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Это второй текст о Лондоне для изучающих страноведение Англии.
A. Read the text.
London is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is its political, economic and cultural centre. The population of London is about 9 million people. London is a very old city. It is about 20 centuries old. London is situated on both banks of the river Thames. There 20 bridges across the Thames. The capital of the UK is traditionally divided into several parts: Westminster, the City, the West End and the East End.
Westminster occupies Westminster Palace or the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. The Palace of Westminster is the political centre of London. Westminster Abbey, beautiful for its architecture and its stained glass, presents a noble, military political and artistic history. Westminster Cathedral is the seat of the Cardinal Archbishop and the leading Catholic Church in England. The City is the oldest part of London. It is its financial and business centre. There are a lot of banks, offices and companies in the City. Very few people live in the City of London. People come to work here. The famous St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London are in the City. St. Paul's Cathedral was built in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren, a well-known English architect
During the daytime nearly a million people work there, but less than 8 thousand people actually live there. The West End is the aristocratic part of London. There are a lot of places of interest in the West End. Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives and the Houses of Parliament are situated here. Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the Queen. It was built in the 18th century. One of the towers of the Houses of Parliament is famous for a huge clock, called Big Ben. The West End is the aristocratic part of London. There are a lot of places of interest in the West End. Westminster Abbey is in the centre of London. It is the place of coronation of nearly all kings and queens. Many great Englishmen were buried there - Chaucer, Newton, Dickens, Darwin, Kipling and other outstanding people. Kings and queens were also buried there.
Trafalgar Square is in the centre of West End. It was named in memory of admiral Nelson's victory in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Nelson Column is in the centre of the square. A Christmas tree, sent as a gift each year from Norway, is set up in this square on New Year's Eve and crowds of people gather around the tree to celebrate the new year. Downing Street is the London residence of the Prime Minister and the place where the Cabinet meets.
Piccadilly Circus is the heart of the West End. It is a popular meeting place for both Londoners and the visitors in the daytime and at night it looks quite fantastic with many advertisements shining with light. In the centre of the square is the memorial fountain with the bronze statue of Eros, God of Love.
There are a lot of museums, libraries and galleries in London. The Tate Gallery is one of the most famous galleries in the world. Henry Tate was a sugar manufacturer. He was fond of art and collected paintings. The British Museum is famous all over the world. It contains one of the biggest collections of books.
Londoners are fond of parks and gardens and are proud of them. There are 550 parks with picturesque surroundings, ponds, fountains, flower-beds and even animals as deer and water birds - pelicans, ducks and swans. The most beautiful parks are Regent Park with the Zoo, the Open air Theatre, a 20 acre boating lake, Green Park, the unique botanic garden with exotic plants and flowers. One of the largest parks is Hyde Park. The parks are central London's lungs. They have cafes and art galleries; bands play beside lakes.
The East End is in great contrast with the wealthy West End. It is the industrial district of London. There are plants, factories, workshops and docks there. There are no big parks or gardens here. The smell of the Thames and the cargoes unloaded from ships hang over the East End. Here people speak the special London dialect called "cockney". The Cockneys consider themselves the real Londoners.
The underground of London is well-developed. It is called the Tube. The traffic is very busy in London. There are a lot of cars, buses, double-deckers and lorries in the city, especially in rush hours.
B. Answer the questions.
1. What is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
2. What is the population of London?
3. Where is London situated?
4. How many bridges are there across the Thames?
5. How many parts is London traditionally divided into?
6. Which part is the oldest part of London?
7. Why is the City the financial and business centre of London?
8. Do people live in the City of London?
9. Where are the famous St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London situated?
10. Who built St. Paul's Cathedral?
11. What do you know about the Tower of London?
12. Where are Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament?
13. What is one of the towers of the Houses of Parliament famous for?
14. What is the place of coronation of queens and kings?
15. Who was buried in Westminster Abbey?
16. What do you know about Trafalgar Square?
17. What do you know about the Tate Gallery?
18. Which museum is famous all over the world?
19. What do you know about the East End?
20. What is the Underground of London called?
21. Is the traffic busy in London? C. Dialogue.
Pete: We have come to the end of Fleet Street.
Alan: Yes. Now if you look straight up the hill in front of us, you can see St. Paul's Cathedral.
Pete: What a marvelous building!
Alan: Yes, it produces a great impression. It was build by Sir Christopher Wren.
Pete: And what is there inside the building?
Alan: There are monuments to outstanding military heroes. In the crypt famous people were buried, including Nelson and Wellington.
Pete: Can we go inside?
Alan: Yes, certainly. Let's go and see everything.
London has been a capital city for nearly a thousand years, and many of its ancient buildings still stand. The most famous of these are the Tower of London (where the Crown Jewels are kept), Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral. But most visitors also want to see the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace (the Queen's London home) and many magnificent museums.
Once, London was a small Roman town on the north bank of the Thames, but slowly it grew into one of the world's major cities. Fewer people live in the centre now, but the suburbs are still growing. Palaces now in the heart of London, like Westminster, once stood in the middle of green fields. Many small villages, like Hamstead, Chelsea and Mayfair became part of London, but they still keep some of their old atmosphere. Different areas of London seem like different cities. The West End is a rich man's world of shops, offices and theatres. The East End is the old working people's district, where there are many small flats and houses, some old, some new.
London is always changing. New buildings go up and old ones come down. Poor areas become fashionable and people with more money move into them.
A hundred years ago the river was crowded with ships, leaving for Java and Japan. New Zealand and New York, but now the port is nearly empty. People travel by air, and London's main airport Heathrow is one of the busiest in the world.
Like all big cities, London has streets and concrete buildings, but it also has many big parks, full of trees, flowers and grass. Sit on the grass (you are allowed to) in the middle of Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens, and you will think that you are in the country, miles away.
Many people live outside the centre of London in the suburbs, and they travel to work by train, bus or underground. Every day nearly half a million office workers travel into the City, the business centre of London, a small area full of banks and offices. Some people come from far out of London, even from the coast, and spend four hours traveling every day. Working hours are from 9 am to 5 pm. From 8 until 10 every morning and 4.30 to 6.30 every evening the trains are crowded with people. By day the whole of London is busy. At night the City is quiet and empty, but the West End stays alive, because this is where Londoners come to enjoy themselves. There are two opera houses here, several concert halls and many theatres, as well as cinemas, and in nearby Soho the pubs, restaurants and night clubs are busy half the night.
Many people think that London is all grey, but in fact red is London's favourite colour. The buses are red, the letter boxes are red, and the mall vans are all bright, bright red. London is at its best when people are celebrating. Then the flags, the soldiers' uniforms, the cheering crowds and the carriages and horses all sparkle in the sunshine - if it's not raining, of course!
On the first Thursday in every month Mrs. Baker invites her friends to have tea with her. At four o'clock Mrs. Baker asks Clara to bring in the tea. Clara knows that in England making tea is a very serious matter. Mrs. Baker teaches her how it is done. Fresh water is boiled in a kettle and when the water is hot, a little is put in the teapot to warm it. The pot is then dried and the tea is put in - one spoonful for each person and "one for the pot". When the water is quite boiling, it is poured on to the tea and the tea must be left four or five minutes before it is at its best.
Tea must be poured in cups as carefully, as it is made. Before you pour tea you should ask each person which he or she prefers: with milk or without, with sugar or without it. Mrs. Baker is a good cook, she is rather proud of her cooking, so she always serves home-made cakes at her parties.
About half past four the guests begin to leave. By 5 o'clock every one has gone.
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