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
Soissons is a commune in the northern French department of Aisne, in the region of Hauts-de-France. Located on the Aisne River, about 100 kilometres northeast of Paris, it is one of the most ancient towns of France, is the ancient capital of the Suessiones. Soissons is the see of an ancient Roman Catholic diocese, whose establishment dates from about 300, it was the location of a number of church synods called "Council of Soissons". Soissons enters written history under its Celtic name, meaning "new hillfort". At Roman contact, it was a town of the Suessiones, mentioned by Julius Caesar. Caesar, after leaving the Axona, entered the territory of the Suessiones, making one day's long march, reached Noviodunum, surrounded by a high wall and a broad ditch; the place surrendered to Caesar. From 457 to 486, under Aegidius and his son Syagrius, Noviodunum was the capital of the Kingdom of Soissons, until it fell to the Frankish king Clovis I in 486 after the Battle of Soissons. Part of the Frankish territory of Neustria, the Soissons region, the Abbey of Saint-Médard, built in the 8th century, played an important political part during the rule of the Merovingian kings.
After the death of Clovis I in 511, Soissons was made the capital of one of the four kingdoms into which his states were divided. The kingdom of Soissons disappeared in 613 when the Frankish lands were amalgamated under Chlothar II; the 744 Council of Soissons met at the instigation of Pepin the Short and Saint Boniface, the Pope's missionary to pagan Germany, secured the condemnation of the Frankish bishop Adalbert and the Irish missionary Clement. During the Hundred Years' War, French forces committed a notorious massacre of English archers stationed at the town's garrison, in which many of the French townsfolk were themselves raped and killed; the massacre of French citizens by French soldiers shocked Europe. Between June 1728 and July 1729 it hosted the Congress of Soissons an attempt to resolve a long-standing series of disputes between the Kingdom of Great Britain and Spain which had spilled over into the Anglo-Spanish War of 1727–1729; the Congress was successful and led to the signing of a peace treaty between them.
During World War I, the city came under heavy bombardment. There was mutiny after the disastrous Chemin des Dames offensive at the Second Battle of the Aisne. A statue erected with images of French soldiers killed in action in 1917 is behind the St Peter's Church, next to the Soissons Courthouse. On 16 June 1972, 108 passengers were killed when two passenger trains hit the debris of a collapsed tunnel; the town was on the main path of totality for the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999. Today, Soissons is a commercial and manufacturing centre with the 12th century Soissons Cathedral and the ruins of St. Jean des Vignes Abbey as two of its most important historical buildings; the nearby Espace Pierres Folles contains a museum, geological trail, botanical garden. The Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons is constructed in the style of Gothic architecture; the building of the south transept was begun about 1177, the lowest courses of the choir in 1182. The choir with its original three-storey elevation and tall clerestory was completed in 1211.
This was earlier than Chartres. Work continued into the nave until the late 13th century; the former abbey of Notre Dame, former royal abbey, founded in the Merovingian era, famous for its rich treasure of relics, including the "shoe of the Virgin." The abbey was prestigious abbesses like Gisèle, sister of Charlemagne, or Catherine de Bourbon, aunt of Henry IV. The Saint-Médard Abbey was a Benedictine monastery of Soissons whose foundation went back to the sixth century. Today, only the crypt remains. Since 1833 the city hall has been housed in a chateau built by architect Jean-François Advyné between 1772 and 1775 at the request of the Intendant Pelletier Mortefontaine on the site of a previous one belonging to the counts of Soissons. Arsenal: contemporary art exhibitions. UK Monument The Gateway Anglais Bridge is a concrete casson built cantilevered from an abutment against-weight with an isostatic central beam of 20.50 m in length. The floor has a width of 3.50 m between railings. The original bridge was destroyed in 1914.
It was rebuilt by British soldiers, logically took the name of the English bridge. Again destroyed during World War II, the bridge was rebuilt in 1950 as a footbridge; the covered market, built in 1908 by architect Albert-Désiré Guilbert. The actress Aurore Clément was born in Soissons in 1945; the saints Crispin and Crispinian were martyred c. 286 at Soissons for preaching Christianity to the local Gauls. The 6th century Burgundian king Guntram was born in Soissons around 532. Battle of Soissons Communes of the Aisne department Franks List of Frankish kings Merovingians Suessiones Vase of Soissons Wolf of Soissons Sessions This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray. INSEE Official website Catholic Encyclopedia: Soissons A live view of the port of Soissons Discovering Soissons Soissons Powerlifting club Local Bus Routes
Battle of Poitiers
The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Edwardian phase of the Hundred Years' War. It was fought on 19 September 1356 in Nouaillé, near the city of Poitiers in Aquitaine, western France. Edward, the Black Prince, led an army of English, Welsh and Gascon troops, many of them veterans of the Battle of Crécy, they were attacked by a larger French force led by King John II of France, which included allied Scottish forces. The French were defeated; the effect of the defeat on France was catastrophic. Charles faced populist revolts across the kingdom in the wake of the battle, which had destroyed the prestige of the French upper-class; the Edwardian phase of the war ended four years in 1360, on favourable terms for England. Poitiers was the second major English victory of the Hundred Years' War. Poitiers was fought ten years after the Battle of Crécy, about half a century before the third, the Battle of Agincourt; the town and battle were referred to as Poictiers in contemporaneous recordings, a name commemorated in several warships of the Royal Navy.
