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The London Portal

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core and financial centre - an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile - retains boundaries that closely follow its medieval limits. The adjacent City of Westminster is an Inner London borough and has for centuries been the location of much of the national government. Thirty one additional boroughs north and south of the river also comprise modern London. London is governed by the mayor of London and the London Assembly.

London is one of the world's most important global cities and has been called the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment-friendly, and most-popular-for-work city. It exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. London ranks 26th out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP. It is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers than any other city. As of 2020, London has the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe, after Moscow. In 2019, London had the highest number of ultra high-net-worth individuals in Europe. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe, and London is home to highly ranked institutions such as Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, and the London School of Economics in social sciences. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games.

London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region. Its estimated mid-2018 municipal population (corresponding to Greater London) was 8,908,081, the third-most populous of any city in Europe and accounts for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the third most populous in Europe, after Moscow and Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The London commuter belt is the second-most populous in Europe, after the Moscow Metropolitan Area, with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. (Full article...)

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The BT Tower, completed in 1964 at 177 metres tall

St Paul's Cathedral, built in 1710, was the tallest building in London at 111 metres (364 ft) until it was overtaken in 1963 by the Millbank Tower at 118 metres (387 ft), which in turn was overtaken by the BT Tower which topped out at 177 metres (581 ft) tall in 1964. In the 1960s and 1970s several high-rise buildings were built, located sporadically, mostly in the western side of Central London with some in the City of London. The first true "skyscrapers" to be built in London were the NatWest Tower (now called Tower 42) which was completed in 1980 in the City of London at 183 metres (600 ft) tall and One Canada Square which was completed in 1991 at 235 metres (771 ft) and formed the centrepiece of the Canary Wharf development. The 2000s saw a boom in skyscraper building, mostly in the City of London and Canary Wharf. However, since 2010, the tallest building in London has been The Shard at London Bridge, which was topped out at 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) in 2012. There are more tall buildings planned for the City and Canary Wharf, but there are also clusters emerging in other districts of London including: Stratford, the South Bank, Elephant and Castle, Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Islington as well as in places in Outer London such as Croydon.

As of 2020, there are 98 buildings or structures that are at least 100 metres (328 ft) tall in the Greater London metropolitan area, with 22 of these being in the City of London and 25 being in the Canary Wharf/Isle of Dogs district. The Greater London metropolitan area contains the second most skyscrapers of a city in Europe. There are 32 skyscrapers in Greater London that reach a roof height of at least 150 metres (492 ft), with 57 in Moscow, 21 in the Paris Metropolitan Area, 17 in Frankfurt, 10 in Warsaw, 6 in Madrid, 5 Milan and Rotterdam, 3 in Manchester. (Full article...)

Featured picture

Tower Bridge London Feb 2006.jpg
Photo credit: David Iliff

The Tower Bridge is a bascule bridge that crosses the River Thames. It was completed in 1894 and the original hydraulic machinery still opens the bridge, although it has been modernised. The central span of 200 feet (61 m) between the towers is split into two equal bascules or leaves, which can be raised to an angle of 83 degrees to allow river traffic to pass. The high-level walkways between the towers house an exhibition on the bridge's history.

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Roofless stone ruins on a grass lawn.
Ruins of the Abbey of Jumièges

Robert of Jumièges (died between 1052 and 1055) was the first Norman Archbishop of Canterbury. He had previously served as prior of the Abbey of St Ouen at Rouen in Normandy, before becoming abbot of Jumièges Abbey, near Rouen, in 1037. He was a good friend and adviser to the king of England, Edward the Confessor, who appointed him Bishop of London in 1044, and then archbishop in 1051. Robert's time as archbishop lasted only about eighteen months. He had already come into conflict with the powerful Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and while archbishop made attempts to recover lands lost to Godwin and his family. He also refused to consecrate Spearhafoc, Edward's choice to succeed Robert as Bishop of London. The rift between Robert and Godwin culminated in Robert's deposition and exile in 1052.

