lunedì 20 marzo 2017

History of London and best sightseeings

For a long time, London was a small city. All its people lived inside the walls that were built by the Romans. This area is still called the City of London. There were many villages around the city. Gradually, more and more people came to live there. Then, step by step, the villages joined together into one huge city.
The city has a huge network of transport systems. The Victorians built a number of railway systems in the mid-19th century. Their main stations are in London,and the lines go to every corner of Great Britain.

There were originally five major companies, which were merged into a national rail network in modern times.

There is also the world's first underground railway system, London Underground, which is the main way commuters get into London. There are five airports, though only one is actually in London (London City Airport). There is the London end of the London–Birmingham canal, which was important to the industrial 19th century.

Most people in London are British. However, London also has many immigrants. These people come from many different countries. They speak many different languages and have different religions and cultures. There are also many people from different countries who stay in London on business. Many people visit London as tourists. They may see the famous "Sights of London". These sights include palaces, churches and museums.

London is one of the world's most important cities for business, finance, and politics. It is also important for culture: media, entertainment, fashion, and art
London is formed by two ancient cities – City of London and City of Westminster, both cities forming the region of Greater London. 

The world's first public zoo first opened in 1829 in London (London Zoo)

The exact centre of London is marked by a plaque in the Church of St Martin's-in-the-Fields overlooking Trafalgar Square.
The tallest building in London is The Shard London Bridge - 310 meters (1,017ft) tall.
It is also the 45th tallest in the world,
London is the first city to host the Olympics three times (1908, 1948 and 2012)
It is twinned with New York, Moscow and Berlin.

Tower Bridge has stood over the River Thames in London since 1894.

The total cost of construction was £1, 184,000 (£100 million as of 2011).
The bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward Vll) and his wife, The Princess of Wales.
It takes 61 seconds to open Tower Bridge, which opens about 1,000 times a year.
Tower Bridge is the only bridge over the Thames that can be raised as it is a combined bascule (drawbridge) and suspension bridge. This means that the middle section of the bridge can be raised to allow river traffic to pass through.
The bridge was originally painted a chocolate brown colour. Then in 1977, it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Grace Rapisarda

The London Eye

The London Eye is on the symbols of the Britain's capital, and it is a must to visit it during stay in London. The giant Ferris wheel can be admired on the south side of the Thames River, close to the famous Big Ben. The wheel is also known as the Millennium Wheel.
The total weight of steel in the Eye is 1,700 tonnes and the London Eye can carry 800 passengers at a time on a thirty-minute ride. From its highest point of 450 feet, it promises views of up to 250 miles. The London Eye was formally opened by then Prime Minister Tony Blair on 31 December 1999, but did not open to the paying public until 9 March 2000 because of a capsule clutch problem. On 5 June 2008 it was announced that 30 million people had ridden the London Eye since it opened. The London Eye annual maintenance period will be taking place from 9th - 24th (inclusive) January 2017. Although the London Eye will be closed during this time, Ticket Office will open daily for the purchase of other attraction tickets.

Marina Magra

The Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster, known also as the Houses of Parliament or just Westminster, is where the two  Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) conduct their sittings. It is the place where laws governing British life are debated and passed.Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement, the New Palace that stands today. The palace is owned by the monarch in right of the Crown and, for ceremonial purposes, retains its original status as a royal residence. The building is managed by committees appointed by both houses, which report to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker.

Fire and reconstruction
On 16 October 1834, a fire broke out in the Palace after an overheated stove used to destroy the Exchequer's stockpile of tally sticks set fire to the House of Lords Chamber. In the resulting conflagration both Houses of Parliament were destroyed, along with most of the other buildings in the palace complex. Westminster Hall was saved thanks to fire-fighting efforts and a change in the direction of the wind.

 In the Parliament
From the middle of the 11th century until 1512 the Palace of Westminster was the royal home to the Kings and Queens of England, hence the name. The Palace of Westminster features three main towers. Of these, the largest and tallest is the 98.5-metre (323 ft) Victoria Tower, which occupies the south-western corner of the Palace.

The Queen rides in a State coach to Westminster to open each new session of Parliament, usually in the second week in November.
Only Westminster Hall (scene of many trials, such as Guy Fawkes' and Charles I's) and St Stephen's Crypt escaped the great fire of 1834. Over 700 years of history were destroyed in that dramatic fire.

Big Ben
Big Ben is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It is the clock tower. The name Big Ben is often used to describe the clock tower that is part of the Palace of Westminster. Officially "Big Ben" does not refer to the clock tower but instead to the huge thirteen ton Great Bell located at the top of the 320-foot-high tower. The clock tower is now called The Elizabeth Tower. It was called St Stephen's Tower by Victorian journalists. They referred to anything to do with the House of Commons as news from 'St Stephens', as originally MP's used to sit in St Stephen's Hall.

Where is Big Ben located?
Big Ben is situated on the banks of the River Thames on the north side of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London.
How heavy is Big Ben bell?
The Big Ben bell has the following measurements:
9'-0" diameter, 7'-6" high, and weighs 13 tons 10 cwts 3 qtrs 15lbs (13,760 Kg)
When can we hear the bell ring?
Big Ben chimes every 15 minutes and the sound can be heard for a radius of up to 5 miles.
Quick Facts about Big Ben

Big Ben is the world's largest four-faced chiming clock. The clock became operational on 7th September 1859. The four faces of the clock are 55 meters above ground. The clock faces are 23 feet (7m) in diameter. The hour hand is 9 ft (2.7m) long, and the minute hand is 14 ft (4.3m) long. The pendulum is 3.9m long, weighs 300Kg and beats once every 2 seconds. At the base of each clock face is a Latin inscription, in gilt letters. It reads -Domine salvam fac Reginam nostrum Victoriam PrimamO Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First". The clock tower is the focus of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom, with radio and TV stations tuning to its chimes to welcome the start of the year. On Remembrance Day, the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. A light in the clock tower tells when the House of Commons is in session.

Samuele Rapisarda

Around London

Key Facts about London:
London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom moreover is the largest city in Europe. London is formed by two ancient cities – City of London and City of Westminster, both cities forming the region of Greater London. London is the first city to host the Olympics three times.

Facts about River Thames in London:

Richard the Lionheart introduced swans to Britain in the 12th century, from Cyprus end Mute swans on parts of the Thames are owned by the Crown moreover Claiming and counting them, is known as Swan Upping Moreover there have been three London Bridges but The current London Bridge was opened in 1973.


The Romans were first to settle where London is today and They called it Londinium. Later the Saxson destroyed London Bridge by using boats and ropes to tear it down.


In the London are different means of transport: underground, bus and taxi but most important Undergraund is "the tube".

(Damiano Fragalà)


This is a school blog from the digital class 3A in Nino Martoglio School in Belpasso. We are going to a short trip in the Anglo-Saxon world as part of our English lessons. We hope you will enjoy it!