London

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London (play /ˈlʌndən/) is the capital of England and the United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures.[note 1] London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium.[6][6] London's ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile mediaeval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core.[7] The bulk of this conurbation forms the London region[8] and the Greater London administrative area,[9][note 2] governed by the elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.[10]

London is a leading global city, with its strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence.[11] It is the world's largest financial centre alongside New York,[12][13][14] has the largest city GDP in Europe[15] and is home to the headquarters of more than 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies.[16] It is the most visited city in the world.[17] London's five international airports make its airspace the busiest of any urban centre worldwide[18] and London Heathrow is the world's busiest airport by number of international passengers.[19] London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe.[20] In 2012 London will become the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times.[21]

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