Central London: description and photo. Tower of London. Big Ben. The main sights of London

Table of contents:

Central London: description and photo. Tower of London. Big Ben. The main sights of London
Central London: description and photo. Tower of London. Big Ben. The main sights of London

The question of what part of London is considered its geographical center is of concern not only to those who like to study their native planet on maps. Many tourists, getting into the capital of Great Britain, find it difficult to navigate in this metropolis. Luckily, most of the more interesting sights are fairly easy to find. In addition, you can book guided tours in London.

fortress in central London

Buckingham Palace

There is hardly a person who has never heard of Her Majesty Elizabeth II. So, her official residence - Buckingham Royal Palace - is located in the area of ​​Pall Mall and Green Park streets. If a banner flutters over the building, it means that the monarch is in her beloved capital.

The Royal Palace acquired its status with the accession to the throne of the great-grandmother of Elizabeth II - Victoria - in 1837. Today, the statue of this monarch is the first to meet everyone who comes to the fence of the residence tosee the front house of the Windsor dynasty.

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. 52 of them are the chambers of the royal family and guest rooms. There are also about 20 state-appointed premises. Offices are located in 92 of them, and 188 are used for technical needs and recreation for staff. In addition, the royal residence has 72 bathrooms and toilets. The total territory of the palace is 20 hectares, and on 17 hectares there is the largest private garden in London with an artificial lake.

Changing of the Guard Ceremony

The guardsmen in bright red uniforms and high fur hats are as much a sight to see as the palaces and temples that adorn central London.

The changing of the guard ceremony is held at Buckingham Palace daily at 11:30 a.m. in the summer, and every other day in the rest of the season. The duration of the ceremony is 45 minutes. Sometimes the military parade for the ceremonial changing of the guard is canceled due to bad weather.

The tradition dates back to 1660. It has been held at Buckingham Palace since 1837, when Queen Victoria moved there.

Colorful action is accompanied by the sounds of orchestral music. Part of the parade takes place outside the Buckingham Palace fence, while tourists and Londoners usually watch the rest of the ceremony through its fence.

what part of London is considered its geographic center

Tower of London

This fortress is one of the main attractions of the British capital. It is believed that it was around him that the modernLondon. The city center without it today is impossible to imagine. The castle covers an area of ​​1170 sq. m and is a square. From the outside, the Tower of London is surrounded by two rings of walls with a large number of towers. There are 13 towers on the inner defensive line. As for the outer ring, it is much longer than the first. To protect it from the water, 6 towers were erected at one time, located along the banks of the Thames, from where a beautiful view of the magnificent Tower Bridge in the center of London opens up.

In the southwestern corner of the space, which is located between the two belts of walls, there is a meadow with a Block, where many prominent representatives of the English nobility were executed over the centuries, including the three queens - the wives of Henry the Eighth. The last beheading at Tower Meadow took place in 1747.

Today this fortress in central London is open to tourists. They are invited to get acquainted with the exhibits exhibited in the Tower Museum and in the armory. Among them, the treasures of the British crown are of particular interest.

On the territory of the castle there is also the oldest Christian church in the capital of Great Britain - the chapel of St. Peter, which is almost 1000 years old.

Tower of London

Tower Bridge in Central London

Although considered by many to be a medieval building, it was only built in 1894. Tower Bridge, which adorns the center of London, is a drawbridge with two towers placed on intermediate supports. The total length of the structure is 244 m, and itsheight - 65 m. Pedestrian galleries of the bridge have been used as a museum since 1982.

To this day Tower Bridge is run the old fashioned way: it has a captain and a crew of sailors. They beat the vials and stand watch.

Initially, the bridge was drawn daily, but at the moment this ritual occurs only a few times a week and crowds of tourists gather to watch it.

Palace of Westminster

Telling about the main sights of London, one cannot ignore this majestic neo-Gothic building, built in the middle of the 19th century, where the English Parliament sits today. The palace has 3 towers. The highest of them reaches a height of 98.5 m. It is named after Queen Victoria of Great Britain. At the time of construction, the tower was considered the highest in the world among the secular buildings.

At the base of the building is the Entrance of the Sovereign, which is a 15 m high arch surrounded by statues. The cast-iron pyramidal roof of the building is crowned with a 22-meter flagpole. The Victoria Tower houses the parliamentary archives for over 500 years. They occupy 12 floors and contain almost 3 million documents of national importance.

In the northern part of the palace is the Elizabeth Tower. It is better known as Big Ben (see below for details).

