I’m excited to continue the 10 things you might not know about series today with my favorite city, London! I shared several posts a couple years ago when I first visited the city (you can check them out here) and am SO excited to have another trip in the works in 2017! I feel like interesting facts about London could go on forever with all of the history the city has, but for now, let’s start with 10 things you might not know about London.
- The world’s first subway was built in London in 1863, and despite the name, London Underground, most of the “tube” is above-ground.
- The Times New Roman font was commissioned by The Times of London in 1929 after backlash of the current font being badly printed and antiquated.
- 1,000+ bodies are buried under Aldgate Station in London as a result of The Great Plague that swept the city in the 1600s.
- Great Ormond Street Hospital in London owns the rights to Peter Pan, and receives royalties from all works and performances related, since being gifted them in 1929 by the author.
- The Great Fire of London in 1666 resulted in the loss of 70% of the city, including the original St. Paul’s Cathedral. It took 25 years to rebuild the city.
- In order to be a taxi driver in London, one must pass the “Knowledge” test, which includes 320 basic routes around the 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks within a six-mile radius. It is said to take 2-4 years to master it.
- The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is presented as a gift from the people of Oslo (Norway) each year, as a thank you to London for their help during WWII.
- There are more than 300 languages spoken in the city – more than any other city in the world!
- The identity of “Jack the Ripper,” London’s (and one of the world’s) most notorious serial killers has never been discovered. The list of suspects is pretty lengthy, but a notable one includes a member of the royal family.
- In 1868, the world’s first traffic light was installed near Westminster Palace in London and required someone to manually operate it.
Have you visited London? Did any of these facts surprise you?