museum (antiques from all over the world), Victoria and Albert Museum (decorative and applied arts), Imperial War Museum, as well as the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Science (both in the Kensington), or the Museum of London.
London is one of the four great capital cities of the fashion, alongside with the Paris, Milan and New York. Famous supermarkets as Harrods, Selfridges or Harvey Nichols, are present here, together with a lot of boutiques and shops of top designers.
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. Is the most important political, financial (because of the city), cultural and artistic center of the United Kingdom, and one of the most important cities of the world.