Your Guide to London City of London
Where is City of London?
Home to the famous London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England and Lloyds of London, the City of London is a small area of approximately one square mile, and is historically known as one of the core districts of the capital. As well as being the heart of London’s commercial and financial industry, it’s packed with amazing tourist attractions for you to discover. The City of London is situated in tube zone 1, with masses of stations for you to choose from including St Paul’s, Bank, Blackfriars, Liverpool Street and Monument. Placed in the congestion charging zone, the City of London is bordered by prominent London areas including Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Camden and Hackney.
History of City of London
The City of London is perhaps the most historic district in the capital - its history dates back a couple of thousand years! Originally, it was the Romans who established the City of London, under the name Londinium between AD 43-50. The Romans built a bridge over the River Thames during their settlement here, near the site of London Bridge, and they also built a stone wall (London Wall) that bordered the area to nurture a highly civilised community. Although the wall was demolished in the late 18th Century, parts of it can still be seen today. During the medieval period, the jurisdiction of the area expanded into wider reaches beyond the London Wall, and included places such as Holborn and Aldgate to monopolise and protect the supply of certain trades. Not too much is known of the district in the years after the Romans left in AD410, until it was inhabited by Saxon invaders in the 6th Century. It was in 604 that Ethelbert, first Christian king of Kent, originally founded St Paul’s Cathedral.
The City of London has burned to the ground on two separate occasions: once in 1212 and then more famously in 1666 – both are known as The Great Fire. The fire in 1666 completely ruined the City and caused severe social and economic problems for the area. Not long after though, the rebuilding process began and the City was re-established with the same infrastructure it had before the fire. Much of the rebuilding process was carried out by Sir Christopher Wren, who is responsible for 50 of the churches in the area, including the redeveloped St Paul’s Cathedral. The population of the area fell rapidly in the 19th and early 20th centuries making way for new developments and, more recently, a huge number of office blocks and buildings. Today the City of London is the largest financial district in Europe, yet still retains much of its history and heritage, making it a place you really must see!
The Positives of City of London
One of the real positives of the City of London is the fact that it blends the old side of the capital with the new. You can be marvelling at some of the most historic and beautiful architectural sites, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, one minute, and then the next minute be in awe of the stunning innovative architecture of the Gherkin. You’ll also find a number of bars, cafes and restaurants in the district, catering for the needs of everyday life and the vast number of tourists and workers that crowd the area. Another huge positive is the excellent tube links. With so many stations, all the London Underground routes are covered and as the whole area is only one mile square, getting to and from each station is really easy. Taking everything into account, the City of London truly is one of the places you really can’t afford to miss out on!
Need to Know City of London
The City of London employs somewhere in the region of 340,000 people, which means the area is noisy and full of hustle and bustle. This often means that the transport system is really busy at the start and end of the working day. On the flip side of this, if you can come and go at your leisure you’ll be able to stroll around the district in the middle of the day in relative peace, as everybody else is at work! This really isn’t the place to come to if you hate crowds; however, you can’t really afford to miss the chance to immerse yourself in the buzz of the district, and get an insight into how this area operates. All districts of Central London are clogged with traffic and the City of London is no different, but you shouldn’t really worry about this because the excellent tube links make for easy travel around the area.