30 interesting facts about London

  1. The world’s first public zoo was opened in London in 1829.

  2. London is the first city to host the Olympic games three times (1908, 1948 and 2012).

  3. London is the first city in the world to get the underground railway. Today, the Underground carries 3 million people a day.

  4. London is the largest city in the United Kingdom and in Europe.

  5. London was actually formed by two cities, the City of London and the City of Westminster, today forming Greater London.

  6. The first traffic light was installed in London in 1868. Unfortunately, only one month later it exploded and injured a policeman.

  7. Over 12% of the British population lives in London.

  8. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

  9. In 1251 Henry III was given a polar bear by the king of Norway. The bear was held in the Tower of London tied to a long chain so it could swim in the Thames and catch fish.

  10. Christmas tree on the Trafalgar square is also from Norway, as a sign of gratitude to the citizens of England for their support in the WWII.

  11. All London black-cab drivers, in order to obtain their license, have to pass a knowledge test, which includes knowing 320 routes, all of the 25 000 streets outside these routes and 20 000 landmarks within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross.

  12. Over 300 languages are spoken in London.

  13. Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower, and not the tower itself.

  14. London Underground was originally meant for Paris.

  15. London is the wealthiest city in the world with over 70 billionaires living there. New York and Moscow are next on the list.

  16. In 2014 a parking place was sold for £400 000.

  17. London has 43 universities. Someday, my kids will go to college there.

  18. According to the law, Royal Navy ships have to provide a barrel of rum when entering the Port of London.

  19. Three out of the top 10 museums and galleries in the world are located in London. These are: the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Tate Modern.

  20. “Londonium”, “Ludenwic” and “Ludenburg” are all former names of London.

  21. More than 16 million tourists visit London each year.

  22. Because of large number of trees, according to a UN definition, London can be classified as a forest.

  23. If you come across a fox in London, don’t worry. It’s just one of 10 000 that live there.

  24. During the WWII all venomous animals were killed to prevent them from escaping into the city and killing anyone, in case the zoo was bombed.

  25. The Queen has to ask for permission to enter the city of London from the Lord Mayor. “The citizens of London, through the Corporation of the City, still retain their ancient privilege of being able to bar the Sovereign from entering their streets.”

  26. In 1986 London’s bakers apologized for the Great Fire of London, and they did so 320 years later.

  27. London was the capital city of 6 countries at the same time: to the Polish government-in-exile, then Norway, Belgium, Holland, and France. London was a safe haven for the governments of these countries attacked by Hitler during the World War II.

  28. More than a half of the London Underground is actually above the ground.

  29. Traffic speed in central London is the same as the speed of horse-drawn carriages a century ago.

  30. Before 1980 all banks had to be within 30 minutes’ walking distance from the Bank of England, so that in a crisis, a director of any bank could show up at the Governor’s office within half an hour.

  31. And, as a bonus, another interesting fact: the high-level walkway of the Tower Bridge was pedestrian until 1910 when the authorities closed it as it became a gathering place for prostitutes.

All photos by: Danica

Camera used: Nikon D3000, HTC 10

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