A Little History on London, England
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, as its history goes back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London's core, the City of London, largely retains its square mile medieval boundaries. Since the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, education, entertainment, commerce, fashion, healthcare, finance, media and professional services. Tourism is also a large part of London's history. It is the world's leading financial center alongside New York City and has the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world. London has been described as a world cultural capital. It is the world's most visited city and has the world's largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. This year, London becomes the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken. In March 2011, London had an official population of 8,174,100, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union, and accounted for 12.5% of the UK population. London's metropolitan area is the largest in the EU with an estimated total population of between 12 million and 14 million. London had the largest population of any city in the world from around 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St. Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich. Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral, Piccadilly Circus, Wembley Stadium and Trafalgar Square. London is home to numerous museums, libraries, galleries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the National Gallery, the British Museum, Tate Modern, British Library, Wimbledon, and 40 West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the second-most extensive, after the Shanghai Metro. This is an exciting time in London and the city will be making history during the time they hold the Summer Olympics 2012.
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