London started as a small Roman settlement in AD 43There's evidence of very early settlements near the Thames in the London area: a large timber structure dated to around 4,800 B.C.E. However, the first major one was founded by the Romans. Called "Londinium", it occupied a relatively small area --1.4 km2 or 0.5 sq mi--, but expanded quickly during the 1st century, becoming Great Britain's largest city. It served as a major commercial center until its abandonment by the Romans during the 5th century.
The 1666 Great Fire of London destroyed 87% of homesThe fire destroyed St Paul's Cathedral, 87 parish churches, most of the government's buildings and the homes of 70,000 of the city's 80,000 inhabitants. Rebuilding took over ten years and the city grew quickly in the 1700s. By 1831, London was the world's largest city.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the worldImmigrants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jamaica and other Commonwealth countries arrived since the 1940s. Between 1991 and 2001, 726,000 immigrants arrived in London. Today, over 36% of London's population are foreign-born, making London the city with the second largest immigrant population after New York City.
London is home to Four World Heritage SitesThe Tower of London, Westminster, Kew Gardens and Greenwich were all declared World Heritage Sites. Other important places include Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, the British Museum and St Paul's Cathedral.
The London Underground is the world's oldest underground railway networkThe "Metropolitan Railway", as it was initially called, opened in 1863 as the world's first underground passenger railway. It's now part of the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. Today, the system has 270 stations and 250 miles (400 km) of track, making it the third longest in the world. Despite its name, only 45% of the system is underground in tunnels.
47% of London is green spaceLondon is the greenest major city in Europe and the third greenest city of its size in the world. Since there are 8 million trees in the city, it can be considered the world’s largest urban forest.
London was the first city to host the Olympics Games 3 timesThe Summer Olympics came to London in 1908, 1948, and 2012. It also hosted the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final and the 2017 World Championships in Athletics. London is also home to Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
London has some of the highest real estate prices in the worldThe average price per square metre in London is US$17,000, the most expensive in Europe. In 2015, London's residential property market alone was worth US$2.2 trillion, almost as much as Brazil's annual GDP.
London being a Rainy city is a MythDespite its rainy reputation, London's average of 602 millimetres (23.7 in) of precipitation per year actually makes it drier than the global average.
London voted to remain in the EUWhile the UK decided to leave the European Union with the Brexit referendum in 2016, Londoners were hugely in favour of staying in the EU, with 2,263,519 votes compared to only 1,513,232 backing Brexit.
it is illegal
To be a London black cab driver, one is expected to know over 25,000 roads and 50,000 points of interest and pass a test called "The Knowledge."
Despite its reputation as being a rainy city, London receives less precipitation in a year than Rome, Toulouse, Naples and even Sydney in Australia, but those are spread over more days.
In the 16th century, a London law forbade wife beating after 9:00 P.M., but only because the noise disturbed people's sleep.
London is still paying rent to the Queen on a property leased in 1211. Horseshoes, 61 nails, an axe and billhook are part of the rent.
There are so many trees in London, it can be classified as a forest, according to a UN definition.
According to research by University College, London, such is the concentration of dust particles, that travelling on London's Underground for 40 minutes is the equivalent to smoking two cigarettes.
It is believed that London's Big Ben was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner for Works, whose name is inscribed on the bell. Others attest that the bell was named after Ben Caunt, a champion heavyweight boxer.