Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
No baptisms, funeral services, weddings, or other traditional church services were held in the Church on the Blood, as this was not in Alexander III's plans. However, weekly requiems (for Alexander II) and sermon readings attracted large numbers of worshippers.
After the Revolution, the church - despite becoming an official cathedral in 1923 - was looted. It was closed in 1932, and essentially turned into a garbage dump. Rumors abounded that the church would be torn down. Damage from World War II and the Siege of Leningrad can still be seen on the church's walls.
After World War II, the church was used as a warehouse for the Small Opera Theatre. The valuable shrine was almost completely destroyed. Four jasper columns with mosaic mountings in them, and a part of the balustrade were all that remained. On July 20, 1970 the church was made a branch of the St. Isaac's Cathedral museum, and eighty percent of the church's extraordinary restoration was funded by profits from St. Isaac's. The decades of deterioration and then restoration culminated in the dramatic re-opening of the church in August 1997, when thousands of eager visitors swamped the church." - in: http://www.saint-petersburg.com/cathedrals/Resurrection-Church.asp
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The Jewish Quarter of Trebic is an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions related to the Jewish diaspora in central Europe." - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1078
Saturday, March 19, 2011
"Six areas in the historic centre and docklands of the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool bear witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire and became the major port for the mass movement of people, e.g. slaves and emigrants from northern Europe to America. Liverpool was a pioneer in the development of modern dock technology, transport systems and port management. The listed sites feature a great number of significant commercial, civic and public buildings, including St George’s Plateau." -in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150
"The Etruscan Necropolis at Cerveteri is a uniquely haunting archaeological site. Built by this prosperous people between the seventh and the third centuries BC, the 'city' is still not fully excavated, but there are a remarkable number of stone tombs lining little streets, and you can easily spend several hours exploring.
The enigmatic Etruscans built cities and ports that have long since disappeared, but the care and industry they put into the homes for their dead has resulted in a lasting monument. The experience of clambering inside these tombs is unmissable... it's also rather eerie and feels faintly invasive. One hopes that, unlike the pyramids of Egypt, there are no curses here to blight the adventurer.
The Banditaccia Necropolis site, a short distance outside the small town of Cerveteri, is huge and surprisingly bare of visitors. You can wander as you please - and take a torch. The major tombs are signposted, have steps for access and lights for illumination, but the majority of interiors are accessible only to the intrepid. There are distinct types and ages of tomb. The majority contain stone 'beds' with carved pillows, some also provide what seem to be stone chairs. There are round tombs, square tombs, posh tomb development and streets of terraced tombs. Most are bare inside; although some coloured paint is visible in places. The Tomba dei Rilievi contains appealing painted reliefs.
The best finds from the archaeological digs are mostly in Rome, in the Villa Giulia Etruscan museum. But the smaller museum in Cerveteri is worth a look. It's in an old castle on the main piazza close to the bus stop. You may need to ring the bell for admittance. Entrance is free, and you can admire Etruscan art and artefacts found locally, including the contents of some of the tombs." -in: http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/cerveteri.html
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This is also a card from a new Unesco site. It was sent by Dees and it shows Curaçao's capital city, Willemstad. The city center, with its peculiar architecture and beautiful harbour entry, has been made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1997.
"Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao, which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao"), is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its capital is Willemstad." - in: wikipedia
"Qufu is a city in Shandong Province, China. Qufu is the hometown of Confucius, who is traditionally believed to have been born at nearby Mount Ni. Qufu contains numerous historic palaces, temples and cemeteries. Many of the major cultural sites in the city are all associated with Confucius, such as the three sites of the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion.
The Qufu complex of monuments have been listed as Unesco World Heritage Sites since 1994". in: wikipedia
"Temple of Confucius was built to worship Confucius (September 28, 551 BC – 479 BC), the Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese thought and life by Chinese Feudal dynasty. It is a group of grand, majestic, oriental-featured ancient buildings. It is the second largest scale Chinese ancient buildings (the largest one is the Forbidden City in Beijing). The temple, now listed as China’s Top Three Ancient Buildings (the other two are: the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Summer Resort in Chengde) and played an important role in the world’s architecture history, was built at the site of Confucius’ former residence with a standard of ancient Chinese imperial palace.
Temple of Confucius was first built by Luaigong (the emperor of Lu) in 478 BC – the second year after Confucius’ death. Later on, the temple was rebuilt by many past emperors for expansion. The latest expansion was accomplished by Emperor Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty.
To seek the footprints and to feel the wisdom of Confucius - the great master of oriental philosophy, visitors should visit the Temple of Confucius as well as Cemetery of Confucius and Konf Family Mansion." -in: http://www.chinahighlights.com/qufu/attraction/temple-of-confucius.htm
The Summer Palace is a palace in Beijing, China.
