The City of London is defined as that historic square mile which marks the Capital’s foundations; it is the site on which London began some 2000 years ago. Today, it is both a historic site with lots of significance and a buzzing centre for culture, tourism, and trade that attracts millions of people every year.
‘The City’, as it’s called (not to be confused with London itself) has a distinctive character which is quite different to the rest of the Capital. Its distinctiveness is matched only by its energetic vibrancy, making it a must visit if you have time during your city break or weekend in London.
Read on to find out more about some of what this unique part of London has to offer and the things not to miss as you plan your trip.
A Centre of Trade
The City of London is home to the most powerful centre of business and finance in the world. As host to both the London Stock Exchange and the Bank of England, architectural monuments to trade and prosperity loom large on the City’s skyline, making you wonder at how a location with such a rich history can simultaneously accommodate such vividly contemporary structures.
Notable modern buildings include:
• The Gherkin at 30 St Mary Ax – a 41 storey, 591ft structure designed by legendary architect Norman Foster.
• The Cheesegrater at 122 Leadenhall Street – so nicknamed because of its characteristic ‘cheesegrater’ shape.
• The Walkie Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street – the 12th largest building in London with a distinctive, ‘top-heavy’ shape and a sky garden, which opened in 2015.
A Centre of History
Not only does the City’s history date back to the Roman foundation of ‘Londinium’ 2000 years ago, but The City has almost been destroyed twice – first by the Great Fire of London in 1666, and again during the Blitz in World War II.
Many of its most notable heritage buildings remain, including:
• St Paul’s Cathedral, originally founded as a place of worship in AD 604. The current structure was built by architect Christopher Wren in 1675.
• The Bank of England, established in 1694. Not only is the building a historic one, but the Bank provides the model on which most modern banks were based.
• The Guildhall, built in 1411, is the only secular stone structure to have survived the Great Fire of London.
A Centre of Culture
The City of London has over 160 prestigious blue plaques, placed to commemorate a site of historical significance. It is also the site of the Museum of London, offering a fantastic way to find out even more about what drives this vibrant area of the nation’s capital.
As one of the luxurious hotels near Liverpool Street Station, the Montcalm Hotel London is the perfect base for exploring the City of London. Browse our packages and check availability to start planning your trip.