London was the centre of the British Empire for centuries, which makes it one of the most interesting cities if you are fascinate by history. It consists of not just popular buildings, but also popular streets, all of which have a connection with the past in one way or another. In the following sections we touch upon the city's famous streets and addresses, and find out the stories they tell us.
221b, Baker Street. This was the address of Sherlock Holmes, who is known as the world's most famous private detective ever, in fiction or in reality. It was from this address that Sherlock Holmes solved a majority of his cases, for clients that included common tradesmen to Prime Ministers of Europe. Thousands of fans of this popular detective visit this address even today, making it one of the most visited addresses in the city.
Downing Street is to the British capital city what Pennsylvania Avenue is to Washington – it is home to a number of officials, including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Exchequer, which is what the Finance Minister is called in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister lives in 10 Downing Street, and the Minister of Exchequer lives right next door to him, in 11, Downing Street. The reason the two live side by side, as the legend goes, is that the PM needs to always keep an eye on the Minister of Exchequer because the latter is the most important minister that works under the PM in the cabinet, and may conspire against the PM at any time. However, in practice, the Downing Street is woefully short of conspiracies by the Minister of Exchequer, and is mostly known for the lone guard that stands outside the No. 10, Downing Street.
The London Wall is the name of the road near the City that is situated near the site of the real wall built by the ancient Romans to defend their garrison from the rebellious tribesmen of the area in 1st century A.D. The Roman Wall is one of the most prominent signs of the invasion of the British Isles by the Roman Empire, so its historical importance cannot be overstated. It is also very close to the City, the financial district of the city, and is even closer to Liverpool Street, which is known for its some of the most famous hotels in London, including the 5 star Andaz Liverpool Street hotel.
No enemy had damaged the British capital city till the 17th century as much as it was damaged by the Great Fire in 17th century, which raged for three days, starting on 22nd September. By the time it had ended, the fire had burned down more than 500 acres of some of the richest and well-built areas of the city. The fire is interesting to us because it was started in Pudding Lane, which is a major street close to the City. The fire, though disastrous for so many people, gave an opportunity to redesign the city, an opportunity that was picked up by architects like Sir Christopher Wren, who has designed most of the famous buildings we see in the city today. For example, St Paul's Cathedral, as it stands today, was designed after the older building was burned to the ground in that fire.