Portrait: Pablo Picasso, painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright

22 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Pablo Picasso in 1962 © Argentina. Revista Vea y Lea - magicasruinas.com.ar

Pablo Picasso in 1962 © Argentina. Revista Vea y Lea – magicasruinas.com.ar

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces during the Spanish Civil War.   read more…

Theme Week Uzbekistan – Termez

21 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

National Archaeological Museum © Zenwort/cc-by-sa-4.0

National Archaeological Museum © Zenwort/cc-by-sa-4.0

Termez is a city in the southernmost part of Uzbekistan near the Hairatan border crossing of Afghanistan. It is the hottest point of Uzbekistan. It has a population of 140,404 (1 January 2005), and is the capital of Surxondaryo Region.   read more…

Theme Week Uzbekistan

20 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Old City of Bukhara at sunset © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0

Old City of Bukhara at sunset © flickr.com – Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0

Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia. It is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Along with Liechtenstein, it is one of only two doubly landlocked countries. As a sovereign state, Uzbekistan is a secular, unitary constitutional republic. It comprises 12 provinces and one autonomous republic. The capital and largest city of Uzbekistan is Tashkent. The Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution. In September 2017, the country’s currency became fully convertible at market rates. Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton. With the gigantic power-generation facilities of the Soviet era and an ample supply of natural gas, Uzbekistan has become the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Renewable energy constitutes more than 23% of the country’s energy sector, with hydroelectricity and solar energy having 21.4% and 2% respectively. As of late 2018, the republic was given a BB- rating by both Standard and Poor (S&P) and Fitch. Strengths indicated by Brookings Institution include Uzbekistan having large liquid assets, high economic growth, and low public debt. Among the constraints holding the republic back are low GDP per capita, something the government could influence by changing how it accounts for sectors of the economy not currently included.   read more…

Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki

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

© Matthew Duncan/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Matthew Duncan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Temppeliaukio Church is a Lutheran church in the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. Built directly into solid rock, it is also known as the Church of the Rock and Rock Church.   read more…

Theme Week Turkey

18 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Levent business district in Istanbul © Derrick Brutel/cc-by-sa-4.0

Levent business district in Istanbul © Derrick Brutel/cc-by-sa-4.0

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeastern Europe. East Thrace, the part of Turkey in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles (collectively called the Turkish Straits). Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia, is the largest city in the country, while Ankara is the capital. Turkey is bordered on its northwest by Greece and Bulgaria; north by the Black Sea; northeast by Georgia; east by Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran; southeast by Iraq; south by Syria and the Mediterranean Sea; and west by the Aegean Sea. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the country’s citizens identify as Turkish, while Kurds are the largest minority, at between 15 to 20 percent of the population.   read more…

Bal Harbour in Florida

17 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour © Alexf

Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour © Alexf

Bal Harbour is a village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population is at 3,000. Since the 1920s, the Detroit-based Miami Beach Heights Corporation – headed by industrialists Robert C. Graham, Walter O. Briggs, and Carl G. Fisher – owned 245 acres (0.99 km²) of undeveloped, partially swampy land that stretched from the bay to the Atlantic. Mr. Graham assumed the duties as the developer for Bal Harbour. In the 1930s, city planners Harland Bartholomew & Associates were called in to design the Village. The company made several plans, and they were submitted to the Miami Beach Heights for review.   read more…

Castle Combe in England

15 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General

The Manor House Hotel © Adrian Pingstone

The Manor House Hotel © Adrian Pingstone

Castle Combe is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of the town of Chippenham. The village has two parts: one is in the narrow valley of the By Brook, while Upper Castle Combe is on higher ground to the east, on the B4039 road which links Chippenham with Chipping Sodbury. A motor racing circuit is to the south of the upper village. The village takes its name from the 12th-century castle which stood about 1/3 mile (500 m) to the north.   read more…

Viennese Coffee House Culture

13 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Café Museum © Fotostudio Schuster/cc-by-sa-3.0

Café Museum © Fotostudio Schuster/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Viennese coffee house is a typical institution of Vienna that played an important part in shaping Viennese culture. Since October 2011 the “Viennese Coffee House Culture” is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in the Austrian inventory of the “National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, a part of UNESCO. The Viennese coffee house is described in this inventory as a place, “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.”   read more…

Old Tbilisi in Georgia

10 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Narikala Fortress © panoramio.com - David Holt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Narikala Fortress © panoramio.com – David Holt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old Tbilisi was an administrative district (raioni) in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, from 2007 to 2013. Although the term “Old Tbilisi” has long been used to denote a historical part of the city, it was only in 2007 that it became a distinct administrative entity to incorporate several historical neighbourhoods formerly included in the districts of Mtatsminda-Krtsanisi, Isani-Samgori, and Didube-Chughureti. The district was abolished in 2013, with its territories allotted to several other divisions of the capital.   read more…

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