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London – the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
1. Answer the questions:
· Do you know any facts from London’s history? What are they?
· If you have an opportunity to visit London and spend only 5 hours there what places of interest would you like to see and why:
- the Tower of London;
- the Trafalgar Square;
- the British National Museum;
- the Eye of London (a big wheel with a wonderful view opening);
- the Buckingham Palace;
- shopping areas;
- other (point out the place).
2. Read and translate the text:
London is the capital of the United Kingdom and the constituent country of England, and is the largest city in the European Union. It is the world’s seventh biggest city and it is seven times larger than any other city in the country. London was not built as a city in the same way as Paris or New-York. The etymology of London remains a mystery. An important settlement for two millennia, London's history goes back to its founding by the Romans. It began life in the 1st century A.D. as a Roman fortification. There is evidence of scattered Briton settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans in 43 AD and was called Londinium. This Londinium lasted for just seventeen years.
The wall was built around the town for defense, but later, during a long period of peace, people started to build outside the walls. Since its beginnings, London has been part of many movements and phenomena throughout history. London survived different periods and epochs such as the English Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the Gothic Revival in architecture. Each of them left a sign on London’s face and produced this or that change. In 1665 there was a Great Plaque in London, so many people left the city and escaped to the villages in the surrounding countryside. The Great Fire of 1666 ended the plaque but it also destroyed much of the city. After the disaster London was completely rebuilt and a great amount of people returned to the city but there were never again so many Londoners living in the city center.
Traditionally London is divided into four parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End.
The city's core, the ancient City of London, still retains its limited mediaeval boundaries. The City of London is the world's greatest financial centre alongside New York City and Tokyo and one of the most important cultural centers. London's influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion and the arts contributes to its preeminent position. The City of London is the headquarters of more than half of the UK's top 100 listed companies including the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange. There are a lot of tourists’ attractions within the City. Among them St. Paul’s Cathedral, the greatest of English churches and the Tower of London.
St Paul's Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century. Sir Christopher Wren was an architect of the masterpiece. The cathedral sits on the highest point of the City of London, which originated as a Roman trading post situated on the River Thames. The cathedral is one of London's most visited sights.
Another place of interest is the Tower of London. It was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror and since than has been playing an important role in historical and governmental events of the United Kingdom.
Westminster is the governmental part of London. It has many historical places and the brightest of them is the Westminster Abbey. The official name of the Westminster Abbey is the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster. It is a large, mainly Gothic church in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth Realms. It briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1546–1556, and is a Royal Peculiar. It is also famous for its Poet’s Corner, place where a lot of outstanding poets, writers, politicians are buried.
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Royal family. It is famous for the ceremony of the Royal Guard change. It attracts thousands of tourists.
London currently has a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within the city. The official population of the city is more than 8 mln. within the boundaries of Greater London making it the most populous municipality in the European Union.
3. Scan the text and answer the questions:
1/ When was London founded? 2/ What parts is London divided into? 3/ What places of interest can you find within the City of London? 4/ What is the Westminster Abbey famous for? 5/ Why is London considered to be the most populous municipality in the European Union?
4. Prepare a report about any tourists’ attraction in London (not less then 50 words). Use additional sources of information.
5. Make up the plan of the text and retell it according to the plan (not less then 100 words).