Otázka: The UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
geography and nature, history, places of interest, people, governmant
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated in the north-west part of Europe. It covers an area of about 245 000 square kilometres and has about 60 million inhabitans. The capital city is London and the official language is English.
The climate in UK is infleunced by the Gulf stream. It is quite warm, but it rains very often.
Great Britain consists of 2 large islands – Great Britain and Ireland and more than 5,000 smaller ones.
The isles are washed by the North Sea in the north and east, by the Irish Sea and Atlantic Ocean in the west. In the south, England and France are divided by the La Manche Channel.
The UK is divided into England (London), Scotland (Edinburgh), Wales (Cardiff) and Northern Ireland (Belfast).
The longest rivers are the Severn and the Thames in England. The Thames flows through London. Other rivers of British Islands are the Avon or the Trent.
Britain has few natural resources: only coal (uhlí), iron ore (železná ruda), some timber (dřevo) and building materials.
The United Kingdom is divided into areas called counties. There are 92 counties in U.K.
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen Elizabeth II. as the head of state. The British Parliament is one of the oldest in the world.
Famous cities are for example London, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Liverpool, Canterbury and a place called Stonehenge near Salisbury.
Oxford and Cambridge are university towns and Liverpool became famous as the birthplace of the Beatles.
The British national flag is called Union Jack and it is a combination of English, Scottish and Irish cross. The typical Scottish instrument is the pipe and the typical Scot is dressed in a pleated tartan kilt.
Typical characteristic of the English is politeness. They have a good table manners. They are always in time. If you are invited to a dinner, it is usual to bring a small present. They like spending time with their family.
One of the most important kings was William the Conqueror. In the 14th century there was the Hundred Year’s War against France. Then in the 15th century there was The War of Roses. It was a civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The other famous king was Henry the 8th. His daughter Elizabeht became an outstanding Queen of England. The famous Queens were Elizabeth the 1st and Queen Victoria.
London is the capital of United Kingdom. It is situated on the Thames in the southeast of England. London is a cosmopolitan city, there are people of many nationalities. Today the population is about 7 million inhabitans. London consists of three parts – the original and historical city, West End (centre of entertainment) and the East End (industrial area). London is seat of Monarchy, the Parliament, the Government and the Supreme Court.
The city was probably founded 2 000 years ago. Then the Romans called the city Londinium. Then William the Conqueror came to England and became the King of England. In 1666 there was a great fire, which destroyed almost all the city.
There are many places of interest. We can see them by walking or we can use transport. London’s famous red double-decker buses are almost everywhere. To be faster, we can use the underground. It’s the oldest underground in the world. In London, there are also traditional black taxis. There are also 3 airports in London (the most important are Heathrow and Gatwick).
Places of interest
The Tower of London was royal resident, a fortress, a prison and now it is museum. The oldest part of the Tower is the White Tower. Tere are many ravens in the Tower and they can’t leave it because of legends.
The Tower Bridge is a great symbol of London. It can open in the middle and let large ships to go through.
St Paul’s Cathedral si one of the largest in the world. It was built in the 17th century after the great fire. The Cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery.
The Houses of Parliament are officially called the Palace of Westminster. There is the Victoria Tower and the Clock Tower with nickname Big Ben.
Westminster Abbey is an excellent example of gothic architecture.
Buckingham palace is the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family. Here is one of the biggest London’s parades – Changing the Guard.
Downing street number 10 is the official home of British Prime ministers.
Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London. It was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon. Here is a Nelson’s statue. This place is very popular place for demonstrations and meetings. At Christmas time a big Christmas tree stands here.
Piccadily Circus is the centre of the nightlife. In the middle of the square is the statue of Eros, the Greek God of love.
The British Museum is the biggest in the world. Collection of this musem include six and a half million objects.
Madame Tussaud’s Museum holds a collection of wax figures.
The largest park in London is Hyde Park. In the centre is a lake called The Serpentine. Tourist famous place is Speaker‘s Corner. Here anyone can stand on a box and talk about anything they want.
The London Eye is the largest observation wheel in the world. It was built to celebrate the new millenium.
There are many theatres here. The most important is The National Theatre.