City of London

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City of London
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Coat of arms of City of London

Coat of arms
Motto: Domine dirige nos
Latin: Lord, guide us
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Shown within Greater London
Shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region Greater London
Status City and Ceremonial County
Admin HQ Guildhall
 - Leadership see text
 - Mayor John Stuttard
 - MP Mark Field
 - London Assembly John Biggs
 - City  1.0 sq mi (2.6 km)
Population (2005 est)
 - City 9,200
 - Density 0/sq mi (3172/km)
 - Ethnicity 84.4% White
68.3% British
12.8% non-British
3.3% Irish
6.8% South Asian
2.6% African-Caribbean
2.0% Chinese
 - ONS code 00AA
 Population Ranked 353rd
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 - Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postal code EC
Website: [1]
The City of London is a geographically-small city within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London from which, along with Westminster, the modern conurbation grew. The City's boundaries have remained constant since the Middle Ages, and hence it is now only a tiny part of the larger London metropolis.

The City of London is today a major business and commercial centre, ranking just below New York City as the leading centre of global finance.[1] It is often referred to as just the City or as the Square Mile, as it is approximately one square mile (2.6 km²) in area; note that these terms are also often used as metonyms for the UK financial services industry, which is principally based there. In the medieval period the City was the full extent of London, and distinct from the nearby but then-separate village of Westminster, which became the City of Westminster. The term London now refers to a much larger conurbation containing both 'cities'. The City of London is still part of London's city centre, but apart from financial services, most of London's metropolitan functions are centred on the West End. The City of London has a resident population of under 10,000, whilst the City employs 340,000 professional workers in the Financial Sector, who commute on a daily basis - making the areas transport system extremely busy during certain peak times.

The City itself contains two independent enclavesInner Temple and Middle Temple. These form part of the City and Ceremonial county, but are not governed by the City of London Corporation. The Corporation governs the rest of the City and also owns various open spaces (parks, forests and commons) in and around London, including most of Epping Forest. It also owns Spitalfields Market and Billingsgate Market, although these are within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Its Latin motto is "Domine dirige nos" which means "Lord, guide us".


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Aerial view with 30 St Mary Axe and Tower 42 in the background. Also seen here are the Willis Building, Aviva Tower, 99 Bishopsgate and the Stock Exchange Tower. At the bottom is the Broadgate Tower, the latest skyscraper to be built in the City.
The size of the City was originally constrained by a defensive perimeter wall, known as 'London Wall’, which was built by the Romans to protect their strategic port city. However, the boundaries of the City of London are no longer the old City Wall as the city expanded its jurisdiction to the so-called City Bars — such as Temple Bar. The boundary froze in the medieval period, thus the City did not and does not control the whole of London.

The walls have long since disappeared although several sections remain visible above ground. A section near the Museum of London was revealed after the devastation of an air-raid on 29 December 1940 at the height of the Blitz. Other visible sections are at St Alphage, London Wall, and there are two sections near the Tower of London.

The City of London borders the City of Westminster to the west — the border cutting through Victoria Embankment, passing to the west of Middle Temple, going east along Strand and Fleet Street, north up Chancery Lane, where it becomes instead the border with the London Borough of Camden. It continues north to Holborn, turns east, continues, and then goes northeast to Charterhouse Lane. As it crosses Farringdon Road it becomes the border with the London Borough of Islington. It continues to Aldersgate, goes north, and turns into some back streets soon after it becomes Goswell Road. It ends up on Ropemakers Lane, which as it continues east past Moorgate becomes South Place. It goes north, becomes the border with the London Borough of Hackney, then east, north, east on backstreets, meeting Norton Folgate at the border with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It continues south into Bishopsgate, and takes some backstreets to Middlesex Street where it continues south-east then south. It makes a divergence to the west at the end of Middlesex Street to allow the Tower of London to be in Tower Hamlets, and then reaches the river. The boundaries of the City are marked by black bollards bearing the City's emblem. (boundary map). In some places the financial district extends slightly beyond the political boundaries of the City to the north and east, into the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington, and informally these locations are seen as part of the "Square Mile". Since the 1990s the eastern fringe of the City, extending into Hackney and Tower Hamlets, has increasingly been a focus for large office developments due to the relatively easy availability of large sites there compared to within the City itself.

