The Picture of Dorian Gray

author: Oscar Wilde


Basil Hallward – painter, he painted picture of Dorian Gray, he loves him
lord Henry Wotton – nobleman, friend of Basil, then of Dorian too, he influenced Dorian, he has „interesting“ philosophical ideas                                                                   
Sibyla Vane – poor , young and beautiful actrees, girl-friend of Dorian Gray, he wanted to marry her, he left her, she committed suicide
James Vane – Sibyla’s brother, who is to become a sailor and sail for Australia, he promised, that he kill Dorian, when he hurt Sibyla.
Alan Cambell – chemist, hepled Dorian with dead body, they are ex-friends, he committed suicide
Dorian Gray – at the beginning he was incorrupt, lovely and naive and then he changed…


Basill Hallward is painting Dorian Gray and see how perfect, handsome and young is Dorian. His friend – lord Henry Wotton – wants to meet this „perfekt“ boy. While Basil was painting Dorian, lord Henry was talking about youth. Basil finished his work and Dorian looked at his portrait and told: „I want to be forever young and picture will grow old.“ After time Dorian forgot what he told. He took the picture at home.
He fell in love with Sibyla Vane and they betrothed. She is very good actrees, she calls Dorian: Prince Charming. Dorian took his friends (Basil and lord Henry) to performance of Sibyla, she was horrible and Dorian was disappointed. He told her: „I loved you because you was good actrees.“ and he left her. Next morning he understood that he was bad and he loves her. But lord Henry came and told him that Sibyla is dead. She committed suicide.
Dorian (vyčítat si to) but lord Henry calmed down him. Dorian looked the picture and saw: Dorian in the picture had cruel smile. After that he hasn’t qualms and the picture changed like his soul. He remembered his wish. Now the picture is mirror of his soul. Dorian started to change and the picture too…, but Dorian has the same and young look and Dorian in the picture starts to be cruel, ugly and old.
Basil came to Dorian and told him that he will go to Paris for 6 months and people of London say horrible things about him. And every gentleman must have good reputation. When Basil started to talk about soul, Dorian started to be nervous. He took Basil to unused room, where is the picture. When Basil saw it, he horrified: „You must be worse than people are saying about you!“ Dorian started to hate him and he killed him.
He summoned (called) Alan Cambell, Dorian chantaged him and compeled to (donutil k) help with dead body. (Dorian in the portrait has blood on right hand.)
One day when Dorian was out, he met Sibyl’s brother, he wanted to kill Dorian, but he got heed to Dorian should have 38 years and thid boy is very young. He let him, but he was after Dorian.
Lord Henry told him that the police can’t to find Basil and Alan Cambell committed suicide. And when Sibyl’s brother shooted dead, Dorian composed.
He wanted to be better and he believed it. He wanted to see picture – better picture. But the picture is worse than before… He doesn’t understand it. He started to be furious. He stabs the picture.
On the floor, servants found the ugly, old man with a knife in his heart, and the portrait of Dorian, as handsome as he was eighteen years ago. It is only through his rings that the corpse can be identified.

my opinion:
I like this book because I never read something like this and I love magics. I read Lord of rings and Harry Potter
Though I’ve knowed the end of story it was very interesting for me. I read it in one breath…
I thing that everybody should have picture like this and every day they can see how people are or aren’t good. But Dorian don’t belive to picture and it was mistake.

Human Body

1) The human body
•    skeleton = kostra consisting of about 206 bones
-    bones connected by joints = klouby
-    backbone (33 – 34 vertebrae)
-    brainpan = lebka, chest = hrudní koš
-    upper limbs = horní končetiny: arm: shoulder, upper arm, elbow = loket, forearm = předloktí, wrist = zápěstí, hand with fingers
-    fingers: thumb, forefinger, middle-finger, ring-finger, little-finger
-    lower limbs = spodní končetiny: leg: thigh = stehno, knee, calf = lýtko, ankle = kotník, foot with toes
•    muscles – 640 muscles in body
•    skin covers bones, muscles and organs
•    the head
-    brain is in brainpan – centre of thinking
-    forehead = čelo, cheeks = tváře
-    eyes: organs of sight: can be dark, brown, blue, green; people can need spectacles for near (or distant) vision or to be blind
-    nose: organ of smell: for (nasal) breathing = nosní dých.
-    ears: organs of hearing; people can be deaf = hluchý
-    mouth: tongue – organ of taste and talking, in are 32 teeth (children – deciduous = opadávající teeth), is cover by lips for drinking, suck, talk and smile too (you need 36 muscles for one smile)
-    hair: cover of the scalp: can be dark, black, brown, blonde, white in old age; skinhead
-    chin = brada: men: beard, moustache

•    the trunk = trup
-    inside are organs:
-    lungs = plíce: changing oxygen to carbon dioxide
-    heart: pumps fresh blood into the body
-    liver = játra: cleans blood
-    kidneys = ledviny: removes waste liquids = znečištěnou kapalinu from blood
-    stomach: processing of food
2) Diseases
•    typical in history:
-    plague = mor: symptoms: fever = horečka, shakes, sore joints = bolesní kloubů, bumps = boule like egg, treatment = léčba: in history: alcohol, today: vaccine
•    typical child diseases:
-    pox = neštovice: symptoms: fever, rash = vyrážka, treatment: liquid powder and tablets
•    general diseases
-    flu = chřipka: symptoms: fever, cold, cough = kašel, treatment: gargle = kloktadlo, drops and tablets
-    tonsillitis = angina: symptoms: sore throat = bolení v krku, treatment: gargle and tablets
-    cold (very typical): treatment: drops
•    untypical diseases
-    sunstroke = úpal: symptoms: fever, vomit = zvracení, treatment: tablets and sleeping
-    pneumonia  = zápal plic: symptoms: sore throat = bolení v krku, treatment: gargle and tablets
•    fatal diseases
-    cancer = rakovina: symptoms: bumps, treatment: operation or chemotherapy
-    heart stroke = infarct: symptoms: sore in left arm, in heart, bad breathing, treatment: operation
3) Treatment
-    drinking hot tea
-    eating lots of fruit with vitamin C
-    sleeping, relaxing
-    tablets, drops
-    in fatal diseases: go to the doctor
4) Accident
•    if somebody:
-    break an arm or leg: go to the hospital or doctor with him, go for an X-ray = rentgen, he gets the bones in plaster
-    has injured head: try to don’t move with him, call the doctor
-    bleed: try to stop it too, bind it the closest to the = nejblíže k heart
•    if you
-    break an arm or leg: call help, go to the hospital or doctor with him, go for an X-ray = rentgen, he gets the bones in plaster
-    has injured head: call help, do nothing alone, you must go to doctor, maybe you will have comatose
-    bleed: try to stop it too, bind it the closest to the = nejblíže k heart, don’t strain a lot of, go very quickly to doctor

Ernest Miller Hemingway

Edgar Allan Poe
•    he was born in 1809, poem-writer, story-teller, critic
•    he lost both of parents and his childhood wasn’t nice
•    he tried to committed suicide
•    master of horror in literature and he was first who used detective in literature
The Raven and Other Poems – never more
The Murders In The Rue Morgue

Mark Twain
•    he was born in 1835, story-writer
•    MT is only nick – it means depth water on Mississippi
•    he lost father and his brother bought printing-works
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

John Steinbeck
•    he was born in 1902, story-writer
•    he studied university (biology, English literature)
•    in 1962 he hot a Nobel price
The Grapes of Wrath
Of Mice and Men

