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Washington, D.C. (тема на английском)


Все топики.

"США" - все топики.


Washington D.C. (District of Columbia) is the capital of the country named after the first president of the USA, George Washington. This is ah American political centre of the country situated on the Potomac River. The central part of D.C. is called the Mall. This is a square where museums and art galleries belonging to the Smithsonian Institution are situated. The Capitol and the White House (the residence of the President) are found there too.
The Capitol Building is one of the most impressive buildings in Washington. It is easily recognisable because of its large dome, which is the fourth largest dome in the world, rising 180 feet above the ground and weighing almost nine million pounds. Around the large dome there are 36 marble columns, each representing the 36 states of the Union when the dome was built. Above them there is another set of 13 columns that represent the 13 original colonies. There is a law that no building in D.C. should be taller than the Capitol, so it can be seen from any part of the city.
The Library of Congress was established by an act of Congress in 1800 when President John Adams signed a bill which moved the seat of government from Philadelphia to Washington. In 1814 the library was burned by the British. Thomas Jefferson, who had already retired, offered his collection of books as a replacement of the burned ones. His collection included books in foreign languages and volumes of philosophy, science, literature, etc. In 1815, Congress accepted Jefferson's offer and the foundation was laid for a great national library which opened to the public on November 1, 1897.
The White House is the oldest public building in the District of Columbia. Here every President, except George Washington, has conducted the government of the nation. In the past 200 years, the White House has become the symbol of American Presidency all over the world. The White House was rebuilt several times to suit the needs of its residents. Tourists can visit the House except for the rooms that the President and his family occupy.
Washington D.C. is also famous for its numerous monuments, museums and art galleries. The Smithsonian Institution, which is the world's largest museum complex, consists of 16 museums and the National Zoological Park. The entrance to all of them is free of charge all year round. The National Museum of American History was opened in 1964. It houses various collections and objects of transportation, communications, agriculture, medicine, science, and technology. The National Air and Space Museum which was opened in 1976 offers its visitors a great collection of flying machines and spacecraft never before stored in one place. For more than 27 years, this museum has been a must for visitors of Washington, perhaps because it is so niuch fun for children and grown-ups. Twenty-three galleries house dozens of airplanes and spacecraft, missiles and rockets, engines, propellers, models, uniforms, instruments, flight equipment, medals, etc. The Museum is also the home of the first airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer.
The National Gallery of Art was created by the resolution of Congress accepting the gift of Andrew Mellon, an art collector. The paintings and sculptures given by Andrew Mellon have formed a huge collection of contemporary art.
The Zoo is located in Rock Creek Park which occupies a hillside. The Zoological Park has about 2,800 animals of 435 species. The Zoo's mission is to study and protect the animals.
The Washington Monument towers over everything in the capital and reminds people of George Washington's contribution to the nation. The monument is a classic obelisk the first stone of which was laid on July 4, 1848. The Washington Monument is open every day except December 25. A lift carries visitors to the 500-foot level in 70 seconds. From the observation floor which is 500 feet above the ground people can enjoy the view of the "city.
In 1867, Congress signed an act for the building of a memorial to Abraham Lincoln. But nothing was done until 1914 when the building began at last. The memorial looks like a Greek temple with the statue of Lincoln inside. The statue is 19 feet tall and 19 feet wide and made of 28 separate blocks of white marble. The 36 columns around the memorial represent the states of the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. The names of 48 states in the Union when the memorial was completed in 1922 are carved in the walls. Park rangers, who work there, are available to answer questions and give talks.
In Constitution Gardens near the Lincoln Memorial there is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is a black granite wall with a mirror like surface and 58,209 names carved on it. The names go in chronological order according to the date of death.
Thomas Jefferson's importance as one of the great figures in the Nation's history demanded to build a memorial in the capital. The memorial was finished in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth four years after President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone. The memorial appears most beautiful in early spring when the Japanese cherry trees are in bloom. The trees are a gift from Tokyo given in 1912.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is one of the most expansive memorials in the USA. It is divided into four outdoor galleries with trees, waterfalls and statues. Each room has the spirit of this great man. The memorial stands in West Potomac Park.
Arlington National Cemetery is the best known one among more than 100 national cemeteries in the USA. All who are buried here have one thing in common: service to their country. Thousands of veterans from American wars are buried in Arlington. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery are divided into numbered and lettered sections. There are special rules for visitors. For example, fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. Flags decorate each grave on Memorial Day weekend but are not permitted at any other time.
Most of those who live in Washington work for government. The others live in the outskirts of the city, in the so-called villages. The Metro system of the city is very well-organised. 300,000 people take advantage of the Metrorail every day going from one place to another.
The city is planned well: streets running from south to north are numbered; those going from east to west are lettered. Large streets are called avenues and bear the names of big states. So it's hard to get lost in D.C. Moreover, names and destinations of all tourist attractions, such as museums, art galleries, and historic places are indicated on signs, so it's easy to find your way around while doing, the sights.

1. Предоставить общую информацию о Вашингтоне (capital, named after Washington, political centre, the Potomac River, the central part is the Mall).
2. Рассказать кратко об основных достопримечательностях Вашингтона (the Capitol Building, the Library of Congress, the Wliite House, Arlington National Cemetery).
3. Рассказать кратко о музеях и галереях города (the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of American History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Zoo).
4. Рассказать кратко о памятниках великим президентам США (the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial).
5. Рассказать о жителях Вашингтона и планировке города (work for government, outskirts, "villages", Metrorail, numbered and lettered streets).

1. What does "D.C." mean?
2. Why is Washington considered a political centre of the United States?
3. How is the central part of Washington called?
4. What is the Capitol Building and what is it famous for?
5. When was the Library of Congress established?
6. What is the oldest public building in D.C?
7. What museum complex is there in Washington?
8. What museums comprise the complex? What can you tell about some of them?
9. What's the Zoo's mission in Washington?
10. What monuments to American presidents are there in Washington?
11. What can you tell about some of them?
12. Who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery?
13. Who usually lives in Washington?
14. What can you tell about the plan of the city?





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