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Union Jack

The Union Flag, popularly known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom.

It is called the Union Flag because it symbolizes the administrative union of the countries of the United Kingdom. It is made up of the individual Flags of three Kingdom's countries all united under one Sovereign - the countries of England, of Scotland and of Northern Iceland (since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom). As Wales was not a Kingdom but a Principality it could not be included on the flag.

The Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, it is also known as the 'heart of British politics'. The Palace lies on the northern bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London. Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement, the New Palace that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence and is the property of the Crown.

Trafalgar Square

The square was originally called Charing. Later it became known as Charing Cross, after a memorial cross on the square. The nearby underground station (the 'tube') is still named Charing Cross. From the thirteenth century on the area was the site of the King's Royal Hawks and later the Royal Mews. In 1812 the Prince Regent - who would later become King George IV - asked architect John Nash to redevelop the area. After much delay work finally started in 1830. Nash had the terrain cleared but he died before his plans were realized and works were halted. The completion of the National Gallery in 1838 on the north side of the square reignited interest in its redevelopment. A new design by architect Charles Barry (best known for his Houses of Parliament), which consisted of two levels separated by a monumental flight of stairs was approved and construction started in 1840. Five years later the square was finally completed.

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, best known for holding the Proms concerts annually each summer since 1941. It has a capacity (depending on configuration of the event) of up to 5,272 seats. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust for the nation and receives no public or government funding.[1]

Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from many performance genres have appeared on its stage and it has become one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. Each year it hosts more than 390 shows in the main auditorium, including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with live orchestra, sports, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and banquets. A further 400 events are held each year in the non-auditorium spaces.

The Hall was originally supposed to have been called the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, but the name was changed to the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences by Queen Victoria upon laying the Hall's foundation stone in 1867, in memory of her late husband consort, Prince Albert who had died six years earlier. It forms the practical part of a national memorial to the Prince Consort – the decorative part is the Albert Memorial directly to the north in Kensington Gardens, now separated from the Hall by the road Kensington Gore.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.

Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year.

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. The Palace is very much a working building and the centerpiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy. It houses the offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family.

The Palace is also the venue for great Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, all of which are organized by the Royal Household.

Although Buckingham Palace is furnished and decorated with priceless works of art that form part of the Royal Collection, one of the major art collections in the world today. It is not an art gallery and nor is it a museum.

More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the Royal Garden Parties.

Nelson's column

For the last 170 years, Lord Nelson has been “keeping an eye” on the city of London, from his perch on top of Nelson’s Column. Even Trafalgar Square took the name from Nelson’s most famous victory, which ultimately cost him his life.

Nelson’s Column was built between 1840 and 1843 to commemorate the revered and much loved Vice-Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson. His previous battles had left his right arm useless and he was blinded in one eye. He died aboard his flagship HMS Victory defeating the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

You may notice that although Nelson was a hero, it took 38 years to get a memorial built to him. Money was short as the Napoleonic Wars dragged on for another ten years after Nelson’s death, until the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Double-decker bus

A double-decker bus is a bus that has two storeys or decks. Double-decker buses are used for mass transport in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and many former European possessions an iconic example being the red London bus. Double-decker buses are also used in many other cities around the world.

Early double-deckers put the driver in a separate cab. Passenger access was via an open platform at the rear, and a conductor would collect fares. Modern double-deckers have a main entrance door at the front, and the driver takes fares, thus halving the number of bus workers aboard, but slowing the boarding process. The rear open platform, popular with passengers, was abandoned for safety reasons, as there was a risk of passengers running and jumping into the bus.

Double-deckers are primarily for commuter transport but open-top models are used as sight-seeing buses for tourists. William Gladstone, speaking of London's double-deck horse drawn omnibuses, once observed, "...the best way to see London is from the top of a bus

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom and has been the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. Between 1540 and 1556 the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, however, the building is no longer an abbey nor a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. The building itself is the original abbey church.

According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorney (Thorn Island)) in the 7th century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.

Since 1066, when Harold Godwinson and William the Conqueror were crowned, the coronations of English and British monarchs have been held there. There have been at least 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100. Two were of reigning monarchs (Henry I and Richard II), although, before 1919, there had been none for some 500 years.

 Albert's Memorial

Albert's memorial was appropriately erected opposite the Royal Albert Hall, near the location of the Exhibition of 1851. The memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria as a tribute to her late consort. The monument, standing 175ft/53m tall, was built from 1864 to 1876 after a neo-Gothic design by Sir George Gilbert Scott. A 14ft/4m high gilded statue shows Albert seated under a pinnacle, holding a catalogue of the 1851 Great Exhibition. The pinnacle is set on a base with a large frieze. It is adorned with marble reliefs of 178 people, mostly artists. At each corner are four statues depicting some of prince Albert's interests: engineering, agriculture, commerce and manufacturing. At the bottom of the steps leading to prince Albert's statue are four more sculpture groups, symbolizing Europe, Africa, America and Asia.

White Tower

The White Tower is one of the most famous castle keeps in the world. It was built, to awe, subdue and terrify Londoners and to deter foreign invaders. It’s an iconic symbol of London and Britain.

