We start our walk from the Bank Underground station. The station was once called City. When we come out of the underground to a small square, we immediately see why the station is called that. The magnificent pillared building is the Bank of England. By the way, with the entrance around the corner, there is also a small museum in the bank. There is so much else to see on the square. Turn right and the Royal Exchange is in front of us. The insurance company Lloyd's was located in the building for 150 years (where it is now, we will see later). Currently, the building houses various shops and a nice cafe. On the opposite side of the bank is another pillared building, the Mansion House, where the Mayor of the City of London resides. This is not the same man who is the Mayor of London! He is the prerogative leader of this borough and holds the title The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of London.
An equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington stands in the square. He is the only man to have two equestrian statues in London, the other standing at the corner of Hyde Park (Prince Albert also has two statues too, but only one of these is on horseback). Under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington, Napoleon's forces were defeated in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The statue is cast from cannons obtained as spoils of war. A little further behind is the World War I Heroes' Memorial. It has turned out to be a little more modest than the author intended, missing the two 75-foot-high columns that Sir Aston Webb wanted to erect there. At the same time, near the middle of the road, there is another statue - it honours the man who made a great contribution to the construction of the London Underground, James Henry Greathead. He invented the first functional tunnelling shield. By the way, here was the first public toilet in London (≈1850). It cost one penny to use. It is still a popular expression about going to the toilet: "Spend a penny."
We head to the London Exchange building. It is worth seeing from the inside in any case, you can also drink a coffee here. You can exit from the opposite side of the building. There is bust depicting Paul Julius Reuter, the founder of the famous Reuters agency.
We move to a street called Cornhill. It is the highest point in the centre of ancient London, and a mighty church once stood here. It is no longer there, but it is worth looking at house number 32. On its door are carved wooden scenes from the London life of the time. At the next street we turn left and then right again (Threadneedle St). House No. 30 has a very eye-catching dark blue door. There is Merchant Tailors' Hall. It has been here since 1347. One of the most famous members of this organization was Sir Christopher Wren, an architect. London is full of buildings designed by him. For example, he has designed ≈50 churches. Merchant Tailors' Hall is said to be the place where the British national anthem was first sung (1607). The official presentation took place later, at the Drury Lane theatre. But nobody knows the author of the anthem...
On the way, we pass the building 8 Bishopsgate, which housed London's first commercial bank (1762). Next, following the map, we move to Leadenhall Market. You won't find a market there, although there are opportunities to spend money. This is a covered shopping street area. But really beautiful! And several locations for the Harry Potter films have been filmed here.
Once we have passed through the market area, we come to a rather interesting building that looks a bit like a chemical factory. The house seems to ignore all the principles of classical architecture. It houses the insurance company Lloyd's. There is a bell called the Lutine Bell in the house, but it is not known if the security guards will let you look at it. This bell has been lifted from the French ship La Lutine, which sank in 1799 and caused huge losses to the insurance company. This bell was used to signal whether an insured ship had successfully reached port or had perished on the way. Nowadays, it is only used for particularly important events.
Next we reach the house 20 Fenchurch Street. This is the famous Walkie Talkie building. A magnificent house that cost 200 million pounds. The house has a magnificent roof garden with wonderful views of the city, which is free to visit, but must be booked several weeks in advance. One big mistake was made when designing the house. No one could take into account that the south side is a giant concave mirror. When returning from errands, so many citizens discovered that their car's side mirror or bicycle saddle had melted. Some jokers were looking for a suitable spot near the building to fry an egg. Later, the reflectivity of the glasses has been reduced and now the situation is not so bad.
The next interesting place could be Saint Margaret Pattens Church of England (the word "patten" means a woman's shoe with a thick sole). In the great fire of 1666, the church burned down and was rebuilt. Architect Sir Christopher Wren. If you look carefully, you will find his favourite place in the church, on the ceiling there is an inscription CW 1686.
Now we move to the monument to the great fire, which is simply called the Мonument. The height of the monument is 202 feet (ca 62 m), which is how far to the east was the place where the fire started. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and his friend Robert Hooke. The latter wanted to put a telescope on top of the pillar. Wren, however, wanted to put a statue of King Charles II at the top of the column. The king politely refused: "I didn't start the fire..." You can climb the 311-step staircase to the balcony at the top of the monument (costs £4.50). Tiring, but the view from the top is amazing. Although there are many high-rise buildings in the city centre, they are built with the consideration that they do not hide anything important. A steel mesh surrounds the balcony. Seven people have fallen to their deaths from there before the mesh was installed. If you are peckish (AM: hungry), you can find two good places to eat right near the pillar - The Hydrant (more American food) and The Folly.
The next stop would be the church Saint Magnus The Martyr. This church right in the centre is of course beautiful, but there is something else worth seeing here. If you go to the courtyard on the right, you will see large stone details from the very first stone bridge in London. And under the tower of the church there is an arch where you can see a piece of wood attached to the wall, which comes from the port that was by this bridge. You can even touch this piece of wood, which is about 2000 years old.
Going further, we reach the river where London Bridge begins. Remember and don't get confused: this rather nondescript bridge is London Bridge. A much more beautiful bridge that you can see in the distance looking east is Tower Bridge. Mnemonic trick: there are towers on the other bridge. But that rather boring-looking bridge, London Bridge, was built quite recently. The old bridge of the same name was demolished in 1967, all the stones were numbered and transported to the USA and rebuilt there. Now the old London Bridge stands in Arizona and crosses the Colorado River.
We walk along the bank of the river in an approximately eastern direction. On our left is Adelaide House. It is named after the wife of King William IV. The building is decorated in art deco style and has an Egyptian style. At the time the building was built, major archaeological discoveries were being made in Egypt and Egypt was "pop". There are many benches in front, you can rest your feet on these and enjoy the view of the objects on the other side of the river: The Shard, Hay's Galleria and many others. Above is a gorgeous arched building, this is the Old Billingsgate Fish Market. Be sure to look up, there are two fish-shaped weather vanes. In this building ≈1930 worked George Orwell.
Before reaching the Custom House, we turn left. We go to a park called St Dunstan in the East. This is a church built in ≈1100. It was destroyed in a big fire and restored according to Sir Wren's project. He also added a magnificent tower. Unfortunately, the church (except for the tower) was destroyed in the bombing of WWII and was not rebuilt. 1967 a public park was opened here.
Our last destination is a church called All Hallows. Built in 675, it is the oldest surviving church in London. It was saved from being destroyed by a great fire by Admiral William Penn, who ordered a many marines to demolish the adjacent wooden houses and prevent the spread of the fire. When the museum in the church is open, go to the basement. There you can walk on the authentic stone pavement laid by the Romans. A number of rarities are displayed in the basement, such as the church register in which the marriage of John Quincy Adams and Louise Catherine Johnson is recorded. John Adams is known to have been the 6th president of the United States and also the last president of the USA who was not born in the United States. This is the end of our trip this time. The Underground station is right near here. But if you feel like you have the courage to adventure for a few more hours - The Tower is right here...