London 17

London is a royal city. The British queen has a palace there, the Buckingham Palace, which is the official London home of the Royal family. It is a vast 600-roomed palace. In my opinion, it has no style and is quite uninteresting.

The 1st sovereign to live in the Palace was Queen Victoria. There is a memorial dedicated to Queen Victoria in front of the building. The British people like the Queen and the royal family. They like important occasions too, such as the Changing of the Guard, the State Opening of the Parliament and some others. The Houses of Parliament (The Palace of Westminster) stand on the bank of the River Thames. The Palace of Westminster is the seat of the Parliament. It is built in the Gothic style.

The Clock Tower, which contains the Great Bell called «Big Ben», is known all over the world. The Tower is old and it has a long and cruel history. The Tower was a royal residence, but now it’s a museum. One can see ravens on the territory of the Tower. There is a legend which dates from just over a century ago that stipulates as long as there are ravens at the Tower, Britain will continue to exist.

St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey are famous London churches. St. Paul’s Cathedral was built by Christopher Wren in the Renaissance Style (all other English churches are Gothic). It took Wren about 35 years to build the Cathedral. It is an operating church, because it is the largest Protestant Church in England. Its high dome contains the remarkable Whispering Gallery.

Westminster Abbey is situated in Parliament’s Square. This is the place where all the kings and queens of England are crowned. Darwin, I. Newton, Kipling, Dickens, W. Scott and many other well-known people are buried there.

Five important streets meet at Picadilly Circus in London’s «West End». The cars, the red London buses, and the taxis go round a statue there. People don’t remember the statue’s real name. They say: «It’s Eros, the Greek god of love». Picadilly Circus is a very busy place. It’s busy day and night. People come here to shop in the daytime, and at night they come for a night out. Trafalgar Square is the center of London. It is famous for the tall Nelson’s Column, a monument dedicated to Admiral Lord Nelson. The square was named Trafalgar to commemorate the victory at Trafalgar in 1805 where Nelson was killed. The pedestal of the Column is decorated with bas reliefs representing Nelson’s most familiar victories. At the base of Nelson’s Column are four lions. On the north side of the square is the National Portrait Gallery. The National Gallery has a collection of paintings from British, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch and other famous schools. It is an international, rather than, as it is named, a National Gallery.