The capital of England and Great Britain.
· 9 mil. inhabitants
· city of tradition, history, monuments, theatres, parks, museums
· Thames (west › east) – Tower Bridge
· Three main areas of central London:
Tower: fortress = royal palace = prison
1. City Tower Bridge
St. Paul´s Cath.
2. Westminster (Abbey) - Royal Palaces, Government offices, Palace of West = Houses of Parliament. When the parliament has it´s session a flag flies at Big Ben. Buckingham Palace is the residence of British royal family, ceremony of changing the Guard. British Prime minister at 10 Downing st.
3. West End – shops & entertainment, theares, night clubs, cinemas,
China Town (restaurants), Piccadily, Bond st., Reqent´s st., Carnaby st.
4. East End – used to be a slum, Cocney dialect, rebuilt after II. WW. Trafalgar Square – largest square = statue of adm. Nelson, north – National Gallery
Other – National Prtrait Gallery, Tate G., Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, Madam Tussand´s Museum (waksworks)
Parks – St. Jame´s Park, Buckingham Pal. Gardens, Hyde Park, Speaker´s Corner, Regent´s Park, Kensington Garden
- first inhabitants, Celts, came from North Europe before 6th century B. C.
- the Roman occupation started in 1st century AD, (they built towns, roads, centralized administration)
- in 5th century germanic tribes – Angles, Saxons, Jutes (Romans home, Celts in the mountains)
- in 1066 Normans - William the Conqueror › King of England – hegemony of Normans
- in 1215 – Magna Carta – Supremacy of Law over the king – foundation of parlamentary governoment
- 1337 – 1453 – Hundred Years War (England vs. France) followed by wars of Yorks and Lancaster (Wars of the Roses)
- Henry Tudor established the Tudor dynasty
- Henry VIII. – 6 wives, he separated English Church from Rome and became the head of Church of England, Elisabeth I. – England world power – renaissance
- 1642 – 1649 – Civil War – Charles I. kontra Parliament Ţ Oliver Cromwell (puritan republic) – unpopular and in 1660 restored the monarchy (Charles II.)
- 1837 – 1901: Industrial Revolution – Queen Victoria – Britain dominated the world industry, commerce and military
- WW I. › WW II. economic crisis, decline in economy, social problems, ....
- Labour govern. – economy was nationalized, free health care and education
- since 1979 Conservatives privatised, reduced welfare
- United Kingdom = G. B.
+ Norther Ireland = constitutional monarchy, present sovereign – Queen Elizabeth II., no political power
- UK is governed by the Cabinet ( 20 leading ministers + Prime Minister)
- the supreme legislative body is Parliament:
1.House of Lords – hereditiary and life
2.House of Commons – 5 years (elected)
- no constitution (common law, conventions), 2 parties – Conversative and Labour
Customs and traditions:
- Public hoidays = “Bank Holidays”: Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, August Bank Holiday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day
- Christmas: 24th December – Christmas Eve
25th December – Christmas Day
26th December – Boxing Day
- Santa Claus, Christmas stocking
- traditional food: Christmas cracker, roast filled turkey(duck), Christmas pudding
- New Year´s Eve, New Year´s Day – not a holiday
- 14th February: St. Valentine´s Day.