SIGHTSEEING Although the British Isles are difficult to reach from the continent, they have been inhabited since ancient times. Here, since prehistoric times, tin was mined, and the Phoenicians and Greeks called them Tin Islands. The most amazing and famous monument is Stonehenge. Many legends are associated with it – this is a stone age observatory and a religious monument with an altar and almost an alien cosmodrome.
The Romans founded many cities of present-day Britain, including the capital, London, then Londinius. The Romans failed to conquer all the islands (and they did not need the relatively cold northern lands). To isolate themselves from the barbarians from the north, they built a series of fortifications, the most famous of which was preserved – the Adrian Wall, separating England from Scotland (built by Emperor Hadrian in 122-130). The city gates in Lincoln, the gates in Colchester, the baths in Bath, and the numerous ruins of Roman military fortifications have survived to this day. The territory of Great Britain has long been thoroughly populated, but here you can find many corners of almost virgin nature. True, the most interesting thing here is precisely the nature of cultivated, competently “tamed”. Kent is called the “Garden of England,” East England is traditionally considered a rural area. Loch Ness Lake in Scotland is famous, first of all, as the abode of the famous Nessie – a semi-mythical monster (either a descendant of dinosaurs, or even a fairy tale beast), which, according to legend and according to the testimonies of rare and not very reliable eyewitnesses, lives in the depths of the lake sometimes appearing on the surface.
But if it does not seem like a fluke to see Nessie (and even if the monster does not exist at all), the picturesque steep banks and green hills surrounding the blue expanse of the lake are unlikely to leave anyone indifferent. Fans of lakes and recreation on the water should definitely visit the Lake District (Lancashire and Cumbria counties), where England’s largest national park is located. The steep cliffs of the Hebrides, cut by the fjords, are attractive, the most beautiful of them is the island of Iona. Orkney Islands are also worth a visit, including an ornithological wildlife sanctuary on Bass Rock. Fans of mountaineering, skiing and climbing will be attracted by the mountains of Scotland: the Isle of Hills (Walter Scott’s favorite place for walking), Cairngorms, the Pennine Mountains, especially the Peak District at their southern tip on the border of England and Wales.
The mountains and coasts of Wales are extraordinarily beautiful – especially in its northern part, where the highest mountain of England and Wales is located – Snowdon (1085 m), the surrounding Snowdonia National Park is full of numerous mountain streams, waterfalls, and wooded valleys. Sulfur, salt and other mineral springs are located in southwest Wales. Fans of paleontology are undoubtedly interested in seeing the limestone deposits of Devon, where ancient fossil organisms are found. Thanks to the finds made in its bowels, the whole geological era began to be called the name of this county! The originality of English architectural styles. The Anglo-Saxon Romanesque style, which dominated architecture until the middle of the 11th century, was distinguished by the simplicity of architectural and building techniques: simple semicircular arches, gable roofs borrowed from the usual wooden architecture. The Norman Roman style that replaced it lasted until the end of the 12th century. It was distinguished by an abundance of identical powerful columns, round decorated window openings and ceiling vaults, narrow windows, and not very powerful buttresses.
The outstanding Norman-style castle buildings are considered Headingham in Essex and Konisbrow in Yorkshire. Part of the buildings of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is also made in the same style. The richest ornamentation reached perfection in the construction art of the late Gothic, or “perpendicular” style (late XIV century – XV century), which is particularly addicted to vertical planes (Kings College in Cambridge, St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and Henry VII Chapel in Westminster ) In the 16th century and the beginning of the 18th century, Great Britain was dominated by the Renaissance and Baroque; their elements were often mixed in the same building. The most important monument of the style called “English Baroque” is St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, built in the last third of the 17th century according to the design of Sir Christopher Wren – one of the largest English architects. In the external appearance of this building there is a spatial scope, coalescence, fluidity of complex curved shapes. In the XIX century, Victorian replaced the monumental Georgian style. One of the most famous buildings in the world, Buckingham Palace, is made in this style. Having stood the test of fate (on September 9, 1940, a German bomb fell on the palace, three days later he was again attacked), he appears before us in all greatness and beauty. Later styles – from the proto-Byzantine (Westminster Cathedral in London)