Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
St. Petersburg

St Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great as the «Window to the West». Thousands of workmen were brought from all parts of Russia to build a new city on the swampy land at the mouth of the Neva River. Peter the Great was in a hurry. The work was fast and hard, and workmen dropped dead by the hundreds. But the work went on. St Petersburg, a city of great beauty, with palaces, cathedrals, churches, government buildings became the capital.

Under later rulers the new capital of the Russian Empire grew rapidly in wealth and beauty. Architects were brought from western Europe to lay out the city in harmonious squares. Buildings were constructed of grey and rose-coloured granite. The Hermitage Palace and the Winter Palace, the homes of the tsars, were equal to any in Europe.

When the first world war began in 1914, the German-sounding name, St Petersbourg, was changed to Petrograd. After the Great October Revolution the city was renamed after Lenin.

During the Great Patriotic War the city suffered a great deal. The German armies laid siege to it in 1941, and for the next year and a half it was cut off from the rest of the country. No food could be brought in, and people died of starvation. Daily shelling and air raids destroyed parts of the city, thousands of people were killed. Rebuilding took years.

Now St. Petersburg is an important industrial, cultural and educational centre. The population of the city is over 5 million.

St. Peterburg is indeed a wonderful city. At every turn there is something to catch your eye. The Winter Palace, the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, St Isaac’s Cathedral, the Peter-and-Paul Fortress, the Admiralty building attract thousands of tourists from every corner of the world.

Petersburg’s many museums house some of the world’s famous art collections. The Hermitage, for example, contains the richest collection of pictures in the world. The city is called Northern Venice because there are 65 rivers and canals there with artistically decorated bridges. It’s also famous for its beautiful white nights.

Topical Vocabulary

- the second largest city in Russia
второй по величине город в России
to be founded in ... by
быть основанным в... (кем-либо)
Peter the Great
Петр Великий
a workman
a swampy land
болотистая местность
at the mouth of
в устье (какой-либо реки)
to be in a hurry
to drop dead by the hundreds
падать замертво сотнями
a city of great beauty
прекрасный город
a palace
a cathedral
a church
- under later rulers
при более поздних правителях
to grow rapidly in wealth and beauty
быстро богатеть и хорошеть
an architect
to lay out the city
разбивать город
to be constructed of granite
быть построенным из гранита
the Hermitage Palace
the Winter Palace
Зимний дворец
to be equal to any in Europe
не уступать любому в Европе
- a German-sounding name
название, звучащее на немецкий лад
to be renamed after
быть переименованным и названным в честь (кого-либо)
- during the Great Patriotic War
во время Великой Отечественной войны
to suffer a great deal
сильно пострадать
to lay siege to
начать блокаду (чего-либо)
to be cut off from the rest of the country
быть отрезанным от остальной части страны
to die of starvation
умирать от голода
daily shelling and air raids
ежедневные бомбежки и воздушные налеты
зд.: восстановление
- at every turn
на каждом повороте
to catch one’s eye
привлекать внимание
to attract thousands of tourists
привлекать тысячи туристов
- to house smth.
размещать что-либо
a world’s famous art collection
всемирно знаменитая художественная коллекция
to contain
an artistically decorated bridge
мост, отделка которого имеет художественную ценность

Answer the questions:

  1. How was St. Petersburg built?
  2. What kind of city was built by the workmen?
  3. When was the city renamed?
  4. What happened to the city during the Great Patriotic War?
  5. What kind of city is St. Petersburg?
  6. What museums and other sights is St. Petersburg noted for?
  7. What else is St. Petersburg famous for?

Translate into English:

  1. Санкт-Петербург, второй по величине город России, был основан в 1703 году.
  2. Тысячи рабочих, привезенных изо всех частей России, построили великолепный город.
  3. При более поздних правителях западные архитекторы спланировали город, рабочие построили здания из серого и розового гранита.
  4. По красоте Санкт-Петербург не уступает любому из европейских городов.
  5. Санкт-Петербург переименовывался несколько раз: в 1914 году звучащее на немецкий манер название сменили на Петроград; после Великой Октябрьской революции город назвали в честь Ленина; в 90-е годы ему вернули его первоначальное название.
  6. Город пострадал во время блокады, от бомбежек и налетов.
  7. После войны Ленинград был восстановлен.
  8. Великолепные дворцы, соборы и музеи Санкт-Петербурга привлекают тысячи туристов из разных стран.
  9. Санкт-Петербург знаменит также своими белыми ночами и всемирно известными музеями, которые содержат богатейшие художественные коллекции.