maturitní otázky, seminárky a referáty
Angličtina - London
Autor: Kateřina Labaničová
General information. London, the capital of United Kingdom is situated in the southeastern part of England. It covers area of 610 square miles and has some 8, 000, 000 inhabitants. London can be divided into two parts: the City of London (commercial and business center) and the City of Westminster (historical center).
Londinium was founded in 44 AD by Romans and made it the capital of province Britannia. After Romans left in 5th century London still kept it s privileged position. Later, after battle at Hastings (1066) the famous Norman king William the Conqueror came to Britain and chose London as his seating city. Other famous occasion afflicted London in 1666 - the great fire that destroyed the city (but nobody was killed). The new London we know today with wide paved streets and stone buildings was built by Sir Christopher Wren.
Places of interest.
- The Tower of London - the oldest surviving building in London. Used by Romans and Saxons as a fortress, later rebuilt by William the Conqueror to today s White Tower. It used to be a Royal Palace, a Zoo, a prison and place of public executions. Today it is a museum and place there the Crown Jewels are kept. The Tower is famous for its ravens with cut wings and for the Yeoman Wardens.
- The Ceremony of Keys - the oldest military ceremony in the world. It begins every evening eight minutes before ten at Bloody Tower. The Chief Yeoman Warder secures the gates of the Tower and enters the Bloody Tower. This dialogue is held every evening: Halt, who goes there? The Keys. Whose Keys? Queen Elizabeth s Keys. God preserve Queen Elizabeth! Amen - sounds as the clock strikes ten. Then the Keys are put in the Queen s House where are kept overnight.
- The Tower Bridge - is the last bridge on the River Thames. It was built in 1894 in the style of Victorian Gothic. It can break in the middle and be risen up (it takes 90 seconds) to allow big ships go through.
- St. Paul s Cathedral and the Whispering Gallery - it stands on the place of previous cathedral demaged by fire in 1666. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren and completed after 35 years of works in 1711. It is built in Baroque style and is the second largest church in the world (170m long, 111m high). Lot of Royal weddings and funerals took place here and many famous people are buried here. Whispering Gallery can be found at the dome s cupola and is famous for its unique acoustic.
- The Westminster Abbey - was founded in eleventh century and was rebuilt many times. Most coronations were held here and many British monarchs and some important people are buried here.
- The Houses of Parliament and The Big Ben - Houses of Parliament is the seat of Parliament since 1547. The building was rebuilt into Neo-Gothic style in 1840 on the place of old Westminster Palace. The British Parliament has two chambers - The House of Lords and the House of Commons. Its clock-tower with the famous Big Ben bell is one of the best known London sights. BBC uses the strikes of Big Ben as the time signal.
- The Trafalgar Square - is the beautiful place with several historical sights. The Nelson s column in a monument of the Battle at Trafalgar 1805, where Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated French and Spanish fleet. The Column is 49m high with statue of Lord Nelson on its top. The Column is surrounded by 4 huge iron lions made from the weapons from the Trafalgar battle. Other interesting building on TS is St. Martin-In-the-Fields church built in Classicist style and The National Gallery. Trafalgar square is also famous for its pigeons.
- The Buckingham Palace - The wonderful Classicist building which serves as the seat of the Queen and the Royal Family. It was built in 1703 by Lord Buckingham and since times of Queen Victoria British monarchs use this Palace as a seat. In front of the Palace is the Baroque monument with golden statue of Queen Victoria. Every midday the Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place in front of crowds which stay in front of the Palace for hours just to see it.
- The Guard - The Guard is changed every hour and each day at 12 o clock the famous guard-changing ceremony is held. The uniforms of the Guard consists of black trousers, red coat and special hat made of bear fur called bearskin . All over London we can meet Yeomen, Beaffeaters and Bobbies.
- The Piccadilly Circus - is one of the busiest places in London. The heavy traffic reaches its top around 5pm. Piccadilly is famous for the neon advertisements and for the statue of Greek love god Eros.
- The Royal Albert Hall - is the capital point of cultural life. Lot of concerts are held here - it s like, when artist can have the performance in Albert s, he/she s really good.
- London cabs and double-deckers - cab is the word for London taxi. I have heard that to make a taxi licence in London takes three years. You have to prove that you know the City really well, that you know where and when traffic jams usually are and which is the best way to avoid them. Double-deckers are here for tourists so that they can take a sight seeing cruise across London
Of course this was just a segment of what London can offer to you. Thousands of sights, galleries and museums, millions of stores, kind people, green parks you can have a rest in… To me London stays one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Bustling with life, hosting people of many nations, races, cultures. You can explore London for ages and you will never know it all.