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City of London

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The eastern part of the City of London (The eastern part of the City of London, seen from the south bank of the Thames in February 2016, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2016-02_City_of_London.jpg)

Flag_of_the_City_of_London (Flag) Coat_of_Arms_of_The_City_of_London (Coat of arms, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coat_of_Arms_of_The_City_of_London.svg)
Nicknames: the Square Mile, the City
Motto: Domine Dirige Nos (“Lord, direct (guide) us”, motto of City of London Corporation)
Coordinates: 51.5155°N 0.0922°W
Status: Sui generis; city and county
Roman settlement: c. 47 AD (Londinium)
Wessex resettlement: 886 AD (Lundenburh)
Wards: 25 wards
• Body: City of London Corporation
• Administrative HQ: Guildhall
• Total 2.90 km2 (1.12 sq mi)
Highest elevation 21 m (69 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)
• Total 8,072
• Density 2,800/km2 (7,200/sq mi)
• Ethnicity: 57.5% White British, 2.4% White Irish, 0% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller, 18.6% Other White, 0.5% White & Black Caribbean, 0.5% White & Black African, 1.5% White & Asian, 1.4% Other Mixed, 2.9% Indian, 0.2% Pakistani, 3.1% Bangladeshi, 3.6% Chinese, 2.9% Other Asian, 1.3% Black African, 0.6% Black Caribbean, 0.7% Other Black, 0.9% Arab, 1.2% Other
Time zone: GMT (UTC)
• Summer (DST): BST (UTC+1)
Postcodes: EC, WC, E
ONS code: 00AA
Area code: 020
Patron saint: St. Paul
Police force: City of London Police
Transport for London zones: Fare zone 1; congestion charge zone
Airport: London City Airport
Website: cityoflondon.gov.uk

City of London (abbreviated the City) is both the historic heart and geographical center of the city of London. Located on the left bank of the Thames, it encompasses the perimeter of London wall, enclosure of the Roman city of Londinium. If it is the smallest administrative district of Greater London, it nevertheless has 32 other London boroughs with its sui generis status that gives him both the title of “City” and the ceremonial county, whose mode administration is unique in England.

The city, whose symbol is the griffin, includes two enclaves (Inner Temple and Middle Temple) which are not administered by the authorities of the Lord Mayor. However, they govern some parks located outside its territory.

In the early twenty-first century, it is a great European business district. It concentrates the headquarters of many banks, insurance companies and large multinational companies. With his stock exchange, is also the leading financial center in the world in front of New York and Tokyo.

Although the city preserves prestigious monuments such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, it is distinguished today by its skyscrapers, including “the Gherkin”, which “crushed” old buildings surviving the bombings of World War.


The first Mayor of London appears in 1192 in the person of a cloth merchant, Henry Fitz-Ailwin, along with the communal status granted by King John. But it was in 1319 that a charter signed by Edward II devotes the autonomy of the City and the leading role of guilds (latervenerable companies“) in its administration.

Since that time, the municipal organization of the City always revolves around the Corporation of the City of London (Common Council) including the Lord Mayor, the 25 aldermen (the Court of Aldermen) elected for life and 150 councilors (the Court of Common Council) elected annually (representing the 110 venerable companies listed in the City).

The Lord Mayor (term appearing at 1414 and becoming common after 1545) that embodies the freedoms acquired by the bourgeois, is traditionally elected each year at the Guildhall (City Hall of the City), September 29 (day of St. Michel) by the Aldermen and the Sheriffs (which are themselves elected on last June 24 by the old corporations). A few weeks after his election, the second Saturday of November, it has to go to “great pomp” in the Palace of Westminster to receive, through the Lord Chancellor, the approval of the British monarch. This traditional civic parade ( “the Lord Mayor’s Show”) is one of the most popular events in London.

Invested his office, the Lord Mayor presides over the “office of the City” consistinmg of two sheriffs, a chamberlain and various aldermen. This office has especially the responsibilities of the police, schools, markets and roads of the city, as well as port health services and bridges crossing the Thames at its territory (particularly bridges “of London”, of Tower”, “of Southwark” and “of Blackfriars”).

Apart from its representative role, the Lord Mayor is also exercising a judicial function, since all crimes committed in the city can be raised to its jurisdiction. So it should have previously held the sheriff’s office to be elected.

If the Lord Mayor headquarters is at the Guildhall, it also has a function of housing to the “Mansion House”.

The City has a remembrancer which is an official designated in the City of London to defend its interests in the British Parliament.

The City is the only administrative district of London that is not patrolled by the Metropolitan Police; it has its own police force, the City of London Police. It also has the feature to grant the British monarch (king or queen) permission or not to enter its jurisdiction; so it is a state within the British state.

The Wards

Modern and ancient buildings in the city (Modern and ancient buildings in the city, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:La_city_de_londres_melange_architectures.jpg)

The City is currently divided into 25 “Wards” or “arrondissements”: Aldersgate, Aldgate, Bassishaw, Billingsgate, Bishopsgate, Bread Street, Bridge, Broad Street, Candlewick, Castle Baynard, Cheap, Coleman Street, Cordwainer, Cornhill, Cripplegate, Dowgate Farringdon Within Farringdon Without, Langbourn, Lime Street, Portsoken, Queenhithe, Tower, Vintry, Walbrook


The arms of the City of London date back to 1351, when they were recorded by the College Of Arms, but it was not until 1957 that they were secured by letters patent. The arms is: “Argent a cross gules, in the first quarter a sword in pale point upwards of the last.” The crest: “On a wreath argent and gules a dragon’s sinister wing argent charged on the underside with a cross throughout gules.” The supporters is: “On either side a dragon argent charged on the undersides of the wings with a cross throughout gules.” Originally the shield was supported by two lions; they became the dragons in the early seventeenth century, perhaps inspired by the legend of St. George and the dragon. The currency, which also dates to the seventeenth century, is DOMINE DIRIGE NOS, which is Latin for “Lord, direct (guide) us.

An economic and financial center

The city has kept, since its origin, its financial characteristics; it consists mainly of banks, the London stock market, insurance companies, large companies and newspapers. All this makes it one of the international market meeting points, which promotes business tourism. The city accounts for 13% of UK GDP.

The City’s financial activities have been important historically, but they had lost their weight in the global economy during the interwar period. Since the “Big Bang” of 1986, they won again the ground, especially against New York, handicapped by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, more restrictive. On trade in OTC derivatives, the City market share rose from 27% in 1995 to 43% in 2004. One fifth of hedge fund assets are managed in London (80% of assets of EU funds ), whereas they were only 10% in 2002. Today, London is the leading financial center of the world regarding currencies and its lead continues to grow as the triennial report of the bank for international settlements conducted in April and published on 25 September 2007. On the currency market, its market share increased between 2004 and 2007 from 31.3 to 34.1% against respectively 19.2 and 16.6% for New York. Nevertheless, the recent problems of Northern Rock could give rise to concerns among some about the strength of the place.

(Translated from Wikipedia)

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