Ernest Miller Hemingway
•    he was born 21st July in 1899, in Illinois
•    his father is doctor and he had 6 brothers and sisters
•    American novel-writer, story-teller, journalist
•    main representatives of Lost generation
-    Lost generation – group of American authors in 20th century, they tried what is it war and they ceased (= přestat) believe in American dream, typical is regret and scepticism (= zklamání a skepse)
•    he left home and became journalist after his school living exam and in 1918 he left to Italian, because of go to war like volunteer of Red cross, he was wounded (= raněn) – first wounded American – famous
•    after war he backed to the USA, he got married in 1920 (wife Halley), he had son
•    like foreign journalist he went with family to Paris where he met Gertrude Stain
-    she said: “My country is America, my home is Paris.” and she taught: “America is new world and Europe is old world, if you want be good writer you must know old world and how the people in old world wrote.”
-    Lost generation sucked from (= čerpat z) Shakespeare
•    he got married second wife in 1927 (wife Pauline), he had 2 sons again
•    he became writer, after that he travelled to Africa and to Spain
•    during the 2nd world war he lived in Cuba with his third wife (Marta) and in 1944 he was in London like journalist, where he met his forth wife (Mary)
•    after that he backed to USA
•    in 1953 he got Pulitzer price
•    in 1954 he got Nobel price for literature, for The Old man and the sea
•    at the end of life, he had psychic depression and in 1961 he committed suicide
•    representation of psychic of person, method glacier – 1/8 (one eighth) is above water level, it is mean 1/8 of psychic of person we can see and know but the other is under his water level
•    he wrote about men, who had dangerous life (fisherman, soldiers)
•    it is celebration of their courage
•    subject: his writing is inspired of personal experience, war
•    The Old man and the sea
•    For Whom the Bell Tolls
•    A Farewell to Arms
Hlavním hrdinou této knihy je stařičký Santiago. Byl to vynikající rybář. V poslední době ho však opouštějí nejen síly, ale i štěstí. Už osmdesát dní neulovil žádnou větší rybu. Taky proto ho musel na příkaz rodičů opustit jeho mladý pomocník a přítel. Ten s ním nejen jezdil na ryby, ale nosil mu i jídlo a staral se o toho dobrosrdečného vyzáblého staříka, jehož ruce byly zjizvené hlubokými zářezy od toho, jak se lopotil s těžkými rybami na šňůrách. Žádná z těch jizev ale nebyla čerstvá. Všechno na něm bylo staré, až na jeho oči. Ty měly stejnou barvu jako moře a hleděly vesele a nezkroušeně. Když měl oči zavřené, byla jeho tvář jako bez života. Jednoho dne brzy zrána se stařec vypraví na břeh daleko od břehu a doufá, že konečně prolomí svou smůlu. A skutečně. Na udici mu zabere kousek, který sice nevidí, ale tuší, že půjde o jeho největší úlovek. Ryba ho však překvapí a táhne ho i s loďkou na širé moře. Santiago je po několika hodinách velice vyčerpán, ruce má rozedřené, hrdlo vyschlé. Ryba má ale výdrž a vytrvale pluje dál. Mezitím se zešeří a přichází večer. Loďka stále šplouchá černou vodou. Santiago probdí velice nezvyklou a fyzicky náročnou noc. Ryba se ale ani ráno nevzdá. Starci pomalu docházejí síly a chvilkami nemá daleko k mdlobám, přesto se mu nakonec podaří rybu, po dlouhém a namáhavém boji, hlavně díky svým dlouholetým zkušenostem a vytrvalosti zabít. Je mu jí velice líto, protože byla mimořádně klidná, sebevědomá a nebojácná a on ji za to obdivoval. Přiváže ji k loďce a vydává se k domovu. Po cestě mu ji však přes všecko jeho úsilí sežerou žraloci. Stařec nadobro vyčerpán se tedy vátí do své prosté chatrče z bambusu a usne. Ránu u moře postává skupinka lidí a nevěřícně a obdivně hledí na obrovitou kostru, přivázanou ke starcově loďce.Stařec a moře je symbolická novela. Zachycuje hluboce lidský příběh prostého starce, který vedl statečný ač beznadějný boj s mořem a žraloky o svůj úlovek a stala se obrazem nikdy nekončícího zápasu člověka s přírodou. Jejím smyslem je poukázat na obrovskou lidskou statečnost nezdolnou duševní sílu. Novela, která je zároveň autorovým životním krédem, plným právem přispěla k k tomu, že se Ernest Hemingway stal největší postavou americké literatury první poloviny 20. století. Knihy je napsána pro Hemingwaye charakteristickým novátorským stylem, který se vyznačuje hlavně skrytou dramatičností zdánlivě střízlivých popisů a strohostí výpovědí. Jeho hrdinové prokazují mimořádně lidské kvality. Je napsána poutavým úsporným stylem, který doprovází určitá dynamika. Autor použil chronologický kompoziční postup. Ze stylistických postupů je ve velké míře zastoupen hlavně úvahový a popisný. Jazyk je spisovný, objevuje se zde spousta cizích slov – převážně z rybářského prostředí.


•    I live in flat with my mother, step father and brother.
•    our block of flat is small, it has only 4 floors
•    our surrounding is wonderful, we live in calm part of our town, my basic school was 200m of my home
•    our flat is modern, very nice and my mother is expert by decoration of our flat, I like my home very much
­    in our flat, there is hall, it made from wood and the wood smells very nice, when you open a door
­    on the left side, there are bathroom and toilet together, there are tiles on the floor and on the wall too, we haven’t a bathtub, we have only shower bath
bathroom is in green colour, because of tiles and mother’s decoration and shower bath, washbasin (= pračka) sideboards and toilet are white
­    when you leave our hall, you are in dining room, which is joined with living room and kitchen
­    joined it is mean we haven’t a door or wall there, but in reality it is separated by colour or using
­    dinig room is decorade by wood on the wall and all things are make from wood there, there is a table with 4 chairs, comode and big open sideboard
­    living room is make from wood too, but it has black colour, there is a unit furniture, TV set (it mean TV, video, DVD recorder and so one), there is a glass coffe table (it is smoked glass - dark) and a three-piece suite in green colour with black narrow strips kitchen is in white colour, it is a little bit impractical, there is fridge, washer (= myška), cooker, electric oven and there is a sink unit, which is light brown colour bedroom of my parents, it is smaller room in our flar, there is TV set, bed and shelves the last is bedroom of me and my brother, it is very large room, there are 4 tall wardrobes and 2 of them are 2 big mirrors, there are 3 tables: the table, where is computer, my brother’s table and my, where is a lot of papers to school, books, which I am reading, calendar with dogs, photos of my family, me and Ondra, jewel box (=šperkovnice) and box for pencils, crayon and felt tips (= fixy) and I have blue revolving chair, above table of my brother is TV set and we sleep on bunk bed, there is waste-paper basket,
•    I like my home and I would like to change only one thing: I have never had my own room. I would like to have room only for me (posters of stars, my own computer, own bed) and I can go to sleep when I want and listen music when I want and so on
•    my favourite: bedroom of me and my brother – learn here, read, prepare to school, dance, listen a music, watch TV, eat here
•    paremts: my mum is from town (Kopřivnice) and my father from villige (Ženklava), they lived together in Kopřivnice, but my parents are divorced now
­    I live with my mum in Kopřivnice
­    my father has family (wife and children) in Bartošovice, they live in detached house with garden and swiming pool, now I seldom visit him, I stopped to visit him when I was 10
­    his house is very nice and large, there are 2 floors, in 1st floor is kitchen and dining room and in 2nd floor is bedroom of my brother and stepbrothers and bedroom of my father and my stepmother and large living room
­    I don’t like my bed there, the roof under my bed is skewed (= strop je zkosený) and I hurt every morning
•    I never want to live with my parents in one house when I will be married, parents want to safe and help their children all life – me and my future husband will have a problem – we will solve this problem, but parents will want to help and you can say to neighbour: “Don’t discard me, please” (= nestarej se o mě, prosím)
•    all my neighbours in our block of flat is pensioners
­    all the time at home, scullionly swear (= sprostě nadávají) at politicians and goverment, smoke a lot of, gossip about everything (= drbou o) and they want, you must be calm at 8 pm
­    on the other side – our house is clean, garden in front of our block if flat is wonderfull, care about side-walk (= chodník), bushes, grass and when snow, our stairs and side-walk is buldoze at 7 am
•    I would like to live in this country, my aunt (sister of my father) live in Switzerland 10 years, she is happy but my grandparents are very sad, they can’t to see their grandchildren (Joel and Cyril – speak Germany, understand Germany and Czech)
•    I would like to live in village but now I live in town
­    town:
advantage – buses goes often, a lot of shops, people don’t know you
disadvantage – smog, a lot of cars, buses, dangerous
­    village
advantage – nature, good relations, calm, you can sunbathe on garden (naked too)
disadvantage – gossips, one shop for all village, everywhere must go by car or bus

•    I would like to live in house in Ženklava, it is detached house, there are 8 rooms and 2 floors:
­    in 1st floor:
­    hall where are a lot of flowers, table and chairs make from wood, on table is telephone (horrible – sit and talk and talk), there is tiled floor (bacause of grandfather)
­    room for guests there is parguet floor and a unit furniture, TV set, a folding three-piece suite and table, there are a lot of flowers too (my grandparents – large garden, love flowers, my grandgrandfather was gardener)
­    furnace room there is gas furnace (= plynový kotel) and spiders (I hate this place)
­    stairs without banister
­    in 2nd floor:
­    bathroom – white color, there are bathtub, washbasin, toilet, sideboards, on the floor and wall are tiles
­    living room – computer, a three-piece suite in black colour, a coffe table, TV set, I love glass wall poster where are photos of me, my brothers, stepbrother and my cousins, in time when we were babies until todays
­dining room and kitchen are together, there is fridge, electric oven and cooker and grandmother said: “I am washer.”, table and chairs of course bedroom for my grandparents, there are bed, a bedside tables: grandmother – books by Roberts and Sandra Brown (about love) and grandfather – books and magazines about garden, science and history
­    there is large balcony, where we have a breakfast and lunch in summer and in night you can watch stars on sky attic there is everything, grandparents dry a flower for tea and clothes there, there are spider too, I hate it too around of house is garden, large garden, there are trees: fruit, decorative and lime tree (=lípa) 300 year-old – we can’t to cut it, I want a swiming pool there – grandfather wants small lake with fishes and ducks on garden is a garage, where is car, lawn mower, bikes and utility room for my grandfather, under garage is cellar, there is apples, potatoes, wine and spiders too
•    I would like to live here, it is very modern house, I would like to change only, room for guests and make bedroom for children:
­    large room, when children will be small they will be together in this room, carpet will be blue with cars (boys) or barbies (girls) and on wall will be paint small mole (= malý krtek – krteček) with mouse in grass, there will be a lot of toys, bunk bed and a wall unit from wood, the room will be shiny and light
­    when they will be older (about 12) we will build a wall in the midle of the room and both of them will have own room, there will be table, chair, computer, bed and everything what they need
•    problem homelles:
­    people, who lost work or family or house because of fire and so one
­    sometime they try have a work, find a flat
­    sometime they are only drinkers and they don’t want to work and have a home
•    today is very modern to have a detached house or a week, when you live in big city
­    it is better economic situation and people build new houses, behind my block of flat are a lot of new houses (wonderfull but sometime horrible colour)
­    in England is typicipal to live in detached house, is expensive to buy a house, but it is cheaper to live in detached house than live in flat all life
­    in London: house boat (people live on boat on Temže)

­    in the USA, there are places where is savanna and desert where people live alone and places where is big cities and where live a lot of people
people in America live in 2 extremes:
­    in large detached house with garden on wonderful street in the suburb (= na předměstí) – everybody know everybody
­    in big block of flats or skyscrapers in city


