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Everyone wants to visit London, the most intriguing city in the world. People have many ideas about what they will find when they arrive; mementoes of the late Princess Diana, a glimpse of the Queen, Big Ben, maybe even Sherlock Holmes, hot on a case in Baker Street. The exciting history of London is waiting to be explored around every corner. London has had its rough times. London has survived the Black Death in 1348, that is said to have reduced the population to 30,000. In 1665, the Great Plague killed 100,000 - over a fifth of the population.
The cholera epidemic in 1849 killed 14,000, and yet London continues to thrive and is now home to over 7 million of people making it by far the largest city in Europe, and one of the largest in the world. London is a cosmopolitan city, it has many different communities where different nationalities and cultures live side by side - everyone feels at home in some part of London. You can find Irish people inhabiting one London area next to Jewish and Muslim people. In certain parts of London you will meet Greeks, Americans, New Zealanders, Germans, Africans etc. With so many nationalities living here when you venture out you stand more chance of hearing any language but English. Considering the beauty, buzz and the size of London it is no wonder that so many people choose to visit, work and live here.
Travelling around London can be difficult at times, particularly by car - the average traffic speed in central London is just 10 miles per hour! The large underground transport system makes travel around London swift and easy, though at certain times of day it can be very crowded. London can seem overwhelming, with the variety of choice and the constant throb of people intent on business or pleasure, but you can always find an oasis of peace in one of the many parks and squares. You WILL have a great time in London and may find yourself returning again and again to enjoy all sides of this unique city.
Here's how it all started ....
Londinium - London
There is evidence of scattered Celtic settlements along the Thames, but no one knows for sure who was here before the arrival of the Romans. Julius Caesar led several small cross-Channel incursions in 55 and 54 BC, but it wasn`t until nearly a century later, in 43 AD, that a full-scale invasion force of some 40,000 Roman troops landed in Kent.
In 60 AD, the East Anglian people, the Iceni, rose up against the invaders under their queen, Boudicca, and sacked Camolodunum (modern Colchester), slaughtering most of the Legion sent from Lindum (Lincoln), and making their way to the ill-defended town of Londinium. According to the archeological evidence, Londinium was burnt to the ground. The Iceni were eventually defeated and Boudicca committed suicide. Her independence and defiance of oppression is still commemorated by a statue, on Westminster Bridge,of her triumphant entry into London on her chariot.
Londinium emerged, later on, as the new commercial capital, and was at its most prosperous and populous from around 80 AD to 120 AD. When Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 AD, the Romans officially abandoned the city never to return.
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