West End of London

Piccadilly Circus, the heart of the West End, in September 2012

The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End), refers to both a distinct and the wider region of Central London, west of the City of London and north of the River Thames, in which many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings and entertainment venues, including West End theatres, are concentrated.

Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross.[1] The West End covers part of the boroughs of Westminster and Camden.[2]

While the City of London, or the Square Mile, is the main business and financial district in London, the West End is the main commercial and entertainment centre of the city. It is the largest central business district in the United Kingdom, comparable to Midtown Manhattan in New York City, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Shibuya in Tokyo, or the 8th arrondissement in Paris. It is one of the most expensive locations in the world in which to rent office space.

History

Medieval London comprised two adjacent cities - the City of London (cathedral: St. Paul's) to the east, and the City of Westminster (cathedral: Westminster Abbey) to the west.

Dragon statue on the Temple Bar monument, which marks the boundary between the City of Westminster and City of London.

Over time they came to form the centre of modern London, although each kept its own distinct character and its separate legal identity (for example, the City of London has its own police force and is a distinct county). The City of London became a centre for the banking, financial, legal and professional sectors, while Westminster became associated with the leisure, shopping, commerce, and entertainment sectors, the government, and home to universities and embassies. The modern West End is closely associated with this area of central London.

Lying to the west of the historic Roman and medieval City of London, the West End was long favoured by the rich elite as a place of residence because it was usually upwind of the smoke drifting from the crowded City.[3] It was close to the royal seat of power at the Palace of Westminster (now home to Parliament), and is largely contained within the City of Westminster (one of the 32 London boroughs).

Developed in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it was built as a series of palaces, expensive town houses, fashionable shops and places of entertainment. The areas closest to the City around Holborn, Seven Dials, and Covent Garden contained poorer communities that were cleared and redeveloped in the 19th century.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: West End, Londen
العربية: وست اند (لندن)
български: Уест Енд
català: West End
čeština: West End
Esperanto: West End
français: West End
հայերեն: Վեստ Էնդ
Bahasa Indonesia: West End of London
italiano: West End
ქართული: უესტ-ენდი
Nederlands: West End (Londen)
português: West End
русский: Вест-Энд
Simple English: West End of London
slovenčina: West End (Londýn)
suomi: West End
svenska: West End
Türkçe: West End