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London is a city that impresses its visitors. Whether you decide to take an English course in London for a couple of weeks or to extend your stay for a year, the capital of the British Empire won’t fail to impress you. The largest city in Britain has the largest metropolitan area in the entire European Union, as well as being a metropolis that vibrates throughout its history, which lives in every and each of its corners, in its architecture, festivals and traditions.
Since it was founded two thousand years ago by the Romans, with the name of Londinius, London has experienced many moments of glory. It was the heart of Elizabethan theatre during the sixteenth century, thanks to the masterpieces of William Shakespeare and other playwriters, such as John Ford and Christopher Marlowe. London's history is marked by its great capacity to recover.
Only few cities in the world have survived such massive epidemics as the plague in 1665, devastating fires like the one in 1666 and the systematic bombing during the Second World War and established itself as an economic and cultural center in Europe time after time.These events marked Londoners’ life as for the successive regulations regarding the city’s urban and industrial growth.
London was one of the first European cities to have a metro. Known as “The Tube”, the colossal network that goes through the city allowing to cross its centre in less than an hour is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014. Having become one of the financial, political and cultural centers in the world, London has seen the glory of famous and controversial personalities such as the Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, the contemporary artist Damian Hirst and the legendary DJ Fat Boy Slim.
London hosted the Olympic Games three times (1908, 1948 and 2012) and the impressive opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 2012, directed by the famous British director Danny Boyle will be remembered down history. From Queen Elizabeth II to J. K. Rowling, Mr. Bean, James Bond, Underworld and Paul McCartney singing "Hey Jude", various important Brithish characters participated in the huge celebration, showing the world how British culture has contributed to history.
London is a city with a strong multicultural character. Currently, it has more than eight million inhabitants, of which 45% are of English origin. Many people who live in London have arrived there from all over the world, turning the city into a melting pot.
When walking through the streets of London, you’ll be amazed with listening to the elegant traditional English accent, blended with a mix of accents from the Middle East and Africa. This is perhaps one of the characteristics that makes the British capital a very attractive place where to experience human diversity.
During the festivities, traditional characters are reborn in London streets, identified by their colorful clothes: the ones wearing the full costume with beads and buttons, called Pearly Kings, the knights’ classic bowler hat and cane. These are retired British soldiers known as "Chelsea pensioners". Residents at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, every end of May the "Chelsea pensioners" wear their red coats and tricorn, while a member of the British Royal Family lists them during the Founder's Day.
Londoners carry a urban lifestyle and fashion in their blood and are able to stay active in the street for leisure and work, even in such a capricious weather. Throughout the same day, the sun and the rain appear on and off in London. During your stay in London it is advisable that you keep an umbrella at hand. In fact, London respects one of the most famous British sayings: "It's raining cats and dogs" (raining cats and dogs).
While you are taking an English course in London, you should be aware that there are some times of day which are sacred: tea time (usually between 5 and 6pm.) above the others, a ritual for many. You are recommended that you open your senses to the subtle English humor and you better make room in your stomach for hearty English breakfasts including eggs, peas, bacon, sausage, tomato, juice, coffee, etc.
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