LONDON. It was founded by the Romans who gave it the name of Londinium and later became the principle seat of the Royal Family and government.

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1 LONDON London is situated in the south-eastern part of England. It is one of the major cities in Europe in terms of size and population. More than this it represents the economic and cultural heart of the whole of Great Britain. It was founded by the Romans who gave it the name of Londinium and later became the principle seat of the Royal Family and government. The city is now a multicultural capital. Dozens of ethnic minorities live there side by side. Over the centuries the London landscape has changed. As you move around the city today you can find pleasant modern buildings and tall skyscrapers next to the imposing Gothic architectural structures of the past (such as Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament). The River Thames, which runs from west to east, divides London into its northern and southern parts; a number of bridges link the two banks. London is full of interesting sights and major landmarks such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and many others. Besides these it boasts some of the greatest museums, art galleries and parks, even more than any other world capital. London s excellent transport system makes most of the city easily accessible. The underground ( the tube ) is easy to catch and provides a cheap and convenient way of travel in London. On December 9 th, 2005 the famous red double-deckers were replaced by more modern buses. The old vehicles remain only on two central routes aimed at tourists. Heathrow, 15 miles west of central London, is the busiest and most important airport.

2 Answer the following questions 1. Where is London situated? 2. Why is London considered one of the major cities in Europe? 3. Who founded London? 4. What was London called by the Romans? 5. What did London become after the Roman period? 6. What are the Gothic buildings the text refers to? 7. Which rivers flows through London? 8. What are London s major landmarks? 9. What can London boasts about? 10. What is the easiest and quickest way of getting around London? 11. What is London s most important airport? Where is it? Buckingham Palace was built in 1803 for the Duke of Buckingham. It has been the royal family s London residence since It contains 661 rooms. The Queen and her husband share a suite of 12 rooms in the northern wing, overlooking Green Park. The wide road leading to Buckingham Palace is the Mall. Green Park and St James s Park meet in the large roundabout at the end of the Mall. The Tower of London and the Tower Bridge In 1078 William the Conqueror began to build the White Tower. The tower was once a treasury, an arsenal and an observatory. When Henry VIII moved to Whitehall Palace in 1529 the Tower became a prison. Some of the most famous prisoners were: Anne Boleyn, Thomas More and Catherine Howard. Today the Tower houses the Crown Jewels and the Yeomen warders look after them. The Tower Bridge is a very famous Victorian Bridge. It is more than 100 years old and it is 60 meters long; its towers rise to a height of 43 meters. If you climb the towers you can enjoy a beautiful view of the river and see the original steam mechanism for raising the bascules. Tower Bridge was opened in Big Ben is one of the first things you see when visit London. The clock tower was erected after the House of Parliament had been burned down in The huge clock inside the tower, is extremely accurate.

3 Parks in London Every part of London has its own park, just a small green area with trees or a huge and wild park like Richmond Park. One of the largest and most beautiful of the London parks is Hyde Park, where you can roller-skate, rent a boat, fish or just stroll around and enjoy the view. Two of its best known features are a small lake called the Serpentine and Speakers Corner where you can go and speak about topics that interest you. Anyone may say something to the people who stop and listen to them. In Kensington Gardens there is Kensington Palace where members of the Royal family live and the Princess Diana Monument stands. In Kensington Gardens you can also find a famous statue of Peter Pan. Regent s Park, situated north-west London, offers fun and leisure. Inside the park there is a boating lake, a restaurant and plenty of chairs and benches around. On the northeastern side of the park is London Zoo. Answer the following questions 1. What are London s most famous parks? 2. What can people do in Hyde Park? 3. What is the Serpentine? Where is it? 4. Where is Kensington Palace? 5. Who lives there? 6. What is Speakers Corner? 7. What can you find in Kensington Gardens? 8. Where is London Zoo?

4 Shopping in London Shopping in London is not a problem of course. It all depends on what you need, what you like and where you prefer to go. If you are a tourist looking for something with a British brand, then try Dr. Martens boots and shoes or Burberry raincoats and umbrellas. If you have a particular need there is a large area of streets full of specialised shops which can meet your demand. Charing Cross Road, for example, is the place to go if you want to buy a book. Tottenham Court Road is full of electronics and computer shops, Cecil Court has antiquarian bookshops and in Denmark Street you can buy musical instruments, sheet music and books on music. If you like street markets do not miss Petticoat Lane and Portobello Road. They are two of the most famous street markets in London. At Petticoat Lane you can find everything. Full of atmosphere Portobello Road offers antiques and clothes. Covent Garden is a centre for both shopping and eating, where you can also enjoy singers, actors and acrobats performances. Covent Garden was at first a vegetable field belonging to Westminster Abbey. In 1630 it was converted into an elegant square. It later became a fruit and vegetable market. In 1980 it was transformed into one of the liveliest hubs in central London. Harrods in Knightsbridge and Selfridges in Oxford Street are London s very famous department stores. They both sell everything and offer customers the chance to enjoy snacks and meals. Selfridges with its long history is the place where you can also have banking services. Fortnum and Mason is an old food emporium known for its exotic food on the ground floor. On the next four floors it offers fashion wear. Liberty in Regent Street is famous for its luxury-fabrics department and Marks and Spencer for clothes, furnishings and food.

5 Answer the following questions 1. What are Dr. Martens and Burberry famous for? 2. What street is full of shops selling books? 3. Where can you find a wide choice of electronic components and computers? 4. What specialized shops are there in Denmark Street? 5. What are London s most famous street markets? 6. What is Covent Garden? What was it at first? 7. When did Covent Garden become a square? 8. When was it transformed into a lively hub? 9. What does Fortnum and Mason sell?

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