Velká Británie (Great Britain, the United Kingdom) - reálie Velké Británie



  • Full name = United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Consists of: Great Britain (Velká Británie)+ Northern Ireland (Severní Irsko)

United Kingdom

GREAT BRITAIN (Velká Británie)

  • Consists of three parts: England, Wales and Scotland (England occupies the middle and southern part of British Isles, Wales is situated along the peninsula (= poloostrov) of the same name along the west coast of the British Islands, Scotland consists of northern part and the Hebrides, Orkneys and the Outer Shetland)
  • Situated in the British Isles


  • British isles is the general term for the two largest islands – Great Britain and Ireland and about 5,000 smaller islands
  • British isles include the Isle of Wigh off the southern coast of England, the Isle of Scilly off the extreme south-west, Anglesey off North Wales, the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea
  • Western Scotland is surrounded by numerous islands  e.g. the Hebrides, the Orkneys and the Shetlands
  • very important are also the Channel Islands which lie near the French coast but belong to Britain (belong = patřit)
  • advantage of so many islands is fishing and the possibility of naval transportation (námořní doprava)


  • GB is since 1953 a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II and without a written constitution (nemá psanou ústavu)
  • Parliamentary democracy (parlamentní demokracie) is practised here. Parliament consists of two houses: the House of Lords (hereditary and for life = dědičné a na celý život) and the House of Commons (voted, elections take place every 5 years),  these two houses are situated in the palace of Westminster
  • Two big parties: Conservatives and Labour Party
  • Current Prime Minister is David Cameron  (before: Gordon Brown)

The organs of government are:

– the legislature – Parliament
– the executive – the Government – the Cabinet and other ministers 
– judicary – the judges 
pozn. exekutivní moc se dělí mezi podstatně více institucí, ale snad uznáte, že netřeba to více rozebírat

– is the head of the state and Commonwealth (but nowdays she’s just something like a symbol)
– she can: summon and dissolve Parliament (svolávat a rozpouštět parlament), appoint the Prime Minister, appoint archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, declare war and peace…

Prime Minister

– with a group of about 20 ministers (= the Cabinet) the Prime Minister makes important decisions, the Cabinet usually meets twice a week at 10 Downing Street (the residence of the Prime Minister)


  • surface of the United Kingdom and Great Britain is similar
  • Northern Ireland covers area of only 13,600 square kilometres, so you can say that both Great Britain and the United Kingdom covers the area of about 244 thousand square kilometres


  • 63 million


  • 1 pound = 100 cents


  • caled Union Jack
  • consists of three united crosses – St George’s for England, St Andrew’s for Scotland and St Patrick’s for Ireland


  • St George – he was a Christian martyr (křesťanský mučedník)

ANTHEM (= hymna)

  • God Save the Quenn


  • England has 47 and Wales 8 counties with 369 districts, Scotland has 12 regions and 53 districts, Northern Ireland 6 counties with 26 districts
  • The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are independent units
  • UK has 14 dependent derritories  e.g. Gibraltar


  • Based on the height above sea level (= nadmořská výška) Britain can be divided into lowland and highland areas
  • Lowland area lie in midland, southern and eastern England
  • Highland area comprises Scotland, most of Wales, the broad central upland known as the Pennies (also called the backbone of GB) and the Lake district
  • Mountain ranges extend about two thirds of the length of the British Isles (pohoří zabírají asi 2 třetiny Britských ostrovů); at most they reach medium height (maximálně jsou to třetihory)
  • The most mountainous area of GB is Scotland
  • The highest British mountain is Ben Nevis; it measures 1,343 m
  • Very diverse (rozmanitý): woodlands, a lot of meadow and pastures (pastvin), also a great deal of agricultural land mainly in lowlands


  • The longest river is the Severn and it’s length is 354 kilometres
  • The longest river in England (and the second longest in the UK) is the Thames, it’s 346 kilometres long
  • As for the lakes (co se týče jezer), the best known re those in the Lake District (e.g. Lake Windermere) and those in Scotland (Loch Lomon and Loch Ness)
  • GB has a dense network (hustou síť) of canals  which are important for freight transport (= doprava zboží), on the other hand although GB has a lot of lakes only very few of them are used for freight transport


  • Climate is temperate (also called mild) and maritime, which means that winters are not very cold and summers are not very hot
  • Climate is determined by circulation of air masses (influenced by Gulf stream)
  • Weather changes all the time, so it’s said that the British weathers is totally unpredictable (nepředvídatelné)
  • Main disadvantages are the high rainfall (srážky) and the small amount of sunshine, which means that fogs are very common in GB


  • GB was the first country in the world to become highly industrialized (due to Industrial Revolution)
  • Old established British industries are those which were developed during the Industrial Revolution: coal, textiles (especially cotton), wool, iron, steel, shipbuilding
  • Since the 20th century there are new industries developing such as vehicles, electrical, chemical and aircraft industries
  • Britain has been a pioneer (průkopník) in many fields such as radar, television, nuclear power stations
  • Coal resources (= naleziště uhlí) are concentrated primarily in the Pennies and the Midlands
  • Small oil reserves and natural gas is located in the North Sea
  • What is mined in GB (co se těží): gravel (šťěrk), sand, sandstone (pískovec), chalk (křída)
  • Primary sources of energy used in Britain are petroleum, coal, natural gas and nuclear power
  • most important industrial centres are: Yorkshire, Manchester, London and South Wales

Manufacturing industries:
1. food, drink, tobacco, bakery products, cocoa (kakao)
2. chemicals and allied industries (s tím spojené průmysly) – e.g. fertilizers (umělé hnojiva) and plastic materials
3. metal manufactures (e.g. steel and iron)
4. mechanical engineering
5. ship building and marine engineering (building ships)
6. textiles (man-made fibres, wool, cotton, linen)


  • The best-known are: The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph,The Daily Mirror

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