Peninsula, district, university, location for Hollywood movies… and this is not all. So what kind of mysterious place is this?
Peninsula on the River Thames
And, interestingly, artificial. It was created in the 16th century by Dutch engineers as a result of a drainage operation to make additional pastures. In the 17th century, it became notorious for the fact that on its northern part the corpses of pirates in the cages were hung up for viewing by everyone who was engaged in sea robbery or wishing to become a filibustier. The further destiny of Greenwich was closely connected with navigation and industrial development. Since the 19th century, factories, mills and docks (oil mills, factories for the production of cannons, chemicals, a metallurgical plant, etc.) have been built here. For a long time, it was considered a place exclusively for the working class. In 1997, the largest part of the peninsula was bought by the Russian Partnership, which invested £ 255 million in the improvement of the territory and the situation began to change. New office and residential buildings, two large ports and new roads were built on the peninsula. Here is the world famous “Dome of the Millennium”, built in honor of the beginning of the third millennium. Now this is Arena O2, a multipurpose indoor stadium, located in the center of the modern (if not futuristic) entertainment complex The O₂. Holds up to 23000 people. depending on the event.
Historic District of London
At one time, Greenwich was a town in the southeast suburbs of London. Its name is mentioned in the 10th c. Like Gronewic, Grenewic is a “green village”. Although it was quite far to get to him from London, but the beautiful countryside and the view of the Thames attracted the royal family – there was a royal residence here. By the way, it was here, in Greenwich, Henry VIII was born (yes, the same one). And his daughter, who became even more famous than him – Elizabeth I.
Shakespeare spoke twice before Elizabeth I in her Greenwich Palace, and it is believed that the preliminary rehearsals took place somewhere in the district.
Greenwich Park is famous for its centuries-old trees. For example, the oak tree of Elizabeth, planted in the 12th century. The tree is practically lying on the ground, and there is more wood in it than leaves. There is an alley of chestnuts, each of which is 350 years old. They were planted by Charles II under the designs of André Lenotre for Versailles.
Also here is the world-famous Royal Observatory, the one through which passes the zero or Greenwich meridian.
The same Grievichian meridian
Since the harbor area is located next to Greenwich, its name is inextricably linked with the British Royal Navy and the maritime history of Great Britain. Here is one of the most famous architectural pearls in the world – the former Royal Naval Hospital (later, the Royal Naval College), designed by Christopher Wren (who is also the architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral). Now it’s part of Greenwich University. The National Maritime Museum of Great Britain is also located here. King George VI (father of Elizabeth II) inaugurated it in 1937. The museum has a huge collection of portraits of great “marine Britons” – Nelson, Cook, etc., more than in any National Portrait Gallery. Also here in the dry dock is a clipper “Cutty Sark” – a ship on which tea was brought from China to the UK.
The area is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has become one of the most prestigious in London. The area is part of Borough of Greenwich. However, it is much cheaper than such areas as Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington and Hampstead.