Population (London Proper)
8 500 000 residents

1 572 km²


Time Zone

  • 43-50

London is founded

The Roman legions stationed in the British Isles build a bridge to cross the River Thames and establish a settlement. London, called Londinium at the time, is founded.

  • 180-225

Construction of London wall

To protect this significant port city in a strategic manner, the Romans fortify it. London Wall defines the perimeter of the city through the end of the Middle Ages.

  • 408-410

Departure from the Romans

The Western Roman Empire collapses gradually. The Romans leave the British Isles, and the Bretons are left to cope with Germanic invasions. Londinium is abandoned at the end of the fifth century.

  • ~600

The Anglo-Saxons move in

German tribes known as the Ango-Saxons settle near the ancient Roman city to found an important trade centre.

  • 9th c. -11th c.

Vikings raids

The Vikings increase their raids against the British Isles. London is occupied in 871, and again from 1013.

  • 1066

Coronation of William The Conqueror

William, Duke of Normandy, conquers England and is crowned king at Westminster Abbey.

  • 1176-1209

Construction of London Bridge

A number of buildings have carried this name before and since. However, for nearly six centuries, London Bridge is the only bridge over the Thames. In 1973, the current London Bridge is built.

  • 1485-1603

The Tudors

After the English Reformation, King Henry XVIII and his court monopolise the majority of London’s religious buildings. International trade develops throughout the 16th century. By the end of the reign of Elizabeth I, the city has 200,000 residents – a substantial number for the time.

  • 1565

Creation of the Royal Exchange

The first London stock exchange based on the Anvers model. In 2001, the Royal Exchange building became a well-known shopping centre.

  • 1665-1666

The Great Plague and the Fire of London

The two events take place one after another: the plague kills one-fifth of the population of London in just a few months, and a large fire destroys a significant part of the city.

  • 1750-1769

Westminster and Blackfriars Bridge

In 1750, after decades of opposition, Westminster Bridge is built over the River Thames. Lambeth and Westminster residents need no longer cross the river by boat or take the lengthy detour to London Bridge. In 1769, Blackfriars Bridge is built, and becomes the third bridge to cross the Thames within city limits.

  • 1837

Coronation of Queen Victoria

Crowned queen at the age of 18, Victoria reigns for 63 years, until her death in 1901. The Victorian Era is a period of social, economic and technological change, and involves the rapid expansion of the British Empire.

  • 1851

First Universal Exposition

A symbol of the power of the British Empire under Queen Victoria, the Great Exhibition is the first of its kind, and is quickly imitated by the United States and France.

  • 1863

The London Metropolitan Railway

The dramatic increase in population throughout the 19th century leads to the creation of the London Underground, originally called the Metropolitan Railway.

  • 1940-1941

London blitz

During the Second World War, the German Air Force bombs London (and other English cities) for months, without ever lowering the spirits of the British people.

  • 1952

Coronation of Elizabeth II

Succeeding her father King George VI, Elizabeth II is crowned at Westminster Abbey on 6 February 1952. In 2016, she is the longest-reigning British ruler, before Queen Victoria.

  • 1960’s

Swinging London

Throughout this decade, London is the European capital of the hippie movement, where artists, musicians and youth gather to celebrate the free world.

  • 2012

Olympic Games

London hosts the Summer Games for the third time. The facilities built for the occasion accommodate many sporting and musical events, as well as an influential science park.