Реферат: London

As well as being thecapital of England, London is the capital of the United Kingdom.  It is one of the greatest, mostcolourful and interesting cities of the world, and it tops the list of thecities I would like to visit. I know a lot about it  — I have studied its map,seen a lot of postcards, talked to people who have been there. Sometimes Iclose my eyes and imagine I walk down Piccadilly, Regent or Oxford Street,cross the Thames by London or Tower Bridge, or knock on the door of Number 10,Downing Street, just to say “Hi!” to Tony Blair.

London is a city which was never planned. It has accumulated. So, itincludes the City of London, the West End and the East End. The city is reallylarge – more than 8 million people live in so-calledGreater London – that is, London and its suburbs. It stands on the both sidesof the river Thames and 14 bridges span the river. The Thames, describedvariously as “liquid history” and the “noblest river in Europe” is graced inLondon with a score of bridges, tunnels and a barrier, but until 1750, when thefirst Westminster Bridge opened, London Bridge was the one and the only. Thefirst one built in stone from 1176 to 1209 became renowned throughout Europefor its houses and a chapel dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury. Several ofLondon bridges have special features – Hammersmith Bridge has ornamental metalwork and Vauxhall has larger than life bronze figures representing pottery,engineering, architecture, agriculture, science, fine arts, local government andeducation. Among the boats which ply the river, few attract more attention thanthe Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race.

London was founded by theRomans in 43 A. D. and was called Londinium. In 61 A. D. the town was burneddown and when it was rebuilt by the Romans it was surrounded by a wall. Thatarea within the wall  is now called the City of London. It is afinancial and business center of the country. The Stock Exchange, the Bank ofEngland, offices of major banks and companies are all there. People only cometo the City to work, nobody lives there, and at night it becomes deserted.

Here is situated the Towerof London. The Tower was built by William the Conqueror who conquered Englandin 1066. The Tower of London has been “fortress, palace, home of the CrownJewels and national treasures, arsenal, mint, prison, observatory, zoo andtourist attraction”, wrote the Duke of Edinburgh in a book celebrating theTower’s 900th anniversary. It is interesting to mention thetradition  connected with the history of Tower. The royal menagerie departed tothe Zoo in 1834, leaving only the ravens behind. Tradition says that if theravens leave, the Tower and the country will fall. So Beefeaters – Warders ofthe Tower -  give ravens meat every night.

The finest part of Londonis the West End with long streets of fine shops, theaters, picturegallery. Soho, the home of strip-tease, the cinema industry and internationalhaute cuisine, is on the edge of theatreland, rich in history and rich incultural mix. The name Soho probably came from the ancient hunting cry – So –Ho – in its farmland days. By the 19th century it must have seemed astrange area, described by John Galsworthy in the Forsyte Saga as “Untidy, fullof Greeks, Ishmaelites, cats, Italians, tomatoes, restaurants, organs, colouredstuffs, queer names, people looking out of out windows, it dwells remote fromthe British Body Politic”. Today there is a complete China Town and Restaurantsserve haute cuisine from scores of countries.

There are beautiful parksin the West End, such as St James’s Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens, andHyde Park  with its Speaker’s Corner there you can go up on a platform andspeak freely on the topic that you find vital. The Royal Parks are centralLondon‘s lungs. Bands play beside lakes, parks have cafes and art galleries.  

 The Houses of Parliamentwith its Big Ben, the chimes of which are heard throughout the world on the BBCWorld Service are also in the West End. Big Ben, the voice of London, has beentelling the time  to the second since 1859. Construction of the 320 foot clocktower began in the year Queen Victoria came to the throne, 1837, as part of thereconstruction of the Houses of Parliament. The Great Bell cracked, was recastand cracked again, given us the famous resonating boom. Why Big Ben? There aretwo answers – either can be chosen. It could have been named after Sir BenjaminHall, chief commissioner of works at that time. Or, perhaps, it was named byworkmen – Benjamin Caunt – who brought the bell from Whitechapel Foundry on acart pulled by 16 white horses. The Palace of Westminster – among the world’smost famous buildings – houses the British Parliament: the House of Lords andthe House of Commons. The first palace was built for Edward the Confessor, whocame to the throne in 1042.  Every British citizen has the traditional right toask to see his or her Member of Parliament, and they meet in the highlydecorative Central Lobby. When Parliament is sitting, it is possible to heardebates from the Strangers’ Galleries. Even the Queen is subject torestrictions.  For the State Opening of Parliament she has to sit enthroned inthe Lords – a custom which goes back to the era of Charles I. For relaxation,the Members of Parliament have reception rooms which lead onto the riversideterrace. In gardens across the road is the Jewel Tower. Among modernssculptures to have been placed in the vicinity is the statue of Sir WinstonChurchill, with his larger-than-life size sculpture raised on a plinth.

  White Hall and DowningStreet are also in the West End. White Hall is a street where most governmentoffices are situated, and I have already mentioned that No. 10, Downing Streetis the official residence of the British Prime Ministers for more than 250years. The famous cul-de-sac of Downing Street was created by Sir GeorgeDowning, member of Parliament, around 1680. Number 10 is one of the originalDowning Street houses to survive. No 10, with the most photographed door in theworld, is guarded outside by a single policeman. By the way the nick-name ofBritish  policemen are “bobbies”, because of Sir Robert Peel, who formed thepolice force.

The Queen, when she is inLondon, lives in Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace facing the white marbleand gilded Queen Victoria memorial, flies the royal standard when the Queen isin residence. Today the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have private suites inthe North Wing, overlooking Green Park. Their home is open to around 30.000guests in summer, attending garden parties. The entry costs around 20 pounds aperson. The gardens have a lake, cascading water and the wild life includeflamingoes. From the Palace the Queen leaves on ceremonial duties such as theState Opening of Parliament in early winter and Trooping the colour to mark herofficial birthday in June.

The architecture of Londonis very impressive. There is St. Paul’s Cathedral, for example, where a lot offamous people were buried. The National and Tate Galleries contain manymasterpieces of art.

Westminster Abbey has beenthe setting for every monarch’s coronation, beginning with Edward theConfessor, a saintly man who came to the throne in 1040. The Abbey presents apageant of noble, military, political and artistic history. It has the gravesof queens and kings, of poets, politicians and churchmen. And the High Altarstill contains the body of Edward the Confessor, the Abbey’s founder.

Westminster Cathedral isthe leading Roman Catholic Church in England. It was built half a mile from theAbbey. The single bell in the 280 foot high campanile is dedicated (like theChapel in the Abbey) to Edward the Confessor. This gift from Gwendolen, Duchessof Norfolk, is inscribed “St Edward, pray for England”.

The East End issomething quite different. It is the industrial part of London. There arefactories and docks there, and blocks of flats where working people live. Theyform quite a contrast to what we can see in the West End.


“When a man is tired ofLondon, he is tired of life: for there is in London all that life can afford”-, wrote Samuel Johnson in 1777. Naturally, London is a cultural, scientific,and industrial center of the country, and it means that a lot of interestingthings are taking place there all the time.


1.  Introduction.

2.  Main part.

2.1.       The River.

2.2.       The City of London.

2.3.       The West End.

2.4.       The East End.

3.  Conclusion.

4.  Bibliography.



1. Е. Л. Занина. 95устных тем по английскому языку. – М. Рольф, 1997.

2. Каверина В.,Бойко В., Жидких Н. 100 тем английского устного. – М. БАО Пресс. 2002.

3. Васильев К. Б. Pilot One. Справочное пособие по английскомуязыку. СПб. Тригон. 1998.

4. London.161 colour plates – map of the city centre. Thomas Benacci LTD. London. 1997.

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