Cheap Hotels in London
Historical interest: London
The history of London, as a permanent settlemen, stretches back
almost 2,000 years. The city's history is a fascinating one with
archaeological excavations uncovering evidence of periodic settlements
dating back to the prehistoric era. It was the Romans who first
kick started and shaped the development of London into becoming
the sprawling city it is today. They built a bridge and an impressive
city wall, and made Londinium an important port and the hub of their
road system. The Romans left, but trade went on.
William the Conqueror found a city that was, without doubt, the
richest and largest in the kingdom. He raised the White Tower (part
of the Tower of London) and confirmed the city's independence and
right to self-government. During the reign of Elizabeth I the capital
began to expand rapidly - in 40 years the population doubled to
reach 200,000. Unfortunately, medieval Tudor and Jacobean London
was virtually destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666, but did little
to halt the city's growth. However, the fire gave Christopher Wren
the opportunity to build his famous churches.
By 1720 London, as the seat of Parliament and focal point for a
growing empire, was becoming ever richer and more important. Georgian
architects replaced the last of medieval London with their imposing
symmetrical architecture and residential squares. The population
exploded again in the 19th century, creating a vast expanse of Victorian
suburbs South of the river. As a result of the Industrial Revolution
and rapidly expanding commerce, it jumped from 2.7 million in 1851
to 6.6 million in 1901.
Georgian and Victorian London was devastated in bombings during
WW II. After the war, ugly housing and low-cost developments were
built. The docks never recovered and shipping moved to Tilbury.
However, during the 1980s, the Docklands were rediscovered and redeveloped
to their current splendour. Since then many new buildings have been
built to boost London's image: the Millennium Dome, the London Eye
observation wheel, the Tate Modern and the creation of the British
Museum's Great Court.
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