Australia ist the biggest island in the world. It’s only a little smaller than the USA and it is bigger then Western Europe. The centre of the country is very flat and dry. There are great deserts, great salt lakes and interesting plants and animals. There are strange rokcs which stand up out of the flat desert floor. The most famous of these, Ayers Rock, is the largest piece of stone in the world. It is 335 meters high and can you see it from many kilometres away. A long line of mountains runs from the nort to the south of the east coast. It’s called the Great Diving Range, because it divides the green, wet coast of eastern Australia from the hot, dry lands in the centre. Famous „Indian Pacific“ crosses the Nullarbor Plain, it runs along the longest straight railyway line in the world. The journey from coast to coast takes 65 hours.
   Most of Australians (85 per cent) live in the cities of the east coast. There are only 16 million people in Australia. There are 6 different states in Australia : Western Australia , Queensland , New South Wales , Victoria , Tasmania and South Australia.    There are also 2 territories : Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory with Canberra, the national’s capital; city, in it. Each Australian state has its own government, and its own capital city. The state capitals are PERTH , BRISBANE , SYDNEY , MELBOURNE , HOBART and ADELAINE .
Government consist of two „houses“ of parliament, the Upper House(60 members) and the Lower House (127 members). Above the parliament is the Cabinet and the Prime Minister. The head of state is the Governor General.
   Australia has 3 different climates. North of the Tropic of Capricorn, the weather is tropical – hot and wet. In the centre, the climate is very dry and the land is mainly desert. In the south, it is pleasant with cool winters and warm summer.
   Australia is sometimes called „ the lucky country“ . One reason is the wonderful riches, under the earth : gold , silver , iron , coal and many precious metals .
The Bass Strait, of the coast of Victoria, has been one of the country’s biggest oil fields for many years. There are two kinds of gold  in Western Australia.  Gold  was foun in kalgoorlie in 1893 and in still exports some gold, but the new gold of Western Australia is wheat. Big farms grow million of tons of wheat every year, and wheat has become Australia’s second biggest export.
   Well-known Australia’s typical animals are kangaroos, koala bears, platypuses, crocodiles and less well-known wild animals ( e.g. black swans, lizards with big blue tongues) which are protected.
   Australia’s farmers can grow almost anything owing to different kinds of climate. They grow bananas , sugar , grapes , apples , every kind of vegetable and there are, of course great wheat fields. But the real business of Australian farmers is sheep and cattle . (18 million beef cattle and 139 million sheep)
   In 1788 the first Europeans (about 1000 people) came to Australia on small ship onto the beach at Sydney Cove. 750 of them were convicts , criminals from the prisons of Britain. The name „Australia“ comes from „australis“ , the Latin word for „ of the south“ . 90% of Australians had come from Britain or Ireland. Although Australia is a Pacific country, nearer to Asia than to Europe, Australians feel that they are Europeans. Even some people who were born in Australia call Britain „home“.  
SYDNEY(opera house) – is the most beautiful city on earth and the most modern place in Australia. It has a perfect Mediterranean climate, fresh sea air and exciting people from all over the world. Sydney is Australia’s oldest city. Captain James Cook stopped near here at Botany Bay in 1770. In only 200 years the city grew from nothing into a home for 3,5 million people. Some people call the city
„the Paris of the Pacific“.
MELBOURNE – has beautiful parks and gardens amd some fine old buildings, but it is perhaps a little old-fashioned.
Some famous Australian faces are : Paul Hogan (an actor), Joan Sutherland and Nellie Melba ( opera singers), Pat Cash (tennis player), Patrick White , Germanie Greer , Thomas Keneally , Judith Wright (all writers).
Australians were the first nation to bring in the eight hour working day. The like to have plenty of time – time to swim, time to picnic in the bush, time to sit on the beach, time to gambke, time to do nothing. Sport is one of the things, that is really important to many Australian men. In fact, it has a very high nuámber of world champions in all kinds of sports.  Football , cricket , surfing  are the best famous sports in Australia. There is not really a special Australian way of eating in Australia. One of special Australia’s food is VEGEMITE (salty black stuff with a strong taste, eating on their bread) or a PEACH MELBE (delicious pudding made with peaches, cream, cake and nuts).  Beer is the most popular drink. After the Germans and the Czechs, Australians are the biggest beer drinkers in the world.
   Australians speak English, but don’t be surprised if you can’t understand everything they say. A lot of words are made by shortening English words, There are special wods for farming and the countryside ( Oz – Australia , ta – thank you , bowzer – very good , Pom – an English person , Seppo – an American)
   When the white people first came to Australia, about 300 000 Australian ABORIGINALS were living there, in about 600 different groups of tribes.
   There are perhaps nearly 200 000 Aboriginals alive now, but life is still very sad for them.
   The Aboriginals told wonderful stories about the „ Dreamtime “ , before the world began. They told how the animals, the birds and the people were made. They understand and love their land. Some places, like Ayers Rock are very holy to them.
   But the Europeans wanted land and they pushed them out of their way.

Australia-New Zeland

Australia is located in south-east Asia. The Indian Ocean is west and south, the Pacific (Coral and Tasman Seas) is east. Nearest is Indonesia, Papua New Guinea on north, Solomons, Fiji and New Zealand are on east. Its area is 7.7 mil sq. km. Australia is an island continent. The Great Dividing Range along the Eastern coast (The Australian Alps) has the highest Australian mountain Mt. Kosciusko. Arid and hot are the north-western part of Western Australia and northern Territories and also Great Sandy and Great Victoria Deserts. The North-East has heavy rainfalls and Cape York Penninsula has jungles. Rivers (the Murray River, the Darling), Lakes (Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner).
The Australian climate varies from warm to subtropical. The Continent is in the southern hemisphere which means that Australia has summer when we have winter and vice versa. The Animals of Australia are numerous and some of them, like the kangaroo, koala, bear, dingo, platypus, Tasmanian devil, wombat cannot be found elsewhere.
    The population of Australia is some 17 million. The density is one of the lowest in the world. People live in urban areas mainly along the south-east coast. Deserts and the tropical northern part are practically uninhabited. Inhabitants are mainly of British origin, the rest is made by other European ethnic groups and by aborigines. Australian English and aboriginal languages are spoken here.   
    Captain James Cook explored the eastern coast in 1770 when the continent was inhabited by a variety of different tribes. Within decades Britain got the entire continent which became a convict colony from 1788 till 1850s when immigration increased because gold was found here. Aborigines and part-aborigines are mostly detribalized but there are several preserves in the Northwest Territory.
    Main industries are iron, steel, textiles, electrical equipment, chemicals, car, aircraft, ship and machinery. Australia belongs to the top exporters of beef, lamb, wool, oats, hay, sugar, wine, fruit and vegetables. Natural riches contain mainly bauxite, coal, copper, iron, lead, nickel, silver, tin, uranium and zinc ores. Currency used in Australia is Australian Dollar.
    The official title is The Commonwealth of Australia and it is a British dominion. It has a democratic, federal system and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor-General. The head of government is the Prime Minister.
The Commonwealth of Australia consists of 6 states and 2 territories: New South Wales (capital Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Queensland (Brisbane), South Australia (Adelaide), Western Australia (Perth), Tasmania (Hobart). The capital of whole country is Canberra.
The Australian national flag consists of the British Flag symbol and a larger blue field in which 5 stars are arranged in the form of the Southern Cross constellation.

    New Zealand consists of two large islands (north and South Island) in south-west Pacific Ocean. Nearest are Australia on west, Fiji, Tonga on north. Its area is 270 tausent sq. km. Each of the two main islands is mainly hilly and mountainous. The east coast consists of fertile plains (Canterbury Plains). A volcanic plateau is in the centre of North Island.
    The population is more than 3 million people. Density is much higher than in Australia. The most of people live in urban areas. People are of European (above all British) origin, the rest are Polynesian. Officially English is spoken here but some people still speak Maori.
    The Maoris, a Polynesian group reached New Zealand before and during the 14th century. The first Europeans were Abel Tasman and James Cook. Now it is an independent member of the Commonwealth.
    Food processing, textiles, machinery and forest industry are the main industries here. Only 2 per cent of land is arable and the main crops is grain. Natural riches are: oil, gas, iron ore and coal. The main trading partners of new Zealand are the USA, Australia, Japan, Great Britain.
    NZ has a parliamentary system where the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor General. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The country is divided into counties. The capital is Wellington, other big cities are Manukau, Christchurch and Auckland.
The flag consists of the British Union Jack in the left upper corner and 4 red stars in the Southern Cross constellation.


    Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North America (except Alaska) and many islands Baffin Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island etc.). Canada is the second largest country in the world – its area is about 10 mil. sq. km. It neighbours with the USA – with Alaska and with the continental states and the Great Lakes Area. This border is the longest undefended border in the world.
    The Great Lakes Region is the largest area of fresh water in the world. There are famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. We can find also other big and beautiful lakes in Canada, e.g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg etc.
    Canada has large mountain areas – the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region, the longest river is the Mackenzie, other big rivers are the Yukon, the Fraser, the Columbia and the River St. Lawrence.
    The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North to moderate climate in the east and west. The north of the country near the Arctic is a cold tundra with large and beautiful forests to the south. The central plains form the prairie.
     Canada have more than 27 mil. people. The density is one of the lowest in the world. 80 per cent Canadians live in large urban centres located within 300 km of the southern border. People are mainly of British and French origin and of continental European origin and the rest is made by Eskimos or Indians (Eskimos are sometimes called the Inuits). Two main languages in Canada are English and French.
    The original inhabitants came to Canada some 10 or 25 thousand years ago from Asia. The first Europeans here were the Vikings. During the Age of Discoveries (the 15th and 16th centuries) some navigators (e.g. Jacques Cartier) landed on the Canadian coast. Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French but France lost this country in wars with England and Canada became a British dominion.
    Canada has mainly coal, metal, oil and gas, machine-building and chemical industries. The main mining province is Alberta. Motorcar industry has its works in Chatham and Oshawa, ship are built on the banks of Great Lakes, in Montreal and Toronto. Hydroelectric industry is highly developed in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
    Almost half the land area of Canada is covered by forests. Only about 7 per cent of land is suitable for farming (wheat). Other important agriculture items are e.g. livestock production, oats, vegetables, fruits and leather.
    Natural resources: gold, uranium, other metal ores, oil and gas. Most people work in services, the rest work in manufacturing, agriculture, finance, fishing etc.

