Big American cities

Washington DC

It is the capital of the USA. D.C. stands for District of Columbia. It situated on the Potomac River, about 4000000 inhabitants live there. It’s the seat of the federal government of the United States.

History

It was built on a ten-mile-square (16 square km) territory ceded(postoupit) to the federal government by the two surrounding states, Maryland and Virginia. The city’s territory does not belong to any of the 50 American states in particular, and therefore it belongs to all American citizens. Washington, D.C. was named after the first American President, George Washington. The abbreviation ‘D.C.’ stands for ‘District of Columbia’. The capital is the US legislative, administrative, and juidical center.

Places of Interest

Capitol Building – situated on Capitol Hill, built to he plans of Dr. William Thorton, whose design was elected by competition, in 1814 the unfinished Capitol Building was partially destroyed by fire, finally in 1827, the old Capitol was completed, it has two separate chambers – the House of Representative (south wing) and Senate (north wing), on the top of the building is the bronze Statue of Freedom, every four years the president comes here for his Inauguration

White House - president‘s residence, exterior walls were made of sandstone and painted on white, official rooms are on the first floor while second and third floor are reserved for the Presidential family, it has 132 rooms and 20 baths and showers – Blue room – in this room the President and First Lady receive guests at state dinners, East room – decorated in white and gold, used for the state receptions, it‘s largest

Washington monument – 1885, it’s symbol of the President Washington and Washington city, about 170m high and 4,5m wide at base (there are lots of statues of George Washington in W.)

Jefferson Memorial – 1934, commemorates the third US President, adaptation of the ancient Roman Pantheon, a bronze statue of Thomas dominates the open-air interior of the Monument Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence, the four wall panels surrounding the statue are inscribed with Jefferson‘s writings

Lincoln Memorial – 1922, commemorates the 16th US President, it is a white marble building designed by Henry Bacon, there is famous 6m high marble statue of a seated Lincoln
Vietnam Veterans Memorial – a simple but solemn black granite wall engraved with the names of those 58 000 killed or missing in the Vietnam War. USA helped the government of the South.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial (opposite to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial) - this open-air memorial honors members of the US Armed Forces who served in the Korean War (1950-53).

Other memorials to be found in Washington, D.C. are for example the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

Arlington National Cemetery – located across the Arlington Memorial Bridge. It overlooks The Potomac River and Washington. It is in Arlington in the state of Virginia. It is the national cemetery for American military men. Many outstanding Americans are buried there including H. Taft, Robert and John F. Kenedy, contains the graves of over 200 000 military personnel

Pentagon - largest office building in the world, situated in Arlington, it‘s called the Pentagon because of its shape

Smithsonian Institution - founded in 1846 through a bequest to the US from Henry Smithson, non-profit corporation, It administers dozen of museums, galleries, The national ZOO park, Kennedy centre for the Performing Arts and a number of research and study laboratories.
National Gallery of Art - independent institution, artefacts from the Middle Ages to the present (Raphael, Tizian, da Vinci, …)

National Theatre – focuses on plays and musicals

American Film Institute – centre of drama, concerts and dance performances

Concert Hall – home of the National Symphony Orchestra

Opera House

Library of Congress built in the years 1888-1894. Its inside is beautifully decorated in the Art Nouveau style. The library stores such documents as The Constitution of the United States and The Declaration of Independence.

These museums are for example: the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Air and Space Museum.

Washington, D.C. has its own university which is called Georgetown University and is considered very prestigeous.

The Washington Cathedral is built in a fake-gothic style. It stands on a hill overlooking the city.
Lastly, some other interesting institutions to be found in Washington, D.C. are the FBI building, the Pentagon, the National Archives, and the Old Post Office with the Old Post Office Tower.

New York

6 official languages - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish. New York is the biggest city in the USA. The number of inhabitants is about 18 million. It belongs to the largest cities in the world. It is sometimes called "The Big Apple" or The city, which never sleeps– because of the amount of people. New York has five major parts: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island (Richmond) and Brooklyn. The black quarter - Harlem - is in northern part of Manhattan.

Place of Interest

Statue of Liberty - on Liberty Island, symbol of freedom, 46 m high, 225 tones, the statue was given by the people of France to American people to commemorate French-American friendship
Broadway is the centre of cultural life. There is concentrated most of entertainment (e. g. Metropolitan Opera or Carnage Hall).

The island is washed by the Hudson River and the East River.

East Village is a centre of many ethnic restaurants, boutiques and jazz clubs.

Greenwich Village is the home of artists a writers.

Manhattan - heart of the New York, large number of skyscrapers on a small area, the commercial and the financial centre. New York is famous for its Manhattan skyline - a large number of skyscrapers on a small area. They started to built skyscrapers here because the price of land on the island was very high. The first skyscraper was built in 1903. Today they are built with the help of computers. In the fact the skyscrapers are small towns. We can find here residential quarters, offices, parking lots, restaurants, shops, fitness centres, swimming pool. Living here is very expensive.

The highest skyscraper in New York is The World Trade Center. It was built in 1973 and had 110 floors and more than 100 000 people came and went here every day. Another interesting skyscraper in N. Y. is Empire State Building. It has 102 floors and a TV tower and a restaurant at the top. There are also many others - e. g. Chrysler Building, PanAm Building and UN building.

Wall Street - centre of US‘s financial world

United Nations Headquarters – seat of the United Nations Organisation

City Hall - the Mayor‘s office and the place for official ceremonies are situated there

Times Square - centre of performing arts
- people go there to welcome the New Year

St. Paul‘s Chapel - the oldest church in New York, built in 1766

St. Patrick‘s Cathedral - the largest Roman-catholic church in America, inspired by the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe, built in 1888, 2400 seats

29 universities - Columbia University - the oldest and largest university in the country
- New York University - the largest private university in the US

LINCOLN CENTER – a large complex of buildings:
New York State Theatre - home of the New York City Opera a New York City Ballet
Metropolitan Opera House - founded by wealthy New Yorkers, who wanted to have their own opera house

Metropolitan Museum of Art - collection of art (paintings, sculptures, furniture) from Africa, the Pacific, America, China as well as Europe

American Museum of Natural History – its collections document native American, African and Pacific civilisations

Central Park - largest of the New York‘s parks

Philadelphia

Is in the State of Pennsylvania. And it is an important historical place because the Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776 was adopted there. It was the first capital of the USA.

Chicago

Lies on the banks of Lake Michigan. We can find here the highest skyscraper in the USA - Sears Tower. Chicago is a centre of steel and iron industries

Detroit

Is the centre of US car industry (e. g. Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac)

Los Angeles

We can find here the famous film centre - Hollywood and luxurious quarters - e. g. Beverly Hills. The biggest ZOO in the world is here.

Las Vegas

Lies in Nevada is known for gambling and night life.

New Orleans

Is situated in the South. There was born jazz and the Spanish influence can still be seen on the architecture.

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  14. září 2008
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