Another interesting building of the palace is the Central Tower. It is octagonal and has a height of 91 m. The tower is located in the middle of the palace building and rises above the Central Hall. The building was originallydesigned as a chimney for 400 fireplaces located in different rooms of the palace. However, it turned out that the architects made a mistake in their calculations and today the building performs a decorative function.

In the middle of the western facade of the Palace of Westminster is St. Stephen's Tower. Two more similar structures are located at the ends of the facade, which is located on the side of the Thames. These are the Speaker's and Chancellor's towers.

what square is in central london

Big Ben

When London's main and most recognizable sights are described, the list is often opened by Britain's most famous tower.

It was built as part of the new Royal Palace, erected after a fire in 1834, and is a majestic neo-Gothic building. The author of the construction project was Augustus Pajin. The height of the Big Ben tower with a spire is 96.3 meters. At its base is a 15-meter concrete foundation 3 meters thick.

At the top of the tower at a height of 55 meters there is a clock with four dials 7 meters in diameter made of smoked glass. At night, they are illuminated from within. Above the clock is a bell tower with 5 bells. The largest of them was called Big Ben. According to one legend, he was so named in honor of Sir Benjamin Hall, the construction manager of the building.

Although Big Ben is one of the most recognizable sights of our planet, access to it is closed to tourists. This is done for security reasons. In addition, there are no lifts in the tower,therefore, the few who are allowed to climb to the clockwork have to overcome 334 not the most comfortable steps.

Trafalgar Skwea

In response to the question of what square is in the center of London, any person who has visited the British capital at least once will no doubt name Trafalgar.

This famous landmark is located at the intersection of Whitehall, The Strand and The Mall. Until the 19th century, the square bore the name of William the Fourth and received its modern name in 1805 after the famous naval battle that cost the life of the best admiral in Great Britain.

Nelson's Column rises in the center of Trafalgar Square. It is built of dark gray granite, has a height of 44 m and is a kind of pedestal for the statue of the famous admiral. The column is decorated with three-dimensional images made from Napoleonic cannons.

Top attractions in London

Other notable structures located in Trafalgar Square

If the Tower is the historical center of London, then Trafalgar Square is the geographic one. Along its perimeter are the London National Gallery, the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, the Admir alty Arch, as well as the buildings of several embassies.

Since the 1840s, the square has been decorated with 3 monuments installed at its corners. They are statues of George the Fourth, as well as generals Charles James Napier and Henry Havelock. At the same time, a fourth pedestal was built on Trafalgar Skvea. It was empty until 2005, when it wasa sculpture depicting disabled artist Alison Lapper was installed. Four years later, a glass installation “Hotel Model” appeared in its place. Today, on the fourth pedestal of Trafalgar Square, you can see a huge bottle, inside of which there is a model of the Victoria ship. It was on board that the admiral was mortally wounded, from which he died at the age of 47.

London Eye

This is one of the largest Ferris ears in Europe, built from 1998 to 2004. It is located on the south bank of the Thames. The authors of the project are David Marks and Julia Barfield. The total weight of the huge wheel with all mechanisms is 1700 tons.

The London Eye has 32 huge egg-shaped booths. Each of them comfortably accommodates up to 25 passengers, who can view the historic center of London, its outskirts and some suburbs from a height for half an hour.

The speed of rotation of the wheel is approximately 0.9 kilometers per hour. It does not stop to disembark passengers and "take on board" the next, and these operations must be carried out on the move. In good weather, visibility from the cab is up to 40 kilometers.

Tourists and Londoners can ride the Ferris wheel every day. From September to March, boarding is carried out from 10:00 to 20:30, and from April to August, another half an hour is added to the attraction's working time.

center of london

Hyde Park

Royal or Hyde Park in the center of London (Rangers Lodge, W2 2UH, open from 5:00 to 24:00) is one of the most famous in Britain andoccupies an area of ​​1.4 sq. km. It was founded before the conquest of the British Isles by the Normans. However, it was only made open to Londoners in the 17th century by order of King Charles II.

In the northeast corner of Hyde Park is the world-famous Speakers' Corner. It appeared in 1872, when a law was passed that allowed everyone to publicly express their opinion on any topic, including discussing the actions of roy alty. Every day from 12:00 you can listen to speeches by everyone who wants to share their views on politics with fellow citizens, as well as discuss acute social and moral issues.

In addition, the Serpentine Lake, where you can swim, and the gallery of the same name are located on the territory of the park. By the way, open water swims took place on this reservoir during the London Olympics.

