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London, the capital of Great Britain, is situated on the Thames River. It is the largest city in Europe, with a population of eight and a quarter million. London is divided into four parts: the City, Westminster, the West End, and the East End. The City is the business and commercial heart of London.

Many banks, offices, and firms are concentrated there. The Tower and St. Paul’s Cathedral are in the center. The Tower is about 900 years old. Many years ago it was a royal residence, then a prison, and now it is a museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral is very large and fine. It was completed in 1710. The famous English architect Christopher Wren planned and built St. Paul’s Cathedral.

If the City is the business part of London, then Westminster is the center of administration. We can see the Houses of Parliament there. It is a beautiful building with two towers and a very big clock called Big Ben. The Houses of Parliament stand in Parliament Square, with Westminster Abbey standing opposite. Many great Englishmen are buried in Westminster Abbey.

To the west of Westminster Abbey, you can see Buckingham Palace, which is a royal residence. The ceremony of the changing of the guards, which takes place in front of Buckingham Palace, is of great interest to tourists. Rich people live in the West End. The best and most expensive clubs, restaurants, and theaters, beautiful houses, and parks are there. The East End, the district of plants, factories, slums, and docks, is for the working people.

London is unlike any other city in the world. It has rather wide streets but low houses. London looks very gray because there is so much rain and fog, and only the buses and post-boxes are red. This city has never been planned, and it has many parts which are different from each other.

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