Moscow State Pedagogical University
the department of sociology,
chair of English language
Course paper on the topic
student of the 3rd year
I. A few words about this work.
Scotland – how does it look like?
& animal life.
Early peoples of Scotland & their relations.
“… we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion
of the English…”
Scotland’s beautiful capital.
4.St. Giles’ Cathedral.
6.Where life is one long festival.
few words about tartan.
national musical instrument of the Scots.
dances and games.
6.The famous Loch Ness.
7.St. Andrew’s Cross.
for every season.
I.A few words about this work.
Though Scotland is a part of The United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland it still remains an individual country with
its own traditions, customs, history and the way of life. In one word, Scotland
is not England at all. It is a country with a unique culture full of ancient
legends, bright contrasts and mysterious castles. Secrets and mystery always
appear immediately when you open a book about Scotland.
But unfortunately you can come across such a
problem as lack of literature on this topic. I was lucky to find several books
that gave exhaustive information about this magic country. I was so exited by
the Scottish national heroes and by this independent nation that I decided to
find out more information about them.
Some people say that if you haven’t been in
Venice you haven’t seen Italy at all. I can say that if you haven’t been in
Scotland you haven’t seen Britain at all. As for me I was lucky to visit the
capital of England London. But alas! I didn’t have any opportunity to visit or
just to have a glimpse of Scotland, a land of festivals, kilts and bagpipes.
It seemed to me that after visiting London I
know everything about Britain. And only after reading several books about Scotland
I realized how wrong I had been. Now I can just say: “I wish I were in Scotland!”
I was seized with an idea of studying more about
it and that is why I decided to take this topic for my course paper. I am not
sure that I will be able to tell everything that I found out about this country
and its people. But I promise to depict all unforgettable events and traditions
of the Scottish people that impressed me most of all.
II.Scotland – what does
it look like?
Scotland, administrative division of the kingdom
of Great Britain, occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
on the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North Sea; on the
southeast by England; on the south by Solway Firth, which
separates it from England, and by the Irish Sea; and on the west by
Channel, which separates it from Ireland, and by the Atlantic Ocean.
As a geopolitical entity Scotland includes 186 nearby islands, the majority of
which are contained in three groups-namely, the Hebrides, also known as the
Western Islands, situated off the western coast; the Orkney Islands, situated
off the northeastern coast; and the Shetland Islands, situated northeast of the
Orkney Islands. The largest of the other islands is the Island of Arran. The
area, including the islands, is 78,772 sq km (30,414 sqmi).
Scotland has a very irregular coastline. The
western coast in particular is deeply penetrated by numerous arms of the sea,
most of which are narrow submerged valleys, known locally as sea lochs,
and by a number of broad indentations, generally called firths. The principal
firths are the Firth of Lorne, the Firth of Clyde, and Solway Firth.
is characterized by an abundance of streams and lakes (lochs). Notable among
the lakes, which are especially numerous in the central and northern regions,
are Loch Lomond (the largest), Loch Ness, Loch Tay, and Loch Katrine.
Many of the rivers of Scotland, in particular
the rivers in the west, are short, torrential streams, generally of little
commercial importance. The longest river of Scotland is the Tay; the Clyde,
however, is the principal navigational stream, site of the port of Glasgow.
Other chief rivers include the Forth, Tweed, Dee, and Spey.
Like the climate of the rest of Great Britain,
that of Scotland is subject to the moderating influences of the surrounding
seas. As a result of these influences, extreme seasonal variations are rare,
and temperate winters and cool summers are the outstanding climatic features.
Low temperatures however, are common during the winter season in the
mountainous districts of the interior. In the western coastal region, which is
subject to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream, conditions are somewhat
milder than in the east.
and Animal Life
The most common species of trees indigenous to
Scotland are oak and conifers-chiefly fir, pine, and larch. Large forested areas,
however, are rare, and the only important woodlands are in the southern and
eastern Highlands. Except in these wooded areas, vegetation in the elevated
regions consists largely of heather, ferns, mosses, and grasses. Saxifrage,
mountain willow, and other types of alpine and arctic flora occur at elevations
above 610 m (2000 ft). Practically all of the cultivated plants of Scotland
were imported from America and the European continent.
The only large indigenous mammal in Scotland is
the deer. Both the red deer and the roe deer are found, but the red deer, whose
habitat is the Highlands, is by far the more abundant of the two species. Other
indigenous mammals are the hare, rabbit, otter, ermine, pine marten, and
Scotland, like the rest of the island of Great
Britain, has significant reserves of coal. It also possesses large deposits of
zinc, chiefly in the south. The soil is generally rocky and infertile, except
for that of the Central Lowlands. Northern Scotland has great hydroelectric
power potential and contains Great Britain's largest hydroelectric generating
stations. Beginning in the late 1970s, offshore oil deposits in the North Sea
became an important part of the Scottish economy. The most important city here
is Aberdeen which is the oil centre of the country. Ships and helicopters
travel from Aberdeen to the North Sea oil rigs. Therefore, Scotland is rather
rich in natural resources and sometimes can even condition to England.
