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  • Nov 27th 2012
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Best Tourist attraction of All Time

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    1
    Jesuitenkirche, Vienna

    Jesuitenkirche, Vienna

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Jesuit Church (German: Jesuitenkirche), also known as the University Church (German: Universitätskirche) is a two-floor, double-tower church in Vienna, Austria, influenced by early Baroque principles but remodeled by Andrea Pozzo in 1703-1705. The Church is located on Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz, immediately adjacent to the old University of Vienna buildings. The Jesuit Church was built between 1623 and 1627 on the site of an earlier chapel, at the time when the Jesuits merged their own college with the University of Vienna's philosophy and theology faculty. The Emperor broke ground for both college and church, with the church itself dedicated to Saints Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier. In 1703, Brother Andrea Pozzo, s.j. an architect, painter and sculptor and a master in the quadratura, was invited by the emperor Leopold I to redecorate the church. He added twin towers and reworked the facade in an early Baroque style with narrow horizontal and vertical sections. The design of the windows, narrow niches (with statues) and the small central part of the façade deviate from the Baroque style of the towers. The church was then rededicated to the Assumption of Mary. Despite its
    7.67
    6 votes
    2
    Fürstenried Palace

    Fürstenried Palace

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    Fürstenried Palace is a Baroque palace in the southwest of Munich, Germany. It was built by Joseph Effner for Elector Maximilian Emanuel in 1715–17 as a hunting lodge. Two pavilions are added each in the south and north of the main building. Fürstenried Palace was the residence of the former Electress Maria Anna from 1778 to 1796. The palace served as domicile for King Otto of Bavaria from 1883 onwards until his death. Since 1925 the Catholic Retreat Hostel for spiritual exercises has been housed in Fürstenried Palace. Pope Benedict XVI has said that, prior to his ordination as a deacon in the fall of 1950, he pondered his vocation to the priesthood "as I walked in the beautiful park of Fürstenried ... ."
    10.00
    4 votes
    3
    Beihai Park

    Beihai Park

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Beihai Park (simplified Chinese: 北海公园; traditional Chinese: 北海公園; pinyin: Běihǎi Gōngyuán) is an imperial garden to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing. First built in the 10th century, it is amongst the largest of Chinese gardens, and contains numerous historically important structures, palaces and temples. Since 1925, the place has been open to the public as a park. It is also connected at the south to the Shichahai. The Park has an area of more than 69 hectares, with a lake that covers more than half of the entire Park. At the center of the Park is an island called Qiónghuá (琼华) Island with a highest point of 32 m. In the north of the park there is a large pool called the Taiye Pool connecting the two other pools, which are called the Middle Sea and the South Sea respectively. Therefore the Taiye Pool is also called the Beihai. Beihai literally means "Northern Sea". There are also corresponding "Central" and "Southern Seas" (Zhongnanhai). The complex of buildings around Zhongnanhai houses China's paramount leaders. The Beihai Park, as with many of Chinese imperial gardens, was built to imitate renowned scenic spots and architecture from various regions of China; the
    7.50
    6 votes
    4
    Tiananmen Square

    Tiananmen Square

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world (440,000 m² - 880m by 500m or 109 acres - 960 by 550 yd). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history. Outside China, the square is best known in recent memory as the focal point of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, a pro-democracy movement which ended on 4 June 1989 with the declaration of martial law in Beijing by the government and the death of several hundred civilians. The Tiananmen Gate to the Forbidden City was built in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty. Towards the demise of the Ming Dynasty, heavy fighting between Li Zicheng and the early Qing emperors damaged (or perhaps destroyed) the gate. The Tian'anmen square was designed and built in 1651, and has since enlarged four times its original size in the 1950s. Near the centre of today's square, stood the "Great Ming Gate", the southern gate to the Imperial City, renamed "Great Qing Gate" during the Qing Dynasty, and
    7.50
    6 votes
    5
    Beijing Dongyue Temple

    Beijing Dongyue Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Beijing Dongyue Temple (simplified Chinese: 北京东岳庙; traditional Chinese: 北京東嶽廟; pinyin: Bĕijīng Dōngyuè Miào; literally "Beijing Eastern Peak Temple") is a Daoist (Taoist) temple in the Chaowai area, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China. The temple is dedicated to the God of Mount Tai (simplified Chinese: 东岳大帝; traditional Chinese: 東嶽大帝; pinyin: Dōngyuè Dàdì). "Dongyue" (Chinese: 东岳; pinyin: Dōngyuè; literally "Eastern Peak") is a synonym for Mount Tai, the easternmost and holiest of the five sacred mountains of Taoism. Founded during the Yuan Dynasty, the Dongyue Temple is the largest temple of the Zhengyi school of Taoism in northern China and protected as a National Key Cultural Relict. The temple also serves as the Beijing Folk Customs Museum. The Dongyue Temple was founded in 1319. Zhang Liusun (1248-1321), a Yuan official and descendant of the daoist founder Zhang Daoling, raised money and acquired the land for the temple, but died shortly afterwards. His disciple, the daoist master Wu Quanjie (1269-1346) continued the construction. In 1322, the main halls and the main gate was completed. The temple was repaired and given its present name in 1447 during the reign of the Ming
    6.57
    7 votes
    6
    French Riviera

    French Riviera

    • Near travel destination: Cannes
    The Côte d'Azur, pronounced [kot dazyːʁ], often known in English as the French Riviera (French: Côte d'Azur; Occitan: Còsta d'Azur; that is "Azure Coast"), is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint Tropez, Hyères, Toulon or Cassis in the west. This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as
    8.40
    5 votes
    7
    Rialto Bridge

    Rialto Bridge

    • Near travel destination: Venice
    The Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri. It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance. The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge, so it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge. This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the first half of the 15th century two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge. Maintenance was vital for the timber bridge. It was partly burnt in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310. In 1444 it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade and it collapsed
    6.14
    7 votes
    8
    Augustinerkirche

    Augustinerkirche

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Augustinian Church (German: Augustinerkirche) in Vienna is a parish church located on Josefsplatz, next to the Hofburg, the winter palace of the Habsburg dynasty in Vienna. Originally built in the 14th century as the parish church of the imperial court of the Habsburgs, the harmonious Gothic interior was added in the 18th century. Its official name is St. Augustine's Church, although the Viennese always called it the Augustinian Church. In 1327, Duke Frederick the Handsome (Friedrich der Schöne) founded this church with a cloister for the Augustinian friars. In1634, the Augustinerkirche became the parish church of the imperial church. As imperial church, many Habsburg weddings took place there, including the wedding of Archduchess (and future Empress) Maria Theresa in 1736 to Duke Francis of Lorraine, the wedding of Archduchess Marie Louise in 1810 to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France, and the wedding of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1854 to Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. A functioning monastery of six black-robed Augustinian monks remains, serving the needs of the parish. The nave was built under architect Dietrich Landtner from 1330 to 1339, but not consecrated until 1 November
    7.00
    6 votes
    9
    Taj Mahal

    Taj Mahal

    • Near travel destination: Agra
    The Taj Mahal ( /ˈtɑːdʒ/ or /ˈtɑːʒ məˈhɑːl/; Hindi: ताज महल, from Persian/Urdu: تاج محل "crown of palaces", pronounced [ˈt̪aːdʒ mɛˈɦɛl]; also "the Taj") is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer. In 1631, Shah Jahan,
    7.00
    6 votes
    10
    Ming Dynasty Tombs

    Ming Dynasty Tombs

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Ming Dynasty Tombs (Chinese: 明十三陵; pinyin: Míng shísān líng; literally "Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty") are located some 42 kilometers north-northwest of central Beijing, within the suburban Changping District of Beijing municipality. The site, located on the southern slope of Tianshou Mountain (originally Mount Huangtu), was chosen on the feng shui principles by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402–1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to its the present location in Beijing. He is credited with envisioning the layout of the Ming-era Beijing as well as a number of landmarks and monuments located therein. After the construction of the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and created his own mausoleum. From the Yongle Emperor onwards, 13 Ming Dynasty Emperors were buried in this area. The Xiaoling Tomb of the first Ming Emperor, Hongwu, is located near his capital Nanjing; the second emperor, Jianwen was overthrown by Yongle and disappeared, without a known tomb. The "temporary" Emperor Jingtai was also not buried here, as the Emperor Tianshun had denied him an imperial burial; instead, Jingtai was
    8.00
    5 votes
    11
    Castel Sant'Angelo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo (English: Castle of the Holy Angel), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian, also called Hadrian's mole, was erected on the right bank of the Tiber, between 130 AD and 139 AD. Originally the mausoleum was a decorated cylinder, with a garden top and golden quadriga. Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in Baiae in 138 AD, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who also died in 138 AD. Following this, the remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217 AD. The urns containing these ashes were probably placed in what is now known as the Treasury room deep within the building. Hadrian also built the Pons Aelius facing straight onto the mausoleum – it still provides a scenic approach from the center of Rome and the right bank of the Tiber, and is
    5.38
    8 votes
    12
    St. Peter's Church

    St. Peter's Church

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    St. Peter's Church (German: Peterskirche) is a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church in Vienna, Austria. It was transferred in 1970 by the Archbishop of Vienna Franz Cardinal König to the priests of the Opus Dei. The oldest church building (of which nothing remains today) dates back to the Early Middle Ages, and there is speculation that it could be the oldest church in Vienna (See Ruprechtskirche). That Roman church was built on the site of a Roman encampment. This church was replaced with a Romanesque church with a nave and two aisles. It is believed to have been established by Charlemagne around 800, although there is no evidence supporting this view. At the outside of the church, there is a relief sculpture by R. Weyr consecrated to the founding of the church by Charlemagne. In any case, a church of Saint Peter in Vienna is first mentioned in 1137. Around the end of the 12th century, the church became part of the Schottenstift. The mediæval church had three altars, with an apse in the south instead of the normal eastern orientation. This unusual feature has triggered many discussions among experts, and it is suspected that the church was adapted from a previously secular
    6.83
    6 votes
    13
    Marienplatz

    Marienplatz

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    Marienplatz (en: Mary's Square, i.e. St. Mary, Our Lady's Square) is a central square in the city centre of Munich, Germany. It has been the city's main square since 1158. In the Middle Ages markets and tournaments were held in this city square. Marienplatz was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its centre in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation. Today the Marienplatz is dominated by the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) on the north side. The Glockenspiel in the tower of the new city hall was inspired by these tournaments, and draws millions of tourists a year. At the east side Munich's Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus) is located. It's a gothic council hall and ballroom and tower, which have been reconstructed. The pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz is a crowded area with numerous shops and restaurants. The Marienplatz S-Bahn and U-Bahn station, an important transportation hub, is located below the square. The Mariensäule is a Marian column located on the Marienplatz in Munich, Germany. It was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years' War and is topped by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing
    7.80
    5 votes
    14
    Fontana di Trevi