Along with the rest of the Tower complex, the White Tower is one of the most important historic buildings in the world. It’s part of a World Heritage Site and is an example of Norman Architecture. Inside is a unique Romanesque Chapel, the beautiful 11th-century Chapel of St John the Evangelist. The White Tower also houses the magnificent Royal Armouries collections, including the 300 year old exhibition Line of Kings as well as treasures of the Royal Armouries.

There are arms and armour on display including the magnificent royal armours of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.

National Gallery

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.[4] Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Musee du Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Unlike comparable museums in continental Europe, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection. It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, an insurance broker and patron of the arts, in 1824. After that initial purchase the Gallery was shaped mainly by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, and by private donations, which comprise two-thirds of the collection. The resulting collection is small in size, compared with many European national galleries, but encyclopaedic in scope; most major developments in Western painting "from Giotto to Cezanne" are represented with important works. It used to be claimed that this was one of the few national galleries that had all its works on permanent exhibition, but this is no longer the case.

Telephone booth

A telephone booth, telephone kiosk, telephone call box, telephone box or public call box is a small structure furnished with a payphone and designed for a telephone user's convenience. In the United States and in some parts of Canada, "telephone booth" (or "phone booth") is the commonly used term for the structure, while in the Commonwealth of Nations (particularly the United Kingdom and Australia, and most of Canada) it is a "telephone box" (or "phone box").

Such a booth usually has lighting, a door to provide privacy, and windows to let others know if the booth is in use. The booth may be furnished with a printed directory of local telephone numbers, and a booth in a formal setting, such as a hotel, may be furnished with paper and pen and even a seat. An outdoor booth may be made of metal and plastic to withstand the elements and heavy use, while an indoor booth (once known as a silence cabinet) may have more elaborate architecture and furnishings. Most outdoor booths feature the name and logo of the telephone service provider.

Elizabeth II

The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was born in 1926 and became Queen at the age of 25, and has reigned through more than five decades of enormous social change and development. The Queen is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and has four children and eight grandchildren.

London Eye

The London Eye is one of the more famous structures rising on the landscape of London. It is an enormous Ferris wheel that sits on the south bank of the River Thames. It is on the west end of Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank and it stands roughly 135 metres in height. The wheel itself has a diameter of 120 metres. It is by far the tallest structure of its kind in the European Union.

The London Eye was originally owned by Tussauds Group, British Airways, and the Marks Barfield family. Tussauds bought out the other investors to gain 100% ownership of the wheel in 2006. In 2007, Merlin Entertainment bought the Tussauds Group and now maintains full ownership of the London Eye.

The formal opening ceremonies for the London Eye were held on December 31, 1999 as part of the millennial celebrations in London. It has since been called the Millennium Wheel by many Londoners. Despite its official "opening" ceremony, the London Eye was not actually opened to the public until March of 2000 due to some minor technical issues.

On January 1, 2005, the London Eye was the major focal point in London's New Years Eve celebrations. This has continued to present day.

Big Ben

The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock. A massive bell was required and the first attempt (made by John Warner & Sons at Stockton-on-Tees) cracked irreparably. The metal was melted down and the bell recast in Whitechapel in 1858. Big Ben first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859. A short time later, in September 1859, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today.The origin of the name Big Ben is not known, although two different theories exist.The first is that is was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works, a large man who was known affectionately in the house as "Big Ben". The second theory is that it was named after a heavyweight boxing champion at that time, Benjamin Caunt. Also known as "Big Ben", this nickname was commonly bestowed in society to anything that was the heaviest in its class.

St Paul's Cathedral

For more than 1400 years a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood as the highest point in the city. Frequently at the centre of national events, traditions have been observed here and radical new ideas have found expression under the iconic dome. In many cases these events have left some physical record as well as echoes in the intangible memory of the building.

The present Cathedral, the masterpiece of Britain's most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, is at least the fourth to have stood on the site. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and services began in 1697.

This was the first Cathedral to be built after the English Reformation in the sixteenth-century, when Henry VIII removed the Church of England from the jurisdiction of the Pope and the Crown took control of the life of the church.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is one of five London bridges now owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. It is the only one of the Trust's bridges not to connect the City of London directly to the Southwark bank, as its northern landfall is in the Tower Hamlets.

The bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal tension forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical components of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge's present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.

The London Underground

The history of the London Underground began in the 19th century with the construction of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway. The Metropolitan Railway, which opened in 1863 using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives, worked with the District Railway to complete London's Circle line in 1884. Both railways expanded, the Metropolitan eventually extending as far as Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire, more than 50 miles (80 km) from Baker Street and the centre of London. The first deep-level tube line, the City and South London Railway, opened in 1890 with electric trains. This was followed by the Waterloo and City Railway in 1898, the Central London Railway in 1900, and the Great Northern and City Railway in 1904. The Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) was established in 1902 to fund the electrification of the District Railway and to complete and operate three tube lines, the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway and the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, which opened in 1906–1907. By 1907 the District and Metropolitan Railways had electrified the underground sections of their lines.

Благодарность источнику “Википедия”.