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London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, the largest city, urban zone and metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium.
- London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence.
- London’s 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe.
- London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries.
- London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich.
- The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world and will complete 150 years of operations on 9 January 2013.
- The next, heavily planned, incarnation of the city prospered and superseded Colchester as the capital of the Roman province of Britannia in 100.
- While the City of Westminster developed into a true capital in governmental terms, its distinct neighbor, the City of London, remained England’s largest city and principal commercial centre, and it flourished under its own unique administration, the Corporation of London.
- The Blitz and other bombing by the German Luftwaffe during World War II killed over 30,000 Londoners and destroyed large tracts of housing and other buildings across London.
- The British Transport Police are responsible for police services on National Rail and London Underground services.
- Greater London covers an area of 611 sq mi, an area which had a population of 7,172,036 in 2001 and a population density of 4,542 inhabitants per 11,760 /sq mi.
- The West End is London’s main entertainment and shopping district, attracting tourists.
- The average price for properties in Kensington and Chelsea is £894,000 with similar average outlay in most of central London.
- The London Business School is considered one of the world’s leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA program was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times.
- London is one of the major classical and popular music capitals of the world and is home to major music corporations, such as EMI, as well as countless bands, musicians and industry professionals.
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