    It is and independent federal parliamentary system with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. She is represented in Canada by the governor-general. The federal parliament consisting of two houses: The House of Commons and The Senate.
    Canada is divided into 10 provinces ant 2 territories. The biggest province is Quebec (capital Quebec city). Other provinces are:
-    Newfoundland
-    Prince Edward Island
-    Nova Scotia
-    New Brunswick
-    Manitoba
-    Ontario
-    Saskatchewan
-    Alberta
-    British Columbia
    The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The biggest city is Toronto, other Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg... Canada is the member of many international organisations such as the UN and NATO. Its flag is red and in the centre there is whit square with a red maple leaf.

Clothes Fashion

People have different attitudes to fashion. Some are indifferent, they do not care what they wear, others, especially women, are very choosy and particular about what to wear and like to spend a lot of money on clothes.
Different factors which have influenced the styles of clothing, such as geography, climate, poverty and wealth have played their role. Fashion concerns not only clothes, but also hair style, make-up and accessories, such as shoes, handbags, gloves, belts, hats, scarfs or jewellery and glasses.
Styles, cuts, designs and particularly the length of clothes change very quickly because dressmaking has become big business nowadays.
There is also a variety of materials the dress can be made of – traditional natural materials such as cotton, wool, linen, silk and the vast collection of new fabrics based on man-made fibres. Their design can be plain or patterned (flowered, geometric, striped, checked, dotted or spotted) and taken from the whole spectrum of colours running from the brightest and most garish to the coolest and most subdued.
The way we dress also depends on our taste, on the season and the proper occasion. In summer we wear light summer dresses, loose blouses with a low neckline and with short sleeves or without sleeves, skirts, cropped trousers, shorts or Bermuda shorts and various T-shirts, and on our feet we pull on sandals, mules, slippers or plimsolls. When we go swimming we put on a swimsuit (bikini, one-piece or two-piece) or trunks, sometimes a beach gown and a straw hat. In winter we need to wear something warm – suits, trousers, jeans, woollies, cardigans, polo neck sweaters, jumpers, anoraks and parkas, winter coats and jackets, sometimes even a fur coat, gloves and mittens, caps, hoods, hats, scarfs and mufflers. And boots of course.
On special occasions we like to be dressed properly too. When we go to a concert or to the theatre we prefer to be dressed up. We wear an evening dress, which consists of a dark suit, a light shirt and a tie or a bowtie, sometimes a dinner jacket, an evening gown, court shoes and pumps. For sports we put on sports wear, such as jeans shorts, T-shirts, blazers, parkas, track suit and to the mountains a waterproof jacket or anorak and sports shoes (trainers, plimsolls, heavy boots or skishoes). At home we like to feel comfortable, and so we prefer leisure wear – slacks, jeans and T-shirts and on our feet slippers or mules. To school we wear something practical and plain. The most favourite wear of teenagers include jeans or trousers, shirts and T-shirts of  different colours, sweatshirts or pullovers and trainers. For workshop or cleaning jobs we must put on an apron, overall or overalls.
Special kinds of clothes are uniforms and costumes. Uniforms are worn particularly by professionals such as the police, the armed forces, health workers, sometimes workers of a certain firm. It is still a tradition in some schools in Britain (mostly private ones) to wear a school uniform. It usually consists of a white shirt and grey or dark trousers and a dark sweater or blazer with a school badge on the breast pocket and perhaps a cap. A girl’s uniform looks quite different from an ordinary girl’s dress since it consists of a plain coat, a blouse and a skirt in some dark colour, such as grey, navy blue or brown.
Costumes on the other hand reflect the style of a past time. Apart from the theatre they are not seen very often, only on special occasions. Scotsmen are well-known for their national costume which consists of a kilt (a short skirt with many pressed pleats), knee-length woollen socks, a cap and a sporran (a fur-covered bag worn as a purse). The kilt is made of tartan, a kind of woollen cloth woven in stripes of various colours which cross at right angles so as to form a pattern. The difference is in the colours and the with of the stripes. Most tartans have either green or red as the dominant colour.
The fashion changes so fast. Worn-out clothes we can discard but what to do with unworn clothes which you do not like any more? People in the west often arrange a jumble or garage sale but it is not a custom in our country yet. Some people store them up in their wardrobe if they have enough room, pass them down to somebody younger or give them to a charity organization. Women who can do needlework (sew, knit, crochet or embroider) often remake an old dress and alter it into a new stylish model which is admired by their colleagues as if it was bought in a boutique.


Cultural life in our town is not so rich as in large cities. In spite of that, there are some ways of spending leisure time. We can go to the cinema, to the theatre, dancing, or we can stay at home and listen to the radio, watch television and read books.
There are two cinemas here which offer film shows twice a day all the year round. The repertory of the cinemas is not specialized, the films do not have a long run and they change every three days. In the past it was necessary to book the tickets for a performance in advance if you wanted to avoid long queuing in front of the box office. The cinemas were often packed and tickets were sold out. Since that time attendance has declined partly due to the fact that people have less free time and are lazier to leave their homes. They prefer watching television or video to going to the cinema. The cinemas do not draw large audiences nowadays also on account of their repertory focused on presenting commercial, action films which do not interest more demanding cinemagoers. The last reason, but not the least, may be high admission. Before I decide to go to the cinema, I choose the films very carefully. I do not like violence and blood and I am fond of comedies, psychological drama and films about young people above all.
Small towns provide little opportunity to see theatre performances. There is not a permanent theatre building in our town and so when theatre companies come to give a performance here they act on the stage of our cultural house. I like going to the theatre, but I don´t go often because I have no time and nobody who can go with me. The the theatre people usually come dressed up, they take of their coats in the cloakroom. Students often buy cheaper tickets to the upper circle or balcony or stand in the gods.
During the interval, between two acts, we can walk in the foyer, buy some refreshments and share opinions of the performance with our friends. When the performance is over, the audience bursts into applause.
In the cultural house dancing lessons, discos, balls, concerts and book sales are also held. When I was in the second form I took dancing lessons there too. We learned both standard dances, such as the polka, Viennese waltz, waltz, foxtrot or tango and Latin American ones such as the jive, rumba, cha cha and modern dances.
Our town also has a picture gallery which specializes in book illustrations, and a library.
When I do not feel like going anywhere I watch television and listen to the radio or read books. I am not a TV addict and am not one of those who spend hours in front of the screen. For people it has become a matter of social status to have a satellite or a cable TV and first class video and TV set. Some people need a radio or TV as a background noise and they hardly know what is on the programme. I like to watch TV news, natural science programmes and good old films and sports programme.
When we travel a portable transistor can be a good companion. In comparison to a TV set, radio has at least two advantages. We need not sit in front of it and yet we can still enjoy listening to it while we have to do everyday boring tasks. And it can be as quick as possible in covering an event. Most of us switch on the radio to hear the time signal, morning news, press review, or some good music or a hit parade. Some other programmes, such as popular talks, phone-ins or discussions with well known personalities can be very interesting, too.
In comparison with the passive consumption of TV culture, reading is a highly active hobby. During our life we meet both fiction and nonfiction. When we read for pleasure, we usually pick up a book of fiction, such as novels (science fiction, western, travel books, thrillers, crime fiction, psychological and historical novels, adventure tales, love stories), short stories and tales or poetry. There are various ways to choose a book for reading. Some of us read a book for its subject and setting, others for the author or on personal recommendation. Also reasons why we read may be different – we read for relaxation and pleasure, or we look for information and advice. We can buy books, or we can borrow them from friends and from a library.

Great Britain

The British Islands lies in the north-west part of Europe. There are two large islands: Great Britain, Ireland and another 5,000 smaller islands. Great Britain is the largest island in the Europe. In Great Britain there are many points of interest. There is nice scenery with many parks and cities with antique architecture.
I would like talk about towns...
STARTFORD - UPON - AVON is the second most visited town in England. It is famous as the birthplace of well-known dramatist William Shakespeare. The top attraction is the house in Henley Street where Shakespeare was born. There is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and church where Shakespeare is buried.
OXFORD and CAMBRIDGE are the seats of the oldest English universities. These universities were founded in 13th centuries.
In BATH is Roman bath and architecture of this town is very nice.
BRIGHTON is famous seaside town with Arab architecture including the Royal Pavilion. Around the Pavilion there is a big gardens. This town is near the sea and you can go to the beach or walk on the promenade. There are many casinos and funs.
In CANTERBURY there was murdered Thomas Becket - a archbishop of Canterbury and England’s most famous martyr. Geoffrey Chaucer was inspired by this town and he wrote Canterbury Tales.
LIVERPOOL is a world city with an 800 year history. The city gave birth of The Beatles.
In PORTSMOUTH there is Nelson’s flagship Her Majesty Victory in the dockyard. The town reminds Admiral Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
GREENWICH lies in the east of London. There is the Old Royal Observatory and you can see 0-degrees-longitude site.
When we visit STONEHENGE we can feel a mystery from it. The origin of Stonehenge isn’t sure. This monument is very old and this place is visited many tourists. May be it was a temple made for the worship of ancient Gods. 
Scotland is a historically and culturally different country from England. Scotland is the land of many special traditions, which can’t be found anywhere in the world - playing the bagpipes, wearing kilts made of tartan, Scotch whisky.
The biggest city is Glasgow. It is culture centre and heart of the arts in Scotland. Edinburgh is dominated by its imposing 12th century castle - Holy Roodhouse. The city is full of attractive squares, three-lined avenues and elegant shopping centres. In the North of the country there are many lakes as Loch Lomond and Loch Ness which is famous for its "Loch Ness Monster". 
Beautiful country with many highlands and castles (for example Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech). There aren't many industrial towns, the biggest are Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.

