Great Britain

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Great Britain is the only country that does not lie on the European mainland. This island is situated on the northwest of Europe and it is the largest island of the British Isles. At the same time it is the largest island in Europe and the 8th largest in the world. It is separated from Europe by English Channel which is the narrowest between French Calais and British Dover (34 kilometres; 21 miles). Other bordering seas are the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Celtic Sea, St George's Channel, and the Irish Sea. Its only land neighbour is Ireland.

Great Britain is basically the connection of four distinct nations – England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. In 1707 the Kingdom of Great Britain was established and in 1801 together with the island of Ireland constituted the larger United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 it has changed into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, after the five-sixths of the Ireland Island created Irish Free State. This territory is now known as the Republic of Ireland and it is not part of British Commonwealth.

The area of the island is 244,820 square kilometers (94,526 square miles). The east and south of the island are marked by low, rolling countryside, in western and northern regions are typically hilly. In British Isles there are over 100 smaller islands, most famous are Isle of Man, Hebrides, Orkneys or Shetland. From the political point of view, not all of them belong to Great Britain.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen (or the King) as a Head of State. It is an important political, economic and military world power. It is a member of United Nations Security Council, the G8, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN or the NATO. The currency is a pound. The capital city of Great Britain is London. To other big cities belong Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and others.

The population of Great Britain is more than 58 million; it is the third largest country in the European Union. The population density is one of the highest in the world, 243 inhabitants per square kilometre. A quarter of the population lives in the southeast of England. Most of the people speak English, although it is not the official language de jure. Other widespread languages are Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

Great Britain is the country of famous people, to mention just some: Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Beatles, Princess Diana and countless more.

The international code of Great Britain is GBR, the label of motor vehicles is GB (the British drive on the left side), the internet domain is .uk and the international phone code is +44.
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