Following the death of Charles IV of France in 1328, Count of Valois, had been crowned as his successor, over his closest male relative and legal successor, Edward III of England. Edward had been reluctant to pay homage to Philip in his role as Duke of Aquitaine, resulting in Philip confiscating these lands in 1337, precipitating war between the two nations. Three years Edward declared himself King of France; the war had begun well for the English. They had achieved naval domination early in the war at the Battle of Sluys in 1340,devastated the French in south west France with the Gascon campaigns of 1345 and 1346, inflicted a severe defeat on the French army at Crécy in 1346, captured Calais in 1347. In the late 1340s and early 1350s, the Black Death decimated the population of Western Europe, bringing all significant efforts in campaigning to a halt, one such victim being Philip VI of France himself. In 1355, Edward III laid out plans for a second major campaign, his eldest son, the Black Prince, now an experienced soldier following the Crécy campaign, landed at Bordeaux in Aquitaine, leading his army on a march through southern France to Carcassonne.
Unable to take the fortified settlement, Edward withdrew to Bordeaux. In early 1356, the Duke of Lancaster led an army through Normandy, while Edward led his army on a great chevauchée from Bordeaux on 8 August 1356. Edward's forces met little resistance, sacking numerous settlements, until they reached the Loire River at Tours, they were unable to burn the town due to a heavy rainstorm. This delay allowed King John II to attempt to destroy Edward's army. John, besieging Breteuil in Normandy, organised the bulk of his army at Chartres to the north of Tours. In order to increase the speed of his army's march, he dismissed between 15,000 and 20,000 of his lower quality infantry, just as Edward turned back to Bordeaux; the French rode hard and cut in front of the English army, crossing the bridge over the Vienne at Chauvigny. Learning of this, the Black Prince moved his army south. Historians disagree over whether the outnumbered English commander was seeking battle or trying to avoid it. In any case, after preliminary maneuvers and failed negotiations for a truce, the two armies faced off, both ready for battle, near Poitiers on Monday, 19 September 1356.
Edward arrayed his army in a defensive posture among the hedges and orchards of the area, in front of the forest of Nouaillé. He deployed his front line of longbowmen behind a prominent thick hedge, through which the road ran at right angles; the Earl of Douglas, commanding the Scottish division in the French army, advised King John that the attack should be delivered on foot, with horses being vulnerable to English arrows. John heeded this advice, his army leaving its baggage behind and forming up on foot in front of the English; the English gained vantage points on the natural high ground in order for their longbowmen to have an advantage on the armored French troops. The English army was led by Edward, the Black Prince and composed of English and Welsh troops, though there was a large contingent of Gascon and Breton soldiers with the army. Edward's army consisted of 2,000 longbowmen, 3,000 men-at-arms and a force of 1,000 Gascon infantry. Like the earlier engagement at Crécy, the power of the English army lay in the longbow, a tall, thick self-bow made of yew.
Longbows had demonstrated their effectiveness against massed infantry and cavalry in several battles, such as Falkirk in 1298, Halidon Hill in 1333 and Crécy ten years prior, in 1346. Poitiers was the second of three major English victories of the Hundred Years' War attributed to the longbow, though its effectiveness against armoured French knights and men-at-arms has been disputed. Geoffrey the Baker wrote that the English archers under the earl of Salisbury "made their arrows prevail over the knights' armor," but the bowmen on the other flank, under Warwick, were ineffective against the mounted French men-at-arms who enjoyed the double protection of steel plate armor and large leather shields. Once Warwick's archers redeployed to a position where they could hit the unarmored sides and backs of the horses, they routed the cavalry force opposing them; the archers were unquestionably effective against common infantry, who did not have the wealth to afford plate armour. The English army was an experienced force.
Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy
Enguerrand VII de Coucy known as Ingelram de Coucy, was a medieval French nobleman, the last Lord of Coucy. He became son-in-law of King Edward III of England following his marriage to the king's daughter, Isabella of England, the couple was subsequently granted by the king several English estates, among them the title Earl of Bedford. Coucy fought in the Battle of Nicopolis as part of a failed crusade against the Ottoman Empire, was taken prisoner. Having contracted the bubonic plague, he died in captivity at Ottoman Empire. Coucy had no surviving sons. Fierce legal disputes were fought over the succession of his lordship of Coucy, which, as a result, passed to the crown lands of France. Coucy became Lord of Coucy at the death of his father, Enguerrand VI, Lord of Coucy, during the sequence of battles ending with the Battle of Crécy in 1346, he gained the titles of 4th Lord Gynes, Sire d' Oisy, in the district of Marle, the Sire de La Fère. His mother, Catherine of Austria, oldest daughter of Leopold I, Duke of Austria, had died in 1349, during a wave of the Black Death.
Coucy first became involved in the war against England at the age of fifteen, serving among the barons of Picardy in the battalion of Moreau de Fiennes. In 1358, at the age of eighteen, Coucy acted as a leader during the suppression of the peasant revolt known as the Jacquerie. Young Coucy first met King Edward III of England in 1359, as one of forty royal and noble hostages exchanged for the future release of the captured King John II of France, he was retained as a hostage in 1360, when the Treaty of Bretigny established territorial adjustments between the two countries, set the monetary payments for King John's release. The hostages arrived in England in November 1360. Coucy was to spend the next five years as a guest of the Royal Court. Chronicler Jean Froissart records that, "...the young lord de Coucy shined in dancing and caroling whenever it was his turn. He was in great favor with both the French and English..." In 1365, the wealthy Coucy was betrothed and married to the 33-year-old Isabella of England, described as an over-indulged and wildly extravagant princess.
To care for her personal needs, her father settled a substantial annual income on her for life, as well as gifts of costly jewelry, properties that included manors and priories. Coucy was her choice as a husband, as she wished to marry for love after the failure of previous betrothal negotiations with several noble houses of Europe. Coucy received, as part of the marriage settlement, the restoration of former Coucy lands in Yorkshire, Lancaster and Cumberland, England, he was released as a hostage for the French treaty requirements, with no payment of ransom. In November 1365, after their marriage on 27 July, the couple was given leave to travel to France, their daughter, Marie de Coucy, was born in April 1366 at Coucy in France. During a subsequent visit to England with his new family, Coucy was created as Earl of Bedford, was inducted into the Order of the Garter. In 1367, Coucy's second daughter, Philippa de Coucy, was born in England. At this time, Coucy was presented with additional French lands, receiving the title Count of Soissons, which had come to King Edward III through the payment of ransom.
Coucy and his English wife spent much of their lives on their northern French estate, although Isabella made frequent trips to England while Coucy was away in the service of France. He held the office of Governor of Brittany in 1380, he held the offices of Grand Butler of France and Marshal of France. Considered among the most skilled and experienced of all the knights of France, Coucy twice refused the position of Constable of France, the kingdom's highest and most lucrative military office. Always diplomatic, Coucy managed to maintain both his allegiance to the King of France and to his English father-in-law during the period of intermittent armed conflict between England and France known as the Hundred Years' War. At various times, he acted as a captain, envoy and mediator during the conflict. However, Coucy resigned all of his English honours on the accession of King Richard II on 26 August 1377. In the autumn of 1375 Coucy engaged a number of Free Companies, including one led by Owain Lawgoch, to seize some Habsburg lands which he claimed through his mother.
However, in the resulting Gugler War Coucy's troops were attacked when passing through Switzerland, after a number of reverses the expedition had to be abandoned. In 1380, after the death of Isabella of England, Coucy married Isabelle, daughter of John I, Duke of Lorraine and Sophie von Württemberg; the 1390 Barbary Crusade saw Coucy as a participant. Coucy died at age 56, on 18 February 1397, at Bursa, Ottoman Empire after participating in the last medieval crusade against the Ottoman army of Bayezid I and his allies; the crusade climaxed with the calamitous Battle of Nicopolis on 28 September 1396, one of the most crushing military defeats in medieval European history. After a successful initial engagement against part of the Ottoman force and other senior knights recommended a pause to regroup, but they were overruled by the impetuous younger knights, who wrongly believed they had just defeated the main force of Bayezid's army. Eager for glory, these knights led their forces in a reckless pursuit of the fleeing Turks, only to run up against a fresh corps of Turkish sipahis that Bayezid had kept in reserve.
A desperate battle ensued, but at the height of the fighting Bayezid's Serbian ally arrived with reinforcements, turning the tide in the Turks' favour. The European forces were utterly routed, thousands of Crusader so