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THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The United States of America, popularly called "The States". "U.S.A", "The Land of Liberty" is a vast country stretching across the middle of North America. This country which at one time inhabited by Red Indians, is now the home of "nation of nations". as people from every part of the world have gone to live in this land of wealth and promise. These settlers met, mingled, and worked with great enterprise, and as a result of their efforts, the United States has become one of the most important countries in the world. In 1620 the; Pilgrim Fathers, a band of Puritans in England who sought freedom of worship, set forth for America in the sailing-ship Mayflower. Three months after leaving Plymouth Harbour, they reached the shores of what is now called new England, and Founded the America township of Plymouth. Although they often had difficult times with the native Red Indian tribes, the colony soon prospered and more and more settlers joined them. The Indians used a new kind of grain, which the settlers called "Indian corn" (now termed maize) and they ate strange birds called turkeys. On the fourth Thursday of November the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day with a feast of turkey and Indian corn. A great many emigrants went from European countries to America and thirteen colonies were formed, all of them under English rule. The government in England, however, took little interest in the American colonies, except from the point of view of trade. When certain taxes and laws were ordered by the English Parliament, the colonists opposed them and it gradually led to war. At first the colonists fared badly, but later they rallied and eventually won final victory, under the able leadership of George Washington. Shortly after the discovery of the New World by Columbus, many Spaniards travelled northward from Mexico and settled along the western coast of America. That is why many places in this area such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Santa Barbara have Spanish names. In 1849 the chance discovery of gold brought many people to California and numerous mining towns sprang up in a very short time. "The Golden Gate" (the channel connecting the harbour of San Francisco with the Pacific Ocean) was so called because many of the seekers of the precious yellow metal passed this way to and from the rich gold-fields. In American cities, men have built huge buildings (skyscrapers) some as many as fifty flats high. The national capital of the United States is Washington and the White House is the home of the President. The famous Statue of Liberty in New York harbour was a gift from France. While English is the national language of the country, some immigrants have continued the manners, customs, and even tongue of their homeland, and newspapers, in all languages, may be seen in the book-stalls. Here are some common English words, for which the Americans have different names: sweets- candies, shop-store, motor-car-automobile, pavement-sidewalk, petrol-gas, lift-elevator, dust-bin, garbage-can, holiday-vacation, trousers-pants, waistcoat-vest, a jug-pitcher. There are also differences in the spelling of certain words: colour-color, honour-honor, programme-program. The national banner of the United States of America, commonly known as "The Starts and Stripes" or "Old Glory", is a flag bearing 50 stars and 13 stripes. Each star represents a present-day state and each stripe stands for one of the original colonies. The national anthem is the "Star Sprangled Banner" and the national emblems are the eagle and the buffalo. The national sport may be said to be baseball. CLIMATE AND NATURE OF GREAT BRITAIN CLIMATE The climate in Great Britain is generally mild and temperate due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The south-western winds carry the warmth and moisture into Britain. The climate in Britain is usually described as cool, temperate and humid. British people say: "Other countries have a climate, in England we have weather." The weather in Britain changes very quickly. One day may be fine and the next day may be wet. The morning may be warm and the evening may be cool. Therefore it is natural for the people to use the comparison "as changeable as the weather" of a person who often changes his mood or opinion about something. The weather is the favourite topic of conversation in Britain. When two Englishmen are introduced to each other, if they can't think of any thing else to talk about, they talk about weather. When two people meet in the street they will often say something about weather as they pass, just to show their friendliness. Every daily paper publishes a weather forecast. Both the radio and television give the weather forecast several times each day. The English also say that they have three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon or when in rains all day long. Sometimes it rains so heavily that they say "It's raining cats and dogs". Rainfall is more or less even throughout the year. In the mountains there is heavier rainfall then in the plains of the south and east. The driest period is from March to June and the wettest months are from October to January. The average range of temperature (from winter to summer) is from 15 to 23 degrees above zero. During a normal summer the temperature sometimes rises above 30 degrees in the south. Winter temperatures below 10 degrees are rare. It seldom snows heavily in winter, the frost is rare. January and February are usually the coldest months, July and August the warmest. Still the wind may bring winter cold in spring or summer days. Sometimes it brings the whirlwinds or hurricanes. Droughts are rare. So, we may say that the British climate has three main features: it is mild, humid and changeable. That means that it is never too hot or too cold. Winters are extremely mild. Snow may come but it melts quickly. In winter the cold is humid cold, not the dry one. This humid and mild climate is good for plants. The trees and flowers begin to blossom early in spring. In the British homes there has been no central heating up till recently. The fireplaces are often used. but the coal is not used as it's very expensive. Britain has no good coal now and imports it itself. Many schools and universities have no central heating either, and the floors there are made of stone. The British bedroom is especially cold, sometimes electric blankets or hotwater bottles are used. LONDON - THE CAPITAL OF GREAT BRITAIN When we think of Paris, Rome. Madrid, Lisbon and other European capitals, we think of them as "cities'. When we think of the whole of modern London, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, that great area covering several hundred square kilometres, we do not think of it as 'a city. not even as a city and its suburbs. Modem London is not one city that has steadily become larger through the centuries; it is a number of cities. towns, and villages that have, during the past centuries, grown together to make one vast urban area. London is situated upon both banks of the River Thames, it is the largest city in Britain and one of the largest in the world. Its population is about 7 million people. London dominates the life of Britain. It is the chief port of the country and the most important commercial, manufacturing and cultural centre. There is little heavy industry in London, but there is a wide range of light industry in Greater London. London consists of three parts: the City of London, the West End and the East End. The City extends over an area of about 2.6 square kilometres in the heart of London. About half a million people work in the City but only less than 6000 live here. It is the financial centre of the UK with many banks, offices and Stock Exchange. But the City is also a market for goods of almost every kind, from all parts of the world. The West End can be called the centre of Tendon. Here are the historical palaces as well as the famous parks. Hyde Park with its Speaker's Corner is also here. Among other parks are Kensington Gardens, St.James's Park. In the West End is Buckingham Palace. Which is the Queen's residence, and the Palace of Westminster which is the seat of Parliament. The best-known streets here are Whitehall with important Government offices. Downing Street, the London residence of Prime Minister and the place where the Cabinet meets. Fleet Street where most newspapers have their offices, Harley Street where the highest paid doctors live, and some others. Trafalgar Square is named so in commemoration of Nelson's great victory. In the middle stands the famous Nelson Column with the statue of Nelson 170 feet high so as to allow him a view of the sea. The column stands in the geographical centre of the city. It is one of the best open air platforms for public meetings and demonstrations. One of the "musts" for the sightseer are the Houses of Parliament, facing the Thames, on one side, and Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey, on the other. The House of Commons sits to the side of the Clock Tower (Big Ben), the House of Lords - to the Victoria Tower side. Westminster Abbey is the crowning and burial place of British monarchs. It has its world famed Poet's Corner with memorials to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, the Bronte's sisters. Tennyson. Longfellow, Wordsworth, Burns, Dickens, Thackeray, Hardy, Kipling and other leading writers. Only a few however, are actually buried there. Here too is that touching symbol of a nation's grief. The Grave of the Unknown Warrior. The name "West End" came to be associated with wealth, luxury, and goods of high quality. It is the area of the largest department stores, cinemas and hotels. There are about 40 theatres, several concert halls, many museums including the British Museum, and the best art galleries. It is in the West End where the University of London is centred with Bloomsbury as London's student quarter. The Port of London is to the east of the City. Here. today are kilometres and kilometres of docks, and the great industrial areas that depend upon shipping. This is the East End of London, unattractive in appearance, but very important to the country's commerce. In recent times London has grown so large. that the Government has decided that it must spread no farther. It is now surrounded by a "green belt" - a belt of agricultural and wooded land on which new buildings may be put up only with the permission of the planning authorities. SOME FACTS ABOUT LONDON London has been home of many famous Englishmen. Some were born there. Some lived there all their lives. Others lived in London only for a short time but all gave something to this great city One of the first names of importance is that of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet. He lived most of his life in London. He knew the courts of King Richard II d King Henry IV. His most famous work, 'The Canterbury Tales", opens at the Tabard Inn, in Southwark. Chaucer held official posts in London and is buried in Westminster Abbey. William Shakespeare also lived in London. He lived there for more than twenty years. He acted at the Globe Theatre and wrote his plays in London. But London's famous men are not only writers. Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, spent most of his life in London. He designed many beautiful churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. He also designed palaces and fine houses. Music is represented by a very interesting figure. This is George Frederick Handel. He came to London from Hanover in 1710. He lived for a time at Burlington House, Piccadilly, now the Royal Academy. After some success and some failure he at last became famous. This happened when he composed "The Messiah". "Judas Maccabeus". and 'The Music for the Royal Fireworks". Like Chaucer and many other great artists. Handel is buried in Westminster Abbey. Another famous London figure is one of England's greatest seamen. Admiral Lord Nelson. He has a very special memorial in Trafalgar Square. The monument consists of a very tall column. On top of it stands a figure of Nelson. It is called the Nelson Column. Equally famous is the general who led the army at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. This was the Duke of Wellington. His house stands at Hyde Park Comer. It is sometimes known as Number One, London. Like Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. Houses of Parliament From the center of Westminster Bridge one can have a splendid view of the H. of P. The structure is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture. Royal Palaces and houses were built along the banks of the Thames in medie’val days, because the water was a busy way into and out of London. The H.P. called officially the Palace of Westmister were a palace for queens and kings. The palace was used both as a royal residence and also as a parliament house until the 16th century. In 1834 the H.P. were destroyed by the fire. Sir Charles Barry was asked to plan the building and August Pugin was commissioned to make it look gothic. The result is the Palace of Westminster. The odd combination of these two men produced a triumph. The H.P. is the biggest Gothic palace in the world, and by far the most impressive. During the Second World War a bomb destroyed the House of Commons – the principal chamber in the whole complex It was decided to rebuild it exactly the same size. The H.P. contain the universal symbol of L., Big Ben. B.B. is actually the name of the biggest bell inside the Clock Tower which forms part of the H.P. The Palace of Westminster has two miles of corridors and more than 1000 rooms. When Parliament is sitting a flag flies from the Victoria Tower. The House of Lords looks more splendid with its beautiful red benches than the House of Commons. There is the throne for the Queen and the woolsack for the Lord Chancellor there. Visitors can watch the Parliament at work from the Strangers’ Gallery. The Speaker sits on the green chair. Parliament Square Westminster Abbey is on one side, the Houses of Parliament on the other. The buildings of the Houses of Parliament is not old, it dates only from the 19th century, and is in the Gothic style. When the Parliament has a sitting a flag flies from the Victoria Tower. It is the national flag of the United Kingdom. Another tower, the Clock Tower, is famous for the hour bell and the clock named “Big Ben”. Only a short way from the Houses of Parliament there is one of the most beautiful of all English buildings – W.A., founded in the 11th century. There are many tombstones, monuments and statues there. For nearly 1000 years all the Kings and Queens of England – 41 in all – have been crowned here. If u go past the magnificent tombstones of kings and queens, some made of gold and precious stones u will come to the Poets’ Corner. There many of the greatest writers were buried. Geoffrey Chauser, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling. Burns and Byron, Walter Scott and the great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Here in the Abbey there is also the Grave of the Unknown Warrior that commemorate the men who died on the First World War. The square has a lot of statues including Richard the Pion-Hearted, and Oliver Cromvell. It also has the masterpiece of Sir Henry Mur – the statue of Sir Winston Churchill. St.Paul’s Cathedral The City’s greatest monument and on of the finest Renaissance cathedrals in Europe is St.Paul’s Cathedral. The old cathedral was completely destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. People put their belongings in the church, thinking it was safe, but the fire soon reached it. It was so hot it turned the church bells into molten metal. Christopher When a famous English architect, was commissioned to rebuild Saint Paul’s. He made several plans before one was accepted. In the Crypt of the church you can see scale models of his rejected designs. It took nearly 35 years to build the Cathedral, being finished in 1710. Running around the interior of the dome is the famous Whispering Gallery. It is called so because you can clearly hear the whisper made by someone who is standing on the opposite side of the gallery. Big Paul, the heaviest bell in the country, is in the northern bell tower at the front of Saint Paul’s. It rings every weekday at 1 p.m. to let people know that it is lunchtime. Another bell Big Tom, tolls when a monarch or important churchmen die. The church bells in the other tower are rung on Sundays and to celebrate great occasions The City All the principle streets of London lead to the heart of the City, the financial and business center of Great Britain. The City is about one square mile in area and only a few thousand people live there. But by day, many people swarm its streets and offices. Here there are the Bank of England, The Stock Exchange and headquarters of many of the richest companies and corporations in the world. The City’s greatest monument and on of the finest Renaissance cathedrals in Europe is St.Paul’s Cathedral. The old cathedral was completely destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. People put their belongings in the church, thinking it was safe, but the fire soon reached it. It was so hot it turned the church bells into molten metal. Christopher When a famous English architect, was commissioned to rebuild Saint Paul’s. He made several plans before one was accepted. Running around the interior of the dome is the famous Whispering Gallery. It is called so because you can clearly hear the whisper made by someone who is standing on the opposite side of the gallery. Tower Bridge is the only Thames bridge which can be raised. The road over the bridge is built on two central sections called bascules, which open two or three times a week to let ships through. There are displays inside the bridge on its history. (T.S.+W.A.+H.P.) The Climate of the British Isles The position of Great Britain gives it a temperate climate. Britain lies in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by the sea which makes the climate warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The Gulf Stream influences the English climate greatly. The climate is not the same in all parts of England. The western part is warmer than the eastern one and it also has more rains. The western hills and mountains shut out some of the mild wind from the Atlantic. On Western coast gales are always strong. The south-western winds are the most frequent. They usually bring mild weather. There is much humidity in the air. Britain is well known as a foggy country. The annual temperature in London is about 8 degrees C. Scotland is a part of Britain and Wales. Scotland is bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the North Sea, on the southeast by England, southwest by the Irish Sea and on the west by the Western Isles. Like the climate of the rest of Great Britain, that of Scotland is subject to the moderating influences of the surrounding seas. As a result of these influences, extreme seasonal variations are rare, and temperate winters and cool summers are the outstanding climatic features. Low temperatures, however, are common during the winter season in the mountainous districts of the interior. In the western coastal region, which is subject to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream, conditions are somewhat milder than is the east. The average temperature in January is 4 degrees C and in July is about 15 degrees C. Scotland’s weather is similar to Wales and England. Wales is a part of the United Kingdom. It also includes the mall island off Wales called Anglesey. Wales is bounded on the North by the Irish Sea, on the east by the English counties, on the South by the Bristol Channel, and the west by Saint George. Wales is almost all mountains. The tops of the mountains are covered with the snow. The climate in Wales is very moist and mild like in the United Kingdom. The average temperature in January is about 6 degrees C and in July is about 16 degrees C. Ireland’s climate is mainly determined by its position in the north temperate zone and the effect of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The climate is relatively uniform throughout. The prevailing west winds carry rain from the Atlantic, resulting in heavier rainfall in the western and southern parts of the country. Summers are relatively cool, with July and August being the warmest months, whilst winters are relatively mild with January and February being the coldest months. Snow falls occasionally in winter months but it is rarely prolonged and usually only lasts for a few days. The Royal Residences Kensington Palace is a royal palace in London. Originally a private country house, the building was acquired by William III and Mary II in 1689 and was adopted for royal residence by Sir Christopher Wren. Kensington House as it was known became William and Mary’s principal residence. For the next 70 years the palace was at the center of the life and government of the kingdom and played host to the courts of William and Mary, Queen Anne, George I and George II. In the XIX century Kensington was the birthplace and home of Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria). By the end of 19th century, the State Apartments at Kensington Palace were in a very bad state of repair having been used as stores for paintings and furnishings from other palaces. In April 1897 a decision was made to restore the palace and Parliament agreed to fund the work on the condition that the building should be opened up to the public. Parts of the palace remains a private residence for members of the royal family, the State Apartments and Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection are open to the public. Buckingham Palace is the London home of the Queen and Prince Philip. The Palace is also the administrative headquarters of the monarchy. The Queen receives visiting heads of state at the palace and it is here that the Queen holds garden parties and bestowed knighthoods and other honours. Foot Guards from the Household Division in their distinctive red tunics and black bearskins, can be seen on guard duty outside the palace daily. The Changing the Guard ceremony now takes place only every other day in the winter but it is still daily in the summer months. After a serious fire damaged Winsdor Castle in 1993 the Queen allowed the Palace State rooms to be opened to the public for the first time, to help pay the Winsdor Castle repair bill. The Tower of London The Tower of London doesn’t belong to the City, though it stood there for almost 900 years. It is more connected with the royal dynasties than with the world of business. It was originally built as a fortress to guard the river approaches to London. The Tower of London was begun by William the Conqueror in 1078 as a castle and palace. Since then it has been expanded, and used as an armoury, a zoo, a royal mint and a prison, a treasury and an observatory. A group of ravens live at the Tower. The tradition goes that if they disappear the building will collapse. For centuries a royal zoo was kept in the grounds. It once included a polar bear, which fished and swam in the moat. Now it is a museum and the Beefeaters (Yeoman Warders) guard the Tower. They used to be the monarch’s private bodyguard. Beefeater was a medieval nickname for well-fed servants. They wear a Tudor-style uniform of blue or red. They willingly show visitors the main places of interest. In some Tower rooms there are inscriptions carved on the walls by former prisoners. In Salt Tower you can see a complicated astronomical clock carved by a sixteenth century prisoner accused of black magic. Trafalgar Square T.S. is London’s geographical center. It was laid out during the early part of the 19th century to commemorate the naval victory of Britain over the French at Trafalgar in 1805, in which Admiral Lord Nelson took part and was fatally wounded. The Nelson column with the statue of Admiral Nelson on top of it is 185 feet (5 metres) high. At the base of the column you can see four bronze lions which are guarding it and were cast from the cannon of battleships. On October 21st there is a service under the column to commemorate Nelson. The east and west sides of the square are gracefully flanked by plane trees. Beyond the terrace above the north side stands the National Gallery; on the lawns in front of the Gallery stands a statue of James II, to the west of the main entrance, and to the east a statue of George Washington. Among other important buildings surrounding the square are the church of St.Martin-in-the-Fields. T.S. has long been the place for political meetings and demonstrations, including those of the Chartists who began their march here in 1848. More recently it has become the terminal point of protest marches. Every year at Christmas time an enormous Christmas tree is erected, the annual gift, since the 2nd World War, of the Norwegian people. On New Year’s Eve T.S.. is always the scene of celebrations. Not far from T.S. there is a quiet little street with very ordinary houses. So you may be surprised to see a policeman who is standing at one of the houses. It is Downing Street and for the last two hundred years at No.10 each Prime Minister of England has been living there. Downing Street leads to Whitehall. There was a palace here once, where from the 12th to the 16th century the English Kings and Queens were living. Now it is just a street of government offices. Here in the middle of the read there is simple but impressive Cenotaph, the Memorial to the men who died in the two World Wars. Westminster Abbey W.A was founded in the 11th century. It is a fine Gothic building, which stands opposite the Houses of Parliament. It is the work of many hands and different ages. The oldest part of the building dates from the eights century. It was a monastery – the West Minster. In the 11th century Edward the Confessor founded a great Norman Abbey. One of the greater glories of the Abbey is the Chapel of Henry VII. The Chapel is of stone and glass, so wonderfully cut and sculptured that it seems unreal. There are many tombstones, monuments and statues in the Abbey. For nearly 1000 years all the Kings and Queens of England – 41 in all – have been crowned here. If u go past the magnificent tombstones of kings and queens, some made of gold and precious stones u will come to the Poets’ Corner. There many of the greatest writers were buried. Geoffrey Chauser, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling. Burns and Byron, Walter Scott and the great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Here in the Abbey there is also the Grave of the Unknown Warrior that commemorate the men who died on the First World War. Moscow (1) Moscow is the capital of Russia. The city is located in western Russia and lies in the broad, shallow valley of the Moskva River, a tributary of the Oka and thus of the Volga, in the centre of the vast plain of European Russia. This region is one of the most highly developed and densely populated areas of Russia. The climate of Moscow is of the continental type, modified by the temperate influence of westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold and long, summers are short and mild . The moderate annual precipitation occurs predominantly in the summer months, often in brief, heavy downpours. Only a small percentage of Moscow's population is employed in the city centre because of the decentralization of workplaces. Industry is the dominant source of employment, followed by science and research. Although Moscow's role in the country's administration is of prime importance, government as a source of employment is relatively minor. Engineering (production of automobiles and trucks, ball bearings, machine tools, and precision instruments) and metalworking are by far the most important industries. Other important activities include the manufacture of textiles, chemicals and derivative products, and consumer goods (foodstuffs, footwear, and pianos); timber processing; construction; and printing and publishing. Moscow is the headquarters of state insurance and banking organizations. The pattern of rings and radials that marked the historical stages of Moscow's growth remains evident in its modern layout. Successive epochs of development are traced by the Boulevard Ring and the Garden Ring (both following the line of former fortifications), the Moscow Little Ring Railway, and the Moscow Ring Road. From 1960 to the mid-1980s the Ring Road was the administrative limit of the city, but several areas of the largely greenbelt zone beyond the road have been annexed since then. The centre of the city and the historical heart of Moscow is the fortified enclosure of the Kremlin. Its crenellated redbrick walls and 20 towers (19 with spires) were built at the end of the 15th century and were partially rebuilt in later years. Within the walls of the Kremlin are located the meeting places of the government of Russia. Among these are the former Senate building (1776-88), the Kremlin Great Palace (1838-49), and the modern Palace of Congresses (1960-61). Other features within the Kremlin include the central Cathedral Square, around which are grouped three cathedrals, all examples of Russian church architecture at its height in the late 15th and early 16th centuries; a group of palaces of various periods; the white bell tower of Ivan III the Great; the Armoury Museum; and the Arsenal (1702-36). Along the east wall of the Kremlin lies Red Square, the ceremonial centre of the capital. The Lenin Mausoleum stands beneath the Kremlin walls, and the Church of the Intercession, or Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, is at the southern end of the square. The State Department Store, GUM, faces the Kremlin, and the State Historical Museum (1875-83) closes off the northern end of the square. In the remainder of central Moscow, within the Garden Ring, are buildings representative of every period of Moscow's development from the 15th century to the present. Examples of the Moscow Baroque style, the Classical period, and the revivalist Old Russian style may be found. In the Soviet period streets were widened, and much of the old part of the inner city was demolished and replaced by large office and apartment buildings, government ministries, headquarters of national and international bodies and organizations, hotels and larger shops, and principal cultural centres. Beyond the Garden Ring is a middle zone dominated by 18th- and 19th-century developments; many factories, railway stations, and freight yards are located there. Since 1960 extensive urban renewal has occurred, producing neighbourhoods of high-rise apartment buildings. The outer zone has been the site of modern factory development and extensive housing construction in the 20th century. Beyond the newer suburbs are areas of open land and forest, together with satellite industrial towns and dormitory suburbs. Moscow's inhabitants are overwhelmingly of Russian nationality, but members of more than 100 other nationalities and ethnic groups also live there. Population density, though lowered by outward expansion of the city, has remained high because of the vast number of large apartment buildings. Moscow has a large concentration of educational institutions, and its centres of higher education draw students from throughout Russia. Moscow State University (1755) is the leading educational institution. The city's many specialized educational institutions include the Moscow Timiryazev Academy of Agriculture and the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. Scientific research is conducted by the Academy of Sciences of Russia and many institutions linked to industry. The city's libraries include the V.I. Lenin State Library. Theatre, music, and art are important in the city's life. The State Academic Bolshoi ("Great") Theatre (1825), Maly ("Little") Theatre, and Moscow Art Theatre are especially renowned. Of the many museums and galleries, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Gallery are notable. Few people in Moscow own automobiles, necessitating heavy reliance on public transportation provided by the Metropolitan (Metro) subway, buses, streetcars, and trolleybuses. The Metro system, which reflects the city's street patterns, is known for the elaborate architecture of its stations. Moscow is the centre of the country's rail network, on which freight transport is heavily dependent. Trunk rail lines radiate from the city in all directions to major Russian population and industrial centres, to Ukraine, Belarus, and eastern Europe, and to Central Asia. Suburban commuter traffic is facilitated by the Moscow Little Ring Railway (1908) and the Greater Moscow Ring Railway, which link radial lines. Passenger trains connect to destinations throughout Russia and Europe. Moscow is also a major river port and is served by the Moscow Canal. The Volga's various canals link Moscow to all the seas surrounding European Russia. Moscow is the centre of the country's airline network; the Sheremetyevo airport, in the north, handles international flights. Moscow (2) One of the world's great cities, Moscow (Russian Moskva) is the capital of Russia. Since it was first mentioned in chronicles of 1147, Moscow has played a vital role in Russian history; indeed the history of the city and of the Russian nation are closely interlinked. Today Moscow is not only the political centre of Russia but also the country's leading city in population, in industrial output, and in cultural, scientific, and educational importance. For more than 600 years Moscow has been the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. The capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) until its dissolution in 1991, Moscow attracted world attention as a centre of Communist power; the name of the seat of the former Soviet government and successor Russian government, the Kremlin (Russian Kreml), became a synonym for Soviet authority. The dissolution of the U.S.S.R. brought economic and political change, along with a degree of uncertainty over the future, to the city. Moscow covers an area of about 386 square miles (1,000 square kilometres), its outer limit being roughly delineated by the Moscow Ring Road. Most of the area beyond this highway has been designated as a Forest- Park Zone, or greenbelt. Moscow (3) In March of 1918 Moscow became the capital. The supreme organs of state power and many central institutions moved to Moscow from Petrograd. It was extremely difficult in the years of the Civil war to see the image of a new city in deserted and unheated Moscow. The rapid growth of Moscow's population occurred during the twenties and thirties, in 1931 work began to develop the Master Reconstruction Plan of Moscow, a plan which many people abroad considered to be vain dream. The city grew and changed, the streets and squares became wider, the wooden houses at the former outskirts disappeared. But the buildings of cultural and historical value were carefully preserved. Today, as ever, the Kremlin with Red Square is the centre of Moscow. Here Moscow began more than eight hundred years ago. The city has grown so vast since, the present and the past are so closely interwoven that one can not embrace it all at once. Certain villages, distant country estates have become the new residential areas of Moscow. New dwellings rose not only within the established parts of Moscow but new neighbourhoods took shape in Tyoply Stan, Orekhovo- Borisovo, Yasenevo. In the past century Moscow went through the invasion of Napoleon's army that forced all Muscovites to leave their city. Moscow was burned down but was never conquered. Once the enemy was driven away. its inhabitants set about building Moscow anew. Nowadays in erecting new buildings, the Muscovites take care to preserve its unique monuments. Its architectural ensembles have been formed over the centuries and each generation added features of its Lime to the appearance of the city. The city has thousands of libraries, schools, kindergartens and nurseries, hundreds of clubs and cinemas, dozens of higher educational establishments, theatres, museums and stadiums. Neither words nor convincing figures, however, can give a complete idea of what had been done in Moscow. One has to visit Moscow plants and factories, to stroll about its streets and squares, to see its new residential areas. The Kremlin is now both a piece of living history and an ensemble of masterpieces of Russian architecture. The first thing that meets the eye is the redbrick walls of the Kremlin, reinforced by 20 towers, five of which are also gates. The Kremlin's towers are unique in appearance. Built in 1485, the Tainitsky Tower is the oldest. The highest of them is the Trinity Tower which is 80 metres tall. The Bolshoi Theatre was opened in 1825. The theatre seats 2,150. The company has more than 900 members. The State Tretyakov Gallery. The gallery's works of Russian fine arts range from unique mosaics and icons of the 11th century to works of contemporary artists. The gallery is named after great Russian Connoisseur Pavel Tretyakov who left his collection as a gift to the nation. It has become one of the most popular places of interest in Moscow since then. The Kremlin The Kremlin is the symbol of first Russian and later Soviet power and authority. Its crenellated red brick walls and 20 towers were built at the end of the 15th century, when a host of Italian builders arrived in Moscow at the invitation of Ivan III the Great. Of the most important towers, the Saviour (Spasskaya) Tower leading to Red Square was built in 1491 by Pietro Solario, who designed most of the main towers; its belfry was added in 1624- 25. The chimes of its clock are broadcast by radio as a time signal to the whole nation. Also on the Red Square front is the St. Nicholas (Nikolskaya) Tower, built originally in 1491 and rebuilt in 1806. The two other principal gate towers--the Trinity (Troitskaya) Tower, with a bridge and outer barbican (the Kutafya Tower), and the Borovitskaya Tower--lie on the western wall. Within the Kremlin walls is one of the most striking and beautiful architectural ensembles in the world: a combination of churches and palaces, which are open to the public and are among the city's most popular tourist attractions, and the highest offices of the state, which are surrounded by strict security. Around the central Cathedral Square (Sobornaya Ploshchad) are grouped three magnificent cathedrals, superb examples of Russian church architecture at its height in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. These and the other churches in the Kremlin ceased functioning as places of worship after the Revolution and are now museums. The white stone Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky Sobor) is the oldest, built in 1475-79 in the Italianate-Byzantine style. Its pure, simple, and beautifully proportioned lines and elegant arches are crowned by five golden domes. The Orthodox metropolitans and patriarchs of the 14th to the 18th century are buried there. Across the square is the Cathedral of the Annunciation (Blagoveshchensky Sobor), built in 1484-89 by craftsmen from Pskov; though burned in 1547, it was rebuilt in 1562-64. Its cluster of chapels is topped by golden roofs and domes. Inside are a number of early 15th-century icons attributed to Theophanes the Greek and to Andrey Rublyov, considered by many to be the greatest of all Russian icon painters. The third cathedral, the Archangel (Arkhangelsky), was rebuilt in 1505-08; in it are buried the princes of Moscow and tsars of Russia (except Boris Godunov) up to the founding of St. Petersburg. Just off the square stands the splendid, soaring white bell tower of Ivan the Great; built in the 16th century and damaged in 1812, it was restored a few years later. At its foot is the enormous Tsar Bell (Tsar-Kolokol), cast in 1733-35 but never rung. Nearby is the Tsar Cannon (Tsar-Pushka), cast in 1586. Beside the gun are located the mid-17th-century Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles (Sobor Dvenadtsati Apostolov) and the adjoining Patriarchal Palace. On the west of Cathedral Square is a group of palaces of various periods; the Palace of Facets (Granovitaya Palata)--so called from the exterior finish of faceted, white stone squares--was built in 1487-91. Behind it is the Terem Palace of 1635-36, which incorporates several older churches, including the Resurrection of Lazarus (Voskreseniye Lazarya), dating from 1393. Both became part of the Kremlin Great Palace, built as a royal residence in 1838-49 and formerly used for sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.; its long, yellow-washed facade dominates the riverfront. It is connected to the Armoury Palace (Oruzheynaya Palata), built in 1844- 51 and now the Armoury Museum, housing a large collection of treasures of the tsars. Along the northeast wall of the Kremlin are the Arsenal (1702- 36), the former Senate building (1776-88), and the School for Red Commanders (1932-34). The only other Soviet-period building within the Kremlin is the Palace of Congresses (1960-61), with a vast auditorium used for political gatherings and as a theatre. The British Press The British press consists of several kinds of newspapers. The national papers are the ones sold all over the country, with a large circulation, giving general news. There are two main types of national paper - the "popular" papers and the "quality" papers. The popular papers are smaller in size (they are tabloid size), with lots of pictures, big headlines and short articles. They are easy to read and often contain little real information. They give much space to opinions. They usually have "human interest" stories - stories about ordinary people and events. Examples of this type of newspapers are "The Daily Mail". "The Sun", etc. "Quality" papers appeal to the more serious reader, who wants to read about politics and foreign affairs. These papers such as "The Daily Telegraph", "The Guardian" are bigger in size (they are called "broad-sheets"), with longer articles and a wider coverage of events. They have different pages for home news, foreign affairs, features articles, fashion, business, sport and so on. People in Britain buy more papers on Sunday than on weekdays. The Sunday papers have a higher circulation than the dailies. As with the dailies, there are both popular and quality Sunday newspapers. The quality ones have different sections and a colour magazine (usually full of advertisements) Television Television is the most popular leisure pastime in Russia. Several television channels are in operation: "Ostankino". "Russian Channel", "Independent TV Channel - NTV". Besides them there are local TV channels and local commercial TV channels in big cities and republics of Russia. TV services provide programmes of general interest such as light entertainment, sport, current affairs, serious drama, music. There are programmes on arts, children's and family programmes, interview with outstanding personalities, news reports covering international, national and local events. Much attention is paid to foreign films, American in particular, foreign TV programmes and soap operas. Television is one of the most popular mass media in Britain. Some 96 per cent of population have television in their homes. It is estimated that about 10 per cent of household have two or more sets. Average viewing time per person is over 17 hours a week. Four television channels are in operation: BBC-1. BBC-2. ITV. Channel-4. The BBC has been providing regular television broadcasts since 1936. BBC television productions come from main studios at the Television Centre in west London and other studios in various parts of London. The first regular independent television broadcast began in London in 1955. Independent television programmes are produced at 18 studio centres throughout the country. THE OLYMPIC GAMES The Olympic Games are one of the most spectacular reminders of the debt we owe to the Greeks. The original Olympic Games were held every four years in honour of Zeus, the supreme god of Greek religion. The first record of the games dates from 776 B.C., but it is certain that they existed prior to that. They were held continuously for over 1.000 years until they were abolished in the reign of King Theodosius about 392 A.D. The Olympic festival was a great unifying bond between the Independent city-states of Greece. The important sports in the original Olympic Games were running, jumping, wrestling, throwing the discus and throwing the javelin. Only men competed and they wore no clothes in order to have greater freedom of movement. Each competitor had to take the Olympic Oath - a promise to behave in a sportsman-like fashion. The modern Olympic era began in 1894 when Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin decided to revive the ancient Greek tradition of celebrating health, youth and peace with a sports festival. Baron de Coubertin created the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the first modem Olympiad took place in Athens in 1896. Since then the Olympic Games have been held every four years with only two exceptions because of the two world wars. Even though the modern Olympic Games embrace the whole world, the connection with Greece is still very strong. A lighted torch is brought all the way from Greece, carried by a relay of runners, in order to light the Olympic Flame which bums all through the Games. As in ancient Greek times, the competitors still take the Olympic Oath. The long-distance race is still called the Marathon. Marathon was a village about 26 miles from Athens. In the year 490 BC the Greeks defeated a powerful Persian army at that spot. After the fierce day's fighting a soldier volunteered to bring news of the victory to the anxious citizens of Athens. He ran all the way and after gasping out the message. "Rejoice, we conquer!" he collapsed and died. One important rule of the Olympic Games is that the competitors must be amateurs. This rule has been under a lot of pressure in recent years because modem sport is so professional and competitive. Athletes train for years to take part in the Olympics and some countries spend much more than others on equipment and facilities. But despite these pressures, the amateur rule remains. In modern times the Olympic movement has become an enormous and expensive organisation, It's controlled by the International Olympic Committee, which consists of members from all the participating countries. The IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It chooses the locations of both summer and winter games (both take place once very four years, with winter games half a year before summer Olympiads). It also controls the rules of the competitions and selects new Olympic sports. The famous flag of the IOC shows five rings of different colours linked together. The rings represent the five continents. NATIONAL SPORTS OF GREAT BRITAIN Many kinds of sport originated from England. The English have a proverb, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". They do not think that play is more important than work; they think that Jack will do his work better if he plays as well. so he is encouraged to do both. Association football, or soccer is one of the most popular games in the British Isles played from late August until the beginning of May. In summer the English national sport is cricket. When the English say: "that's not cricket" it means "that's not fair", "to play the game" means "to be fair". Golf is Scotland's chief contribution to British sport. It is worth noting here an interesting feature of sporting life in Britain, namely, its frequently close connections with social class of the players or spectators except where a game may be said to be a "national" sport. This is the case with cricket in England which is played and watched by all classes. This is true of golf, which is everywhere in the British Isles a middle-class activity. Rugby Union. the amateur variety of Rugby football, is the Welsh national sport played by all sections of society whereas, elsewhere, it too is a game for the middle classes. Association football is a working-class sport as are boxing, wrestling, snooker, darts, and dog-racing. As far as fishing is concerned it is a sport where what is caught determines the class of a fisherman. Walking and swimming are the two most popular sporting activities, being almost equally undertaken by men and women. Snooker (billiards), pool and darts are the next most popular sports among men. Aerobics (keep-fit exercises) and yoga. squash and cycling are among the sports where participation has been increasing in recent years. There are several places in Britain associated with a particular kind of sport. One of them is Wimbledon where the All-England Lawn Tennis Championship are held in July (since 1877). The other one is Wembly - a stadium in north London where international football matches, the Cup Finals and other events have taken place since 1923. TABLE TENNIS Table tennis was first Invented in England in about 1880. At first the game had several strange names: Gossima. Whiff Whaff and Ping Pong. It wasn't until 1926 that the International Table Tennis Association was formed with international championships and rules. Although the game was invented in England British players don't have much chance in international championships. It's the Chinese with their fantastic speed and power who win almost every title. Table tennis looks more like gymnastics when the Chinese start playing, with the ball flying over the net at speeds of over 150 kilometres per hour. RACING There are all kinds of racing in England - horse-racing, motor-car racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days at school boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually a mile race for older boys, and one who wins it is certainly a good runner. Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible, but there are some races in which everybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling. The most famous boat-race in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It is rowed over a course on the River Thames, and thousands of people go to watch it. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is usually only a short distance between the winners and the losers. The University boat-race started in 1820 and has been rowed on the Thames almost every spring since 1836. SQUASH Squash began at Harrow School in the mid-nineteenth century, but has since worked its way Into almost every city and district in Britain and throughout Europe. Squash is one of the fastest games in the world. Two people play in a small confined space surrounded by high walls with no net to keep them apart. The aim is to get to the point at the centre of the court and to stay there. Squash players hope that the game will make them stronger and fitter, but. like many sports, squash can be very dangerous. The most obvious danger is the small ball that shoots through the air extremely fast. WINDSURFING Windsurfing was invented in the mid-sixties by two southern Californian surfers, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake. Surfers need strong rolling waves, and hate days of calm sea. Schweitzer noticed that on days when waves were not high enough to surf, there was often a strong wind and he set about finding a way to use it. His first experiments Involved standing on his surfboard holding out a piece of sail cloth in his hands. Gradually he and Drake refined this idea into a basic design for a sailboard, similar to a surfboard, but holding a mast and a triangular sail which could be tilted and turned in any direction. The windsurfer operates a boom which controls the amount of wind in the sail, for speed and change of direction. Schweitzer immediately went into business designing and making the new sailboards and taking the idea abroad. By mid-seventies, the sport had spread to Holland, Germany and France. OLYMPIC GAMES IN LONDON London was host for the first time in 1908. With 1,500 competitors from 19 nations, the Games were by now an institution of world-wide significance. The programme, moreover, was augmented by the inclusion of Association football (which appeared in 1900 but only in a demonstration match), diving, field hockey, and ice hockey, as well as other sports since discontinued. The most dramatic episode of these Games was in the marathon, run from Windsor to Shepherd's Bush in London, the site of a new stadium. Pietri (Italy) led into the arena but collapsed and was disqualified for accepting assistance from officials. The gold medal went to the second man home, Hayes (USA), but Queen Alexandra, who was present opposite the finishing line, was so moved by the Italian's plight that she awarded him special gold cup. The 400 metres provided an opportunity for Halswelle (GB) to become the only man in Olympic history to win by a walk-over. The final was declared void after an American had been disqualified for boring. Two other Americans withdrew from re-run final in protest, leaving Halswelle an unopposed passage. Britain won the polo, and all the boxing, lawn tennis, rackets, rowing, and yachting titles as well as five out of six cycle races. CHRISTMAS The word "Christmas" is derived from the words "Christ's Mass" - the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But although Christmas is undoubtedly a Christian celebration, it is also true to say that it is an unusual combination of pagan and Christian festivities. A Christmas tree stands in everybody's living room at Christmas, shining its good cheer around the room. Sitting on the very top of the tree is a silver star surrounded by tiny lights. All the branches are hung with silver bells, tinsel and sparkling lights. Around the base of the tree lie the gifts and toys wrapped up in bright colourful paper. The Christmas tree has spread its influence around the world. In fact America adopted it before it found its way to England early in Queen Victoria's reign. Now every Christmas British people are sent a huge fir tree from Norway which stands in Trafalgar Square, in the centre of London, shining down on all the people who gather on Christmas Eve. In pre-Christian times evergreens, trees that remain green throughout the year. were worshiped in Northern Europe as symbols of eternal life. Mistletoe, hung up as a Christmas decoration is a symbol of love and reconciliation. Holly, a well-known Christmas decoration today, has Christian associations. In Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, holly is known as "Christ's thorns", the legend being that Christ wore a crown of holly thorns before his death. Some people have seen associations between the word "holly" and "holy". Giving presents goes back to Roman Saturnalia when good luck gifts of fruit, pastry or gold were given to friends on New Year's Day. In Britain the traditional day to give presents until relatively recently was December 26th and not as it is today, Christmas Day. December 26th is now known as Boxing Day, for it was then that the priests of the Middle Ages opened alms boxes to give to the poor. Not all Christian customs and traditions are of ancient origin. Although various people have claimed to have designed the first Christmas card. William Egley, an English artist, seems to have the best claim. In 1842 he designed his own card and sent it to one hundred of his friends. Today three billion are sent annually in the United States alone. HAPPY NEW YEAR At midnight on 31st December bells will ring out around the world to welcome the New Year. Although certain countries and religions calculate time by other calendars most countries in the world now number their years according to the Gregorian calendar introduced in the 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII. This calendar was intended to overcome the confusion caused by calculating time according to the moon's phases. Bell ringing is one way of celebrating the arrival of a new year which is common to all countries welcoming it at this time; but it is the differences in their celebrations and customs which are intriguing. In Europe traditions vary considerably, but most of them involve a meal or special food. Swiss housewives bake special bread, rich in butter, eggs and raisins. They also cook roast goose. Children go from house to house greeting the occupants and receiving invitations to come inside. People in Italy hold all-night parties, where salt pork lentils are included on the menu. Lentils are supposed to be lucky and bring money - perhaps because they look like small piles of gold coins. There is a practical reason for meals featuring in these new year festivities. Most people stay up all night, or at least until midnight to "see the New Year in", so sustenance is essential. Also there is common superstition that if the new year begins well it will continue like that. So great efforts are made to provide an atmosphere of goodwill and plenty. Parties are arranged a drink flow freely. In Spain it is a custom to eat , ^ grapes at midnight and toast the new year in champagne. at family gatherings. Groups of friends visit restaurants in Turkey intending to spend the night in celebrations which include present giving. So a people in Greece play cards, hoping that a win will bring them luck for a whole year. NEW YEAR'S DAY IN ENGLAND The celebration of New Year's day varies according to the district. In the south of England, the festival of Christmas, lasting 12 days from December 25th, runs on well into the New Year. The decorations of coloured streamers and holly, put up round the walls, and of course the fir-tree, with its candles or lights, are not packed away until January 5th. On the evening of December 31st, people gather in one another's homes, in clubs, in pubs, in restaurants, and hotels, in dance halls and institutes, to "see the New Year in". There is usually a supper of some kind, and a cabaret, or light entertainment. The bells chime at midnight. The people join crossed hands, and sing "Auld lang syne", a song of remembrance. On New Year's day all English schoolchildren make New Year resolutions. They make up lists of shortcomings which they intend to correct. The chil' dren. their mothers and fathers, and their friends laugh and have a good time when they read them The children promise to keep them. In the north, and in Scotland, particularly, the Year known as Hogmanay, is very well kept up. The ceremonies are similar, but they have an added called "first foot". This means opening your door to anyone who knocks it after midnight, and who will then enter the house, carrying a piece of coal or wood, or bread. The visitor is entertained with cakes and ale. At the Jolly parties on New Year's eve and also on Burn's night, when they commemorate their national poet (Jan. 25th), the Scottish people enjoy eating their famous Haggis. This is a pudding, made from the heart, liver and lungs of sheep or calf, minced suet, onions, oatmeal and seasoning, and cooked in the animal's stomach. It is brought into the banqueting-hall or dining room to the accompaniment of the bagpipes. Considerable quantities of good Scotch whiskey are consumed during these celebrations.