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Статьи на английском языке для учащихся старших классов «Открывая Санкт-Петербург» (“Discovering St. Petersburg”)

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Статьи на английском языке для учащихся старших классов

«Открывая Санкт-Петербург» (“Discovering St. Petersburg”).

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THE PETER AND PAUL FORTRESS.


The capture of the Swedish fortress of Nyenskans finally secured Russia’s access to the Baltic Sea. To consolidate her domination of these lands Russia needed a new fortress and Peter chose for that purpose a small island in the delta of the Neva called Enisaari (“Hare Island”) in Finnish. The Peter and Paul Fortress was an important strategic military object, despite the fact that in the course of its entire history the enemy has never besieged it.


On 27 May 1703 guns fired on Hare Island in honour of the foundation of the new Russian citadelSankt-Pieter-Burgh – the city of St Peter. This day is taken to be the date of the foundation of St Petersburg. The fortress gave its name to the city that grew under its walls. The choice of the site and the first plans for the construction of the fortress were made with the participation of Peter himself and the French Engineer – General Joseph Lambert de Guerin who was in the Russian service. Hare Island was small but very well located strategically. The Neva widening in this place served as a natural obstacle on the enemy’s way to the fortress, while the guns installed on the island could control the mouth of the river dividing there into two branches.bird's eye

In the conditions of the war against Sweden the construction work was carried with great haste. As early as the autumn of 1703 the fortress was basically completed and could be used for its principal purpose – to defend the reconquered lands of the Neva area from the enemy’s possible attacks. The fortress was most vulnerable from the north and therefore in 1705-08 on the opposite shore of the narrow strait separating the island, later known as the Kronwerk Canal, a fortification was built in the form of crown, the Kronwerk – a system of moats and ramparts surviving to this day. The wooden fortress could not be a permanent and reliable defensive structure. The erection of permanent fortified structures lasted until 1740.

The Peter and Paul Fortress was in fact a miniature city. Therefore along with the fortified objects the construction of civil buildings began there from the moment of its foundation. In the 1740s the Commandant’s House was constructed in the very centre of the fortress. The post of the Commandant was in high esteem. At the Commandant’s Cemetery, near the eastern wall of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral, there are nineteen burials of the commandants of the fortress.

The only building of industrial character on the territory of the Peter and Paul Fortress is the Mint. In the first decades of the 18th century the minting of coins was done in Moscow and in 1724 the coin production began in St Petersburg, too. From its establishment in the Peter and Paul Fortress to this day the St Petersburg Mint is the largest enterprise of this kind in Russia. At the present time the Mint still continues to work on the territory of the fortress issuing coins, orders, medals and pendants.

The architectural complex of the fortress took shape in the course of many decades. The concentration on the territory of Hare Island of the military garrison, cathedral, prison and mint allowed Peter the Great to name the fortress a “city”.

Every day at noon the gun fires a blank shot from the Peter and Paul Fortress. This old tradition goes back to the time of Peter the Great when the shots were used to warn the city dwellers about various accidents and also to signal the beginning of the working day or a break for dinner. In 1735 it was suggested to have the shot fired at noon so that people could check their clocks and watches. However, this shot became traditional only from 1865. The tradition was suspended owing to the transmission of the exact time by radio, but it has been revived in 1957.

The St Peter and Paul Cathedral was constructed in the very centre of the Peter and Paul Fortress between 1712 and 1733 to a design by Domenico Trezzini as the main cathedral of St Petersburg, the new capital of Russia. The erection of the cathedral began with the bell-tower. According to Peter’s concept, the spire on the tall bell-tower was to symbolize Russia’s firm presence on the Neva banks. The interior of the cathedral executed in the Baroque traditions has a truly majestic appearance. The chancel is the soul of the church. The iconostasis of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral executed in Baroque forms is canonical and unique at the same time. About fifty masters worked on the creation of this unique carved wooden iconostasis in Moscow for five years, from 1722 to 1727. It was brought dismantled to St Petersburg and assembled within the cathedral in 1729.cathedral

Before the foundation of St Petersburg the Russian Tsars had been buried in the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow. With the transfer of the capital to St Petersburg the Russian rulers began to be interred in the city on the Neva. The St Peter and Paul Cathedral became the burial place of the Russian Emperors, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. The first graves of the members of the imperial family appeared in the St Peter and Paul Cathedral as early as the period of its construction. There are several crypts near its western wall. There, during the life of Peter the Great, were buried his disgraced son, Tsarevich Alexis, one of the earliest political prisoners of the fortress, his wife Princess Charlotte-Christine-Sophie; Peter’s mother-in-law Tsarina Martha Matveyevna and the Tsar’s sister, Maria Alexeyevna. Besides the Emperors and Empresses, many members of their families were also buried in the cathedral.