Since 1991 Canary Wharf a few miles east of the City Boundary within Tower Hamlets has become a second centre for London's financial services industry and now houses a number of banks and other institutions formerly located in the Square Mile. However, fears that the City would be damaged by this development appear to have been unfounded with growth predicted in both locations. Indeed Canary Wharf may have been of great service to the Square Mile by providing large floorplate office buildings at a time when this was difficult within the City boundary, and therefore preventing strategically important companies such as HSBC from relocating abroad.

The City of London is England's smallest ceremonial county by both population and area covered and is the second smallest British city in both population and size, after St David's in Wales.

At its maximum extent the City included areas now not part of it, including Southwark (as the 'ward of bridge without'). The City today controls the full spans of London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, but only half of the river underneath them.

Extra-mural open spaces

The City of London owns and maintains a number of open spaces outside its boundaries. These are: Ashtead Common, Burnham Beeches, Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath (including Parliament Hill), Highgate Wood, Queen's Park, West Ham Park, and West Wickham and Coulsdon Common.


Main article: History of London
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Coat of arms of the City of London as shown on Blackfriars station. The Latin motto reads Domine Dirige Nos, "Lord, guide us". The red sword is commonly supposed to commemorate the killing of Peasants' Revolt leader Wat Tyler by the Lord Mayor of London William Walworth in 1381, but in fact it is the symbol of the martyrdom of Saint Paul, London's patron saint.
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The Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed nearly four-fifths of the City.
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Herbert Mason's famous photograph, taken during The Second Great Fire of London.

The area of the City of London has been administered separately since 886, when Alfred the Great appointed his son-in-law Earl Æthelred of Mercia as Governor of London. Alfred made sure that there was suitable accommodation for merchants from northwest Europe, which was then extended to traders from the Baltic and Italy.

The City developed its own code of law for the mercantile classes, developing such autonomy that Sir Laurence Gomme regarded the City as a separate Kingdom making its own laws. The City was composed of wards governed by Aldermen, who chaired the Wardmotes. There was a folkmoot for the whole of the city held in the shadows of St Paul's Cathedral. In the tenth century, Athelstan permitted eight mints to be established, compared to six in his capital, Winchester, indicating the wealth of the city.

Following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror marched on London, to Southwark and failed to get across London Bridge or to defeat the Londoners. He eventually crossed the River Thames at Wallingford, pillaging the land as he went. Rather than continuing the war Edgar Ætheling, Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria surrendered at Berkhamsted. William rewarded London in granting the citizens a charter in 1075; the City of London was one of the few institutions where the English retained some authority.

However, William insured against attack by building 3 Castles nearby so as to keep the Londoners subdued: In 1132, Henry I recognised full County status for the City, and by 1141 the whole body of the citizenry was considered to constitute a single community. This was the origin of the City of London Corporation.

The City burned nearly to the ground twice, first in 1212 and then again (and more famously) in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Both of these fires were referred to as the Great Fire.

The City elected four members to the unreformed House of Commons, which it retained after the Reform Act 1832 and into the 20th century. Today it is included wholly in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, and statute requires that it not be divided between two neighbouring areas.

The City's population fell rapidly in the 19th century and through most of the 20th century as many houses were demolished to make way for modern office blocks. The 1970s saw the construction of many tall buildings including the 600ft, 42-storey Natwest Tower which became the first skyscraper in the UK.

This trend for purely office development is beginning to reverse as the Corporation is encouraging residential use, although the resident population is not expected to go much above 10,000 people. Some of the extra accommodation is in small pre-World War II commercial buildings, which are not suitable for occupation by the large companies which now provide much of the City's employment. The largest residential section of the City is the Barbican Estate.

Since the 1990s, the City has diversified away from near exclusive office use in some other ways as well. For example, several hotels have opened and also the City's first department store. However, large sections of it remain very quiet at weekends, and it is quite common to find pubs and cafes closed on these days. In the central areas, a number of additional skyscrapers are also being planned as the financial services industry continues to expand. These will include the 63-storey Bishopsgate Tower, the 48-storey Leadenhall Building, the 46-storey Heron Tower and several other major landmarks that will dramatically alter the skyline.