In the United Kingdom there are many museums. In London is Toussaud´s wax museum where are wax figures of well-known people. There is British museum where are collections of art of Egypt, Asia, Greece and Rome, and National Gallery where are the art of famous painters.
There are many parks too. Hyde Park is a London Royal Park. It was founded in 16th century. It is a large area with monuments of Queen Victoria and her husband. There is Regent’s Park too where is an open air theatre and city’s ZOO.

The History of Great Britain

1, The early history
the first people to inhabit the British Isles were settlers from Europe
they arrived between 3,500 and 3,000 B.C and introduced farming, potery and stone tools
they lived in the south of England
Stonehenge was built by these early inhabitants

2, Stonehenge
the largest prehistoric monument, a huge circle of standing stones on Salisbury Plain
visitors from all over the world come here and wonder at how these huge stones were transported and erected over 3000 years ago

3, Celtic tribes
they appeared on the island in 750 B.C.
they were divided into tribes, one of them was called Britons and the whole island was named Britannia

4, Roman tribes
the first roman invasion was led by Julius Caesar in 55 B.C., but Britain wasn´t conquered
later was conquered under Emperor Claudius n 43 A.D.
he pushed (vytlačit) a lot of Celts who lived there to the north and west, Celts didn´t like it and that´s why attacked the Romans many times
Roman Emperor Hadrian wanted to stop them built a long wall to defend (chránit) the border between England and Scotland
Roman occupation of Britain lasted nearly 400 years, it´s effects were few, the people didn´t adopt Latin language

5, Theree Germanic tribes
in the middle of 5th century the Angles, Saxons and Jutes came from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands
they conquered the Celts and drove them into what is now Wales and Scotland

6, Christianity
in 597 St. Augustin landed in Kent and brought Christianity to England
he became the first Archbishop of Canterbury

7, Alfred the Great
he was the best-known among the Saxon kings, was very intelligent and well educated and translated books from Latin into Old English

8, Battle of Hastings (1066)
this battle change the future of England, when William Duke of Normandy and his soldiers sailed from France across English Channel to England
they defeated the Saxon King Harold, who was killed
he  became King of England = William the Conqueror (dobyvatel)

9, Thomas Becket
he became archbishop of Canterbury and refused (odmítl) to submit (podrobit) to Henry
it was struggle for power between King  Church
he was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral

10, The Great Charter of Liberties
it wrote King John (John Lackland) in 1215
this Charter limited the absolute power of the king in favour (ve prospěch) of the barons
later it garanted personal and political freedom of every Englishman

11, The Hundred Year´s War 1337-1453
it was war with France, Edward III wanted to be the King of France but the French King wouldn´t agree to this and so began the war
the war ended in England´s defeat

12, The War of Roses 1455-1485
a dynastic struggle for the possession of the Crown between the House of York and the House of Lancaster, whose emblems were a white and red rose
two powerful branches of the Royal Family for 30 years carried on civil war in order to secure the throne for themselves
peace was made when Henry VII of Lancaster married Elizabeth of York

13, The Tudor Period 1485-1603
it was a turning (obrat) point in English history
one of the best remembered kings are Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I
England was in the middle Ages (středověk) a small unimportant country but in Tudor period it became one of the leading (řídící) wordl powers
there were several factors that contributed (přispěly) to the rise of England as a world power in the 16th century
a) the great geographical discoveries /America, India/
b)trading expeditions were encouraged by Elizabeth I
c) they were often combined with piracy, two well-known pirates = Sir Walter Raleigh (he founded the first english colony in North America and called it Virginia in honour of the Queen) and Sir Francis Drake
something about Henry VIII: he had 6 wives, he became the Head of the English Church instead of Pope, names of his wives (the first Catherine Aragon, Anne Boleyn-was executed, Jane Saymoor, Anne from Cleves, Catherine Howard-executed too, Catherine Parr)
Anne Boleyn´s daughter, Elizabeth became an outstanding (vynikající) Queen of England, she ruled not by force, but by female diplomacy, many european kings longed to control England but she remained unmarried, she kept them hoping and so managed to keep peace with their countries, she was called “Virgin Queen”
the Elizabethan age produced the world´s greatest paywright William Shakespeare

14, The Civil War 1640-1649
this century can be characterised as a period of conflict between the King (Royalists) and Parliament (Parliamentarians)
the country was divided between the supporters of Charles I,who wanted to rule absolutely, and the supporters of Parliament,who wanted to limit the King´s powers
the conflict let to the civil war which resulted in the abolition of the monarchy and in Cromwell´s military rule (military dictatorship)
England was declared a republic under the name of The Commonwealth with Oliver Cromwell at its head-his official title was Lord Protector
this period ended in the Glorious Revolution which marked the end of the English bourgeoise revolution

15, Industrial Revolution 1760-1850
in this period Britain became the first industrial power in the world “the workshop the world”
struggles between France and Britain for world domination started in Napoleonic Wars

16, The Victorian Era 1837-1901
is called after Queen Victoria, Britain became the strongest power in the world
she was just eighteen when she came to the throne, she was good queen and ruled over 60 years – it was for Britain a time of long peace
Britain became the greatest: industrial power, financial and commercial power, sea  power, colonial power
Victoria was the first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace

17, Between the two wars
Britain still remained the greatest sea power and colonial power but it lost its position as the greatest financial power

Holidays and feasts

During the whole year various holidays and feast days are celebrated in Britian, U.S.A. and our country- Czech republic. Some holidays are celebrated in all these countries; some are national holidays. One of the biggest holidays of the year is Christmas. It is day, when Christ was born.
In Britian
Preparations for Christmas start long before in late October or early November. That is when British housewives make their Christmas cakes. These cakes taste much better if made a month or two before Christmas. Some weeks before Christmas the streets and shops are decorated. A lot of British families have Christmas trees made of plastic. There are no candles on them but electric lights. Socks are hung up. Children believe Father Christmas will fill them. He comes on his sledge-pulled by reindeer-very early on the morning of Christmas Day. He enters the house through the chimney and puts the children’s presents into their stockings. They get their presents on Christmas Day and not on Christmas Eve. The dinner on Christmas Day is the „most important“ meal of the year. The British usually have roast turkey and roast potatoes followed by Christmas pudding (also called plum pudding). Christmas pudding is a special rich pudding made with lots of dried fruit, eggs, suet and flour. It is made well ahead before Christmas, boiled for four hours and then heated again on Christmas Day. It will keep for a long time. There is also an old custom of stirring into the pudding a coin, a thimble and a ring to bring wealth, work and a wedding to those who find it. There are plenty of carols on the radio and TV.
December 26 is called Boxing Day from the custom in earlier times of giving postmen, milkmen, newspaper boys and the like small sums of money, which they collected in their Christmas boxes.
In our country
Preparations for Christmas begin four weeks before 24 December. This time is called Advent. The housewives bake sweets. Kind of sweets, gingerbread taste much better when made a month before Christmas. Gingerbread is decorated with white icing. Many people make Advent’s wreath with four candles. One of candles is lighted on in every advent’s Sunday. On Christmas Sunday all candles are lighted. During the preparation for Christmas there is a nice, friendly atmosphere. A lot of people buy Christmas tree, but many people have tree made of plastic. The most important day of Christmas is Christmas Eve. People eat only Christmas cake with tee or coffee for breakfast. They haven’t to eat any meat all day, because according to customer, in the evening they will see the Golden pig. Somebody, mostly mother, prepares the dinner and the tree is decorated with chocolate, sweets, flasks and no candles, but electric lights. During waiting for evening people watch TV, because there are many fairy tales (Cinderella, The very sad princess or The princess with gold star on forehead). The children believe that Christ Child brings the presents and he puts them under the tree. Around six o’clock in the evening a lot of families have Christmas dinner. It is the most important meal of the year. The usually have fried carp with potatoes salad after the lentil or fish soop. The carp taste much better, when it swim a few days in bath before Christmas, because then it don’t smell of pound. Some people give some scales from carp in the purse and they believe according to the custom that they will have much money in New Year. After the big meal the family go to the room, where the tree stand. There are some presents. Children unpack them and they always are happy.
25 Th December people often go visiting their relations and friends. They get presents friend and friends’ get presents them.
One week after Christmas people celebrate the New Year’s Eve. People stay up till midnight to see how the old year out and drink a toast to the New Year.                              
In Britian two months than people celebrated St. Valentine’s Day. It is on 14thFebruary. It is lover’s day. On this day young people send Valentine cards to a person of the opposite sex. The cards have funny, loving or serious contents. This day is celebrated in U.S. and now in our country.
All Fool’s Day-On 1st April is day of all foot. It is named after the custom of playing practical jokes and tricks on people and then you can shout “April fool”.
The Easter is celebrated in all countries, too.
The date of Easter is different every year. It’s celebrated after the first full moon in spring. It is a Christian festival, marking the crucifixion and resurgence of Christ. Many people go to church. For some people it is only a spring holiday.
In U.S.A.
Easter Sunday in U.S. is a special day for many people. Children enjoy the holiday very much. They hunt for coloured eggs, eat chocolate bunnies and wear their best clothes. Legend says that Easter rabbits bring Easter eggs: Once old woman dyed some eggs during a famine and hid them in a nest as a present for her children. Just when her children found the nest a rabbit leaped away. The rabbit brought the eggs, thought the children. On Sunday morning children start hunting for painted eggs all over the house and garden. Some children have their baskets full of the eggs.

