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Spiral Jetty, Utah, USA

June 9th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Spiral Jetty, considered to be the masterpiece of American sculptor Robert Smithson, is the name of an earthwork sculpture built in 1970.

Built of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth, and water on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah, it forms a 1500-foot long and 15-foot wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake.

At the time of its construction, the water level of the lake was unusually low because of a drought. Within a few years, the water level returned to normal and submerged the jetty for the next three decades. Due to a recent drought, the jetty re-emerged in 1999 and is now completely exposed. The lake level rose again during the spring of 2005 due to a near record-setting snowpack in the mountains and partially submerged the Jetty again.

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The Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest, Romania

June 6th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Romanian Athenaeum (Romanian: Ateneul Român) is a concert hall in the center of Bucharest, Romania. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall and the home of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic and the home of an annual international music festival also named after George Enescu.

The Romanian Atheneum Society was founded in 1865 by Constantin Esarcu, V. A. Ureche, and Nicolae Creţulescu. A portion of the construction funds was raised by public subscription in a 28-year long effort, still remembered today by the slogan "Daţi un leu pentru Ateneu!" ("Give one leu for the Ateneu!").

The building was designed by the French architect Albert Galleron, on property that had belonged to the Văcărescu family. The overall style is neoclassical, with some more romantic touches. The ground floor is an ornate conference hall as large as the auditorium above; the auditorium seats 600 in the stalls and another 52 in loge seating. Above the loges is a frieze and a group of 25 frescoes by Costin Petrescu depicting scenes from the history of Romania. In front, there is a statue of Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu.

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The National Museum of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Sweden

May 31st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The National Museum of Fine Arts (Swedish: Nationalmuseum) is the national museum of Sweden, located on the peninsula Blasieholem in central Stockholm.

The museum exhibits an impressive art collection due to its benefactors, King Gustav III and Carl Gustaf Tessin. The museum was founded in 1792 as Konglig Museum ("Royal Museum"), but the present building was opened in 1866 from when the name Nationalmuseum was bestowed.

The museum is home to about half a million drawings from the Middle Ages to 1900, a collection of porcelain items, paintings, sculptures, and modern art as well. The museum also has an art library, open to the public as well as academics.

The current building, built 1844-1866, was inspired by North Italian Renaissance architecture. It is the design of the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who also designed the Neues Museum in Berlin. The relatively closed exterior, save for the central entrance, gives no hint of the spacious interior dominated by the huge flight of stairs leading up to the topmost galleries. The museum was enlarged in 1961 to accommodate the museum workshops and the present restaurant is from 1996.

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The Kungliga Operan (Royal Swedish Opera), Stockholm, Sweden

May 31st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Kungliga Operan or Royal Swedish Opera is the national stage for opera in Sweden. The building lies in the center of Stockholm, on the eastern side of Gustav Adolfs torg. The opera company was founded by King Gustav III and its first performance was given on January 18, 1773.

But the first opera house was not opended until 1782 and served for a century before being replaced at the end of the 19th century. Both houses were officially called the "Royal Opera", however the terms "The Gustavian Opera" and "The Oscarian Opera", or the "Old" and "New" Opera are used when distinction is needed.

The original Stockholm Opera House, the work of architect Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz was commissioned by King Gustav III, a strong adherent of the ideal of an enlightened absolutism and as such was a great patron of the arts. Construction began in 1775 and the theatre was inaugurated on 30 September 1782 with a performance of the Danish composer Johann Gottlieb Naumann's Cora och Alonzo.

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The Island of La Grande Jatte, Paris, France

March 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

This Island is most known because of Georges Seurat's most famous work "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte".

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, England

March 25th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Stratford-upon-Avon is a town on the River Avon in south Warwickshire, England. In 2001 the town had a population of 23,676.

The town is the birthplace and deathbed of William Shakespeare and because of its Shakespearian connections the area is a popular tourist destination, receiving about three million visitors a year from all over the world.

The local district is named after the town, but the district is called Stratford-on-Avon, whereas the town is officially called Stratford-upon-Avon. Locally, the town is known as Stratford for short, and as such can be confused with the Stratford in the London Borough of Newham.

Stratford is close to the UK's second largest city, Birmingham, and is easily accessible from junction 15 of the M40 motorway. The seven-mile £12m Stratford Northern Bypass opened in June 1987 as the A422. Stratford-upon-Avon railway station has good rail links from Birmingham (Snow Hill station, Moor Street station) and from London, with up to seven direct trains a day from London Marylebone.

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