FACTS, CULTURE AND PEOPLE
The UK lies on the northwest coast of Europe, on the British Isles. It consists of a big island called Great Britain, a part called Northern Ireland and other smaller islands.
The official title is: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is a highly multicultural country.
The UK is made up of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland (known as Eire) – the capital of which is Dublin, became independent in 1922, while Northern Ireland remained part of the UK.
The current population of the UK is over 68 million people. The density of the population is one of the highest in the world, about 270 people per square kilometre.
Great Britain can be divided into the lowlands and highlands. The most mountainous area of GB is Scotland. Here we can find:
Mountain ranges in other parts of Great Britain include:
They are very important sources of energy.
These lakes are not important for transport but they are a big tourist attraction.
The climate is mild due to the Gulf Stream. Winters are not very cold and summers aren’t very warm. Britain is known for its fog and rainfall.
The UK is a really industrial country. The economy consists of the following branches:
For travelling we can use:
The UK uses the pound.
The official language spoken is English. However,
What are the British people like? They are said to be reserved, conservative, polite and with a specific sense of humour.
The British people, or Britons love:
From the past:
Traditional symbols of England
Scottish symbols / landmarks:
Traditional symbols of Wales (Welsh symbols)
Traditional Irish symbols
Popular places in Britain
LONDON is the capital of the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. It lies on the River Thames, and it is the largest city in the country.
London is the seat of the Monarch, the Parliament, the Government, the Supreme Court, the Church of England, etc.
LONDON is the centre of cultural, political, and social activities.
HISTORY OF LONDON
The city’s history is very rich, including several disasters that have affected London.
BONUS QUESTION: Sum up the introduction of the topic ‚London‘.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is the typical symbol of the capital and, at the same time, a top tourist attraction. William the Conqueror began to build the massive fortress to defend the city of London. It was the place of some of the bloodiest events in English history. Many important personalities were arrested and executed there.
The Tower of London is now a museum where tourists go to see an arsenal of
weapons and the Crown Jewels.
The Tower is guarded by the Yeoman Warders called “Beefeaters”. They wear a distinctive/ typical uniform from Tudor times. Beefeaters guard together with six ravens that are kept in the Tower. Legend says that it would be the end of the Tower and the kingdom if the ravens flew away. So the ravens’ wings are clipped to prevent this.
Tower Bridge is a typical London landmark. It has two Gothic towers. Two glass-covered Walkways link the top of the towers to allow walkers to cross over the River Thames and give them beautiful views of the river. The bridge is raised in the middle to allow tall ships to pass up the river.
Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London. It’s a place of political demonstrations, heavy traffic and tourists. In the middle of the square is the statue of Admiral Nelson, who looks towards the Houses of Parliament and is guarded by four magnificent bronze lions.
Westminster Abbey is a gothic building with twin towers. The Abbey is a ´Coronation church´. Coronations of every king or queen (except two) have been held here.
Visitors can admire Coronation Chair – this oak chair has been used at every coronation. The Abbey contains many royal tombs. There were many important royal funerals, such as Diana Princess of Wales and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth = the Queen’s Mother. The Abbey is a living church – there are regular services every day.
St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of London and the spiritual centre of the city. It is a masterpiece of a famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, who rebuilt this cathedral and 52 other city churches after the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Cathedral is built in the Baroque style.
This is the official London residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Standard flutters when Her Majesty the Queen is in residence.
An inseparable part of the Palace is the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of it. The statue represents the ideals of motherhood, truth, justice, peace, and progress.
The five regiments of Foot Guards, easily recognized by their scarlet uniforms and bearskins, guard Buckingham Palace. The Guard is changed at 11.30 am. This ceremony takes 40 minutes and is usually watched by vast crowds.
Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament is the political centre of the United Kingdom, the home of the British
Parliament. They were rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style in 1840 after a fire destroyed the previous building.
The complex includes:
Big Ben is a famous landmark in London. It’s a part of the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is not the clock’s name but the bell’s name (named after Sir Benjamin Hall). It has been telling the time since 1859.
10 Downing Street
No. 10 Downing Streetis not open to the public, and it is the official home of the British Prime Minister.
London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction. It is the tallest sightseeing wheel in the world.
Piccadilly Circus is a place where five busy streets join into the circular square. It is the most alive and noisiest place in London. It is a centre of entertainment, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, and restaurants. Many colourful advertisements light the square.
At the top of the Fountain, the circus center, stands Eros, the Greek God of love.
Hyde Park is probably the most popular among tourists because of its Speaker’s Corner. It is a place where everybody can speak his or her opinions openly without fear.
