Text 2. London
Read the text and do the exercises that follow it.
Study the following vocabulary before reading the texts:
a head-quarter – штаб-квартира
a craftsman – ремесленник
e.g. = for example
London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic and commercial centre. It is one of the biggest ports of the country. It is situated on both sides of the Thames. London is one of the largest cities in the world. Its population is about 8 million. London is more than 20 centuries old. It consists of many parts and they are all very different from each other. The most well-known are the City, the Westminster, the West End‚ Trafalgar Square and the East End.
The City is the oldest part of London, financial and business centre. Numerous banks and offices are situated there, e.g. the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange and the head-quarters of many companies and corporations. The most striking buildings in the City are the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Tower was built in the 11th century and was used as a fortress, a palace and a prison. Now it’s a museum. Not far from the Tower there is St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was built in the 17th century by Christopher Wren. Some well-known people are buried there.
The Westminster is the aristocratic official part of London. It includes Buckingham Palace where the Monarch lives. At Buckingham Palace one can see the ceremony of the changing of the guard. The palace of Westminster is also situated there. It is the seat of the British Parliament. One of the two high towers of Westminster is called the Clock Tower with Big Ben, the bell of which strikes the hours.
Westminster Abbey is a place where many famous people are buried, e.g. I. Newton‚ Ch. Darwin‚ Ch. Dickens, A. Tennyson, Th. Hardy, К. Kipling. In the Poet’s Corner one can find memorials to W. Shakespeare, G. Byron, W. Scott and others. Nearly all the kings and queens have been crowned in the Abbey and many of them are buried here.
One should mention such streets as Whitehall and Downing Street in the Westminster. Government offices are situated in Whitehall. In the middle of this street stands an impressive monument to the memory of victims of 2 wars. It is called the Cenotaph. Downing Street is a quiet little street with ordinary houses. House 10 is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
The West End is a fashionable shopping and entertainment centre situated to the west of the City. The West End is a symbol of wealth and luxury. The best and most expensive hotels, restaurants, clubs, theatres, cinemas and the richest shops are situated there. English aristocracy lives in this region.
One of the busiest streets here is Oxford street. There are many various shops which attract customers from different countries of the world.
Trafalgar Square is the geographical centre of London. It was named in the memory of the Victory at the battle of Trafalgar where in 1805 the English under the command of Nelson defeated the fleet of Napoleon. The tall column with a statue of Nelson stands in the middle of Trafalgar Square. It’s a place of political meetings and demonstrations.
Opposite the Nelson monument is the National Gallery with great collection of pictures of different schools and National Portrait Gallery containing pictures of all famous English men and women. Not far from the National Gallery is the British Museum rich in its collection of ancient manuscripts, coins, sculptures, etc. It is also famous for its library, one of the richest in the world.
The East End is situated to the east of the City. It is an industrial centre inhabited by factory workers, dockers and small craftsmen. There are many factories and docks but few large parks and squares. The Port of London is situated there.
1. Answer the questions on the text:
1. Where is London situated?
2. What parts does London consist of? What are they?
3. What is the City? What buildings is it famous for?
4. What is Westminster? What places of interest does it include?
5. What is Westminster Abbey famous for?
6. What is the richest and most beautiful part of London?
7. What can you say about the East End?
8. What is the geographical center of London? Why is it named Trafalgar?
Speak about London. Use the information from text 2 as a help to your topic.