In England
In England Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays (official holidays). On Good Friday hot cross buns are eaten for breakfast. Children look forward to Easter Sunday called Easter Day, which is day for chocolate and painted eggs, the symbol of new life. Easter Monday has no particular customs and in spent in a variety of ways, but either at home or in a countryside the rule is enjoys you.
In our country
In our country the most important day for children especially for boys is Easter Monday. For them Easter Monday is full of fun. There are many groups of boys in the streets from early morning till noon. They visit the girls. Boys have plaits willow cane and they carry small baskets. When they come into a girl’s house they say a rhyme and whip the girl on her legs and bottom. The girl gives them chocolate, Easter eggs or some cake or some money.
St George’s Day is on April 23rd.Georg is the patron saint of England.
On May Day there are political parties.
October 31. Among the old Celts it was the last day of the year and the beginning of winter when witches and ghosts were supposed to celebrate their rites. When the pagans were Christianised, the holiday was converted to the Eve of All Saints Day when the Christian Church honours the memory of the dead. In Britian it is celebrated only in the North of England and in Scotland, but it is generally celebrated in the USA and Canada. Children celebrate it by dressing up in Halloween costumes with masks over their faces. Carrying baskets or bags they go to their friends and neighbours houses and they knock at the door or ring the bell. When people come to the door, children say “Trick or treat” which means “Give us a treat or we will play a trick on you”. The people treat the children with sweets, fruit or money. The most common trick is soaping the windows of houses and cars (that is drawing pictures on the windows with soap). A favourite custom is to make a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin, which is scraped, out and in which eyes, a nose and a mouth are cut and then a candle is lit inside. People sometimes give parties on Halloween. The guests wear fancy costumes and masks and the rooms are decorated with paper moons, witches and ghosts.

In USA there are different holidays. One of them is Independence Day; July 4.Each city has its own ceremony and parades, band concerts and firework displays in the evening. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, thus establishing USA.
Thanksgiving day
Thanksgiving day is celebrated in the U.S. on 4thThursday in November. It remembers the first settlers who came to America in 1620. In 1620 the ship named Mayflower brought one hundred and two English men, women and children to America. They were puritans, members of a religions sect. They called themselves the Pilgrim Fathers. The winter was cold and half of them died. In spring they planted corn and other plants with helps and advice from the Indians. In autumn they celebrated good harvest and had a feast with much food. They called this day their day of Thanksgiving. It is family holiday the whole family gathers together and enjoys a traditional dinner – roast turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
The turkey is the glorious centrepiece of the Thanksgiving Day. The turkey should be golden brown on the outside and the inside should be moist and tender. The gravy is thickened juice from turkey that we get during baking. The mashed potatoes can be cream or smooth. For best results, the cranberry sauce should be made about three days in advance. You need water, sugar, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks. Then you add cranberries. The pumpkin pie needs a good crust made from dough. Dinnertime is between 3 to 5 PM. By that time there is a great smell in whole house. The dinner table has special decorations – napkins with Thanksgiving ornaments, small decorative pumpkins, decorative turkey made out of paper and flowers. Favourite colours are orange and brown. The family speak about the thinks for which they are thankful. People give thanks for their being well, for happiness of their families. Many families begin Thanksgiving dinner with a prayer.
St. Patrick’s Day
Though St, Patrick’s Day on March 17, is not an official holiday in the U.S., it is celebrated all over the country. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and Irish immigrants brought this holiday to America. The facts of his life are largely obscured by legend. It is known that he was born about the year 385. He became a monk in France. According to legend he had a vision that called him to return to Ireland to Christianise it. By showing the Irish a shamrock he explained the doctrine of the Trinity. Shamrock is a plant with leaves composed of three leaflets. It is now used as the emblem of Ireland. An artificial or real shamrock leaf is usually worn on St Patrick’s Day. It is the anniversary of his death though it is not certain in what year he died. People also celebrate this day by wearing something green and getting together to party and sing Irish songs. They are usually a very happy crowd. In many pubs they serve green beer and in most restaurants they offer an Irish menu on that day. People wish each other “A happy St. Patrick’s day” and the Irish wear buttons that read “Kiss me I’m Irish”. In most big cities colourful parades with marching bands mark the holiday to the delight of many onlookers and passers-by. It is estimated that there are about 17 million Irish living in the United States.

Important Days

February the 14th, St.Valentine´s Day – it is a lover’s feast. People give gifts or send greeting cards called Valentines to people they like or admire. The day is named for an early Christian martyr.

Easter is an ancient symbol of spring and new life. Christians remember Christ’s death and his return to life. In Britain is celebrated as in the rest of Europe. Before Easter boys have to prepare plaited willow canes decorated with ribbons. Girls have to colour, decorate or paint eggs. On Monday morning boys with their canes go from house to house, chase girls and whip them saying traditional rhymes and asking fore Easter eggs. The girls try to hide and pretend to run away. The boys collect their rewards (eggs, sweets, chocolates, and money). In USA children on Sunday morning start hunting for painted eggs around the house.

Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31st. It is very popular in the United States, but it is celebrated by many people in Great Britain, too. People cut horrible faces in pumpkins and put a candle inside. Children dress up as ghosts and monsters and go round people’s houses asking, “Trick or treat?”. A treat means that they get candies, fruit, nuts or money. If the children do not get a treat, they play a trick on the people. A favourite trick is to put soap on the windows or to make a lot of noise at the door.

November 5th is Guy Fawkes Night when the unsuccessful plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 is commemorated with bonfires, fireworks and burning of guys.

Christmas is marked by fairy lights and brightly illuminated streets, carols and children awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas and his reindeer stopping outside their chimney. They hang up their stockings at the foot of beds and wait for the presents. They open them only on December 25th at breakfast-time. At noon they have their traditional Christmas dinner – roast turkey and Christmas pudding. December 26th is called Boxing Day.

New Year’s Eve is the night of merry-making all over the land, especially in Scotland. They have family parties and at twelve o’clock they sing “Auld Lang Syne”. People gather in squares, link arms and sing. In Scotland they call the last day of the year Hogmanay. Is more celebrated than Christmas. They eat traditional dish haggis (minced heart, lungs and liver or a sheep boiled in a sheep’s stomach with oatmeal).

Every part of Britain has its own holiday:
    St.David’s  Day – March 1st (Wales)
    St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th (Ireland)
    St. George’s Day – April 23rd (England)
    St. Andrew’s Day – November 30th (Scotland)

In the USA there are eight main holidays:

Independence Day – 4th July, the birthday of the USA; The Americans have a holiday, each town has its own parade. After parades people go home and have parties. These days commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Thanksgiving Day – every fourth Thursday in November nearly everyone in the USA tries to get home to spend the day with their families or friends and enjoy the traditional food (roast turkey, apple or pumpkin pie etc.) It remembers the first settlers – Pilgrim Fathers who came in 1620 from England in their ship called Mayflower. This is a day of gifts, charities and food for poor people.

Veteran’s Day
Columbus Day
Memorial Day
President’s Day
Martin Luther King Day
Labor Day

In the Czech Republic, Christmas is also the most popular family holiday. People buy Christmas trees, hang various decorations and Christmas sweets on it. On 24th December we have the traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Some people follow the old tradition of fasting all day before the meal. We have fish soup and the main meal is fried carp and potato salad. Children expect the bell signal from the "Infant Jesus" after the Christmas dinner to unwrap their presents under the Christmas tree.

Life In Britain

The British are very polite and have good manners. They don not shake hands or kiss hello as people on the Continent. They like spending their leisure time at home with the family, pets (dogs, cats, caged birds). They have good table manners. They enjoy their breakfasts and most of all the traditional tea around 4 or 5 o’clock.

The normal working week is arranged as a five-day week and gives about 40 hours for manual workers and about 38 for non-manual work. Factory workers usually start at 8 a.m. and offices, shops and schools start at 9 a.m. Wage-earning workers are paid weekly, salary earners are paid once a month. Manual workers have 3 week holidays and professional workers (people with higher education) have usually longer holidays. In addition to this they have “bank” or “public holidays”. They are e.g. (New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday).

An average Englishman likes to live in his own house. About 64 per cent of houses in Britain are owned by people who live in them, the rest is owned by public authorities and is rented.
Houses are made of red bricks or concrete, stone and wood, somewhere you can still find half-timbered houses with thatched roofs. The houses have usually 4 to 6 rooms, two floors, small front and back gardens and are either semidetached (joined to another house on one side only) or terraced house (joined on both sides) or detached house (stay alone). On the ground floor there are: a hall, a kitchen, a living room with a fireplace and on the first floor there are parent’s and children’s bedrooms and a bathroom.
The prices of houses vary and depend on the area – the most expensive are the houses in London and South England, smaller houses in other areas are cheaper.