From the moment of consecration of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral ecclesiastical life was largely determined by its use as the imperial burial vault and gradually the funeral services commemorating the persons of the royal house became its main activity. The sacraments of baptism or marriage were never performed in the St Peter and Paul Cathedral. In May 1919 the Commandant of the fortress ordered that the cathedral be closed. From 1954 to the present day it belongs to the state museum of the history of the city. In the early 1990s religious services in the cathedral have been resumed. On 17 July 1998 in the St Catherine Chapel of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral were interred the remains of the members of Emperor Nicholas II’s family, their servants and doctor shot in Ekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. In the upper tier of the crypt are the burials of Emperor Nicholas II, his consort Empress Alexandra Fiodorovna and their three daughters, Olga, Tatyana and Anastasia. The remains of the two other children, the daughter Maria and the son Alexis were not discovered.family2

The Peter and Paul Fortress, like any other citadel, was used for keeping prisoners. Convicts were also kept in the casemates of the bastions and curtain walls and in specially built prison buildings. In the 18th century those involved or suspected in palace coups often became prisoners of The Peter and Paul Fortress. Free thinking always provoked a discontent of the authorities and therefore men of letters were also among prisoners (including the philosopher Ivan Pososhkov, the writer Alexander Radishchev, the critic Dmitry Pisarev, the poet Mikhail Mikhailov). There were also some cases of mass imprisonment.

The building of the prison in the Trubetskoi Bastion has survived and visitors to the fortress have an opportunity to see it. The prison had 69 one-man cells. The original furnishings were a wooden bed, a table and a stool. On the wall under the wallpaper were several layers of paper coating to increase the sound insulation. At the corners of the room stood a wash-basin and a toilet. Kept in the prison were mainly those under investigation. They were allowed to use the prison’s library, to receive parcels from their relatives and to correspond with them. The regime of hard-labour prisoners was much more austere – no meetings, letters, books or any other activities. However, the most oppressive source of annoyance for all prisoners was the psychological impact of solitary confinement – dead silence, isolation, closed space and at the same time the guard’s vigilant supervision. For any breach of the regime, including knocking contacts with other inmates, the prisoner could be put into the lock-up that was twice smaller than the cell and was not heated. Sometimes a punishment was the dark lock-up. More than 1500 people passed through the cells of the prison in the course of its history. But there was not a single flight from this prison throughout its existence. In 1924 the prison was converted into a museum.


(Source: “The Peter and Paul Fortress” by M. Logunova)


VOCABULARY.


  1. citadel – a strong fort built in the past as a place where people could go for safety if their city was attacked [= fortress]

  2. moat – a deep wide hole, usually filled with water, dug around a castle as a defence

  3. rampart – a wide pile of earth or a stone wall built to protect a castle or city in the past

  4. mint – a place where coins are officially made

  5. pendant – a jewel, stone etc that hangs from a thin chain that you wear around your neck

  6. garrison – a group of soldiers living in a town or fort and defending it or the buildings where a garrison of soldiers live

  7. spire – a roof that rises steeply to a point on top of a tower, especially on a church

  8. chancel – the part of a church where the priests and the choir (=singers) sit

  9. to dismantle – to take a machine or piece of equipment apart so that it is in separate pieces

  10. to inter – to bury a dead person

  11. crypt – a room under a church, used in the past for burying people

  12. ecclesiastical – relating to the Christian church or its priests

  13. vault – a room where people from the same family are buried, often under the floor of a church

  14. to commemorate – to do something to show that you remember and respect someone important or an important event in the past

  15. sacrament – one of the important Christian ceremonies, such as marriage or communion

