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The Cenotaph - Whitehall


The War memorial, known the world over as The Cenotaph, is situated in London's Whitehall;it was originally built of wood and plaster, for the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919. The memorial you see today was designed by Edward Lutyens and was created from Portland stone, the inscription simply reads "The Glorious Dead";it was unveiled one year later in 1920. On the Sunday nearest to 11th November at 11.00am each year, a remembrance service is held here, to commemorate the British Empire and Commonwealth servicemen, who died in the two world wars. The Monarch, representatives of the Church, state, the armed and auxiliary forces, gather to pay respect to those who lost their lives, defending the freedom of others. Hymns are sung, Prayers are said, and the two minute silence is observed;then wreaths of Poppies are laid on the steps of the cenotaph.


Houses of Parliament


The Houses of Parliament, otherwise known as The Palace of Westminster, stands on the site where Edward the Confessor had the original palace built in the first half of the eleventh century. In 1547 the royal residence was moved to Whitehall Palace, but the Lords continued to meet at Westminster, while the commons met in St. Stephen's Chapel. Ever since these early times, the Palace of Westminster has been home to the English Parliament. In 1834 a fire broke out which destroyed much of the old palace, all that remained was the chapel crypt, The Jewel Tower and Westminster Hall. It was Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister, who saved the great hall by arranging for the fire engines to be brought right into the hall and personally supervising the fire fighting operation.


Big Ben - London


The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the four clock faces are illuminated.Each dial is 23 feet square (49.15 square metres)Big Ben's minute hands are 14 feet long (4.26 metres)The figures on the face of Big Ben are two feet high (0.6 metres)A special light above the clock faces is also illuminated, letting the public know when parliament is in session.Big Ben's timekeeping is strictly regulated by a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum. Big Ben has rarely stopped. Even after a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber during the Second World War, the clock tower survived and Big Ben continued to strike the hours.The chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC on 31 December 1923, a tradition that continues to this day.The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock. The bell was refashioned in Whitechapel in 1858 and the clock first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859.Just two months later, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today.The origin of the name Big Ben is not known, although two different theories exist.The first is that is was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works, a large man who was known affectionately in the house as "Big Ben".The second theory is that it was named after a heavyweight boxing champion at that time, Benjamin Caunt. Also known as "Big Ben", this nickname was commonly bestowed in society to anything that was the heaviest in its class.


London Eye


Since opening in March 2000 the EDF Energy London Eye has become an iconic landmark and a symbol of modern Britain. The London Eye is the UK's most popular paid for visitor attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year. A breathtaking feat of design and engineering, passengers in the London Eyes capsules can see up to 40 kilometres in all directions. The London Eye is the vision of David Marks and Julia Barfield, a husband and wife architect team. The wheel design was used as a metaphor for the end of the 20th century, and time turning into the new millennium. Back in 2000, the London Eye was known as the Millennium Wheel. At that time, British Airways was the main sponsor, and up until November 2005 they were joint shareholders with Marks Barfield Architects and The Tussauds Group. British Airways also privately funded the London Eye project from the early stages of conception. Today, the London Eye is operated by the London Eye Company Limited, a Merlin Entertainments Group Company.


Bank of England Museum


The Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the United Kingdoms central bank. Standing at the centre of the UKs financial system, the Bank is committed to promoting and maintaining financial stability as its contribution to a healthy economy. The Bank sets interest rates to control inflation, issues banknotes and works to maintain a stable financial system.


