Friday, September 30, 2005

# City of London

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Dragon statue at Temple Bar Monument, source (Wikipedia)

Was told by Ray that at the boundaries of the City of London, these dragon statues guard the City. In each road leading towards the City of London, there will be these dragons, commonly believed to be griffins, guarding the entrance, protecting the City in a mystical way.

Only after being informed by him, I started noticing the little dragons standing by the street. All the while I have not be mindful enough to notice the significance of these statues; there have been so many statues and monuments scattered near the streets that people sometimes took for granted. Near LSE, by the Thames River, there were so many monuments, including the obelisks from Egypt, standing quietly without too many people noticing their stories. I felt embarassed by myself, for not taking just a little bit more time to read the carvings on the monuments, just to understand more about the history.

With such remorse, I decided to look into the City of London in more detail by finding information from the web.

Information from Wikipedia: The boundaries of City of London (such a long one!!!)

"The City of London borders the City of Westminster to the west - the border cutting through Victoria Embankment, passing to the west of Middle Temple, going east along Strand and Fleet Street, north up Chancery Lane, where it becomes instead the border with the London Borough of Camden. It continues north to Holborn, turns east, continues, then goes northeast to Charterhouse Lane. As it crosses Farringdon Road it becomes the border with the London Borough of Islington. It continues to Aldersgate, goes north, and turns into some back streets soon after it becomes Goswell Road. It ends up on Ropemakers Lane, which as it continues east past Moorgate becomes South Place. It goes north, becomes the border with the London Borough of Hackney, then east, north, east on backstreets, meeting Norton Folgate at the border with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It continues south into Bishopsgate, and takes some backstreets to Middlesex Street where it continues south-east then south. It makes a divergence to the west at the end of Middlesex Street to allow the Tower of London to be in Tower Hamlets, and then reaches the river."

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Of course, a picture says a thousand words...

From there, also realized that the Great Fire of London did not only occur once in 1666. In fact, there was another in 1212, and BOTH of the fires are referred as THE Great Fire.

With demolishment of houses to make way for commercial buildings, the City's population fell from 19th to 20th century. Recently, however, residential use of buildings is encouraged, extra accommodation is being provided. Yet the population is not expected to grow beyond 10k people.

I think I have starting to sound boring to some people. But a point I must make here. There are many little things that stand right in front of our eyes, wanting to tell us the fascinating stories behind them. Each has its own stories and origins, yet with busy life of human, we tend to forget to care about the little things. Sometimes, we really need to slow down a bit, to appreciate the little things, to understand how things come about. As we look back to the history, we will be able to look at the future in another perspective.

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1 comment:

Pandabonium said...

That is interesting. I've been to London twice, but never knew those things.

On one trip, in 1988, I made friends with two Muslim women who worked in a government office in Kuala Lumpur. I met with them again a year later at a conference in Honolulu.

I liked London with all its historical sites and museums. I had great fun at a dinner party at Hatfield house (out of town) where Queen Elizabeth 1 lived as a girl.

And having a family history in aviation, really enjoyed the air museum of Shuttleworth in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, just North of London.

What a great opportunity you have to live and study there. Make the most of it.