"In December 1998, Unesco included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value." It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park." - in: wikipedia
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Jiuzhaigou Valley is located in Nanping County, 450 kilometers (about 280 miles) to the north of Chengdu City. Its name is due to the existence of nine stockaded villages of Tibetan origin, and it is always regarded as a holy mountain and watercourse by the Tibetan people.
Jiuzhaigou Valley is a great masterpiece of nature having dreamlike scenery and abundant natural resources. It combines blue lakes, waterfalls, verdant forests, snow-covered mountains, and the folk customs of the Tibetan and Qiang peoples.
This region covers more than 600 square kilometers (about 230 square miles), and includes areas such as Shuzheng Valley, Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley and Zharu Valley, etc. The main beauty spots such as calc-sinter lake groups, waterfalls, and other waterscapes, as well as 12 summits make Jiuzhaigou Valley a wonderful appearance.
Legend has it; that long, long ago the deity of mountain named Dago had a crush on the goddess Semo, and he gave a mirror that was made from wind and cloud to the goddess. However, the devil appeared and made trouble to Semo. Inadvertently, Semo broke the mirror into 108 pieces, which fell down to the earth and then turned to 108 colorful lakes. The lake is also called Haizi by local people." - in: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/jiuzhaigou/page1.htm
"Tiananmen rostrum was first built in 1417 and named Chengtianmen (the Gate of Heavenly Succession). At the end of the Ming Dynasty, it was seriously damaged by the war. When it was rebuilt under the Qing in 1651, it was renamed Tiananmen, and served as the main entrance to the Imperial City, the administrative and residential quarters for court officials and retainers. The southern sections of the Imperial City wall still stand on both sides of the Gate.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Tiananmen was the place where state ceremonies took place. The most important one of them was the issuing of imperial edicts.
On October 1, 1949, chairmen Mao Zedong proclaimed on Tiananmen Rostrum the founding of the peoples Republic of China. Since then Tiananmen hence been the symbol of China. Chairman Maos portrait is hung above the central entrance, flanked by two slogans Long live the peoples Republic of China and long live the Great unity of the peoples of the World. Today, the splendour of Tiananmen attracts million of visitors from all over the world.
The Rostrum on its top was opened in 1988 to the public for the first time in its history. It offers a panoramic view of the square and the city proper." -in: http://www.beijingservice.com/attractions/tian'anmensquare/tian'anmenrostrum.htm
RU-345055, sent by Tanya.
From far, Katun looks like a green river, that is because there's a lot of limestone in the water, so the light is reflected in a strange way. Katun is not very wide: closer to Gorno-Altaysk it is just 20-30 meters wide and up towards the stream it may be 50 meters wide.
The stream in the river is quite strong, but it is possible to walk in at some places and swim a little bit, especially that the water during summer is not very cold. Katun is also great for fishing.
Monday, March 14, 2011
NL-580073, sent by Silvia.
The National Mall is not just a great place to visit world class museums and national landmarks, but also a gathering place to picnic and attend outdoor festivals. Americans and visitors from all over the world have used the expansive lawn as a site for protests and rallies. The impressive architecture and natural beauty of the National Mall make it a unique place that celebrates and preserves USA's nation’s history and democracy." - in: http://dc.about.com/cs/sightseeing/a/OntheMall.htm
Thursday, March 10, 2011
This landscape is different from all the rest of the Island and of the Archipelago: this is a strange arid and volcanic beauty which demonstrates the great power of nature.
This Volcano was unique in the world of the Volcano Sciences, as it was photographed, observed, studied and interpreted since its very beginning until its inactivity. The volcano maintained its activity for 13 months, starting on the 27th September 1957 and extinguishing only on the 24th October 1958, in what is supposed to have been a superposing of two distinct eruptions, occurring more than 200 earthquakes before the volcano started its erupting.
This fact caused great harm for the Island’s development, leading to mass emigration in this and the thereafter periods, mainly in the Capelo and Praia do Norte regions, where agricultural and pasture fields and residences were destroyed. The majority of population emigrated mostly for the United States of America, due to a refugee cooperation protocol.
From the Capelinhos Lighthouse, where the volcanic eruption started, one has an excellent panorama over all the volcano extension and its rare beauty. Here stands nowadays the Interpretation Centre that better explains this phenomenon and its history, housing a wide room that symbolises a volcanic eruption, as well as other amenities with permanent and temporary exhibitions about volcanism, and also an auditorium with a capacity for 60 people.
The volcano climbing is one of the most astonishing and unique tours in the Faial Island, presenting nevertheless some dangers and difficulties, hence there are some predefined itineraries and also official guide service." - in: http://www.getportugal.com/portugal/poi/18842/47/vulcao-dos-capelinhos