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Average Temperatures

London — January 4°C, July 18°C

Edinburgh — January 3°C, July 15eC

Average Annual Precipitation

London 590 mm Edinburgh 680 mm


Population - 59,000,000 (approximate figure)

Population Density - 242 persons/sq km

Urban/Rural population

92% Urban

8% Rural


94.5% English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish

5.5% Other


Official Language - English

Other Languages - Welsh, Scots-Gaelic, other minority languages


54% Anglicanism

13% Roman Catholicism

33% Other including other Protestant denominations, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism


Gross Domestic Product-US $1,023,900,000,000

Agriculture: wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, livestock, animal products

Fishing: mackerel, herring, cod, plaice

Mining: coal, limestone, petroleum and natural gas


Machinery and transport equipment, food products, chemical products, minerals and metal products. Employment Statistics

58% Trade and Services

23% Industry

16% Business and Finance

2% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing

1% Military and Defense

Major Exports

Industrial and electrical machinery, automatic data processing equipment, road vehicles, petroleum.

Major Imports

Road vehicles, industrial and electrical machinery, automatic data processing equipment, petroleum, paper and paperboard, textiles, food.

Major Trading Partners

Germany, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan




London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic and commercial centre. London is one of the greatest cities in the world and the biggest seaport in Europe. The territory of London is twice asgreat as the territory of New York, though its population is almost twice smaller.

London is the oldest city of the English-speaking peoples, more than twenty centuries old. The Old City is the birthplace of London. Here, on the banks of the Thames, was a small settlement named Llyn-din, which means a lonely port. To this place, in the year 55 before our era, Caesar came from Rome. For 400 years Britain remained a Roman province. Llyn-din became Londinium. The Romans made Londinium a large and rich city with good streets, beautiful palaces and shops. Trade was growing. A lot of goods-skins, copper and iron ore, silver and gold-were sent to Rome.

In the fifth century the Romans left Britain, and other invaders came to the British shores. The Saxon hordes and the Danes rushed to Londinium, conquered the land and ruined the city. During nearly 400 years Londinium lay in ruins, grass grew where the beautiful buildings had been before, wild beasts walked on the good Roman roads.

In the ninth century and later the Saxon Kings began to rebuild the ruined city of Londinium. Soon another centre, Westminster Abbey, was founded. In 1066 came William the Duke of Normandy, or William the Conqueror. He settled in Londinium, which now became London-the capital of Norman Britain. The Norman masters built new palaces, churches and cathedrals. The population grew and more wooden houses were built along the narrow streets. Simple wooden houses were good enough for the poor Brittons. Stone and marble were used by the Normans who wanted to shine in the conquered land.

In 1666 the Great Fire broke out, almost the whole London was scorched by the fire. Not only wooden, but even stone buildings were burnt down. After the fire the City could not be reconstructed, it had to be built again. A commission of six architects was organized for this business and Sir Christopher Wren was the most talented of them. It was forbidden to build wooden houses in the City of London. The streets were made much wider and open land was left for squares.

Today the City is the central part of London, its business and financial centre and the heart of commerce. The Bank of England is not only the centre of English trade, but of the world trade as well. Only about five thousand live permanently in the City today but nearly a million works there. In the day-time the streets of the City are crowded but late at night they are deserted.

But life never stops in the streets and squares of the West End, not far from the City. This area is famous for splendid shops, concert-halls and theatres. You can see elegant people, wealth and luxury, beautifully illuminated shop-windows in Piccadilly or Regent Street. The West End is the richest and the most beautiful part of London.

The Thames is a natural boundary between the West End and the East End of London. Working class London is centered in the East End. This is a vast area running eastwards from the City. This area is populated by workers, dockers and small craftsmen. There are not many places of interest here. The Londoners who live in the East End are not rich and their houses are seldom built by great architects.

Westminster is the central part of London. Most governmental buildings are in Westminster.

Although there is much traffic in London there is indeed little dust. The road is asphalted, and the pavement is of stone. When it rains, there is no mud. Narrow side-streets lead off from the main street at right angles. If you walk along one of these, you are surprised to find how quiet it is.

London has many great and wonderful sights which attract the attention of tourists from many parts of the world.


Exercise I

Answer the questions:

1. Is London the largest city in the world?

2. What's the population of London?

3. Traditionally London is divided into several parts. Can you name them?

4. What do you know about the City?

5. Who was St Paul's Cathedral built by?

6. Who founded the Tower of London? When was it rebuilt?

7. What is Westminster Abbey famous for?

8. Where does the British Parliament sit?

9. What is Big Ben?

10. Why was Trafalgar Square named so?

11. Why does Buckingham Palace attract so many tourists?

12. What are the most famous London museums and art galleries?


Exercise II

Give equivalents to the following Russian word combinations from the text:

коммерческий центр, более 20 веков, приехал из, росла, устремились, завоеватели, лежали в руинах, был основан, деревянный, вспыхнул пожар, почти 1000 лет, не только центр, известна, естественная граница, несмотря, заметим, привлекают внимание, постоянно.

Exercise III

Complete the following sentences according to the text:

1. The Old City is...of London.

2. For 400 years Britain...a Roman province.

3. ...skins, copper and iron ore were sent to Rome.

4. The Saxon kings began...the ruined city.

5. The Saxon hordes and the Danes.. to .Londinium…the land and the city.

6. During nearly 400 years Londinium... .

7. Simple...were good for poor people.

8. In 1666 the Great Fire…, almost the whole London was scorched by the fire.

9. It…to build wooden houses in the City of London.

10. Westminster Abbey…soon.

11. London has wonderful sights which…of tourists.

Exercise IV

Agree or disagree.

1. London is more than 10 centuries old.

2. Caesar came from Rome to the settlement named Londinium.

3. Agriculture was developing.

4. During nearly 400 years Londinium lay in ruins.

5. In the 9th century the Roman kings began to rebuild the ruined city.

6. The Norman masters built wooden houses for rich people.

7. In 1666 the Great Fire broke out.

8. It was forbidden to build wooden houses in the City after the fire.

9. The West End is famous for shops, concert halls and theatres.

10. Working class live in Westminster.

11. Most governmental buildings are in the East End.

12. When it rains there is no mud on the pavement.

13. London has a lot of sights.


Exercise V

Read and translate the dialogue:

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