A Norman medieval chronicler claimed that Robert travelled to Normandy in 1051 or 1052 and told Duke William of Normandy, the future William the Conqueror, that Edward wished for him to become his heir. The exact timing of Robert's trip, and whether he actually made it, have been the subject of debate among historians. The archbishop died in exile at Jumièges sometime between 1052 and 1055. Robert commissioned significant building work at Jumièges and was probably involved in the first Romanesque building in England, the church built in Westminster for Edward the Confessor, now known as Westminster Abbey. Robert's treatment by the English was used by William the Conqueror as one of the justifications for his invasion of England. (Full article...)

Selected quotation

" A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,
Dirty and dusty, but as wide as eye
Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
In sight, then lost amidst the forestry
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
On a fool's head--and there is London Town.
Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818–24), Canto X, Stanza 82

Did you know...

V&A Museum of Childhood.jpg
  • ...that the Dulwich Picture Gallery opened in 1817 with a collection assembled for a never-realised Polish national gallery, and that it was first purpose-built public art gallery in England?
  • ...that the remains of London's Roman amphitheatre can be found in the basement of the Guildhall Art Gallery?
  • ...that the Secretum was the name given to a cupboard in the British Museum containing a collection of supposed ancient erotica, which in fact largely consisted of Victorian fakes?

General images

The following are images from various London-related articles on Wikipedia.


London has one of the oldest and largest public transport systems in the world. Many components of its transport system, such as the double-decker bus, the Hackney Carriage black taxi and the Tube, are internationally recognised symbols of London.

The majority of transport services in the capital are provided by Transport for London (TfL), an executive agency of the Mayor of London. The Oyster card is accepted as payment across most TfL-controlled transport modes. In the past ten years TfL has invested heavily in walking and cycling to promote more sustainable travel choices in London, including a Velib-style bike hire scheme which opened in Summer 2010.

Routemaster LDS402A.jpg Hackney carriage.jpg Westminster.tube.station.jubilee.arp.jpg Tramlink-Beckenham Jn.jpg BA Planes T4 2004.jpg

London has a comprehensive rail network with several major railway stations. London has two international train stations, at St. Pancras railway station and Stratford International, which connect London to mainland Europe through the Eurostar service. London also has six international airports.

In addition to public transport, London is the start point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.

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1908 Summer Olympics medal table · 1910 London to Manchester air race · 1948 Summer Olympics medal table · 1993 Boat Race · 2003 Boat Race · 2012 Boat Race · Albert Bridge · Aldwych tube station · Anne of Denmark · Harriet Arbuthnot · Arsenal F.C. · History of Arsenal F.C. (1886-1966) · Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield · Alice Ayres · Baden-Powell House · BAE Systems · Baker Street and Waterloo Railway · Enid Blyton · Battersea Bridge · Battle of Barnet · Horatio Bottomley · David Bowie · Boydell Shakespeare Gallery · Brown Dog affair · Bruce Castle · Buckingham Palace · William Henry Bury · Kate Bush · Elizabeth Canning · Caroline of Ansbach · Central London Railway · Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway · Charles II of England · Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office · Chelsea Bridge · Chelsea F.C. · Christopher Smart's asylum confinement · Churches preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust in Southeast England · City and South London Railway · Cleveland Street scandal · Cock Lane ghost · Covent Garden · Noël Coward · Charles Darwin · East End of London · Edward III of England · Edward VI of England · Elizabeth I of England · English National Opera · Edmund Evans · An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump · Gilbert Foliot · Former and unopened London Underground stations · Robin Friday · Prince George of Denmark · George IV of the United Kingdom · John Gielgud · Gray's Inn · Great Fire of London · Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway · Great Stink · Stanley Green · Joseph Grimaldi · Gropecunt Lane · Richard Hakluyt · Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies · Death of Jimi Hendrix · Her Majesty's Theatre · Herne Hill railway station · Georgette Heyer · Henry III of England · Charles Holden · Hoxne Hoard · Len Hutton · Iranian Embassy siege · Jack the Ripper · Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution · Hattie Jacques · James VI and I · Samuel Johnson · Early life of Samuel Johnson · The Kinks · Cosmo Gordon Lang · George Lansbury · Dan Leno · Marie Lloyd · Local nature reserves in Greater London · London Necropolis Company · London Underground stations · John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan · The Magdalen Reading · Marshalsea · Mary II of England · Mellitus · Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice · Metropolitan Railway · Henry Moore · Motörhead · Noel Park · Laurence Olivier · Emmeline Pankhurst · Peep Show episodes · Frank Pick · Peasants' Revolt · Pig-faced women · Harold Pinter · Postman's Park · Queens Park Rangers F.C. players · RAF Northolt · RAF Uxbridge · Talbot Baines Reed · Restoration spectacular · Richard II of England · Ralph Richardson · Richmond Bridge · Robert of Jumièges · Rokeby Venus · Rosetta Stone · Royal Gold Cup · Royal National College for the Blind · The Royal Opera · Sex Pistols · William Shakespeare · Jack Sheppard · Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Greater London · Edgar Speyer · Streatham portrait · Tallest buildings and structures in London · Terry-Thomas · Theatre Royal, Drury Lane · Murder of Julia Martha Thomas · Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion · Timeline of the London Underground · Death of Ian Tomlinson · Tower of London · Turner Prize winners and nominees · Dick Turpin · Underground Electric Railways Company of London · Vauxhall Bridge · Venues of the 1948 Summer Olympics · Wandsworth Bridge · Whitechapel Murders · William Wilberforce · William III of England · William the Conqueror · Winners of the London Marathon · Mary Wollstonecraft · Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft · Henry Wood

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1836 Boat Race · 1839 Boat Race · 1840 Boat Race · 1841 Boat Race · 1842 Boat Race · 1845 Boat Race · 1846 Boat Race · 1849 (March) Boat Race · 1849 (December) Boat Race · 1852 Boat Race · 1854 Boat Race · 1856 Boat Race · 1857 Boat Race · 1860 Boat Race · 1861 Boat Race · 1866 Boat Race · 1867 Boat Race · 1868 Boat Race · 1869 Boat Race · 1870 Boat Race · 1871 Boat Race · 1873 Boat Race · 1875 Boat Race · 1876 Boat Race · 1878 Boat Race · 1880 Boat Race · 1881 Boat Race · 1882 Boat Race · 1883 Boat Race · 1884 Boat Race · 1888 Boat Race · 1889 Boat Race · 1890 Boat Race · 1891 Boat Race · 1892 Boat Race · 1893 Boat Race · 1894 Boat Race · 1897 Boat Race · 1898 Boat Race · 1899 Boat Race · 1901 Boat Race · 1903 Boat Race · 1904 Boat Race · 1905 Boat Race · 1906 Boat Race · 1907 Boat Race · 1908 Boat Race · 1909 Boat Race · 1911 Boat Race · 1920 Boat Race · 1921 Boat Race · 1922 Boat Race · 1923 Boat Race · 1924 Boat Race · 1925 Boat Race · 1927 Boat Race · 1928 Boat Race · 1929 Boat Race · 1930 Boat Race · 1932 Boat Race · 1948 Summer Olympics torch relay · 1950 Boat Race · 1951 Boat Race · 1952 Boat Race · 1953 Boat Race · 1954 Boat Race · 1955 Boat Race · 1956 Boat Race · 1957 Boat Race · 1958 Boat Race · 1961 Boat Race · 1963 Boat Race · 1964 Boat Race · 1965 Boat Race · 1966 Boat Race · 1967 Football League Cup Final · 1968 Boat Race · 1970 Boat Race · 1971 Boat Race · 1973 Boat Race · 1974 Boat Race · 1975 Boat Race · 1976 Boat Race · 1977 Boat Race · 1978 Boat Race · 1979 Boat Race · 1980 Boat Race · 1981 Boat Race · 1982 Boat Race · 1983 Boat Race · 1984 Boat Race · 1985 Boat Race · 1986 Boat Race · 1987 Boat Race · 1988 Boat Race · 1989 Boat Race · 1990 Boat Race · 1991 Boat Race · 1992 Boat Race · 1993 Bishopsgate bombing · 1994 Boat Race · 1995 Boat Race · 1996 Boat Race · 1997 Boat Race · 1997-98 Arsenal F.C. season · 1998 Boat Race · 1999 Boat Race · 1999 FA Charity Shield · 2000 Boat Race · 2001 Boat Race · 2002 Boat Race · 2003 Boat Race · 2004 Boat Race · 2005 Boat Race · 2006 Boat Race · 2007 Boat Race · 2008 Boat Race · 2009 Boat Race · 2010 Boat Race · 2011 Boat Race · 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony · 2012 Summer Paralympics · 2013 Boat Race · 2014 Boat Race · 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone · A1 road in London · A215 road · Abbey Mills Mosque · Henry Allingham · Murder of Tom ap Rhys Pryce · Arsenal Stadium · Cicely Mary Barker · Joey Barton · Battersea Power Station · Baynard's Castle · BBC Symphony Orchestra · Kate Beckinsale · Belgian government in exile · Tony Benn · The Bill · Blackadder II · Blackwall Tunnel · Bloc Party · BOAC Flight 712 · Ernest Radcliffe Bond · James Bond · Boosey & Hawkes · Bow Back Rivers · John Boydell · British