Реферат: Scotland (Шотландия)
Moscow State Pedagogical University
the departmentof sociology,
economics and law
chair of English languageCourse paper on the topic
astudent of the 3rd year
I. A few words about this work.
II.Scotland – how does it look like?
3.Plant& animal life.
The main part.
I.Early peoples of Scotland & their relations.
II.“… we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion
of the English…”
III.Scotland’s beautiful capital.
6.Where life isone long festival.
3.Afew words about tartan.
4.Thenational musical instrument of the Scots.
5.Highland’sdances and games.
6.The famous Loch Ness.
II.Scotlandfor every season.
I.A few words about this work.
Though Scotland is a part of TheUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland it still remains anindividual country with its own traditions, customs, history and the way oflife. In one word, Scotland is not England at all. It is a country with aunique culture full of ancient legends, bright contrasts and mysteriouscastles. Secrets and mystery always appear immediately when you open a bookabout Scotland.
But unfortunately you can comeacross such a problem as lack of literature on this topic. I was lucky to findseveral books that gave exhaustive information about this magic country. I wasso exited by the Scottish national heroes and by this independent nation that Idecided to find out more information about them.
Some people say thatif you haven’t been in Venice you haven’t seen Italy at all. I can say that ifyou haven’t been in Scotland you haven’t seen Britain at all. As for me I waslucky to visit the capital of England London. But alas! I didn’t have anyopportunity to visit or just to have a glimpse of Scotland, a land of festivals,kilts and bagpipes.
It seemed to me thatafter visiting London I know everything about Britain. And only after readingseveral books about Scotland I realized how wrong I had been. Now I can justsay: “I wish I were in Scotland!”
I was seizedwith an idea of studying more about it and that is why I decided to take thistopic for my course paper. I am not sure that I will be able to tell everythingthat I found out about this country and its people. But I promise to depict allunforgettable events and traditions of the Scottish people that impressed memost of all.
II.Scotland– what does it look like?
Scotland,administrative division of the kingdom of Great Britain, occupying the northernthird of the island of Great Britain. Scotland is
boundedon the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North Sea; on thesoutheast by England; on the south by Solway Firth, which
partlyseparates it from England, and by the Irish Sea; and on the west by
NorthChannel, which separates it from Ireland, and by the Atlantic Ocean.
As a geopolitical entity Scotland includes 186 nearby islands, the majority ofwhich are contained in three groups-namely, the Hebrides, also known as theWestern Islands, situated off the western coast; the Orkney Islands, situatedoff the northeastern coast; and the Shetland Islands, situated northeast of theOrkney Islands. The largest of the other islands is the Island of Arran. Thearea, including the islands, is 78,772 sq km (30,414 sqmi).
Scotland has avery irregular coastline. The western coast in particular is deeply penetratedby numerous arms of the sea, most of which are narrow submerged valleys, knownlocally as sea lochs,and by a number of broad indentations, generally called firths. The principalfirths are the Firth of Lorne, the Firth of Clyde, and Solway Firth.
Scotlandis characterized by an abundance of streams and lakes (lochs). Notable amongthe lakes, which are especially numerous in the central and northern regions,are Loch Lomond (the largest), Loch Ness, Loch Tay, and Loch Katrine.
Many of therivers of Scotland, in particular the rivers in the west, are short, torrentialstreams, generally of little commercial importance. The longest river ofScotland is the Tay; the Clyde, however, is the principal navigational stream,site of the port of Glasgow. Other chief rivers include the Forth, Tweed, Dee,and Spey.
Like the climateof the rest of Great Britain, that of Scotland is subject to the moderatinginfluences of the surrounding seas. As a result of these influences, extremeseasonal variations are rare, and temperate winters and cool summers are theoutstanding climatic features. Low temperatures however, are common during thewinter season in the mountainous districts of the interior. In the westerncoastal region, which is subject to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream,conditions are somewhat milder than in the east.
3.Plant and Animal Life
The most commonspecies of trees indigenous to Scotland are oak and conifers-chiefly fir, pine,and larch. Large forested areas, however, are rare, and the only importantwoodlands are in the southern and eastern Highlands. Except in these woodedareas, vegetation in the elevated regions consists largely of heather, ferns,mosses, and grasses. Saxifrage, mountain willow, and other types of alpine andarctic flora occur at elevations above 610 m (2000 ft). Practically all of thecultivated plants of Scotland were imported from America and the Europeancontinent.
The only largeindigenous mammal in Scotland is the deer. Both the red deer and the roe deerare found, but the red deer, whose habitat is the Highlands, is by far the moreabundant of the two species. Other indigenous mammals are the hare, rabbit,otter, ermine, pine marten, and
wildcat.Game birds include grouse, blackcock, ptarmigan, and waterfowl. The fewpredatory birds include the kite, osprey, and golden eagle. Scotland is famousfor the salmon and trout that abound in its streams and lakes. Many species offish, including cod, haddock, herring, and various types of shellfish, arefound in the coastal waters.
Scotland, likethe rest of the island of Great Britain, has significant reserves of coal. Italso possesses large deposits of zinc, chiefly in the south. The soil isgenerally rocky and infertile, except for that of the Central Lowlands.Northern Scotland has great hydroelectric power potential and contains GreatBritain's largest hydroelectric generating stations. Beginning in the late1970s, offshore oil deposits in the North Sea became an important part of theScottish economy. The most important city here is Aberdeen which is the oilcentre of the country. Ships and helicopters travel from Aberdeen to the NorthSea oil rigs. Therefore, Scotland is rather rich in natural resources and sometimescan even condition to England.
The people ofScotland, like those of Great Britain in general, are descendants of variousracial stocks, including the Picts, Celts, Scandinavians, and Romans. Scotlandis a mixed rural-industrial society. Scots divide themselves into Highlanders,who consider themselves of purer Celtic blood and retain a stronger feeling ofthe clan, and Lowlanders, who are largely of Teutonic blood.
Government inScotland is in four tiers. A new Scottish Parliament was elected in1999, following devolution of powers from the United Kingdom Parliament inLondon. This is the first time Scotland has had its own parliament in 300years. The Scottish Parliament, which sits in Edinburgh, is responsible formost aspects of Scottish life. The national parliament in Westminster (London)retains responsibility for areas such as defence, foreign affairs and taxation.The European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) exercises certain powers vestedin the European Union.
The ScottishParliament is supported by the Scottish Executive also based inEdinburgh. The Scottish Government is led by a First Minister. A Secretary ofState for Scotland remains part of the UK Cabinet, and is supported by theScotland Office (previously the Scottish Office) based in Glasgow, with officesin Edinburgh and London.
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Local government is divided into29 unitary authorities and three island authorities, having been subject to amajor reorganization in 1995.
Scotlandhas its own legal system, judiciary and an education system which, atall levels, differs from that found «south of the border» in Englandand Wales.
Scotland alsohas its own banking system and its own banknotes. Edinburgh is the second financialcentre of the UK and one of the major financial centres of the world.
I.Early peoplesof Scotland and their relations.
(see Appendices,page 23)
Most historiansagree that the first man appeared in Scotland as long ago as 6,000 BC. Bone andantler fishing spears and other rudimentary implements found along the westernpart of the country serve as evidence to support this theory. The Beakercivilization arrivedthree thousand years later, and is notable for its henges (of which Stonehengeis one of the most famous). The Beaker people eventually spread as far north asOrkney.
Asa result of its geography, Scotland has two different societies. In the centerof Scotland mountains stretch to the far north and across to the west, beyondwhich lie many islands. To the east and to the south the lowland hills aregentler, and much of the countryside is like England, rich, welcoming and easyto farm. North of the “Highland Line”people stayed tied to their own family groups. South and east of this line societywas more easily influenced by the changes taking place in England.
Scotlandwas populated by four separate groups of people. The main group, the Picts,lived mostly in the north and northeast. They spoke Celtic as well as another,probably older, language completely unconnected with any known language today,and they seem to have been the earliest inhabitants of the land.
Thenon-Pictish inhabitants were mainly Scots. The Scots were Celtic settlers whostarted to move into the western Highlands from Ireland in the fourth century.
In843 the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms were united under a Scottish king, whocould also probably claim the Picts throne through his mother, in this wayobeying both Scottish and Pictish rules of kingship.
Thethird inhabitants were the Britons, who inhabited the Lowlands, and had beenpart of the Romano-British world. They had probably given up their old tribalway of life by the sixth century.
Finally,there were Angels from Nothambria who had pushed northwards into the ScottishLowlands.
Unitybetween Picts, Scots and Britons was achieved for several reasons. They shareda common Celtic culture, language and background. Their economy mainly dependedon keeping animals. These animals were owned by the tribe as a hole, and forthis reason land was also held by tribes, not by individual people. The commoneconomic system increased their feeling of belonging to the same kind ofsociety and the difference from the agricultural Lowlands. The sense of commonculture may have been increased by marriage alliances between tribes. This ideaof common landholding remained strong until the tribes of Scotland, called“clans”,collapsed in the eighteenth century.
Thespread of Celtic Christianity also helped to unite the people. The firstChristian mission to Scotland had come to southwest Scotland in about AD 400.Later, in 563, Columba, known as the “Dove of the Church”, came from Ireland.Through his work both Highland Scots and Picts were brought to Christianity. Heeven, so it is said, defeated a monster in Loch Ness, the first mention of thisfamous creature. By the time of the Synod of Whitby in 663, the Picts, Scotsand Britons had all been brought closer together by Christianity.
TheAngles were very different from the Celts. They had arrived in Britain infamily groups, but they soon began to accept the authority from people outsidetheir own family. This was partly due to their way of life. Although they keptsome animals, they spent more time growing crops. This meant that land was heldby individual people, each man working in his own field. Land was distributedfor farming by the local lord. This system encouraged the Angles of Scotland todevelop a non-tribal system of control, as the people of England further south weredoing. This increased their feeling of difference from the Celtic tribalHighlanders further north.
Finally,as in Ireland and in Wales, foreign invaders increased the speed of politicalchange. Vikings attacked the coastal areas of Scotland, and they settled onmany of the islands, Shetland, the Orkneys, the Hebrides, and the Isle of Mansouthwest of Scotland. In order to resist them, Picts and Scots fought togetheragainst the enemy raiders and settles. When they couldn’t push them out of theislands and coastal areas, they had to deal with them politically. At first theVikings, or “Norsemen”, still served the King of Norway. But communicationswith Norway were difficult. Slowly the earls of Orkney and other areas found iteasier to accept the king of Scots as their overlord, rather than the moredistant king of Norway.
However,as the Welsh had also discovered, the English were a greater danger than theVikings. In 934 the Scots were seriously defeated by a Wessex army pushingnorthwards. The Scots decided to seek the friendship of the English, because ofthe likely losses from war. England was obviously stronger than Scotland but,luckily for the Scots, both the north of England and Scotland were difficult tocontrol from London. The Scots hoped that if they were reasonably peaceful theSassenachswould leave them along.
Scotlandremained a difficult country to rule even from its capital, Edinburgh. Anyonelooking at a map of Scotland can see that control of the Highlands and islandswas a great problem. Travel was often impossible in winter, and slow anddifficult in summer. It was easy for a clan chief or noble to throw off therule of the king.
II.“…we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the English.”
England, Wales,Scotland and Ireland were once known as the British Isles. Nowadays this termis normally used only in Geography. In fact, the people of these isles haveseldom been politically or culturally united. English kings started wars tounite the British Isles from the 12th century. These wars were warsof conquest and only the Welsh war was a success.
At that timeEngland was ruled by several ambitious kings, who wanted to conquer morecountries for themselves and to add more titles to their names. They had, as arule, absolutely no interest in the people of the countries that they wished toconquer. It did not concern them that these wars brought misery to the peoplein whose land they fought. The result was generally to create a strong,national, patriotic feeling in the invaded country, and a great hatred of theinvader.
I don’t havemuch space here to speak about the history of Scotland in details that is whyI’d like to mention one historical episode which shows the Scottish attitudetowards freedom and independence. (For the chronology of the events in thehistory of Scotland see Appendices,
AlthoughScottish kings had sometimes accepted the English king as their “overlord”,they were much stronger than the many Welsh kings had been. Scotland owes itsclan system partly to an Englishwoman, Margaret, the Saxon Queen of MalcolmIII. After their marriage in 1069, she introduced new fashions and new ideas tothe Scottish court – and among the new ideas was the feudal system of landtenure. Until that time, most of the country had been divided into sevensemi-independent tribal provinces. Under the feudal system, all land belongedto the king, who distributed it among his followers in exchange for allegianceand service. But a Highland chieftain could easily ignore a far-off Lowlandking and, as time went by, the clan chiefs became minor kings themselves. Theymade alliances with other clans, had the power of life and death over theirfollowers.
By the 11thcentury there was only one king of Scots, and he ruled over all the south andeast of Scotland. In Ireland and Wales Norman knights were strong enough tofight local chiefs on their own. But only the English king with a large armycould hope to defeat the Scots. Most English kings did not even try, but EdwardI was different.
The Scottishkings were closely connected with England. Since Saxon times marriages hadfrequently taken place between the Scottish and English royal families. At thesame time the Scottish kings wanted to establish strong government and so theyoffered land to Norman knights from England in return for their loyalty.
In 1290 a crisestook place over the succession to the Scottish throne. On a stormy night in1286 King Alexander of Scotland was riding home along a path by the sea in thedark. His horse took a false step, and the king was thrown from the top of acliff.
Disputes aroseat once among all those who had any claim at all to the Scottish throne.Finally two of the claimants, John de Balliol and Robert Bruce, were left.Scottish nobles wanted to avoid civil war and invited Edward I to settle thematter. Edward had already shown interest in joining Scotland to his kingdom.He wanted his son to marry Margaret, the heir to the Scottish throne, but shehad died in a shipwreck. Now he had another chance. He told both men that theymust do homage to him, and so accept his overlordship, before he would helpsettle the question. He then invaded Scotland and put one of them, John deBalliol, on the Scottish throne.
De Balliol’sfour years as a king were not a success. First Edward made him provide moneyand troops for the English army and the Scottish nobles rebelled. They felt thatEdward was ruining their country.
Then Edwardinvaded Scotland again, and captured all the main Scottish castles. During thisinvasion he stole the sacred Stone of Destiny from Scone Abbey. The legend saidthat all Scottish kings must sit on it. Edward believed that without the Stone,any Scottish coronation would be meaningless, and that his own possession ofthe Stone would persuade the Scots to accept him as king. However, neither henor his successors became kings of Scots, and the Scottish kings managedperfectly well without the stone.
All this led tothe creation a popular resistance movement. At first it was led by William Wallace,a Norman-Scottish knight. But after one victory against English army, Wallace’s“people’s army” was itself destroyed by Edward in 1297.
It seemed thatEdward had won after all. Wallace was captured and executed. His head was puton a pole on London Bridge. Edward tried to make Scotland a part of England ashe had already done with Wales. Some Scottish nobles accepted him, but thepeople refused to be ruled by the English king. Scottish nationalism was bornon the day Wallace died.
A new leadertook up the struggle. This was Robert Bruce, who had competed with John deBalliol for the throne. He was able to raise an army and defeat the Englisharmy in Scotland. Edward the I gathered another great army and marched againstRobert Bruce, but he died on the way north in 1327. On Edward’s grave werewritten the words “Edward, the Hammer of the Scots”. He had intended to hammerthem into the ground and destroy them, but in fact he had hammered them into anation.
After Edward’sdeath Bruce had enough time to defeat his Scottish enemies, and make himselfaccepted as king of the Scots. He then began to win back the castles still heldby the English. When the son of his old enemy Edward II invaded Scotland in1314 Bruce destroyed his army at Bannockburn, near Stirling. Six years later,in 1320, the Scots clergy meeting in Arbroath wrote to the Pope in Rome to tellhim that they would never accept English authority: “for as long as even onehundred of us remain alive, we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominionof the English.”
In the long,bitter struggle for independence, Scotland never capitulated, and when at lastit became part of the United Kingdom in 1707 it was by treaty, even if manyScots regarded the Act of Unionas a piece of treachery. It is still a land apart, with a very separateculture. Scotland retained its separate legal and ecclesiastical systems, anduntil well into the 20th century its separate system of freeeducation was the most advanced and generous in Britain. Nowadays, it has itsown Parliament.
III. Scotland’s beautifulcapital.
Edinburgh, the capital ofScotland, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This distinction ispartly an accident of Nature, for the city is built upon jumble of hills and valleys;however, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the natural geographywas enhanced by the works of a succession of distinguished Georgian andVictorian architects.
Evidence that Stone Ages settlerslived in Edinburgh has been found on Calton Hill,Arthur’s Seatand Castlehill, and the town’s early history centres around Castlehill. Somehistorians believe that this volcanic hill was a tribal stronghold as early as600 BC.
One tribe who definitely madetheir mark were a group of Nothumbrians, whose 7th-century kingEdwin,is thought to have given his name to the castle and town. “Burgh” is a Scottishword for borough (a small town).
The Royal Castle of Edinburgh isthe most powerful symbol of Scotland. For centuries, this mighty fortress hasdominated its surroundings with a majesty, which has deeply impressed manygenerations.
The volcanic castle rock inEdinburgh was born over 340 million years ago following a violent eruption deepin the earth’s crust. Its story as a place of human habitation stretches back amere 3,000 years, to the late Bronze Age. It was evidently a thriving hill-topsettlement when Roman soldiers marched by in the first century AD.
The place had become an importantroyal fortress by the time of Queen Margaret’sdeath there in November 1093. Throughout the Middle Ages Edinburgh Castleranked as one of the major castles of the kingdom and its story is very muchthe story of Scotland. But within the building of the Palace of Holyroodhousein the early 16th century, the castle was used less and less as aroyal residence, though it remained symbolically the heart of the kingdom.
Edinburgh Castle is the home ofthe Scottish Crown Jewels, the oldest Royal Regalia in Britain. The Honours ofScotland – the Crown, Sword and Sceptre – were shaped in Italy and Scotlandduring the reigns of King James IV and king James V and were first usedtogether as coronation regalia in 1543.
After the 1707 Treaty of Unionbetween Scotland and England, the Honours were locked away in the Crown Roomand the doors were walled up. 111 years later, the Honours were rediscoveredand immediately displayed to the public. Displayed with the Crown Jewels is theStone of Destiny, returned to Scotland after 700 years in England.
Edinburgh Castle boasts having thegiant siege gun Mons Meg in its military collection. Mons Meg (or simply“Mons”) was made at Mons (in present-day Belgium) in 1449. It was at theleading edge of artillery technology at the time: it weighs 6040 kilogrammes andits firing gunstones weigh 150 kilogrammes. It soon saw action against theEnglish. But it great weigh made it ponderously slow to drag around – it couldonly make 5 kilometres a day. By the middle of the 16th century itwas retired from military service and restricted to firing salutes from thecastle ramparts. It was returned to the castle in 1829.
3. TheMilitary Tattoo
For many visitors the castle meansnothing without the Edinburgh Military Tattoowhich is taking place at the Castle Esplanade. The esplanade had been a narrowrocky ridge until the middle of the 18th century when the presentplatform was created as a parade ground.
The signal (Tattoo) indicated thatsoldiers should return to their quarters and that the beer in the tavernsshould be turned off. This signal was transmitted by drum beat each evening.Eventually this developed into a ceremonial performance of military music bymassed bands.
It began when the city held itsfirst International Festival in the summer of 1947. The Army staged an eveningmilitary display on the Esplanade. The march and counter-march of the pipes anddrums which was held near one of the most dramatic places anywhere in the worldmade it an immediate success. The Tattoo has been repeated every summer sinceon the same site. Each Tattoo closes with another “tradition”- the appearanceof the lone piper on the battlements of the castle.
4. St.Giles’ Cathedral
If Edinburgh Castle has been atthe centre of Scottish life for 9 centuries, St. Giles’ Cathedral, the HighKirk of Edinburgh, has been the religious heart of Scotland for even longer.
In 854 there was a church. Itbelonged to Lindisfarne, where Columba’s monks first brought the Gospel fromIona. In 1150, the monks of St. Giles’ were farming lands round about and abigger church was built by the end of the century. The first parish church ofEdinburgh was dedicated to St. Giles, a saint popular in France. It wasprobably due to the Auld Alliance of Scotland and France against the commonenemy of England.
St Giles’Cathedral is one of themost historic and romantic buildings in Scotland. Founded in 1100s, this churchhas witnessed executions, riots and celebrations. Its famous crown spire hasdominated Edinburgh’s skyline for over 500 years. Scotland was a Catholicnation until the Reformation in the mid-16th century.
John Knox, the fiery “Trumpeterof God”, who preached against Popery, brought St. Giles into great prominence.Knox’s aim was to create a reformed Church of Scotland, to banish “popery”, tostrengthen democracy and to set up a system of comprehensive education. Thereligious transition was to take 130 years of struggle to achieve.
Many of the famous Scots arecommemorated in the church, including R. Burns and R. L. Stevenson.
The Giles is famous for itsThistle Chapel, which is home to the Order of the Thistle and honours some ofthe greatest Scots of the last 300 years. This exquisite little room will takeone’s breath away. Its magnificent carvings and stonework evoke the ancientorigins of the order and will amaze anyone with a wealth of details associatedwith Scotland, for example, the angel that plays the bagpipe.
Inthe field of arts, Edinburgh has a host of outstanding attractions fordifferent tastes and interests. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery providesa unique visual history of Scotland, told through portraits of the figures whoshaped it: royals and rebels, poets and philosophers, heroes and villains. Allthe portraits are of Scots, but not all are by Scots. The collection also holdsworks by great English, European and American masters. Since the Gallery firstopened its doors, the collection has grown steadily to form a kaleidoscope ofScottish life and history. Among the most famous portraits are Mary, Queen ofScots, Ramsay’s portrait of philosopher David Hume, Nasmyth’s portrait ofRobert Burns, and Raeburn’s Sir Walter Scott. In addition to paintings, itdisplays sculptures, miniatures, coins, medallions, drawings, watercolours andphotographs.
TheRoyal Museum and the Museum of Scotland are two museums under one roof. TheRoyal Museum is Scotland’s premier museum and international treasure-house. Itcontains material from all over the world. A vast and varied range of objectsare on display – from the endangered Giant Panda to working scale models ofBritish steam engines. The Museum of Scotland tells the remarkable story of aremarkable country from the geological dawn of time to modern-day life inScotland. The variety and richness of Scotland’s long and vibrant history, isbrought to life by the fascinating stories each object and every gallery has totell.
Atthe heart of the museum is the Kingdom of the Scots. This is the story ofScotland’s emergence as a distinctive nation able to take its place on theEuropean stage. Here are the icons of Scotland’s past – objects connected withsome of the most famous events and best-known figures in Scottish history, fromthe Declaration of Arbroathto Mary, Queen of Scots.
Describedas “the noisiest museum in the world”, the Museum of Childhood is a favouritewith adults and children alike. It is a treasure house, full of objects tellingof childhood, past and present. The museum has five public galleries. A list oftheir contents makes it sound like a magical department store. There are ridingtoys, push and pull toys, doll’s prams, yachts and boats, slot machines, apunch and judy, a nickelodeon, a carousel horse, dolls’ houses, toy animals,zoos, farms and circuses, trains, soldiers, optical toys, marionettes, softtoys, games and much, much more.
Inaddition, the museum features a time tunnel (with reconstructions of a schoolroom, street scene, fancy dress party and nursery from the days of ourgrandparents) an activity area, and video presentations. The museum opened in1955 was the first museum in the world to specialize in the history ofchildhood. It also helps to find out how children have been brought up, dressedand educated in decades gone by.
“ThePeople’s Story” is a museum with a difference. As the name implies, it usesoral history, reminiscence, and written sources to tell the story of the lives,work and leisure of te ordinary people of Edinburgh, from the late 18thcentury to the present day. The museum is filled with the sounds, sights andsmells of the past – a prison cell, town crier, reform parade, cooper’sworkshop, fishwife, servant at work, dressmaker, 1940s kitchen, a wash-house,pub and tea-room.
Thesereconstructions are complimented by displays of photographs, everyday objectsand rare artifacts, such as the museum’s outstanding collections of trade unionbanners and friendly society regalia.
6.Where life is one long festival.
Edinburgh may be called the Athens of the North, but from mid-Augustto early September that’s probably because it’s hot, noisy and overpriced – andcrawling with foreign students.
Overthe next three weeks the population will double as half a million visitorsinvade Britain’s most majestic city.
Ifyou are a theatre buff or a comedy fan, Edinburgh at Festival time will be your idea ofheaven. But the city is a centre for culture all year round.
Inthe run-up to Christmas there are hundreds of shows, including Noel Coward’sRelative Values at the King’s Theatre and the Anatomy Performance Company’sdance theatre at the Traverse. Romeo and Juliet is at the Traverse, LesMiserables at the Playhouse and The Recruiting Officer at the Lyceum. Andoutside Festival time, you’ll find it a lot easier to get tickets.
Asfor the visual arts, Edinburgh’s museums more than match any of the specialexhibitions mounted during the Festival.
Most attractive is the ScottishNational Gallery of Modern Art, in a stately home on the outskirts of the city.Here you can find unbeatable masterpieces created by Picasso, Matisse andHockney.
If shopping is more your stile,Jenners,on Princes Street, is Edinburgh’s answer to Harrods. And the Scottish Galleryon George Street is a happy hunting ground for collectors of fine art.Edinburgh is full of good hotels but its dramatic sky-line is dominated by twoenormous hostelries at either end of Princes Street. The Caledonian and theBalmoral (formerly the North British) were built by rival railway companies inthe days when competing steam trains raced from London.
You can also have a look at theGothic monument to Sir Walter Scott, which stands in East Princes StreetGardens and was begun in 1840. It is rather high, and narrow staircase (a totalof 287 steps in several stages) offers spectacular views of the city. Not farfrom the monument in Princes Street Gardens one can find the oldest FloralClock in the world, built in 1903, consisting of about 25,000 flowers andplants.
Like all the best capitals,Edinburgh boasts cosmopolitan influences. Asian shopkeepers sell Samosas andScotch (mutton) pies in the same thick Scots brogue, and the city is litteredwith Italian restaurants.
The city has three universities:the University of Edinburgh (1583), Herriot-Watt (established in 1885;received university status in 1966) and NapierUniversity.
Edinburgh is also an industrialcentre. Its industries include printing, publishing, banking, insurance,chemical manufacture, electronics, distilling, brewing.
I.“Scottishness”.Oh Scotia! My dear, my native soil!Robert Burns
Scotland is a country of greatvariety with its own unique character and strong tradition. Its cities offer amixture of designer lifestyle and age old tradition, while the countrysideranges from Britain’s highest mountains and waterfalls to the most stunning gorgesand glens.
Scotland’s national tradition israther intense and much alive even now and is rather rare in the modern world.Scotland is part of Britain. But it is not England. The Scottishness is a realthing, not an imaginary feeling, kind of picturesque survival of the past. Itis based on Scot’s law which is different from the English. Scotland has itsown national heroes fought in endless battles against the English ( WilliamWallace, Sir John the Grahame, Robert Bruce and others).
Scots have their own nationaldrink, and you need only ask for Scotch, and that’s quite enough, you get whatyou wanted. More than half of Scotland's malt whisky distilleries are in theGrampian Highlands, and thus a third of the world's malt whisky is distilledhere. A combination of fertile agricultural land, a sheltered, wet climate andthe unpolluted waters of the River Spey and its tributaries, combined with theobvious enthusiasm of the locals for the work (and the product!) mean it is anideal place to produce malt whisky. Many distilleries are open to visitors, andoften offer samples!
The Scots are fond of thefollowing joke about scotch:
A youngman arrives in a small village situated near Loch Ness. There he meets an oldman and asks him:
- When does the Loch Ness Monster usually appear?
- Usually it appears after the third glass ofScotch, — answered the
There is also a distinctivenational dress, the kilt. Strictly speaking it should be warn only by men; itis made of wool and looks like a pleated skirt. The kilt is a relic of the timewhen the clan system existed in the Highlands. But its origin is very ancient.The Celtic tribes who fought Ceasar wore kilts. When the Celts moved north upthrough Cornwall, and Wales, and Ireland, and eventually to Scotland, theybrought the kilt with them. A thousand years ago, there was nothing speciallyScottish about it. Now it has become the Highland’s national dress and is wornin many parts of Scotland. It is probably the best walking-dress yet inventedby man: there is up to 5 metres of material in it; it is thickly pleated st theback and sides; it is warm, it is airly, leaves the legs free for climbing; itstands the rain for hours before it gets wet through; it hangs well above themud and the wet grass; briefly it is warm for a cold day, and cool for a warmone. And, what is more, if a Highlander is caught in the mountains by thenight, he has but to unfasten his kilt and wrap it around him – 5 metres ofwarm wool – he’ll sleep comfortably enough the night through.
3.A fewwords about tartan.
Every Scottish clan had its owntartan.People in Highlands were very good weavers. They died their wool before weavingit; the dyes were made from various roots and plants which grew in this or thatbit of land. Therefore one clan dyed its wool in reddish colours, another ingreen, and so on. And they decorated them differently so as to distinguish theclansmen in battle (especially between neighboring clans which happened ratheroften).
