London landmarks

1) Big Ben.

In fact, Big Ben is the largest of the six bells of Westminster Palace in London. But it has long been associated with the name of the Clock Tower, which in September 2012 was officially called “Elizabeth Tower”. The decision to rename the tower was made by the British Parliament to mark the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.The tower was built in 1858. The project architect was Augustus Pugin. The height of the tower and spire is 96.3 m.The Clock Tower is the largest four-sided clock mechanism in the world, and in addition, with the most accurate clocks.

2) Tower Bridge.

This bridge built in 1894, is still in daily use even though the traffic in and out of the London wharves' has increased to an extraordinary extent during the course of the 20th century.Nowadays the pedestrian path is closed. This footpath crossing which used to be allowed was by the upper bridge which connected the top of each tower, situated at a height of 142 feet above the waters of the famous Thames.

3) The Tower of London.

The Tower of London is one of the most imposing and popular of London's historical sites. It comprises not one, but 20 towers. The oldest of which, the White Tower, dates back to the llth century and the time of William the Conqueror. Nowadays a lot of tourists visit the Tower of London, because of the Tower's evil reputation as a prison. The Tower is famous as home of the Crown Jewels. Today they can be viewed in their new jewel house. They include the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother which contains the celebrated Indian diamond.Traitor's Gate has steps leading down to the River Thames. Countless prisoners, including the future Queen Elizabeth I of England, were brought to the Tower by barge and ascended the steps before being imprisoned. For many it was their last moment of freedom before their death. But Elizabeth was released from the Tower and became Queen. The King's second wife, Anne Boleyn, was brought to trial there in 1536 and beheaded. Six years later her cousin, Catherine, Henry VIII's fifth wife, suffered the same fate. Sir Thomas More was beheaded there in 1535.

4) Piccadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus is the centre of night life in the West End. This is one of the most popular meeting points of London, probably second only to Trafalgar Square. It is actually quite small, and; most people are rather disappointed when they see it for the first time because they had imagined it would be much bigger. Piccadilly Circus is a dynamic and picturesque place with a happy and lively cosmopolitan atmosphere. There stroll people who come from the most far-flung countries in the world, of all races, dressed in their national clothes. Groups of people like to gather around the foot of the statue of Eros, the god of love, work of Sir Alfred Gilbert. They form a brightly colourful picture. Piccadilly Circus is a West End shopping centre. There are many shops with big advertisements, belonging to different foreign firms there.

5) Hyde Park.

London is full of wonderful parks and Hyde Park is one of them. Situated in the center of London it’s considered to be a royal park. Hyde Park covers over 1, 4 square kilometers or 350 acres. It has a finest landscape and is often used for political meetings or festive celebrations. A long time ago the park belonged to Westminster Abbey and it got its name from an ancient unit of area. Now it has become one of the beloved places of Londoners who just want to have a rest or walk. The main attraction of the park is Serpentine Lake which is open for swimmers, and the gallery of the same name. Other interesting sights in Hyde Park are Apsley House with the Wellington Museum and Wellington Arch. These objects remind about the parade in 1815 in honor of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon.