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20 Interesting Facts about Cultural Life in London

Bronze statue of late singer Amy Winehouse in Camden Town
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Bronze statue of late singer Amy Winehouse in Camden Town

London’s cultural life is surrounded by myth and stereotypes, which is not too surprising considering the city’s cultural industries are among the best known in the world. Here are 20 interesting facts that confirm the city’s status.

1. Three out of the ten largest and most popular museums in the world are located in London. The city has as many as 857 galleries.

2. London has three UNESCO-protected objects: the Tower of London; the Maritime Greenwich; and Westminster Palace with Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Church and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

London - Tower bridge, UK
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  London - Tower bridge, UK

3. The population of London speaks over 300 different languages, which is more than in any other city in the world.

4. Every year London hosts more than 17,000 music events!

5. As many as 84% of Londoners think that urban culture and the arts are very important for high-quality life.

6. London has more than 170 museums, 11 of which are national. For instance, the British Museum displays heritage from thousands of years of cultural development.

The British Museum
Photo taken by Gertjan R. - wikimedia.org.  The British Museum

7. The capital of Great Britain hosts more 250 annual festivals. London’s infamous Thames and largest-in-Europe Notting Hill festivals attract over a million people.

8. According to some newspapers, the first ever Punch and Judy puppet show took place on May 9, 1662 in Covent Garden. Some believe that these puppet shows have taken place in this city park ever since those times.

9. London has the largest number of comedy performers in the world. The best known ones perform in large arenas, while the new talents begin their careers in some of the hundreds of the city’s bars.

10. London’s visual arts sector comprises 30% of the global market.

11. London is the world’s third-largest film production centre, with 14,000 hours of film shot here every year. A Clockwork Orange, the Harry Potter franchise, Notting Hill, several James Bond movies and thousands of other motion pictures were filmed in London.

12. London accounts for around 20% of Great Britain’s movie theatres – the city has almost 800 of them.

Leicester square, popular place with cinemas, cafes and restaurants
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Leicester square, popular place with cinemas, cafes and restaurants

13. The bi-annual London Fashion Week attracts over 2 million people from 100 different countries, and creates around 100 million pounds’ worth of business for the industry.

14. The first performance in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre took place here in 1599. This theatre, situated on the right bank of the River Thames, was rebuilt in 1997 and now presents around 200 performances to its audience every year.

Shakespeares Globe Theatre on the bank of the Thames in Southwark London England
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Shakespeares Globe Theatre on the bank of the Thames in Southwark London England

15. Wilton’s Music Hall – the oldest music hall in the world – was built in 1743 and still plays an important role in the city’s history and musical life.

16. During recent years, London became key in grooming many world-famous music stars, who collectively make billions from record sales alone. Think Adele, Coldplay or the late Amy Winehouse.

17. London has over 800 book stores and 380 public libraries. The archives of the British Library – one of the city’s landmarks – are among the most valuable in the world. This library has around 170 million books and manuscripts from different historical eras.

18. The London Design Festival is also the most important event of its kind in the world. During the festival, the 350-thousand-strong crowd is presented with the latest design ideas.

19. A third of Great Britain’s archives can be found in London. Among other things, the National Archive has some important 11th-century CE documents and manuscripts.

20. The capital of Great Britain is also known for the world’s oldest hatters. For instance, Lock & Co, established in 1676, is famous for the original bicorn hat it made especially for Lord Nelson. A similar hat was also worn by Napoleon and many other famous war generals.

Comments (1)

tim dixon   1 month ago
impressive.