London (English with pronunciation) is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, located in the southeast of the country 80 km from the mouth of the River Thames. It produces 20% of the UK's GDP and the City of London is one of the world's largest shopping centers. Approximately 8.91 million people live here. London, along with New York and Tokyo, is one of the most important cities in the world. The term London is used for an area defined as one of the English regions - Greater London.
Although there is evidence of several British settlements in present-day London, the first major community was founded here in 43 by the Romans and called it Londinium. However, it was burned down around 61 during the attack of the army of the Celtic Queen Boudicca. The restored settlement then prospered very well and surpassed Colchester in importance. In the 2nd century, at the time of its greatest glory, there lived about 60,000 inhabitants.
By the 7th century, the Anglo-Saxons had built a new settlement, called Lundenwic, about 2 km upstream from the original Roman city, on the site of present-day Covent Garden. There was apparently a fishing and trading port at the mouth of the Fleet River. In 851, the city was attacked by Vikings, conquered and burned. King Alfred the Great later made peace with them and moved the city under the protection of the original Roman walls. During the reigns of other Anglo-Saxon kings, the city flourished as a center of international trade and an important political center. Nevertheless, occasional attacks by the Vikings continued and peaked in 1013, when the Danish king Knut conquered London and the English king Ethelred II. forced to flee. Edward III after he ascended the throne, he had Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster restored. Shortly after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned king in the just-completed Westminster Abbey. William granted special privileges to the city's inhabitants, but had a castle built on its south-eastern edge, which allowed him to rule London. In 1097, William II began. build near Westminster Hall Abbey, which was a royal residence in the Middle Ages. Westminster housed the royal court and government, while the City, run by the Corporation of London's own institution, concentrated its business. Both neighboring parts of the city gradually grew, becoming the basis of modern central London and in the 12th century took over the role of capital from Winchester.
In the Middle Ages, the population increased from 18,000 in 1100 to 100,000 in 1300. In the mid-14th century, however, a plague epidemic (the Black Death) reached London, killing about one-third of the population. The Great Plague hit the city in the years 1665 to 1666. Another catastrophe in 1666 then caused a great fire. The city almost burned down, but the loss of life was minimal and the plague ended due to the fire. The renewal of the city then took more than 10 years.
After the city's expansion in the 18th century, London became the world's largest city between 1831 and 1925. This growth was also supported by the first railways. The railway network developed very quickly. In 1863, the world's first tube began operating in London. The local government had major problems with the development of the city and the construction of infrastructure. Between 1885 and 1889, their solution was launched by an institution called the Metropolitan Board of Works, which was later replaced by the first elected administrative body - the London County Council.
During the First World War, the later first Czechoslovak president, Professor Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, lectured at the University of London from 1915 to 1917 (and sought to establish an independent state.) The bombing of World War II killed more than 30,000 people . In the post-war period, several architects were used during the reconstruction