Victorian Football League
The Victorian Football League is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association, has been known by its current name since 1996. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League, known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League and is sometimes referred to as the VFL/AFL; the VFA was formed in 1877 and is the second-oldest Australian rules football league, replacing the loose affiliation of clubs, the hallmark of the early years of the game. Serving a administrative function, the VFA premiership served as the top level of club competition in Victoria until 1896; the VFA became the secondary level of club competition from 1897 after its eight strongest clubs seceded to form the VFL. From 1897 until 1995, the VFA remained independent from the VFL as Victoria's secondary senior club competition. Although always much less popular than the VFL/AFL, the VFA enjoyed peaks of popularity in the 1940s with a faster-paced rival code of rules, in the 1970s bolstered by playing on Sundays at a time when the VFL was played on Saturdays.
Since 1995, the league has been administered by AFL Victoria, serves as one of the second-tier regional Australian semi-professional competitions which sits underneath the professional Australian Football League. From the 2018 season it will comprise 15 teams from throughout Victoria, nine of which have a continuous VFA heritage. Since 2000, the VFL has served as a reserves competition for the AFL, with some Victorian-based clubs fielding their reserves teams in the VFL and others affiliated such that their reserves player can play in VFL teams. AFL Victoria operates a women's football competition under the Victorian Football League brand, known as the VFL Women's, established in 2016; the Victorian Football Association was founded on 17 May 1877 at the meeting of club secretaries preceding the 1877 season. It was formed out of a desire to provide a formal administrative structure to the governance of the sport, it had the power to impose binding decisions on its members on matters including the Laws of the Game, player eligibility and other disputes, as well as to facilitate intercolonial football.
Decisions were made based on a vote of the Board of Management, composed of two delegates from each senior club, a structure, retained until the late 1980s. It replaced a system under which the secretaries of the senior clubs met at the beginning of each year to decide on matters of mutual interest, but the system was informal and disputes went unresolved; the five foundation senior clubs in the Melbourne metropolitan area were Albert-park, Hotham, Melbourne and St Kilda. Provincial clubs were eligible for senior representation on the Association though most played matches against the metropolitan teams. There was no formal system of promotion and relegation between the senior and junior levels, with it at a club's discretion whether or not it joined the Association as a paying senior member; the affiliation fee for senior clubs was set at one guinea. Through the first decade of the VFA's existence, the structure of the football season did not change from the informal system which had evolved over previous years.
Setting of fixtures was the responsibility of club secretaries rather than the Association itself, in a typical season, a club could play against other VFA teams, non-VFA clubs, at odds against junior teams, in some seasons against intercolonial teams. Prior to the 1888 season, there was no formally endorsed system for awarding a VFA premiership: as had been the case since the early 1870s, the premier club was determined by public and press consensus, which by the mid-1880s was conventionally but informally understood to be the senior club which suffered the fewest losses during the season. Premierships won under this then-informal method are now considered official, consensus was uncontroversial. In 1888, the VFA first took responsibility for the onfield competition, introduced its first formal premiership system by adopting a system of premiership points; the Association's influence over the on-field competition grew, from 1894, the Association assumed responsibility for centrally setting the fixtures and standardising the number of games played by each team.
After the formal introduction of the premiership, the often-changeable collection of senior clubs in the VFA soon became settled at twelve premiership-eligible clubs: Carlton, Fitzroy, Geelong, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne and Williamstown. Three Ballarat-based clubs – Ballarat, Ballarat Imperial and South Ballarat – were voting members of the VFA through this time, but were not involved in the onfield premiership. During the 1890s, there was an off-field power struggle within the VFA between the stronger and weaker clubs, as the stronger clubs sought greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a hea
City of Melbourne
The City of Melbourne is a local government area in Victoria, located in the central city area of Melbourne. In 2016 the city has an area of 36 square kilometres and had a population of 135,959; the city's motto is "Vires acquirit eundo" which means "She gathers strength as she goes." The current Lord Mayor is Sally Capp, elected in a by-election following the resignation of Robert Doyle on 4 February 2018. The Melbourne City Council holds office in Melbourne Town Hall. Melbourne was founded in 1835, during the reign of King William IV, with the arrival of the schooner Enterprize near the present site of the Queen's Wharf, as a legal, speculative settlement that broke away from New South Wales. Unlike other Australian capital cities, Melbourne did not originate under official auspices, instead forming through the foresight of settlers from Tasmania. Having been a province of New South Wales from its establishment in 1835, affairs of the settlement had been administered by the Parliament of New South Wales.
