London – photos and facts of sights

1. London Eye

London Eye

  • 135 metres high
  • opening: March 2000
  • 25 persons per capsule
  • one revolution in 35 minutes

2. The Shard

The Shard

  • 310 metres high
  • inauguration: 5th July 2012
  • tallest completed building in the Europe

3. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

  • residence of Queen Elisabeth I
  • built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703
  • bought from Georg III in 1761
  • has always been expanded
  • main residence of the British Monarch since 1837
  • 775 rooms

When the Queen is in residence the Royal Standard flies from the flagpole, when the Queen is not in residence the Union Flag can be seen.

4. Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster)

Houses of Parliamant

  • residence of the English kings up to the 16th century
  • destroyed by a fire in 1834
  • meeting place of the House of Lords and House of Commons
  • about 1,100 rooms

Gunpowder Plot in 1605:

A Catholic group wanted to blow up Parliament and kill the Protestant King James to re-establish Catholicism in England. Guy Fawkes was one of the conspirators. He was found, arrested and should have been hanged, but shortly before the execution he jumped from the scaffold and broke his neck.

5. Big Ben – Elisabeth Tower

Big Ben

  • part of the Houses of Parliament official name: Great Bell of Westminster
  • four bells (quarter bells) strike every 15 minutes
  • the Geat Bell strikes every hour
  • Big Ben refers to the name of the Great Bell
  • the complete tower is called Clock Tower

Why is the Great Bell called Big Ben?

There are two possible origins. Either it is named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the installation of the bell or it's named after Benjamin Caunt, a boxer.

The Clock Tower was renamed in 2012 in honour of Queen Elisabeth II.

6. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

  • built in 1065 by Edward the Confessor
  • British Monarchs are traditionally crowned here
  • Monarchs and famous people are buried here (Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, George Friedrich Händel, Isaac Newton)

7. The Tower of London

The Tower of London

  • official name: Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress
  • was a fortess, a zoo, a place for executions, a cemetry, a residence, a prison, a mint and archives
  • oldest part is the White Tower
  • William the Conqueror built it in 1078
  • consists of three wards

8. Yeomen Warders (Beefeater)

Yeomen Warden - Beefeater

  • guardians of the Tower
  • responsible for safeguarding the Crown Jewels

The letters E II R on their uniform stand for: Elisabeth II Regina

9. Tower Bridge

Covent Garden

  • opened in 1894
  • bascule and suspension bridge
  • 244 metres long
  • the horizontal walkways are open for visitors

10. St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral

  • the first church was here in the year 604
  • after the Great Fire of London in 1666 Sir Christopher Wren started with the building of the cathedral
  • 111 metres = 365 feet high (1 foot per day of the year)
  • place for ceremonies (Lord Nelson's funeral, wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di, Golden Jubilee of Queen Elisabeth II)

There is a Whispering Gallery in the dome. You are able to understand whispers and murmurs at any point of the dome.

11. Millenium Footbridge

Millenium Footbridge

  • a bridge for pedestrians only (opened in 2000)
  • 325 metres long
  • links St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern Museum
  • has a special system to avoid wobbles

The bridge is shown in the film "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".

12. Globe Theatre

Globe Theatre

  • first theater was built in 1599
  • reconstruction is 230 metres away from the original theatre
  • plays by Shakespeare are shown here
  • open theatre (Do not forget your umbrella in case it rains.)

13. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

  • largest place in the centre of London
  • main roads cross here (The Mall, Whitehall, Pall Mall)
  • place for festivals – but also for demonstrations

14. Nelson's Column

Nelson's Column

  • in the centre of Trafalgar Square
  • column with Admiral Nelson on top who won great victories for England (Battle of Trafalgar in 1805)

15. The Mall

The Mall

  • very broad road
  • runs from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square
  • flags are shown on both sides of the road in case of state visits

16. Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial

  • near Buckingham Palace
  • dedicated in 1911

17. The Gherkin

The Gherkin

  • office tower (180 metres high)
  • situated in the financial district

18. National Gallery

National Gallery

  • art museum (about 2,300 paintings)
  • at Trafalgar Square

19. Royal Courts of Justice

Royal Courts of Justice

  • houses the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Justice
  • opened by Queen Victoria in 1882

20. Harrods


  • famous department store in London
  • known for luxury goods
  • enormous foods department
  • destroyed by fire in 1883
  • purveyor to Her Majesty the Queen until 2001

21. London Dungeon

London Dungeon

  • chamber of horrors – next to the London Eye (since 2013)
  • from 1974 to 2012 under the Tube station London Bridge
  • historical events (the Plague, the Great Fire of London, Jack the Ripper) are shown

22. Fleet Street

Fleet Street

  • a lot of newspaper agencies were situated here until the 1980ies
  • the agencies have moved to more comfortable rooms in Canary Wharf

23. Covent Garden Markt

Covent Garden

  • former fruit- and vegetable market
  • lots of small shops
  • street entertainers in front of the market hall
  • students of music often perform in the market hall

24. Dominion Theatre

Musical - We Will Rock You

  • built as a theatre for live shown in 1928/29
  • later used as a cinema
  • more than 2,000 seats
  • the musical "We Will Rock You" has been on stage since 2002

The name of the theatre is based on a melody in a song by Tangerine Dream which was recorded in the 80ies.

25. Lyceum Theatre


  • built in 1765
  • the first waxworks of Madame Tussauds were shown here
  • the Musical "Lion King" has been staged here since 1999

26. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

  • Marie Tussaud showed first wax figures in 1802
  • exhibition was moved to the today's building in 1884
  • more than 10 locations worldwide

27. City Hall

City Hall

  • opened in 2002
  • headquarters of the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London
  • situated between Tower Bridge and The Shard

28. HMS – Belfast

HMS Belfast

  • Royal Navy Ship (built in 1936)
  • commissioned from 1939 – 1963
  • 187 m long
  • has been a museum since 1971

29. Camden Market

Camden Market

  • first market in 1974
  • in Camden Town
  • about 500,000 people visit the market every week
  • destroyed through a fire in 2008
  • reopening in 2009 – Camden Lock Village

30. Borough Market

Borough Market

  • one of the oldest food markets in London (13th century)
  • situated in Southwark
  • not only visited by tourists, but also used as a wholesale market where famous chefs like Jamie Oliver buy food for their restaurants
  • London Lifestyle Awards in 2010

31. Chelsea Football Stadium

Chelsea Football Stadium

  • opened on 28/4/1877
  • situated in Fulham at Stamford Bridge
  • seats for about 42,000 spectators
  • last renovation: 1990

32. China Town

China Town

  • was in the Docklands up to the 1070s
  • today in Gerrad Street (West End)

33. Brick Lane

Brick Lane

  • street in the east End, where people from Bangladesh live
  • lots of excellent curry houses which often do not sell alcohol as they are run by Muslims
  • street names in English and Bengali
  • famous for its graffiti (Bansky, D*Face)

34. Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

  • complex of office buildings in the Docklands which formerly belonged to the Port of London

35. O2 Arena

O2 Arena

  • indoor arena in Greenwich near Canary Wharf
  • often used for concerts
  • was opened in 1999
  • diameter: 365 metres
  • height: 52 metres

36. Royal Obervatory, Greenwich

Prime Meridian

  • prime meridian in Greenwich (since 1884)
  • tourist attraction – You can stand with one foot in the eastern Hemisphere and with the other one in the Western Hemisphere.

37. The London Undergrund – The Tube

The Tube

  • oldest underground railway in the world
  • opening in 1863 (Underground steam locomotives)
  • 11 lines (402 kilometres)

The nickname "The Tube" comes from the tube-like tunnels.

38. Mind The Gap

Mind the Gap

This sentence is a warning used at platforms on the London Underground.

Some platforms are curved and so there is a gap between the platform and the car of the train. Passengers might step into the gap and injure themselves. This warning was introduced in 1969.