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Stonehenge, England

December 8th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age monument located near Amesbury in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Salisbury. It is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones, known as megaliths. There is some debate about the age of the stone circle, but most archaeologists think that it was mainly constructed between 2500 BC and 2000 BC. The older circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute perhaps the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.

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The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, China

December 8th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

[Currently only low quality pictures available]

The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing , (Chinese: 南京陶塔; pinyin: Nánjīng Táotǎ), also known as Bao'ensi (报恩寺), the "Temple of Gratitude", is located in Nanjing, an ancient capital of China, out on the south bank of the Yangtze River.

The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing is one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the middle ages. Warfare and subsequent destruction overtook it in the 19th century, and it is now under reconstruction.

(Source: Wikipedia)


The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

December 8th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa or simply Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or bell tower, of the Italian city of Pisa's cathedral.

The tower was intended to stand vertically, but began leaning soon after construction started in August of 1173. It is situated behind the Cathedral and it is the third structure in Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli (field of Miracles).

The height of the tower is 55.86 m from the ground on the lowest side and 56.70 m on the highest side. The width of the walls at the base is 4.09 m and at the top 2.48 m. Its weight is estimated at 14,500 tonnes. The current inclination is about 5.5 degrees. The tower has 294 steps.

(Source: Wikipedia)


The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Alexandria, Egypt

December 8th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

[Currently only low quality pictures available]

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (in Alexandria, Egypt) are one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval Mind. The necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. A circular staircase leads down into tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century AD). The facility was in use from the 2nd century to the 4th century.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Hagia Sophia, Stambuł, Turcja

November 28th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

[High quality pictures available in Google Earth]

The Church of the Holy Wisdom, commonly known as Hagia Sophia in English, is a former Greek Orthodox church converted to a mosque, now a museum, in Istanbul (Constantinople). It is universally acknowledged as one of the great buildings of the world.

The name comes from the Greek name Αγία Σοφία (ah-YEE-ah soh-FEE-ah). It is also known as Sancta Sophia in Latin and Ayasofya (EYE-ah SOHF-yah) in Turkish.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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The Great Wall of China

August 14th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Great Wall of China (Traditional Chinese: 長城; Simplified Chinese: 长城; pinyin: Chángchéng), also known in China as the Great Wall of 10,000 Li¹ (Traditional Chinese: 萬里長城; Simplified Chinese: 万里长城; pinyin: W� nlĭ Chángchéng), is an ancient Chinese fortification built from the end of the 14th century until the beginning of the 17th century, during the Ming Dynasty, in order to protect China from raids by the Mongols and Turkic tribes. It was preceded by several walls built since the 3rd century BC against the raids of nomadic tribes coming from areas now in modern day Mongolia and Manchuria.

The Wall stretches over a formidable 6,350 km (3,946 miles), from Shanhai Pass on the Bohai Gulf in the east, at the limit between China proper and Manchuria, to Lop Nur in the southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

The first major wall was built during the reign of the First Emperor, the main emperor of the short-lived Qin dynasty. This wall was not constructed as a single endeavor, but rather was created by the joining of several regional walls built by the Warring States. It was located much further north than the current Great Wall, and very little remains of it. A defensive wall on the northern border was built and maintained by several dynasties at different times in Chinese history. The Great Wall that can still be seen today was built during the Ming Dynasty, on a much larger scale and with longer lasting materials (solid stone used for the sides and the top of the Wall) than any wall that had been built before. The primary purpose of the wall was not to keep out people, who could scale the wall, but to insure that semi-nomadic people on the outside of the wall could not cross with their horses or return easily with stolen property.

There have been four major walls:

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The Colosseum, Roma, Italy

June 26th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Colosseum, Roma, ITALY

The Colosseum measured 48 metres high, 188 metres long, and 156 metres wide. The wooden arena floor was 86 metres by 54 metres, and covered by sand. Its elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner, and allowed the spectators to be closer to the action than a circle would allow.

The Colosseum was ingeniously designed. It has been said that most spectacle venues (stadiums, and similar) have been influenced by features of the Colosseum's structure, even well into modern times. Seating (cavea) was divided into different sections. The podium, the first level of seating, was for the Roman senators, and the emperor's private, cushioned, marble box was also located on this level. Above the podium was the maenianum primum, for the other Roman aristocrats who were not in the senate. The third level, the maenianum secundum, was divided into three sections. The lower part (the immum) was for wealthy citizens, while the upper part (the summum) was for poor citizens. A third, wooden section (the maenianum secundum in legneis) was a wooden structure at the very top of the building, added by Domitian. It was standing room only, and was for lower class women.

Underneath the arena was the hypogeum (literally, "underground"), a network of tunnels and cages where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. There were also numerous trap doors in the arena floor for the various animals hidden underneath. The arena floor no longer exists, and the hypogeum walls and corridors are clearly visible in the ruins of the building. The entire base of the Colosseum was equivalent to 6 acres (160,000 m²).

A most ingenious part of the Colosseum was its cooling system. It was roofed using a canvas covered net-like structure made of ropes, with a hole in the center. This roof sloped down towards the center to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the audience. Sailors manipulated the ropes. The Colosseum also had vomitoria — passageways that open into a tier of seats from below or behind. The vomitoria of the Colosseum in Rome were designed so that the immense venue could fill in 15 minutes, and be evacuated in 5 minutes. Each entrance and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. There were 80 entrances at ground level, 76 for ordinary spectators, two for the imperial family, and two for the gladiators. The vomitoria quickly dispersed people into their seats and upon conclusion of the event disgorged them with abruptness into the surrounding streets — giving rise, presumably, to the name.

(Source: Wikipedia)