Porcelain Tower of Nanjing The Porcelain Pagoda, as illustrated in Fischer von Erlach's Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture (1721) The Porcelain Tower (or Porcelain Pagoda) of Nanjing (Chinese: 南京陶塔; pinyin: Nánjīng Táotǎ, or Chinese: 琉璃塔; pinyin: Liúlí Tǎ), also known as Bao'ensi (Chinese: 大報恩寺; pinyin: Dabao'en Si; literally "Temple of Repaid Gratitude"), is a historical site located on the south bank of external Qinhuai River in Nanjing, China. It was a pagoda constructed in the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, but was mostly destroyed in the 19th century during the course of the Taiping Rebellion. In 2010 Wang Jianlin, a Chinese businessman, donated one billion yuan (US$156 million) to the city of Nanjing for its reconstruction of the pagoda. This is reported to be the largest single personal donation ever made in China. History The original blocks of the Nanjing Tower's arched door, now pieced back together and on display at the Nanjing Museum Description References Coordinates:
Petra Petra (Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ, Ancient Greek Πέτρα) is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage". See: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Geography Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Nabataeans and the center of their caravan trade. Map of Petra The narrow passage (Siq) that leads to Petra History One out of multiple dwellings in Petra Jordan General view of Petra Urn Tomb Roman rule
Saint Petersburg In Russian literature, informal documents, and discourse, the word "Saint" (Russian: Санкт) is usually omitted, leaving "Petersburg" (Russian: Петербург). In casual conversation Russians may drop the "burg" (Russian: бург) as well, referring to it as "Piter" (Russian: Питер). Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27 [O.S. 16] 1703. Between 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia's 2nd largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants (2012) and the fourth most populated federal subject. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; a number of Swedish prisoners of war were also involved in some years under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov. On November 7, 1917 (O.S.
Schwerin Schwerin ([ʃvəˈʁiːn], lat. Suerinum) is the capital and second-largest city of the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The population is 91,264 (as of Dec 31, 2012). History Schwerin is surrounded by many picturesque lakes. The largest of these lakes, the Schweriner See, has an area of 60 km². In 1358, Schwerin became a part of the Duchy of Mecklenburg, making it the seat of the dukedom from then on. In the mid-1800s, many residents from Schwerin moved to the United States, many to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After 1918, and during the German Revolution, resulting in the fall of all the German monarchies, the Grand Duke abdicated. At the end of World War II, on 2 May 1945, Schwerin was taken by U.S. troops. After reunification in 1990, the former state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was recreated as one of the Bundesländer. Transport City buses and trams are run by NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin). Main sights Museums Gallery  External links
Hagia Sophia The church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act which is commonly considered the start of the Great Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who ordered this main church of the Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. By this point, the Church had fallen into a state of disrepair. History First church Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome. The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. Second church Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God
Christ the Redeemer (statue) Aerial view of the statue The idea of building a large statue atop Corcovado was first suggested in the mid-1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea and it was dismissed in 1889, when Brazil became a republic with laws mandating the separation of church and state. The second proposal for a landmark statue on the mountain was made in 1920 by the Catholic Circle of Rio. The group organized an event called Semana do Monumento ("Monument Week") to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. The donations came mostly from Brazilian Catholics. The designs considered for the "Statue of the Christ" included a representation of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms, a symbol of peace, was chosen.
C. S. Lewis Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and both were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Davidman, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45. Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. Biography Childhood Little Lea, home of the Lewis family from 1905 to 1930 Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on 29 November 1898. His father was Albert James Lewis (1863–1929), a solicitor whose father, Richard, had come to Ireland from Wales during the mid-19th century. "The New House is almost a major character in my story. Lewis was schooled by private tutors before being sent to the Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire, in 1908, just after his mother's death from cancer. "My Irish life" First World War Return to Oxford University ...
Kiribati Kiribati ([kɪribas] KIRR-i-bas or ˌkɪrəˈbɑdi; Gilbertese: [ˈkiɾibas]), officially the Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011) on 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi). The nation is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line at its easternmost point. Etymology History American marines assault a Japanese bunker during the Battle of Tarawa, November 1943. Early history The area now called Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians speaking the same Oceanic language since sometime between 3000 BC and AD 1300. The area was not isolated; invaders from Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji later introduced Polynesian and Melanesian cultural aspects, respectively. Colonial era Politics
Leaning Tower of Pisa The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The tower's tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Architect Construction Timeline
Machu Picchu Machu Picchu (in hispanicized spelling, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmatʃu ˈpiktʃu]) or Machu Pikchu (Quechua machu old, old person, pikchu peak; mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks, "old peak", pronunciation [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu]) is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Machu Picchu is vulnerable to threats. History Early encounters Geography
Ian Fleming Ian Fleming While working for Britain's Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force. His wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background, detail and depth of the James Bond novels. He was married to Ann Charteris, who was divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere as a result of her affair with Fleming. Biography Birth and family Education and early life In 1921 Fleming enrolled at Eton College. In 1927, to prepare Fleming for possible entry into the Foreign Office, his mother sent him to the Tennerhof in Kitzbühel, Austria, a small private school run by the Adlerian disciple and former British spy Ernan Forbes Dennis and his novelist wife, Phyllis Bottome. Fleming bowed to family pressure in October 1933, and went into banking with a position at the financiers Cull & Co. T-Force