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Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Atomic Bomb Dome), Hiroshima, Japan

January 23rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome or A-Bomb Dome (Japanese: 原爆ドーム Genbaku Dome), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Hiroshima, Japan. It was established as such in 1996. The site is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The building was originally designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel. It was completed in April 1915, and the new building was named the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition (HMI). It was formally opened to the public in August that year. In 1921 the name was changed to the Hiroshima Prefectural Products Exhibition Hall, and again in 1933 to the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.

The 6 August 1945 nuclear explosion was almost directly above the building (the hypocenter was 150 meters / 490 feet away), and it was the closest structure to withstand the explosion. The building has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing, and now serves as the reminder of nuclear devastation and as a symbol of hope for world peace and elimination of all nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless, China had reservations regarding the confirmation of the Memorial as a World Heritage Site and the delegate of the Untited States to the World Heritage Committee dissociated himself from the decision. China cited the possibility that the monument could be used to downplay the fact that the enemies of Japan suffered the greatest losses of life during the war, while the United States claimed that the memorial as such would omit the necessary historical context

[Source: Wikipedia]

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