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Leptis Magna (Lectis Magna, Lepcis Magna), Libya

June 22nd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Leptis Magna, also known as Lectis Magna (or Lepcis Magna as it is sometimes spelled), also called Lpqy or Neapolis, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Al Khums, Libya, 130 km east of Tripoli.

The city appears to have been founded by Phoenician colonists sometime around 1100 BC, although it did not achieve prominence until Carthage became a major power in the Mediterranean Sea in the 4th century BC. It nominally remained part of Carthage's dominions until the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC, and then became part of the Roman Republic, although from about 200 BC onward it was for all intents and purposes an independent city.

Leptis Magna remained as such until the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius, when the city and the surrounding area were formally incorporated into the empire as part of the province of Africa. It soon became one of the leading cities of Roman Africa and a major trading post.

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Luxor, Egypt

June 22nd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Luxor is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of the Al Uqsur governorate, population 376022 (1999 survey), area 416 km2 . As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's greatest open air museum", the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor standing within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the Nile River, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of international tourists arrive each year to visit these monuments, their presence forming a large part of the economic basis for the modern city. As a result, Luxor represents an excellent base for touring Upper Egypt, and is a popular holiday destination, both in its own right and as a starting or finishing point for Nile cruises.

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The Pont du Gard - an aqueduct, France

June 5th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in the south of France constructed by the Roman Empire, and located near Remoulins, in the Gard département.

Pont du Gard means literally bridge of the Gard (river). The Gard river, which has given its name to the Gard département, does not actually exist under this name. The river, formed by many tributaries, several of which are called Gardon, is itself called Gardon until its end.

Built on three levels, the Pont is 49 m high, and the longest level is 275 m (300 yards) long.

  • Lower level: 6 arches, 142 m long, 6 m thick, 22 m high
  • Middle level: 11 arches, 242 m long, 4 m thick, 20 m high
  • Upper level: 35 arches, 275 m long, 3 m thick, 7 m high

On its first level, it carries a road and at the top of the third level, a water conduit, which is 1.8 meters (6 feet) high and 1.2 meters (4 feet) wide and has a gradient of 0.4 percent.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

June 5th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Plitvice Lakes are a national park in Croatia, situated at 44.85° N 15.62° E, in the Plitvice Lakes municipality, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The lakes are situated on the eponymous Plitvice plateau, between the mountains of Lička Plješevica (Gornja Plješevica peak 1,640 m), Mala Kapela (Seliški Vrh peak at 1,280 m) and Medveđak (884 m). The sixteen lakes are separated into an upper and lower cluster formed by runoff from the mountains, descending from an altitude of 636 m to 503 m over a distance of some 8 km, aligned in a south-north direction. The lakes collectively cover an area of about 2 km², with the water exiting from the lowest lake to form the Korana river.

The Plitvice Lakes lie in a basin of karstic rock, mainly dolomite and limestone, which has given rise to their most distinctive feature. The lakes are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae and bacteria. The encrusted plants and bacteria accumulate on top of each other, forming travertine barriers which grow at the rate of about 1 cm per year.

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Agra Fort, Agra, India

June 1st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, India. The fort is also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge and Red Fort of Agra. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city.

It is the most important fort in India. The great Mughals Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb lived here, and the country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint. It was visited by foreign ambassadors, travellers and the highest dignitaries who participated in the making of history in India.

This was originally a brick fort and the Chauhan Rajputs held it. It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the fort. He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the importance of the 2nd capital. He died in the fort in 1517 and his son, Ibrahim Lodi, held it for nine years until he was defeated and killed at Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built by him in the fort during his period.

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Yellowstone National Park, Montana, USA

May 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Yellowstone National Park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone. Yellowstone became the world's first national park on March 1, 1872. Located mostly in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the park extends into Montana and Idaho. The park is known for its wildlife and geothermal features; the Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most popular features in the park.

More than 1,000 sites of historical significance have been discovered. Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. The region was bypassed during the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. Aside from visits by mountain men during the next early to mid-1800s, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. The U.S. Army was commissioned to oversee the park just after its establishment. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance.

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Bahla Fort, Oman

May 4th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Bahla Fort is one of four historic fortresses situated at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. Its walls and towers were built in the 13th and 14th centuries. To the southwest is the Friday Mosque with a 14th-century sculpted mihrab. The fort, which is part of the UN World Heritage List, has been covered with scaffolding and closed to tourists for several decades now.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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The Boyana Church, Bulgaria

May 4th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Boyana Church (Bulgarian: Боянска църква, Boyanska tsarkva) is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated on the outskirts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, in the Boyana quarter. The east wing of the two-storey church was originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th century, then the central wing was added in the 13th century under the Second Bulgarian Empire, the whole building being finished with a further expansion to the west in the middle of the 19th century.

The church owes its world fame mainly to its frescoes from 1259. They form a second layer over the paintings from earlier centuries and represent one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of Eastern European mediaeval art. A total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls of the church. The painter is anonymous, but is possibly from the Tarnovo Art School.

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