  16. coup – a sudden and sometimes violent attempt by citizens or the army to take control of the government [= coup d' état]

  17. cell – a small room in a prison or police station where prisoners are kept

  18. confinement – the act of putting someone in a room, prison etc that they are not allowed to leave, or the state of being there

  19. breach – an action that breaks a law, rule, or agreement

  20. lock-up – a small prison where a criminal can be kept for a short time

THE SAVIOUR ON THE BLOOD

The Church of the Resurrection of Christ (the Saviour on the Blood) is one of the few surviving memorial buildings of artistic and historical significance dating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is almost the only surviving monument dedicated to Alexander II in Russia.1234


The Church of the Saviour on the Blood is situated in the centre of St Petersburg, not far from the banks of Neva. Its gilded and coloured domes draw the attention of all eyes. The Church of the Resurrection of Christ is an outstanding example of late 19th-century Russian architecture, built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was fatally wounded by the People’s Will revolutionary Ignaty Grinevitsky on 1 March 1881. This event gave the Church its second, more commonly used name – the Church of the Saviour on the Blood.

Alexander II inherited a country with a vast feudal bureaucracy. The Tsar, as head of a country in which everything depended on his will, became the chief target for terrorists. Alexander II was a real Russian patriot. He put an end to the bloody Eastern War (1853-1856) and succeeded in making Russia more united and expanding its influence abroad. The course of events was dramatically diverted by the People’s Will (“Narodnaya Volya”) revolutionary group. It was a centralized and highly conspiratorial illegal organization. The party’s charter obliged its members to be ready to endure privations, prison and penal servitude. Members gave a commitment to lay down their lives for the party. People’s Will divided its activities between propaganda and terror. Its members considered terror an effective means of disrupting authority and as a weapon of attack. Their main goal was to overthrow imperial autocracy and to hand over power to the Russian people in the form of a freely and publicly elected Constituent Assembly.hello_html_168616fe.jpg

Eight assassination attempts were prepared upon the life of Alexander II. On 1 March 1881 Alexander II was killed. As a result of an explosion he received very serious wounds and his both legs were shattered below the knee. The executive committee of People’s Will put an end not only to the political career and life of Emperor Alexander II, but also to the hopes of Russian people for the establishment of constitutional monarchy in Russia. However, the “success” achieved by the People’s Will at the cost of great sacrifice turned to its heavy defeat. On 29 March many of its members were sentenced to death.

Alexander III decided to erect a church at the site of the tragedy. The Emperor expressed the desire that the church be in the style of Russian churches of the 16th and 17th centuries. Alexander III said: “It is also desirable that the actual spot where Alexander II was mortally wounded be inside the church as a special side-chapel.” The Tsar wanted not an ordinary church, but a memorial complex. Alexander III rejected many projects, but at last one of them was approved. The winning entry was the joint submission of the architect Alfred Parland and Archimandrite Ignaty (I.V. Malyshev), abbot of the Troitse-Sergieva Hermitage. The ceremonial laying of the foundation-stone took place in October 1883. Building work lasted for 24 years. The Church of the Resurrection was consecrated on 19 August 1907.

The unusual design and decoration of the Church of the Resurrection is a good reason to consider the building one of the most interesting architectural and artistic monuments in St Petersburg. The church draws the eye with its abundance of decorative elements – fancy window-casings, kokoshniks with mosaic inserts, horizontal articulation, glazed tiles and varicoloured roof tiles. More than twenty types of minerals both from Russia and abroad were used in the furnishing and decoration of the building. The facades of the church are adorned with more than 400 square metres of mosaic. Of particular interest is the jeweller’s enamel covering the building’s five domes. 12345

All this seems to be redundant to a certain extent, making emotional and symbolic perception of the structure more difficult. Nevertheless, the Church of the Saviour on the Blood does not strike the eye as a building of chaotic architecture or style. There is a single rhythm running through the church’s various architectural elements. The Church of the Saviour on the Blood stands out from the classical ensemble of the centre of St Petersburg, introducing an element of animation into the strict elegance and mathematically precise architectural forms of Classicism. Of special importance in the interior of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ is the canopy built on the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded by the People’s Will terrorists.