The people of Scotland, like those of Great
Britain in general, are descendants of various racial stocks, including the
Picts, Celts, Scandinavians, and Romans. Scotland is a mixed rural-industrial
society. Scots divide themselves into Highlanders, who consider themselves of
purer Celtic blood and retain a stronger feeling of the clan, and Lowlanders,
who are largely of Teutonic blood.
Government in Scotland is in four tiers. A new Scottish
Parliament was elected in 1999, following devolution of powers from the
United Kingdom Parliament in London. This is the first time Scotland has had
its own parliament in 300 years. The Scottish Parliament, which sits in
Edinburgh, is responsible for most aspects of Scottish life. The national
parliament in Westminster (London) retains responsibility for areas such as
defence, foreign affairs and taxation. The European Parliament in Brussels
(Belgium) exercises certain powers vested in the European Union.
The Scottish Parliament is supported by the Scottish
Executive also based in Edinburgh. The Scottish Government is led by a
First Minister. A Secretary of State for Scotland remains part of the UK
Cabinet, and is supported by the Scotland Office (previously the Scottish
Office) based in Glasgow, with offices in Edinburgh and London.
Top of Form 1
Bottom of Form 1
is divided into 29 unitary authorities and three island authorities, having
been subject to a major reorganization in 1995.
has its own legal system, judiciary and an education system which, at
all levels, differs from that found "south of the border" in England
Scotland also has its own banking system and its
own banknotes. Edinburgh is the second financial centre of the UK and one of
the major financial centres of the world.
The main part.
I.Early peoples of
Scotland and their relations.
(see Appendices, page
Most historians agree that the first man
appeared in Scotland as long ago as 6,000 BC. Bone and antler fishing spears
and other rudimentary implements found along the western part of the country
serve as evidence to support this theory. The Beaker civilization arrived
three thousand years later, and is notable for its henges (of which Stonehenge
is one of the most famous). The Beaker people eventually spread as far north as
a result of its geography, Scotland has two different societies. In the center
of Scotland mountains stretch to the far north and across to the west, beyond
which lie many islands. To the east and to the south the lowland hills are
gentler, and much of the countryside is like England, rich, welcoming and easy
to farm. North of the “Highland Line”
people stayed tied to their own family groups. South and east of this line society
was more easily influenced by the changes taking place in England.
was populated by four separate groups of people. The main group, the Picts,
lived mostly in the north and northeast. They spoke Celtic as well as another,
probably older, language completely unconnected with any known language today,
and they seem to have been the earliest inhabitants of the land.
non-Pictish inhabitants were mainly Scots. The Scots were Celtic settlers who
started to move into the western Highlands from Ireland in the fourth century.
843 the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms were united under a Scottish king, who
could also probably claim the Picts throne through his mother, in this way
obeying both Scottish and Pictish rules of kingship.
third inhabitants were the Britons, who inhabited the Lowlands, and had been
part of the Romano-British world. They had probably given up their old tribal
way of life by the sixth century.
there were Angels from Nothambria who had pushed northwards into the Scottish
between Picts, Scots and Britons was achieved for several reasons. They shared
a common Celtic culture, language and background. Their economy mainly depended
on keeping animals. These animals were owned by the tribe as a hole, and for
this reason land was also held by tribes, not by individual people. The common
economic system increased their feeling of belonging to the same kind of
society and the difference from the agricultural Lowlands. The sense of common
culture may have been increased by marriage alliances between tribes. This idea
of common landholding remained strong until the tribes of Scotland, called
collapsed in the eighteenth century.
spread of Celtic Christianity also helped to unite the people. The first
Christian mission to Scotland had come to southwest Scotland in about AD 400.
Later, in 563, Columba, known as the “Dove of the Church”, came from Ireland.
Through his work both Highland Scots and Picts were brought to Christianity. He
even, so it is said, defeated a monster in Loch Ness, the first mention of this
famous creature. By the time of the Synod of Whitby in 663, the Picts, Scots
and Britons had all been brought closer together by Christianity.
Angles were very different from the Celts. They had arrived in Britain in
family groups, but they soon began to accept the authority from people outside
their own family. This was partly due to their way of life. Although they kept
some animals, they spent more time growing crops. This meant that land was held
by individual people, each man working in his own field. Land was distributed
for farming by the local lord. This system encouraged the Angles of Scotland to
develop a non-tribal system of control, as the people of England further south were
doing. This increased their feeling of difference from the Celtic tribal
Highlanders further north.
as in Ireland and in Wales, foreign invaders increased the speed of political
change. Vikings attacked the coastal areas of Scotland, and they settled on
many of the islands, Shetland, the Orkneys, the Hebrides, and the Isle of Man
southwest of Scotland. In order to resist them, Picts and Scots fought together
against the enemy raiders and settles. When they couldn’t push them out of the
islands and coastal areas, they had to deal with them politically. At first the
Vikings, or “Norsemen”, still served the King of Norway. But communications
with Norway were difficult. Slowly the earls of Orkney and other areas found it
easier to accept the king of Scots as their overlord, rather than the more
distant king of Norway.
as the Welsh had also discovered, the English were a greater danger than the
Vikings. In 934 the Scots were seriously defeated by a Wessex army pushing
northwards. The Scots decided to seek the friendship of the English, because of
the likely losses from war. England was obviously stronger than Scotland but,
luckily for the Scots, both the north of England and Scotland were difficult to
control from London. The Scots hoped that if they were reasonably peaceful the
would leave them along.
remained a difficult country to rule even from its capital, Edinburgh. Anyone
looking at a map of Scotland can see that control of the Highlands and islands
was a great problem. Travel was often impossible in winter, and slow and
difficult in summer. It was easy for a clan chief or noble to throw off the
rule of the king.
