Lithuania Lithuania is a small plot of land at the Baltic Sea. It is in the geographical centre of Europe (18 km from Vilnius). Lithuania borders with Latvia, Byelorussia, Poland and Russia. It’s not a big country. The territory of Lithuanian Republic is about 65000 square km. The population is 3,7 millions. The capital of Lithuania is Vilnius. The official language of the state is Lithuanian. Lithuanian flag consists of gold, green and red ribbons. State emblem — white Vytis iin the red field. The biggest town in Lithuania is Vilnius, then goes Kaunas, very beautiful town on the place where the river Neris flows into the Nemunas. Klaipeda, Panevezhys, Shiauliai and other big cities too. For the first time Lithuania was mentioned in 1009 in Quedlinburg annals. As a state it was emerged in the early 13th century and Mindaugas became the Grand Duke of Lithuania about 1240. At the end of 14th and the beginning of 15th century LLithuania became one of the most powerful states in the Europe. Lithuania was christened in 14th century, until that time it was pagan. Lithuanian people had to fight a lot for their freedom. The latest occupation ended only in 1990, wwhen on March 11 Lithuania proclaimed its restoration of statehood. There are two big Universities in Lithuania in Vilnius and in Kaunas. University in Vilnius is very old: it was established in 1579, and another University, which received the name of the Vytautas the Great, was founded in 1930. Holidays in Lithuania Every nation and every country have its traditions, customs and holidays. Lithuanians are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. It has been the law for about centuries not to work on Sunday. On that day people went to the church, spend their time in the family circle, or went visiting their relatives. Holidays in our country are specially, rich and are different in Zhemaitija, Aukshtaitija aand Dzookija. Christmas is a Lithuanian national holiday. On the eve of Christmas people has a family supper, they don’t meat, only fish, fruits and berries. Everybody is waiting for Christ to be born. Some people enjoy themselves on the new year’s day. On the eve of New Year they have a party at home, or go the restaurants, visit their friends. The New Year tree is decorated for the Christmas or New Year. The day of Lithuanian’s independence is oon the 16 of February. Since 1928 Lithuanian’s people marks this day every year by paying tribute to those who gave their lives for the people’s happiness. For many years after World War the second this holiday was forbidden. Since 1989 it again becomes the national wide holiday in your country. It’s a non-working day. The 11 of March is also a very important day for your country. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the 1st Sunday of May. The member of family honour mother giving flowers, presents to her on that day. The 1st of November is day of commemorating the dead usually on All Saints Day. People lay flowers on dear people and honour their memory by observing a minute’s silence. In spring we celebrate the Easter Day. The tradition of Easter Day is to colour eggs for Easter table. There are some other holidays in Lithuania, but I tried to discuss the most popular. London London is one of the biggest and oldest cities in the world. This town is about 2000 years old. It’s population with suburbs about 10,000,000. The town is on the river Thames. There are many places of interest in London, so it attracts mmany tourists. The main part of London is city. It’s the places where London started. Now it’s business centre. Few people can afford living in this part of the town — it’s very expensive, so most people come there to do their job and leave this region in the evening. Westminster — it’s the central part of the town. Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, National Galleries are situated there. There are many government offices. In one tower of House of Parliament is Big Ben — the main clock of Great Britain. Just across the street is Westminster Abbey — main church of England. New monarch is crowned there, wedding ceremonies of the Royal family take place there. It is also famous for its poets’ corner — many famous people are buried there. Not far you can see Trafalgar square with Admiral Nelson’s statue. Under his leadership English fleet defeated united Spanish and French forces. Another interesting place is Buckingham Palace. If the Queen is in, you can watch changing guards. West end is the residential part. It’s the richest part of London. Not far from there Hyde Park is situated with famous speakers corner. East part is the poorest part oof London. It is industrial region, so air is polluted, a lot of slums are there. The tower of London is famous for tower and tower bridge. Tower is museum now, but it used to be a fortress, state prison, the mint, treasury. The tower of the bridge in middle ages was used like place of execution. There is one more place of interest — British Museum. Vilnius Vilnius is the capital of Lithuanian Republic. It’s the largest city in our country and it is political, scientific, cultural and industrial centre too. The central bodies of the republic power — parliament, called the Seimas, Government, various ministries, TV and Radio stations, editorial offices of republic newspapers, theatres, museums are located in Vilnius. The first documentary reference to Vilnius dates back to 1323, when the Great Duke Gediminas proclaimed Vilnius the capital of Lithuanian state and invited foreign artists, scientists, builders to come live and work here. Vilnius has got a very beautiful Old Town, which reminds us the history of our native country. In the centre of the Old Town, on the Castle hill, stands the Gediminas Tower, a part of an old castle built 6 centuries ago. There is
