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The Palace of Fontainebleau, France

December 6th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 34.5 miles from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on a structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.

The palace introduced to France the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the "Fontainebleau style": it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. The Fontainebleau style combined allegorical paintings in moulded plasterwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainbleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exaggeratedly long torso and limbs, small high breasts—almost a return to Late Gothic beauties. The new works at Fontainebleau were recorded in refined and detailed engravings that circulated among connoisseurs and artists. Through the engravings by the "School of Fontainebleau" this new style was transmitted to other northern European centres, Antwerp especially, and Germany, and eventually London.

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Nesebar (aka Mesembria), Bulgaria

October 30th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Nesebar (aka Mesembria) is an ancient city and a major seaside resort on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, located in Nesebar municipality, Burgas Province. Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Black Sea" and "Bulgaria's Dubrovnik", Nesebar is a rich city-museum defined by more than three millennia of ever-changing history.

Map showing Nesebar's location in Bulgaria

It is a one of the most prominent tourist destinations and seaports on the Black Sea, in what has become a popular area with several large resorts—the largest, Sunny Beach, is situated immediately to the north of Nesebar.

Nesebar has on several occasions found itself on the frontier of a threatened empire, and as such it is a town with a rich history. The ancient part of the town is situated on a peninsula (previously an island) connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made isthmus, and it bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilisations over the course of its existence. Its abundance of historic buildings prompted UNESCO to include Nesebar in its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.

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Ruins of ancient Roman baths, Trier, Germany

July 29th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Ruins of three Roman baths, among them the largest Roman baths north of the Alps.

Send by: kamilianus


Constantine’s Basilica, Trier, Germany

July 29th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

This building was a Roman basilica which was used as a throne room by Constintine the Great, when Trier was one of the capitals of the Roman Empire.

Constantine Basilica - a basilica in the original Roman sense, being the 67 m long throne hall of Roman Emperor Constantine; it is today used as a Protestant church.

Send by: kamilianus


The island of Delos, Greece

June 23rd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The island of Delos (Greek: Δήλος, Dhilos), isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece. The excavations in the island are among the most extensive in the Mediterranean; ongoing work takes place under the direction of the French School at Athens.

Delos had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. From its Sacred Harbour, the horizon shows the two conical mounds (image below) that have identified landscapes sacred to a goddess in other sites: one, retaining its archaic name Mount Kynthos, is crowned with a sanctuary of Dionysus.

Investigation of ancient stone huts found on the island indicate that it has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. Thucydides identifies the original inhabitants as piratical Carians who were eventually expelled by King Minos of Crete By the time of the Odyssey the island was already famous as the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Indeed between 900 BC and AD 100, sacred Delos was a major cult centre, where Dionysus is also in evidence as well as the Titaness Leto, mother of the above mentioned twin deities.

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Domica is the biggest cave in the Slovak Karst, Slovakia

June 23rd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Domica is the biggest cave in the Slovak Karst in southern Slovakia, Rožňava District. It is a part of the cave complex that continues into the cave Baradla (Aggtelek) in Hungary.

It was discovered in 1926 by Ján Majko. Since 1932, 1600 m out of the 5140 m are open to public.

The cave is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1995.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Chamik


Palenque, Mexico

March 7th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Palenque (Bàak' in Modern Maya) is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located at [show location on an interactive map] 17°29′0″N, 92°2′59″W about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map). It is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings the Maya produced.

Much of the Early Classic history of the city still awaits the archaeologist's trowel. However, from the extent of the surveyed site and the reference to Early Classic rulers in the inscriptional record of the Late Classic, it is clear Palenque's history is much longer than we currently know. The fact that early ajaw (king or lord) and mythological beings used a variety of emblem glyphs in their titles indeed suggests a complex early history. For instance, K'uk' B'ahlam the supposed founder of the Palenque dynasty is called a Toktan Ajaw in the text of the Temple of the Foliated Cross.

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Krak des Chevaliers - a Crusader fortress, Syria

January 21st, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Krak des Chevaliers, also transliterated Crac des Chevaliers pronounced, is a Crusader fortress in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world. In Arabic, the fortress is called Qal'at al-Ḥiṣn, the word Krak coming from the Syriac karak, meaning fortress. It is located 65 km west of the city of Homs, close to the border of Lebanon, and is administratively part of the Homs Governorate.

Krak des Chevaliers was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. It was expanded between 1150 and 1250 and eventually housed a garrison of 2,000. The inner curtain wall is up to 100 feet thick at the base on the south side, with seven guard towers 30 feet in diameter.

King Edward I of England, while on the Ninth Crusade in 1272, saw the fortress and used it as an example for his own castles in England and Wales. The fortress was described as “perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world” by T.E. Lawrence. This fortress was made a World Heritage Site, along with Qal’at Salah El-Din, in 2006 and is owned by the Syrian government. The fortress is one of the few sites where Crusader art (in the form of frescoes) has been preserved.

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