II. “…we will
never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the English.”
England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were once
known as the British Isles. Nowadays this term is normally used only in
Geography. In fact, the people of these isles have seldom been politically or
culturally united. English kings started wars to unite the British Isles from
the 12th century. These wars were wars of conquest and only the
Welsh war was a success.
At that time England was ruled by several
ambitious kings, who wanted to conquer more countries for themselves and to add
more titles to their names. They had, as a rule, absolutely no interest in the
people of the countries that they wished to conquer. It did not concern them
that these wars brought misery to the people in whose land they fought. The
result was generally to create a strong, national, patriotic feeling in the
invaded country, and a great hatred of the invader.
I don’t have much space here to speak about the
history of Scotland in details that is why I’d like to mention one historical
episode which shows the Scottish attitude towards freedom and independence.
(For the chronology of the events in the history of Scotland see Appendices,
Although Scottish kings had sometimes accepted
the English king as their “overlord”, they were much stronger than the many
Welsh kings had been. Scotland owes its clan system partly to an Englishwoman,
Margaret, the Saxon Queen of Malcolm III. After their marriage in 1069, she
introduced new fashions and new ideas to the Scottish court – and among the new
ideas was the feudal system of land tenure. Until that time, most of the
country had been divided into seven semi-independent tribal provinces. Under
the feudal system, all land belonged to the king, who distributed it among his
followers in exchange for allegiance and service. But a Highland chieftain
could easily ignore a far-off Lowland king and, as time went by, the clan
chiefs became minor kings themselves. They made alliances with other clans, had
the power of life and death over their followers.
By the 11th century there was only
one king of Scots, and he ruled over all the south and east of Scotland. In
Ireland and Wales Norman knights were strong enough to fight local chiefs on
their own. But only the English king with a large army could hope to defeat the
Scots. Most English kings did not even try, but Edward I was different.
The Scottish kings were closely connected with
England. Since Saxon times marriages had frequently taken place between the
Scottish and English royal families. At the same time the Scottish kings wanted
to establish strong government and so they offered land to Norman knights from
England in return for their loyalty.
In 1290 a crises took place over the succession
to the Scottish throne. On a stormy night in 1286 King Alexander of Scotland
was riding home along a path by the sea in the dark. His horse took a false
step, and the king was thrown from the top of a cliff.
Disputes arose at once among all those who had
any claim at all to the Scottish throne. Finally two of the claimants, John de
Balliol and Robert Bruce, were left. Scottish nobles wanted to avoid civil war
and invited Edward I to settle the matter. Edward had already shown interest in
joining Scotland to his kingdom. He wanted his son to marry Margaret, the heir
to the Scottish throne, but she had died in a shipwreck. Now he had another
chance. He told both men that they must do homage to him, and so accept his
overlordship, before he would help settle the question. He then invaded
Scotland and put one of them, John de Balliol, on the Scottish throne.
De Balliol’s four years as a king were not a
success. First Edward made him provide money and troops for the English army
and the Scottish nobles rebelled. They felt that Edward was ruining their
Then Edward invaded Scotland again, and captured
all the main Scottish castles. During this invasion he stole the sacred Stone
of Destiny from Scone Abbey. The legend said that all Scottish kings must sit
on it. Edward believed that without the Stone, any Scottish coronation would be
meaningless, and that his own possession of the Stone would persuade the Scots
to accept him as king. However, neither he nor his successors became kings of
Scots, and the Scottish kings managed perfectly well without the stone.
All this led to the creation a popular
resistance movement. At first it was led by William Wallace, a Norman-Scottish
knight. But after one victory against English army, Wallace’s “people’s army”
was itself destroyed by Edward in 1297.
It seemed that Edward had won after all. Wallace
was captured and executed. His head was put on a pole on London Bridge. Edward
tried to make Scotland a part of England as he had already done with Wales.
Some Scottish nobles accepted him, but the people refused to be ruled by the
English king. Scottish nationalism was born on the day Wallace died.
A new leader took up the struggle. This was
Robert Bruce, who had competed with John de Balliol for the throne. He was able
to raise an army and defeat the English army in Scotland. Edward the I gathered
another great army and marched against Robert Bruce, but he died on the way
north in 1327. On Edward’s grave were written the words “Edward, the Hammer of
the Scots”. He had intended to hammer them into the ground and destroy them,
but in fact he had hammered them into a nation.
After Edward’s death Bruce had enough time to
defeat his Scottish enemies, and make himself accepted as king of the Scots. He
then began to win back the castles still held by the English. When the son of
his old enemy Edward II invaded Scotland in 1314 Bruce destroyed his army at
Bannockburn, near Stirling. Six years later, in 1320, the Scots clergy meeting
in Arbroath wrote to the Pope in Rome to tell him that they would never accept
English authority: “for as long as even one hundred of us remain alive, we will
never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the English.”
