Theme Week Argentina – San Carlos de Bariloche

September 24th, 2016 | Destination: | General | No Comments »

Civic Centre and port on Lake Nahuel Huapi © Dario Alpern/cc-by-sa-4.0

Civic Centre and port on Lake Nahuel Huapi © Dario Alpern/cc-by-sa-4.0

San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche, is a city in the province of Río Negro, situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. It is located within the Nahuel Huapi National Park. After development of extensive public works and Alpine-styled architecture, the city emerged in the 1930s and 1940s as a major tourism centre with skiing, trekking and mountaineering facilities. In addition, it has numerous restaurants, cafés, and chocolate shops. The city has a permanent population of 114,000. The name Bariloche comes from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning “people from behind the mountain”. The Poya people used the Vuriloche pass to cross the Andes, keeping it secret from the Spanish priests for a long time. more…

Theme Week Argentina – Córdoba

September 23rd, 2016 | Destination: | General, UNESCO World Heritage | No Comments »

Teatro del Libertador © Nicolás Riofrio/cc-by-sa-3.0

Teatro del Libertador © Nicolás Riofrio/cc-by-sa-3.0

Córdoba is a city located in the geographical center of Argentina, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía River, about 700 km (435 mi) northwest of the Buenos Aires. It is the capital of Córdoba Province and the second most populous city in Argentina after Buenos Aires, with about 1.3 million inhabitants. It was founded on 6 July 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera, who named it after Córdoba in Spain. It was one of the first Spanish colonial capitals of the region that is now Argentina (the oldest city is Santiago del Estero, founded in 1553). The National University of Córdoba is the oldest university of the country and the second to be inaugurated in Latin America. It was founded in 1613 by the Jesuit Order. Because of this, Córdoba earned the nickname La Docta (roughly translated, “the learned one”). more…

Topkapı Palace in Istanbul

September 23rd, 2016 | Destination: | General, UNESCO World Heritage | No Comments »

© Carlos Delgado/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Carlos Delgado/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı) or the Seraglio is a large palace in Istanbul, that was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-year reign. As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a museum and as such a major tourist attraction. It also contains important relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed’s cloak and sword. The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul“, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described under UNESCO’s criterion iv as “the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces […] of the Ottoman period.” The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, and covered a large area with a long shoreline. It contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. It was originally called the New Palace (Yeni Saray or Saray-ı Cedîd-i Âmire) to distinguish it from the previous residence. It received the name “Topkapı” (Cannon Gate) in the 19th century, after a (now lost) gate and shore pavilion. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. more…

Theme Week Argentina – La Plata

September 22nd, 2016 | Destination: | General | No Comments »

Plaza Moreno and the Cathedral © Barcex/cc-by-sa-3.0

Plaza Moreno and the Cathedral © Barcex/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Plata is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires and of the partido La Plata. It has a population of 740,000 and its metropolitan area has 900,000 inhabitants. La Plata was planned and developed to serve as the provincial capital after the city of Buenos Aires was federalized in 1880. It was officially founded by Governor Dardo Rocha on 19 November 1882. Its construction is fully documented in photographs by Tomás Bradley Sutton. La Plata was renamed Eva Perón City (Ciudad Eva Perón) between 1952 and 1955. La Plata is a planned city, urban planning paradigm of the late 19th century. It is also an example of “hygiene”, which was becoming important in that time. Rocha decided to erect a new city to host the provincial government institutions and a university which had already been planned. Urban planner Pedro Benoit designed a city layout based on a rationalist conception of urban centers. The city has the shape of a square with a central park and two main diagonal avenues, north to south and east to west. In addition, there are numerous other shorter diagonal streets. This design is copied in a self-similar manner in small blocks of six by six blocks in length. For every six blocks, there is a small park or square. Other than the diagonal streets, all streets are on a rectangular grid and are numbered consecutively. Thus, La Plata is nicknamed “la ciudad de las diagonales” (city of diagonals). It is also called “la ciudad de los tilos” (city of linden trees), because of the large number of linden trees lining the many streets and squares. more…

Theme Week Argentina – Ushuaia

September 21st, 2016 | Destination: | General | No Comments »

Ushuaia © Jerzy Strzelecki/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ushuaia © Jerzy Strzelecki/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is located in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range, and on the south by the Beagle Channel. It is the only municipality in the Department of Ushuaia, which has an area of 9,390 km2 (3,625 sq mi). The main economic activities are fishing, natural gas and oil extraction, sheep farming and ecotourism. more…

Museum Mile in Bonn

September 21st, 2016 | Destination: | General | No Comments »

Museum of Modern Art © Hans Weingartz/cc-by-sa-2.0-de

Museum of Modern Art © Hans Weingartz/cc-by-sa-2.0-de

The Museum Mile is an ensemble of five museums in the “Federal City” of Bonn. The term was coined in the mid-1990s, when over a course of a few years several museum buildings were created south of Bonn Centre, which includes five museums on a length of about 3 km along the Bundesstraße 9. Since 1995, the Bonn Museum Mile Festival takes place annually, during which all five museums offer a variety of events for one weekend. more…

Theme Week Argentina – San Salvador de Jujuy

September 20th, 2016 | Destination: | General | No Comments »

Belgrano Square and the Government Palace © Gustso/cc-by-sa-4.0

Belgrano Square and the Government Palace © Gustso/cc-by-sa-4.0

San Salvador de Jujuy, commonly known as Jujuy and locally often referred to as San Salvador, is the capital city of Jujuy Province in Argentine Northwest. It lies near the southern end of the Humahuaca Canyon where wooded hills meet the lowlands. The city lies on National Route 9 that connects La Quiaca 289 km (180 mi) with Salta 120 km (75 mi), and it is 1,525 km (948 mi) from Buenos Aires. Tourist destinations not far from the city are Tilcara 84 km (52 mi), Humahuaca 126 km (78 mi), and the Calilegua National Park 111 km (69 mi). Jujuy is located near the Andes, at the junction of the Xibi Xibi River and the Río Grande de Jujuy, 1,238 meters above sea level. The weather is humid during the summer and dry and cold during the winter. Temperatures vary widely between day and night. more…

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