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Category Archive: страноведение

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is the biggest market-place in Britain. If you come to Covent Garden in the afternoon, you’ll only see enormous buildings and a few tourists. But if you come here early in the morning, you’ll see hundreds of people buying and selling vegetables, fruit and flowers. Cars, vans, lorries are everywhere. There are voices everywhere. Some people are carrying heavy boxes of fruit and vegetables. They are crying: «Mind your backs, please». Before the businessmen arrive at their offices, all the cars and vans will have arrived at the shops all over London. They’ll have delivered everything for customers. By the afternoon all the farmers, shopkeepers, porters and drivers will have gone home. The market-place will have been cleaned by the dustmen. It’ll be ready to meet tourists.
Covent Garden has been the most important market-place in London for 300 years. It was officially established by King Charles II in 1670. It was called Covent Garden because it was the garden of the monks of Westminster Abbey. At that time it was very small, and used only by Londoners.
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The British Museum

Great Britain

Great Britain

The British Museum is the largest and richest of its kind in the world. This Museum comprises the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, and the National Library. It was built in the middle of the last century. The Museum is situated in London (in Bloomsbury district).
On one of the houses in Bloomsbury there is a plaque, which tells people that for nearly 50 years this was the home of Sir Hans Sloane, the benefactor of the British Museum.
Sir Hans Sloane was an Irishman. He arrived in London nearly 300 years ago with 800 species of plants collected in West India. His particular specialities were natural history specimens and books. All his long life Sir Hans Sloane remained a collector. In his will he offered his vast collection to the people of Britain. Later on the Government bought his collection. Two important libraries were added to the collection of natural history specimens and books.
At first, his collections were on view to the public in a large house not far from the present museum.
The present building was built in 1852.
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London and places of interest

London

London

London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic and commercial centre. It is the chief port of Great Britain. It is one of the greatest cities of the world. Its population is about 9 million people.
The origin of the city may be dated as the beginning of the 1st century A. D., when a tribe of the Celtic family settled near the Thames. The Roman town, LONDINIUM, grew up on the two hillocks near St. Paul’s Cathedral and Cornhill, not far from the Tower of London. The English are very proud of the long history of their capital. The city became extremely prosperous during the 16th century. Then in 1665 and 1666 two catastrophes occurred: the first was epidemic of plague which killed 100,000 citizens, and the second was the Great Fire which destroyed the whole of the City, including St. Paul’s Cathedral. London is a real museum of architecture. Most of the finest buildings date from the second half of the 17th century. At the beginning of the 19th century England was at the height of her power. During Queen Victoria’s long reign (1837 — 1901) the construction of the Underground began. And the first line between Paddington and Farringdon was opened.
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System of Government in GB

British Institutions

British Institutions

System of Government in GB
Britain is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch — Queen Elizabeth II — as a head of State.
Today the Queen is not only head of State but also an important symbol of national unity. The royal title in Britain is: «Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.» In law the Queen is head of the executive, an integral part of the legislature, head of the judiciary, the Commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of the Crown and the Supreme Governor of the established Church of England.
The Queen and the royal family continue to take part in many traditional ceremonies. They visit different parts of Britain; they are involved in the work of many charities.
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Great Britain. Location

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Location
Britain forms the greater part of the British Isles, which lie off the north-west coast of mainland Europe. Great Britain is separated from the Continent by the English Channel. «Great Britain» is a geographical expression but «The United Kingdom» is a political expression. The full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain comprises England, Wales and Scotland.
Great Britain is in fact the biggest of the group of islands which lies between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The total area is 242,534 sq. km. Britain is just under 1,000 km long from the south coast of England to the extreme north of Scotland, and just under 500 km across in the widest part.
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The History of Britain

English Language

English Language

Two thousand years ago the Celts, who had been arriving from Europe, mixed with the peoples who were already in Britain Isles. The Roman province of Britannia covered most of the territory of present- day England and Wales. The Romans imposed their own way of living, culture, and language. But inspite of their long occupation of Britain, there isn’t much they left behind. Even most of temples, roads and cities were later destroyed. But such place- names like Chester, Lancaster, Gloucester remind us of the Romans.
The Romans influenced mainly the towns. In the country (where most people lived) Celtic speech dominated. The farming methods remained there unchanged. We can’t speak about Roman’s occupation as a large- scale settlement.
Later (during the 5th century) two tribes (the Angles and the Saxons) settled in Britain. They settled on a very vast territory. Only in the west of the country King Arthur and his army halted the tribes. But in the 6th century the way of life of these tribes predominated in England. The Celtic Britons’ culture and language survived in Southwest Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.
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Portraits in stone

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

It was August, 1925. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was riding on horseback into the untamed Black Hills of South Dakota. Suddenly he stopped. In front of him was a beautiful rock towering over the hot wild land. It was Mount Rushmore. Borglum stood there for some time, deep in thought. If ever an artist had a chance to leave a memorial that would last for centuries, this would be his raw material.
Today, millions of visitors come to see the Mount Rushmore National memorial. They stand in awe, looking at the great faces of four American presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosewelt. These faces are the largest carved figures in the world. They are twice as tall as the Great Sphinx in Egypt.
Borglum began his tremendous work in 1927. It was difficult and dangerous. The only way to get up the mountain was on foot or on horseback. And Borglum and his helpers had to make the trip hundreds of times just to bring up the necessary equipment.
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