    Fontana di Trevi

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy. Standing 26 metres (85.3 feet) high and 20 metres (65.6 feet) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain at the junction of three roads (tre vie) marks the terminal point of the "modern" Acqua Vergine, the revived Aqua Virgo, one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km (8.1 mi) from the city. (This scene is presented on the present fountain's façade.) However, the eventual indirect route of the aqueduct made its length some 22 km (14 mi). This Aqua Virgo led the water into the Baths of Agrippa. It served Rome for more than four hundred years. The coup de grâce for the urban life of late classical Rome came when the Goth besiegers in 537/38 broke the aqueducts. Medieval Romans were reduced to drawing water from polluted wells and the Tiber River, which was also used as a sewer. The Roman custom of building a handsome fountain at the endpoint of an aqueduct that brought water to Rome was revived in the 15th
    7.60
    5 votes
    15
    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a double arcade in the center of Milan, Italy. The structure is formed by two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. The street is covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade in London, which was the prototype for larger glazed shopping arcades, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels (opened in 1847), the Passazh in St Petersburg (opened in 1848), the Galleria Umberto I in Naples (opened in 1890) and the Budapest Galleria. The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern glazed and enclosed shopping mall, of which it was the direct progenitor. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls. In the central mosaic there is a depiction of
    8.75
    4 votes
    16
    Basilica di San Lorenzo, Milano

    Basilica di San Lorenzo, Milano

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    The Basilica of Saint Lawrence (Italian: Chiesa di San Lorenzo Maggiore) is a church in Milan, northern Italy, dedicated to the Christian martyr St. Lawrence. The basilica is located within a city park called Basilicas Park, which includes both the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio, as well as the Roman Colonne di San Lorenzo. Various suggestions of its origin have been made, including a foundation in c.370., the Basilica of San Lorenzo was renovated and redecorated in the 16th century. It has however maintained the original Byzantine structure, with a dome and four towers resembling those of Constantinople's Hagia Sofia. A recent detailed stratiographic study of the walls identified five phases of construction in antiquity from Theodosius I to the early Lombard period. The church is a quatrefoil central-plan building, with a double-shell layout, consisting of an open central area (the inner shell) surrounded by an ambulatory (the outer shell). The quatrefoil design is expressed in four exedrae (semicircular recesses) of two stories, with five arches per exedra. As usual for the period, the interior had a matroneum (balcony for female worshippers), now
    10.00
    3 votes
    17
    Imperial Crypt, Vienna

    Imperial Crypt, Vienna

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Imperial Crypt (German: Kaisergruft, but usually called Kapuzinergruft, "Capuchins' Crypt") in Vienna, Austria lies below the Capuchin Church and monastery founded in 1618 and dedicated in 1632. It is on the Neuer Markt square of the Innere Stadt, near the imperial Hofburg Palace. Since 1633 it has been the principal place of entombment for members of the Habsburg dynasty. The bodies of 145 Habsburg royalty, plus urns containing the hearts or cremated remains of four others, are deposited here, including 12 emperors and 18 empresses. The most recent entombment was in 2011.150 The visible 107 metal sarcophagi and 5 heart urns range in style from puritan plain to exuberant rococo. The Imperial Crypt is one of the top tourist attractions in Vienna. To this day, some of the dozen resident Capuchin friars continue their customary role as the guardians and caretakers of the crypt along with their other pastoral work in Vienna. Anna of Tyrol1, wife of Emperor Matthias2 conceived the idea of a Capuchin cloister and burial crypt for her and her husband, to be built in the neighborhood of the Hofburg castle in Vienna. She provided funds for it in the will she made on 10 November 1617,
    7.40
    5 votes
    18
    Parthenon

    Parthenon

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Parthenon (Greek: Παρθενών) is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the Parthenon continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece and of ancient democracy and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a program of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure. The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The temple is archaeoastronomically aligned to the Hyades. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon was used as a treasury. For a time, it served as
    7.40
    5 votes
    19
    Winter Palace

    Winter Palace

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    The Winter Palace (Russian: Зи́мний дворе́ц; IPA: [ˈzʲimnʲɪj dvɐˈrʲɛts]) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and altered almost continuously between the late 1730s and 1837, when it was severely damaged by fire and immediately rebuilt. The alleged storming of the palace in 1917 as depicted in Soviet paintings and Eisenstein's 1927 film "October" became an iconic symbol of the Russian Revolution. The palace was constructed on a monumental scale that was intended to reflect the might and power of Imperial Russia. From the palace, the Tsar ruled over 22,400,000 square kilometres (8,600,000 sq mi) (almost 1/6 of the Earth's landmass) and over 125 million subjects by the end of the 19th century. It was designed by many architects, most notably Bartolomeo Rastrelli, in what came to be known as the Elizabethan Baroque style. The green-and-white palace has the shape of an elongated rectangle, and its principal façade is 250 m long and 100 ft (30 m) high.
    8.50
    4 votes
    20
    Central Saint Petersburg

    Central Saint Petersburg

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    Central Saint Petersburg is the central and the leading part of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It looks nothing like the downtown district of a typical major city, and has no skyscrapers. The Central Business District's main borders are Neva River to the north and west, and the Fontanka River to the south and east, but the downtown includes areas outside. The Central Saint Petersburg is the oldest part of the city after the Peter and Paul Fortress. When people were starting to populate in Saint Petersburg they built their houses around the almost only building outside the fortress; the Admiralty Board. The largest industry was ship building. The first residence of Peter the Great was a little hut (the hut hasn't been destroyed and is a museum), but he soon started to build the Summer Palace, which is located just opposite the hut, on the other side of the Neva River, and later he built a Winter Palace for him. The central part of the city was supposed to be between the Peter and Paul Fortress and his first house. The CBS is an area with many old buildings and has beautiful parks like the Summer Garden, Field of Mars and Mikhailovsky Garden. The CBS is also the wealthiest area in Saint
    9.67
    3 votes
    21
    Battistero di San Giovanni

    Battistero di San Giovanni

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    The Florence Baptistry or Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John) is a religious building in Florence (Tuscany), Italy, which has the status of a minor basilica. The octagonal Baptistry stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from the Duomo cathedral and the Giotto bell tower (Campanile di Giotto). It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128. The architecture is in Florentine Romanesque style. Florentine style has not seen the spread of the Pisan Romanesque or Lombard, however, its influence was decisive for the subsequent development of architecture, as it formed the basis of which drew Francesco Talenti , Leon Battista Alberti , Filippo Brunelleschi and the other architects who created the ' Renaissance architecture . The Church of the Holy Apostles is a clear example, it announced for its spaciousness, as noticed by Giorgio Vasari , Renaissance themes. Therefore, in the case of the Florentine Romanesque, one can speak of "proto-renaissance", but at the same time an extreme survival of the late antique architectural tradition. Just from the pursuit of an ideal "classic" placed out of time, he creates
    7.20
    5 votes
    22
    Bridges in Saint Petersburg

    Bridges in Saint Petersburg

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    Saint Petersburg was built in the delta of Neva river. There are total of 93 rivers, creeks and canals crossing the city. Additionally there are about 100 lakes, swamps and other bodies of water that have bridges across them. There are 342 bridges inside the city limits, 5 in Kronstadt, 54 in Tsarskoye Selo, 51 in Peterhof, 16 in Pavlovsk and 7 in Oranienbaum. 22 are drawbridges (the traditional time of draw during regular navigation is specified in the parethesis). The longest bridge is Alexander Nevsky Bridge across Neva River (909 meters), the widest bridge is Blue Bridge across Moyka River (97.3 meters), which is also widest bridge in the world. *
    7.20
    5 votes
    23
    Piazza Navona

    Piazza Navona

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones ("games"), and hence it was known as 'Circus Agonalis' (competition arena). It is believed that over time the name changed to 'in agone' to 'navone' and eventually to 'navona'. Defined as a public space in the last years of 15th century, when the city market was transferred to it from the Campidoglio, the Piazza Navona was transformed into a highly significant example of Baroque Roman architecture and art during the pontificate of Innocent X, who reigned from 1644-1655, and whose family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili, faced onto the piazza. It features important sculptural and architectural creations: in the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought here in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini, Girolamo Rainaldi, Carlo Rainaldi and others; and the aforementioned Pamphili palace, also by
    7.20
    5 votes
    24
    Santo Spirito di Firenze

    Santo Spirito di Firenze

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    The Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito ("St. Mary of the Holy Spirit") is a church in Florence, Italy. Usually referred to simply as Santo Spirito, it is located in the Oltrarno quarter, facing the square with the same name. The building on the interior is one of the pre-eminent examples of Renaissance architecture. The current church was constructed over the pre-existing ruins of an Augustinian priory from the 13th century, destroyed by a fire. Filippo Brunelleschi began designs for the new building as early as 1428. After his death in 1446, the works were carried on by his followers Antonio Manetti, Giovanni da Gaiole, and Salvi d'Andrea; the latter was also responsible for the construction of the cupola. Unlike S. Lorenzo, where Brunelleschi’s ideas were thwarted, here, his ideas were carried through with some degree of fidelity, at least in the ground plan and up to the level of the arcades. The Latin cross plan is so designed to maximize the legibility of the grid. The contrast between nave and transept that caused such difficulty at S. Lorenzo was here also avoided. The side chapels, in the form of niches all the same size (forty in all), run along the entire perimeter
    8.25
    4 votes
    25
    Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat

    • Near travel destination: Siem Reap
    Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. The temple was built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early Dravidian Architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple
    7.00
    5 votes
    26
    The Cloisters

    The Cloisters

    • Near travel destination: New York City
    The Cloisters is a museum located in Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights, New York City. The building, which is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was built in the 1930s resembling architectural elements of several European medieval abbeys. It is used to exhibit art and architecture from Medieval Europe. The Cloisters, which is near the northern tip of Manhattan island on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, incorporates parts from five French cloistered abbeys. Buildings at Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Bonnefont-en-Comminges, Trie-en-Bigorre, and Froville were all disassembled brick-by-brick before being shipped to New York. Between 1934 and 1938, the features were reassembled in Fort Tryon Park. The area around The Cloisters was landscaped with gardens planted according to horticultural information obtained from medieval manuscripts and artifacts, and the structure includes multiple medieval-style cloistered herb gardens. Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters are listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum and adjacent park, which incorporate four acres (16,000 m²), were created through an endowment grant by John D.
    7.00
    5 votes
    27
    Fountain of Neptune, Bologna

    Fountain of Neptune, Bologna

    • Near travel destination: Bologna
    The Fountain of Neptune (Fontana di Nettuno) is a monumental civic fountain located in the eponymous square, Piazza Nettuno, next to Piazza Maggiore, in Bologna, Italy Its bronze figure of Neptune, extending his reach in a lordly gesture of stilling and controlling the waters, is an early work of Giambologna's maturity, completed about 1567. An innovation of Giambologna's fountain designs is the fantastic and non-geometrical forms he gave to the basins into which water splashed and flowed, "curiously folded, bulging and elastic in form", as Rosalind Grippi remarked. The fountain is a model example of Mannerist taste of the courtly elite in the mid-sixteenth century: construction of the statue was commissioned by the Cardinal Legate of the city, Charles Borromeo, to symbolize the fortunate recent election of Borromeo's uncle as Pope Pius IV. The work was designed by the Palermitan architect Tommaso Laureti in 1563, with an over-lifesize bronze of the god Neptune on the top, executed by Giambologna, who had submitted a model for the fountain of Neptune in Florence, but had lost the commission to Baccio Bandinelli. Before the fountain was built, an entire edifice was demolished to
    9.33
    3 votes
    28
    Masada