With the growth of the settlement there had been an increasing demand by the inhabitants for greater autonomy over their own affairs. On 12 August 1842, Melbourne was incorporated as a "town" by Act 6 Victoria No. 7 of the Governor and Legislative Council of New South Wales. The town of Melbourne was raised to the status of a city by Letters Patent of Queen Victoria dated 25 June 1847, five years after its incorporation as a town; the Letters Patent constituted the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and declared Melbourne a cathedral city. A motion was tabled at a meeting of the Town Council to alter the style and title of Melbourne from a town to a city, a draft Bill was approved and transmitted to the Government for introduction to the Legislature. On 3 August 1849, Act 13 Victoria No. 14 was assented to as "An Act to effect a change in the Style and Title of the Corporation of Melbourne rendered necessary by the erection of the Town of Melbourne to a City". The city's initial boundaries, as set down in Act 8 Victoria No. 12 extended from Point Ormond in Elwood up Barkly Street and Punt Road to the Yarra River, along the river to Merri Creek at Abbotsford west along Brunswick Road to Moonee Ponds Creek south past Flemington Bridge to Princes Pier in Port Melbourne.
The Act imposed on the Mayor a duty to set up "permanent and conspicuous boundary marks of iron, stone or other durable material" along or near the line of the Town’s boundaries—this was undertaken by Mayor James Frederick Palmer and Town Clerk John Charles King on 4 February 1846. During the 1850s, Collingwood and Richmond seceded from Melbourne, as did South Melbourne, whilst other parts became parts of the neighbouring districts of St Kilda and Port Melbourne, the border between Brunswick and Melbourne moved south one block to Park Street. On 18 December 1902, King Edward VII conferred the title "Lord Mayor" on the mayor of the City of Melbourne. On 30 October 1905, Melbourne absorbed two neighbouring council areas. Now included in the City was the Borough of Flemington and Kensington, formed in 1882 when it broke away from the City of Essendon; the second, the Town of North Melbourne known as Hotham, had been established on 30 September 1859 and been granted town status on 18 December 1874.
Both town halls are still in use today as public buildings—the former in Kensington near the present-day Newmarket railway station. The Melbourne and Geelong Corporations Act 1938 allowed for three councillors for each of the eleven wards, with a general election held on 24 August 1939. Following a recommendation by the Local Government Advisory Board in 1978, an Order in Council reduced this to eight wards. In December 1980, the Hamer Government dismissed the council, appointed three Commissioners to determine how the boundaries could best be altered to produce more effective local government, with special regard to Melbourne's central business district and its importance to the state, as well as to advise changes needed to the constitution, structure and administration. However, in 1982, with the election of a new Labor government under John Cain, the Act establishing the commission was repealed, the Melbourne Corporation Act 1982 established six wards, for which an election was held on 4 December 1982.
Three years an additional ward was added. In 1993, the City of Melbourne Act specified changes to the boundaries which saw Melbourne gain Southbank and the Victorian Arts Centre on 18 November 1993, the city was resubdivided into four wards – Flagstaff, University and Domain; the wards were abolished in 2001, with the council having an elected Lord Mayor with a Deputy Lord Mayor and seven other councillors. In 2012, the number of Councillors was increased to nine, in addition to the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor. In 2005, the council announced the construction of a new 6-star environmental office building, Council House 2, in Little Collins Street. On 2 July 2007, the City of Melbourne doubled in size when the suburb of Docklands was added to its jurisdiction, having been transferred from the administration of the State Government. In July 2009, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle unveiled a new corporate identity for the City of Melbourne, costing $239,558. Carlton Carlton North Docklands East Melbourne Flemington Kensington Melbourne North Melbourne Port Melbourne Parkville Southbank South Wharf South Yarra West Melbourn
Essendon Football Club
The Essendon Football Club, nicknamed the Bombers, is a professional Australian rules football club that plays in the Australian Football League, the sport's premier competition. Thought to have formed in 1872, the club played its first recorded game on 7 June 1873 against a Carlton Second 20, winning 1 goal to nil; the club played a senior club in the Victorian Football Association in 1878, one year after the VFA formed. It is associated with Essendon, a suburb in the north-west of Melbourne, Victoria. Since 2013, the club has been headquartered at The Hangar, Melbourne Airport, plays its home games at either Docklands Stadium or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While it stopped playing games at the ground thereafter, Windy Hill remained its training and administration base until the end of 2013. Dyson Heppell is the current team captain. A founding member club of both the Victorian Football Association, in 1877, the Victorian Football League, in 1896, Essendon is one of Australia's best-known football clubs.
Essendon has won 16 VFL/AFL premierships, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the competition. The club won four consecutive VFA premierships between 1891 and 1894, a feat unmatched in VFA/VFL history; the club was founded by members of the Royal Agricultural Society, the Melbourne Hunt Club and the Victorian Woolbrokers. The Essendon Football Club is thought to have formed in 1872 at a meeting it the home of a well-known brewery family, the McCrackens, whose Ascot Vale property hosted a team of local junior players. Robert McCracken, the owner of several city hotels, was the founder and first president of the Essendon Football club and his son, its first secretary. Alex became president of the newly formed VFL. Alex's cousin, Collier McCracken, who had played with Melbourne, was the team's first captain; the club played its first recorded match against the Carlton second twenty on 7 June 1873, with Essendon winning by one goal. Essendon played 13 matches in its first season, losing two.
The club was one of the inaugural junior members of the Victorian Football Association in 1877, began competing as a senior club from the 1878 season. During its early years in the Association, Essendon played its home matches at Flemington Hill, but moved to the East Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1881. In 1878, Essendon played in the first match on what would be considered by modern standards to be a full-sized field at Flemington Hill. In 1879 Essendon played Melbourne in one of the earliest night matches recorded when the ball was painted white. In 1883 the team played four matches in eight days in Adelaide: losing to Norwood, defeating Port Adelaide, a combined South Australian team, South Adelaide. In 1891 Essendon won their first VFA premiership, which they repeated in 1892, 1893 and 1894. One of the club's greatest players, Albert Thurgood played for the club during this period, making his debut in 1892. Essendon was undefeated in the 1893 season. At the end of the 1896 season Essendon along with seven other clubs formed the Victorian Football League.
Essendon's first VFL game was in 1897 was against Geelong at Corio Oval in Geelong. Essendon won its first VFL premiership by winning the 1897 VFL finals series. Essendon again won the premiership in 1901; the club won successive premierships in 1911 and 1912 over Collingwood and South Melbourne respectively. The club is recorded as having played at Glass' Paddock and Flemington Hill, it is that these are three different names for the one ground, given that McCracken's Paddock was a parcel of land that sat within the larger Glass's Paddock which in turn was situated in an area known at the time as Flemington Hill. In 1882 the club moved home games to the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, after an application to play on the Essendon Cricket Ground was voted down by Lord Mayor James Taylor on the basis that City of Essendon the mayor considered the Essendon Cricket Ground "to be suitable only for the gentleman's game of cricket",The club became known by the nickname "the Same Old Essendon", from the title and hook of the principal song performed by a band of supporters which occupied a section of the grandstand at the club's games.
The nickname first appeared in print in the local North Melbourne Advertiser in 1889, ended up gaining wide use as the diminutive "Same Olds". This move away from Essendon, at a time when fans would walk to their local ground, didn't go down too well with many Essendon people, it was known firstly as Essendon Town and, after 1905, as Essendon. After the 1921 season, the East Melbourne Cricket Ground was closed and demolished to expand the Flinders Street Railyard. Having played at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground from 1882 to 1921, having won four VFA premierships and four VFL premierships whilst there, Essendon was looking for a new home, was offered grounds at the current Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, at Victoria Park, at Arden St, North Melbourne, the Essendon Cricket Ground; the Essendon City Council offered the team the Essendon Cricket Ground, announcing that it would be pre
Royal Navy Dockyard
Royal Navy Dockyards were harbour facilities where commissioned ships were either built or based, or where ships were overhauled and refitted. The Royal Navy maintained a string of dockyards around the world. Today, the few shipbuilding/maintenance yards have been privatized. Throughout its history, the Royal Navy has made extensive use of private shipyards and dockyards, both at home and abroad, continues to do so. Since the reign of Henry VIII it has made a point of establishing and maintaining its own dockyards; these Royal Navy dockyards have always had a dual function: shipbuilding and ship repair/maintenance. Dockyards were built around a number of docks and slips. Traditionally, slipways were used for shipbuilding, dry docks for maintenance. Regular hull maintenance was important: in the age of sail, a ship's wooden hull would be comprehensively inspected every 2–3 years, its copper sheeting replaced every 5. Dry docks were invariably the most expensive component of any dockyard. Where there was no nearby dock available ships would sometimes be careened to enable necessary work to be done.
In the age of sail and capstan-houses were built for the purpose of careening at yards with no dock: a system of pulleys and ropes, attached to the masthead, would be used to heel the ship over giving access to the hull. Royal Dockyards were established close to harbours or anchorages where Royal Navy ships were based. In addition to their docks and slips they had various specialist buildings on site: storehouses, woodworking sheds, metal shops and forges, pumping stations, administration blocks and accommodation for the resident officers. Wet docks accommodated ships while they were being fitted out; the number and size of dockyard basins increased in the steam era. At the same time, large factory complexes, machine-shops and foundries sprung up alongside for the manufacture of engines and other components. One thing absent from the Royal Dockyards was the provision of naval barracks. Prior to this time, sailors were not quartered ashore at all, they were expected to live on board a ship; when a ship was decommissioned at the end of a voyage or tour of duty, most of her crew were dismissed or else transferred to new vessels.
Alternatively, if a vessel was undergoing refit or repair, her crew was accommodated on a nearby hulk. Things began to change when the Admiralty introduced more settled terms of service in 1853. Through the course of the 20th century these barracks, together with their associated training and other facilities, became defining features of each of these dockyards. While the term'dockyard' implies a yard with a dry dock, not all dockyards possessed one. Where a dock was neither built nor planned the installation was called'HM Naval Yard' rather than'Dockyard' in official publications, though the latter term was used informally; the origins of the Royal Dockyards are linked with the permanent establishment of a standing Navy in the early sixteenth century. The beginnings of a yard had been established at Portsmouth with the building of a dry dock in 1496. Woolwich and Deptford dockyards were both established in the early 1510s; the Thames yards were pre-eminent in the sixteenth century, being conveniently close to the merchants and artisans of London as well as to the Armouries of the Tower of London.
They were just along the river from Henry's palace at Greenwich. As time went on, they suffered from the silting of the river and the constraints of their sites. By the mid-seventeenth century, Chatham had overtaken them to become the largest of the yards. Together with new Yards at Harwich and Sheerness, Chatham was well-placed to serve the Navy in the Dutch Wars that followed. Apart from Harwich, all the yards remained busy into the eighteenth century - including Portsmouth (which, af
Australian rules football
Australian rules football known as Australian football, or called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between behind posts. During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball; the primary methods are kicking and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch the ball from a kick are awarded possession. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when mark is paid. Players can use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact, interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension for a certain number of matches, depending on the seriousness of the infringement.
The game features frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring. The sport's origins can be traced to football matches played in Melbourne, Victoria in 1858, inspired by English public school football games. Seeking to develop a game more suited to adults and Australian conditions, the Melbourne Football Club published the first laws of Australian football in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world's major football codes. Australian football has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia, while the Australian Football League, the sport's only professional competition, is the nation's wealthiest sporting body; the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the highest attended club championship event in the world. The sport is played at amateur level in many countries and in several variations, its rules are governed by the AFL Commission with the advice of the AFL's Laws of the Game Committee.
Australian rules football is known by several nicknames, including Aussie rules and footy. In some regions, it is marketed as AFL after the Australian Football League. There is evidence of football being played sporadically in the Australian colonies in the first half of the 19th century. Compared to cricket and horse racing, football was viewed as a minor "amusement" at the time, while little is known about these early one-off games, it is clear they share no causal link with Australian football. In 1858, in a move that would help to shape Australian football in its formative years, "public" schools in Melbourne, Victoria began organising football games inspired by precedents at English public schools; the earliest such match, held in St Kilda on 15 June, was between Melbourne Grammar and St Kilda Grammar. On 10 July 1858, the Melbourne-based Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle published a letter by Tom Wills, captain of the Victoria cricket team, calling for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with a "code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during winter.
Born in Australia, Wills played a nascent form of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School in England, returned to his homeland a star athlete and cricketer. His letter is regarded by many historians as giving impetus for the development of a new code of football today known as Australian football. Two weeks Wills' friend, cricketer Jerry Bryant, posted an advertisement for a scratch match at the Richmond Paddock adjoining the Melbourne Cricket Ground; this was the first of several "kickabouts" held that year involving members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, including Wills, Bryant, W. J. Hammersley and J. B. Thompson. Trees were used as goalposts and play lasted an entire afternoon. Without an agreed upon code of laws, some players were guided by rules they had learned in the British Isles, "others by no rules at all". Another significant milestone in 1858 was a match played under experimental rules between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, held at the Richmond Paddock; this 40-a-side contest, umpired by Wills and Scotch College teacher John Macadam, began on 7 August and continued over two subsequent Saturdays, ending in a draw with each side kicking one goal.
