Oggi ci spostiamo a Londra per studiare il sito più iconico della città moderna: The London Eye. Fa parte della skyline londinese da poco (1999), ma è subito diventato un pezzo essenziale sia come destinazione turistica sia come punto di riferimento nella capitale del UK. Continua a leggere per scoprire la sua storia, compresa anche la fatica architettonica per realizzare una struttura così vasta.
The London Eye: English Reading Exercise
The London Eye, located on London’s Southbank, is the world’s largest observation wheel and most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK. With visitors from all over the world, the wheel has transformed London’s landscape and represents a national symbol that pays tribute to Britain’s innovation and technological success in the 21st century.
In 1993, architects David Marks and Julia Barfield submitted their entry for an open competition to design a millennium landmark for London. Unfortunately their design for the world’s largest observation wheel in the heart of London was rejected, as were all of the other entries. After the competition failed, Marks Barfield Architects decided to pursue their idea privately. When the Evening Standard newspaper informed its readers of their story, British Airways joined them and 16 months later they helped to transform their dream into a reality.
With an ambitious target for before New Year’s Eve 1999, a crew of 1,700 dedicated professionals worked tirelessly to produce a unique design. This included transportation of the Eye up the River Thames to the destination, and is the only wheel in the world to have ever been built over water. Following an unsuccessful first attempt to lift the wheel on Saturday 9 October 1999, due to a failed safety check, the structure was lifted to its final position on the following day.
The 32 capsules of the Eye are symbolic of London’s 32 boroughs and are numbered 1 to 33, eliminating the thirteenth carriage for good luck. Measuring at a height of 443 ft (135 metres), the wheel offers some of the greatest panoramic views of the city, on a good day going nearly 25 miles. The London Eye continues to attract 15,000 visitors a day and has won more than 40 awards for boosting London’s tourism and architectural landscape.
London Eye Vocabulary Quiz
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Test your knowledge of the above reading. Refer to the words in bold to answer the questions, then match the given word to the correct definition.
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