London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, and the most populous city in the European Union.
London is one of the world's major business, political and cultural centres. It is a leader in international finance, politics, communications, entertainment, fashion and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the world's major global cities, and has been an important settlement for nearly 2000 years.
London has an estimated population of 8 million (as of 2011metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. London has an extremely cosmopolitan population, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.
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The city is an international transport hub and a major tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
London has three main central business districts: the City of London, the West End in Westminster and Canary Wharf in Docklands. The City of London is the largest financial and business district in Europe.
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of London from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. It threatened, but did not quite reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster and Charles II's Palace of Whitehall and left the suburban slums surrounding the City largely untouched. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral, and nearly all the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated that it made homeless 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants. The death toll from the fire is unknown and has traditionally been thought to have been small, as only a few verified deaths are recorded. (more...)
Noël Coward, ‘Law and Order’, Collected Sketches and Lyrics
||I don’t know what London’s coming to—the higher the buildings the lower the morals.
John Dee was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer and consultant to Elizabeth I, born in the Tower ward of the City of London in 1527. He also devoted much of his life to alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy. Dee straddled the worlds of science and magic. One of the most learned men of his time, he was lecturing to crowded halls at the University of Paris in his early twenties. He was an ardent promoter of mathematics, a respected astronomer and a leading expert in navigation, training many of those who would conduct England's voyages of discovery. At the same time, he immersed himself deeply in Christian angel-magic and Hermetic philosophy, and devoted the last third of his life almost exclusively to these pursuits. For Dee, as for many of his contemporaries, these activities were not contradictory, but aspects of a consistent world-view.