Hyde Park.Even before the Norman Conquest belonged to Westminster Abbey Park, the name was an ancient unit of area. Since the beginning of the dissolution of the monasteries (1536) Henry VIII withdrew it in the treasury, to use for their own amusement hunting. For the public it was opened by James I, and under Charles II was the favorite place of Londoners.
The main attraction of the park - the Serpentine lake, where swimming is allowed, as well as gallery of the same name. In the southeast corner of the park is Apsley House which houses the Museum of the Duke of Wellington, and Wellington Arch. These objects are similar to that in 1815 in Hyde Park held a historic parade on Wellington's victory over Napoleon. In 1822, in honor of the Duke in the Park was established a huge statue of Achilles, the sculptor Sir Richard Vestmakotta. It was the first in the British capital sculpture of a naked man. And even decorated bronze fig leaf, it caused an uproar of citizens.
Queen Victoria chose Hyde Park, the venue for the first ever World Exhibition of 1851, for which the park was erected "a new wonder of the world" - Crystal Palace (not preserved).
Outside England Hyde Park is best known for the fact that there is a Speakers' Corner, where traditionally hone their oratory various speakers and preachers. Therefore, Hyde Park has become synonymous with the place where you can freely proclaim and defend any ideas. During perestroika, "Hyde Park" in the cities of the USSR became known meeting places, and representative s of different political philosophies, in order to promote their views.