It is commemorated with a statue outside the MCG, the two schools have competed annually since in the Cordner-Eggleston Cup, the world's oldest continuous football competition. Since the early 20th century, it has been suggested that Australian football was derived from the Irish sport of Gaelic football, not codified until 1885. There is no archival evidence in favour of a Gaelic influence, the style of play shared between the two modern codes was evident in Australia long before the Irish game evolved in a similar direction. Another theory, first proposed in 1983, posits that Wills, having grown up amongst Aborigines in Victoria, may have seen or played the Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, incorporated some of its features into early Australian football; the evidence for this is only circumstantial, according to biographer Greg de Moore's research, Wills was "almost influenced by his experience at Rugby School". A loosely organised Melbourne side, captained by Wills, played against other football enthusiasts in the winter and spring of 1858.
The following year, on 14 May, the Melbourne Football Club came into being, making it one of the
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL serves as the sport's governing body, is responsible for controlling the laws of the game; the league was founded as the Victorian Football League as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s; the league consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states. Matches have been played in all states and mainland territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China to promote the sport abroad; the AFL season consists of a pre-season competition, followed by a 23-round regular season, which runs during the Australian winter. The team with the best record after the home-and-away series is awarded the "minor premiership."
The top eight teams play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The grand final winner is termed the "premiers", is awarded the premiership cup; the current premiers are the West Coast Eagles. The Victorian Football Association was established in 1877 and went on to become Victoria's major Australian rules football competition. During the 1890s, an off-field power struggle occurred between the VFA's stronger and weaker clubs, the former seeking greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a head in 1896 when it was proposed that gate profits, which were always lower in matches involving the weaker clubs, be shared amongst all teams in the VFA. After it was intimated that the proposal would be put to a vote, six of the strongest clubs—Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong and South Melbourne—seceded from the VFA, invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them in founding a new competition, the Victorian Football League.
The remaining VFA clubs—Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Williamstown—were given the opportunity to compete as a junior sides at a level beneath the VFL, but rejected the offer and remained for the 1897 VFA season. The VFL's inaugural season occurred in 1897, it made several innovations early on to entice the public's interest, including an annual finals tournament, rather than awarding the premiership to the team with the best record through the season. Although the VFL and the VFA continued to compete for spectator interest for many years, the VFL established itself as the premier competition in Victoria. In 1908, the league expanded to ten teams, with Richmond crossing from the VFA and University Football Club from the Metropolitan Football Association. University, after three promising seasons, finished last each year from 1911 until 1914, including losing 51 matches in a row; as a result, the club withdrew from the VFL at the end of 1914. Beginning sporadically during the late 1890s and from 1907 until World War I, the VFL premier and the premier of the South Australian Football League met in a playoff match for the Championship of Australia.
South Australia's Port Adelaide was the most successful club of the competition winning three titles during the period along with an earlier victory. In 1925, the VFL expanded from nine teams to twelve, with Footscray and North Melbourne each crossing from the VFA. North Melbourne and Hawthorn remained weak in the VFL for a long period. Although North Melbourne would become the first of the 1925 expansion sides to reach a Grand Final in 1950 it was Footscray that adapted to the VFL with the most ease of the three clubs, by 1928 were well off the bottom of the ladder. Between the years of 1927 and 1930, Collingwood became the first, only VFL team, to win four successive Premierships. In 1952, the VFL hosted ` National Day'. Matches were played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Brisbane Exhibition Ground, North Hobart Oval, Albury Sports Ground and Victorian country towns Yallourn and Euroa. Footscray became the first of the 1925 expansion teams to win the premiership in 1954. Melbourne became a powerhouse during the 1950s and early 1960s under coach Norm Smith and star player Ron Barassi.
The club contested seven consecutive grand finals from 1954 to 1960, winning five premierships, including three in a row from 1955 to 1957. Television coverage began with direct telecasts of the final quarter permitted. At first, several channels competed through broadcasting different games. However, when the VFL found that television was reducing crowds, it decided that no coverage was to be allowed for 1960. In 1961, replays were introduced although direct telecasts were permitted in Melbourne. In 1959, the VFL planned the first purpose built mega-stadium, VFL Park, to give it some independence from the Melbourne Crick
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion