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Great Britain – BASIC FACTS

1)    Geography, Basic facts
2)    People of Britain
3)    Places of interest


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated in the Western Europe. With its 244,820 square kilometres is about 3.5 times bigger than Czechia and the total population is 59,113,439 (July 1999). United Kingdom is composed by England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The English capital is London.

British climate is very variable. Britain has moderate climate, which is influenced by the dominant winds over North Atlantic. The temperatures don’t get much below freezing point in the winter (from December to February) and they also don’t raise much in the summer (from June to August). North part of the island is the coldest and the areas such as London and West Country are the warmest. Rainfalls, cloudy weather or drizzle are quite common in the England. North Ireland is influenced by the wet Gulf Stream.

Much of Britain is flat or low-lying. In England there are the large areas of flat plains. In the middle of England there is the Pennines Mountains.  In Wales are dominated the mountains and the highlands. The highest mountain in Wales is the Snowdonia. In Scotland there is the highest mountain in The Great Britain. It’s called the Ben Novis. Scotland is especially mountainous; there is the highest point of Britain. It’s the Ben Novis with total height 1,343 m in the promontory of the Grampians.

Rivers and Lakes
The main rivers are the Thames, which flows pass through London. The other main rivers are the Trent and the Severn. In Scotland there is the Caledonian Canal with the legendary Loch Ness Lake. The biggest lake in Britain is the Lough Neagh Lake, which is situated in Northern Ireland.

Industry and Agriculture
Britain has good strategically position on the European market. Britain exploits the coal, the petroleum, the natural gas, the tin, the lead, the limestone, the iron ore and the salt. Britain has advanced agriculture. They grow the wheat and the barley and breed the cattle (e.g. pigs, sheep).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is monarchy and the currency is English pound.
People of Britain

The first inhabitants came to Britain about 5000 BC. They were the small groups of the hunters. Next villagers came to Britain form Europe in the Bronze Age. It were the tribes if Celts. The Romans expansion in 43 AD eventuated in the mixing of the cultures.
Today’s English people live on the high living standard and they have the latest equipment in theirs houses. The medial English man has the small house. These houses can be divided to some groups. The first group contains detached houses, which have one floor. The second group contains houses, divided to the two half, and each family has one half of the house. These houses are called terraced houses. The third group contains the houses, which have two floors; they’re called semi-detached houses.
In the Great Britain there is diversity of the ethnic groups (English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6%, Irish 2.4%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and the other 2.4%) and also diversity of the religion (Church of England, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic and Muslim).
In the Great Britain there were born many famous people, e.g. Sir Walter Raleigh, who was   constrained in the Tower of London, Isaac Newton, the great physicist. Many famous pop stars such as Beatles or Spice Girls descend from Britain.
Places of interest

In the Great Britain there are many places of interest. It would take a lot of time to mention about all, here are the most interesting places.

Stonehenge is the 5000 years old monumental building. It is actual the system of stones, which are sequenced to the circles. The largest stones in the circles are Sarsen stones, which were brought from Marlborough Downs about 30 kilometres away. The smaller stones are called Bluestones and they were brought from Wales, it’s about 385 kilometres away. Stonehenge itself was built almost 1000 years.

Canterbury Cathedral
It is the most impressive and beautiful cathedral in England. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. St.Augustine established the Cathedral in 597. The most considerable archbishop was Thomas Becket. He had the quarrels many quarrels with Henry II. St. Thomas Becket was assassinated in 29Th December 1170 by the four knights.
From this time the cathedral became one of the most important pilgrimage places in Europe.
The stories of the pilgrims composed Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales.

Tower of London
William the Conqueror started Tower of London after his triumph in 1066. Tower of London was built to oppress and frighten the English. In the prison were constrained the enemies of the king from Sir Walter Raleigh to Anne Boolean. The oldest part of Tower of London is The White Tower, which was the residence of the king. The walls of the White Tower are sometimes almost 5 metres thick. In the Jewellery House there are embedded the Crown Jewels. The warders of The Tower of London are the Beefeaters, which are dressed in the traditional uniforms from the days of Tudors. The leader of the warders Yeoman Warder leaves the Tower dressed in the long red cape and Tudor’s hat. This is called the Ceremonial of the keys.

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