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London

London (pronunciation ; IPA: /ˈlʌndən/) is the capital and largest urban area of England and the United Kingdom.[8] An important settlement for two millennia, London's history goes back to its founding by the Romans.[9] Since its settlement, London has been part of many movements and phenomena throughout history, including the English Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the Gothic Revival.[10] The city's core, the ancient City of London, still retains its limited medieval boundaries; but since at least the 19th century the name "London" has also referred to the whole metropolis that has developed around it.[11] Today the bulk of this conurbation forms the London region of England[12] and the Greater London administrative area,[13] with its own elected mayor and assembly.[14]

London is one of the world's leading business, financial and cultural centres,[15] and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion and the arts contribute to its status as a major global city.[16] London boasts four World Heritage Sites: The Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church; the Tower of London; the historic settlement of Greenwich; and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[17] The city is a major tourist destination both for domestic and overseas visitors.[18]

London's population draws from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and over 300 languages are spoken within the city.[19] As of 2006, it had an official population of 7,512,400 within the boundaries of Greater London[2] and is the most populous municipality in the European Union.[20] As of 2001, the Greater London Urban Area had a population of 8,278,251[3] and the metropolitan area is estimated to have a total population of between 12 and 14 million.[4][5]

The etymology of London remains a mystery. The earliest etymological explanation can be attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae. The name is described as originating from King Lud, who had allegedly taken over the city and named it Kaerlud. This was slurred into Kaerludein and finally London. Many other theories have been advanced over the centuries, most of them deriving the name from Welsh or British, and occasionally from Anglo-Saxon or even Hebrew.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "London".