Babylon in Iraq

6 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ishtar Gate in Babylon © Ali Kareem Yousif/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ishtar Gate in Babylon © Ali Kareem Yousif/cc-by-sa-4.0

Babylon was the capital city of the ancient Babylonian empire, which itself is a term referring to either of two separate empires in the Mesopotamian area in antiquity. These two empires achieved regional dominance between the 19th and 15th centuries BC, and again between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The city, built along both banks of the Euphrates river, had steep embankments to contain the river’s seasonal floods. The earliest known mention of Babylon as a small town appears on a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BC) of the Akkadian Empire. The site of the ancient city lies just south of present-day Baghdad. UNESCO inscribed Babylon as a World Heritage Site in 2019.   read more…

Haram esh-Sharif or Temple Mount in East Jerusalem

3 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

Known to Muslims as the Haram esh-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”, or “the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem”) and the Al Aqsa Compound, and to Jews as Temple Mount (“Mount of the House [of God, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem]”), is a hill in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old City of Jerusalem that for thousands of years has been venerated as a holy site in Christianity, Islam and Islam, and Judaism alike.   read more…

The Viking Sea

1 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Pjotr Mahhonin/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Pjotr Mahhonin/cc-by-sa-4.0

MV Viking Sea is a cruise ship built by Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri for Viking Ocean Cruises. It is the second ship to grace the name Viking Sea, the first being Viking Sky which was originally assigned this name. Homeport is Bergen.   read more…

Sagrada Família in Barcelona

1 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família (Spanish: Basílica de la Sagrada Familia; ‘Basilica of the Holy Family‘), also known as the Sagrada Família, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), his work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On 7 November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and proclaimed it a minor basilica.   read more…

Doge’s Palace in Venice

1 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  17 minutes

Doge's Palace © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

Doge’s Palace © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Doge’s Palace (Italian: Palazzo Ducale) is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic. It was built in 1340 and extended and modified in the following centuries. It became a museum in 1923 and is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.   read more…

The European Union: Eastern Partnership

31 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General Reading Time:  15 minutes

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative of the European External Action Service of the European Union (EU) together with the EU, its Member States, and six Eastern European partners governing the EU’s relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The EaP is intended to provide a forum for discussions regarding trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and its Eastern European neighbours. It also aims at building a common area of shared values of democracy, prosperity, stability, and increased cooperation. The project was initiated by Poland and a subsequent proposal was prepared in co-operation with Sweden. It was presented by the foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden at the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 26 May 2008. The Eastern Partnership was inaugurated by the European Union in Prague, Czech Republic on 7 May 2009. The first meeting of foreign ministers in the framework of the Eastern Partnership was held on 8 December 2009 in Brussels.   read more…

Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles

30 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area Reading Time:  8 minutes

Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica © flickr.com - inazakira/cc-by-sa-2.0

Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica © flickr.com – inazakira/cc-by-sa-2.0

Wilshire Boulevard is a 15.83 miles (25.48 km) boulevard in the Los Angeles area of Southern California, extending from Ocean Avenue in the city of Santa Monica east to Grand Avenue in the Financial District of downtown Los Angeles. One of the principal east-west arterial roads of Los Angeles, it is also one of the major city streets through the city of Beverly Hills. Wilshire Boulevard runs roughly parallel with Santa Monica Boulevard from Santa Monica to the west boundary of Beverly Hills. From the east boundary it runs a block south of Sixth Street to its terminus. The boulevard was named after Henry Gaylord Wilshire (1861-1927), a landowner, publisher and socialist (only in America: A boulevard that stands for income inequality between the poor (homeless camps) and the super rich like no other in the world is named after a socialist. You can’t help but grin).   read more…

Theme Week Burgenland – Eisenstadt

28 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

Esterházy Castle © Zei Andrei Meriae/cc-by-sa-3.0

Esterházy Castle © Zei Andrei Meriae/cc-by-sa-3.0

Eisenstadt is a city in Austria, the state capital of Burgenland with a population of 14,900. In the Habsburg Empire‘s Kingdom of Hungary, Kismarton (Eisenstadt) was the seat of the Eszterházy Hungarian noble family. The composer Joseph Haydn lived there as Hofkapellmeister under Esterházy patronage. Eisenstadt lies on a plain leading down to the river Wulka, at the south foot of the Leitha Mountains, about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from the Hungarian border.   read more…

Rutgers University

28 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  6 minutes

Old Queens, the oldest building at Rutgers University in New Brunswick © Zeete/cc-by-sa-4.0

Old Queens, the oldest building at Rutgers University in New Brunswick © Zeete/cc-by-sa-4.0

Rutgers University (RU), formally known as Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College. It is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American Revolution. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.   read more…

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