Airways · History of British Airways · British Asian Cup · British Library · Burney Relief · Cad and the Dandy · Cannons (house) · Casino Royale (1967 film) · Chiswick Bridge · Anjem Choudray · Churchill War Rooms · City of London School · The Clash · Murder of Victoria Climbié · Coldplay · College of Arms · Cranham · Elizabeth Cresswell · Charles Cruft · Crystal Palace · Crystal Palace Dinosaurs · Crystal Palace F.C. · History of Crystal Palace F.C. · Cyrus Cylinder · Daniel Day-Lewis · Death of Keith Blakelock · Denmark Street · Deptford · Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge · Dinner by Heston Blumenthal · District Railway · Doctor Who Prom (2008) · Doomsday(film) · The Dorchester · Down Street tube station · Dubstep · Dunstan · Eastcote House Gardens · Edward I of England · Embankment tube station · Emirates Stadium · Leo Fortune-West · Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare · Girlschool · Gloucester Road tube station · Mauricio González-Gordon y Díez · Gordon Ramsay Plane Food · Great Plague of London · Hugh Grant · Great Reality TV Swindle · Green Wing · George Grossmith · Gulf Oil · HMS Belfast (C35) · Hammerton's Ferry · Harmondsworth Great Barn · Hibiscus (restaurant) · Highgrove House, Eastcote · Hillingdon House · Holborn tube station · Edward Hollamby · Hot Fuzz · Anne Hyde · Ickenham · Imperial War Museum · Inns of Chancery · Iron Maiden · Jewel Tower · Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... · Kingstonian F.C. · Knife Edge Two Piece 1962-65 · Nigella Lawson · Lemmons · Bernard Levin · Ken Livingstone · London · London Necropolis Railway · London Necropolis railway station · London Philharmonic Orchestra · London Symphony Orchestra · M11 link road protest · Madness (band) · Manor Farm, Ruislip · George Martin · Karl Marx · Mary I of England · Match Point · Freddie Mercury · Middlesex · Ed Miliband · Millwall F.C. · Millwall F.C.-West Ham United F.C. rivalry · Mongrels (TV series) · Morden tube station · William Morris · Carey Mulligan · National Gallery · National Police Memorial · NatWest · Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson · Isaac Newton · Notting Hill · Old St Paul's Cathedral · One Direction · Paper War of 1752-1753 · Charles Pearson · Pétrus (restaurant) · Prince Rupert of the Rhine · Quatermass and the Pit (film) · Queen's Hall · Question Time 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Vauxhall Gardens · Vindolanda tablets · Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps · Wanderers F.C. · Rachel Weisz · West Ham United F.C. · Westminster tube station · The Who · Oscar Wilde · Amy Winehouse · White Lies (band) · Wimbledon and Sutton Railway · Anna Wintour · Woolwich Ferry · Wulfstan · The Young Victoria

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