Gamla stan, the old town of Stockholm

6 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Julian Herzog/cc-by-4.0

© Julian Herzog/cc-by-4.0

Gamla stan (The Old Town), until 1980 officially Staden mellan broarna (The Town between the Bridges), is the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Gamla stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. Officially, but not colloquially, Gamla stan includes the surrounding islets Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town’s construction.   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 14 October 2019) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund, timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 109 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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The Nice Côte d’Azur Opera House

29 December 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries

© flickr.com - debs-eye/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – debs-eye/cc-by-2.0

The Opéra de Nice is the principal opera venue in Nice on the French Riviera. It offers three types of performances: operas, ballets and classical concerts ; and houses the Ballet Nice Méditerranée and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice. The “petit théâtre en bois” (wooden theatre) was first created in 1776 by Marquess Alli-Maccarani. Sold in 1787 to a group of gentry, it reopened in 1790 under the name “Théâtre Royal”. In 1826, the city of Nice, encouraged by King Charles Félix, bought it from its owners and had it demolished and rebuilt. It was inaugurated in 1828 with Giovanni Pacini‘s Il Barone di Bolsheim. In 1856, a great ball was organized in the honour of King Victor Emmanuel II.   read more…

The Palais Coburg in Vienna

25 December 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Diana Ringo/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

© Diana Ringo/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

Palais Coburg, also known as Palais Saxe-Coburg, is a palace in Vienna. It was owned by the Kohary branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.   read more…

Kissimmee in Florida

20 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Lakefront Park © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0

Lakefront Park © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kissimmee is a city in Osceola County in Florida with a population of 69,000. It is the county seat of Osceola County. It is a Principal City of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which a population of 2.4 million. The Shingle Creek Regional Trail (SCRT) is an inter-governmental project that will eventually connect Kissimmee to Orlando through a 32-mile bicycle trail. It runs along the environmentally sensitive Shingle Creek, and was included on President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors list. Various parts of the trail are currently open, with many parts to be completed by 2016. It will be 12 feet wide, composed variously of bridges and paved roadway, and travel through mostly undeveloped area. Kissimmee is home to a number of golf courses and mini-golf courses. Kissimmee is also home to the Loop, a large outdoor shopping mall at John Young and Osceola Parkways on the Orange/Osceola County line. It features stores such as American Eagle, Kohls, and Best Buy. There is also a multi-plex theater. Kissimmee also features a unique transformation of the former Osceola Square Mall into a Spanish-style marketplace called Plaza Del Sol. Kissimmee is near Orlando, home to Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, and Lake Buena Vista/Bay Lake, home to Walt Disney World Resort, allowing tourists to access the parks through the city.   read more…

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