Theme Week Belarus

25 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Victory Square in Minsk © Mikkalai

Victory Square in Minsk © Mikkalai

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) and with a population of 9.3 million, Belarus is the 13th-largest and the 20th-most populous country in Europe. The country is administratively divided into seven regions. Minsk is the capital and largest city.   read more…

Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv

25 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Andriyivskyy Descent with the Saint Andrew's Church © Moahim/cc-by-sa-4.0

Andriyivskyy Descent with the Saint Andrew’s Church © Moahim/cc-by-sa-4.0

Andriyivskyy Descent (literally: Andrew’s Descent) is a historic descent connecting Kyiv‘s Upper Town neighborhood and the historically commercial Podil neighborhood. The street, often advertised by tour guides and operators as the “Montmartre of Kyiv”, is a major tourist attraction of the city. It is included in the list of national landmarks by the government resolution. In addition, the street is also part of the Kyiv city historic reserve “Ancient Kyiv“, while the St.Andrew’s Church belongs to the National historic reserve “Sophia of Kyiv“.   read more…

Ariel in Palestine

22 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ariel University Center © Ori~

Ariel University Center © Ori~

Ariel is an urban Israeli settlement organized as a city council in the central West Bank, Palestine, part of the Israeli-occupied territories, approximately situated between 17 kilometres (11 mi) and 22 kilometres (14 mi) east of the Green Line, and 34 kilometres (21 mi) west of the Jordan River, Jordan‘s western border. Ariel is adjacent to the Palestinian National Authority town of Salfit and southwest of Nablus. It is approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Petah Tikva, and 42 kilometres (26 mi) east of Tel Aviv to which it is connected by the Highway 5 and 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Jerusalem, to which it is connected by Highway 60. Ariel was first established in 1978 and its population was 20,540 in 2019, composed of veteran and young Israelis, English-speaking immigrants, and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, with an additional influx of above 10,000 students from Ariel University. It is the fourth largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, after Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit, and Ma’ale Adumim. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. Ariel’s jurisdiction spans 14,677 dunams (14.677 km²; 5.667 sq mi), and borders the Palestinian towns and villages Salfit, Marda and Iskaka. According to B’Tselem, within Ariel’s municipal area there are several enclaves of privately owned Palestinian land, whose owners are not allowed access to them.   read more…

City of Ur in Iraq

20 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ziggurat of Ur © Kaufingdude/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ziggurat of Ur © Kaufingdude/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ur was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia, located at the site of modern “Tell el-Muqayyar” in south Iraq‘s Dhi Qar Governorate. Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland, on the south bank of the Euphrates, 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) from Nasiriyah in modern-day Iraq. The city dates from the Ubaid period circa 3800 BC, and is recorded in written history as a city-state from the 26th century BC, its first recorded king being Mesannepada.   read more…

Brest in Belarus

18 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Monument of Courage in Brest Fortress © Alexxx Malev/cc-by-sa-4.0

Monument of Courage in Brest Fortress © Alexxx Malev/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brest, formerly Brest-Litovsk, is a city (population 350,600 in 2019) in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet, making it a border town. It is the capital city of the Brest Region.   read more…

Port of Haifa

15 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Port of Haifa © flickr.com - Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

Port of Haifa © flickr.com – Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

The Port of Haifa is the largest of Israel‘s three major international seaports, the others being the Port of Ashdod, and the Port of Eilat. It has a natural deep-water harbor, which operates all year long, and serves both passenger and merchant ships. It is one of the largest ports in the eastern Mediterranean in terms of freight volume and handles about 30 million tons of cargo per year (not including Israel Shipyards’ port). The port employs over 1,000 people, rising to 5,000 when cruise ships dock in Haifa. The Port of Haifa lies to the north of Haifa‘s downtown quarter on the Mediterranean, and stretches to some three kilometres along the city’s central shore with activities ranging from military, industrial and commercial next to a nowadays-smaller passenger cruising facility.   read more…

French Museum of Freemasonry in Paris

13 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Paris / Île-de-France Reading Time:  4 minutes

Hôtel du Grand Orient de France, the location of the Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie © Declic/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hôtel du Grand Orient de France, the location of the Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie © Declic/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie (French Museum of Freemasonry) is a museum of Freemasonry located in the 9th arrondissement at 16, rue Cadet, Paris, France. It is open daily except Sundays and Mondays; an admission fee is charged. The closest métro station is Cadet.   read more…

Old New Synagogue in Prague

11 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Øyvind Holmstad/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Øyvind Holmstad/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Old New Synagogue (Czech: Staronová synagoga), also called the Altneuschul, situated in Josefov, Prague, is Europe’s oldest active synagogue. It is also the oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design. Completed in 1270 in gothic style, it was one of Prague‘s first gothic buildings. A still older Prague synagogue, known as the Old Synagogue, was demolished in 1867 and replaced by the Spanish Synagogue.   read more…

Bethesda in Maryland

8 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Headquarters of Host Hotels and Resorts © G. Edward Johnson/cc-by-4.0

Headquarters of Host Hotels and Resorts © G. Edward Johnson/cc-by-4.0

Bethesda is an unincorporated, census-designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, located just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House (1820, rebuilt 1849), which in turn took its name from Jerusalem‘s Pool of Bethesda. The National Institutes of Health‘s main campus and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center are in Bethesda, in addition to a number of corporate and government headquarters. As an unincorporated community, Bethesda has no official boundaries. According to the 2020 United States census, the community had a total population of 68,056.   read more…

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