One of the most iconic cities in the world, London is the capital of England. Most people have heard of the city before. It has gone through many inceptions, surviving wars, and battles between royal families, leading to the modern version of the city which is absolutely spectacular. If you haven't been there before, you may not realize the rich history of the city which is a literal miracle that it still exists. However, due to the tenacity of the British people, and the royal family, London is one of the most outstanding cities in the modern world. Here is a quick overview of the history of London England, a place that everyone should visit once in their life.
Who Founded The City Of London?
London actually goes back to 43 A.D., extending into the fifth century. At this time, the Romans were in power, and they had extended their empire, coming as far as the land of Britain. Crossing the water, they were able to conquer and possess this area of Europe, later naming it Londinium.
Invasions By The Saxons
It was during the fifth century that the Anglo-Saxons and their invasions of Londinium began to take its toll. Although they were able to withstand these battles for centuries, it eventually became what is called the Kingdom of Essex. Subsequently, the Vikings found their way in the ninth century to this area of Britain, and Danish settlers began to appear. They opened businesses, encouraged trade, and began to transform this little town into the very first urban center in England. Many subsequent battles waged over the centuries, leading to the Duke of Normandy and the Tower of London. In the 12th century, King John enforced the self-governance of the city, yet England still had no capital. The central government of England subsequently moved to Westminster, a location close to the London area. It was a combination of the rise in trade, and the entrance of the centralized government that led to London becoming the capital of England.
Explosive Growth In London
It was during the 14th century that London became a hub for all of Europe. In the 15th century, due to the textile industry, it became even more popular. Leading up to the middle of the 17th century, maritime trade and centralized politics led to the Stuarts and the Tudors expanding their power. At the time of Henry VIII, London had grown to over 100,000 people. This was the beginning of the explosive growth of London Which would have a population 1/2 a million people by the middle of the 17th century. However, it was during this time that the Great Plague hit killing 70,000 of their citizens. This led to the burning of a large portion of the city, and a great reconstruction effort began. It was here that the iconic Christopher Wren, an architect, began to create outstanding buildings including St. Paul's Cathedral. It was this Cathedral that cemented the idea that English social life, societies, theatre's, halls, and palaces would be all within the City of London.
Massive Growth And The Two World Wars
Starting in 1694, the Bank of England was founded. It was actually the second central bank that was ever created in the world. It provided financial flexibility for people that would begin to expand the city, and it soon became the financial center of Britain. It was during the Victorian period, going all the way to the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution that led to millions of people coming to London. Unfortunately, this led to overcrowding, and unbearable summers where the sewers led to cholera epidemics. Despite that, the population continued to grow, reaching 4.5 million by the 1900s. Just prior to this, the County of London was formed, creating 28 Metropolitan boroughs. These, along with the City of London, laid the foundation for massive expansion. Unfortunately, World War I and World War II change the face of London, causing the population growth to decline. It was not until the 1960s that 32 metropolitan boroughs, and the old town, form the foundation of what London is today.
After the world wars, London began to flourish. Many new structures were built. It also became known as a destination for tourists all over the world. People have always been enamoured by the royalty of England, and London is the best place to be to experience this part of history. You can still see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace which has been going on for over 100 years. Additionally, you can go to the Tower of London to see the famous crown jewels which form the basis of the wealth of the royal family. There is also the British Museum, representing one of the best collections in the world of ancient artefacts, numbering more than 13 million. The buildings of parliament, and the iconic Big Ben, can also be seen, along with Westminster Palace. There is also the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum that is located near Hyde Park. One of the most popular tourist destinations is Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, and not that far away is the iconic building The Shard. Towering over the landscape of London, at the very top, you can see in all directions. If you are there, contemplating the rich history of this city, you can even imagine how it once looked.
If you visit London today, you are going to see a city that has gone through many different transformations. When you visit, you will be greeted by towering buildings, exceptional landmarks, and people that are always friendly. Although they have gone through remarkable times that would have crushed most communities, they are still one of the most resilient people in the world and will continue to be as long as London remains.
More London Articles