is Polabská. The land along the river Morava is also very fertile. In the lowlands sugar beet, sweet corn, fruit and vegetables are grown. In the highlands mainly potatoes and grain are grown. Political system. The Head of state is the President; the executive power is in the hands of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers. The legislative power belongs to the Parliament of two chambers – the Senate and the House of Deputies. The currency is the Czech crown. The Czech Republic is a member of many important world organizations such as the European Union, United Nations, NATO and others. Czech cities. Prague is the capital of the CR and also the largest city (1.5 million inhabitants). The second largest is Brno. Karlovy Vary is the biggest and the most famous of our spas. Other large cities are for example Ostrava, Plzeň, Olomouc, České Budějovice. Doplňující otázky Which are the typical Czech products? ● Which places in our republic do you like best? ● Where in the Czech Republic do you usually go for holiday? ● Have you ever been to Prague and which places did you visit? ● Which other large Czech cities do you know? ● Can you name any spas? ● Who is the current Czech President? ● Who was Václav Havel? ● What is the role of T. G. Masaryk in the Czech history? ● Which regions does the Czech Republic consist of? ● Can you name any well-known Czech historical monuments? ● Which is the highest Czech mountain? ● What are the Czech national fl ag and the anthem like? ● What was ‘socialistic era’ and how it ended? ● What is the Prague Castle? Slovní zásoba bank břeh Bohemian Eden Český ráj chateau zámek clay jíl the Crown Jewels korunovační klenoty dam přehrada Giant Mountains Krkonoše glacial lakes ledovcová jezera heretic kacíř
minority nations národnostní menšiny
mountain range pohoří
natural resources přírodní zdroje
seacoast mořské pobřeží
Slavonic tribes slovanské kmeny
23. GREAT BRITAIN
1. What does Great Britain consist of?
2. How large is its area?
3. Which are the main mountain ranges and which is the highest mountain?
4. Which are the largest rivers?
5. How large is the population of Great Britain?
6. What is the climate like?
7. Which are the main industries of the economy of Great Britain?
8. What kind of government is there?
Great Britain is an insular state. It lies north-west of Europe, across the Channel La Manche. The western
coast of Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. On the eastern coast there is the North
Sea. Great Britain borders Ireland on the west and France on the south. The shortest connection to Europe
is by ferryboat from Dover in southern England to Calais in France. Or there is the Channel Tunnel.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland cover an area of nearly 250,000 square kilometers. In addition to the
two main islands Great Britain includes thousands of small islands. The largest islands are the Isle of Man,
Anglesey, Wight and the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and others). There are also the
archipelagos Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands.
The landscape of England is mostly rolling hillsides. The main mountain regions here are the Cornish
Heights (south-west), the Cambrians (Wales), the Pennines and the Cumbrian Mountains. The highest
mountain is Ben Nevis in the Highlands of Scotland – it is 1 342 m high.
The British rivers aren’t very long but some important ports are situated on them. There is London on the
Thames, Liverpool on the Mersey, Glasgow on the Clyde, and Belfast on the Lagan. The longest rivers are
the Severn and the Thames. There is also a system of canals in Britain.
There is an important difference between the terms Great Britain and United Kingdom. Great Britain
includes England; its capital is London; Wales with Cardiff and Scotland with Edinburgh. United Kingdom
includes all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the capital Belfast.
Great Britain has a population of about 57 million people. Britain is a relatively densely populated country.
England has the highest density; Scotland has the lowest.
The offi cial language is English. It has many dialects throughout the country. It is very diffi cult to
understand Scottish or Welsh accents even for many English native speakers and people from other
countries have real problems with it. British English differs from American English in some ways, such
as pronunciation, spelling or vocabulary.
Although Britain is predominantly Christian, there are also Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh communities
in the country. The (Anglican) Church of England and the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland are the offi cial
In Great Britain the climate is temperate and humid due to the Gulf Stream. Winters are mild and summers
are not very hot. It rains a lot and the grass is greener than in Central Europe. The average temperature
ranges from 4 degrees centigrade in winter to 16 degrees in summer, extremes are rare.
Thanks to mild climate agriculture is quite widespread in Great Britain. About 30 per cent of the land is
arable but only 2 % of the labor force work in agriculture. The main agricultural products are grain, sugar
beet, fruit and vegetables. Cattle and sheep breeding are also profi table. British natural resources are rich
in coal, tin, oil, gas, iron and salt. The main industries are steel, metals, vehicles, shipping, banking,
insurance, textiles and electronics. The main trading partners of Britain are Germany, the USA and France.
Great Britain was fi rst settled by the Celts about 3000 years ago. In the year 43 the Romans invaded it and
they stayed there for 400 years. They built villages, roads and forts throughout the country. They have
been used for centuries. Then Germanic people arrived and drove Celtic people to the mountains.
The last successful invasion was by the French speaking Normans led by William, Duke of Normandy, who
became William the Conqueror after defeating the Saxon King Harold in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
In 1215 the Magna Charta was signed as a guarantee of rights and the rule of law. In the years 1338–1453
there was the Hundred Year’s War and in the 15
century there was the civil War of Roses. In 1688, after
a Glorious revolution, the monarchy was established but the sovereignty of the Parliament was confi rmed.
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. The head of the country is a king (or queen) but his power is
limited by the Parliament. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been the offi cial
title of the British state ever since 1922.