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Great Britain

Great Britain

The official name of the country is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and it lies on the British Isles of the north-western coast of Europe.
The British Isles consist of 2 big islands = Great Britain and Ireland and many smaller islands. The largest of them are The Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Anglesey, the Hebrides, the Orkneyes and the Shetlands.
The British Isles include 2 states. The UK consisting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Each of four parts has its own capital. Edinburgh for Scotland, Belfast for N. Ireland, Cardiff for Wales and London for England. London is also the capital of the whole country.

The first occupation was by celts. They came from continental Europe. Later they were pushed into the mountains. The Romans came and stayed for almost 4 centuries. The Romans built roads, military camps and forts and started many English towns London including. The next were 3 Germanic tribes = Angles, Saxons and Jutes. The next were the the Norsemen – the Danes and the Vikings. The last invasion was by the Normans who defeated the last Anglo-Saxon king. This is a reason why there are so many words in the English language.

Great Britain can be divided into upland Britain and lowland Britain. Rivers are not very long. The longest rivers are the Thames, the Severn, the Avon, the Tyne. The highest mountain range is the Highland of Scotland. The largest lakes are in the Highlands – Loch Ness

The official language is English – Standard or Queen’s English. Many regions of the country have their own dialects. Scottish English is obscure (nezrozumiteľný) to people from other parts of Britain. Typical Scottish words are lass – girl, lad – boy, kirk – church, bonnie – pretty, loch – lake.
Welsh is the second official language in Wales. Irish is also of Celtic origin.

It’s mostly a mountainous country. Most of people live in the lowlands where are most big cities. Edinburgh, the capital is famous for its beautiful old town with many fine buildings and for its medieval castle which stand on an extinct volcano. It is also famous for festivals. During this festival E. is crowded with people. The biggest city is Glasgow.

Scotland is famous for whisky – the national alcohol. The word comes from Gaeltic language and means water of life. It is made from water, barley (jačmeň) and yeast (kvasnice). Another Scottish attraction is the men´s national costume – the short skirts called kilts that men wear instead of trousers. They are made of a woolen cloth called tartan. The national musical instruments are bagpipes. The biggest attraction is the Loch Ness monster. Many people believe that Nessie lives somewhere in this lake. Many people say that they have seen her and many say that they have a photos of her. All these photos are fakes. She looks like a snake, or the frog or worm or a dinosaur. The legend about Nessie started in the 6th century. It started because the water in this lake is very dark and thick.

It is the largest and the most populous part of GB. England is mostly lowland. This lowland has very good fertile. English heavy industry is concentrated in the middle part of the country. Birmingham is important industrial city.

Stanford upon Avon
Lies on the Avon river in central England. It is a birthplace of W. Shakespeare, the famous dramatist. Now it is a little town. Shakespeare spent very little time of his life, he lived and worked in London. The town is visited by a great number of tourists.
Shakespeare´s birthplace – the house where he was born in a middle class
The Grammar school – the poet attended in his young years
Ann´s Hathaway´s Cottage – the house of Shakespeare´s wife
The Royal Shakespeare theatre – famous theatre and there are presented only Shakespeare´s plays

It is a mysterious stone structure. It was believed that it was built by Celts but it isn´t true. It was built by some unknown nation. It consist of huge heavy stones arranged into 2 circles. It is a mystery how these ancient people could transport these stones for long distances with their primitive tools. Another mystery is how they could erect these huge stones. There are many theories about it. The best theory is that they probably had to dig a hole in the ground, then they put the lower part of the stone into the hole, then they tied ropes around the stone and pulled on the ropes to lift the stone. Historians don’t know why this structure was built. Some people think that it was an ancient church or an observatory.

It is a land of beautiful castles. Wales is a country of 2 languages, English and Welsh. Welsh is very interesting language with many long words and very difficult pronunciation. The Welsh are music – loving nation.

Northern Ireland
It is a region of conflicts between Catholics – the Irish and Protestants – the English who live there side by side. It started a long time ago. Ireland has been a catholic country since 5th century and later it was conquered by the English who were Catholics too. But the King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife but the Pope didin´t allow the divorce. So he established his own church. Ireland was divided into 2 parts, the independent Irish Republic and Northern Ireland – part of Britain. The Irish Republican Army makes terrorist attacks in which many innocent people have died. They often set explosives at public places.

The state systems of UK
The official name of the country is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK consisting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In London are seats of the government, the Queen and Parliament. The parliament is divided into 2 parts – the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Members are elected for a five year. GB is a constitutional monarchy. The Constitution of the UK is unwritten, it is based on custom, tradition and common law.

National Flag and Anthem
British national flag is sometimes called Union Jack. It symbolizes the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland. Each country has its cross in the flag. England has St. George´s cross. The national Anthem is – God save the Queen.

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