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City of London

The City of London is a small area in Greater London.

The modern conurbation of London developed from the City of London and the nearby City of Westminster, which was the centre of the royal government.

The City of London is now London’s main financial district. It is often referred to as just the City or as the Square Mile, as it is approximately one square mile (2.6 square kilometres) 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 (as distinct from the nearby but then-separate village of Westminster), but 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 9,000 but a daily working population of around 320,000.

The City itself has two independent enclaves within it – Inner Temple and Middle Temple. These two areas 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.

Its Latin motto is “Domine dirige nos” which means “Lord, direct us”.

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