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London Facts

Capital city of England and the United Kingdom

  • London is made up of two ancient cities which are now joined together - the City of London and the City of Westminster.
  • It is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures.
  • It is the biggest city in Britain and in Europe.
  • It occupies over 620 square miles and has a population of 7,172,036 (2001)
  • About 12 per cent of Britain’s overall population live in there.
  • It has the highest population density in Britain, with 4,699 people per square kilometre,
  • It is in the southeast of England.
  • It is the seat of central government in Britain.
  • The tallest building in London is the Canary Wharf Tower.
  • It was the first city in the world to have an underground railway, known as the 'Tube'.
  • Some of the most important people from countries all over the world visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
  • There are over 100 theatres in London, including 50 in the West End. London theatre accounts for 45% of all UK theatre admissions and over 70% of box-office revenues.
  • It has a diverse range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries.
  • The Greater London Urban Area is the second-largest in the EU with a population of 8,278,251.
  • The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the second-most extensive (after the Shanghai Metro).
  • It has 40,000 listed buildings and over 150 ancient monuments.
  • It has 22 national museums and more than 200 other museums.
  • It has twelve specialist arts and culture Higher Education Institutes.
  • The new Wembley Stadium is the largest football stadium in the world.
  • It has cultural centres run by and dedicated to its Polish, Kurdish, Chinese, Romanian, Hungarian, Bengali, Jewish, Somali, Hindu, and Irish communities.
  • Its 395 public libraries stock 17 million books.
  • Nearly a third of all the UK’s archives are in London. These include the National Archives, which provide an unbroken record of Britain's government from the 11th century to the present day.
  • 51% of Londoners visited a museum or gallery in the last twelve months, compared to 42% for the UK as a whole.
  • The Tate Modern is the world’s most popular modern art gallery.
  • It is estimated that 200 festivals take place in London every year.
  • Baishaki Mela - the Bengali New Year - is celebrated in Brick Lane and is the biggest Bengali celebration outside Bangladesh and West Bengal.
  • The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will require 70,000 volunteers.
  • The O2 Arena sold two million tickets in 2008 and hosted 140 events, making it the world's most popular music venue.
  • There are more than 900 bookshops in London - twice as many as New York.
  • There were 14,350 film “shooting days” in London in 2007, making it the third most filmed city in the world.
  • London has 105 cinemas and more than 500 cinema screens.
  • There are more than 17,000 theatrical performances per year, and more than 50 theatres in London’s West End.
  • Around 85% of the UK's fashion designers are based in London.
  • Madame Tussauds is a unique wax museum in the city.
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