Otázka: The UK
UK – is a political name of the country which is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and several islands off the British coast except Channel Island and the Isle of Man. Great Britain – is name of the island which is made up of England, Scotland and Wales. The British Isles – is geographical name and is made up of Great Britain, whole of Ireland, Channel Island and Isle of Man.
The Union Jack – it’s the flag of UK, was created in 1801 and is made up of tree crosses. The upright red cross is the cross of St. George (England). The white diagonal cross is the cross of St. Andrew (Scotland). The red diagonal cross is the cross of St. Patrick (Ireland). Wales hasn´t own cross, because in time, when flag was created, Wales was part of England. The Walsh flag (the Welsh dragon) was created in middle of the 20th century.
Edward I conquered Wales in the 13th century. Then in 15th century a Welsh prince (Henry VII) became King of England and his son (Henry VIII) united England and Wales under one parliament (1536). In Scotland a similar thing happened. The King of Scotland inherited the crown of England and Wales in 1603. The parliaments of England, Wales and Scotland were united in 1707. In 1801 the whole of Ireland was united with Great Britain. However in 1922 Ireland was separated.
The United Kingdom is situated to the north-west of the European Continent, between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Population of UK is around 60 million (in England around 50 million, in Scotland around 5 million, in Wales around 3 million and in Northern Ireland around 2 million). The UK is a constitutional monarchy (Monarch don’t have absolutely power, but must rule with accordance with parliament). Its reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. She is also the Queen and Head of State and Commonwealth (Canada, New Zealand, …). Official languages in UK are English and Welsh. Typical animals bred in UK are sheep, cattle, pigs and poultry. In UK its grown wheat and barley.
Mountains – Most mountainous area is in Scotland. There are The Highlands. The biggest mountain in Scotland and whole UK is Ben Nevis. Wales is covered by mountains too (The Cambrian mountains – Snowdon). Through the central part of northern England there are Pennines (the Backbone of England). The highest peak of England is Scafell Pike.
Rivers- British Rivers are relatively short, navigable and have a tide. The longest river is Severn. The second longest river is Thames. Thames flows through London and thanks to it, London is large seaport.
Lakes- Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland is largest by area. Loch Ness in Scotland is largest by volume. Loch Lomond is the largest Scottish lake by area. The Lake District is area of lakes in Cumbrian Mountains (England). It is the oldest National Park. This place is inspiration for many writers (William Wordsworth).
England is the biggest and most populated part of UK. Capital city is London. In Union Jack the upright red cross is the cross of England. Patron of England is St. George and the symbol is rose. Places of interest:
Oxford – is the seat of the oldest English University in UK (12th century).
Cambridge – there is the second oldest university in UK (13th century).
Stratford upon Avon – its probably the second most visited town in England. Town became famous as a birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Birmingham – is the second largest city in Britain. In the past the industrial revolution mainly develops there (especially textile and coal-mining industry).
Manchester – we can visit the Museum of Science and Industry and The Space and Air Museum. There is also famous football club Manchester United.
Stonehenge – is a megalithic monument dating back from about 2800 BC. Stonehenge is located 13 km north of Salisbury in south England. The ruins consist of two stone circles and two horseshoes. We don’t know why it was built (temple, observatory to watching stars, place for sacrifices, cemetery …)
Hadrian’s Wall – It is built between England and Scotland. In the 2nd century Roman Emperor Hadrian let build the wall to protect England against Celt’s invasion. The wall is 117 km long.