Friday, December 31, 2021

Okapi Wildlife Reserve - Congo

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve occupies about one-fifth of the Ituri forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
The Congo river basin, of which the reserve and forest are a part, is one of the largest drainage systems in Africa. 
The reserve contains threatened species of primates and birds and about 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 okapi surviving in the wild. 
It also has some dramatic scenery, including waterfalls on the Ituri and Epulu rivers. 
The reserve is inhabited by traditional nomadic pygmy Mbuti and Efe hunters. 

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Mackinac Bridge

The Mackinac Bridge is an American suspension bridge spanning the Strait of Mackinac, the water link between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the state of Michigan. 
The bridge connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula, near the town of Saint Ignace, to Mackinaw City on Michigan's Lower Peninsula. 

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area- China

The first Buddhist temple in China was built here in Sichuan Province in the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the summit Mount Emei. 
The addition of other temples turned the site into one of Buddhism's holiest sites. 
Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. 
The most remarkable is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looking down on the confluence of three rivers. 
At 71 m high, it is the largest Buddha in the world. 
Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to subalpine pine forests. 
Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old. 

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Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro or Rio for short, is a Brazilian municipality and the capital of the state of the same name in the southeast of the country. 
The city is located on a wide bay, the Bay of Guanabara, and was the capital of Brazil until 1960. 

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin - Armenia

These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centres of learning. 
Sanahin was renown for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. 
The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region. 

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The hammerfowl or maleo is a bird in the family Megapodiidae. 
It is an endangered, endemic bird species on Celebes. 
The Dutch name refers to the hammer-shaped head. 

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Monday, December 27, 2021

Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma - Hungary

The first Benedictine monks settled here in 996. 
They went on to convert the Hungarians, to found the country's first school and, in 1055, to write the first document in Hungarian. 
From the time of its founding, this monastic community has promoted culture throughout central Europe. Its 1,000-year history can be seen in the succession of architectural styles of the monastic buildings (the oldest dating from 1224), which still today house a school and the monastic community. 

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Ghent - Belgium

Ghent is the capital of the Belgian province of East Flanders and of the district of Ghent. 
Ghent has more than 260,000 inhabitants, making it the second largest municipality in Belgium in terms of population, after Antwerp. 

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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg - Germany

These places in Saxony-Anhalt are all associated with the lives of Martin Luther and his fellow-reformer Melanchthon. 
They include Melanchthon's house in Wittenberg, the houses in Eisleben where Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546, his room in Wittenberg, the local church and the castle church where, on 31 October 1517, Luther posted his famous '95 Theses', which launched the Reformation and a new era in the religious and political history of the Western world. 

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Linz - Austria

Linz is a statutory city in Austria, located on the Danube River and with 200,839 inhabitants, the third largest city in the country after Vienna and Graz. 
It is the capital of the state of Upper Austria and an important industrial city. 

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