Historic Landmarks in London

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London Tower Bridge

London is one of the most amazing cities in the world. It is a huge place which helps to set the tone for the rest of the world in terms of industries as diverse as finance and fashion. People in other countries frequently look to London to see what the trends are in many different aspects of modern life. As a result, it’s a place that is often visited by the world’s most forward-thinking travelers. Nevertheless, London is a city that has been established for some time, playing an important role in the history of the world. Because of this, even the most modern of travelers will frequently seek out London’s historic landmarks in an effort to gain a better understanding of what this important city is all about.

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Tower of London

City of London

When we say “London”, we’re referring to the large urban area that successfully merges aspects of the region’s ancient history with a modern way of life. However, the actual City of London is a small geographic area (just one square mile in size) within the larger region based on the original medieval boundaries of the city. This part of London has been preserved in its historic form over time and is where many of the historic landmarks of the city can be found. It is by no means the only part of London where you can go to experience the region’s rich history, but it’s certainly a part of London that you don’t want to miss if you’re on the prowl for historic landmarks.

Here are some of the landmarks that you’ll want to visit within the City of London:

Tower of London

The reason that most visitors go to see this historic monument is because they want to get a look at the famous Crown Jewels which are housed here. However, this is more than just a safe for that treasure. Over the years, the Tower of London has been the royal palace, a prison and place of execution, a fortress for the city, a records office, The Royal Mint, an observatory and even a zoo. Talk about contributing to the history of the city! official website

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Inside of St. Paul's Dome
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Inside of St. Paul's Dome
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Dating back to the seventeenth century, this building is important to both the religious and architectural history of London. It is the seat of the Bishop of London and is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the City of London. official website

Natwest Tower

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This is one of the most modern historic attractions in the City of London but it serves as an important piece of the city’s history. Built in the 1970’s, it was the first skyscraper in the UK and remains the tallest building in the City of London. Today, the City of London is used primarily as a financial and government hub. (Consider the fact that only 10,000 people live here but nearly 350,000 work here.) This skyscraper reflects this important shift in the role of the City of London from an ancient site to its role as the center of the modern city today.

Finsbury Circus

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This is oldest public park in the City of London and a place where you should go to enjoy a more nature-based side of the city. You can see lawn bowling here or walk through the gardens.

The London Wall

This was a physical wall which originally set the boundaries of the city. Those boundaries have changed slightly over time and the wall is no longer erected to mark these barriers. However, there are still some parts of the old wall remaining for visitors to see. Check near the Tower of London, the Museum of London and St. Alphage to view the pieces of wall which are still standing today.

Historic Landmarks Outside the City of London

View of London
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Although many of the wonderful sites that there are to see in London are located in the City of London, there are also a lot of other things to see in the surrounding area. Here are some of the historic landmarks that you’ll want to include on your itinerary for the days that you venture outside of the old city.

Covent Garden

London visitors make their way to this attraction because they want to see the street performers and other entertainment available here. They also want to do some shopping and dining in the area. However, it’s not a modern mall area; this historic landmark dates back to the Roman Times and has been a public park area since the twelfth century. While you’re here, check out the Royal Opera House.official website

Kensington Palace and Gardens

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This is the home to the Royal Family and is a favorite tourist attraction for all of those people who loved Princess Diana. It was built early in the seventeenth century and has a rich history filled with the lives of London’s monarchs. official website

Kew Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew London
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Home to the Royal Botanical Gardens originally built in the eighteenth century, this is a popular place to go to relax amidst nature and get a nice view of the River Thames. Check out the Great Pagoda built in 1762, the Palm House Museum built in 1857 and the Marianne North Gallery constructed in 1880. official website

Leicester Square

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This public square draws in tourists with its gardens and entertainment options. Built in the early seventeenth century, it is the site of several interesting statues such as those of Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton.

Oxford Street

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Today this road is a major shopping district in London but it’s one that is rich with history. It was built along a route that was used as a road by the ancient Romans. It became a popular spot at the end of the eighteenth century because of the vast amount of entertainment that could be found there.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus
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This major shopping district has been an important part of the city since the beginning of the twentieth century. There are several historic theatres and memorials to be seen when you visit this area including the Criterion Theatre and the Shaftesbury Memorial.

Royal Albert Hall

royal albert hall
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This building is one of London’s most famous performing arts venues and a location where many famous musical and performing artists have shown their talents. It was opened in the early nineteenth century by Queen Victoria.

Royal Mews

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This is where the British Royal Family has its stables, on the grounds of Buckingham Palace. The existing stables were built early in the nineteenth century but the Royal Mews themselves date back about six hundred years prior to that.

Trafalgar Square

Nelson's Column - Trafalgar Square
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Built in the beginning of the nineteenth century to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, this place is best known today for its annual Christmas celebration. If you happen to be in London during the winter holidays, it’s a historic event not to be missed. You may want to go here during other times of the year as well to stand on the site which has been an important location for London’s political rallies and other historic events.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle - London
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Windsor 11
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Windsor Castle - London
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Windsor Castle - London
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All historic castles are interesting to see but this one is especially important because of its distinction. It is not only the largest inhabited castle in the world but is also the oldest of continuous occupation. This is where the queen spends many of her days, in a building that dates back to the fourteenth century.

Windsor Castle - London
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Windsor Castle - London
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