In the long, bitter struggle for independence,
Scotland never capitulated, and when at last it became part of the United
Kingdom in 1707 it was by treaty, even if many Scots regarded the Act of Union
as a piece of treachery. It is still a land apart, with a very separate
culture. Scotland retained its separate legal and ecclesiastical systems, and
until well into the 20th century its separate system of free
education was the most advanced and generous in Britain. Nowadays, it has its
III. Scotland’s beautiful capital.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of the
most beautiful cities in Europe. This distinction is partly an accident of
Nature, for the city is built upon jumble of hills and valleys; however, during
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the natural geography was enhanced by
the works of a succession of distinguished Georgian and Victorian architects.
Evidence that Stone Ages settlers lived in
Edinburgh has been found on Calton Hill,
and Castlehill, and the town’s early history centres around Castlehill. Some
historians believe that this volcanic hill was a tribal stronghold as early as
One tribe who definitely made their mark were a
group of Nothumbrians, whose 7th-century king Edwin,
is thought to have given his name to the castle and town. “Burgh” is a Scottish
word for borough (a small town).
2. Edinburgh’s Castle
The Royal Castle of Edinburgh is the most powerful
symbol of Scotland. For centuries, this mighty fortress has dominated its
surroundings with a majesty, which has deeply impressed many generations.
The volcanic castle rock in Edinburgh was born over
340 million years ago following a violent eruption deep in the earth’s crust.
Its story as a place of human habitation stretches back a mere 3,000 years, to
the late Bronze Age. It was evidently a thriving hill-top settlement when Roman
soldiers marched by in the first century AD.
The place had become an important royal fortress by
the time of Queen Margaret’s
death there in November 1093. Throughout the Middle Ages Edinburgh Castle
ranked as one of the major castles of the kingdom and its story is very much
the story of Scotland. But within the building of the Palace of Holyroodhouse
in the early 16th century, the castle was used less and less as a
royal residence, though it remained symbolically the heart of the kingdom.
Edinburgh Castle is the home of the Scottish Crown
Jewels, the oldest Royal Regalia in Britain. The Honours of Scotland – the
Crown, Sword and Sceptre – were shaped in Italy and Scotland during the reigns
of King James IV and king James V and were first used together as coronation
regalia in 1543.
After the 1707 Treaty of Union between Scotland and
England, the Honours were locked away in the Crown Room and the doors were
walled up. 111 years later, the Honours were rediscovered and immediately
displayed to the public. Displayed with the Crown Jewels is the Stone of
Destiny, returned to Scotland after 700 years in England.
Edinburgh Castle boasts having the giant siege gun
Mons Meg in its military collection. Mons Meg (or simply “Mons”) was made at
Mons (in present-day Belgium) in 1449. It was at the leading edge of artillery
technology at the time: it weighs 6040 kilogrammes and its firing gunstones
weigh 150 kilogrammes. It soon saw action against the English. But it great
weigh made it ponderously slow to drag around – it could only make 5 kilometres
a day. By the middle of the 16th century it was retired from
military service and restricted to firing salutes from the castle ramparts. It
was returned to the castle in 1829.
3. The Military Tattoo
For many visitors the castle means nothing without
the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
which is taking place at the Castle Esplanade. The esplanade had been a narrow
rocky ridge until the middle of the 18th century when the present
platform was created as a parade ground.
The signal (Tattoo) indicated that soldiers should
return to their quarters and that the beer in the taverns should be turned off.
This signal was transmitted by drum beat each evening. Eventually this
developed into a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands.
It began when the city held its first International
Festival in the summer of 1947. The Army staged an evening military display on
the Esplanade. The march and counter-march of the pipes and drums which was
held near one of the most dramatic places anywhere in the world made it an
immediate success. The Tattoo has been repeated every summer since on the same
site. Each Tattoo closes with another “tradition”- the appearance of the lone
piper on the battlements of the castle.
4. St. Giles’ Cathedral
If Edinburgh Castle has been at the centre of
Scottish life for 9 centuries, St. Giles’ Cathedral, the High Kirk of
Edinburgh, has been the religious heart of Scotland for even longer.
In 854 there was a church. It belonged to
Lindisfarne, where Columba’s monks first brought the Gospel from Iona. In 1150,
the monks of St. Giles’ were farming lands round about and a bigger church was
built by the end of the century. The first parish church of Edinburgh was
dedicated to St. Giles, a saint popular in France. It was probably due to the
Auld Alliance of Scotland and France against the common enemy of England.
St Giles’Cathedral is one of the most historic and
romantic buildings in Scotland. Founded in 1100s, this church has witnessed
executions, riots and celebrations. Its famous crown spire has dominated
Edinburgh’s skyline for over 500 years. Scotland was a Catholic nation until
the Reformation in the mid-16th century.
the fiery “Trumpeter of God”, who preached against Popery, brought St. Giles
into great prominence. Knox’s aim was to create a reformed Church of Scotland,
to banish “popery”, to strengthen democracy and to set up a system of
comprehensive education. The religious transition was to take 130 years of
struggle to achieve.