The Church was not intended for everyday use by the general public. It was employed for special services in memory of Alexander II. Following the Revolution in 1917, access to the cathedral was thrown open to all. Not intended for such heavy use, the building’s furnishings suffered considerably. The unique mosaic floor inlaid with Italian marble was almost entirely destroyed.

Baptism, funeral or marriage services were never held in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, there were none of the usual rites characteristic of Parish churches. Here, on the other hand, a sermon and requiem were said every day. In the 1920s, the Church of the Saviour on the Blood took over the role of cathedral church. On 30 October 1930 it was closed. After the war the building was used by the Maly Opera Theatre to store stage sets. On 20 July 1970, a decision was taken by Leningrad City Council to turn the Church of the Saviour on the Blood into a branch of St Isaac’s Cathedral State Museum. Restoration of the church is now coming to an end.


(Source: “THE SAVIOUR ON THE BLOOD Memorial Museum” by G. Butikov)


VOCABULARY.


  1. dome – a round roof on a building

  2. privation – a lack or loss of the things that everyone needs, such as food, warmth, and shelter

  3. penal servitude – when someone is punished by being kept in prison and made to do hard physical work

  4. commitment – a promise to do something or to behave in a particular way

  5. propaganda – information which is false or which emphasizes just one part of a situation, used by a government or political group to make people agree with them

  6. autocracy – a system of government in which one person or group has unlimited power

  7. to sentence – to give a punishment to someone who is guilty of a crime

  8. to consecrate – to officially state in a special religious ceremony that a place or building is holy and can be used for religious purposes

  9. mosaic – a pattern or picture made by fitting together small pieces of coloured stone, glass etc

  10. animation – liveliness and excitement

  11. classicism – a style of art, literature etc that is simple, regular, and does not show strong emotions

  12. baptism – a Christian religious ceremony in which someone is touched or covered with water to welcome them into the Christian faith, and sometimes to officially name them

  13. rite – a ceremony that is always performed in the same way, usually for religious purposes

  14. sermon – a talk given as part of a Christian church service, usually on a religious or moral subject

  15. requiem – a Christian ceremony in which prayers are said for someone who has died



ST ISAAC’S CATHEDRAL


St Isaac’s Cathedral is an integral part of St Petersburg and one of the largest domed buildings in the world. The splendid edifice standing close to the Neva embankment emphasizes the city skyline. St Isaac’s Cathedral is a unique phenomenon of Russian architecture. Built in the early 19-th century, it is remarkable for the perfect harmony of architecture, painting, sculpture, and mosaics. It is particularly notable for the splendour and variety of materials used for its construction and adornment. The Cathedral suffered a severe damage during World War II. The restoration took many years of hard work. St Isaac’s Cathedral is nowadays one of the largest museums in Europe.


St Isaac’s Cathedral, one of the finest Cathedral churches built in Europe in the 19th century, is a unique phenomenon in Russian architecture. This majestic edifice is a dominant feature of two squares in the centre of St Petersburg – St Isaac’s Square and Decembrists’ Square. The existing Cathedral is the fourth church to be constructed in this area. All of them were dedicated to St Isaac if Dalmatia, a legendary Byzantine monk. Peter I founded St Petersburg in 1703. Soon afterwards he decided to erect a cathedral dedicated to St Isaac of Dalmatia, whose feast-day, May 30th, coincided with Peter’s birthday. In 1707 a small wooden church was built on the Admiralty Green. In 1712 Peter I and Catherine had their public wedding there. Unassuming as it was in design and decoration, the church did not conform to the architectural look of the capital. hello_html_255994ed.jpg

On August 6, 1717, the foundations were laid for the second Church of St Isaac on the bank of Neva where the equestrian statue of Peter the Great (“The Copper Horseman”) now stands. But the site selected for the church proved unsuitable. The ground on the unfortified Neva bank began to shift, causing cracks in the building’s walls and vaults. The work of destruction was completed by a fire in May 1735. In 1761 a special decree of the Senate entrusted the design and construction of a new St Isaac’s church to Sawa Chevakinsky. But Catherine II, who came to the throne in 1762 entrusted the task of planning and building the new church to another architect, the famous Antonio Rinaldi. The edifice could have become one of Rinaldi’s finest creations, but the work was carried on very slowly. Rinaldi had to leave St Petersburg having not completed his work. After the death of Catherine II in 1796, Paul I, dissatisfied with the slow rate of progress, charged the architect Vincenzo Brenna to complete the work as soon as possible. The result was a rather squat building with one dome instead of five cupolas, which did not harmonize with the capital’s majestic image.

In 1816, Alexander I decided to start the rebuilding of St Isaac’s Cathedral. A young architect, Auguste Ricard de Montferrand, was put in charge of the work. In 1816, Montferrand came to Russia where he was to spend the greater part of his life, becoming in due course one of the most prominent architects of his age. The four decades which it took to rebuild St Isaac’s, 1818 to 1858, spanned a whole epoch in the development of Russian architecture and building techniques. The beginning of the construction work coincided with the flowering of Classicism in Russia, so St Isaac’s Cathedral was designed in the classical style.hello_html_m3cb7e51f.jpg

The Cathedral is surmounted with four turrets serving as bell-towers, and an impressive dome with a complicated design. The statues and reliefs which adorn the building form a remarkably large body of sculpture. Work on the Cathedral’s interior decoration began in 1841. The Cathedral interior impresses the viewer by its monumentality. The abundance of paintings, mosaics and sculptures, coupled with semiprecious stones and gilt work, produces a rich variety of colour effects. 400 kilograms of gold and 1,000 tons of bronze were spent for the decoration of the Cathedral. 16,000 kilograms of malachite and more than eleven square metres of lazurite were used for the facing of columns and architectural details of the high altar and two chapel altars. Decorative stones from various parts of the Russian Empire were also extensively used in the Cathedral’s interior. St Isaac’s Cathedral possesses a collection of murals and paintings in oils done in the mid-19th century that is the only one of this kind in Russia. The Cathedral’s largest mural (over 800 square metres) is on the ceiling of the main dome. It is The Virgin in Majesty by Karl Briullov.

On May 30, 1858, the Cathedral was opened. The consecration ceremony was attended by Alexander II and the Imperial family, by high-placed dignitaries of the church and the court. St Isaac’s became the principal cathedral of the capital of the Russian Empire and an important centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. After the 1917 October Revolution the Cathedral continued to operate (till 1928). In 1931, it was converted into a museum by a decree of the Soviet government. The same year Nikolai Kamenshchikov, the well-known Soviet astronomer, staged the world’s largest experiment with the Foucault pendulum in the museum; it demonstrated the rotation of Earth on its axis, postulated by Copernicus. Today this experiment is demonstrated at the St Petersburg Planetarium. During the War of 1941-45 the Cathedral premises were used for storing treasures and archives brought here from several palace museums in the city’s environs. Sculptures, furniture, porcelain and museum documents of the greatest value were carefully preserved by the museum’s staff throughout the long and hard months of the siege of Leningrad. The Cathedral museum suffered heavy damage during the war, in particular as regards its decoration. Large-scale restoration work done by many architects, artists and sculptures in the postwar period returned its former splendor to the Cathedral. This majestic edifice still sums up the achievements in building techniques, architecture and various branches of decorative art in Russia during the first half of the 19th century.hello_html_m4fd28e54.jpg


(Source: “St Isaac’s Cathedral” by G. Butikov)


VOCABULARY.


  1. to dedicate – to state in an official ceremony that a building will be given someone's name in order to show respect for them

  2. unassuming – showing no desire to be noticed or given special treatment [= modest]

  3. to conform – to be similar to what people expect or think is usual

  4. equestrian – relating to horse-riding

  5. vault – a roof or ceiling that consists of several arches that are joined together, especially in a church

  6. squat – short and thick or low and wide, especially in a way which is not attractive

  7. to coincide – to happen at the same time as something else, especially by chance

  8. to surmount – to be above or on top of something

  9. turret – a small tower on a large building, especially a castle

  10. bell-tower – a tall narrow building either built on its own or forming part of a castle, church etc

  11. mural – a painting that is painted on a wall, either inside or outside a building

  12. dignitary – someone who has an important official position [= VIP]

  13. to convert – to change something into a different form of thing, or to change something so that it can be used for a different purpose or in a different way

  14. premises – the buildings and land that a shop, restaurant, company etc uses

  15. siege – a situation in which an army or the police surround a place and try to gain control of it or force someone to come out of it


ST PETERSBURG QUIZ


Do you know much about St Petersburg? Answer the questions below and find out.


