Spectacular Monastery of Jerónimos in Lisbon

Spectacular Monastery of Jerónimos in Lisbon

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One of the most cherished of Portugal’s historical buildings is located in the riverside suburb of Belém, west of Lisbon city center, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monastery replaced the church formerly existing in the same place, which was dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém and where the monks of the military-religious Order of Christ provided assistance to seafarers in transit. The construction of the monastery and church began on 6 January 1501, and was completed 100 years later. King Manuel originally funded the project with moneys obtained from the Vintena da Pimenta, a 5 percent tax on commerce from Africa and the Orient, equivalent to 70 kilograms of gold per year, with the exception of those taxes collected on the importation of pepper, cinnamon and cloves, which went directly to the Crown. Jeronimos Monastery is a majestic tribute to the opulent history enjoyed by Portugal during the discoveries era. In modern times, the monastery continues to make history by hosting important ceremonies of state such as the signing of the Treaty which marked Portugal’s entry into the European Economic Community.

jeronimos monastery Spectacular Monastery of Jerónimos in Lisbon

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Torre de Belém – Tower of Belém in Lisbon

Torre de Belém – Tower of Belém in Lisbon

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The tower was built in the sixteenth century in the Tagus river to control the entrance to the city from the sea. The Belem Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for the sailors it was the last sight of their homeland. the beautiful Tower of Belem was being built as the third in a series of fortifications designed to protect the natural port of Lisbon. Constructed between 1514 and 1520 of local lioz limestone, the tower is an example of the distinctive Portuguese “Manueline” style, named for King Manuel I. The style incorporates motifs inspired by the great Age of Discovery and the recent return of Vasco de Gama from explorations to the Far East. Design elements from Morocco, Venice, and India mingle with nautical symbols like rope.

belem tower Torre de Belém   Tower of Belém in Lisbon

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credit: Robert Nyman



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Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

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This famous pilgrimage site in north-west Spain became a symbol in the Spanish Christians’ struggle against Islam. Destroyed by the Muslims at the end of the 10th century, it was completely rebuilt in the following century. Construction on the cathedral was begun in 1075 in the reign of Alfonso VI, and sponsored by Bishop Diego Peláez. The work took place under the direction of Master Esteban on the remains of old churches built in devotion to the saint. It was built with three naves and a floor plan in a Latin cross, and had an area of about 8300 m². Its countless extensions have added numerous architectural styles to the building (Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Plateresque and neoclassical). The La Gloria portico is the main entrance, and was created by Master Mateo in 1188. It features 200 figures referring to the Apocalypse, and the figure of Saint James the apostle appearing to welcome the pilgrims, supported on a column rising from the mullion. The Obradoiro façade of the cathedral is the work of Fernando e Casas y Novoa, and is considered to be one of the supreme expressions of the Spanish Baroque. The main altar is also in the Baroque style, and the crypt of Saint James the apostle lies directly beneath.

cathedral santiago compostela Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

credit:  N. Feans

cathedral santiago compostela1 Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

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cathedral santiago compostela2 Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

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Bridge Inside Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

Bridge Inside Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

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The Skocjan Caves, located in western Slovenia, are a Karstic caves. The name Karst comes from the name of the region, in which the caves are located. Created by the river Reka, which runs for some 30 km until it disappears under the ground. The Skocjan Caves are famous for their diverse stalactite and stalagmite formations among which the limestone pools stand out. It is one of only three locations in Slovenia to be recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

skocjan caves Bridge Inside Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

skocjan caves1 Bridge Inside Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

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Yungang Grottoes in Datong, China

Yungang Grottoes in Datong, China

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The Yungang Grottoes lie in the northern part of Shanxi province about ten miles west of the industrial city of Datong. The approximately fifty caves carved in the sandstone cliffs of the Wuzhou mountain range stretch for about a kilometer along the Wuzhou River. The construction of the caves was started under the auspices of the noted monk Tan Yao in 453 and took 50 years to complete. The 53 grottoes in Yungang Grottos include some 1,000 niches with about 51,000 statues – a treasure-trove of cave art that combines traditional Chinese art forms with foreign influence, particularly Greek and Indian. Sculptures here are noted for their vigorous features and rich variety that range from the smallest, only 2 centimeters high, to the tallest – a Buddha 17-meters high.

yungang grottoes Yungang Grottoes in Datong, China

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Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty in Seoul, Korea

