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LONDON AND OTHER CITIES IN GREAT BRITAIN

London is the capital of the United Kingdom.Its population is about 10 million. London is situated on the river Thames in south-east England.

London is famous for his red double-deckers. For fast transport we can use the Underground. Now it operates 11 lines. There are also 3 airports in London. The most important are Heathrow and Gatwick.

The Houses of Parliament are in gothic style but were built only in 19th century after the old building had burnt down. The only part which escaped the fire was Westminster Hall. There is also a famous clock-tower with Big Ben.

White Hall is the street where the government offices are.

Downing Street 10 is the official home of British Prime Ministers since 1731.

Westminster Abbey was founded in the 11th century. Britain's Kings and Queens are crowned here. In the Poet's Corner there are buried greatest poets, artists, statesmen and other famous people of England. Royal weddings take place here.

St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. In stands in the City. It was built in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren. It's known for its Whispering Gallery. Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married here.

The City is the oldest part of London around St. Paul. There are many banks and offices here (e.g. Mansion House - the Lord Mayor's home).

The Tower was built in the 11th century. First it was a royal palace, then prison and fortress. Now it is a museum. The Crown Jewels guarded by the Beefeaters are kept here.

Tower Bridge is one of the famous symbols of London. It was built only in the last century. It can open in the middle and so the large ships can go through.

Trafalgar Square is a very popular place for various meetings and demonstrations. At Christmas time a big Christmas tree stands here. The statue of Admiral Nelson is situated on a high column.

The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square. It houses paintings by nearly all the great European artists of the past and a large collection of British paintings and sculptures. The admission is free.

The British Museum is the largest museum in the world. Here is almost everything from all countries, periods and styles. The British Museum's library is the largest in the world.

Buckingham Palace is the Queen's residence in London since the reign of the Queen Victoria.

Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street are the most famous shopping centres in London.

Hyde Park is the largest park. It is known for its Speaker's Corner. The other parks are St. James's Park, Green Park, etc.

The Post Office Tower is the tallest building in Britain. It is adapted for telephone and TV services. It is nearly 190 m high.

The National Theatre, the royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall are the centres of London's culture life.

Windsor Castle is the residence of nearly all the British sovereigns outside London.

Kew Gardens are the Royal Botanical Gardens with the largest collection of living plants in the world.

Greenwich is the seat of the National Maritime Museum where the Royal Observatory is - here is a brass strip which marks the prime meridian.Besides London, which is in the centre of each tourist's attention, there are many other fascinating places:

Oxford and Cambridge are the old university towns.

Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the place where his plays are performed at the Shakespeare Memorial (or Swan) Theatre.

Southern part of England is full of historical monuments and romantic sceneries. Canterbury is an ancient city with a majestic cathedral. It is famous due to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The other old cathedral town is Winchester - once it was the capital of England. Salisbury is in Salisbury Plain where we can see a beautiful historic monument of Stonehenge with its giant stone circles which are more than 3,000 years old. The purpose of this construction is unknown - probably religious and astronomical reasons.

On the north there is Birmingham which is the second largest city in Britain. Northwest is sometimes celled the "Black

Country" due to the mining industries. The other big cities here are Liverpool, Sheffield, York.

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