Many of the famous Scots are commemorated in the
church, including R. Burns and R. L. Stevenson.
5. Edinburgh’s museums.
In the field of
arts, Edinburgh has a host of outstanding attractions for different tastes and
interests. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery provides a unique visual
history of Scotland, told through portraits of the figures who shaped it:
royals and rebels, poets and philosophers, heroes and villains. All the
portraits are of Scots, but not all are by Scots. The collection also holds
works by great English, European and American masters. Since the Gallery first
opened its doors, the collection has grown steadily to form a kaleidoscope of
Scottish life and history. Among the most famous portraits are Mary, Queen of
Scots, Ramsay’s portrait of philosopher David Hume, Nasmyth’s portrait of
Robert Burns, and Raeburn’s Sir Walter Scott. In addition to paintings, it
displays sculptures, miniatures, coins, medallions, drawings, watercolours and
The Royal Museum
and the Museum of Scotland are two museums under one roof. The Royal Museum is
Scotland’s premier museum and international treasure-house. It contains
material from all over the world. A vast and varied range of objects are on
display – from the endangered Giant Panda to working scale models of British
steam engines. The Museum of Scotland tells the remarkable story of a
remarkable country from the geological dawn of time to modern-day life in
Scotland. The variety and richness of Scotland’s long and vibrant history, is
brought to life by the fascinating stories each object and every gallery has to
At the heart of
the museum is the Kingdom of the Scots. This is the story of Scotland’s
emergence as a distinctive nation able to take its place on the European stage.
Here are the icons of Scotland’s past – objects connected with some of the most
famous events and best-known figures in Scottish history, from the Declaration
to Mary, Queen of Scots.
Described as “the
noisiest museum in the world”, the Museum of Childhood is a favourite with
adults and children alike. It is a treasure house, full of objects telling of
childhood, past and present. The museum has five public galleries. A list of
their contents makes it sound like a magical department store. There are riding
toys, push and pull toys, doll’s prams, yachts and boats, slot machines, a
punch and judy, a nickelodeon, a carousel horse, dolls’ houses, toy animals,
zoos, farms and circuses, trains, soldiers, optical toys, marionettes, soft
toys, games and much, much more.
In addition, the
museum features a time tunnel (with reconstructions of a school room, street
scene, fancy dress party and nursery from the days of our grandparents) an
activity area, and video presentations. The museum opened in 1955 was the first
museum in the world to specialize in the history of childhood. It also helps to
find out how children have been brought up, dressed and educated in decades
Story” is a museum with a difference. As the name implies, it uses oral
history, reminiscence, and written sources to tell the story of the lives, work
and leisure of te ordinary people of Edinburgh, from the late 18th
century to the present day. The museum is filled with the sounds, sights and
smells of the past – a prison cell, town crier, reform parade, cooper’s
workshop, fishwife, servant at work, dressmaker, 1940s kitchen, a wash-house,
pub and tea-room.
reconstructions are complimented by displays of photographs, everyday objects
and rare artifacts, such as the museum’s outstanding collections of trade union
banners and friendly society regalia.
6. Where life is one
may be called the Athens of the North, but from mid-August to early September
that’s probably because it’s hot, noisy and overpriced – and crawling with
Over the next
three weeks the population will double as half a million visitors invade
Britain’s most majestic city.
If you are a
theatre buff or a comedy fan, Edinburgh at Festival time
will be your idea of heaven. But the city is a centre for culture all year
In the run-up to
Christmas there are hundreds of shows, including Noel Coward’s Relative Values
at the King’s Theatre and the Anatomy Performance Company’s dance theatre at
the Traverse. Romeo and Juliet is at the Traverse, Les Miserables at the
Playhouse and The Recruiting Officer at the Lyceum. And outside Festival time,
you’ll find it a lot easier to get tickets.
As for the visual
arts, Edinburgh’s museums more than match any of the special exhibitions
mounted during the Festival.
Most attractive is the Scottish National Gallery of
Modern Art, in a stately home on the outskirts of the city. Here you can find
unbeatable masterpieces created by Picasso, Matisse and Hockney.
If shopping is more your stile, Jenners,
on Princes Street, is Edinburgh’s answer to Harrods. And the Scottish Gallery
on George Street is a happy hunting ground for collectors of fine art.
Edinburgh is full of good hotels but its dramatic sky-line is dominated by two
enormous hostelries at either end of Princes Street. The Caledonian and the
Balmoral (formerly the North British) were built by rival railway companies in
the days when competing steam trains raced from London.
You can also have a look at the Gothic monument to
Sir Walter Scott, which stands in East Princes Street Gardens and was begun in
1840. It is rather high, and narrow staircase (a total of 287 steps in several
stages) offers spectacular views of the city. Not far from the monument in
Princes Street Gardens one can find the oldest Floral Clock in the world, built
in 1903, consisting of about 25,000 flowers and plants.
Like all the best capitals, Edinburgh boasts
cosmopolitan influences. Asian shopkeepers sell Samosas and Scotch (mutton)
pies in the same thick Scots brogue, and the city is littered with Italian
The city has three universities: the University of
Edinburgh (1583), Herriot-Watt
(established in 1885; received university status in 1966) and Napier
Edinburgh is also an industrial centre. Its
industries include printing, publishing, banking, insurance, chemical
manufacture, electronics, distilling, brewing.
