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London - 8.Version - Referat


London is the capital of Great Britain. There are 7421205 people living there. 2, 7 mio. Of the citizens live in the 13 boroughs of Inner London.
Today’s administrative district with the boroughs was born at the first of April in 1965. London is one of the most important cultural, financial and trade centres of the whole world. In London, there are many universities, colleges and theatres.

London extends 45 km along the river Themse and lies on average 62m above sea level. London was born out of a settlement at the North coast. So, until 1739 the London Bridge was the only bridge across the river.
That’s why most of the city lies north oh the Themse. With bridge building (18th century) and railway building (19th century) the city began to spread in all directions.
The geographical coordinates of the city centre (near Trafalgar square) are 51, 30 degree of latitude and 0,08 degree of western length (BILD)
There the well known prime meridian was put down.
It’s the starting point for the degrees of longitudes and also the starting point for the different time zones.

Tube and tram (BILD)
The London Underground (the tube), whose first piece was inaugurated on January 10th 1863, is the oldest and with a length of 419 km the longest underground of the whole world.
South of the Themse there are less tube-lines than in the north. The reason therefore is the unfavourable position for building tunnels south of the Themse. Instead London’s south is full of above ground trams.
In 1861, March 23rd the first horse-tram made it’s way through Landon and 40 years later, in 1901, April 4th the first electrical tram made the same.

The business was put down on July 5th in 1952. After a forces rest of nearly 50 years, the tram was reintroduced in May 2000.

Tower of London
The tower of London was built during the Middle Age and consists of several reinforced buildings along the Themse. It serves as fortress, armoury, royal palace and prison, especially for prisoners of the upper-class.
And there was also a Observatory (?). Today the tower has to protect the British crown jewels and a extensive weapon collection.
In 1078, Wilhelm the conqueror gave the order to build the tower. The tower should protect the Normans from the citizens of London. In the following centuries the fortress was permanently extended.
It’s surrounded by a huge water ditch. A dam protects the inner buildings. In the centre there’s a huge “white tower”. Today the tower is a real tourist attraction. Not only is the jewel collection a tourist attraction. Also the buildings themselves, the weapon collection and the rest of the city wall of the ancient Roman construction attract tourists.
1988 the tower was declared a world cultural heritage by the UNESCO. Next to the tower there’s the Tower Bridge, which was completes in 1894, after a 8-year building period.
Madame Tussaud`s
Marie Grasholtz (who was later called Madame Tussaud`s) was baptised in 1761 in Strasbourg, 2 months after
her dad dies as a soldier, during the 7-year-war. Her mother took a job as housekeeper in Bern. She was employed at the house of Philippe Curtis, a doctor who was really good at building anatomical figures out of wax. In 1767 Marie, her mother and Doctor Curtis moved to Paris, where Curtis opened his first public exhibition. Dr. Curtis taught Marie the building of way figures in her early years. And she became so good at it, that she soon made her own figures: Figures of celebrities. In these days her wax figures were something like cinema or movies. The people were so curious, that they paid entry to see the wax portraits of the famous people. The people only knew their names, not their appearance.
Than Marie spend 9 years in Versailles to teach the sister of Ludwig the 16th. In 1789 she returned to Paris, while toe French revolution started. Marie was requested to build death masks for famous people like Ludwig the 16th. 5 years later she was sent to prison.
After a horrible time there she was released and had to search piles of bodies to look for people she knew. In the year she was sent to prison Dr. Curtis died and Marie inherited his exhibition. She married Francais Tussaud and brought 3 children to live. In 1802 Marie decided to bring her exhibition to England. She was very successful with her travelling exhibition and so she toured the next 33 years through whole England. In 1835 Marie decided, at the age of 74, to open her exhibition at the Baker Street, not far away from the exhibition place today. At the beginning she called it “side room”, later the exhibition was called “horror cabinet”. She kept on working at the exhibition until her passing away in 1850, when she was 89. Her sons and grand-sons kept her work going.
In 1884 one of her grandsons decided to bring the exhibition to it’s current place.
The newest attractions are the time journey “Spirit of London” and the new horror cabinet.

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