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London | Architecture | Night Photography
The City of London is a geographically small city within Greater London in England. It is the historic core of London around which, along with Southwark and then Westminster, the modern conurbation grew. The City’s boundaries have remained almost constant since the Middle Ages, and hence it is now only a tiny part of the much larger London metropolis. It is often referred to as the City or the Square Mile, as it is just over one square mile (1.12 mile² / 2.90 km²) in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom’s financial services industry, which is based here.
In the medieval period, the City was the full extent of London. The term London now refers to a much larger conurbation containing both the City of London itself, as well as the 32 ‘London boroughs’, constituting Greater London. The City is today a major business and financial centre, ranking on a par with New York City as the leading centre of global finance; in the 19th Century, the City served as the world’s primary business centre. The City has a resident population of under 10,000, whilst it employs 340,000 professional workers, mainly in the financial sector, making the area’s transport system extremely busy during peak times.
The City is not one of the 32 London boroughs. It is governed by the City of London Corporation, which has some unusual responsibilities for a local authority, such as being the police authority for the City. It also has responsibilities and ownerships beyond the City’s boundaries.
Fire, bombing and post-War redevelopment has meant that the City, despite its history, has relatively few intact notable historic structures remaining. Those that are present today include the Monument to the Great Fire of London ("the Monument"), St Paul’s Cathedral, the Guildhall, the Royal Exchange, Dr. Johnson’s House, Mansion House and a great many churches, many designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who also designed St Paul’s. 2 King’s Bench Walk and Prince Henry’s Room are notable historic survivors of heavy bombing of the Temple area, which has largely been rebuilt to its historic form. Another example of a bomb-damaged place having been restored is Staple Inn on Holborn. A few small sections of the Roman London Wall exist, for example near the Tower of London and also in the Barbican area. The Tower of London is not within the City, but is a notable visitor attraction which brings tourists to the southeast of the City.
Other landmark buildings include a number of the modern high-rise buildings (see section below) as well as the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, Smithfield Market, the Lloyd’s building, and the Barbican Estate.
Blue London Night