St Pauls Cathedral


A cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood on this site since 604AD, and throughout the cathedral has remained a busy, working church where millions come to reflect and find peace.St Paul's is not only an iconic part of the London skyline but also a symbol of the hope, resilience and strength of the city and nation it serves. Above all, St Paul's Cathedral is a lasting monument to the glory of God.The current cathedral - the fourth to occupy this site - was designed by the court architect Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.Its architectural and artistic importance reflect the determination of the five monarchs who oversaw its building that London's leading church should be as beautiful and imposing as their private palaces.Since the first service was held here in 1697, Wren's masterpiece has been where people and events of overwhelming importance to the country have been celebrated, mourned and commemorated. Important services have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill;Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria;peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars;the launch of the Festival of Britain;the Service of Remembrance and Commemoration for the 11th September 2001:the 80th and 100th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother;the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, most recently, the thanksgiving services for both the Golden Jubilee and 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.Over the centuries, St Paul's has changed to reflect shifting tastes and attitudes. Decoration has been added and removed, services have been updated, and different areas have been put to new uses. Today, the history of the nation is written in the carved stone of its pillars and arches and is celebrated in its works of art and monuments.In the crypt are effigies and fragments of stone that pre-date the cathedral, relics of a medieval world. From Wren's original vision, Jean Tijou's beautiful wrought iron gates of 1700 still separate the quire from the ambulatory;children still test the acoustics in the Whispering Gallery;and the 1695 organ which Mendelssohn once played is still in use.The magnificent mosaics are the result of Queen Victoria's mid-19th century complaint that the interior was "most dreary, dingy and undevotional.' The American Memorial Chapel stands behind the High Altar in an area that was bomb-damaged during the Second World War - a gesture of gratitude to the American dead of the Second World War from the people of Britain. An altar has now been installed on a dais in the heart of the cathedral, bringing services closer to those who attend them.St Paul's is currently undergoing an historic 40 million pound programme of cleaning and repair to mark the 300th Anniversary of the cathedral in 2011. This is the first time in its long history that the building has been comprehensively restored inside and out. Once the programme of cleaning and repair is finished the two million visitors and worshippers who come to St Paul's each year can witness Wren's original vision and see his cathedral as fresh as the day it was completed.


Kensington Palace


Kensington Palace in London is a working Royal residence. Of great historical importance, Kensington Palace was the favourite residence of successive sovereigns until 1760. It was also the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. Today Kensington Palace accommodates the offices and private apartments of a number of members of the Royal Family. Although managed by Historic Royal Palaces, the Palace is furnished with items from the Royal Collection.


Madame Tussauds - London


Madame Tussaud, a friend of Louis XVI's sister, arrived in England in 1802 fleeing from the French revolution. She brought with her a collection of death masks of guillotined aristocrats. First opened in The Strand, Madame Tussauds waxwork exhibition was later moved to Marylebone Road. Madame Tussauds continued to grow as its creator added to her collection models of English murderers and body snatchers. Today you will find models of well known sports personalities, musicians and film stars, statesmen from around the world, and even the Royal Family. Have fun in the new Superstars and Legends section by searching for your personal hero or heroine, or find your favourite film star and tell them you are their greatest fan.


Natural History Museum - London


'Welcome to the Natural History Museum. We promote the discovery, understanding, enjoyment, and responsible use of the natural world. Explore our world-class collections, fantastic exhibitions and cutting-edge research online, or visit our landmark buildings.' Encounter our fiercest and smartest T. rex ever - a giant meat-eater that can sense when people are near. 18 Mar 2005 - 18 Mar 2007. Take a multimedia tour of the Museum's incredible architecture. 22 Aug 2005 - 07 May 2006. Coral reefs are beautiful and diverse but fragile ecosystems. Hear about the risks they face and some projects to save them. 24 Mar 2006. The Museum is open every day except 24-26 December. Last admission is at 17:30.


Marble Arch - London


Marble Arch was designed by John Nash in 1828. Built of white Carrara marble, the design was taken from the triumphal arch of Constantine in Rome. It was erected to form a grand gateway to Buckingham Palace. When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert decided to enlarge the palace in 1851, room was made for the extension by removing the vast arch, which then became an entrance to Hyde Park. The upper part of the arch has been used as a place for police surveillance. During a riot in 1855 the crowd were brought to order by a body of police, who emerged from the arch taking the demonstrators by surprise. The area in which Marble Arch now stands was known as Tyburn, the site of the three-legged gallows, a place of public execution, where crowds gathered to witness the gruesome sight.


