London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic and commercial centre. It is one if the largest cities in the world. Its population is about 8 million.
London is situated on the river Thames. The city is very old as it has more than 20 centuries old history. Traditionally it is divided into several parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East end. They are very different from each other.
The City is the oldest part of London, its financial and business centre. Numerous banks, offices and companies are situated here, including the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange and the Old Bailey. Few people live in the City but over a million come to work here. Two masterpieces are situated in the City: St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. St. Paul’s Cathedral was built in the 17th century by Christopher Wren. The Tower of London was built in the 11th century. It was used as a fortress, a palace and a prison, now it is a museum.
Westminster is the aristocratic official part of London. It includes Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives and the Houses of Parliament stretching for nearly 1000 feet along the north bank of the Thames.
The Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament is famous for its big hour bell, known as “Big Ben”. Westminster Abbey is the place where coronations of nearly all kings and queens take place. Many of them are buried here as well as some other famous people of the country (G. Chaucer, Newton, Dickens, Hardy, Kipling, etc.).
The West End is the richest and most beautiful parts of London. It is a symbol of wealth and luxury. The best hotels, restaurants, shops, clubs, parks and houses are situated there. English aristocracy lives in this region. One of the busiest streets of the West End is Oxford Street. There are many various shops in it which attract customers from different countries of the world.
Trafalgar Square is the geographical centre of London. It was named in the memory of Admiral Nelson’s victory at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The tall Nelson’s Column stands in the middle of the square. Opposite the Nelson monument is the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. They contain the finest art collections in the world. Not far from the National Gallery is the British Museum famous for its rich library (about 7.000 000 books).
The East End is an industrial district of London. There are many factories and the Port of London there. The region is densely populated by working class families, those people who have built the palaces of the West End. Old residents of the East End are proud to be called Cockneys which means true Londoners, hereditary inhabitants of the area. They love the district very much.
The City – Сити
Westminster – Вестминстер
The West end – Вест-Энд
The East End – Ист-Энд
The Bank of England – Английский банк
The Stock Exchange – Лондонская фондовая биржа
The Old Bailey – Олд-Бейли (центральный уголовный суд)
St. Paul’s Cathedral – Собор святого Павла
The Tower of London – Лондонский Тауэр
Buckingham Palace – Букингемский Дворец
The Houses of Parliament – Парламент
The Thames – река Темза
Big Ben – Биг Бен
Westminster Abbey – Вестминстерское Аббатство
Oxford Street – Оксфорд-Стрит
Trafalgar Square – Трафальгарская площадь
Nelson’s Column – Колонна Нельсона
The British Museum – Британский Музей
Cockney – Кокни (диалект)
London was an important city in Roman times, and there are substantial Roman remains, mostly below street level. By the Middle Ages, when London became the political and commercial capital of England, it was one of the most important cities in Europe.
The history of London begins about the year 43 AD, when the Romans were in possession of the southern part of Britain and founded a military station on the present site of London. An insurrection of the British led by Boadicea caused it to be burned in 61 AD. It was the centre of various disturbances until about 306, when Constantine constructed walls and fortifications, and thereby established stability and laid a firm basis for commercial prosperity. From 369 until 412 it was the capital of Britain, when it was known as Augusta.
Subsequently it became the chief seat of the Saxons. King Alfred expelled the Danes and fortified the city. It became famous as a commercial centre at the beginning of the reign of Edward III.
London was not built as a city in the samе way as Paris or New York. It began life as a Roman fortification at a place where it was possible to cross the River Thames. A wall was built around the town for defense, but during the long period of peace which followed the Norman Conquest, people built outside the walls. This building continued over the years, especially to the west of the City. In 1665 there was a terrible plague in London, so many people left the city and escaped to the villages in the surrounding countryside. About 69,000 persons succumbed to the dread disease.
In 1666 the Great Fire of London ended the plague, but it also destroyed much of the city. A destructive fire spread over 340 acres, burning about 15,000 houses. From these calamities the city recovered with marked rapidity. The Bank of England was established in 1694. Sir Hans Sloane founded the British Museum in 1759, the old walls were torn down in 1760, and about that time the streets were improved by pavements, lighting and sanitary regulations. In 1840 the present parliamentary buildings were commenced, and in rapid succession followed the construction of great parks and many different improvements. Although people returned to live in the rebuilt city after the plague and the Great Fire, there were never again so many Londoners living in the city centre.
In the course of history the original commercial nucleus of the City of London (only a mile square — 2.6 sq. km) was adjoined by the City of Westminster, where the political centre established by the monarchy was supplemented by the administrative offices of Parliament and Whitehall (originally a royal palace).
Gradually London expanded, absorbing outlying villages, such as Kensington and Hampstead, until by the end of the 19th century (during which the industrial revolution had made London the largest and most important city in the world) much of the central area of London had been developed in a way which is still recognizable today. During the twentieth century growth has continued into the outer suburbs, into the surrounding areas known as the “home counties” (Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex) and into the 12 new towns which were created after 1945 within a radius of 129 km (80 miles) of London to help to relieve the pressure of population and the capital's housing problem. To restrict the increasing of built-up areas, London pioneered the concept of a “green belt” around the city, where the land is left open and free from further large-scale building development.
These days not many people live in the city centre, but London has spread further outwards into the country, including surrounding villages. Today the metropolis of Greater London covers some 700 square miles and the suburbs of London continue even beyond this area. Some people even commute over 100 miles (over 150 km) every day to work in London, while living far away from the city in the country or in other towns.
The Middle Ages – Средние века
AD (лат. Anno Domini) — нашей эры
Insurrection — восстание, мятеж
Disturbances — волнения, беспорядки
Prosperity — процветание, преуспевание
To expel – выгонять
Plague [pleig] — чума
Succumb — стать жертвой, умереть
Calamity — бедствие
Rapidity — быстрота, скорость
Commence — начинать (ся)
To supplement – добавлять, пополнять
Absorb — впитывать; поглощать
Spread — простираться, распространяться, продолжаться
To relieve – облегчать, уменьшать
The pressure of population – плотность населения
To restrict – ограничить
To pioneer – вводить
Large-scale building – крупномасштабное строительство
Metropolis — центр деловой или культурной жизни; столица, центр
Greater London — Большой Лондон (административно - территориальная единица; делится на 32 района и Сити; управляется Советом Лондона)
Commute — совершать регулярные поездки на работу в город из пригорода
Boadicea – Бодисея
Augusta – Августа
Constantine – император Константин
The Saxons – Саксонцы
The Danes – Датчане
The Norman Conquest – Норманнское завоевание
The Great Fire of London – Великий лондонский пожар
|20 centuries old history||At the battle of|
|To be concentrated||To be populated by|
|A palace||To be called|
|To be famous for||District|
|To take place||Monument|
|A geographical centre||Masterpiece|
|A memorial||To participate|
|To stroll||To project|
|A sight||With pleasure|
|A tour||To walk|
|To take part||An attraction|
|Distinguished||Not far from|
|To design||To be amazed|
|To be surprised||A trip|
|A short way from||A monument|