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In this section we will present the basics to start knowing this amazing city. We compiled some data through which you will get a general picture of London. These data aim at providing you with a referential frame that allows you get a right perspective when it comes to visiting each London attraction.

London was founded by the Romans in 43AD under the name of Londinium, and it has been the capital of England and the United Kingdom since the 19th century. It is located to the south of England, on the river Thames. Originally, London was neither a big nor an important city: many centuries had to go by for it to become what it is today. In its way to becoming big, London suffered many blows. Two standout events that were catastrophic for the city were the “Great Plague” (1665) that killed a high percentage of the population, and the well known “Big Fire” (1666) that virtually turned the whole city into ashes, after which it had to be entirely rebuild. But even though London has suffered serious blows throughout its history, today it stands as one of the most important cities in the world, with a surface of 1,579 square kilometers and 33 districts that house over 7,000,000 people. The economic flow of this city is only surpassed worldwide by New York City, in the United States of America.

As far as ethnicity goes, London population is 71% Caucasian, 10% Indian, Bengali and Pakistani, 5% African, 5% Caribbean, 3% mixed-ethnic and 1% Chinese. London is a very cosmopolitan city and over half of its inhabitants were born outside of the European Union. Regarding its religion constitution, the census indicates that there is a 58% of Christians followed by a 15% that represents a majority group of people without a declared religion.

At a local level, the city is governed by the GLA (Great London Authority) consisting of the Mayor in the executive power and the London Assembly in the legislative power. This organ is in charge of controlling the police, the firefighters department, the transport, the urban care, and the economic, social and cultural development. Both parts of the organization (executive and legislative) have elective seats. The GLA is only six years old and came to fill the gap left by the abolished GLC (Greater London Council) since 1986. The current Mayor of London is Ken Livingstone, the reelected official from the Labor Party.


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