The National Health Service (NHS) gives largely free treatment for everyone living in Britain. People can choose their family doctors (GP = general practitioner). In case of emergency you can call an ambulance by dialling 999 from any telephone. About 7 per cent of hospital, dentist and family doctors care is private. A small number of hospitals is run by religious or charitable organizations.
Social Welfare includes also various benefits, e.g. retirement pensions (men above 65 and women above 60), sickness benefits, invalidity pensions, injury benefits etc.

There are many daily and Sunday newspapers, many weekly papers and many periodical publications. The oldest newspaper is The Times. Other famous newspapers are Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Mail etc.
The British TV service was the world’s first public TV service. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operates 2 national TV channels and 4 national and 32 local radio stations. Its overseas service – The BBC World Service transmits in English and other 36 languages.

British money: pound, pence (notes, coins). Major credit cards are widely accepted.
Passport and customs control: Foreign visitors are asked to fill in a landing card. The customs procedures operate with a green and red “clearway system”. In Britain Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on most goods or services at a rate of about 15 per cent. Visitors buying goods for export can reclaim VAT.
Road Traffic: Road regulations are given in the Highway Code. The majority of British traffic signs are to international standards. In Britain they drive on the left and overtake on the right. The wearing of seat belts is compulsory for driver and front-seat passenger.


London is the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the 9th largest city in the world – its population is about 10 million. London is situated on the river Thames in south-east England. It was founded as a Roman settlement. The great fire in 1666 destroyed almost all the city.
Various means of transport: red double-deckers, underground – the oldest in the world, 3 airports – the most important are Heathrow and Gatwick.
The Houses of Parliament are in gothic style but were built after the old building had burnt down. The only part, which escaped the fire, was Westminster Hall.There is also a famous clock-tower with Big Ben.
Whitehall is the street where the government offices are. Horse Guards Parade takes place here.
Downing Street 10 is the official home of British Prime Ministers.
Westminster Abbey was founded in the 11th century. Britain’s Kings and Queens are crowned here. England’s famous people are buried here in the Poet’s Corner (e.g. Newton, Handel, etc.), WA is in gothic architecture, is it place where many state occasions and royal weddings take place.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It stands in the City. The Cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery.
The City is the oldest part of London around St. Paul. There are many banks (the most important is Bank of England) and offices here.
The Tower was built in the 11th century It served as royal palace first, then prison and fortress. It is a museum now. The Crown Jewels guarded by the Beefeaters are kept here.
Tower Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of London. It can open in the middle and let large ships go through.
Trafalgar Square was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson’s statue is situated on a high column. The square with its fountains is a very popular place for various meetings and demonstrations.
The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square. It houses paintings by nearly all the great European artists and a large collection of British paintings and sculptures.
The British Museum is the largest museum in the world. It houses the biggest collection of all kinds of animals and minerals and rocks. There is a collection of fine and applied arts of all countries, periods and styles. The British Museum’s library is the largest in the world.
Buckingham palace is the Queen’s residence in London. One of the biggest London’s parades is Changing the Guard here.
The most famous shopping centres in London are in Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street. There are many parks in London, e.g. St. James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park. The largest of them is Hyde Park. It is also known for its Speaker’s Corner where anybody can have a speech.
The Post Office Tower is the tallest building in Great Britain. It is adapted for telephone and TV services.
Theatres: The National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company
Concert halls: The Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall
Windsor Castle is the residence of nearly all the British sovereigns outside London.
Kew Gardens are the Royal Botanical Gardens with the largest collection of living plants in the world.
Greenwich is the seat of the National Maritime Museum where the Royal Observatory is.

New York

New York is the biggest city in the USA. It has about 8 million people. It is one of the largest cities in the world (after Sao Paulo, Seoul, Mexico City, Tokyo). It is sometimes called "The Big Apple". New York covers the area of arout 800 sq km snd has five major boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn.

    The original inhabitants were Indian. This island was bought from the Indians by the Dutch for the bargain price of US $25. The original name was New Amsterdam. Later it was renamed New York. In the southern part of Manhattan Island there used to be a wall against Indians, now there is Wall Street - the centre of financial life with the most important stock-exchange in the world.

    The city was built on a modern plan of streets and avenues which are numbered. Streets run east-west and avenues north-south (e.g. Fifth Avenue – shopping centre, Wall Street). Broadway is the center of cultural life. The island is washed by two rivers – the East River and the Hudson River.
    In southern Manhattan we can find the liveliest boroughs such as Little Italy, Chinatown. Artists created studio lofts in 19 century industrial buildings. East Village is a multi-cultural area with many ethnic restaurants, funky boutiques, rock and jazz clubs. Greenwich Village is the home of artists, writers and N.Y.U. students.
    The city is notorious for its crime. Many people believe New York is no longer a healthy place to live.

    New York is famous for its Manhattan skyline - a large number of   skyscrapers in a small area. They started to build skyscrapers here because of the lack of space and the high price of land on the island. A skyscraper uses a steel frame to support the vertical load, they are built with the help of computers which can take into consideration wind, earthquake. The building is a small city itself – it offers residential quarters, office spaces, parking lots, restaurants, shoping facilities, fitness centres, swimming pool – living in a skyscraper is expensive. The best-known skyscrapers are Empire State Building and the World Trade Center (WTC) - the New York's highest skyscraper is 417m high.

    The only quiet place where, however, it is dangerous to go after dark is Central Park where also famous rock concerts take place. There are many attractive places where visitors like to go - the most widely known is the Brooklyn Bridge. There is the Statue of Liberty - it is a symbol of hope and freedom.
    There are many islands in this area – Roosevelt Island, Coney Island and Liberty Island.

    New York is an important industrial city and business center (machinery, electronics, chemistry, food, textiles, fish market). It is also the biggest port in the USA. There are 4 airports, 15 TV stations, 39 radio stations, over 100 hospitals, 29 universities, many cultural institutions, galleries. New York has the largest subway system in the world.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a state in Central Europe. It comes into existence with the beginning of January 1993 when Czechoslovakia split in two republics – the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
    It occupies an area of about 79,000 sq kms and its populations is around 10 millions people. It borders with Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. The major nationalities living here are Czech and Moravian, but there are minority groups such as the Silesians, the Roms, the Poles, the Germans, the Russians etc.
    The President of Czech Republic is a world famous playwright Václav Klaus. He was elected in after the “velvet revolution” in November 1989.
    The Czech Republic is an industrial country. The most important part of our economy is engineering. Other important branches are metallurgical and chemical industries, tourism, textile, glass industries, cut glass, china and food production. The main items of our agriculture are wheat, maize, sugar-beet, grapes, hops and fruit. In animal production, cattle-breeding and pig-breeding are the most important. Fish breeding, especially carp-breeding has a long tradition in South Bohemia ponds.
     The borders are mostly made by mountains: Šumava, Český les, , Jizerské hory, Krkonoše, Orlické hory,  Jeseníky and Beskydy. Bohemia is separated from Moravia by the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. Fertile lowland can be found in the vales of big rivers, e.g. the Vltava, the Elbe, and the Morava.
    In the Czech Republic there are many spots of great natural beauty as well as areas totally spoiled by industries (e.g. the Most area). Among most beautiful natural places belong: the Czech Paradise, “rock town” in Prachov rocks, the Děčín walls, Macocha abyss, the Jeseník mountains etc. The most beautiful historic towns are: e.g.  Prague, Kutná Hora, Tábor, Olomouc, Třeboň. Visitors can walk around preserved old castles or ruins such as Karlštejn, Křivoklát, Konopiště, Bezděz etc.
    Bohemia and Moravia are quite rich in mineral springs and spas (Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Františkovy lázně, Luhačovice, Jeseník etc.)..
    One of the best and most important rulers was Charles IV, who ruled in the 14th century. During his reign the Prague University was founded, Prague New Town was built and the economy developed (gothic style).
    In the Czech Republic is a birthplace of many famous writers e.g. Němcová, Mácha, Neruda, Jirásek, Čapek, Hrabal, etc., and composers e.g. Janáček, Dvořák, Smetana, etc.


    Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and lies in the middle of Bohemia. Its population is about 1.3 million people. The historical centre is made up by the Old Town, Josefov, the Lesser Quarter, Hradčany, the New Town and Vyšehrad.
    In Prague we can find many beautiful and famous historical sights: the National Museum, the National Gallery, the National Theatre, the Prague Castle, the Strahov Monastery and Petřín, Old Town Square, Vyšehrad, the Charles Bridge, the Powder Tower, the Carolinum, the Clementinum, Wenceslas Square etc.

    Opava is one of the oldest town in Czech Republic (exists more than 750 years). The district of Opava is situated on the Opava River, near to Ostrava and to the Polish border.
    Now in Opava live about 70 thousand of people. The city has textiles, food, chemical, pharmaceutical industries, a slaughterhouse, a sugar mill, an engineering enterprise “Ostroj”, a soft drinks company, a brewery and a frozen food factory.
    Opava is centre of cultural life in region. In Opava we can find: Silesian Museum, which is one of the oldest museums in the Czech Republic, Silesian Theatre, the House of Arts, two cinemas and many churches such as: Chapel of the Holy Cross in Kateřinky, The Church of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption, The Minorite Monastery, Church of Holy Spirit, and the Church of St. Albert in the Lower Square.
    The central square of the city is Upper Square, where we can found the Town Hall, which possesses the famous Watch Tower.
    Opava is city of some famous people. In Opava studied Johan Gregor Mendel, and it is birthplace of Czech poet Petr Bezruč. With his name is linked the name of one Opava´s building: Bezruč Culture House with Opava´s Library of Petr Bezruč.
    There are also many possibilities of sports activities in Opava (football and hockey stadium, indoor and outdoor swimming pools etc.
    In Opava there are many primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, and Silesian University.

William Shakespeare

......probably the greatest dramatist of England. He lived and worked in the 16th century in the period of the Renaissance.
Was born on 23 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was born at Henley Street and was one of eight children of Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. John Shakespeare was a successful tradesmen working with leather. He also sold wool and barley, important products in the England of those times. His father was a respected man who took part in civic life.

William Shakespeare went to the local grammar school in Stratford. The „grammar“ schools were the most common form of education, and they were free. He would also have learnt the Catechism and studied the Bible. Although he was brought up with these orthodox Protestant teachings, he managed to remain open-minded and a free-thinker. The Bible was a constant source of inspiration to him.

In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway from Shottery. He was only eighteen, Ann was eight years older. They had three children together – Susanna and the twins – Hamnet and Judith. In spite of his love for his family, he went to London in 1587 as it was only there that a man with his talents could get ahead and make a career for himself.

Shakespeare’s life in London can be traced from 1592 onwards, first as an actor, then as a reviser and writer of plays. The theatres were very popular being the only places where people could hear honest comments about life. Shakespeare and his fellow players were lucky enough to be able to win the patronage of the Lord Chamberlain, and the company came to be called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

When Shakespeare was working in London, he did not leave his family for good. He would often return home to Stratford enjoying the Pleasures of family life. His plays may well have been popular with Queen Elizabeth I, who loved music and drama. When James I came to the throne after Elizabeth’s death, he recognized Shakespeare’s company as the leading group of actors and from then on they were known as the King’s Men. In those times Shakespeare made enough money to build a comfortable life.

He died on the same day as he was born. He was exactly 52 years old. He is buried at local Trinity Church, where he had been christened.

Shakespeare wrote ... :   37 plays and beautiful sonnets, comedies, history plays and tragedies:

Comedies: Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, As you like it e.g.
History plays: Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Richard III Julius Caesar
Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello.

ROMEO AND JULIET is about the unhappy love and death of Romeo and Juliet, the only children of two powerful houses of Verona – the House of Montague and the House of Capulet. These two houses hate each other and Romeo Montague meets Juliet at the ball. He fells in love with her although he knows that she is Capulet.
They love each other very much and ask Friar Laurence to marry them. Their love and marriage are secret and by an unfortunate coincidence Romeo kills Tybalt who is Juliet’s cousin. Prince of Verona sends Romeo to the exile outside Verona and young Juliet is forced to get married to a young nobleman called Paris. She asks Friar Laurence to help again and he gives her magic drops after which she fells asleep for several hours and looks as if she was dead.  Romeo learns about Juliet’s death in Mantua and hurries to the Capulet´s Monument in a churchyard. He does no know about the trick and kills himself. Soon after the Juliet wakes up and when she sees Romeo dead, she kills herself to. Both Montague and Capulet Houses reconciliate only after the death of their beloved children.


When we go shopping, we can go either to a big department store or to the shop which specializes in some extra goods, e.g.:

•    the greengrocer sells fruit and vegetables
•    the butcher sells meat
•    the baker sells bread, cakes, rolls or buns
•    the tobacconist sells cigarettes and tobacco
•    the confectioner or sweet shop sells sweet and icecream
•    the fishmonger sells fish
•    the florist sells flowers
•    the newsagent sells newspapers und magazines
•    the men´s wear and women´s wear sells clothes and dresses
•    the lingerie sells underwear
•    the draper sells cloths and bed clothes
•    the wine-merchant sells alcoholic drniks of all kinds
•    the ironmonger sells metal goods(tools, pots, pans, nails)
•    the dairy sells milk products and eggs
•    the stationary sells paper products and office suplies
•    the jeweller sells jewellery
•    the toyshop sells various toys for children(dolls, teddies)
•    the delicatessen sells some exclusive and more expensive food
•    the electrical applicances shop sells TV and radio sets, fridges etc.

    The most common shop in Britain is the grocer´s. He sells food, such as tea, coffee, sugar, flour, butter, cheese, eggs, jam, tinned food and kitchen needs such as dishsoap, detergents and polish. Another common shop is the chemist´s. You can buy medicines and ointments, toothpaste, combs, bath soap (US – drugstore – they sell many more things than the British chemist´s - they have a counter where you can buy something to drink and eat).
    Food products are usually bought in a self service shop or a supermarket. The supermarket is bigger and you can also buy goods from the chemist and ironmonger here. A hypermarket is very large and sells all possible kinds of food and kithen and house needs. Street markets sell various things at stalls in the streets and squares.
In a self service store you go in, pick up a basket or a wheeled cart, walk around the shop a choose what you want. At the exit there is a cash-desk or a cashier where you pay for all your merchandise together, either with cash or with your credit card.
    A typical feature of modern big cities (London – e.g. Marks and Spencer, Harrods etc.) are big department stores. They are usually huge buildings equipped with speedy lifts and  escalators, where you can buy almost everything from food to furniture. Here are some departments: Boyswear, Girlswear, Beds and bedding, Electronics, Carpets, China and glass, Furniture, Gifts, Households, Lingerie,  Toys, Stationary, TV and Radio, Tobacco, Bookshop,  Shoes, Watches and Clocks.
When pay we may use banknotes or coins if we want to pay cash, or a credit cards. Money you can earn, inherit, win, lend, borrow, steal or win in a bet.
    An average Czech family goes shopping every day to a local supermarket for necessary food. Once a week they usually do one bigger purchase for the weekend and from time to time they have to buy clothes,  shoes, household utensils and equipment.
A foreigner visiting our country might buy a nice picture book about our country, a record or compact disc, cut glass, china and dolls in national costumes.

The czech republic

The Czech Republic is a state in Central Europe. It occupies an area of  78 864 sq km and has about 10.33 million inhabitants. The head of the Czech Republic is the President (Václav Klaus). He’s elected for a 5-year period by the Parliament. The state flag consists of 2 horizontal stripes (pruh)- white on the top, red on the bottom, and a blue wedge.
The Czech Republic has four neighbours. In the north it borders with Poland, in the south with Austria, in the east with Slovakia and with Germany in the west. 
Our state has a varied landscape. Bohemia is surrounded by a ring of mountains – the Šumava range, the Czech Forest, the Ore Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Giant Mountains ( with the highest Czech mountain Sněžka), and the Eagle Mountains. The Moravan Plain is protected on the West by the Bohemian-Moravian Highland, and on the North by the wooded mountainous ranges of Jeseníky and Beskydy. Fertile lowlands can be found in the valleys of big rivers – the Vltava, the Elbe (flowing into the North Sea),           the Oder (flowing into the Baltic Sea), and the Morava (flowing into the Danube and thence into the Black Sea). The climate is mostly continental, the warmest area is in South Moravia.
Our country is rich in minerals. Black coal (Ostrava Coal Basin, area of Kladno) and brown coal and lignite (North Bohemia Coal Basin), sand for glass-making, iron ore, uranium, kaolin, etc., are mined in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic is traditionallly an industry country. The most important part of our economy is engineering (machine tools, locomotives, tractors, agricultural machines). Other important branches are metalurgical and chemical industries and tourism. Textile and glass industries have a long tradition as doing cut glass. In animal production , cattle-breeding and pig-breeding are most important. Fish-breeding, especially carp-breeding has a long tradition in South Bohemia ponds.

Now I’d like to speak about the most important events in our history.
- our territory has been inhabited by Slavonic tribes since the 5th cent. A.D.
- in 623 bas founded the first Slavonic state – Samo’s Empire.
- then Slavonic tribes were united  and Great Moravian Empire was formed in the 9th cent.
- in the 9th cent. power bas taken over by the Přemyslid family
- the first historicaly documented Czech prince Bořivoj I. ruled over the territory of the Czech
  Lands and over big part of Great Moravia
- when the Přemyslid dynasty died out by the sword in 1306 the Czech throne went by way of dynastic wedding to the Luxemburgs, and the Czech Kingdom became also the centre of the Holy Roman Empire during the reign of Charles IV. and his son Wenceslas IV.
- Charles IV. was the most important person of the 7 electors of the emperors
- during his reign Prague grew into one of the largest European metropolis, was important centre of education, architecture and the arts
- in 1348 Charles IV. founded Ch. University – the oldest one in Europe
- the first part of the 15th cent. is marked by the Hussite Movement
- it’s named after Jan Hus, professor, dean, and later rector of Charles University
- he was preacher in Bethlehem Chapel and he was in 1415 in Constance burnt at the stake as a heretic
- the big leaders of Hussite Movement were Jan Žižka and Prokop Holý
- J. Žižka was never defeated and P. Holý was a prominent Hussite diplomat
- after the reign of King Jiří of Poděbrady – who is knowned for hi appeal to other European kings to make a Treaty Securing Peace, and after the period of the rule of Jagiellonian dynasty, on the Czech throne came the period of the Habsburg dynasty
- these rulers tried to oppress the Czech nation in favour of the Germans and the Romans Catholic Church, but unsuccesfuly until the Battle on the White Mountain in 1620
- followed by 300 years of Germanization and many non-catholic artists and scientists had to leave the country, and the Czech literature was liquidated
- the 19th cent. was a time of national revival
- at the end of  World War I. in October 1918 was established Czechoslovak Republic
- though this was destroyed by the German occupation (1939-1945), it appeared again after World War II.
- in 1948 the power was taken over by communists directed by the Soviet Union
- the „Prague Spring“ in 1968 was oppressed by the invasion of the Soviet army and the „normalization“ lasted about another 20 years till the „velvet revolution“ in 1989
- the following development led to the splitting of the republic, and in 1993 two new states appeared – the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic