London travel guide



London Travel Guide

The City of London

The City of London is frequently referred to as just the City or as “Square Mile”, because is an area of about one square mile. The City of London is the historical core of London (until the 18th century, the City of London was all of London), nowadays, is the business and financial centre of Europe. This area contains over 255 foreign banks, which is more than any other financial centre. It is recognized as the richest square mile in the world.

The City of London is habitually confused with Greater London, but the two concepts are definitely very distinct. The City is governed by the City of London Corporation. Whilst the rest of London has a Metropolitan Police, the City of London has its own police force. The City itself contains two autonomous enclaves (Inner Temple and Middle Temple), these form part of the City, but are not governed by the City of London Corporation.

The City of London is the second smallest British city in both population and size, after St, David’s in Wales. The City has a resident population of fewer than 10,000, whilst the City employs 340,000 professional employees, at weekends the area can resemble a ghost town.

The thirteen inner boroughs that surround the City are Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea.

London attractions

Magnificent tourist attractions of historical and architectural importance can be found in the City, including the Westminster Tower, The Bank of England Museum, Mansion House, Stationer’s Hall, Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Museum of London, Tower of London, the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court), the London Wall and the St Paul's Cathedral, which was designed by Christopher Wren as part of the project of re-build London after the Great Fire of London of 1666, the cathedral was completed on 1708. Some vestiges of the walls built by the Romans can be seen outside the Museum of London, another just near the Tower of London.

The City of London is rich with wonderful buildings, both ancient and modern. A well-known building in the City of London is the Lloyd's Building; it was designed by Richard Rogers, the same designer of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, and built between 1978 and 1986. Other remarkable tower in the City is the 30 St. Mary Axe, widely known by the nickname “The Gherkin”, this modern glass tower with its remarkable cigar-like shape was designed by Lord Foster, Ken Shuttleworth and Arup engineers, the building has been featured in many movies.

The Barbican Estate, a 35-acre urban complex is a city inside the City, it is an area densely packed with apartments buildings, gardens, exhibitions halls. It contains the Barbican Centre, which is the largest performing arts centre en Europe; some of the most prominent cultural organizations such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are located in this complex.

The City is also home to a host of marketplaces and cosy pubs, although most are closed on weekends.

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