25 top London sights

1. The British Museum

British Museum is the main historical and archaeological museum of the United Kingdom and one of the largest museums in the world. The museum contains pieces of art from the ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the products of medieval masters of Europe and Asia, a collection of coins and medals, drawings, prints, ethnographic collection. The museum was built in the Greek style in the 19th century. The founder of the museum’s collection is considered well-known physician and naturalist, president of the Royal Society Hanse Sloan (1660-1753). His collection of coins, antique gems, ancient manuscripts, sculptures, as well as stuffed animals, birds, herbaria, etc. was bequeathed to the state. Greece and Egypt, from which the monuments were taken out, still require to return them back.

2. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace – is the official London residence of the British monarchs. The palace is guarded by court battalion, which consists of the Guards regiment of infantry and cavalry of the Royal Guards. Every day at 11:30 starting from April to August (during other months — in a day) Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place.

3. Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster is the home of the British government during more than 900 years. After the fire on October 16, 1834 the palace was rebuilt in neo-gothic design by Charles Barry and Augustus W.N. Pugin. The building covers the area of eight hectares and consists of 1,100 rooms, 100 staircases and 11 yards. The House of Lords occupies the southern part of the building, while the House of Commons — the north part. Westminster Hall, the underground church, the members of parliament are situated in the Parliament. In 1987, the palace and the nearby Church of St. Margaret (1486-1523) were honored to be included in the World Heritage List.

4. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey – is the Gothic church in Westminster (London), to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It was built with interruptions, from 1245 to 1745. It’s traditional place of coronation of the monarchs of Great Britain and burial place of monarchs of England. It is also a place of religious worship, the most important dates in Britain are celebrated here. On the territory of Westminster Abbey many famous poets, scholars, musicians, artists and writers are buried.

5. Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery (Saatchi) — a contemporary art gallery in London, opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985. Notorious gallery founder Charles Saatchi has transformed his gallery to the one of the largest galleries of modern conceptual art in the UK. Charles Saatchi was the founder of the world’s largest advertising agency «Saatchi and Saatchi». That agency Saatchi conducted a successful advertising campaign of the Conservative Party of Great Britain, as a result of which Margaret Thatcher came to power. Saatchi Gallery has always sought to provide an innovative forum for contemporary art, presenting a largely unknown young artists or recognized foreign artists whose works are rarely or never shown in the UK.

6. Tate Modern Gallery

Tate Modern Gallery – is Art Museum in London, a collection of contemporary art. The Gallery is located among colorless concrete blocks of Bankside in a former power station since 2000. The gallery contains the contemporary art from 1900 to the present day. The museum’s collection includes works of such recognized masters of the XX century as Picasso, Warhol and Dali. In addition to the main collection, the museum arranges temporary exhibitions featuring works by contemporary artists and the new arts.

7. Downing Street

Downing Street is a small street in London. Since Sir Robert Ualpol founded a residence here in 1721, this conventional dark brick town house was the residence of the British Prime Minister. With world famous facade, black door guarded by the good old British «bobbies», the official offices, private apartments, a kitchen and a cellar. House number 10 Downing Street is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Therefore, Downing Street or Number 10 is often used as a metonym to refer to the office of the Prime Minister, and the number 11 — the office of Chancellor of the Treasury.

8. The Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum presents the history of the wars of the 20th century, with a variety of exhibits from tanks to letters of the prisoners. In addition to the First and Second World War, the museum reflects the history of Vietnam and the Falklands conflict. There is an exhibition devoted to the Holocaust.

9. Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery is located in the north of London. Here we can find catacombs, mausoleums and tombs of the famous writers, politicians and artists, including the grave of Karl Marx, Michael Faraday, Alexander Litvinenko.

10. Navy ship Belfast

Navy ship Belfast is one of the biggest war ships stored in Europe. Floated in 1938, Belfast participated in World War II and in the Korean War. For her time, she was one of the most powerful ships with complicated equipment. It was named after Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.

11. Royal Theatre, Covent Garden

Royal Theatre in Covent Garden is the place of opera and ballet performances, home scene of London Royal Opera and London Royal Balley. Opera is now even more impressive than before. After the reconstruction, it was restored to its original condition and is now the largest theater of opera and ballet in London. The programs involve the famous tenors and ballet dancers. Art is actively promoted to the people, due to the cheap tickets for all performances.

12. The London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is situated in Covent Garden. The history of transport since 1800 to the present day is presented in the museum. There are the exhibits of buses, trams, trains, taxis, boats etc. The museum also contains films, posters and working models of modern and old vehicles. History of Transport Museum sets out shows with the actors, dialog displays and even bus simulators.

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13. Tower of London

The Tower of London — a fortress, built on the north bank of the River Thames, the historic center of London. One of the oldest historic buildings of Great Britain, has long served as the residence of the British monarch. Tower also known as a prison. First prisoner imprisoned in the Tower in 1190. Among the most honorable and high-level prisoners of the Tower of London were the kings of Scotland and France and their family members (James I, Scottish prisoners of the Hundred Years War, John II (King of France), and Charles d’Orléans), as well as representatives of the aristocracy and the clergy. Most of the killings — mostly decapitation — took place at the nearby Tower Hill. Severed head put on a stake and put up for public display at the London Bridge as a warning to others. The decapitated body is being taken to the Tower and buried in the basement of the chapel. These cellars were buried in a total of more than 1,500 bodies. During the First World War in the Tower were signed and executed 11 German spies. During World War II prisoners of war were kept there temporarily, of which spent several days and Rudolf Hess. Currently, the main building of the Tower of London is a museum and armory, which holds treasures the British crown and was officially still considered to be one of the royal residences.

14. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is a wax museum, which has branches in Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Berlin. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud in 1835. In 1777, Marie Tussaud created her first wax figure of Voltaire. Other famous people she modeled at that time include Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. The collection has expanded with the death masks during the French Revolution: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are located next to the ax to behead them. One of the central parts of the museum is the Cabinet of Horrors. Part of the exhibition included victims of the French Revolution, the figures of murderers and other criminals. Later the collection was replenished with the figures of such famous people as Admiral Nelson, Walter Scott.

15. Museum of Science

Museum of Science (Science Museum) is located in the heart of London. The museum exhibition highlights the development of industry and science and their impact on everyday life. The museum’s collection is one of the largest, significant and comprehensive collections in the world. In the museum you can see the rocket Stevenson and small version of the engine, Whittle jet engine and space module Apollo 10. It is worth paying attention to the collection of King George III, where the scientific instruments — this is one of the most interesting galleries science XVIII century. At the Science Museum you can see the techniques of filming the trilogy «The Lord of the Rings», the exhibition includes an animation, artifacts, costumes and characters. There are lots of interactive games, for example, you have the ability to be reduced to the size of a hobbit.

16. Sherlock Holmes Museum

Sherlock Holmes Museum is London house-museum of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. The museum was inspired by visionary Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. During the writing of these works such address in London did not exist. In this regard a museum house was given this «special» number, out of the general numbering of the street. Reproduced Victorian style decor, very close to the one described in the books of Sherlock Holmes. Here is his famous chair, equipment for scientific experiments and his record. On the wall of the living room under glass adorns the monogram of Queen Victoria «VR», which Holmes «to Shoot» in «The Rite Mesgreyvov home».

17. National Art Gallery

National Art Gallery houses a collection of more than 2000 samples of Western European painting XIII — beginning of XX century. Among the authors — Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Bellini, Titian, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Sera, Canaletto, Degas and Monet. National Gallery was founded thanks to King George IV, who demanded the government to purchase a collection of 38 paintings, which included six works by Hogarth.

18. The National Army Museum

The National Army Museum is located in Chelsea. The museum serves as a reminder of the living and deceased veterans. The museum exposition dedicated to British military history. The museum has uniforms, medals, weapons, paintings and much more. The museum also has a library, where the public has access to rare books, periodicals, photographs and memoirs. The museum contains the skeleton of Napoleon’s favorite horse.

19. Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus — London’s main square at the junction of five streets. The main attractions of Piccadilly Circus are the huge neon signs and the statue of an angel of Christian charity, better known as Eros.

20. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral — Cathedral in London, the residence of the Bishop of London. Originally built in 694, was destroyed by the great fire in 1666. The present building was completed in 1710 by Christopher Wren. The name of the cathedral associated events such as the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. St Paul’s Cathedral is the burial place of nearly two hundred best-known British citizens. Among the most notable figures resting in St. Paul, we should note the Duke of Wellington, Nelson, bacteriologist Alexander Fleming (the creator of penicillin, the first antibiotic).

21. Soho

Soho (born Soho) — shopping and entertainment quarter in the heart of London. The name stuck for the Soho location in the XVII century. It is believed that the name came from a hunting clique. Since the first half of the XX century inexpensive cafe Soho became a meeting place for bohemians — writers, artists, and intellectuals. Since the mid of XX century began to develop particularly active musical life in London, won the very popular jazz and later rock. Also Soho was the center of London’s bit-culture. Currently in Soho are a large number of theaters and cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, brothels , sex shops and pubs for representatives of non-heterosexual.

22. Abbey Road Studio

Abbey Road Studio — recording studio in London, St John’s Wood, established in November 1931 by EMI. This studio was recorded last masterpiece of the Beatles. The four so fond of this place that is perpetuated in the name of his last album, 1969, the cover of which they are depicted crossing the street in front of the studio. Abbey Road name will forever remain in the hearts and minds of rock fans. This studio also recorded such legendary rock bands as Mike Oldfield, The Shadows and Pink Floyd, Oasis, Travis, The Time Machine, Patrizio Buanne, Nightwish, etc.

23. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is the swing bridge in the center of London on the River Thames, near the Tower of London. Is one of the symbols of Britain, and the most famous bridge in the world. Designed by Sir Horace Jones and opened in 1894. It is equipped with a special lifting device. From the bridge offers a beautiful view of the Tower of London and the River Thames.

24. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square was built in honor of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, as a result of which England has made maritime supremacy over France. In the center — 18 -foot statue of the hero of Trafalgar, Admiral Nelson’s column at the base of which there are famous landserovsky lions. Trafalgar Square is the traditional place of meetings, demonstrations, and holding mass events — such as the Chinese New Year and Russian Old New Year. 8 May 1945 Churchill announced to the crowd in the square Londoners about the victory in the Second World War.

25. Shakespeare ‘s Globe Theatre

Shakespeare’s «Globe» — the world-famous London theater. Newly reconstructed theater opened in 1997. The theater is located 200 meters from the original building, built in 1599, with funding from the troupe of actors Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which belonged to Shakespeare himself. Display of performances goes every summer (from May to October).

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