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty in Seoul, Korea

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The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty form a collection of 40 tombs scattered over 18 locations. Built over five centuries, from 1408 to 1966, the tombs honoured the memory of ancestors, showed respect for their achievements, asserted royal authority, protected ancestral spirits from evil and provided protection from vandalism. The roads to the royal tombs lead travelers to an auspicious place. The sites of the royal tombs were carefully selected by Feng Shui experts, and the landscape, structures, and architecture surrounding the tombs combined to produce the highest art form of the time. The premises of the royal tombs are surrounded by mountains, bodies of water, and grass lawns and covered by old pine trees. Not only have they been preserved perfectly for 600 years, but the memorial rites from then are still practiced today. The royal tombs of the Joseon dynasty are the ultimate icons of Joseon history and culture that have continued to today.

royal tombs joseon Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty in Seoul, Korea

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credit: KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea



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Litomysl Castle – Czech Heritage

Litomysl Castle – Czech Heritage

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Litomyšl was established around the trade route that connected Bohemia and Moravia at the end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th centuries. The dominant feature of Litomysl is the monumental Renaissance castle dating from the years 1568 – 1581. The buildings of the castle precincts are not only exceptional for their architectural refinement, but have also inscribed themselves in history as the birthplace of the Czech national composer, Bedrich Smetana. The Litomysl Castle was damaged by fire in 1775 and repaired during the 1790s.

litomysl Litomysl Castle   Czech Heritage

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Ruins of Hampi, India – UNESCO World Heritage

Ruins of Hampi, India – UNESCO World Heritage

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Hampi is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India located near Hospet town in the Karnataka state. The buildings in the city are mostly built in the original native traditions of southern India, associated with the Hindu religion. Among them are beautiful temples, basements of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings. Hampi covers an area of nearly 26 sq km and is stated to be enclosed by seven lines of fortifications.

hampi Ruins of Hampi, India   UNESCO World Heritage

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Beautiful Landscapes of Dolomites, Italy

Beautiful Landscapes of Dolomites, Italy

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The site of the Dolomites comprises a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. They were named Dolomites after the geologist Déodat de Dolomieu and in 2009 their unique beauty was recognised by UNESCO which designated them a World Heritage property.

dolomites Beautiful Landscapes of Dolomites, Italy

Odle di Funes

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Passo Brogles

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Cimon della Pala

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Lago Sorapiss

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Mt Pelmo from Lago delle Baste

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Mt Pelmo from Lago delle Baste

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Val Venegia

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Montagna Totemica

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A Pond in Fanes

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Fanes

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Cimone and Ice

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Lago Sorapiss

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Odle & Yellow Flowers

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Lago Sorapiss

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Odle and Clouds

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Steps

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Discover Budapest by Night

Discover Budapest by Night

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UNESCO World heritage magnificent buildings and monuments in Budapest are brilliantly illuminated at night, making the city appear even more spectacular than by day. Here is a collection of an amazing after-hours shots showing how beautiful the city can be. Nights in Budapest can get pretty epic so embrace every moment.

Facts:

Country: Hungary
Area: 525.16km2
Population: 1,741,041 (2011)
Demonym: Budapesti
Budapest occupies both the banks of the river Danube.
Budapest constitutes approximately 20% of the population of Hungary. The ethnic groups residing the city are Germans, Hungarians, Roma, Slovaks and Greeks.
Budapest has 23 districts in total; 6 are located in Buda, 16 in Pest and 1 on the Csepel Island between them.
The largest Synagogue in Europe, the Dohány Street Synagogue, is located in Budapest. It is also the second largest synagogue in the world. It can accommodate 3,000 worshipers and was a built between 1854 and 1859.
The largest medicinal bath in Europe, Széchenyi Medicinal Bath, is also located in the city.
The third largest Parliament building in the world also lies in Budapest.
The city even houses the third largest church in Europe, Esztergom Basilica.
Budapest experiences a temperate, transitional climate.
Budapest has the oldest subway-line, named Millenium Underground in mainland Europe. After London, Budapest has the oldest underground train system in Europe. The line opened in 1896 in the year when Hungary celebrated its 1000th anniversary. It’s still in use as subway and it connects the city center with City Park.
Budapest is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The city houses a few World Heritage Sites, namely the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue and the Millennium Underground railway.

budapest Discover Budapest by Night

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