Madame Tussauds is visited by thousands of visitors every year. It contains waxworks of famous world figures, e.g., international statesmen (Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher), sportsmen (Martina Navrátilová, David Beckham), film stars (Beatles, Madonna), Royal Family, the Pope, and many other famous people.
The National Gallery
The National Gallery contains the best-known collection of paintings, e.g. Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, El Greco, etc.
Harrods is the world’s best-known store. The store began as a small grocer’s shop, and at the same time, it was the first store in the world with an escalator. Other big shopping stores are Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis.
BONUS QUESTION: Give a 5-minute speech on the topic of LONDON.
1. consist of [kənˈsɪst ] – skladať sa z…, pozostávať z…
2. coast [kəʊst] – pobrežie
3. island [ˈaɪlənd] – ostrov
4. isle [aɪl] – ostrov
5. density [ˈdensɪtɪ] – hustota
6. lowlands [ˈləʊləndz] – nížiny
7. highlands [ˈhaɪləndz] – vysočiny
8. the Highlands – Škótska vysočina
9. mountainous [ˈmaʊntɪnəs] – hornatý
10. peak [piːk] – štít, vrchol
11. lake [leɪk] – jazero
12. mild climate [maɪld ˈklaɪmɪt] – mierne podnebie
13. fog [fɒg] – hmla
14. branch [brɑːntʃ] – odvetvie
15. constitution [ˌkɒnstɪˈtjuːʃən] – ústava
16. customs [ˈkʌstəms] – zvyky
17. government [ˈgʌvənmənt] – vláda
18. double decker [ˈdʌb ə l dekə] – dvojposchodový autobus
19. for hire [fɔː ˈhaɪə] – na prenájom
20. hemisphere [ˈhemɪˌsfɪə] – pologuľa, hemisféra
21. prime meridian [praɪm məˈrɪdɪən] – nultý poludník
22. healing springs [hiːlɪŋ sprɪŋs] – liečivé pramene
23. birthplace [ˈbɜːθˌpleɪs] – rodisko
24. plague [pleɪg] – mor, epidémia
25. oak [əʊk] – dub
26. pigeons [ˈpɪdʒɪns] – holuby
27. Beefeaters [ˈbiːˌfiːtəs] – strážcovia londýnskeho Toweru
28. raven [ˈreɪv ə n] – havran
29. bishop [ˈbɪʃəp] – biskup
30. waxwork [ˈwæksˌwɜːk] – vosková figurína
31. brewery [ˈbrʊərɪ] – pivovar
32. clover [ˈkləʊvə] – ďatelina
33. holy [ˈhəʊlɪ] – svätý
34. Trinity [ˈtrɪnɪtɪ] – Najsvätejšia Trojica
35. thistle [ˈθɪs ə l] – bodliak, škótsky národný symbol
36. landmark [ˈlændˌmɑːk] – typický znak, orientačný bod
37. unicorn [ˈjuːnɪˌkɔːn] – jednorožec
38. flag [flæg] – vlajka
39. tartan [ˈtɑːt ə n] – škótska kockovaná látka, vzor
40. kilt [kɪlt] – škótska sukňa
41. pattern [ˈpætən] – vzor (na látke)
42. Scotland [ˈskɒtlənd] – Škótsko
43. Scottish [ˈskɒtɪʃ] – škótsky
44. Scotch [skɒtʃ] – škótska (whisky)
45. the Scots [skɒts] / the Scottish people – Škóti
46. outlaw [ˈaʊtˌlɔː] – zbojník, vyhnanec
47. trademark [ˈtreɪdˌmɑːk] – obchodná značka
48. current [ˈkʌrənt] – súčasný
49. rainfall [ˈreɪnˌfɔːl] – dažďové zrážky
50. as for [əz fɔː ] – čo sa týka…
51. endurance [ɪnˈdjʊərəns] – vytrvalosť, výdrž
52. vertical [ˈvɜːtɪk ə l] – zvislý
53. horizontal [ˌhɒrɪˈzɒnt ə l] – vodorovný
54. stripe [straɪp] – pruh, pás
55. bagpipes [ˈbægˌpaɪps] – gajdy
56. evidence [ˈevɪdəns] – dôkaz
57. shamrock [ˈʃæmˌrɒk] – trojlístok, symbol Írska
58. reign [reɪn] – panovať, vládnuť
59. govern [ˈgʌv ə n] – vládnuť , riadiť
60. playwright [ˈpleɪˌraɪt] – dramatik, autor divadelných hier
61. cross [krɒs] – kríž
62. shape [ʃeɪp] – tvar
63. due to [djuː tuː] – kvôli
64. north-west [nɔːθ west] – severozápad
65. strength [streŋθ] – sila