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GLIMPSES OF LONDON




London is one of the biggest and most interesting cities in the world.

Traditionally it is divided into the West End and the East End. The West End is famous for its beautiful avenues lined with plane trees, big stores, rich mansions, expensive restaurants, hotels, theatres and night clubs. The East End used to be a poor area filled with warehouses, factories, slums and miserable houses. For the recent years this area has turned into a new housing development.

The heart of London is the City — its commercial and business center. Here is situated the Tower of London that comes first among the historic buildings of the city. It's just from here that you had better start sightseeing.

The Tower of London was founded by Julius Caesar and in 1066 rebuilt by William the Conqueror. It was used as a fortress, a royal residence and a prison. Now it is a museum of armor and also the place where the Crown Jewels are kept. A twenty minutes' walk from the Tower will take you to another historic building — St. Paul's Cathedral, the greatest of English churches. It was built by a famous English architect, Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723. In one of its towers there is one of the largest bells in the world, Great Paul.

Not far away there is Westminster Abbey. Many English sovereigns, outstanding statesmen, painters and poets (Newton, Darwin, and Tennyson among them) are buried here.

Across the road from Westminster Abbey is Westminster Palace, the seat of the British Parliament. Its two towers stand high above the city. The higher of the two contains the largest clock in the country and the famous bell Big Ben that strikes every quarter of the hour.

If now we walk along Whitehall, we shall soon come to Trafalgar Square. It was so named in memory of the victory in the battle of Trafalgar, where on October 21, 1805 the English fleet under Nelson's command defeated the combined fleet of France and Spain. In the middle of Trafalgar Square stands Nelson's monument — a tall column with the figure of Nelson at its top

The fine building facing the square is the National Gallery.

And now, even if you have almost no time left for further sightseeing, you cannot leave the city without visiting Hyde Park or "the Park" as Londoners call it. When you are walking along its shady avenues, sitting on the grass, admiring its beautiful flower-beds or watching swans and ducks floating on the ponds, it seems almost unbelievable that all around there is a large city with its heavy traffic.

 

1. Study Text A and explain the meaning of the words and phrases listed below:

mansion, miserable houses, slums, to come first, the Crown Jewels, huge, statesman, across the road, the seat (of the government), named in memory of , combined fleet at the cost of somebody's life, to face something, shady avenues.

 

2. Learn the words of the texts and a) copy and transcribe these words:

mansion, restaurant, jewel, guard, halt, column, ton, sovereign, national, float, sculpture, swan, weigh, conqueror, specimen.

 

b) Translate into English and mark the stresses:

отель, церемония, Возрождение, Трафальгарская площадь, рукопись, проспект, архитектор, Елизавета, сенат.

 

c) Form derivatives of these verbs by adding the prefix re- (meaning "do smth. again"):

Example: build — rebuild

write, tell, construct, arm, elect, produce.

 

3. Answer the questions:

1. How do the two parts of London differ from each other?

2. Why is it better to start sightseeing from the Tower of London?

3. Who founded the Tower and when was it rebuilt?

4. What was the Tower of London used for?

5. What is the City?

6. What does the phrase "a place of interest" mean?

7. What do you know about St. Paul's Cathedral?

8. What is Whitehall and in which part of London is it situated?

9. What does the Ceremony of the Keys consist of?

10. What do you call the building in which the Houses of Parliament are situated? It is one building, why then do we say "The Houses of Parliament"?

11. What is Big Ben? 12. What kind of museum is the British Museum?

13. What do you know about Hyde Park?

 


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