Oh Scotia! My dear, my native soil!
Scotland is a country of great variety with its own
unique character and strong tradition. Its cities offer a mixture of designer
lifestyle and age old tradition, while the countryside ranges from Britain’s
highest mountains and waterfalls to the most stunning gorges and glens.
Scotland’s national tradition is rather intense and
much alive even now and is rather rare in the modern world. Scotland is part of
Britain. But it is not England. The Scottishness is a real thing, not an
imaginary feeling, kind of picturesque survival of the past. It is based on
Scot’s law which is different from the English. Scotland has its own national
heroes fought in endless battles against the English ( William Wallace, Sir
John the Grahame , Robert Bruce and others).
1.'A wee dram'
Scots have their own national drink, and you need
only ask for Scotch, and that’s quite enough, you get what you wanted. More
than half of Scotland's malt whisky distilleries are in the Grampian Highlands,
and thus a third of the world's malt whisky is distilled here. A combination of
fertile agricultural land, a sheltered, wet climate and the unpolluted waters
of the River Spey and its tributaries, combined with the obvious enthusiasm of
the locals for the work (and the product!) mean it is an ideal place to produce
malt whisky. Many distilleries are open to visitors, and often offer samples!
The Scots are fond of the following joke about scotch:
A young man arrives in a
small village situated near Loch Ness. There he meets an old man and asks him:
When does the Loch Ness Monster usually appear?
Usually it appears after the third glass of Scotch, - answered the
There is also a distinctive national dress, the
kilt. Strictly speaking it should be warn only by men; it is made of wool and
looks like a pleated skirt. The kilt is a relic of the time when the clan
system existed in the Highlands. But its origin is very ancient. The Celtic
tribes who fought Ceasar wore kilts. When the Celts moved north up through
Cornwall, and Wales, and Ireland, and eventually to Scotland, they brought the
kilt with them. A thousand years ago, there was nothing specially Scottish
about it. Now it has become the Highland’s national dress and is worn in many
parts of Scotland. It is probably the best walking-dress yet invented by man:
there is up to 5 metres of material in it; it is thickly pleated st the back
and sides; it is warm, it is airly, leaves the legs free for climbing; it
stands the rain for hours before it gets wet through; it hangs well above the
mud and the wet grass; briefly it is warm for a cold day, and cool for a warm
one. And, what is more, if a Highlander is caught in the mountains by the
night, he has but to unfasten his kilt and wrap it around him – 5 metres of
warm wool – he’ll sleep comfortably enough the night through.
3.A few words about
Every Scottish clan had its own tartan.
People in Highlands were very good weavers. They died their wool before weaving
it; the dyes were made from various roots and plants which grew in this or that
bit of land. Therefore one clan dyed its wool in reddish colours, another in
green, and so on. And they decorated them differently so as to distinguish the
clansmen in battle (especially between neighboring clans which happened rather
On the subject of shopping for tartan, the choice
is wide. Some designs are associated with particular clans and retailers will
be happy to help you find “your” own pattern. By no means all tartans belong to
specific clans – several are “district” tartans, representing particular areas.
The fascinating story of the tartan itself is told at the Museum of Scottish
The museum possesses lots of rare exhibits. One of
them is the remarkable woman’s Plaid or Arisaid, the oldest dated in the world:
1726. The Arisaid, worn only by women, reached from head to heels, belted at
the waist and pinned at the breast.
The oldest piece of Tartan found in Scotland dates
back from about 325 AD. The cloth was found in a pot near Falkirk,
a simple check in two shades of brown, a long way from the checked and coloured
tartans that came to be worn in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1550s. There
are now over 2,500 tartan designs, many of them are no more than 20 years old.
4.The national musical
instrument of the Scots.
Scotland has its own typical musical instrument,
the pipes (sometimes called the bagpipes). The bagpipe was known to the ancient
civilizations of the Near East. It was probably introduced into Britain by the
Romans. Carvings of bagpipe players on churches and a few words about them in
the works of Chaucer and other writers show that it was popular all over the
country in the Middle Ages.
In Scotland the bagpipe was first recorded in the
16th century during the reign of James I, who was a very good
player, and probably did much to make it popular. For long it has been
considered a national Scottish instrument. Even now it is still associated with
The sound of the bagpipes is very stirring. The old
Highland clans and later the Highland regiments used to go into battle to the
sound of the bagpipes.
The bagpipe consists of a reed pipe, the “chanter”,
and a wind bag which provides a regular supply of air to the pipe. The wind
pipe is filled either from the mouth or by a bellows which the player works
with his arm. The chanter has a number of holes or keys by means of which the
tune is played.
5.Highland’s dances and
You can also find in Scotland its own national
dances, Highland dances and Scottish country dances; its own songs (some of
which are very popular all aver Britain), its poetry (some of which is famous
throughout the English-speaking world), traditions, food and sports, even
education, and manners.
