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Шпора: Шотландия

     Scotland ( Alba in Scottish Gaelic and sometimes known also as
Caledonia) is a country of northwest Europe, and one of the four constituent
parts of the United Kingdom. Scotland has a land boundary with England on the
island of Great Britain and is  otherwise bounded by seas and oceans. Three
main geographical and geological  areas of Scotland make up the mainland: from
north to south, the generally  mountainous Highlands,  the low-lying Central
Belt, and the hilly Southern Uplands. The majority of  the Scottish population
resides in the Central Belt, which contains three of  the country's six largest
cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling. Most of the  remaining population
lives in the North-East Lowlands where two of the  remaining three cities,
Aberdeen  and Dundee, are situated.  Almost all residents of Scotland speak
English, although many also speak  various dialects of Lowland  Scots which
differ markedly from Scottish Standard English.  Slightly greater than 1% of
the population use Scottish Gaelic as  their language of everyday use,
primarily in the northern and western regions  of the country. Almost all
Scottish Gaelic speakers also speak fluent English.
Scotland entered into a personal union with England in 1603, when the
Scottish King James VI also became James I of England. This union was
formalised by the Act of Union in 1707 and merged both kingdoms, creating the
Kingdom of Great Britain, with a new single Parliament sitting in
Westminster, London, but some aspects of Scotland's institutions, notably the
country's legal system, remained separate. In 1999, the people of Scotland
voted to create a new parliament, established by the UK Government under the
Scotland Act 1998. The new devolved Scottish Parliament governs the country
only on domestic matters.
Scotland comprises 32 unitary authority regions.
Popular folk-memory continues to divide Scotland into 33 traditional counties.
Scotland has six designated cities:
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh, the capital
  • Aberdeen
  • Dundee
  • Inverness
  • Stirling
Waterways in Scotland: · Major Rivers: o The Clyde, The Dee, The Don, The Forth, The Tay, The Tweed, The Spey, ... · Firths o Solway, Clyde, Cromarty, Dornoch, Forth, Lorne, Moray, Tay · Sea Lochs (fjords) o Loch Linnhe, Loch Fyne, Loch Long, Loch Etive, Loch Sunart, Loch Nevis, Loch Hourn, Loch Broom · Freshwater Lochs (lakes) include: o Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Loch Morar, Loch Tay, Loch Rannoch, Loch Awe, Loch Shiel, Loch Maree, The Lake of Menteith,... · Artificial & Enhanced waterways include: o Caledonian Canal, Crinan Canal, Forth & Clyde Canal, Union Canal · The patron saint of Scotland is Saint Andrew, and Saint Andrew's Day is celebrated in the country on 30 November. red lionThe thistle, the country's national emblem - according to legend a Danish attacker stepped on one at night, so alerting the defenders of a Scottish castle, hence it is called the "guardian thistle" The Church of Scotland (often referred to as The Kirk) functions as the national church. It differs from the Church of England in that it has a Presbyterian form of church governance, not subject to state control. Roman Catholicism has now become the largest faith after The Kirk. Scotland has a high proportion of irreligious/atheists, the second highest type of (un)belief in the population.