london’s ‘square mile’

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I bumped into these gentlemen within five minutes of my walk in the City. They were liverymen from the Guilds going about their duties. I just loved their outfits 🙂

The actual City of London is in fact just over a square mile. The rest is Greater London. Known as ‘the City’ or the ‘square mile’, it is built over the Roman ruins of Londinium and represents the country’s financial services industry. It’s a crazy mish-mash of Victorian buildings, steel and glass towering skyscrapers, poetic churches [including St. Paul’s Cathedral] by Christopher Wren and medieval traditions and customs. It has a parliament older than Westminster and its ancient freedoms are guaranteed to date under the Magna Carta. 350,000 people come to work here every day. Only 6,000 people actually live in the City.

Grey stone, grey glass, white skies, men and women in black suits, and a group of liverymen in full attire. I must admit I had a blast with my camera. And to complete my day, I climbed 311 steps up a claustrophobic spiralling staircase inside the 350-year-old Monument built by Charles II to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666, and got a certificate in the end. 🙂

The architectural brilliance of the City speaks through its kaleidoscope of architecture:
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The controversial Lloyds building
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The ecologically friendly ‘Gherkin’
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The poetic St. Paul’s Cathedral, with St. Paul glimmering through the trees as evensong resonates inside in the mosaic and gold-clad quire
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The Medieval Guildhall
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The urban development of Pater Noster Square
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The omnipresent Victorian clocks jutting out into the streets
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Lunch in a glass encased restaurant
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Left: The Classical Royal Exchange; Right: Time for some valet service at Leadenhall Market?; Bottom: Inside the Leadenhall Market
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Left: King Charles II giving orders for the building of the Monument; Right: The 350-year-old stairs I climbed inside it

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