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Leshan Giant Buddha in China

Leshan Giant Buddha in China

[caption id="attachment_223707" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Ariel Steiner/cc-by-sa-2.5[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang dynasty. It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the lar...

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Barcelona, "la gran encisera", the great enchantress

Barcelona,

[caption id="attachment_152450" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Plaça Catalunya © tango7174[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 4,200,000 on an area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area in the...

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Bełżec in Poland

Bełżec in Poland

[caption id="attachment_151047" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Orthodox church of St. Vasily from 1756 © Yarek shalom/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Bełżec is a village in Tomaszów Lubelski County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland with 2,600 inhabitants. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Bełżec. It lies approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) south of Tomaszów Lubelski and 114 km (71 mi) south-east of the regional capital Lublin. Already in 1887 Bełżec received rail conn...

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Costa Mesa in Orange County

Costa Mesa in Orange County

[caption id="attachment_165541" align="aligncenter" width="590"] South Coast Plaza entrance © Coolcaesar/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Costa Mesa is a city in Orange County in California. The population is at 110,000. Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to a primarily suburban and edge city with an economy based on retail, commerce, and light manufacturing. Costa Mesa is located 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 88 miles (142 km) north of San Diego ...

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Al-Karak in Jordan

Al-Karak in Jordan

[caption id="attachment_206504" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Al-Karak and Kerak Castle © Berthold Werner/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Al-Karak, known in the Kingdom of Jerusalem as Kerak, is a city in Jordan known for its Crusader castle, the Kerak Castle. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria. Al-Karak is the capital city of the Karak Governorate. Al-Karak lies 140 kilometres (87 mi) to the south of Amman on the ancient King's Highway. It is situated on a hilltop ...

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Theme Week London - City of Westminster

Theme Week London - City of Westminster

[caption id="attachment_151759" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Westminster Palace - Parliament at Sunset - UNESCO World Heritage Site © Mgimelfarb[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary is the River Thames. It is an Inner London borough and was cr...

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Theme Week Kazakhstan - Aktau

Theme Week Kazakhstan - Aktau

[caption id="attachment_191936" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Aktau Lighthouse at the Caspian Sea © AnastassiyaL/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Aktau is located on the east bank of the Caspian Sea. Its current name means "white mountain" in Kazakh, which may be due to its cliffs that overlook the Caspian. From 1964 to 1991 city was known as Shevchenko. Its former name was given due to the eponymous Ukrainian poet's period of exile in the area. It is located on the Mangyshlak Peninsula and is the capital of Mangystau ...

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Trapani in Sicily

Trapani in Sicily

[caption id="attachment_216272" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - Myke Bryan/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Founded by Elymians, the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Aegadian Islands. The city was badly damaged during World War II, when it was subjected to intense Allied bombardments. It has grown greatly since the end of the war, sprawling out virtually to...

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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Marian church in Rome

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Marian church in Rome

[caption id="attachment_25591" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Frontside © JEK/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary Major), or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome. Other churches in Rome dedicated to Mary include Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, and Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but the greater size of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major justifies the adjective by which it is distinguished from the oth...

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The Saint Lawrence River

The Saint Lawrence River

[caption id="attachment_151311" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Map of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River © Kmusser/cc-by-sa-2.5[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The St. Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin. The river traverses the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and forms part of the international boundary between Ontario and N...

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