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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy

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

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered double arcade (two arcades intersecting in an octagon) sited on the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, connecting to the Piazza della Scala. Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy, it was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.

The street is covered over by an arching glass and steel roof, a popular design for nineteenth-century shopping malls (e.g., the Passazh in St Petersburg, opened in 1848). The central point is topped with a glass dome. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern shopping mall. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls.

The Galleria connects two of Milan's most famous landmarks: The Duomo and the Teatro Alla Scala.

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The Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

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

The Museo del Prado is a famous museum and art gallery located in Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 14th century through the early 19th century. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture, it also contains important collections of more than 5,000 drawings, 2,000 prints, 1,000 coins and medals, and almost 2,000 decorative objects and works of art. Sculpture is represented by more than 700 works and by a smaller number of sculptural fragments. The superb picture gallery consisting of 8,600 paintings is the factor which lends the Museum its world class status. The Prado undisputedly has the world's finest collections of works by Spain's Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya, as well as of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (a personal favorite of King Philip II of Spain). The museum also has excellent collections of El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Raphael, Titian, Bartolomé Estéban Murillo. Fine examples of the works of Melozzo da Forlì, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Veronese, Hans Baldung, Fra Angelico, van der Weyden and many other notable artists are on display in the Museum.

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