Theme Week Georgia – Batumi

25 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Coastline with Batumi on the horizon © flickr.com - Jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Coastline with Batumi on the horizon © flickr.com – Jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Batumi is the second largest city of Georgia and the capital of the Adjara, located on the coast of the Black Sea in Georgia’s southwest. It is situated in a subtropical zone at the foot of the Caucasus. Much of Batumi’s economy revolves around tourism and gambling (it is nicknamed “The Las Vegas of the Black Sea”), but the city is also an important sea port and includes industries like shipbuilding, food processing and light manufacturing. Since 2010, Batumi has been transformed by the construction of modern high-rise buildings, as well as the restoration of classical 19th-century edifices lining its historic Old Town.   read more…

Portrait: Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher

25 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher by Ernst Gebauer, around 1815

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher by Ernst Gebauer, around 1815

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt (16 December 1742 – 12 September 1819), Graf (count), later elevated to Fürst (sovereign prince) von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal). He earned his greatest recognition after leading his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.   read more…

Theme Week Georgia – Sukhumi

24 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© panoramio.com - Владимир К/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – Владимир К/cc-by-3.0

Sukhumi is a city on the Black Sea coast, on the Soviet Riviera. It is the capital of the unrecognised Republic of Abkhazia, which has controlled it since the 1992–93 war in Abkhazia, although most of the international community considers it legally part of Georgia. Sukhumi’s history can be traced back to the 6th century BC, when it was settled by Greeks, who named it Dioscurias. During this time and the subsequent Roman period, much of the city disappeared under the Black Sea. The city was named Tskhumi when it became part of the Kingdom of Abkhazia and then the Kingdom of Georgia. Contested by local princes, it became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1570s, where it remained until it was conquered by the Russian Empire in 1810. Following a period of conflict during the Russian Civil War, it became part of the independent Georgia, which included Abkhazia, in 1918. In 1921, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by the Soviet Bolshevik forces from Russia. Within the Soviet Union, it was regarded as a holiday resort. As the Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990s, the city suffered significant damage during the Abkhaz–Georgian conflict. The present-day population of 60,000 is only half of the population living there towards the end of Soviet rule.   read more…

Frogmore House in Royal Berkshire

24 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© flickr.com - Karen Roe/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Karen Roe/cc-by-2.0

The Frogmore Estate or Gardens comprise 33 acres (130,000 m²) of private gardens within the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle, in the English county of Berkshire. It is the location of Frogmore House, a royal retreat, and Frogmore Cottage. The name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying and marshy area near the River Thames. This area is part of the local flood plain. It is also the site of three burial places of the British Royal Family: the Royal Mausoleum containing the tomb of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the Duchess of Kent’s Mausoleum, the burial place of Queen Victoria’s mother; and the Royal Burial Ground. The gardens are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.   read more…

Theme Week Georgia

23 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Changing skyline of Batumi © flickr.com - jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Changing skyline of Batumi © flickr.com – jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the east by Azerbaijan, and to the south by Armenia and Turkey. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its approximate population is about 4 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.   read more…

The origins of Jerusalem stone architecture in East Jerusalem

23 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Old town Suq Aftimos © Rastaman3000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old town Suq Aftimos © Rastaman3000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jerusalem stone (Meleke) is a lithologic type of white, coarsely-crystalline, thickly bedded-limestone found in the Judean Hills in Israel and the West Bank. It has been used in the traditional architecture of Jerusalem since ancient times, especially in Herodian architecture. Though it is often popularly referred to as Jerusalem stone, that phrase can refer to a number of different types of stone found and used in or associated with Jerusalem. Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times. One of these limestones has been used in many of the region’s most celebrated structures, including the Western Wall. Jerusalem stone continues to be used in construction and incorporated in Jewish ceremonial art such as menorahs and seder plates. Limestone is used all over the world. The unique selling point is the mining area, the origins of which lie in the Palestinian old town of East Jerusalem. This unique selling point naturally also applies to other mining areas, e.g. for the Austin Stone from Austin, Texas or the Cotswold Stone from the British Cotswolds.   read more…

Chicago Loop

20 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© unsplash.com - frank mckenna

© unsplash.com – frank mckenna

The Loop, one of Chicago‘s 77 designated community areas, is the central business district of the city and is the main section of Downtown Chicago. Home to Chicago’s commercial core, it is the second largest commercial business district in North America and contains the headquarters and regional offices of several global and national businesses, retail establishments, restaurants, hotels, and theaters, as well as many of Chicago’s most famous attractions. It is home to Chicago’s City Hall, the seat of Cook County, and numerous offices of other levels of government and consulates of foreign nations. In it at the intersection of State Street and Madison Street is the origin of Chicago’s street grid addresses, established in 1909. Most of Grant Park‘s 319 acres (1.29 km²) are in the eastern section of the community area. The Loop community area is bounded on the north and west by the Chicago River, on the east by Lake Michigan, and on the south by Roosevelt Road, although the commercial core has greatly expanded into adjacent community areas.   read more…

Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds

18 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Picnic © Saffron Blaze/cc-by-sa-3.0

Picnic © Saffron Blaze/cc-by-sa-3.0

Broadway Tower is a folly on Broadway Hill, near the large village of Broadway, in the English county of Worcestershire, at the second-highest point of the Cotswolds (after Cleeve Hill). Broadway Tower’s base is 1,024 feet (312 metres) above sea level. The tower itself stands 65 feet (20 metres) high. The tower is a tourist attraction and the centre of the Broadway Tower Country Park with various exhibitions open to the public at a fee, as well as a gift shop and restaurant. The place is on the Cotswold Way and can be reached by following the Cotswold Way from the A44 road at Fish Hill, or by a steep climb out of Broadway village.   read more…

Golden Temple in Amritsar

16 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Sarovar and the Golden Temple © flickr.com - Ken Wieland/cc-by-sa-2.0

Sarovar and the Golden Temple © flickr.com – Ken Wieland/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, meaning “abode of God” or Darbār Sahib, meaning “exalted court”, is a gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the preeminent spiritual site of Sikhism.   read more…

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