Round London Sightseeng Tour — страница 2

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guardsmen marches to the Palace and takes the place of the old guard. A large crowd of people gather to see this famous and traditional ceremony. Today Buckingham Palace is a very busy place. Several hundreds of people help the Monarch to run the country. Lot’s of important meetings, ceremonies and receptions take place here. In front of the palace you see a monument – this is The Victoria Memorial, the statue of Queen Victoria. But let’s speak about the building. First we see State rooms: they are furnished with the greatest treasure of the Royal collection – paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; exquisite examples of porcelain; the finest English and French furniture in the world. Although Buckingham Palace is furnished and decorated

with priceless works of art in the world today, it is not an art gallery. The state rooms are used regularly by the Monarch and members of the Royal Family for various official ceremonies. And this is the Throne room. In it the Monarch receives all important visitors such as Heads of the foreign states. Actually this room is not used very often. Now we are in the Ballroom that is 36m long, 18m wide and 13m high .It is the largest room in Buckingham Palace which was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. From the Ballroom we can go to the west Gallery decorated with amazing frescoes and paintings. The Gallery overlooks the gardens that surround the Palace. london sightseeing tour We also must see the State Dining Room. Many distinguished people have

dined in this room, including lots of presidents and prime ministers. A lot of banquets are held here throughout the year. Our tour is not over yet. Now let’s visit Westminster Abbey. The great glory of Westminster is, of course, the Abbey. Ancient tradition claims that St. Peter founded the first church here, but the Abbey's more than 900 years of existence since the dedication go back to Edward the Confessor. Henry III rebuilt the earlier church and the present building dates from his reign. Westminster Abbey is the ancient church where a lot of kings and queens have been crowned and buried for nearly 1,000 years. The old­est part of the building dates back to the 18th century. The Chapel of King Henry VII was built in the 16th century. There are 3,000 graves of

statesmen, scientists, artists inside the Abbey. Some of the tombs are decorated with gold and precious stones. Princess Diana, so much loved by almost of the peoples the world over, was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1997. As the visitors of the Abbey, you are attracted to Poets' Corner, with its memorials to great men of letters. Many outstanding statesmen, painters, writers and poets are buried there. Among them are Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and others. Chaucer, who is buried in the Abbey, is remembered here. So are Spenser, Dryden, Ben Jonson, and Milton. There are also memorials to Shakespeare, Burns, Byron, Walter Scott, Thackeray and to the American poet Longfellow. A full length statue of Shakespeare by Scheemakers was erected in 1741, and just

opposite is a monument to the actor David Garrick. He is aptly1 shown parting the curtains. Dr Johnson is rep­resented with a magnificent bust by Nollekens, and there is a remark­able rendering of Blake's life-mask by Epstein. Nearly all English kings and queens have been crowned in Westminster Abbey. If you have never visited the Abbey before, try to go it through slowly and look about carefully. For the immediate effect, as you fol­low the wonderfully vaulted roof along the length of the nave, is a startling and breathtaking beauty. There is an element of greatness here that is not just concerned with size and height. Now we are driving down Whitehall. So let’s stop at 10, Downing Street. It is the home of the Prime Minister. This building is 200 years old. But

its interior has been brought up-to-date. It has got electric lights, central heating, and several bathrooms. But at the same time it is where the Cabinet meets. As you know nowadays the Prime Minister is Gordon Brown. From here you can see the Houses of Parliament. The Palace of Westminster is nearly 1000 years old though it was reconstructed, enlarged and redesigned many times and today's palace dates mostly from the 19th century. For long period of time the Palace of Westminster was the home of Monarch. It was in 1512 that a great fire seriously damaged Palace and the king Henry VIII decided to leave it and move another palace. To St. James's Palace and then to Buckingham, but now we are talking about Westminster. Since the 16th centurу -the palace has served as the home of