This is a view from the River Thames of the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The future of the college was until recently undecided, as the Royal Navy no longer needed it. The University of Greenwich and Trinity College of Music now occupy it, see The Old Royal Naval College - The Present Day. The University's new Library is housed in the former Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital.
In the centre of the picture, between the two domes, can be seen the Queen's House, part of the old Royal Palace, now one of the buildings housing the National Maritime Museum. In the centre background is Greenwich Park, with a statue of General Wolfe just about visible. To the right of the statue, mostly hidden by trees, is the Old Greenwich Royal Observatory, famous for being the site of the prime meridian, or 0 degrees longitude.
The London Borough of Greenwich was formed in 1965 from the former metropolitan boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich. The population in 2001 was about 214,000. Its wealth of historical and interesting buildings, monuments, and places to visit are to a great degree caused by the Royal connection. This goes back to the old Royal Palace of Placentia, which was the monarch's primary palace from the middle of the 15th century to the end of the 17th century.
In addition to the buildings mentioned above, many others, such as Vanbrugh Castle, St Alfeges Church, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, the Ranger's House, and the Trafalgar Tavern, are of historical and/or architectural interest.
As well as the buildings, also preserved in dry dock here is the famous clipper ship Cutty Sark.
Greenwich was chosen as the site for the U.K.'s Millennium Exhibition, comprising mainly of the Millennium Dome, which closed on 31 December 2000. The Dome was a failure in terms of income, losing vast amounts of money and attracting less than half the expected number of visitors. Its future is still uncertain. The exhibition site was close to the Blackwall Tunnel, on the site of an old gas works.
On 5 December 1997 it was announced by Culture Secretary Chris Smith that Greenwich had been named as the UK's 17th World Heritage Site. The announcement was made after the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) held its annual Conference in Naples. Mr Smith said that Greenwich "is a truly remarkable place, richly evocative of our past as a great seafaring nation."
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