1) Saint Petersburg is located on ……….

A. the Neva River B. the Volga River C. the Oka River


2) From 1924 to 1991 the city's name was ……….герб3

A. Petrograd B. Leningrad C. Ekaterinburg


3) St Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia in ……….

A. 1603 B. 1703 C. 1803


4) Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in ……

A. 1612 B. 1705 C. 1712


5) Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in ……….

A. 1818 B. 1918 C. 1988


6) Saint Petersburg is sometimes referred to as ……….

A. the northern capital B. the southern capital C. the western capital


7) During World War II, Leningrad was besieged by Nazi Germany and co-belligerent Finland. The siege lasted ……….

A. 712 days B. 872 days C. 982 days


8) The highest building in St Petersburg is ……….

A. the Hermitage B. St Isaac’s Cathedral C. Peter and Paul Cathedral


9) The equestrian statue of Peter the Great The Bronze Horseman is situated in ……….

A. Senate Square B. Trinity Square C. Palace Square


10) The largest museum of St Petersburg is ……….

A. the Russian Museum B. the Hermitage Museum C. The Zoological Museum


11) The main street in the city of St Petersburg is ……….

A. Nevsky Prospekt B. Voznesensky Prospekt C. Liteyny Prospekt


12) The Church of the Saviour on the Blood is almost the only surviving monument dedicated to ……….

A. Peter the Great B. Nicholas II C. Alexander II


13) Peter the Great is buried in ……….

A. Peter and Paul Cathedral B. St Isaac’s Cathedral C. Kazan Cathedral


14) Peter's museum dedicated to preserving "natural and human curiosities and rarities" is ……….

A. the Artillery Museum B. The Kunstkamera C. the Central Naval Museum


15) The first and most famous bridge across the Fontanka River in Saint Petersburg is ……….

A. the Palace Bridge B. the Anichkov Bridge C. the Exchange bridge



ANSWERS: 1.A 2.B 3.B 4.C 5.B 6.A 7.B 8.C 9.A 10.B 11.A 12.C 13.A 14.B 15.B

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Каждый мечтает посмотреть все красоты этого уникального города и полюбоваться его улицами, музеями, дворцами, храмами и театрами.

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Поработав со статьями самостоятельно, учащиеся могут сократить или дополнить их по своему желанию, придумать собственные задания и тесты и представить себя в роли настоящих экскурсоводов. юнёва-светлана.рф

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Статьи на английском языке для учащихся старших классов «Открывая Санкт-Петербург»

VOCABULARY.

1. citadel – a strong fort built in the past as a place where people could go for safety if their city was attacked [= fortress]

2. moat – a deep wide hole, usually filled with water, dug around a castle as a defence 

3. rampart – a wide pile of earth or a stone wall built to protect a castle or city in the past 

4. mint – a place where coins are officially made 

5. pendant – a jewel, stone etc that hangs from a thin chain that you wear around your neck

6. garrison – a group of soldiers living in a town or fort and defending it or the buildings where a garrison of soldiers live

7. spire – a roof that rises steeply to a point on top of a tower, especially on a church

8. chancel – the part of a church where the priests and the choir (=singers) sit

9. to dismantle – to take a machine or piece of equipment apart so that it is in separate pieces

10. to inter – to bury a dead person

11. crypt – a room under a church, used in the past for burying people

12. ecclesiastical – relating to the Christian church or its priests

13. vault – a room where people from the same family are buried, often under the floor of a church

14. to commemorate – to do something to show that you remember and respect someone important or an important event in the past

15. sacrament – one of the important Christian ceremonies, such as marriage or communion

16. coup – a sudden and sometimes violent attempt by citizens or the army to take control of the government [= coup d état]

17. cell – a small room in a prison or police station where prisoners are kept

18. confinement – the act of putting someone in a room, prison etc that they are not allowed to leave, or the state of being there

19. breach – an action that breaks a law, rule, or agreement

20. lock-up – a small prison where a criminal can be kept for a short time

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