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Washington is the capital of the United Sates of America. It is situated in the District of Columbia on the banks of the Potomac river.

The city was named after its founder — the first American President George Washington. It became the capital of the USA in 1800.

The USA capital is not very large. It is smaller than many other American cities. But it is the most important city of the country, its political, cultural and administrative center with the population over 10 million people.

Washington is one of the most unusual and beautiful cities in the country. It was designed by the French architect Pierre L' Enfant as a copy of Versailles. There are no skyscrapers in the US capital. The only highest building in the city is the Capitol, where the Congress sits. Not far from the Capitol there is the Congress Library — the largest library in the United States.

The White House is the official residence of the US Presidents. It has now 132 rooms. All the US Presidents, except George Washington, lived and worked here.

There are also many beautiful parks, squares, monuments and memorials in the American capital. The most known of them are the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument called the Pencil and the Jefferson Memorial.

Washington is often called the city of students. There are over 5 Universities, many colleges and libraries in it. A lot of students from all over the world come here to study.

There are also several museums and galleries in the city. The most attractive of them is the Smithsonian Complex that consists of 16 museums. Some of the museums are devoted to science and industry, the others are arts and history museums and galleries.

Every day thousands of tourists come to the United States to see the American capital and its places of interest.

The capital of Ireland is Dublin. It is Europe's smallest capital but the largest and most important Irish city. Dublin is situated in the province of Leinster, at the mouth of the river Liffey which divides the city into the northern and southern parts. In Irish the word "Dublin" means "a Black Pool".

The Irish capital is over 1000 years old. It was founded in the IX century as a Viking trading settlement. But soon it became a large center of commerce, being second only to London in the British Empire.

Nowadays Dublin is one of the leading political, economic and cultural centers within the European Economic Union. Its population is over 1,5 million. The city is filled with people almost from all over the world.

Dublin is the city of exciting history and rich culture. It offers an impressive variety of sights which keep alive the memories of Ireland's long fight for its independence.

They include: the Dublin Castle — the site of the inaugurations of Ireland's presidents; Christ Church and St. Patrick's — 2 main Protestant cathedrals; the National History Museum with the National Gallery of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art — the city largest museums; the Phoenix Park with a zoo and a racetrack — the second largest park in the world after the Yellowstone in the USA; Grafton Street filled with numerous pubs and cafes, clubs and shopping centers; St. Stephen Green — a lush city park, once a place for public whippings and hangings; the Tara Brooch (1200 years old) — one of Ireland's most important icons, known both in myths and history as an important center of political and religious power and the seat of the High Kings of the Celtic Ireland; the Knowth — a necropolis or city of the dead, one of the most fascinating archaelogical sites and finest megalithic monuments more than 5000 years old (older than the pyramids of Egypt); the breathtaking Howth Head, the Wicklow Mountains and many others that always attract crowds of tourists.

Australia's capital is one of those few cities whose design was the result of the international competition that was won by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin. The city was formally named Canberra on 12-th of March 1913 (from an Aboriginal term, meaning "the Meeting place").

Many Australians knock Canberra for being a city without any soul, but it is not true. Canberra is a fascinating creation of the XX-century. Carefully planned, this capital is rather beautiful and worth visiting. It is often called "the Garden city of Australia", due to its broad avenues and residential streets lined with trees. The capital is arranged around the artificial lake "Burley Griffin" and is surrounded by many suburbs and several satellite towns.

Today Canberra is the major administrative and political center of Australia. Public services became the capital's main industry. At present, Canberra's population is over 350 000.

The Australians celebrate the Capital's Day every year on the third Monday in March. As a rule, the day is marked with a great festival where people can fully enjoy Canberra's beauty and cultural diversity.

Among the capital's main tourist attractions there are such ones as: the National Gallery; the Parliament House and other administrative buildings of the Parliamentary Triangle; the Civic Center packed with different offices, theatres and shops; the Australian War Memorial with the Hall of Memory; the National Botanic Garden devoted to the unique Australian flora and the Nature Reserve with the greatest displays of the native fauna and flora and the best place for walks and picnics; as well as the National Science and Technology Center and some others. All of them attract numerous tourists all the year round.


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