Buckingham Palace - London


Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year. For visitor information, please visit the Royal Collection website.Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. In measurements, the building is 108 metres long across the front, 120 metres deep (including the central quadrangle) and 24 metres high.The Palace is very much a working building and the centrepiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy. It houses the offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family.The Palace is also the venue for great Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, all of which are organised by the Royal Household.Although Buckingham Palace is furnished and decorated with priceless works of art that form part of the Royal Collection, one of the major art collections in the world today. It is not an art gallery and nor is it a museum.Its State Rooms form the nucleus of the working Palace and are used regularly by The Queen and members of the Royal Family for official and State entertaining.More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the Royal Garden Parties.For those who do receive an invitation to Buckingham Palace, the first step across the threshold is into the Grand Hall and up the curving marble stairs of the Grand Staircase. Portraits are still set in the walls, as they were by Queen Victoria.The Throne Room, sometimes used during Queen Victoria's reign for Court gatherings and as a second dancing room, is dominated by a proscenium arch supported by a pair of winged figures of ' victory' holding garlands above the 'chairs of state'.It is in the Throne Room that The Queen, on very special occasions like Jubilees, receives loyal addresses. Another use of the Throne Room has been for formal wedding photographs.George IV's original palace lacked a large room in which to entertain. Queen Victoria rectified that shortcoming by adding in 1853-5 what was, at the time of its construction, the largest room in London.At 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m high, the Ballroom is the largest multi-purpose room in Buckingham Palace. It was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War.It is along the East Gallery that The Queen and her State guests process to the Ballroom for the State Banquet normally held on the first day of the visit.Around 150 guests are invited and include members of the Royal Family, the government and other political leaders, High Commissioners and Ambassadors and prominent people who have trade or other associations with the visiting country.Today, it is used by The Queen for State banquets and other formal occasions such as the annual Diplomatic Reception attended by 1,500 guests.This is a very formal occasion during which The Queen will meet every head of mission accredited to the Court of St James's. For the diplomats it is perhaps the highlight of the annual diplomatic social calendar.The Ballroom has been used variously as a concert hall for memorial concerts and performances of the arts and it is the regular venue for Investitures of which there are usually 21 a year - nine in spring, two in the summer and ten in the autumn.At Investitures, The Queen (or The Prince of Wales as Her Majesty's representative) will meet recipients of British honours and give them their awards, including knighting those who have been awarded knighthoods.From the Ballroom, the West Gallery, with its four Gobelin tapestries, leads into the first of the great rooms that overlook lawn and the formal gardens - setting for the annual Garden Parties introduced by Queen Victoria in 1868.The State Dining Room is one of the principal State Rooms on the West side of the Palace. Many distinguished people have dined in this room including the 24 holders of the Order of Merit as well as presidents and prime ministers.Before the Ballroom was added to the Palace in the 1850s, the first State Ball was held in the Blue Drawing Room in May 1838 as part of the celebrations leading up to Queen Victoria's Coronation.The Music Room was originally known as the Bow Drawing Room and is the centre of the suite of rooms on the Garden Front between the Blue and the White Drawing Rooms.Four Royal babies - The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William - were all christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room.One of its more formal uses is during a State Visit when guests are presented to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the visiting Head of State or for receptions.The last of the suite of rooms overlooking the gardens on the principal floor is the White Drawing Room. Originally called the North Drawing Room, it is perhaps the grandest of all the State Rooms. The Room also serves as a Royal reception room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family to gather before State and official occasions.The Bow Room is familiar to the many thousands of guests to Royal Garden Parties who pass through it on their way to the garden. It was originally intended as a part of George IV's private apartments - to be the King's Library - but it was never fitted up as such.Instead, it has become another room for entertaining and is where The Queen holds the arrival lunch for a visiting Head of State at the start of a State visit.


The University of London


The University of London is a public institution that was established in 1826. It has around 22,000 students in the university. This University is based primarily in London. The University is a federal mega university made up of 31 affiliates. Through its Colleges and Institutes, the University of London offers over 3700 courses each year covering almost every subject found in any university curriculum. A few of the subjects that are covered include Divinity, Medicine, Law, Veterinary Medicine, Dental Surgery, Engineering, Science, Music, Arts, Business Administration, Education, Commerce and Humanities.


London Centre


London is the capital of Britain, and has something to offer everyone - majestic stately houses, tranquil green parks and a zoo, engrossing museums and art galleries and bustling shopping centres with all the major stores, specialist shops and markets.The Royal Family have their main residence in London, at Buckingham Palace, but there are many other interesting houses to visit within London with Royal connections - Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, and Regents Park, an ancient Royal hunting park.


British Museum


The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. Housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks, the collection is one of the finest in existence, spanning two million years of human history. Access to the collections is free. The British Museum was founded in 1753 to promote universal understanding through the arts, natural history and science in a public museum. Since its foundation, the British Museum has been guided by three important principles:that the collections are held in perpetuity in their entirety;that they are widely available to all who seek to enjoy and learn from them and that they are curated by full-time specialists.


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