City of LondonBy Egyking
London's ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile medieval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the London region and the Greater London administrative area, governed by the elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
London is a leading global city, with its strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is the world's largest financial center alongside New York, has the largest city GDP in Europe. and is home to the headquarters of more than 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies.
It is the most visited city in the world. London's five international airports make its airspace the busiest of any urban center worldwide and London Heathrow is the world's busiest airport by number of international passengers. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2012 London will become the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times.
London has a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. In July 2007 it had an official population of 7,556,900 within the boundaries of Greater London, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union.
The Greater London Urban Area is the second largest in the EU with a population of 8,278,251, while London's metropolitan area is the largest in the EU with an estimated total population of between 12 million and 14 million.
London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich. Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square.
London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions including the British Museum, National Gallery, British Library, Wimbledon and 40 theatres. London's Chinatown is the largest in Europe. The London Underground network is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the most extensive after the Shanghai Metro.
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