London’s history is almost as long as the Christian era itself. The Romans founded the city, or rather a garrison, in about 43 BC. Prehistoric settlements around banks of the River Thames naturally reach further back in history. During prehistoric times, the river was a transportation route both towards the inland and the sea. It was also an important source of food.
The Romans were the first to tame the Thames, which was “too wide and powerful just to wade one’s way across”. Thus, the Roman soldiers built the first bridge across the river around 50 BC. Five years later, the simple (most likely a floating, pontoon-like) bridge was replaced with a sturdier one, supported by pillars. The new bridge also lasted for merely five years and was destroyed in a rebellion. After the defeat of the rebellion, Londinium’s next bridge was built along with the city walls and lasted through the whole Roman era.
The Roman Empire eventually collapsed and the Romans left London around 410 BC. Their reign over London lasted for almost 400 years. As permanent army was no longer protecting the city, London became invaded by many surrounding tribes. London and the Roman buildings were neglected and left to deteriorate. Only at the end of 6th century, the city began to flourish again. Many religious buildings were erected as Christianity spread to England. The most notable and famous of all was St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was built in 604 AD.
Vikings made repeated attacks on London during the 9th and 10th centuries plundering and destroying its surrounding areas. The turning point in London’s history was when the Normans invaded England. William the Conqueror conquered and destroyed areas around London but spared London itself. Londoners agreed to his demands and he was crowned the king.
William the Conqueror was the last to invade England and the country’s first king. During the modern era, Britain became the world’s maritime ruler thanks to its skills in sailing ship construction. The British Empire reached its height in the late 1800s, and almost half of the planet was ruled from London. Trading monopolies, such as the East Indian Company, carried exotic imports from Asia and soon tea became established the national beverage of Britain. London was the absolute center of the globe and the largest city in the Western world. It held its position for almost a full century from the early-1800s till the 1920s.
As a result of the Second World War and Northern America’s industrialization, London lost its position as the beacon of Anglo-Saxon culture. The flow of advanced consumer goods changed direction and London was the one to receive new American trends and products and then help them spread to rest of Europe.
The Second World War was extremely devastating period for London. The Germans repeatedly bombarded the city from the first days of the war. Towards the end of the war, London had to endure even attacks by V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets. London recovered from the war rapidly and organized the following first Summer Olympics in 1948. London had also hosted the 1908 Olympic Games.
Today London has more residents than ever before. The city’s population is slightly over 7 million and it’s the European Union’s largest city. Within European boundaries, only Moscow (population 9 million) is larger than London. Even in worldwide scale, London ranks 18th.
In the summer of 2012, London hosted the Summer Olympics for the third time. It’s the only location that has organized the Olympics so many times. London was considered an ideal location, inter alia, because it already possessed most of the required facilities. And whatever had to be built, served a permanent future use. London’s accommodation capacity is also large enough to welcome a huge number of visitors.
Finding the right hotel in London can be time consuming. What is the best hotel in London from your point of view? Does it have the cheapest price or is location more important? There is ample hotel supply, so you are sure to find what you seek. Choices are just so many.
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