of the Guard
Buckingham Palace (Video)
Great Britain - London
~ culture, sights, interesting facts ~
this gigantic metropolis of over 9 million inhabitants, is a marvellous
city full of history, grand buildings and monuments. The centre of
the former British Empire has developed into a cosmopolitan, multicultural
city, which covers all fields of interest. It is a fascinating world
which undoubtedly will cast a spell over everyone who visits it.
This particularly applies to the royal residences, palaces and charming parks.
The great traditional ceremonials and the royal splendour give London an
exceptional charm, and it is thrilling to experience all this. The entire
city is a pleasure to see, and no wonder! With 9 million visitors
from abroad, and 14 million British tourists yearly, the British metropolis
is one of the most popular travel destinations. Accordingly, the
volume of traffic is enormous and even though there is a sophisticated
traffic system, in special places, such as Piccadilly Circus and busy streets, the traffic
is at a standstill at times. However, also in this
respect London is deeply rooted in traditions and still one can see police
on horseback and the well-known double decker buses.
history goes back to the first century, when the Romans erected a bridge
over the river Thames and made the place a famous trading centre,
giving it the name Londonium, the outlines of which still, even today,
correspond with the historic centre of London. In the 11th century
the City of Westminster developed in the west of London, while in the east,
with the construction of the White Tower, London's
Tower history began. The city of London remained the centre of trade
and industry, whereas Westminster became the residence of the monarchy
and the church.
Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and the
Tower of London belong to the most famous buildings in the world
and are inscribed properties on the World Heritage List.
Palace and Abbey are architectonical
masterpieces unique in their beauty and grandeur. Since 1066 Westminster
Abbey has been the place for every Coronation and for numerous other Royal
occasions. Westminster Palace is the home of the British Parliament. During
the parliamentary sessions one can watch the debates in the House of Commons
as well as in the House of Lords, and the visitors' galleries are free.
We had the good fortune to get in, which gave us not only the opportunity
of watching the parliamentary sessions, but also to have a look at the
marvellous interior of the building. In the House of Lords we even saw
the throne of the Queen. Walking through Westminster we enjoyed heraring
and seeing the famous old Big Ben, which adjoins the palace in the east.
It is 315 feet high and has been showing the exact time since 1859!
Apart from the famous sites, a special highlight for us was a performance of
Verdi's opera 'Aida' in the Royal Albert Hall. The huge rotunda offers
room for 5000 people and the magnificent concert hall, with its purple
seats and curtains in the countless boxes, truly has a royal splendour.
Also, the production was very good. The evening was an unforgettable
experience and a great pleasure for us.
is such an exciting and beautiful city, but oh so expensive! The
admission fees for the tourist attractions are very high, just as all the
other prices, whether it's food, clothing or public transport. For instance,
for the Tower, including the bridge, we paid 16 pounds each. We wondered what sort of income people must have who live there.
However, the good thing is that admission to the museums and galleries is free.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in UK