England: mysterious foggy Albion

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England: mysterious foggy Albion
England: mysterious foggy Albion
foggy albion

Probably, everyone at least once in their life heard the words: "mysterious foggy Albion". King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table immediately come to mind…

That's right, it's all from the same opera. Or rather, from one country. After all, England is foggy Albion. And this is not an invented fairy-tale name, but a figurative expression already historically fixed for the British Isles.

So, let's see why England is called Foggy Albion.


First, what does Albion mean? This name has been attached to Britain since ancient times. But why? There are several versions of this.

According to one of them, the word "albion" comes from the Roman albus, which translates as "white". When the ancient Roman conquerors sailed to the shores of the British Isles, snow-white cliffs emerged from the fog. That's why they called the island "Albion".

According to another version, "albion" is a word of Celtic origin, meaningthe mountains. Like the Alps. The first official designation of the British Isles as Albion was made by Ptolemy. This fact may support both theories. After all, this scientist was a traveler and knew many languages, including Celtic and Latin.

Foggy Albion Island

foggy albion island

The famous island that first met the ancient Romans is Dover. It is to him that Great Britain owes the name "foggy Albion". It is located at the most extreme point in the southeast of the United Kingdom. If you approach the island from the open sea, the first thing you will see is the white chalk cliffs (White Cliffs of Dover). They stretch over a vast area along Kent and end at the Pas de Calais.

The Cliffs of Dover are also called the "Keys of England" because they are the gateway to the country. They are the first to meet sailors and amaze them with their cold white beauty. To neighboring France from Dover only thirty-odd kilometers. According to the locals, when the weather is good, you can even see the white line of rocks on the horizon from the French coast.

There are many similar rocks in the south-east of England. However, the most popular are Dover. Their beauty will not leave anyone indifferent. High (up to 107 meters above sea level), powerful, snow-white. They have become a symbol of England, its hallmark. More than one work of literature and painting is dedicated to them.

Wonder of Nature

The cliffs of Dover are unusual mountains, as can be judged already by theircolor. They became white thanks to chalk, which is a huge part of their rock, and calcium carbonate. This rock has a very fine structure, so it is quite fragile and easily destroyed. And small black inclusions in the rocks are flint.

During the Cretaceous period, millions of small sea creatures that lived in shells died and remained on the sea floor, thus creating layer upon layer. As a result, the chalk layers were compressed into a huge solid white platform. After thousands of years, when the water left, the platform remained, forming mighty white rocks. And today we can admire them.

why is england called foggy albion

Island in the fog

Foggy Albion also received a beautiful poetic name due to its cloudy weather. So, due to the high humidity, the low-lying parts of the island are constantly shrouded in fog, the sky here is gray and it rains.

The unusual fogs of Great Britain have become the subject of many paintings and works. Writers and artists specially came to London to see with their own eyes and capture this natural phenomenon.

Sometimes the fog is so thick and impenetrable that traffic on the streets of cities stops. People simply do not see where to go and stay in place so as not to get lost and wait until the darkness clears.

There are far fewer foggy days in the UK now than in past centuries. So, for example, in London there are no more than fifty of them a year. Most of these days occur in the second half of winter: the endJanuary and early February.

Insidious Albion

There is another concept of "foggy Albion", which has an ironic meaning. This term was used in politics earlier. That is what they said about England and her political intrigues. Foggy - unknown, hidden, uncertain and changeable.

In France and pre-revolutionary Russia, England was even nicknamed "the treacherous Albion". This was the figurative expression of the country's foreign policy, which steadily pursued only its own national goals, for the sake of which it repeatedly abandoned previously concluded agreements with other powers.

england foggy albion

In general, during the French Revolution, other similar expressions were very popular. For example, "English treachery" or "treacherous island". England betrayed France more than once: it concluded a peace treaty, then violated it again, etc.

In Russia, this expression became popular during the Crimean War, when Great Britain, which was a member of a coalition of countries (Austria, Prussia and Russia), took the side of its former enemies (France) against Russia.

Today, the ironic meaning has long been lost, and the expression "foggy Albion" has rather a high style, which gives the Kingdom of Great Britain a special poetry.

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