Charles University in Prague

5 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  7 minutes

Karolinum © VitVit/cc-by-sa-4.0

Karolinum © VitVit/cc-by-sa-4.0

Charles University (Czech: Univerzita Karlova), also known as Charles University in Prague or historically as the University of Prague , is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation. Today, the university consists of 17 faculties located in Prague, Hradec Králové, and Plzeň. Charles University belongs among the top three universities in Central and Eastern Europe. It is ranked around 200–300 in the world.   read more…

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville

5 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  13 minutes

© Michael Rivera/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Michael Rivera/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music. Chartered in 1964, the museum has amassed one of the world’s most extensive musical collections. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is the world’s largest repository of country music artifacts. Early in the 1960s, as the Country Music Association‘s (CMA) campaign to publicize country music was accelerating, CMA leaders determined that a new organization was needed to operate a country music museum and related activities beyond CMA’s scope as a simply a trade organization. Toward this end, the nonprofit Country Music Foundation (CMF) was chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964 to collect, preserve, and publicize information and artifacts relating to the history of country music. Through CMF, industry leaders raised money with the effort of CMA Executive Director Jo Walker-Meador to build the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which opened on April 1, 1967. The original building was a barn-shaped structure located at the head of Music Row, erected on the site of a small Nashville city park. This hall of fame was modeled after the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. At this point, artifacts began to be displayed and a small library was begun in a loft above one of the museum’s galleries. Early in the 1970s, the basement of the museum building was partially complete, and library expansion began, embracing not only recordings, but also books and periodicals, sheet music and songbooks, photographs, business documents, and other materials. At the outset, CMA staff had run the museum, but by 1972, the museum (already governed by its own independent board of directors) acquired its own small staff. Building expansion took place in 1974, 1977, and 1984 to store and display the museum’s growing collection of costumes, films, historic cars, musical instruments, and other artifacts. An education department was created to conduct ongoing programs with Middle Tennessee schools; an oral history program was begun; and a publications department was launched to handle books, as well as the Journal of Country Music.   read more…

University of Coimbra

4 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  7 minutes

The Joanine Library © Alvesgaspar/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Joanine Library © Alvesgaspar/cc-by-sa-3.0

The University of Coimbra (UC; Portuguese: Universidade de Coimbra) is a public research university in Coimbra, Portugal. First established in Lisbon in 1290, it went through a number of relocations until moving permanently to Coimbra in 1537. The university is among the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest in Portugal, and played an influential role in the development of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world. In 2013, UNESCO declared the university a World Heritage Site, noting its architecture, unique culture and traditions, and historical role.   read more…

La Trappe Abbey in Normandy

4 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Giogo/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Giogo/cc-by-sa-4.0

La Trappe Abbey, also known as La Grande Trappe, is a monastery in Soligny-la-Trappe, Orne, France. It is known for being the house of origin of the Trappists, to whom it gave its name. The site of the famous La Trappe Abbey was for centuries isolated in a valley surrounded by forests, streams and lakes, 9 miles from Mortagne and 84 miles from Paris, in the Diocese of Séez and the former province of Normandy. It began as a small oratory chapel to the Virgin Mary, built in 1122 by Rotrou III, Count of Perche, as a memorial to his wife Matilda FitzRoy, Countess of Perche. (An illegitimate daughter of Henry I, she drowned in the White Ship disaster of 1120.) A few years later Rotrou built a monastery adjoining, which he offered to the monks of Le Breuil-Benoît Abbey near Dreux, a house of the Order of Savigny. The order was highly respected at that time for its fervour and holiness. In 1140 the monastery of La Trappe was raised to the status of abbey. In 1147 Savigny Abbey, with all its affiliated monasteries, was united to the Cistercian Order. From that time onwards, La Trappe was a Cistercian abbey, immediately subordinate to the abbot of Clairvaux.   read more…

University of Cape Town

3 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  5 minutes

Upper Campus at Groote Schuur on the slopes of Devil's Peak © Adrian Frith/cc-by-sa-3.0

Upper Campus at Groote Schuur on the slopes of Devil’s Peak © Adrian Frith/cc-by-sa-3.0

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university in Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 1829 as the South African College, it was granted full university status in 1918, making it the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest university in Sub-Saharan Africa in continuous operation.   read more…

Bautzen in Saxony

3 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

© Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bautzen is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany, and the administrative centre of the district of Bautzen. It is located on the Spree river. In 2018 the town’s population was 39,087. Until 1868, its German name was Budissin. Bautzen is often regarded as the unofficial, but historical capital of Upper Lusatia. The town is also the most important cultural centre of the Sorbian minority, which constitutes about 10 percent of Bautzen’s population. Asteroid 11580 Bautzen is named in honour of the city. The town is situated about 50 km (31 mi) east of Dresden between the Lusatian highland and the lowlands in the north, amidst the region of Upper Lusatia. To the north stretches the Bautzen Reservoir, which was flooded in 1974. This is the former location of the villages of Malsissy (Małšecy) and Nimschütz (Hněwsecy).   read more…

Swallow’s Nest in Crimea

2 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - Иерей Максим Массалитин/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Иерей Максим Массалитин/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Swallow’s Nest is a decorative castle located at Gaspra, a small spa town between Yalta and Alupka, in the Crimean Peninsula. It was built between 1911 and 1912, on top of the 40-metre (130 ft) high Aurora Cliff, in a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood for the Baltic German businessman Baron von Steingel.   read more…

The Crown Iris

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

Crown Iris © Sotiris Boutsaxis/cc-by-sa-4.0

Crown Iris © Sotiris Boutsaxis/cc-by-sa-4.0

MS Crown Iris is a cruise ship owned by Mano Maritime. She was originally ordered by Birka Line as MS Birka Queen from the Wärtsilä Marine Turku Shipyard in Finland, but completed by Kvaerner Masa-Yards as MS Royal Majesty for Majesty Cruise Line. In 1997 she was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line as the MS Norwegian Majesty and lengthened by 33.76 m (110 ft 9 in) at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. She was sold to Louis Cruises as the MS Louis Majesty from 2008 to 2012 when she was chartered to Thomson Cruises as the MS Thomson Majesty before being returned to Louis Cruises/Celestyal Cruises, as the Majesty. In 2018 the ship sold to >Mano Maritime.   read more…

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  12 minutes

The May Company Building, now the Saban Building © Downtowngal/cc-by-sa-4.0

The May Company Building, now the Saban Building © Downtowngal/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is a museum in Los Angeles, California constructed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which is devoted to the history, science, and cultural impact of the film industry. It is the first large-scale museum of its kind in the United States. The museum is located in the historic May Company Building on the intersection Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, part of Museum Row on the Miracle Mile. Originally expected to open in 2020, its completion and opening was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum eventually opened to selected celebrity guests on September 25, 2021, and to the general public on September 30. On Thursday, July 14, the museum voluntarily recognized Academy Museum Workers United as the bargaining representative for 160 of its employees.   read more…

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