a square in slope of the Castle Hill. It’s called the Cathedral square, because there is a cathedral in the centre of it. This cathedral, reconstructed in the end of the 18th century by the famous Lithuanian architect Stuoka-Gucevichius, is the most important catholic church in Lithuania. Vilnius is a mixture of the main architectural styles: Baroque, Classicism, Renaissance and Gothic. The church of St. Anna is considered to be a Gothic masterpiece, the Gediminas castle is a representative of GGothic style too. Well-known representative of Baroque is the church of St. Peter and Paul. The Italian sculptors worked on the masterpieces of art of this church. There are thousands of sculptures in it. Classicism dominates in some Cathedral, University buildings. Vilnius University is very old, it was established in 1579. There are many new districts built in the latest 30 years: Lazdynai, Baltupiai (shame of Vilnius), Karolinishkes, Fabijonishkes, Justinishkes. I don’t admire such „modern“ houses of blocks, factories, standing iin the centre of the city. Despite this, I don’t want to criticise Vilnius more. It’s my native town and I couldn’t live in any other town. The cities of Great Britain Great Britain is abundantly populated, but most part oof Great Britain people lives in cities. It’s about 80 percents. There are many old and beautiful cities. The biggest city is London. In north of London there is a middle size city Cambridge. Cambridge is famous for its colleges. The first college Peterhouse was built in 1284. There are 22 colleges in Cambridge now. Its staff consists of teachers and students. Many great men have studied at Cambridge, among them Cromwell, Newton, Byron, Tennyson, Darwin. If we go to north – west from Cambridge we’ll drive up Birmingham. It is the second city after London. Birmingham is one of the biggest economic city in Great Britain. There are many architecture monuments in Birmingham. In the North of Birmingham we ccan find Manchester. It is the second biggest city in Lancashire after Liverpool. It is the industrial capital of the North of England. Manchester is the fifth largest port in Great Britain although it is 56 km away from the sea. It is connected with the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal. Its population is about 700.000 people. Manchester is the twin city of Sank – Petersburg. Liverpool is the West of Manchester. Liverpool is the fourth city in Great BBritain. It is the second port after London by the size and importance. A famous group „The Beatles“ was born here in the 1960. Liverpool is famous for its cheese too. The next city is in the north of Liverpool. It is the old capital of Scotland – Edinburgh. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is situated on the seven hills and goes down those hill to the bay firth of forth. The city is well planed with beautiful old houses. The last city is Glasgow. It is in the centre of Scotland. Near the river Clyde. Glasgow is a big industrial city of Great Britain. It produces one third all Great Britain production. I think that all cities of Great Britain are beautiful and great. My Famous writer (Charles Dickens) Ch. Dickens is famous English novelist of the 19th century. Ch. Dickens was born in the 1812 in Portsmouth, a town in the South of England. In 1821 his family went to London. Dickens’s father was a very clever man, but he was very poor, so the life of the family was very hard. Charles had to go to work when he was ten. FFor two years he worked at a small factory in London. Later he worked as a clerk in a lawyer’s office. He spent a lot of time reading and educating himself. In a few years he become a newspaper reporter. Dickens published his first book in 1836. It was a collection of sketches of London life. This was followed by his „Pickwick Papers“ which made him famous. It is one of funniest books in the English language. After „Pickwick Paper“ he wrote „Oliver Twist“. In „Nicholas Nickleby“ his next book, he showed an English school where the boys were starved, beaten and terrified by their schoolmaster. Then his novels „Dombey and son“, „David Copperfield“, „Hard Times“, „Little Dorrit“ and many others appeared one after another. London with its contrasts: the world of rich people and powerly. He truthfully described what he had learned in his hard childhood and youth. Dickens’s style of writing was journalistic and most appropriate for the wide range of readers. The works of Charles Dickens show the abounded faith of the writer in the final victory of truth and goodness over the dark forces of evil. Dickens is one of my famous English writers, I highly vvalue his novels for their realism, their humour, their love and sympathy for ordinary people. Ch. Dickens died in 1870 and was buried in the Poets Corner of Westminster Abbey. The Seasons of the year There are four seasons in a year. They are spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Every season is beautiful and pleasant in its own way. Spring is a wonderful season. Spring comes and nature awakens from its winter sleep. The days become longer and nights shorter. The ground is covered with fresh green grass and the first spring flowers .The trees are covered with new leaves and blossoms. The air is fresh and sun shines brightly. Spring’s months are March, April and May. Summer months are June, July and August. The weather is usually fine in summer. It is much warmer than in spring. The trees are green and the gardens are full of flowers. Everybody enjoys summer. A lot of people have their holidays in summer. They can go swimming and boating , they can lie in the sun and get sunburnt , they can gather berries and mushrooms. Autumn months are September, October and November. The days become shorter and the nights become longer.
