Friday, June 30, 2023

Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din - Syria

These two castles represent the most significant examples illustrating the exchange of influences and documenting the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the time of the Crusades (11th - 13th centuries). 
The Crac des Chevaliers was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271. With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, it ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. 
The Qal’at Salah El-Din (Fortress of Saladin), even though partly in ruins, represents an outstanding example of this type of fortification, both in terms of the quality of construction and the survival of historical stratigraphy. 
It retains features from its Byzantine beginnings in the 10th century, the Frankish transformations in the late 12th century and fortifications added by the Ayyubid dynasty (late 12th to mid-13th century).

Van (province)

Van (Kurdish: Wan) is a province in Turkey. 
The province is 19,069 km² in size and has 979,671 inhabitants (2007). 
The capital is the eponymous Van.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape - England

Much of the landscape of Cornwall and West Devon was transformed in the 18th and early 19th centuries as a result of the rapid growth of pioneering copper and tin mining. 
Its deep underground mines, engine houses, foundries, new towns, smallholdings, ports and harbours, and their ancillary industries together reflect prolific innovation which, in the early 19th century, enabled the region to produce two-thirds of the world’s supply of copper. 
The substantial remains are a testimony to the contribution Cornwall and West Devon made to the Industrial Revolution in the rest of Britain and to the fundamental influence the area had on the mining world at large. 
Cornish technology embodied in engines, engine houses and mining equipment was exported around the world. Cornwall and West Devon were the heartland from which mining technology rapidly spread.


Vaud is a canton in western Switzerland.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Chongoni Rock-Art Area - Malawi

Situated within a cluster of forested granite hills and covering an area of 126.4 km2, high up the plateau of central Malawi, the 127 sites of this area feature the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa. 
They reflect the comparatively scarce tradition of farmer rock art, as well as paintings by BaTwa hunter-gatherers who inhabited the area from the late Stone Age. 
The Chewa agriculturalists, whose ancestors lived there from the late Iron Age, practised rock painting until well into the 20th century. 
The symbols in the rock art, which are strongly associated with women, still have cultural relevance amongst the Chewa, and the sites are actively associated with ceremonies and rituals.

The bumblebee

A Chakassian folktale about the hum of the bumblebee. 
The bumblebee has to find out from a seven-headed giant which creature's meat is the tastiest. 
That turns out to be human flesh, but the people don't want the giant to find out. 
They grab the bumblebee and rip out its tongue.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Centennial Hall in Wrocław - Poland

The Centennial Hall, a landmark in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, was erected in 1911-1913 by the architect Max Berg as a multi-purpose recreational building, situated in the Exhibition Grounds. 
In form it is a symmetrical quatrefoil with a vast circular central space that can seat some 6,000 persons. The 23m-high dome is topped with a lantern in steel and glass. 
The Centennial Hall is a pioneering work of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an important interchange of influences in the early 20th century, becoming a key reference in the later development of reinforced concrete structures.


Bobsleigh is an Olympic winter sport in which a winding ice course is covered in a steerable sled fitted with a fairing. 
Bobsleigh is derived from the English verb to bob, which means to move up and down.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Bisotun - Iran

Bisotun is located along the ancient trade route linking the Iranian high plateau with Mesopotamia and features remains from the prehistoric times to the Median, Achaemenid, Sassanian, and Ilkhanid periods. 
The principal monument of this archaeological site is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius I, The Great, when he rose to the throne of the Persian Empire, 521 BC. 
The bas-relief portrays Darius holding a bow, as a sign of sovereignty, and treading on the chest of a figure who lies on his back before him. 
According to legend, the figure represents Gaumata, the Median Magus and pretender to the throne whose assassination led to Darius’s rise to power. 
Below and around the bas-reliefs, there are ca. 1,200 lines of inscriptions telling the story of the battles Darius waged in 521-520 BC against the governors who attempted to take apart the Empire founded by Cyrus. 
The inscription is written in three languages. 
The oldest is an Elamite text referring to legends describing the king and the rebellions.
This is followed by a Babylonian version of similar legends. 
The last phase of the inscription is particularly important, as it is here that Darius introduced for the first time the Old Persian version of his res gestae (things done). 
This is the only known monumental text of the Achaemenids to document the re-establishment of the Empire by Darius I. 
It also bears witness to the interchange of influences in the development of monumental art and writing in the region of the Persian Empire.
There are also remains from the Median period (8th to 7th centuries B.C.) as well as from the Achaemenid (6th to 4th centuries B.C.) and post-Achaemenid periods.


Madrid or the Autonomous Community in full Madrid is one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. 
It is the region where the Spanish capital Madrid is located. 
In 2010, the region had almost 6.5 million inhabitants, officially divided over 179 municipalities.