Even those who live here do not know this exists.
The Guildhall is the parliament of the City- that extraordinary Libertarian state-let in the center of London.
A medieval style market food market was being set up in the square as I arrived. The City is part 21st century trading center and part medieval theme park. I was met by a security guard who welcomed me in.
He noticed that I was carrying a UK security licence around my neck and told me that they were not needed in the City as 'we are not part of Britain'.
I doubt this is really true but it is certainly true that the City Corporation encourages people to ignore the law at every opportunity.
The 'Court of Common Council' was shortly to begin. This is rather like the Houses of Parliament but with less shouting and a great deal less media coverage. These robes were for the Aldermen (like MP's) who look more like occultists on their way to sacrifice a virgin than the leaders of one of the worlds money centers.
Then the Guildhall itself. It did not disappoint. Gog and Magog looked down (the demonic guardians of the City). The thing I find most interesting about the City is not its strangeness but the fact that so few people care to look closely at it.
Here it is. Most ceremonial halls in the City resemble cathedrals. Unbelievably there are about one hundred such structures. Most are devoted to God. This one is devoted to the leaders of the Devils army at the end of the world. The City always hedges its bets.
A throne like structure, presumably for the Lord Mayor. The dragons represent the earthly power of the City and are not generally given supernatural significance.
The red cross is not the emblem of England. It is the City flag which also contains the sword of St Peter, another of the supernatural guardians of the City
Note the flags and the feudal-style crests on the roof. These date from the 14th century or shortly after. Many of the family crests displayed here have fallen out of use or are owned by sad old men working at petrol stations, barely aware of past glories.
The City regulates trade and ensures a foot and a yard are propper feet and yards.
Churchill looks down to make sure we never even think of cheating. It has all worked remarkably well for a very long time. Who would have thought it?