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1) Modern London is formed from the ancient cities of London and Westminster developing over the centuries into what today is a large capital, comprising over 8 million inhabitants in an area of 610 square miles.

2) But it is in the City that we must look for the origins of the London we know it today.

3) London, one of the greatest cities in the world, is at least two thousand years old and was settled long before the first Roman invasion.

4) Over the centuries the City has jealously guarded its independence which has been recognised by a series of royal charters.

5) William the Conqueror acknowledged the City’s special privileges as did King John in his Charter dated May 1215 which confirmed the right to choose a Mayor by annual election.

6) The medieval face of London was dramatically changed by the Great Fire which broke out on September, 2, 1666, in Puddington Lane, less than a year after the Great Plague that claimed over 12000 lives.

7) During a period of four days 13000 houses and over 80 churches were destroyed.

8 ) The Great Fire consumed many of the fine halls of the City Companies, the Royal Exchange, the Guildhall, three of the ancient gates of the City and St.Paul’s Cathedral.

9) Miraculously enough only a few lives were lost but the Fire destroyed over three quarters of the city and along with it priceless records and fine examples of medieval architecture.

10) The Monument was designed by Christopher Wren and erected in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire. The height is said to be the exact distance from where the fire stared. From a balcony at the top there is a marvellous view of London.

#1.(…) Where must we search for the source of contemporary London?

#2. (…) What event transformed the look of London in the Middle Ages?

#3. (…) How long did the fire last?

#4. (…) How many victims were there in the Great Fire of London?

#5. (…) Which memorial was built in honour of this tragic event?

28.05.2009 Розділ 08 Комментарии отключены admin


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1) There is more of London’s history in the Tower than anywhere else. It is the oldest surviving building in London, dating from the Norman Conquest, and even before that the site had been used by the Romans and later by the Saxons as a fortress.

2) From the eleventh century onwards the Tower has had many purposes — always a fortress, but at various periods of history, also used as a royal palace, a prison, a treasury, a mint, an arsenal, the first royal observatory, and for three hundred years there was a royal zoo.

3) The oldest part is the White Tower built as a fortress and family residence by William the Conqueror in 1078.

4) The name is said to have originated in the reign of King Henry III who ordered the Tower to be whitewashed.

5) Today, the White Tower houses a unique collection of arms and armour and even instruments of torture.

6) The Chapel of St. John, on the first floor, is one of the finest surviving examples of pure Norman architecture, a wonderful combination of immense strength and an impressive simplicity of line. It has a long recorded history.

7) Successive sovereigns were responsible for the many additional buildings that comprise the complex tourists see today.

8 ) Traitors’ Gate is now seen as an enormous arch below the outer walls, through which, when this was the main approach from the river, prisoners passed on their final journey.

9) The delightful Tower Green, where so many visitors pose for photographs today, was not always so pleasant, described by historians as «no sadder spot on earth», where many common prisoners met their end.

10) For several centuries the Tower of London was the chief arsenal in the kingdom but at the same time it housed the King’s personal armours and weapons. Out of these elements there has grown the great historical collection of the Tower Armouries, Britain’s most celebrated national museum of arms and armour.

#1. (…) What is the most ancient part of this architectural monument?

#2. (…) Where can London’s history be seen to best advantage?

#3. (…) Can you name the characteristic features of Norman art of construction?

#4. (…) How many purposes did the Tower of London serve?

#5. (…) Which is a very gloomy place in this complex despite its pleasing and attractive name?

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1) Everyone has heard of Bill Gates, the icon of American business and the richest man in the world.

2) Microsoft, the business he started with a friend of his in 1975, has bесоmе the world’s largest computer software company and although the company is in big trouble today — the US Government has broken it up -experts say it will remain successful.

3) Bill Gates was born on the 28th of October, 1955, in Seattle, USA. This city was once famous for producing Boeing aircraft, but is now better known as the home of Microsoft.

4) From his parents Bill got a good business sense and a quick mind. His father was a teacher and then a company director.

5) At school Bill soon showed that he was a very intelligent boy and his favourite subjects were Maths and Science.

6) At 13 Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen got interested in computers and were soon spending all their time writing programmes and earning about computers instead of doing their homework.

7) After finishing school in 1973, Bill went to Harvard, America’s most famous university where he spent most of his time working on the computers in the university laboratory.

8 ) The next year Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote an operating programme for the Altair, one of the world’s first microcomputers. Even then he knew that he would revolutionize the world of computing and he left Harvard before finishing the full course of his studies.

9) In 1980, Gates bought a small company which produced an operating system called DOS, made some changes and renamed it MS-DOS selling the sights to use this system to IBM. Then Microsoft has also developed such well-known programmes as Windows, Excel, and Internet Explorer.

10) Bill’s dream is to computerize everything — TVs, telephones, lights, even the way you cook dinner…

#1.(…) What is Seattle famous and well-known for at present?

#2. (…) Whom did Bill Gates get his great intelligence from?

#3. (…) What business company which turned out to be a great success was founded by Bill Gates?

#4. (…) What higher educational establishment did the founder of Microsoft I graduate from?

#5. (…) Which world known programmes did Bill gates produce and develop?

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l)No other historic monument in England can boast of such an unbroken continuity with the past or of having played such a major part in the nation’s heritage as the Tower of London.

2) The Tower’s great sense of history lives on in its traditions and particularly in the ceremonies which are still performed here virtually unchanged after several centuries.

3) The Tower is justly well-known for its unique Ceremony of the Keys which in some form may well have been enacted nightly for over seven hundred years.

4) This is probably the oldest military ceremony in the world and no one can witness it without admiring the absolute precision of the participants.

5) The ceremony begins at eight minutes to ten o’clock each evening when the Chief Yeoman Warder, in a long scarlet coat, leaves the Byward Tower accompanied by an escort of four soldiers and secures the main gates of the Tower.

6) Then, as he and the escort return, the sentry at the Bloody Tower gives the challenge, «Halt, who goes there?»

7) The Chief Warder replies, «The Keys.» The sentry asks, «Whose Keys?» The Chief Warder answers, «Queen Elizabeth’s Keys.»

8 ) The party then proceeds to the foot of the steps leading to Broad Walk where they are met by the main guard who present arms.

9) The Chief Warder, raising his Tudor bonnet, cries out, «God preserve Queen Elizabeth!» The guard respond with «Amen,» as the clock strikes ten.

10) The Warder finally bears the Keys to the Queen’s House where they are kept securely overnight.

#1. (…)Are English ceremonies perfected and altered throughout the centuries?

#2. (…)Is the Ceremony of the Keys one of the common customs in the Tower of London?

#3. (…) Where and when can one witness the exciting Ceremony of the Keys?

#4. (…) Where are the Keys preserved for security purposes?

#5. (…) The Ceremony of the Keys is one of the stirring and memorable civil customs, isn’t it?

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1) St.Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, stands on a site occupied by several predecessors, the last of which perished in the Great Fire of London.

2) The building of the present Cathedral commenced in 1675 and the last stone was laid in 1710.

3) Considered by many authorities as one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in the world, its dome is only surpassed in size by St. Peter’s in Rome.

4) The inner side of the dome is decorated by paintings of Sir James Thornhill depicting the life of St.Paul.

5) Visitors are strongly recommended to make the ascent to the Whispering Gallery in order to experience the acoustic phenomena from which it gets its name.

6) The magnificent interior of the Cathedral contains many fine paintings, sculptures, monuments and works of art.

7) One object that miraculously survived the Great Fire is the statue of John Donne, the poet.

8 ) There are many other works of art, foremost of which are the original choir stalls, the fine iron work, the new High Altar based on Wren’s own design and the American Memorial Chapel behind the Altar.

9) There one can also see memorials to artists Turner, Reynolds, Van Dyck, Cobstable and Blake, to soldiers and generals and the mighty sarcophagus of the Duke of Wellington as well as that of Lord Nelson.

10) The remains of the master architect lie in the crypt with the surprisingly simple inscription in Latin «Si Monumentum requiris circumplice»(If you seek a memorial, look around you).

#1. (…) Which dome is larger and better decorated than that of St.Paul’s Cathedral in London?

#2. (…) Where was St.Paul’s erected?

#3. (…) What effect can be observed in the upper part of this cathedral?

#4. (…) What escaped the Great Fire of 1666 quite by chance?

#5. (…) Which saying designed by Sir Christopher Wren strikes a visitor there?

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1) Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor in 1065 on the site of the church which had been built 500 years earlier.

2) «The Abbey», as it is affectionately known to the English, but more properly called the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster, was mostly built in the thirteenth century during the reign of Henry HI.

3) When you enter it by the west door, your look is directed upwards to the vaulted ceiling, then along the great nave lit by the aisle and the windows above.

4) This is the place where all English monarchs have been crowned for over 600 years ( you can see the Coronation Chair here), and subsequently buried there.

5) Their magnificent tombs are surrounded by those of more common people — prime ministers, artists, physicians, poets, actors, soldiers and sailors, politicians.

6) Holding pride of place is the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, just inside the west door, commemorating the nation’s dead of all ranks, nearly a million, who perished in the First World War.

7) Among the famous people buried or commemorated here are such scientists as Sir Isaac Newton and Darwin, such Writers as Thackeray, Burns, Milton, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens, and many others.

8 ) The Abbey’s founder is buried in the Chapel of Edward the Confessor where his time-worn tomb was for hundreds of years a place of pilgrimage.

9) The single most outstanding addition to the Abbey is Henry VII’s Chapel at the eastern end described as one of the wonders of the world.

10) The Coronation Chair is situated between the High Altar and the Chapel of Edward the Confessor. Made of oak, it contains the legendary Stone of Scone (Fortune) and has been used for every Coronation since 1308.

#1. (…) Where has the English Coronation Ceremony been held throughout the centuries?

#2. (…) Whose memory is nationally honoured in the Abbey?

#3. (…) There in the Abbey a visitor can see only the magnificent royal tombs, can’t he?

#4. (…) How is Edward the Confessor commemorated in the Abbey?

#5. (…)Why is the Coronation chair so famous and so symbolic in British history?

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1) It is common knowledge that today English is one of the major languages in the world.

2) But in Shakespeare’s time only a few million people spoke English, and the language was not considered to be very important by other nations of Europe, and was unknown to the rest of the world.

3) English has become a world language because of its establishment as a mother tongue outside England, in all the continents of the world mostly due to the British Empire.

4) This exporting of English began in the seventeenth century, with the first settlements in North America.

5) Above all, it is the great growth of population in the United states, assisted by the massive immigration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, that has given the English language its present standing in the world.

6) People who speak English fall into one of the three groups: those who have learnt English as their mother tongue; those who have learnt it as a second language in a society that is bilingual and those who are forced to use it for a practical purpose, — administrative, professional or educational.

7) One person in seven of the world’s population belongs to one of; these three groups. Incredibly enough, 75% of the world’s mail and 60% of the world’s telephone calls are in, English.

8 ) Old English, like modern German or Russian, had many endings but over the centuries it has been simplified and has become over the past five centuries a very flexible language.

9) This also involves the free admission of words from other languages and the easy creation of new compound and derivative words.

10) Geographically, English is the most wide spread language on Earth, second to only Mandarin Chinese, as well as professionally, for today it is the language of business, technology, sport, music, air and sea navigation, education and scientific conferences.

#1.(…) Has English substantially changed in its structure over the centuries?

#2. (…) What are the sources of language enrichment nowadays?

#3. (…) How is it used for different purposes at present?

#4. (…) Which data can prove the importance of English in contemporary world?

#5. (…) Has it previously been so significant for mankind?

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1) The British Parliament building, known as the Houses of Parliament, would be more correctly called the Palace of Westminster.

2) The eastern part of this complex of buildings is dominated by the 320 foot high tower housing the Palace clock.

3) Well-known throughout the world as Big Ben (actually the name of the bell) it was so called after Sir Benjamin Hall, when it was installed in 1858.

4) A light above the clock signifies that the House of Commons is sitting during the night, while during the day the Union Jack is flown from the Victoria Tower.

5) This has been the seat of the government since the early part of the eleventh century but not until 1547 did it become the permanent home of the Parliament.

6) The present neo-Gothic buildings dating from about 1850 replaced the earlier structure which was almost totally destroyed by fire in a single night on October, 16,1834.

7) The great Westmister Hall for six hundred years was the chief court of English Law.

8 ) It has been the scene of much stirring history — from Coronation banquets to trials for high treason. It was here that Sir Thomas Moore, Guy Fawkes and many others of high rank were sentenced to death.

9) Enemy bombing in 1941 inflicted serious damage to the House of Commons and the timber used for reconstruction of the new chamber in 1950 was given by Commonwealth countries.

10) In the House of Lords, a magnificent chamber in rich tones of red and gold with paintings and statues, the Lord Chancellor sits on the Woolsack which signifies the former importance of wool to the economy of England.

#1.(…) What has the court of English Law been witness to?

#2. (…) Who helped to restore the House of Commons?

#3. (…) What does the national state flag floating in the air signal?

#4. (…) Has this complex of buildings constantly been used as the home, of British Parliament?

#5. (…) What symbol is generally associated with the person presiding in the House of Lords and with his seat?

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1) London’s centre is extremely rich in magnificent and memorable places of interest attracted by numerous visitors the world over.

2) The graceful cast-iron Westminster Bridge was constructed between 1854 and 1862 to replace the earlier one made of stone.

3) The design blends well with the neo-Gothic style of the Houses of Parliament, more correctly called the Palace of Westminster.

4) At the south end of the bridge there is the bronze statue of Queen Boadicea by Thomas Thorncroft, unveiled in 1902.

5) Boadicea, widow of the King of Iceni, rebelled against the Roman occupation and in 61A.D. attacked the City which was razed to the ground and most of its inhabitants were killed.

6) The professionally trained and better armoured Roman army subsequently proved superior to the Britons who were slaughtered without pity or mercy.

7) Boadicea and her daughters took poison to avoid a more terrible death.

8 ) Whitehall is the street linking Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and is known for its concentration of Government offices and historic buildings.

9) The Banqueting Hall, designed in 1619 for King James I, is all that remains today of Whitehall Palace, used earlier by Oliver Cromwell for the reception of visiting ambassadors.

10) Downing Street, off Whitehall, is undoubtedly the most famous street in London, for No. 10 is the official home of the Prime Minister (since 1735), No.II is occupied by the Chancellor of the Exchequer while No.12 is the office of the government Chief Whip.

#1. (…) Which place in London served major diplomatic purposes earlier?

#2. (…) is Whitehall a palace today?

#З. ( ) Is there any harmony between the Houses of Parliament and the graceful Westminster Bridge?

#4 (…) What place is most well-known in London for the concentration of the top rank officials residences?

#5. (…) Why is the rebellious Queen Boadicea’s heroic act in history so majestically commemorated today?

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l)The State Opening of Parliament is an annual event, usually held towards the end of October or early November or following a general election.

2) The Queen drives from Buckingham Palace in the Irish State Coach accompanied by a sovereign’s mounted escort, by way of the Mall to the House of Lords.

3) The Queen’s speech from the throne in the House of Lords traditionally sets the theme of the Government’s business for the session

4) It is interesting to note that the sovereign has not been admitted to the Hlouse of Commons for over three hundred years since King Charles I was refused entry.

5) Changing the Guard is another colourful ceremony which takes place most mornings m the courtyard of the House of Guards, in Whitehall and at Buckingham Palace the guard is changed by the Queen’s Guard

6) No ceremony is more popular than the ancient and mysterious ceremony of Trooping the Colour. This splendid event in honour of the Sovereign’s official Birthday is held annually on the first or second Saturday in June.

7) The route from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade, behind Whitehall, is decorated with banners and flags and lined with thousands of spectators.

8 ) They eagerly wait to see the queen, heading the procession, dressed on uniform and riding side-saddle on one of her favourite horses

9) The troops, in full dress uniforms, are from the Household Cavalry and the Guards Division which share the honour of providing a personal Bodyguard for the Sovereign on all state occasions

10) The sheer mass of dazzling colour, the music of the mounted bands he precision of marching are truly an experience, never to be forgotten

#1. (…)Has the Queen’s State Opening speech ever been delivered in the House of Commons?

#2. (…) What does the Sovereign’s address to Parliament outline?

#3. (….) Which annual ceremony honours the Queen’s officially appointed Birthday celebration?

#4. (…) How does the Queen ride heading the ceremony of Trooping the Colour?

#5. (…) What is the Queen’s route on the State Opening of Parliament Day?

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