Knoxville in Tennessee

18 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0

South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0

Knoxville is a city in and the county seat of Knox County in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 United States census, Knoxville’s population was 190,740, making it the largest city in the East Tennessee Grand Division and the state’s third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 869,046 in 2019. Knoxville is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee, whose sports teams, the Tennessee Volunteers, are popular in the surrounding area. Knoxville is also home to the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Supreme Court‘s courthouse for East Tennessee, and the corporate headquarters of several national and regional companies. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has positioned itself in recent years as a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.   read more…

Yiwu in Central Zhejiang Province

16 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Park on the river © Cherubby/cc-by-sa-3.0

Park on the river © Cherubby/cc-by-sa-3.0

Yiwu is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Jinhua in Central Zhejiang Province, East China. As of the 2020 census, the city had 1,859,390 inhabitants and its built-up (or metro) area, joined with that of the neighboring Dongyang, was home to 2,947,340 inhabitants. The city is famous for its light industry commodity trade and vibrant market and as a regional tourist destination.   read more…

Nakba Day

15 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  12 minutes

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Nakba (lit.: “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs. The term is also used to describe the ongoing persecution, displacement, and occupation of the Palestinians, both in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. The foundational events of the Nakba took place during and shortly after the 1947–1949 Palestine war, including 78% of Mandatory Palestine being declared as Israel, the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians, the related depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages and subsequent geographical erasure, the denial of the Palestinian right of return, the creation of permanent Palestinian refugees and the “shattering of Palestinian society”. The most important long-term implications of the Nakba for the Palestinian people were the loss of their homeland, the fragmentation and marginalization of their national community, and their transformation into a stateless people.   read more…

St. Nicholas Church in Potsdam

13 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, General Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Bärwinkel,Klaus/cc-by-3.0

© Bärwinkel,Klaus/cc-by-3.0

St. Nicholas Church (German: St. Nikolaikirche) in Potsdam is a Lutheran church under the Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia of the Evangelical Church in Germany on the Old Market Square (Alter Markt) in Potsdam. The central plan building in the Classicist style and dedicated to Saint Nicholas was built to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the years 1830 to 1837.   read more…

Hollywood in Florida

11 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  5 minutes

Boardwalk © Tamanoeconomico/cc-by-sa-4.0

Boardwalk © Tamanoeconomico/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hollywood is a city in southern Broward County, Florida, United States, located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. As of July 1, 2019, Hollywood had a population of 154,817. Founded in 1925, the city grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now the 12th-largest city in Florida. Hollywood is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people at the 2015 census. The average temperature is between 68 and 83 °F (20 and 28 °C). Hollywood is a relatively small city that retains an old laid-back Florida feel to it compared to the larger cities in the area.   read more…

Andros in Greece

9 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Batsi © flickr.com - linmtheu/cc-by-2.0

Batsi © flickr.com – linmtheu/cc-by-2.0

Andros is the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Euboea, and about 3 km (2 mi) north of Tinos. It is nearly 40 km (25 mi) long, and its greatest breadth is 16 km (10 mi). It is for the most part mountainous, with many fruitful and well-watered valleys. The municipality, which includes the island Andros and several small, uninhabited islands, has an area of 380 km² (146.719 sq mi). The largest towns are Andros (town), Gavrio, Batsi, and Ormos Korthiou.   read more…

The European Union: Europe Day

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Europe Day 2009 in Strasbourg © flickr.com - Francois Schnell/cc-by-2.0

Europe Day 2009 in Strasbourg © flickr.com – Francois Schnell/cc-by-2.0

Europe Day is a day celebrating “peace and unity in Europe” celebrated on 5 May by the Council of Europe and on 9 May by the European Union. The first recognition of Europe Day was by the Council of Europe, introduced in 1964. The European Union later started to celebrate its own European Day in commemoration of the 1950 Schuman Declaration which first proposed the European Coal and Steel Community, leading it to be referred to by some as “Schuman Day” or “Day of the united Europe”. Both days are celebrated by displaying the Flag of Europe. The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949, and hence it chose that day for its celebrations when it established the holiday in 1964.   read more…

Victory in Europe Day

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

8 May 1945 - Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London © War Office official photographer, Major W. G. Horton

8 May 1945 – Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London © War Office official photographer, Major W. G. Horton

Victory in Europe Day is the day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on Tuesday, 8 May 1945. Russia and many former Soviet countries celebrate on 9 May, marking the end of World War II in Europe. Several countries observe public holidays on the day each year, also called Victory Over Fascism Day, Liberation Day or Victory Day. In the UK it is often abbreviated to VE Day, or V-E Day in the US, a term which existed as early as September 1944, in anticipation of victory. The end of all combat actions was specified as 23:01 Central European Time, which was already 9 May in eastern Europe, and thus several former Soviet bloc countries including Russia and Belarus, as well as some former Yugoslav countries like Serbia, celebrate on 9 May.   read more…

Dissolution of the monasteries

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  28 minutes

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

The dissolution of the monasteries, occasionally referred to as the suppression of the monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries in England, Wales, and Ireland, expropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry’s military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). While Thomas Cromwell, Vicar-general and Vice-regent of England, is often considered the leader of the Dissolutions, he merely oversaw the project, one he had hoped to use for reform of monasteries, not closure or seizure. The Dissolution project was created by England’s Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley, and Court of Augmentations head Richard Rich. Professor George W. Bernard argues that:

The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders.

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