Serpentine Gallery

As already mentioned, this attraction is located on the territory of Hyde Park. It was opened in 1970 in a classic tea pavilion built in the mid-1930s. At one time, the patroness of the gallery was Princess Diana. Today, at the entrance to the building that houses the permanent exhibition, you can see the work dedicated to her by Peter Coates and Ian Hamilton Finlay.

The Serpentine Gallery annually commissions the creation of new temporary pavilions from world-famous architects. They enjoy designing unique structures that host art conferences, special film screenings, and cafes.

In different years at the Serpentine Galleryexhibited such world-famous artists and sculptors as Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Henry Moore, Alan McCollum, Paula Rego, Damien Hirst Bridget Riley, Jeff Koons and others.

Westminster Abbey

This majestic temple has been a traditional site for the coronation, marriage and burial of the kings of Great Britain for many centuries. Westminster Abbey (address: 20 Deans Yard London SW1P 3 PA), or rather the Collegiate Church of St. Petra, began to be built in 1245, and acquired its final appearance only after almost 5 centuries after numerous reconstructions.

The main building of the temple has the shape of a cross. The greatest length, from the western door to the outer wall of the chapel of Our Lady, is 161.5 m, and the greatest height of the Western towers is 68 m. The total area of ​​​​the room is approximately 3000 square meters. m. At the same time, the abbey can accommodate up to 2 thousand people.

At the very beginning of the central gallery of the abbey you can see images of all-Christian saints by the icon painter Sergei Fedorov. In addition, the abbey is a place of pilgrimage for lovers of English literature - Poets' Corner, which houses the graves of such famous writers of past centuries as Charles Dickens, Chaucer, Samuel Johnson, Tennyson and Browning.

Few people know that in 1998, statues of martyrs of the 20th century were installed over the portico of the western entrance to the temple. Among them are the fighter against racial discrimination Martin Luther King, the priest Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazis in the Flossenbürg concentration camp, the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna, who was thrown by the Bolsheviks into a mine nearbyfrom Alapaevsk in 1918, etc.

Globe Theater

Many of those who buy tours to London definitely want to visit the Globe Theater, located on the south bank of the Thames. The building, where many of Shakespeare's plays premiered, was built in 1599. Unfortunately, it burned down after 14 years.

The modern building of the Globe (address: New Globe Walk, SE1), erected in 1997, is a replica of the historic theater. Some of the seats in its auditorium are directly under the open sky, so you can visit the performances of the Shakespearean troupe from mid-May to September 20.

To visit the Globe, it is best to take the subway and get to Cannon St or Mansion House stations.

Covent Garden

The Royal Theater in the eponymous district of London was founded in 1732 and enjoyed great popularity among the inhabitants of the British capital.

The current building (address: Bow Street WC2E 9DD) is the third in a row. It was erected in 1858. The auditorium of the Covent Garden Theater seats 2,268 people.

Covent Garden is also called the Royal Opera and stars of the first magnitude shine on its stage.

Compared to the rest of London's landmarks, the building does not seem so impressive from the outside, but its interior design makes an indelible impression on the audience.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is located in Westminster. The square was built in 1819. For its construction, it was necessary to demolish a house with a garden that belonged to Lady Hutton and interfered with the connection of Regent Street with an importantPiccadilly shopping street.

The main attraction of the square is Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain. The facility is located in the southwestern part of Piccadilly Circus. It is dedicated to the famous philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury. At the top of the sculptural composition is a winged figure of a naked arrow, symbolizing Anteros, who is the "god of selfless love."

The square also houses the underground Criterion Theatre, founded in 1874, and the London Pavilion Music Hall, built in 1859.

At the beginning of the century, the building was connected to the Trocadero Center.

Royal Palace

Tate Gallery

In the building, located at Millbank SW1B 3DG, near the Palace of Westminster, tourists can get acquainted with the famous National Collection of British Art. It is the world's largest collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings by English authors of the 16th-20th centuries. The collection was founded by manufacturer Sir Henry Tate. The gallery was opened to the public in 1897.

After 30 years, a wing was added to the building, which housed the works of foreign painters. In 1987, the Clore Gallery opened, featuring one of Turner's most extensive collections.

Now you know what interesting architectural sights decorate the center of London. In addition, every year the capital of Great Britain becomes the venue for various cultural, sports and other entertainment events of world and European scale. They are like monumentshistory and architecture are one of the reasons why London tours are so popular.

Popular topic