Year Population
1700208,000 (of which 139,000 within the walls) (estimates)
1750144,000 (of which 87,000 within the walls) (estimates)
1801128,129 (census figure)
1841123,563 (census figure)
188150,569 (census figure)
190126,846 (census figure)
191119,657 (census figure)
192113,709 (census figure)
193110,999 (census figure)
19515,324 (census figure)
19614,767 (census figure)
19714,234 (census figure)
19816,700 (mid-year estimate)1
19915,400 (mid-year estimate)
20017,400 (mid-year estimate)
20048,600 (mid-year estimate)
20059,200 (mid-year estimate)
1. figure not strictly comparable with the 1971 figure

Financial industry

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The Bank of England, the central bank of the United Kingdom.

The City of London houses the London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds), Lloyds of London (insurance), and the Bank of England. The Docklands began development in the 1980s as an alternative financial centre for London and is now home to the Financial Services Authority, as well as several important financial institutions such as Barclays Bank, Bank of America, Citigroup and HSBC. There are now over 500 banks with offices in the City and Docklands, with the majority of business in London being conducted on an international basis, with established leads in areas such as Eurobonds, Foreign exchange markets, energy futures and global insurance. The Alternative Investments Market has acted a growth market over the past decade, allowing London to also expand as an international equity centre for smaller firms.

Local government

See also:
The City of London has a unique political status (sui generis), a legacy of its uninterrupted integrity as a corporate city since the Anglo Saxon period and its singular relationship with the crown. Historically its system of government was not unusual, but it was not reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835.

It is administered by the City of London Corporation, headed by the Lord Mayor of London (not the same post as the more recent London Mayor, who presides over Greater London). The City is a ceremonial county too, although instead of having its own Lord-Lieutenant, the City of London has a Commission, headed by the Lord Mayor, exercising this function.


The City has a unique electoral system, which follows very few of the usual forms and standards of democracy. Most of its voters are representatives of businesses and other bodies which occupy premises in the City. Its ancient wards also have very unequal numbers of voters.

The principal justification put forward for the non-resident vote is that approximately 450,000 non-residents constitute the city's day-time population and use most of its services, far outnumbering the City's residents, who are fewer than 10,000. Nevertheless, the system has long been the cause of controversy. The business vote was abolished in all other UK local authority elections in 1969 and was retained only in the City of London.

A private act of Parliament in 2003[2] reformed the voting system for electing Members to the Corporation of London and received the Royal Assent on 7 November 2002. Under the new system, the number of non-resident voters has doubled from 16,000 to 32,000. Previously disfranchised firms (and other organizations) are entitled to nominate voters, in addition to those already represented, and all such bodies are now required to choose their voters in a representative fashion.

Bodies employing fewer than ten people may appoint one voter, those employing ten to fifty people may appoint one voter for every five employees; those employing more than fifty people may appoint ten voters and one additional voter for each fifty employees beyond the first fifty.

The Act also removed other anomalies which had developed over time within the City's system, which had been unchanged since the 1850s.

Proposals for further change

The present system is widely seen as undemocratic, but adopting a more conventional system would place the 9,200 actual residents of the City of London in control of the local planning and other functions of a major financial capital which provides most of its services to hundreds of thousands of non-residents.

Proposals to annex the City of London to one of the neighbouring London boroughs, possibly the City of Westminster, have not widely been taken seriously. However, one proposal floated as a possible further reform is to allow those who work in the City to each have a direct individual vote, rather than businesses being represented by appointed voters.

In May 2006, the Lord Chancellor stated to Parliament that the government was minded to examine the issue of City of London elections at a later date, probably after 2009, in order to assess how the new system has bedded down.[3]

Other functions

The City has its own independent police force, the City of London Police. The rest of Greater London is policed by the Metropolitan Police Service, based at New Scotland Yard.

The City of London houses one hospital - St Bartholomew's Hospital. Founded in 1123 and fondly known as 'Barts', the hospital is situated at Smithfield, London, and is about to undergo a much publicised, controversial but long awaited regeneration.

The City is a major patron of the arts. It oversees the Barbican Centre and subsidises several important performing arts companies. It also takes an interest in open spaces outside its boundaries: see Corporation of London open spaces.


The City of London has only one directly-maintained primary school [4]. The school is called the Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School [5] (ages 4 to 11). The school is the only state primary school in the City of London and is sited at Aldgate. It is a voluntary-aided Church of England school, maintained by the Education Service of the City of London.

City of London residents may send their children to schools in neighbouring Local Education Authorities (LEAs).

For secondary schools children enrol in schools in neighbouring LEAs, such as Islington, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Southwark. Children who have permanent residence in the City are eligible for transfer to the City of London Academy, an independent secondary school sponsored by the City of London that is located in Southwark.

The City of London controls three other independent schools. Two are located in the City, City of London School (all male) and City of London School for Girls (all female); the third, City of London Freemen's School (co-educational), is located in Ashtead, Surrey. The City of London School for Girls has its own preparatory department for entrance at age seven.

The City is also home to The Maughan Library, which serves King's College London's Strand Campus and to the Cass Business School.


A number of gardens are maintained by the City of London. These range through formal gardens such as the one found in Finsbury Circus (it contains a bowling lawn and bandstand) to churchyards such as one belonging to the church of St Olave Hart Street which may be entered from Seething Lane. [6].

Gardens etc. include


The City's position as the United Kingdom's financial centre and a critical part of the country's economy, contributing about 2.5% of the UK's gross national product,[7] has resulted in it becoming a target for political violence. The Provisional IRA exploded several bombs in the City in the early 1990s.

The area is also spoken of as a possible target for al-Qaeda. For instance, when in May 2004 the BBC's Panorama programme examined the preparedness of Britain's emergency services for a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 attacks, they simulated a chemical explosion on Bishopsgate in the east of the City.

See also City of London's "Ring of Steel" for measures that have been taken against these threats.


1. ^ Z/Yen Limited (November 2005). The Competitive Position of London as a Global Financial Centre (PDF). Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
2. ^ HMSO City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002 (2002 Chapter vi)
3. ^ Parliamentary Debates, House of Lords, 25 May 2006, columns 91WS-92WS
4. ^ [2]
5. ^ [3]
6. ^ [4]
7. ^ [5]

External links

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Dragon statue at Temple Bar monument, which marks the western most point of the City.

Official websites
*Corporation of London, the City of London government website
:*City of London research publications
*Museum of London

General city information
*Set I Pictures of London By Jim at SnapGalaxy
*Set II Pictures of London By Jim at SnapGalaxy
* profile of Corporation
*Visiting and Shopping In London
Maps, photos, and other images
*City of London Corporation: Ward boundary maps
*MAPCO : Map And Plan Collection Online - High resolution historic maps of London c1560-1925
*Street map — the boundary is shown in mauve-grey, and is easiest to pick up in the river. Click the arrow on the left for the western and northern most parts of the City of London.
*COLLAGE — images from the City of London Corporation's visual database.

Discussion forum
* Detailed discussions on the architecture, history, business and future development of the City. Includes many photographs.

Historical sources (full-text)
* Calendar of Letter-Books of the CIty of London: the primary document of record for the City's government, 1272-1509. Eleven volumes, part of British History Online.

World class communications infrastructure
*[6] The Cloud brings WiFi Mesh to London
*[7] London switches on Europe’s most advanced City-wide WiFi network
*[8] Square Mile gets Mesh Wifi

    [ e]
Part of a of articles on the History of London
Evolution Londinium Lundenwic City of London City of Westminster County of London Greater London
Local government Metropolitan Board of Works London County Council Greater London Council Greater London Authority London Assembly Mayor of London
Events Peasants' Revolt Black Death Great Plague Great Fire of London The Great Stink The Great Exhibition The Blitz Swinging London The London Plan 7/7 bombings Olympic Games (1908 1948 2012)
Structures St. Paul's Cathedral Tower of London Baynard's Castle Westminster Hall London Bridge Westminster Abbey The Monument
City of London Corporation of London Lord Mayor of London Guildhall Livery Companies Lord Mayor's Show Bank of England
Services Bow Street Runners Metropolitan Police Service London sewerage system
Places with city status in the United Kingdom

Greater London is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London, England. The administrative area was created in 1965 and covers the City of London and 32 London boroughs. Its area also forms the London region of England and the London European Parliament constituency.
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Coat of arms elements
A motto (from Italian) is a phrase or a short list of words meant formally to describe the general motivation or intention of an entity, social group, or organization.
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Official status
Official language of: Vatican City
Used for official purposes, but not spoken in everyday speech
Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas
Roman Catholic Church
Language codes
ISO 639-1: la
ISO 639-2: lat
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Greater London is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London, England. The administrative area was created in 1965 and covers the City of London and 32 London boroughs. Its area also forms the London region of England and the London European Parliament constituency.
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country, state, and nation can have various meanings. Therefore, diverse lists of these entities are possible. Wikipedia offers the following lists:

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"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Constituent countries is a phrase used, often by official institutions, in contexts in which a number of countries make up a larger entity or grouping, concerning these countries; thus the OECD has used the phrase in reference to the parts of former Yugoslavia[1]
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Dieu et mon droit   (French)
"God and my right"
No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the Queen".
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region, also known as Government Office Region, is currently the highest tier of local government sub-national entity of England in the United Kingdom.


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Greater London is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London, England. The administrative area was created in 1965 and covers the City of London and 32 London boroughs. Its area also forms the London region of England and the London European Parliament constituency.
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City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although in England and Wales it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals.
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The ceremonial counties of England are areas of England that are appointed a Lord-Lieutenant, and are defined by the government with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England.
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Guildhall is a building in the City of London, off Cheapside and Basinghall Street, near Bank. It has been used as a town hall for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial centre of the City of London (which should not be confused with Greater London, of which it is only
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John Boothman Stuttard is the current Lord Mayor of London.

Stuttard was educated at Shrewsbury School and Churchill College, Cambridge, before joining Cooper Brothers in 1967. He has been a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers since 1975.
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Affiliation Members
Labour Party
Conservative Party
Liberal Democrats
Democratic Unionist Party
Scottish National Party
Sinn Féin
Plaid Cymru
Social Democratic and Labour Party
Health Concern
RESPECT The Unity Coalition
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Mark Christopher Field (born October 6, 1964), is British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament for the Cities of London and Westminster.

Early life and education

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London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the Mayor's annual budget.
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John Biggs is a Labour Party politician and member of the London Assembly representing City and East London. He is a former leader of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

He was first elected to the Assembly in 2000 and retained his seat in 2004.
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Area is a physical quantity expressing the size of a part of a surface. The term Surface area is the summation of the areas of the exposed sides of an object.


Units for measuring surface area include:
square metre = SI derived unit

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square mile is an imperial and US unit of area equal the area of a square of one statute mile. It should not be confused with the archaic miles square, which refers to the number of miles on each side squared.
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Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, humans in particular.

Biological population densities

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British Asian is used to denote a person of South Asian ancestry or origin, who was born in or was an immigrant to the United Kingdom. Britain has a large Southern Asian population due to British India once being the most populous portion of the former British Empire.
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The British African-Caribbean (Afro-Caribbean) community are residents of the United Kingdom who are of West Indian background, and whose ancestors were indigenous to Africa.
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British Chinese, also Chinese British, Chinese Britons or British-born Chinese (often informally referred to as BBCs), are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in or have immigrated to the United Kingdom.
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The Office for National Statistics coding system is a hierarchical code used in the United Kingdom for tabulating census and other statistical data.

Authorities, wards, and census areas

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Rank District Population Type Ceremonial county
1 Birmingham 1,006,500 Metropolitan borough, City (1889) West Midlands
2 Leeds 750,200 Metropolitan borough, City (1893) West Yorkshire
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time zone is a region of the Earth that has adopted the same standard time, usually referred to as the local time. Most adjacent time zones are exactly one hour apart, and by convention compute their local time as an offset from UTC (see also Greenwich Mean Time).
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Time zones of Europe:

blue Western European Time (UTC+0)
Western European Summer Time (UTC+1)
red Central European Time (UTC+1)
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
yellow Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)
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Daylight saving time (DST; also summer time in British English) is the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less.
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Western European Summer Time (WEST) is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:
  • the Canary Islands
  • the Faroe Islands
  • the Republic of Ireland
  • the Crown dependencies

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