On the subject of shopping fortartan, the choice is wide. Some designs are associated with particular clansand retailers will be happy to help you find “your” own pattern. By no meansall tartans belong to specific clans – several are “district” tartans,representing particular areas. The fascinating story of the tartan itself istold at the Museum of Scottish Tartans.
The museum possesses lots of rareexhibits. One of them is the remarkable woman’s Plaid or Arisaid, the oldestdated in the world: 1726. The Arisaid, worn only by women, reached from head toheels, belted at the waist and pinned at the breast.
The oldest piece of Tartan foundin Scotland dates back from about 325 AD. The cloth was found in a pot nearFalkirk,a simple check in two shades of brown, a long way from the checked and colouredtartans that came to be worn in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1550s. Thereare now over 2,500 tartan designs, many of them are no more than 20 years old.
4.Thenational musical instrument of the Scots.
Scotland has its own typicalmusical instrument, the pipes (sometimes called the bagpipes). The bagpipe wasknown to the ancient civilizations of the Near East. It was probably introducedinto Britain by the Romans. Carvings of bagpipe players on churches and a fewwords about them in the works of Chaucer and other writers show that it waspopular all over the country in the Middle Ages.
In Scotland the bagpipe was firstrecorded in the 16th century during the reign of James I, who was avery good player, and probably did much to make it popular. For long it hasbeen considered a national Scottish instrument. Even now it is still associatedwith Scotland.
The sound of the bagpipes is verystirring. The old Highland clans and later the Highland regiments used to gointo battle to the sound of the bagpipes.
The bagpipe consists of a reedpipe, the “chanter”, and a wind bag which provides a regular supply of air tothe pipe. The wind pipe is filled either from the mouth or by a bellows whichthe player works with his arm. The chanter has a number of holes or keys bymeans of which the tune is played.
5.Highland’sdances and games.
You can also find in Scotland itsown national dances, Highland dances and Scottish country dances; its own songs(some of which are very popular all aver Britain), its poetry (some of which isfamous throughout the English-speaking world), traditions, food and sports,even education, and manners.
Speaking about sports I can’t butmention Highland Gatherings or Games held in Braemar. They have been held theresince 1832, and since Queen Victoria visited them in 1848 the games haveenjoyed royal patronage. The Games consist of piping competitions, tugs-of-war(a test of strength in which two teams pull against other on a rope, eachtrying to pull the other over the winning line), highland wrestling anddancing, and tossing the caber.
6.Thefamous Loch Ness.
Fact or fiction, the Loch Ness monster is part of Loch Ness’smagnetic appeal to visitors. But there is much more to do and see around theshores of this famous waterway than just monster-spotting, and a pleasant day,or even longer, can be spent exploring the many activities. 24 miles long, amile wide and up to 700 feet deep Loch Ness is a land-locked fresh water lake lyingat the eastern end of the Great Glen,a natural geological fault which stretches across the width of Scotland. Theloch forms part of the Caledonian Canal completed by the celebrated civilengineer Thomas Telford (1757 – 1841), in 1822. Telford took 19 years to buildthe canal, which spared coastal shipping and fishing vessels a voyage throughthe waters of the Pentland Firth.
Thestory of Nessiterras Rhombopteryx or Nessie for short in Loch Ness haspersistent down the centuries. The monster was first mentioned in AD 565 whenSt Columba allegedly persuaded it not to eat someone. Since records began, in1933, more than 3000 people have claimed to have seen it, but others areskeptical. They point out that no good photographs exist of the monster, thatthere have been no eggs found, no dead monsters (can it really be 2563 yearsold?) nor any other compelling evidence. Believers think the monster is aplesiosaur, an otherwise extinct sea-dwelling reptile. Anyone who did proveconclusively the monster's existence would be hailed as a pioneer, so it is nosurprise to learn that monster-spotting is a popular pastime!
TheOfficial Loch Ness Monster Centre is opened all year round and hasexhibits showing geology, prehistory and history of Scotland, along with SONARrecords and underwater photography relating to the monster.
The OriginalVisitor Centre offers a half hour video of the monster detailing theresearch that has taken place, along with a video about Bonnie Prince Charlie.
The loch has been surveyed fordecades, by the RAF,eminent scientists, cranks, crackpots, mini-submarines and millions of poundsworth of high technology, including NASAcomputers. And still there is no proof…
7.Saint Andrew’s cross.
The Church of Scotland, aPresbyteriandenomination, is the official state church. The Roman Catholic church is secondin importance. Other leading denominations are the Episcopal Church inScotland, Congregationalist, Baptist, Methodist, and Unitarian. Jews are asmall minority.
St.Andrew’s cross is the national flag of Scotland. It consists of two diagonalwhite stripes crossing on a blue background. The flag forms part of the Britishnational flag (Union Jack).
Theflag of Presbyterian Church differs a little bit from that of Scotland. It isalso St. Andrew’s cross but with a little addition: it has a burning bushcentered, which signifies presbyterianism.
Thesymbol comes from the motto of the Presbyterian Church, nec tamenconsumebatur (neither was it consumed) referring the bush that burnt,but was not consumed, so will be the church that will last for ever.
St.Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. He was a New Testament apostle who wasmartyred on an X-shaped cross. He was said to have given the Pictish army avision of this cross at the battle of Athenstoneford between King Angus of thePicts and King Authelstan of the Angles. St. Andrew was foisted upon Scotlandas its patron when the old Celtic and Culdee centres were superseded by the newbishopric of St. Andrew’s. His feast-day is 30 November. On this day someScotsmen wear a thistlein the buttonhole.
Oneof the greatest treasures of Huntly House Museum (Edinburgh) is the nationalCovenant, signed by Scotland’s Presbyterian leadership in 1638. Covenanters are17th-century Scottish Presbyterians who bound themselves bycovenants to maintain Presbyterianism as the sole religion of Scotland andhelped to establish the supremacy of Parliament over the monarch in Scotlandand England. Early covenants supporting Protestantism were signed in 1557 andin 1581. In 1638 the covenant of 1581 was revived, and its signatories added avow to establish Presbyterianism as the state religion of Scotland.
II.Scotland forevery season.
If you hunt for the realScotland, there will be many times when you know you have found it: when youhear your first Highland Piper with the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle; on somelate, late evening on a far northern beach as the sun sets into a midsummersea; or with your first taste of a malt whisky, peat-smoked and tangy; or whenyou sit in a café with the real Scots. By the way, the Scots are verysociable people. They like to spend their free time together, drinking coffeeor scotch and talking. Scottish people are fond of singing at the nationalmusic festivals in chorus, at the fairs and in the parks. Most of Scotsmen areoptimists. They don’t lose their heart and smile in spite of all difficulties.
The real Scotland is not found ina single moment – nor is it contained in a single season. Though the moorlandsturn purple in summer, Scotland in spring is famed for its clear light anddistant horizons, while autumn’s colours transform the woodlands… and whatcould be more picturesque than snow-capped hills seen from the warmth of yourhotel room?
Scenery, history, hospitality,humour, climate, traditions are offered throughout the year.
Even if you can feel it now youshould visit Scotland all the same, and see and enjoy this magic country withyour own eyes!
Scotland: its early peoples.
The chronology of the mainevents in the history of Scotland.
1st century Picts prevented Romansfrom penetrating far into Scotland.
5th – 6th centuries Christianitywas introduced into Scotland from Ireland.
9th century Kenneth MacAlpin unitedkingdoms of Scotland.
1263 Haakon, King of Norway, was defeated by Scots atBattle of Largs.
1292 –1306 English domination:
in 1292 – 1296 Scotland was ruled by John Baliol;
in 1296 – 1306 Scotland was annexedto England.
1314 Robert Bruce defeated English at Bannockburn.
1328 England recognized Scottishindependence.
1603 James VI became James I of England.
1638 Scottish rebellion against England.
1651 Cromwell conquered Scotland.
1689 Jacobites were defeated atKilliecrankie.
1707 Act of Union with England.
1715, 1745 FailedJacobites risings against Britain.
1945 First Scottish nationalist member of BritishParliament was elected
1. Who in Scotland consider themselves of purer Celticblood?
2. When was a new Scottish Parliament elected?
3. What was the Beaker civilization famous for?
4. Why was it so difficult to control the Highlandsand islands?
5. To whom does Scotland owe its clan system?
6. Why did Edward I stole the Stone of Destiny?
7. What do the words written on Edward’s gravemean?
8. Can you explain the name of Scotland’s capital,Edinburgh?
9. What giant thing can Edinburgh Castle boast?
10. What did the Military Tattoo originally mean?
11. Who brought St. Giles’ Cathedral into greatprominence?
12. What is the emblem of Scotland? Where can it beseen?
13. Why are the Royal Museum and the Museum ofScotland worth visiting?
14. Which museum in Scotland is the “noisiest” inthe world? Why?
15. Why do they call Edinburgh “the Athens of theNorth”?
16. What is Edinburgh’s answer to London’s OxfordStreet?
17. Where did the national Scottish dress come from?
18. Why was it so important to decorate wool differently?
19. What is the real origin of the bagpipe?
20. What does the motto of the Presbyterian Churchmean?
1. “Discovering Britain” Pavlozky V. M., StPetersburg, 2000.
2. “Britain in brief” Oshepkova V. V., ShustilovaI. I., Moscow, 1997.
3. “Across England to Scotland” Markova N. N.,Moscow, 1971.
4. “Pages of Britain’s history” Kaufman K. I.,Kaufman M. U., Obninsk,
5. “An illustrated history of Britain” McDowall D.,Edinburgh, 1996.
6. “Robert Burns country” Swinglehurst E.,Edinburgh, 1996.
7. “English for intermediate level” Part I, Moscow,1995.
8. “Welcome to Edinburgh”, guide-book 1998/99.