The weather often changes, and it gets colder and colder. The sky is often grey and cloudy, often rains. Autumn is harvesting time, the time when grain, fruit and vegetables become ripe. Winter months are December, January and February. Sometimes it is very cold (30 degrees or more below zero). It often snows. Winter is a good time for sport. Little children are fond of playing snowballs and making snowmen , older ones go in for skating and skiing. Theatre HHistory: The first theatres were in ancient Greek. People sat in the open air on a hillside, while below actors and dancers performed on a space called orchestra. Plays were tragedies and comedies. In the middle ages people performed miracle and mystery plays- stories from the Bible or morality plays. Some of the first indoor theatres were built in England in the 16th century. Groups of actors performed the plays of Shakespeare and others. Actors wore clothes of their days. BBoys took women parts, as women were not allowed to act. Since the 18th century plays became closer to real life. The plots are usually about lives of ordinary people. My first visit: I can’t say I like the theatre vvery much and I often visit it. But sometimes I go to visit the Opera House. It’s my favourite theatre. It was open in 1974. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the 1st Opera performed there, because I was born only in 1976. To the best of my memory, the 1st ballet I saw was „Spragtukas“ by Chaykovskij. I was about 7 years old that time. That evening was very impressing. For the first time I saw such a wonderful interior and so many people, dressed festively. We bought tickets to the boxes and I had a very good seat (the best you can get in the boxes, of course). I could see almost everything around me. For the first ttime I saw such a big audience and such a big nice area. Everything was strange for me. I was too little to understand anything. I even didn’t know who played the main roles, what was the cast of the ballet. But I really remember, that the cast had to appear on the stage again and they got many flowers. The evening I spent in the Opera House made a great impression on me. Some years later I finally understood iit was a fairy-tale, not the real life. My last visit: I like theatre very much. My favourite theatre — the Opera House. I often look through the theatre advertisements in order not to miss my favourite plays. Last month I visited the Opera House. I went to see the opera „Carmen“ by Gorges Biset. I was unlucky. All tickets to the stall were sold, so I only got tickets to the boxes. By the entrance door I met my friends. We went to the cloakroom dressed off, bought the programs and climbed up to the boxes. The lights went off. The overture was being played while the curtains were rising. The scenery wasn’t very particular. But the singers were great. There were a lot of applause after the play. The cat had to appear on the stage 3 or 4 times. Great Britain Great Britain is on the British Islands. It’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the English Channel. The climate is influenced by the surrounding waters, particularly by the Gulf stream. That’s why the climate is rather mild. Summers are not very hat and winters are not very cold. There is no snow in tthe greatest part of GB. The landscape is nice. There are no high mountains in GB, but they have some high hills in Scotland, which they call Highlands. There are a lot of small lakes in Scotland, which are called lochs. The biggest river is the Thames. GB is constitution monarchy. It has a monarch, but he doesn’t rule, he just reigns, controlled by the parliament. The King or the Queen is the symbol of the continuity of the state. Elizabeth II (the 2nd) is in the thrown now. The parliament consists of 2 Houses — the House of Lords and the House of Commons. There are 2 main parties in Great Britain: labour and conservative. The conservators are in power now. The premier-minister is John Major. Naturally, his is conservative. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain and Northern Ireland make up the UK. England is the greatest part of GB. The capital of England is London. It’s one of the biggest and the oldest cities in the world. Its history goes back to the beginning of our Era. The population of London, including the suburbs, is about 10 million. The other major cities of England aare: Manchester — an industrial city, Liverpool — a port. Stradford on Avon is very popular with the tourists. This is the birth place of Shakespeare. Every year theatre festival is held in the Royal Theatre there. Windsor is a small town, famous for the Royal summer residence. People make their living working in ship-building industry, light industry. „Rolls-Royce,“ produced in England, is know all over the world. Scotland is the second biggest part of GB with the capital Edinburgh, and another big city is Glasgow. There are a lot of lochs in Scotland. The most famous is Lichens. People believe that some monster lives there. Scots have a very fine national costume. The most characteristic part of it is a kilt. A kilt is a pleated skirt, the pattern is tartan. The bagpipe is a national musical instrument. It’s a leather bag with pipes. They still wear their national costumes and play the bagpipes on the certain occasions. The Scottish language is an English dialect. At school and in the offices they speak the standard English. The capital of Wales is Cardiff. The speech is Walish. Northern Ireland is a part of Ireland. The capital of Northern Ireland is
Belfast. Southern Ireland is an independent state with the capital Dublin. They have religious problems there. The Northern part of Ireland is Protestant, while the Southern Ireland is a catholic land. Cinema There are different kinds of films. Western, love stories, cartoon, tragedies, horror films, detective stories, feature films, musicals. Your choice depends on your mentality and intellect. I’m impressed by feature films, especially with distinguished actors or actresses. There are names in the cinema history, which are regarded unique aand timeless. Such is Greta Garbo, who herself is the history of the cinema. Greta Garbo the distinguished film actress , was a unique personality among Hollywood stars , in the 1920-30’s , who never revealed to the world her biography. All we know about her is that she was born in Stockholm in 1906, was trained in the city school , and at 16 become a pupil of the Royal Dramatic Academy. She never played on the stage. What ddid she have that made her a great star? Her work began when she was given a script. She studied it very thoroughly. She ...
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