Speaking about sports I can’t but mention Highland
Gatherings or Games held in Braemar. They have been held there since 1832, and
since Queen Victoria visited them in 1848 the games have enjoyed royal
patronage. The Games consist of piping competitions, tugs-of-war (a test of
strength in which two teams pull against other on a rope, each trying to pull
the other over the winning line), highland wrestling and dancing, and tossing
6.The famous Loch Ness.
fiction, the Loch Ness monster is part of Loch Ness’s magnetic appeal to
visitors. But there is much more to do and see around the shores of this famous
waterway than just monster-spotting, and a pleasant day, or even longer, can be
spent exploring the many activities. 24 miles long, a mile wide and up to 700
feet deep Loch Ness is a land-locked fresh water lake lying at the eastern end
of the Great Glen,
a natural geological fault which stretches across the width of Scotland. The
loch forms part of the Caledonian Canal completed by the celebrated civil
engineer Thomas Telford (1757 – 1841), in 1822. Telford took 19 years to build
the canal, which spared coastal shipping and fishing vessels a voyage through
the waters of the Pentland Firth.
The story of
Nessiterras Rhombopteryx or Nessie for short in Loch Ness has persistent down
the centuries. The monster was first mentioned in AD 565 when St Columba
allegedly persuaded it not to eat someone. Since records began, in 1933, more
than 3000 people have claimed to have seen it, but others are skeptical. They
point out that no good photographs exist of the monster, that there have been
no eggs found, no dead monsters (can it really be 2563 years old?) nor any
other compelling evidence. Believers think the monster is a plesiosaur, an
otherwise extinct sea-dwelling reptile. Anyone who did prove conclusively the
monster's existence would be hailed as a pioneer, so it is no surprise to learn
that monster-spotting is a popular pastime!
The Official Loch Ness
Monster Centre is
opened all year round and has exhibits showing geology, prehistory and history
of Scotland, along with SONAR records and underwater photography relating to
The Original Visitor Centre offers a half
hour video of the monster detailing the research that has taken place, along
with a video about Bonnie Prince Charlie.
The loch has been surveyed for decades, by the RAF,
eminent scientists, cranks, crackpots, mini-submarines and millions of pounds
worth of high technology, including NASA
computers. And still there is no proof…
7. Saint Andrew’s cross.
The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian
denomination, is the official state church. The Roman Catholic church is second
in importance. Other leading denominations are the Episcopal Church in
Scotland, Congregationalist, Baptist, Methodist, and Unitarian. Jews are a
cross is the national flag of Scotland. It consists of two diagonal white
stripes crossing on a blue background. The flag forms part of the British
national flag (Union Jack).
The flag of
Presbyterian Church differs a little bit from that of Scotland. It is also St.
Andrew’s cross but with a little addition: it has a burning bush centered,
which signifies presbyterianism.
The symbol comes
from the motto of the Presbyterian Church, nec tamen consumebatur (neither
was it consumed) referring the bush that burnt, but was not consumed, so will
be the church that will last for ever.
St. Andrew is the
patron saint of Scotland. He was a New Testament apostle who was martyred on an
X-shaped cross. He was said to have given the Pictish army a vision of this
cross at the battle of Athenstoneford between King Angus of the Picts and King
Authelstan of the Angles. St. Andrew was foisted upon Scotland as its patron
when the old Celtic and Culdee centres were superseded by the new bishopric of
St. Andrew’s. His feast-day is 30 November. On this day some Scotsmen wear a
in the buttonhole.
One of the
greatest treasures of Huntly House Museum (Edinburgh) is the national Covenant,
signed by Scotland’s Presbyterian leadership in 1638. Covenanters are 17th-century
Scottish Presbyterians who bound themselves by covenants to maintain
Presbyterianism as the sole religion of Scotland and helped to establish the
supremacy of Parliament over the monarch in Scotland and England. Early
covenants supporting Protestantism were signed in 1557 and in 1581. In 1638 the
covenant of 1581 was revived, and its signatories added a vow to establish
Presbyterianism as the state religion of Scotland.
II.Scotland for every
If you hunt for the real Scotland, there will
be many times when you know you have found it: when you hear your first
Highland Piper with the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle; on some late, late
evening on a far northern beach as the sun sets into a midsummer sea; or with
your first taste of a malt whisky, peat-smoked and tangy; or when you sit in a
café with the real Scots. By the way, the Scots are very sociable
people. They like to spend their free time together, drinking coffee or scotch
and talking. Scottish people are fond of singing at the national music
festivals in chorus, at the fairs and in the parks. Most of Scotsmen are
optimists. They don’t lose their heart and smile in spite of all difficulties.
The real Scotland is not found in a single moment –
nor is it contained in a single season. Though the moorlands turn purple in
summer, Scotland in spring is famed for its clear light and distant horizons,
while autumn’s colours transform the woodlands… and what could be more
picturesque than snow-capped hills seen from the warmth of your hotel room?
Scenery, history, hospitality, humour, climate,
traditions are offered throughout the year.
Even if you can feel it now you should visit Scotland
all the same, and see and enjoy this magic country with your own eyes!
The chronology of the main events in the
history of Scotland.
century Picts prevented Romans from penetrating far into
– 6th centuries Christianity was introduced into
Scotland from Ireland.
century Kenneth MacAlpin united kingdoms of Scotland.
