Friday, September 29, 2023

Mount Wutai - China

With its five flat peaks, Mount Wutai is a sacred Buddhist mountain. 
The cultural landscape is home to forty-one monasteries and includes the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, the highest surviving timber building of the Tang dynasty, with life-size clay sculptures. 
It also features the Ming dynasty Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of 500 statues representing Buddhist stories woven into three-dimensional pictures of mountains and water. 
Overall, the buildings on the site catalogue the way in which Buddhist architecture developed and influenced palace building in China for over a millennium. 
Mount Wutai, literally, 'the five terrace mountain', is the highest in Northern China and is remarkable for its morphology of precipitous slopes with five open treeless peaks. 
Temples have been built on this site from the 1st century AD to the early 20th century.

The princess who couldn't laugh

A Provencal fairy tale about a blacksmith and a white horse. 
The king's daughter is a sad princess who never smiles. 
Moreover, the king's white horse cannot be shod with horseshoes. 
The blacksmith from a nearby village sets out. 
Along the way, a cricket, rat and flea join him. 
He manages to make the princess laugh and shoe the white horse with horseshoes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

La Chaux-de-Fonds/Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning - Switzerland

The site of La Chaux-de-Fonds/Le Locle watchmaking town-planning consists of two towns situated close to one another in a remote environment in the Swiss Jura mountains, on land ill-suited to farming. 
Their planning and buildings reflect watchmakers’ need of rational organization. 
Planned in the early 19th century, after extensive fires, the towns owed their existence to this single industry. 
Their layout along an open-ended scheme of parallel strips on which residential housing and workshops are intermingled reflects the needs of the local watchmaking culture that dates to the 17th century and is still alive today. 
The site presents outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing-towns which are well preserved and still active. 
The urban planning of both towns has accommodated the transition from the artisanal production of a cottage industry to the more concentrated factory production of the late 19th and 20th centuries. 
The town of La Chaux-de-Fonds was described by Karl Marx as a “huge factory-town” in Das Kapital where he analyzed the division of labour in the watchmaking industry of the Jura.


Biathlon is a ski sport, namely a cross-country skiing competition in which participants have to shoot at a target at certain points. 
If this goal is missed, this means loss of time in most variants, because an extra penalty lap must be completed before one can continue on the actual course.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande - Cabo Verde

The town of #RibeiraGrande, renamed Cidade Velha in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. 
Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout impressive remains including two churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th century marble pillar.

La Rioja

La Rioja is one of the seventeen autonomous regions and province of Spain. 
The region is located in the N of the country and borders the Basque Country, Navarre, Aragon and Castile and León. 
The capital of La Rioja is Logroño.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area - Slovakia

The Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area inscribed on the World Heritage List consist of two Roman Catholic, three Protestant and three Greek Orthodox churches built between the 16th and 18th centuries. 
The property presents good examples of a rich local tradition of religious architecture, marked by the meeting of Latin and Byzantine cultures. 
The edifices exhibit some typological variations in their floor plans, interior spaces and external appearance due to their respective religious practices. 
They bear testimony to the development of major architectural and artistic trends during the period of construction and to their interpretation and adaptation to a specific geographical and cultural context. Interiors are decorated with paintings on the walls and ceilings and other works of art that enrich the cultural significance of the properties.


Mpumalanga is a province of South Africa, located in the eastern part of the former Transvaal. 
Mbombela is the capital of this province. 
The province borders Mozambique and Swaziland to the east. 
The southern half of the Kruger National Park belongs to Mpumalanga.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Temple of Preah Vihear - Cambodia

Situated on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia, the Temple of Preah Vihear is dedicated to Shiva. 
The Temple is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800 metre long axis and dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. 
Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century, when the hermitage was founded. 
This site is particularly well preserved, mainly due to its remote location. 
The site is exceptional for the quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation.


Tver Oblast is an oblast of Russia. 
The capital is the city of the same name Tver. Other cities are Rzhev, Vyshny Volochyok and Kimry. 
The oblast is located on the Russian Lowland and also includes the hills of the Valdai Heights. 
Numerous lakes lie in the area, as well as the upper reaches of the Volga.