An Episode of the English History
The Great Fire of London
The old city of London
had narrow, crooked streets with wooden houses. It was a dirty city in the
middle of the 17th century. It is no wonder that epidemics were
common. The greatest epidemic of plague broke out in 1665. It was a sad time
The streets were empty, shops were closed, and there were few ships on the Thames.
75,000 Londoners died from plague.
The next year the Great Fire took
place. It broke out late at night on the second of September 1666 in a bakery
not far from the London Bridge.
After a long summer the wooden houses were dry. A wind was blowing from
the river and the fire spread quickly. The fire was so great that it could be
seen from the distance of ten miles away. The fire burned for 5 days. It
destroyed 80% of the city. A monument near the London Bridge
marks now the place where the fire broke out.
The people of London
built a new city.
The houses were made of brick or stone, not wood. The streets were made wider.
Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect of that time, took part in
rebuilding the city. The present St. Paul’s
Cathedral was built by him in the place of the old church
of St. Paul
which was destroyed by the fire. The famous architect lies buried under the
roof of his own great work. "If you want to see his monument, look around” –
these words are written on his tomb.