Haakon, King of Norway, was defeated by Scots at Battle of Largs.
1292 – 1306 English
– 1296 Scotland was ruled by John Baliol;
– 1306 Scotland was annexedto England.
Robert Bruce defeated English at Bannockburn.
England recognized Scottish independence.
James VI became James I of England.
Scottish rebellion against England.
Cromwell conquered Scotland.
Jacobites were defeated at Killiecrankie.
Act of Union with England.
1715, 1745 Failed
Jacobites risings against Britain.
First Scottish nationalist member of British Parliament was elected
1. Who in
Scotland consider themselves of purer Celtic blood?
2. When was a
new Scottish Parliament elected?
3. What was
the Beaker civilization famous for?
4. Why was it
so difficult to control the Highlands and islands?
5. To whom
does Scotland owe its clan system?
6. Why did
Edward I stole the Stone of Destiny?
7. What do
the words written on Edward’s grave mean?
8. Can you
explain the name of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh?
9. What giant
thing can Edinburgh Castle boast?
10. What did the Military Tattoo
11. Who brought St. Giles’ Cathedral
into great prominence?
12. What is the emblem of Scotland?
Where can it be seen?
13. Why are the Royal Museum and the
Museum of Scotland worth visiting?
14. Which museum in Scotland is the “noisiest”
in the world? Why?
15. Why do they call Edinburgh “the
Athens of the North”?
16. What is Edinburgh’s answer to
London’s Oxford Street?
17. Where did the national Scottish
dress come from?
18. Why was it so important to decorate
19. What is the real origin of the
20. What does the motto of the
Presbyterian Church mean?
Britain” Pavlozky V. M., St Petersburg, 2000.
in brief” Oshepkova V. V., Shustilova I. I., Moscow, 1997.
England to Scotland” Markova N. N., Moscow, 1971.
4. “Pages of
Britain’s history” Kaufman K. I., Kaufman M. U., Obninsk,
illustrated history of Britain” McDowall D., Edinburgh, 1996.
Burns country” Swinglehurst E., Edinburgh, 1996.
for intermediate level” Part I, Moscow, 1995.
8. “Welcome to
Edinburgh”, guide-book 1998/99.
 In Scottish “loch”means
 Beaker civilization –
prehistoric people thought to have been of Iberian origin, who spread out over
Europe from the 3rd millennium BC. They were skilled in
metalworking, and are identified by their use of distinctive earthenware
drinking vessels with various design.
 “Highland Line” – the
division between highland and lowland
 Everybody in the clan
had the same family name, like MacDonald or MacGregor (mac means “son of”). The
clan had its own territory and was ruled by a chieftain.
 so they called the
Saxons (and still call the English)
 Act of Union – 1707 act
of Parliament that brought about the union of England and Scotland
 Calton Hill – overlooks
Central Edinburgh from the east.
 Arthur’s Seat – hill of
volcanic origin to the east of the centre of Edinburgh. It forms the core of
Holyrood Park and is a dominant landmark: Castlehill is the rock of volcanic
origin on which Edinburgh Castle is situated.
 Edwin (c585 – 633) –
king of Nothumbria from 617. He captured and fortified Edinburgh, which was
named after him.
 St. Margaret ( c1045 –
1093 ) – Queen of Scotland. She was canonized in 1251 in recognition of her
benefactions to the church.
 Tattoo – the word
derives from the Dutch word “tap-toe”, which means “turn off the taps”.
 Knox, John (1513 (1514)
– 1572) – Scottish reformer, founder of the Church of Scotland
 The Order of the
Thistle – Scotland’s highest order
 Declaration of Arbroath
– Declaration 26 April 1320 by Scottish nobles to their loyalty to King Robert
I and of Scotland’s identity as a kingdom independent of England.
 Edinburgh Festival has
annually been held since 1947. It takes place from August to September and
includes music, drama, opera and art exhibition.
 Jenners – the oldest
independent department store in the world.
 Heriot, Jeorge (1563 –
1624) – Scottish goldsmith and philanthropist; Watt, James (1736 – 1819) –
Scottish engineer who developed the steam engine in 1760.
 Napier, John (1550 –
1617) – Scottish mathematician who invented logarithms in 1614.
 Tartan – it is
traditional Scottish drawing which consists of wide and narrow cross stripes of
different colour and size; the softest wool of vivid colouring.
 Falkirk – unitary
authority, Scotland, 37 kilometres west of Edinburgh.
 Tossing the caber –
Scottish athletic sport. The caber (a tapered tree trunk about 6 metres long,
weighing about 100 kilograms) is held in the palms of the cupped hands and
rests on the shoulder. The thrower runs forward and tosses the caber, rotating
it through 180 degrees so that it lands on its opposite end and falls forward.
The best competitors toss the caber about 12 metres.
 Great Glen – valley in
Scotland following coast-to-coast geological fault line, which stretches over
100 kilometres south-west from Inverness on the North Sea to Fort William on
the Atlantic coast.
 RAF – Royal Air Force,
the British airforce.
 NASA – National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, a US government organization that controls space
travel and the scientific study of space.
 Presbyterianism – a
religion close to Protestantism
 Thistle is also the
emblem of the whole Scotland.