    Masada

    Masada (Hebrew מצדה, pronounced  Metzada (help·info), from מצודה, metzuda, "fortress") is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 CE. The Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Jewish rebels holed up there. Masada is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Arad. The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about 1,300 feet (400 m) high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet (91 m) high; the natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult. The top of the plateau is flat and rhomboid-shaped, about 1,800 feet (550 m) by 900 feet (270 m). There was a casemate wall around the top of the plateau totaling 4,300 feet (1.3 km) long and 12 feet (3.7 m) high, with many towers, and the fortress included storehouses, barracks, an armory, the palace, and cisterns that were refilled by rainwater. Three narrow, winding paths led from below up to fortified gates. According to
    8.00
    4 votes
    29
    Tiwai Island

    Tiwai Island

    • Near travel destination: Bo
    Tiwai Island (Mende for 'Big Island') is a wildlife sanctuary and tourist site in Sierra Leone. Run by the non-governmental organization Environmental Foundation for Africa, Tiwai is 12 square kilometers in area and located on the Moa River in the Southern Province. It is also one the largest inland islands in the country. Tiwai belong to the Barri people until the late 19th century when Queen Nyarroh the Barri Chief gave half the Island to the Koya Chief whose territory was on the opposite side of the River Moa River where the Island is located. From then on both peoples share ownership of the Island. In the late 1970s the Island was recognised as a special biosphere for wildlife conservation. Numerous natural scientists visited the island during the 1970s and 1980s, researching various aspects of its flora and fauna. Subsequently, some researchers along with the Barri and Koya people then requested that it became a wildlife sanctuary and in 1987 it was official designated a game reserve. Activities including community conservation program, ecological research, wildlife management, tourism and forestry management training took place on the Island. Then, in 1991 civil war broke out
    8.00
    4 votes
    30
    Acropolis of Athens

    Acropolis of Athens

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Acropolis of Athens (Greek: Ακρόπολη Αθηνών) is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "edge, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007. The Acropolis is located on a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king. While the earliest artifacts date to the Middle Neolithic era, there have been documented habitations in Attica from the Early Neolithic (6th millennium BC). There is little doubt that a Mycenaean megaron stood upon the hill during the late Bronze Age. Nothing of
    6.00
    6 votes
    31
    Pyramidenkogel

    Pyramidenkogel

    • Near travel destination: Velden am Wörthersee
    Pyramidenkogel is an 851-metre (2,792 ft) high mountain in Carinthia, Austria. It is located to the south of the Wörthersee and near the town of Maria Wörth, in an area that is a boundary between speakers of German and Slovenian. In nearby Slovenia the mountain is known as Jedvovca. The mountain has been a tourist attraction since at least the late 19th century. The view from its top is mentioned in Karl Baedeker's 1879 The Eastern Alps. A wooden observation platform had been built in 1950, as was a cross to remember the dead of World War I and World War II and "victims of the mountains." The cross was consecrated on 20 August 1950. An annual "Trausteinmesse," a special Mass, is celebrated at the end of summer. The current 54-metre tall observation and broadcasting tower of steel and concrete, the Pyramidenkogel Tower, was built between 1966 and 1968 and is a well-known "futuristic" tourist attraction, according to the Rough Guide to Austria; Lonely Planet calls it "avant-garde." In 2008, the last summer season before rebuilding, the tower welcomed the five-millionth visitor. In July 2006, plans were hatched to tear down the structure and replace it with a new building, a
    9.00
    3 votes
    32
    Viktualienmarkt

    Viktualienmarkt

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Viktualienmarkt is a daily food market and a square in the center of Munich, Germany. The Viktualienmarkt developed from an original farmers' market to a popular market for gourmets. In an area covering 22,000 m (240,000 sq ft), 140 stalls and shops offer flowers, exotic fruit, game, poultry, spices, cheese, fish, juices and so on. Most stalls and shops are open during the official opening hours (Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.); but the Biergarten doesn't open until 9 a.m. Many stalls close at 6 p.m., before the standard closing time. There are special opening hours for flower shops, bakeries and restaurants. When today's Marienplatz (the former Schrannenplatz) as a market for cereals and other agricultural products had become too small, Viktualienmarkt as its official successor evolved where it is still situated today due to a decree issued by King Maximilian I on 2. May, 1807. The King ordered that those parts of the market between Heiliggeist Church and Frauenstraße should be relocated and told the municipal authorities to demolish the buildings of the charitable Heiliggeist hospice which had been acquired by the city. Thus the "green market" had its own place, which
    9.00
    3 votes
    33
    Route Napoléon

    Route Napoléon

    • Near travel destination: Juan-les-Pins
    Route Napoléon is the route taken by Napoléon in 1815 on his return from Elba. It is now a 325-kilometre section of the Route nationale 85. The route begins at Golfe-Juan, where Napoleon disembarked 1 March 1815, beginning the Hundred Days that ended at Waterloo. The road was inaugurated in 1932; it leads from the French Riviera to the southern Pre-Alps. It is marked along the way by statues of the flying eagle symbol. From south to north:
    7.75
    4 votes
    34
    Villa d'Este

    Villa d'Este

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Villa d'Este is a villa in Tivoli, near Rome, Italy. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a fine example of Renaissance architecture and the Italian Renaissance garden. The Villa d'Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, son of Alfonso I d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander VI. He had been appointed Governor of Tivoli by Pope Julius III, with the gift of the existing villa, which he had entirely reconstructed to plans of Pirro Ligorio carried out under the direction of the Ferrarese architect-engineer Alberto Galvani, court architect of the Este. The chief painter of the ambitious internal decoration was Livio Agresti from Forlì. From 1550 until his death in 1572, when the villa was nearing completion, Cardinal d'Este created a palatial setting surrounded by a spectacular terraced garden in the late-Renaissance mannerist style, which took advantage of the dramatic slope but required innovations in bringing a sufficient water supply, which was employed in cascades, water tanks, troughs and pools, water jets and fountains, giochi d'acqua. The result is one of the series of great 17th century villas with water-play structures in the
    5.83
    6 votes
    35
    Palazzo Venezia

    Palazzo Venezia

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Palazzo di Venezia (formerly Palace of St. Mark) is a palazzo (palace) in central Rome, Italy, just north of the Capitoline Hill. The original structure of this great architectural complex consisted of a modest medieval house intended as the residence of the cardinals appointed to the church of San Marco. In 1469 it became a residential papal palace, having undergone a massive extension, and in 1564, Pope Pius IV, to win the sympathies of the Republic of Venice, gave the mansion to the ambassadors of La Serenissima on condition that a part of the building should be kept as a residence for the cardinals—the Apartment Cibo—and that the Venetian Republic should provide for the building's maintenance and future restoration. The palazzo faces Piazza Venezia and Via del Plebiscito. It currently houses the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia. It took on a new layout when, in 1451, Pietro Barbo, nephew of Pope Eugenius IV, became cardinal. It was a fortified building, composed of a half-basement and a mezzanine that functioned as a piano nobile, extending over a small area between the basilica and the gate of the present palazzo overlooking the piazza, with a small external tower.
    6.60
    5 votes
    36
    Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

    Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

    • Near travel destination: Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
    Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a French seaside palazzo constructed between 1905 and 1912 at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934) in the Goût Rothschild. It was designed by the Belgian architect Aaron Messiah. A member of the prominent Rothschild banking family and the wife of the wealthy Russian-Jewish banker Baron de Ephrussi, Béatrice de Rothschild built her rose-colored villa on a promontory on the isthmus of Cap Ferrat overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The Baroness filled the mansion with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d'art, and assembled an extensive collection of rare porcelain. The gardens are classified by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France. On her death in 1934, the Baroness charitably gifted the property and its collections to the Académie des Beaux Arts division of the Institut de France and it is now open to public visitation. The villa is surrounded by nine gardens, each on a different theme: Florentine, Spanish, Garden à la française, exotic, a stone garden, a Japanese garden, a rose garden and a garden de Sèvres. They were created between 1905
    6.60
    5 votes
    37
    Domus Aurea

    Domus Aurea

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Domus Aurea (Latin, "Golden House") was a large landscaped portico villa built by the Emperor Nero in the heart of ancient Rome, after the great fire in 64 AD had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine Hill. Built of brick and concrete in the few years between the fire and Nero's suicide in 68, the extensive gold leaf that gave the villa its name was not the only extravagant element of its decor: stuccoed ceilings were applied with semi-precious stones and ivory veneers, while the walls were frescoed, coordinating the decoration into different themes in each major group of rooms. Pliny the Elder watched it being built and mentions it in his Naturalis Historia. Suetonius claims this of Nero and the Domus Aurea: Though the Domus Aurea complex covered parts of the slopes of the Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian hills, with a man-made lake in the marshy bottomlands, the estimated size of the Domus Aurea is an approximation, as much of it has not been excavated. Some scholars place it at over 300 acres (1.2 km), while others estimate its size to have been under 100 acres (0.40 km). Suetonius describes the complex as "ruinously prodigal" as it included
    7.50
    4 votes
    38
    Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, Bologna

    Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, Bologna

    • Near travel destination: Bologna
    The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca is a basilica church in Bologna, northern Italy, sited atop Colle or Monte della Guardia, in a forested hill some 300 metres above the plain, just south-west of the historical centre of the city. While a road now leads up to the sanctuary, it is also possible to reach it by traversing a long (3.5 km) monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674-1793. It was meant to protect the icon as it was paraded up the hill. A yearly procession proceed from the Cathedral of San Pietro in the centre of Bologna to the Sanctuary along this path. Originally the arches held icons or chapels erected by the patron family. The Sanctuary was meant to house a miraculous icon of the virgin. A church or chapel existed atop the hill for about a thousand years. The present church was constructed in 1723 using designs of Carlo Francesco Dotti. The lateral external tribunes were built by Carlo Francesco's son Giovanni Giacomo using his father's plans. The centrally planned sanctuary has painted artworks by Domenico Pestrini, Donato Creti (2nd chapel on right); Guido Reni (Assumption in 3rd altar on right), Giuseppe
    7.50
    4 votes
    39
    Beijing Zoo

    Beijing Zoo

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Beijing Zoo (simplified Chinese: 北京动物园; traditional Chinese: 北京動物園; pinyin: běi jīng dòng wù yuán) is a zoological park in Beijing, China. Located in the Xicheng District, the zoo occupies an area of 89 hectares (220 acres), including 5.6 hectares (14 acres) hectares of lakes and ponds. It is one of the oldest zoos in China and has one of the largest animal collections in the country. The zoo and its aquarium has over 450 species of land animals and over 500 species of marine animals. In all, it is home to 14,500 animals. More than six million visitors come to the zoo each year. The zoo was founded in 1906 during the late Qing Dynasty. Like many of Beijing's parks, the zoo's grounds resemble classical Chinese gardens, with flower beds amidst natural scenery, including dense groves of trees, stretches of meadows, small streams and rivers, lotus pools and hills dotted with pavilions and historical buildings. The Beijing Zoo is best known for its collection of rare animals endemic to China including the Giant Pandas, which are zoo's most popular animals, the golden snub-nosed monkey, South China Tiger, white-lipped deer, Pere David's Deer, crested ibis, Chinese Alligator and the
    8.67
    3 votes
    40
    Caesarea Palaestina

    Caesarea Palaestina

    • Near travel destination: Israeli Coastal Plain
    Caesarea Maritima (Greek: παράλιος Καισάρεια) is a national park on Israeli coastline, near the town of Caesarea. The ancient Caesarea Maritima (or Caesarea Palestinae) city and harbor was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE. The city has been populated through the late Roman and Byzantine era. Its ruins lie on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Straton's Tower"). The national park is a popular location for the summer period, having a developed promenade with restaurants and coffee shops. The access to the Caesarea Maritima national park is via the coastal road. Caesarea Maritima was named in honor of Augustus Caesar. The city was described in detail by the 1st century Roman Jewish historian Josephus. The city became the seat of the Roman prefect soon after its foundation. Caesarea was the "administrative capital" beginning in 6 CE. This city is the location of the 1961 discovery of the Pilate Stone, the only archaeological item that mentions the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, by whose order Jesus was crucified. The emperor Vespasian raised its status to that of a colonia. After the
    10.00
    2 votes
    41
    Mount Kilimanjaro

    Mount Kilimanjaro

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano in Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak). Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895 m (19,341 ft); Mawenzi 5,149 m (16,893 ft); and Shira 3,962 m (13,000 ft). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo's crater rim. Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Although it is dormant, Kibo has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach. It is unknown where the name Kilimanjaro originates, but a number of theories exist. European explorers had adopted the name by 1860 and reported that it was its Swahili name, with Kilimanjaro breaking into Kilima (Swahili for "hill, little mountain") and Njaro, whose supposed origin varies according to the theories—according to
    10.00
    2 votes
    42
    Verona Cathedral

    Verona Cathedral

    • Near travel destination: Verona
    Verona Cathedral (Italian: Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare, or simply Duomo di Verona) is a church in Verona, northern Italy. It was erected after two Palaeo-Christian churches on the same site had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1117. Built in Romanesque style, the cathedral was consecrated on September 13, 1187. The structure was later modified by several renovation interventions, although the plan has remained unchanged. The façade is divided into three parts, with a pediment and a two storied projecting porch or protiro embellished with sculpture, which is the work of the twelfth century sculptor Nicholaus,who also executed and signed the entranceway at the abbey church of San Zeno, also in Verona, and Ferrara Cathedral. The protiro is supported on the backs of two griffons, similar to those from the dismantled Porta dei Mesi at Ferrara. The lunette is compose of a figure of the Virgin holding the Christ child in high relief, centered between two low relief scenes, the Annunciation to the Shepherds (left) and the Adoration of the Magi (right). On the lintel in medallions are the three theological virtues, Faith, Charity and Hope. Ten figures of prophets are set in the
    10.00
    2 votes
    43
    Vatican Museums

    Vatican Museums

    • Near travel destination: Vatican City
    The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani), in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. The Sistine Chapel and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. They were visited by 4,310,083 people in the year 2007. The Vatican Museums broke attendance records in 2011 with just over 5 million people. The Vatican Museums trace their origin to one marble sculpture, purchased 500 years ago. The sculpture of Laocoön, the priest who, according to Greek mythology, tried to convince the people of ancient Troy not to accept the Greeks' "gift" of a hollow horse, was discovered 14 January 1506, in a vineyard near the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Pope Julius II sent Giuliano da Sangallo and Michelangelo Buonarroti, who were working at the Vatican, to examine the discovery. On
    6.40
    5 votes
    44
    Arena di Verona

    Arena di Verona

    • Near travel destination: Verona
    The Verona Arena (Arena di Verona) is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy, which is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site which was then beyond the city walls. The ludi (shows and games) staged there were so famous that spectators came from many other places, often far away, to witness them. The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators in ancient times. The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure's outer ring, except for the so-called "ala", the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings. Nevertheless it impressed medieval visitors to the city, one of whom considered it to have been a labyrinth, without ingress or egress. Ciriaco d'Ancona was filled with admiration for the way it had been built and Giovanni Antonio Panteo's civic panegyric De laudibus veronae, 1483, remarked that it struck the viewer as a construction that was more than human. The first
    7.25
    4 votes
    45
    Hofbräuhaus am Platzl

    Hofbräuhaus am Platzl

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is a beer hall in the city center of Munich, Germany. The inn was originally built in 1598 by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I. It was built as an extension of the original Hofbräu brewery, but for Weissbier (wheat beer). The general public was admitted only in 1828 by then king Ludwig I. The building was completely remodeled in 1897 by Max Littmann, when the brewery moved to the suburbs. In the bombing of WW II, everything but the ground floor ("Schwemme") was destroyed; it took until 1958 to be rebuilt. On 24 February 1920 Adolf Hitler organized the first of many large publicity and propaganda events to be held at the Munich Hofbräuhaus. During this event he outlined a twenty-five point programme of ideas, which were to become the basis of the Nazi Party. The restaurant comprises most of the mentioned inn, a ballroom as well as a beer garden. Its menu features Bavarian dishes such as roast pork, pork knuckle, and sausages such as Weisswurst. Helles is served in a Maß, along with wheat beer and wine. Though sometimes regarded as being "commercialized", it is popular among locals as well as foreigners. During regular hours, traditional Bavarian music is played.
    7.25
    4 votes
    46
    Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon

    • Near travel destination: Alexandria
    Mount Vernon, located near Alexandria, Virginia, was the plantation home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The mansion is built of wood in neoclassical Georgian architectural style, and the estate is located on the banks of the Potomac River. Mount Vernon was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is owned and maintained in trust by The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and is open every day of the year. When Augustine Washington owned the estate, it was known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation after the nearby Little Hunting Creek. Lawrence Washington, George's older half-brother, inherited the estate and changed its name to Mount Vernon in honor of Vice Admiral Edward Vernon famed for the War of Jenkin's Ear and capture of Portobelo, Colón. Vernon had been Lawrence's commanding officer in the British Royal Navy, and Lawrence greatly admired him. When George Washington inherited the property he retained the name. The early history of the estate at Little Hunting Creek is separate from that of the home, which wasn't occupied until 1743. In 1674, John Washington and Nicholas Spencer
    7.25
    4 votes
    47
    Taoranting Park

    Taoranting Park

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Taoranting Park (simplified Chinese: 陶然亭公园; traditional Chinese: 陶然亭公園; pinyin: Táorántíng Gōngyuán) is a city park located to the north of Beijing's Southern Railway Station in Xuanwu District, the southern part of the city. A former location for literati to get together, while most of Beijing's gardens were reserved only for imperial families during the Qing Dynasty, it gained its name from a poem by the Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi, "Wait till the chrysanthemums are yellow and home-made wine is ripe, (I'll) drink with you and be carefree."(更待菊黄家酿熟,与君一醉一陶然). The park has a total area of 59 acres (240,000 m), and water area accounts for 17 acres (69,000 m). It was built in 1952. There are Cibei An, Taoran Pavilion in it. It also hosts the tomb of Gao Junyu and Shi Pingmei as well as that of Sai Jinhua. Taoran Pavilion was built in Kangxi 34th year (1695), Qing Dynasty. The chief engineer, Jiang Zao (江藻), who supervised the kiln workshop, oversaw the construction. The park has a lake with many pavilions scattered around its bank. It is popular with residents and visitors for walking and boating.
    7.25
    4 votes
    48
    Piazza Maggiore

    Piazza Maggiore

    • Near travel destination: Bologna
    Piazza Maggiore is a square in Bologna, Italy. It was created in its present appearance the 13th century. The square is surrounded by the Palazzo dei Notai, the Palazzo d'Accursio, the Palazzo del Podestà and the Basilica of San Petronio.
    8.33
    3 votes
    49
    Schottenkirche, Vienna

    Schottenkirche, Vienna

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Schottenkirche is a parish church in Vienna attached to the Schottenstift, founded by Iro-Scottish Benedictine monks in the 12th century. In 1418, the Duke Albert V of Austria transferred it to the German-speaking Benedictine monks from the Melk Abbey during the Melker Reform initiated after the Council of Constance. The church has been elevated to the rank of Basilica Minor in 1958. The Schottenkirche is located in the Freyung in the first district of Vienna's Innere Stadt. Scottish and Irish missionaries (Iro-Scottish, Hiberno-Scottish) were instrumental in the spread of Christianity in Continental Europe during the Middle Ages. Of special importance in Austria is Saint Koloman of Stockerau (of Melk) killed near Vienna in 1012. This Iro-Scottish monk of royal lineage killed at Stockerau while on pilgrimage to Jerusalem has been patron saint of Austria until 1663. During the 11th and the 12th century, Scottish Monasteries intended for Scottish and Irish monks exclusively sprang up. The famous Scottish Monastery of St. Jacob at Ratisbon was built around 1090 by Burgrave Otto of Ratisbon in Ratisbon became the mother-house of a series of other Scots Monasteries, among which the
    8.33
    3 votes
    50
    Hofburg Imperial Palace

    Hofburg Imperial Palace

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    Hofburg Palace is a palace located in Vienna, Austria, that has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. It was the Habsburgs' principal winter residence, as the Schönbrunn Palace was their preferred summer residence. The Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government since 1279 for various empires and republics. The Hofburg has been expanded over the centuries to include: various residences (with the Amalienburg), the chapel (Hofkapelle or Burgkapelle), museums (the Naturhistorisches Museum & Kunsthistorisches Museum), the Imperial Library (Hofbibliothek now the Prunksaal), the treasury (Schatzkammer), the national theatre (Burgtheater), the riding school (Hofreitschule), the horse stables (the Stallburg and Hofstallungen) and the Hofburg Congress Center. The Hofburg faces the Heldenplatz ordered under the reign of Emperor Francis Joseph, as part of what was to become a Kaiserforum that was never completed. Numerous architects have executed work at the Hofburg as it expanded, notably the Italian
    9.50
    2 votes
    51
    Western Wall

    Western Wall

    • Near travel destination: Jerusalem
    The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel (Hebrew:  הַכֹּתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי (help·info), translit.: HaKotel HaMa'aravi; Ashkenazic pronunciation: Kosel; Arabic: حائط البراق‎, translit.: Ḥā'iṭ Al-Burāq, translat.: The Buraq Wall) is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard, and is arguably the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, commonly believed to have been constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, but recent excavations indicate that the works were not finished during Herod's lifetime. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards. The Western Wall refers not only to the exposed section facing a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, but also to the sections concealed behind structures running along the whole length of the Temple Mount, such as the Little Western Wall–a 25 ft (8 m) section in the Muslim Quarter. It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for
    9.50
    2 votes
    52
    New Town Hall, Munich

    New Town Hall, Munich

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The New Town Hall (German: Neues Rathaus) is a town hall at the northern part of Marienplatz in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It hosts the city government including the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration. In 1874 the municipality had left the Old Town Hall for its new domicile. It was built between 1867 and 1908 by Georg von Hauberrisser in a Gothic Revival architecture style. It covers an area of 9159 m² having 400 rooms. The 100 meters long main facade towards the Marienplatz is richly decorated. It shows the Guelph Duke Henry the Lion, and almost the entire line of the Wittelsbach dynasty in Bavaria and is the largest princely cycle in a German town hall. The central monument in the center of the main facade between the two phases at Marienplatz above the guard house, is an equestrian statue of Prince Regent Luitpold. The bay of the tower contains statues of the first four Bavarian kings. The main facade is placed toward the plaza, while the back side is adjacent to a small park (Marienhof). The basement is almost completely occupied by a large restaurant called Ratskeller. On the ground floor, some rooms are rented for small businesses. Also located
    7.00
    4 votes
    53
    Old Quebec

    Old Quebec

    • Near travel destination: Quebec City
    Old Quebec (French: Vieux-Québec) is a historic neighborhood of Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec in Canada. Comprising the Upper Town (French: Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (French: Basse-Ville), the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Administratively, Old Quebec is part of the Vieux-Québec–Cap-Blanc–colline Parlementaire district in the borough of La Cité-Limoilou. The area is sometimes referred to as the Latin Quarter (French: Quartier latin), but this title refers more to area around the Séminaire de Québec, the original site of Laval University. Old Quebec is the oldest part of Quebec City, chosen in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain as the location for the Chateau Saint-Louis. Old Quebec maintained a strong military and administrative presence from its beginning, a use determined by the strategic heights of Cap Diamant. While the Lower Town was populated with merchants and craftsmen, the Upper Town was inhabited by military officials and members of the clergy. This strong military presence long limited the city's expansion. At the end of the 19th century, many wanted to demolish the fortifications, judging them to be unnecessary and a hindrance to urban
    7.00
    4 votes
    54
    Palazzo Barberini

    Palazzo Barberini

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Palazzo Barberini is a palace in Rome, facing the piazza of the same name in Rione Trevi and is home to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica. The sloping site had formerly been occupied by a garden-vineyard of the Sforza family, in which a palazzetto had been built in 1549. The sloping site had passed from one cardinal to another during the sixteenth century, with no project fully getting off the ground. When Cardinal Alessandro Sforza met financial hardships, the still semi-urban site was purchased in 1625 by Maffeo Barberini, of the Barberini family, who then took the papal throne as Pope Urban VIII. Three great architects worked to create the Palazzo, each contributing his own style and character to the building. Carlo Maderno, then at work extending the nave of St Peter's, was commissioned to enclose the Villa Sforza within a vast Renaissance block along the lines of Palazzo Farnese; however, the design quickly evolved into a precedent-setting combination of an urban seat of princely power combined with a garden front that had the nature of a suburban villa with a semi-enclosed garden. Maderno began in 1627, assisted by his nephew Francesco Borromini. When Maderno died in 1629,
    7.00
    4 votes
    55
    Syntagma Square

    Syntagma Square

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    Syntagma Square (Greek: Πλατεία Συντάγματος, Greek pronunciation: [plaˈtia sinˈdaɣmatos], English: Constitution Square) (sometimes spelled 'Syndagma Square'), is located in central Athens, Greece. The Square is named after the Constitution that King Otto was forced to grant to the people, after a popular and military uprising on September 3, 1843. It is the oldest and socially most important square of post-Ottoman Athens, at the epicentre of all commercial activity throughout the nineteenth century. The square proper is bordered by Vassileos Georgiou A' Street to the north, Othonos Street to the south, Filellinon Street to the west and Amalias Avenue to the east. The eastern side of the square is higher than the western, and dominated by a set of marble steps leading to Amalias Avenue; beneath these lies the Syntagma metro station. The stairs emerge below between a pair of outdoor cafes, and are a popular city-centre gathering place. Syntagma also includes two green areas to the north and south, planted with shade trees, while in the center of the square a large water fountain traditionally hosts the occasionally sighted Syntagma pigeons, along with heat-tormented Athenians during
    7.00
    4 votes
    56
    Fountain of Neptune

    Fountain of Neptune

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    The Fountain of Neptune (Italian: Fontana del Nettuno) is the name of several fountains in the world:
    8.00
    3 votes
    57
    Jingshan Park

    Jingshan Park

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Jingshan (Chinese: 景山; pinyin: Jǐngshān; literally "Prospect Hill") is an artificial hill in Beijing, China. Covering an area of more than 230,000 m², Jingshan is immediately north of the Forbidden City on the central axis of Beijing. As a result, it is administratively part of both the Xicheng District and the Dongcheng District. Originally an imperial garden, it is now a public park, known as Jingshan Park (景山公园). The 45.7-metre high artificial hill was constructed in the Yongle era of the Ming Dynasty entirely from the soil excavated in forming the moats of the Imperial Palace and nearby canals. It is especially impressive when one considers that all of this material was moved only by manual labor and animal power. Jingshan consists of five individual peaks, and on the top of each peak there lies an elaborate pavilion. These pavilions were used by officials for gathering and leisure purposes. These five peaks also draws the approximate historical axis of central Beijing. According to the dictates of Feng Shui, it is favorable to site a residence to the south of a nearby hill (and it is also practical, gaining protection from chilly northern winds). The imperial palaces in the
    8.00
    3 votes
    58
    Fréjus Cathedral

    Fréjus Cathedral

    • Near travel destination: Fréjus
    Fréjus Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Léonce de Fréjus) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France, situated in the town of Fréjus in the Var department of Provence, in southeast France. The cathedral was the seat of the Bishop of Fréjus, although from 1751 the bishops resided in Draguignan. The see was abolished in 1801 but restored under the Concordat of 1817. In 1957 the see was united with that of Toulon to form the present Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, with its seat at Toulon Cathedral. It is part of a complex of medieval religious buildings dating from between the 5th and 13th centuries, when Fréjus was an important religious and commercial centre of Provence, comprising a parish church and a cathedral under one roof; a baptistery; the bishop's residence; a canonry, for the community of priests who served under the bishop; and a cloister. The baptistery of the cathedral, built in the 5th century but hidden during later reconstruction, was rediscovered in 1925. It is considered the oldest Christian structure in Provence, and one of the oldest in France. Fréjus, founded by Julius Caesar, had been an important Roman town and capital of Provence. The existence of a
    6.75
    4 votes
    59
    Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

    Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Italian: Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae Maioris), known also by other names, is the largest Roman Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. There are other churches in Rome dedicated to Mary, such as Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but the greater size of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major justifies the adjective by which it is distinguished from the other 25. According to the 1929 Lateran Treaty, the basilica, located in Italian territory, is owned by the Holy See and enjoys extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. The building is patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State, not by Italian police. The church is often popularly called Our Lady of the Snows, a name given to it in the Roman Missal from 1568 to 1969 in connection with the liturgical feast of the anniversary of its dedication on 5 August, a feast that was then denominated Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives (Dedication of Saint Mary of the Snows). This name for the basilica had become popular in the 14th century in connection with a legend that the 1911 Catholic
    9.00
    2 votes
    60
    Cameia National Park

    Cameia National Park

    • Near travel destination: Luanda
    Cameia National Park is a national park in the Moxico province of Angola, located at about 1100 m above sea level. It shares its name with the nearby municipality of Cameia. The Cameia–Luacano road forms the northern boundary of the park with the Chifumage River forming the southern portion of the eastern boundary and the Lumege and Luena rivers the south-western boundary. Much of the park consists of seasonally inundated plains that form part of the Zambezi river basin, with the northern half of the park draining into the Chifumage river. There are also extensive miombo woodlands, similar to those in the Zambezi basin of western Zambia. The park is a sample of nature not occurring elsewhere in Angola. Two lakes, Lago Cameia and Lago Dilolo (the largest lake in Angola) lie outside the park boundaries and both have extensive reedbeds and grassy swamps that are rich in aquatic birds. The area now known as Cameia National Park was established as a game reserve in 1938 and as a National Park in 1957. The wildlife in the park has been almost completely wiped out after the civil war wrought devastation to the park, including uncontrolled poaching and the destruction of infrastructure.
    9.00
    2 votes
    61
    Via Veneto

    Via Veneto

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Via Veneto is one of the most famous and expensive streets in Rome, Italy. The official name is via Vittorio Veneto, after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. Federico Fellini's classic 1960 film La Dolce Vita was mostly centered around the Via Veneto area. Initially, like other streets in the neighborhood, was dedicated to the Italian region. After the First World War the name was changed to commemorate the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The street was designed at the end of the 19th century. This made the street famous in the 1960s–1970s and turned it into a center due to the cafes and shops along the street. Following a period of stagnation in the 1980s, the street has now found a new life. Today, some of Rome's best hotels are located there. The Embassy of the United States is located on the street. Via Veneto is home to the famous Café de Paris and Harry's Bar, immortalised in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, as well known haunts for celebrities in Rome. The street can be accessed via Line A of the Rome Metro at the Barberini – Fontana di Trevi station.
    9.00
    2 votes
    62
    Empire State Building

    Empire State Building

    • Near travel destination: New York City
    The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (381 meters), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft (443.2 m) high. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world's tallest building for 40 years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world). The Empire State Building was once again demoted to second-tallest building in New York on April 30, 2012, when the new One World Trade Center reached a greater height. The Empire State Building is currently the third-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States (after the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower, both in Chicago), and the 15th-tallest in the world (the tallest now is Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai). It is also the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the
    5.80
    5 votes
    63
    Duomo di Milano

    Duomo di Milano

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    Milan Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Milano; Lombard: Domm de Milan) is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent), it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory. Milan's layout, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, reveals that the Duomo occupies what was the most central site in Roman Mediolanum, that of the public basilica facing the forum. Saint Ambrose's 'New Basilica' was built on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. The old baptistery (Battistero Paleocristiano, constructed in 335) still can be visited under the Milan Cathedral, it is one of the oldest Christian buildings in Europe. When a fire damaged cathedral and basilica in 1075, they were later rebuilt as the Duomo. In 1386, Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction of the cathedral. Start of the construction coincided with the accession to power in Milan of the archbishop's cousin Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and
    7.67
    3 votes
    64
    Kazan Cathedral

    Kazan Cathedral

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    Kazan Cathedral or Kazanskiy Kafedralniy Sobor (Russian: Каза́нский кафедра́льный собо́р), also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, is a cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, probably the most venerated icon in Russia. The construction was started in 1801 and continued for ten years (supervised by Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov). Upon its completion the new temple replaced the Church of Nativity of the Theotokos which was disassembled when the Kazan Cathedral was baptized. It was modelled by Andrey Voronikhin after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Some art historians assert that Emperor Paul intended to build a similar church on the other side of the Nevsky that would mirror the Kazan Cathedral but his plans failed to materialize. Although the Russian Orthodox Church strongly disapproved of the plans to create a replica of the Catholic basilica in Russia's then capital, several courtiers supported Voronikhin's Empire Style design. After Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, and the commander-in-chief Mikhail Kutuzov asked Our Lady of Kazan for help, the church's purpose was to be altered. The
    7.67
    3 votes
    65
    Olympiapark, Munich

    Olympiapark, Munich

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Found in the area of Munich known as the "Oberwiesenfeld" ("upper meadow-field"), the Park continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events such as events of worship. The Park is administered by Olympiapark München GmbH, a holding company fully owned by the state capital of Munich. The use of the term Olympiapark to designate the overall area has prevailed as a semiofficial practice, but no official name for the entire area exists: Rather, the general area comprises four separate sub-areas: The park is located in the modern skyline near BMW and the "Uptown" skyscraper of O2. The borders of the area are the Lerchenauer Straße to the east, the Moosacher Straße to the north and the Landshuter Allee up to the bank of the Willi-Gebhard to the west. The southern boundary of the Area first proceeds down the Ackermannstraße and subsequently around the Kleingarten grounds to the Winzererstraße. Finally the Winzererstraße up to the Lerchenauer Straße closes off the last portion of the eastern border. The Georg-Brauchle-Ring serves as the dividing line of the area
    7.67
    3 votes
    66
    Vienna Observatory

    Vienna Observatory

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    Universitäts-Sternwarte Wien (Vienna Observatory) is an astronomical observatory in Vienna, Austria. It is part of the University of Vienna. The first observatory was built in 1753–1754 on the roof of one of the university buildings. A new observatory was built between 1874 and 1879, and was finally inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1883. The main dome houses a refractor with a diameter of 68 centimetres (27 in) and a focal length of 10.5 metres (34 ft) built by the Grubb Telescope Company. At that time, it was the world's largest refracting telescope.
    7.67
    3 votes
    67
    Belvedere

    Belvedere

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Belvedere is a historical building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the 3rd district of the city, south-east of its centre. It houses the Belvedere museum. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belvedere was built during a period of extensive constructions in Vienna, which at the time was both the imperial capital and home to the ruling dynasty. This period of prosperity followed on from the commander-in-chief Prince Eugene of Savoy's successful conclusion of a series of wars against the Ottoman Empire. On 30 November 1697, one year after commencing with the construction of the Stadtpalais, Prince Eugene purchased a sizable plot of land south of the Rennweg, the main road to Hungary. Plans for the Belvedere garden complex were drawn up immediately. The prince chose Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt as the chief architect for this project
    10.00
    1 votes
    68
    Château Frontenac

    Château Frontenac

    • Near travel destination: Quebec City
    The Château Frontenac is a grand hotel in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, which is currently operated as Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980. Prior to the building of the hotel, the site was occupied by the Chateau Haldimand, residence of the British colonial governors of Lower Canada and Quebec. The Château Frontenac was designed by American architect Bruce Price, as one of a series of "château" style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company (aka CPR) during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the newer portions of the hotel—including the central tower—were designed by William Sutherland Maxwell. CPR's policy was to promote luxury tourism by appealing to wealthy travelers. The Château Frontenac opened in 1893, six years after the Banff Springs Hotel, which was owned by the same company and similar in style. The Château Frontenac was named after Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac, who was governor of the colony of New France from 1672 to 1682 and 1689 to 1698. The Château was built near the historic Citadelle, the construction of which Frontenac had begun at the end of the 17th century. The Quebec Conference of
    10.00
    1 votes
    69
    La Bocca della Verità

    La Bocca della Verità

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    La Bocca della Verità (English: the Mouth of Truth) is an image, carved from Pavonazzetto marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a first century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods, probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the 'Bocca' represents the ancient god of the river Tiber. The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one's hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. The piece was placed in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century. This church is also home to the supposed relics of Saint Valentine. The Mouth of Truth is known to English-speaking audiences mostly from its appearance in the 1953 film Roman Holiday. The film also uses the Mouth of Truth as a storytelling device since both Hepburn's and Peck's characters are not initially truthful with each other. This scene from Roman Holiday was parodied in the 2000 Japanese film Sleeping Bride by Hideo
    10.00
    1 votes
    70
    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    • Near travel destination: New York City
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met), located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States with among the most significant art collections. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is by area one of the world's largest art galleries. There is also a much smaller second location at "The Cloisters" in Upper Manhattan that features medieval art. Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st-century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met's galleries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded
    10.00
    1 votes
    71
    Museo Egizio

    Museo Egizio

    The Museo Egizio is a museum in Turin, Italy, specialising in Egyptian archaeology and anthropology. It houses the world's second largest collections of Egyptian antiquities after Cairo. In 2006 it received 554,911 visitors. The first object having an association with Egypt to arrive in Turin was the Mensa Isiaca in 1630, an altar table in imitation of Egyptian style, which Dulu Jones suggests had been created for a temple to Isis in Rome. This exotic piece spurred King Carlo Emmanuele III to commission botanist Vitaliano Donati to travel to Egypt in 1753 and acquire items from its past. Donati returned with 300 pieces recovered from Karnak and Coptos, which became the nucleus of the Turin collection. In 1824, King Carlo Felice acquired the material from the Drovetti collection (5,268 pieces, including 100 statues, 170 papyri, stelae, mummies, and other items), that the French General Consul, Bernardino Drovetti, had built during his stay in Egypt. In the same year, Jean-François Champollion used the huge Turin collection of papyri to test his breakthroughs in deciphering the hieroglyphic writing. The time Champollion spent in Turin studying the texts is also the origin of a legend
    10.00
    1 votes
    72
    Plains of Abraham

    Plains of Abraham

    • Near travel destination: Quebec City
    The Plains of Abraham is a historic area within The Battlefields Park in Quebec City, Quebec, that was originally grazing land, but became famous as the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which took place on 13 September 1759. Though written into the history books, housing and minor industrial structures were still erected atop hundreds of acres of the fields. Only in 1908 was the land ceded to Quebec City, though administered by the specifically created and federally run National Battlefields Commission. The park is today used by 4 million visitors and tourists annually for sports, relaxation, outdoor concerts, and festivals. The plains are named after Abraham Martin (1589-1664), a fisherman and river pilot called The Scot, who owned a plot of land near the site of the present park which he used for grazing his livestock. Abraham's name appears in the toponymy of Quebec City at the time of the French regime, the deeds of the 17th and 18th centuries referring to the coast of Abraham, and a 1734 plan even precisely locating an Abraham Street. Later, the journals of the Chevalier de Levis and the Marquis de Montcalm referred to the Heights of Abraham, as did the diaries of
    10.00
    1 votes
    73
    Prince Gong Mansion

    Prince Gong Mansion

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Prince Gong's Mansion (Chinese: 恭王府; pinyin: Gōng Wáng Fǔ) or Gong Wang Fu Museum is located in the western part of central Beijing, China, north of the Shichahai Lake. Consisting of large mansions in the typical siheyuan layout and gardens, Prince Gong's Mansion is known as one of the most ornate and extravagant residence compounds in all of Beijing. Prince Gong's Mansion was constructed in 1777 for minister He Shen (和珅) during the Qianlong-reign in the late Qing Dynasty. From a young age, He Shen got the trust of Emperor Qianlong, and was able to make large promotion in the imperial administration. In this way he became very wealthy. Because of accusations of corruption, He Shen was executed and the mansion was confiscated in 1799, under the reign of Emperor Jiaqing in favor of Prince Qìng Jùnwáng (庆郡王), the 17th and youngest son of Emperor Qianlong. In 1851, Emperor Xianfeng assigned it to his brother Prince Gong. It is his name that is currently given to the compound. In 1921 Prince Gong's grandson offered the property as a mortgage to the Benedictine Order of the Catholic Church. The Benedictines invested significant resources into restoring the badly dilapidated mansion
    10.00
    1 votes
    74
    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

    • Near travel destination: San Francisco
    The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art. The museum’s current collection includes over 26,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts. The building complex was designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. SFMOMA's Research Library was established in 1935 and contains extensive resources pertaining to modern and contemporary art, including books, periodicals, artists’ files, and lecture recordings. The museum also houses a restaurant, Caffè Museo, and a coffee bar run by the Blue Bottle Coffee Company. SFMOMA was founded in 1935 under director Grace L. McCann Morley as the San Francisco Museum of Art. For its first sixty years, the museum occupied the fourth floor of the War Memorial Veterans Building on Van Ness Avenue in the Civic Center. A gift of 36 artworks from Albert M. Bender, including The Flower Carrier (1935) by Diego Rivera, established the basis of the permanent collection. Bender
    10.00
    1 votes
    75
    Tabularium

    Tabularium

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Tabularium was the official records office of ancient Rome, and also housed the offices of many city officials. Situated within the Roman Forum, it was on the front slope of the Capitoline Hill, below the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, to the southeast of the Arx and Tarpeian Rock. Within the building were the remains of the temple of Veiovis. In front of it were the Temples of Vespasian & Concord, as well as the Rostra and the rest of the forum. Presently the Tabularium is only accessible from within the Capitoline Museum, although it still affords an excellent panoramic view over the Forum. The Tabularium was first constructed around 78 BC, by order of M. Aemilius Lepidus and Q. Lutatius Catulus. It was later restored and renovated during the reign of the Emperor Claudius, about 46 AD. The building itself had a facade of peperino and travertine blocks. The interior vaults are of concrete. The facade, faced the back of the Temple of Concord in the Forum and consisted of three levels. The first story was a large and tall fortified wall with a single door and only small windows near the top to light the interior, forum level rooms. The second story featured a Doric arcade
    10.00
    1 votes
    76
    Circus Maximus

    Circus Maximus

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Circus Maximus (Latin for great or large circus, in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width, and could accommodate about 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park. The Circus was Rome's largest venue for ludi, public games connected to Roman religious festivals. Ludi were sponsored by leading Romans or the Roman state for the benefit of the Roman people (populus Romanus) and gods. Most were held annually or at annual intervals on the Roman calendar. Others might be given to fulfill a religious vow, such as the games in celebration of a triumph. The earliest known triumphal ludi at the Circus were vowed by Tarquin the Proud to Jupiter in the late Regal era for his victory over Pometia. Ludi ranged in duration and scope from one-day or even half-day events to spectacular multi-venue celebrations held
    6.50
    4 votes
    77
    Palazzo Chigi

    Palazzo Chigi

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Palazzo Chigi (Italian pronunciation: [paˈlattso ˈkiːdʒi]) is a palace or noble residence in Rome, overlooking the Piazza Colonna and the Via del Corso. It was begun in 1562 by Giacomo della Porta and completed by Carlo Maderno in 1580 for the Aldobrandini family. In 1659 it was purchased by the Chigi family. It was then remodelled by Felice della Greca and Giovan Battista Contini. It has five floors, a broad stairway that leads to the living rooms, and a courtyard decorated with a fountain, designed by Giacomo della Porta. The fountain has been copied in many sites in Rome and other Italian cities. In 1878 it became the residence of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy. In 1916 it was bought by the Italian state and became the seat of the Minister for Colonial Affairs. Later it was the official residence of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1961 it became the official meeting place of Council of Ministers whose President is the head of the Italian government. Palazzo Chigi is the official residence of Prime Minister of Italy. Since November 2011, the tenant of Chigi is Mario Monti, prime minister of Italy. Some other Italian institutional buildings:
    6.50
    4 votes
    78
    Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja

    Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja

    Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja is a palace in Turin, northern Italy. At the beginning of the first century BC, the site of the palace was occupied by a gate in the Roman walls from which the decumanus maximus of Augusta Taurinorum (the ancient name of Turin) departed. Two of the towers, although restored, still testify to this original nucleus. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the gate was used as a fortified stronghold in the defences of the city. Later the building became a possession of the Savoia-Acaja, a secondary branch of the House of Savoy; in the early fourteenth century, they enlarged it into a castle. A century later Ludovico of Acaja rebuilt it in square shape, with an inner court and a portico, and four cylindrical towers at each corner. The form of this edifice is still clearly recognizable from the back section of the palace. After the extinction of the Acajas, the edifice became a residence for guests of the house of Savoy. In 1637 the regent for Duke Charles II Emmanuel, Christine Marie of France, chose it as her personal residence. She commissioned the covering of the court and a revamping of the inner apartments. Sixty years later another
    6.50
    4 votes
    79
    Selous Game Reserve

    Selous Game Reserve

    • Near travel destination: Morogoro
    The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest faunal reserves of the world, located in the south of Tanzania. It was named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter and early conservationist, who died at Beho Beho in this territory in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I. Scottish explorer and cartographer Keith Johnston also died at Beho Beho in 1879 while leading a RSGS expedition to the Great Lakes of Africa with Joseph Thomson. The Selous was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature. The reserve covers a total area of 54,600 km (21,100 sq mi) and has additional buffer zones. Within the reserve no permanent human habitation or permanent structures are permitted. All (human) entry and exit is carefully controlled by the Wildlife Division of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Some of the typical animals of the savanna (for example elephants, hippopotami, African Wild Dog, cape buffalo and crocodiles) can be found in this park in larger numbers than in any other African game reserve or national park. The area was first designated a protected area in
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    4 votes
    80
    Houhai

    Houhai

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Houhai (Chinese: 后海; pinyin: hòuhǎi; literally "Queen Sea") is a lake and its surrounding district in central Beijing, one of the three bodies of water composing the Shichahai. In recent years the area has become known for its nightlife as it is home to many popular restaurants, bars, and cafes. Houhai is situated near Bei Hai (a lake and park), and is surrounded by hutongs, but is not itself a hutong. The area is especially popular with foreign tourists visiting Beijing and is also often visited by the expatriate community and the younger generations of locals. The Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling and Prince Gong Mansion are both located in the Houhai area.
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    2 votes
    81
    Lugou Bridge

    Lugou Bridge

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Marco Polo Bridge or Lugou Bridge (simplified Chinese: 卢沟桥; traditional Chinese: 盧溝橋; pinyin: Lúgōu Qiáo) is a famous stone bridge located 15 km southwest of the Beijing city center in the Fengtai District. It bridges the Yongding River—a major tributary of Hai River (although, in recent years, the water of Yongding River has been diverted to different areas of Beijing so often there is no water under the bridge). Situated at the eastern end of the bridge is the Wanping Fortress, a historic 17th century fortress, with the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression inside. Construction of the original bridge on this site commenced in 1189, the final year of Emperor Shizong of Jin's reign and was completed under his successor in 1192. Following damage from the flooding Yongding, the bridge was reconstructed under the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty in 1698. The Marco Polo Bridge is well-known because it was highly praised by the Venetian traveler Marco Polo during his visit to China in the 13th century (leading the bridge to become known in Europe simply as the Marco Polo Bridge), and for the 20th century Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which
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    2 votes
    82
    Oktoberfest

    Oktoberfest

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating beer held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but "die Wiesn" - after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event. The Munich Oktoberfest originally took place during the sixteen days up to, and including, the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival would go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasted until the first Monday in October, to mark the 200th anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area
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    2 votes
    83
    Teatro alla Scala

    Teatro alla Scala

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    La Scala (Italian: Teatro alla Scala), is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala (Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala). The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy (Italian: Accademia Teatro alla Scala), which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management. La Scala's season traditionally opens on 7 December, Saint Ambrose's Day, the feast day of Milan's patron saint. All performances must end before midnight, and long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary. The Museo Teatrale alla Scala (La Scala Theatre Museum), accessible from the theatre's foyer and a part of the house,
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    2 votes
    84
    Temple of Azure Clouds

    Temple of Azure Clouds

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Temple of Azure Clouds (Chinese: 碧云寺; pinyin: Bìyún Sì), is a Buddhist temple located in the eastern part of the Western Hills, just outside the north gate of Fragrant Hills Park (Xiangshan Gongyuan), in the Haidian District, a northwestern suburb of Beijing, China, approximately 20 km from the city center. It was built in the 14th century (possibly in 1331), during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) and was expanded in 1748. The temple, which is built on six different levels over an elevation of nearly 100 meters, is known for its fine scenery. The temple also includes the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which is located at the center of the temple complex. Two other prominent features are the Arhats Hall and the Vajrasana Pagoda. Inside Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall lies an empty crystal coffin presented by the Soviet government in 1925 in memory of Sun Yat-sen (his body had already been entombed and placed at the temple pagoda until its relocation to Nanjing in 1929). Photos of Sun Yat-sen, his handwriting, books and statue are also on display on two sides. There are 512 statues, which include 500 wooden Arhats, 11 Bodhisattvas and one statue of Ji Gong (a famous Buddhist monk) inside the
    8.50
    2 votes
    85
    Basilica di San Zeno

    Basilica di San Zeno

    • Near travel destination: Verona
    The Basilica di San Zeno (also known as San Zeno Maggiore) is a minor basilica of Verona, Northern Italy. Its fame rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Together with the abbey which forms an annex, it is dedicated to St. Zeno of Verona. St. Zeno died in 380. According to legend, over his tomb, along the Via Gallica, the first small church was erected by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. The history of the present basilican and the associated Benedictine monastery begins in the 9th century,when Bishop Ratoldus and King Pepin of Italy attended the translation of the saint's relics into the new church. This edifice was damaged or destroyed by a Magyar invasion in the early 10th century, at which time Zeno's body was moved to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare: it was soon moved back to its original site in what is now the crypt of the present church (May 21, 921). In 967, a new Romanesque edifice was built by Bishop Raterius, with the financial assistance of the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I. On January 3, 1117 the church was damaged by an earthquake, and as a result
    7.33
    3 votes
    86
    Basilica of San Domenico

    Basilica of San Domenico

    • Near travel destination: Bologna
    The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the major churches in Bologna, Italy. The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), are buried inside the exquisite shrine Arca di San Domenico, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with later additions by Niccolò dell'Arca and the young Michelangelo. Dominic Guzman, on arriving in Bologna in January 1218, was impressed by the vitality of the city and quickly recognized the importance of this university town to his evangelizing mission. A convent was established at the Mascarella church by the Blessed Reginald of Orléans. As this convent soon became too small for their increasing number, the preaching Brothers moved in 1219 to the small church of San Nicolò of the Vineyards at the outskirts of Bologna. St. Dominic settled in this church and held here the first two General Chapters of the order (1220 and 1221). Saint Dominic died in this church on 6 August 1221. He was buried behind the altar of San Nicolò. Between 1219 and 1243 the Dominicans bought all surrounding plots of land around the church. After the death of Saint Dominic, the church of San Nicolò was expanded and a new monastic
    7.33
    3 votes
    87
    Beijing Botanical Garden

    Beijing Botanical Garden

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Beijing Botanical Garden (Chinese: 北京植物园; pinyin: Běijīng Zhíwùyuán) is a botanical garden situated in the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, China between Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills) Park and Jade Spring Mountain (zh:玉泉山) in the Western Hills. The Beijing Botanical Garden was established in 1955. It covers a large area of 564,000 square metres. The gardens include a dozen exhibition districts and halls, such as the tree garden, a perennial bulb garden, a rose garden, a peony garden, a traditional Chinese medical herb garden, a wild fruit resources district, an environment protection plant district, a water and vine plant district, an endangered plant district, and exhibition greenhouses for tropical and subtropical plants. There are several Buddhist temples located within the botanic gardens. The gardens cultivate 6,000 species of plant, including 2,000 kinds of trees and bushes, 1,620 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants, 500 species of flowers and 1,900 kinds of fruit trees, water plants, traditional Chinese. The hothouse exhibition is the highlight of the gardens. There are rooms for demonstrating medicinal plants, aromatic plants and succulents. The exhibition of
    7.33
    3 votes
    88
    Bolaven Plateau

    Bolaven Plateau

    • Near travel destination: Pakxe
    The Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region in southern Laos. Most of the plateau is located within Champasak Province of Laos, though the edges of the plateau are also located in Sekong and Attapeu Provinces. It is located between the Annamite Mountain Range, along which runs Laos’ eastern border with Vietnam, and the Mekong River to the west, at about 15°N 106°E / 15°N 106°E / 15; 106. The plateau's elevation ranges approximately from 1,000 to 1,350 metres (3,300 to 4,430 ft) above sea level The plateau is crossed by several rivers and has many scenic waterfalls. The name Bolaven makes reference to the Laven ethnic group which has historically dominated the region. However, domestic migrations by the Lao ethnic group (which comprises approximately 40 to 50 percent of the population of Laos) has resulted in widespread interethnic marriage, thus modifying the ethnic composition of the region. The Bolaven Plateau has had an important role in the greater history of Laos. The three most significant historical periods which have greatly affected the area are the French colonization of the region, the Phu Mi Bun Revolt, and the Vietnam War. Each event has had a significant effect upon
    7.33
    3 votes
    89
    Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of Ngorongoro District. The Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera, lies within the area. Based on fossil evidence found at the Olduvai Gorge, it is known that various hominid species have occupied the area for 3 million years. Hunter-gatherers were replaced by pastoralists a few thousand years ago. The Mbulu came to the area about 2,000 years ago, and were joined by the Datooga around the year 1700. Both groups were driven from the area by the Maasai in the 1800s. Massive fig trees in the northwest of the Lerai Forest are sacred to the Maasai and Datooga people. Some of them may have been planted on the grave of a Datago leader who died in battle with the Maasai around 1840. No Europeans are known to have set foot in the crater until 1892, when it was visited by Dr. Oscar Baumann. Two German brothers farmed in the
    7.33
    3 votes
    90
    Omonoia Square

    Omonoia Square

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    Omonoia Square (Greek: Πλατεία Ομονοίας, Plateía Omonoías, pronounced [plaˈtia omoˈnias], Concord Square, often simply referred to as Omónia, [oˈmonia]) is a central square in Athens. It marks the northern corner of the downtown area defined by the city plans of the 19th century, and is one of the city's principal traffic hubs. It is served by a Omonia train station, used by the Athens Metro and the Ilektrikos. The circle accesses 3 Septemvriou Street in the north (September 3, exit), Patission Street, Panepistimiou Street (entrance), Agiou Konstantinou Street in the west (formerly entrance/exit, now exit), Panagi Tsaldari Street accessing Pireos Street (formerly entrance/exit, now entrance), Athinas Street (entrance/exit) in the south and now a walkway, while Stadiou Street (named after the ancient Stadium) in the southeast (exit) once continued the circle. The square's traffic route from the 19th century until 1998 once more fully circumvented the centre with six streets, of which five also functioned as entrances and exits. From the 19th century to the 1950s, the area's layout more literally approached that of a square, framed by broad paths to the edges and centrally, and
    7.33
    3 votes
    91
    Castello Sforzesco

    Castello Sforzesco

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    Castello Sforzesco (English: Sforza Castle) is a castle in Milan, Italy, that used to be the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan and one of the biggest citadels in Europe and now houses several of the city's museums and art collections. The original construction on the site began in the 14th century. In 1450, Francesco Sforza began reconstruction of the castle, and it was further modified by later generations. A number of these rooms originally had elaborate internal decoration - the best known of these being the Sala Delle Asse with surviving ceiling paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. After the French victory in the 1515 Battle of Marignano, the defeated Massimiliano Sforza, his Swiss mercenaries and the cardinal-bishop of Sion retreated into the Castello Sforzesco. However, King Francis I of France followed them into Milan, and his sappers placed mines under the castle's foundations, whereupon the defenders submitted. Under the Spanish domination, the castle was developed: between 15th and 16th century, was protected by 1000 to 3000 men, and was one of the biggest citadels in Europe; a huge star fort was built, with 12 bastions. The external fortifications reached 3 km in
    6.25
    4 votes
    92
    Grand Canal of Venice

    Grand Canal of Venice

    • Near travel destination: Venice
    The Grand Canal (Italian: Canal Grande, Venetian: Canałasso) is a canal in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Public transport is provided by water buses (Italian: vaporetti) and private water taxis, and many tourists explore the canal by gondola. At one end the canal leads into the lagoon near Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin: in between it makes a large S-shape through the central districts (sestieri) of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters (16.5 ft). The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date to 13th to the 18th century and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice. The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos: this contest reveals the citizens’ pride and the deep bond with the lagoon. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria
    6.25
    4 votes
    93
    Pha That Luang

    Pha That Luang

    • Near travel destination: Vientiane
    Pha That Luang (Lao: ພຣະທາດຫຼວງ, IPA: [pʰā tʰâːt lwǎːŋ] 'Great Stupa') is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane, Laos. Since its initial establishment suggested to be in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions until the 1930s due to foreign invasions to the area. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol. Pha That Luang according to the Lao people was originally built as an Indic temple in the 3rd century. Buddhist missionaries from the Mauryan Empire are believed to have been sent by the Emperor Ashoka, including Bury Chan or Praya Chanthabury Pasithisak and five Arahata monks who brought a holy relic (believed to be the breast bone) of Lord Buddha to the stupa. It was rebuilt in the 13th century as a Khmer temple which fell into ruin. In the mid-16th century, King Setthathirat relocated his capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane and ordered construction of Pha That Luang in 1566. It was rebuilt about 4 km from the centre of Vientiane at the end of That Luang Road and named Pha That Luang. The bases had a length of 69 metres each and was 45 metres high, and was surrounded by 30
    6.25
    4 votes
    94
    Canadian Rockies

    Canadian Rockies

    • Near travel destination: Vancouver
    The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA. The northern end is at the Liard River in northern British Columbia. The Canadian Rockies have numerous high peaks and ranges, such as Mount Robson (3,954 metres (12,972 ft)) and Mount Columbia (3,747 metres (12,293 ft)). The Canadian Rockies are composed of shale and limestone. Much of the range is protected by parks and a World Heritage Site. The Canadian Rockies are the easternmost part of the Canadian Cordillera, the collective name for the mountains of Western Canada. They form part of the American Cordillera, an essentially continuous sequence of mountain ranges that runs all the way from Alaska to the very tip of South America. The Cordillera in turn are the eastern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire that runs all the way around the Pacific Ocean. The Canadian Rockies are bounded on the east by the Canadian Prairies, on the west by the Rocky Mountain Trench, and on the north by the
    7.00
    3 votes
    95
    Fontana delle Naiadi

    Fontana delle Naiadi

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Fontana delle Naiadi (English: Fountain of the Naiads) is a fountain in the Piazza della Repubblica, Rome. It was commissioned by Pope Pius IX as a display of the waters from the Aqua Marcia aqueduct. Completed in 1888, originally showing four chalk lions designed by Alessandro Guerrieri these were then replaced in 1901 with sculptures by Mario Rutelli. The statues on the fountain include the Naiads(or Nymphs), the virgins that live in the waters of the lakes, rivers and oceans. In 1911 a bronze statue of Glaucus, also by Mario Rutelli, was installed into the middle of the fountain, replacing a previous sculpture. Naiadi
    7.00
    3 votes
    96
    Galleria Borghese

    Galleria Borghese

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Borghese Gallery (Italian: Galleria Borghese) is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. It is a building that was from the first integral with its gardens, nowadays considered quite separately by tourists as the Villa Borghese gardens. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V (reign 1605–1621). The Villa was built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese himself, who used it as a villa suburbana, a party villa at the edge of Rome. Scipione Borghese was an early patron of Bernini and an avid collector of works by Caravaggio, who is well represented in the collection by his Boy with a Basket of Fruit, St. Jerome, Sick Bacchus and others. Other paintings of note include Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael's Entombment of Christ and works by Peter Paul Rubens and Federico Barocci. The Casina Borghese lies on the outskirts of seventeenth-century Rome. By 1644, John Evelyn described it as "an Elysium of delight" with "Fountains of sundry inventions, Groves and small
    7.00
    3 votes
    97
    Great Wall of China

    Great Wall of China

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger, stronger, and unified are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop
    7.00
    3 votes
    98
    Palazzo Madama

    Palazzo Madama

    • Near travel destination: Turin
    Palazzo Madama is a palace in Rome that is currently the home of the Senate of the Italian Republic. It was built atop the ruins of the ancient baths of Nero, next to Piazza Navona. The terrain had been acquired in the Middle Ages by the monks of the Abbey of Farfa, who later ceded it to France. The new building was begun at the end of the 15th century and completed in 1505, for the Medici family. It housed two Medici cardinals and cousins, Giovanni and Giuliano, who both later became popes as Leo X and Clement VII, respectively. Catherine de' Medici, Clement VII's niece, also lived here before she was married to Henry, son of King Francis I of France in 1533. As well as Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, patron of the artist Caravaggio, who died here. The palace takes its name from Madama Margherita of Austria, illegitimate daughter of Emperor Charles V, who married another illegitimate son, Alessandro de' Medici and, after his death, Ottavio Farnese. Thus part of the art collection of the Florentine Medici family was inherited by the Farnese family. The current façade was built in the mid 1650s by both Cigoli and Paolo Maruccelli. The latter added the ornate cornice and
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    3 votes
    99
    Royal Palace Museum

    Royal Palace Museum

    • Near travel destination: Luang Prabang
    The Royal Palace (official name "Haw Kham") in Luang Prabang, Laos, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. The site for the palace was chosen so that official visitors to Luang Prabang could disembark from their river voyages directly below the palace and be received there. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the Crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the grounds. In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the Royal Family were taken to re-education camps. The palace was then converted into a national museum. On the palace grounds, there are other several buildings surrounding the palace which includes: There is a lotus pond on the grounds and also two cannons at the entrance of the palace. Also, a statue of King Sisavang Vong stands on the ground, outside the conference hall. The architecture of the building has a mixed of traditional Lao motifs and French Beaux Arts styles, and has been laid out in a double-cruciform shape with the entrance on one side of the lower crossbar. Above the entrance is a three-headed elephant sheltered by the sacred white parasol, the symbol of the Lao
    7.00
    3 votes
    100
    Stanley Park

    Stanley Park

    • Near travel destination: Vancouver
    Stanley Park is a 404.9 hectare (1,001 acre) urban park bordering downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was opened in 1888 by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada. It is more than 10% larger than New York City's Central Park and almost half the size of London's Richmond Park. The park attracts an estimated eight million visitors every year, including locals and tourists, who come for its recreational facilities and its natural attributes. A paved 8.8 kilometres (5.5 mi) seawall path circles the park, which is used by 2.5 million pedestrians, cyclists, and inline skaters every year. Much of the park remains forested with an estimated half million trees, some of which stand as tall as 76 metres (249 ft) and are up to hundreds of years old. There are approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) of trails and roads in the park, which are patrolled by the Vancouver Police Department's equine mounted squad. The Project for Public Spaces has ranked Stanley Park as the sixteenth best park in the world and sixth best in North America. The area of the park is the traditional territory of several different indigenous tribes. On the
    7.00
    3 votes
    101
    Tingi Hills Forest Reserve

    Tingi Hills Forest Reserve

    • Near travel destination: Koidu-Sefadu
    The Tingi Hills Forest Reserve is located in a mountain range in the east of Sierra Leone and occupies an area of 118.85 km². It became a forest reserve in 1947 and a non-hunting forest reserve in 1973. The area reaches from an altitude of 400 to 1850 metres at the north peak of the dual peaked Sankan Biriwa massif. In the lower regions the area consists of forest interspersed with savannah then moves into shrub savannah and then mountain grassland at higher altitudes. Over 200 Species of birds have been recorded in the area and the reserve is also home to western baboons and forest elephants. Protected areas of Sierra Leone
    7.00
    3 votes
    102
    Forbidden City

    Forbidden City

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m (7,800,000 sq ft). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War. The common English name, "the Forbidden City",
    5.20
    5 votes
    103
    Yonghe Temple

    Yonghe Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Yonghe Temple 雍和宮, also known as the "Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple", the "Yonghe Lamasery", or - popularly - the "Lama Temple" is a temple and monastery of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism located in the northeastern part of Beijing, China. It is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles. Building work on the Yonghegong Temple started in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. It originally served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was then converted into the court of the Prince Yong (Yin Zhen), a son of the Kangxi Emperor and himself the future Yongzheng Emperor. After Yongzheng's ascension to the throne in 1722, half of the building was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism. The other half remained an imperial palace. After Yongzheng's death in 1735, his coffin was placed in the temple. The Qianlong Emperor, Yongzheng's successor, gave the temple imperial status signified by having its turquoise tiles replaced with yellow tiles which were reserved for the emperor. Subsequently, the monastery
    6.00
    4 votes
    104
    Bunce Island

    Bunce Island

    • Near travel destination: Freetown
    Bunce Island (also spelled "Bence," "Bense," or "Bance" at different periods) is the site of an 18th century British slave castle in the Republic of Sierra Leone in West Africa. Located about 20 miles upriver from Sierra Leone's capital city of Freetown, Bunce Island lies in the Sierra Leone River (also called the "Freetown Harbour"), the vast estuary formed by the Rokel River and Port Loko Creek. Although a small island only about 1650 feet long and 350 feet wide, its strategic position at the limit of navigation in Africa's largest natural harbor made it an ideal base for European slave merchants. Bunce Island was first settled by English slave traders about 1670. During its early history the castle was operated by two London-based firms, the Gambia Adventurers and the Royal African Company of England, the latter a "crown-chartered company," or parastatal, subsidized by the British government. The castle was not commercially successful at this period, but it served as a symbol of British influence in the region. This early phase of the castle's history came to an end in 1728 when Bunce Island was raided by an Afro-Portuguese competitor in the slave trade, José Lopez da Moura. It
    8.00
    2 votes
    105
    Mount Meru

    Mount Meru

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,565 metres (14,977 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the tenth highest mountain in Africa. Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000 years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the U.S. state of Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption in 1910. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity. Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards.
    8.00
    2 votes
    106
    St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York

    St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York

    • Near travel destination: New York City
    The Cathedral of St. Patrick (commonly called St. Patrick's Cathedral) is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral church in the United States. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church, located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York, directly across the street from Rockefeller Center and specifically facing the Atlas statue. According to Catholic News Service (CNS) and the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, the incumbent Archbishop of New York, announced before reviewing the city's parade on St. Patrick's Day 2012 that the Cathedral would undergo a massive five-year, three-phase, $175 million renovation because of crumbling bricks, faulty heating, and acid rain and pollution that has eaten away at the Tuckahoe marble of the 135-year-old church. Early donors and grants from the Archdiocese and the Trustees of the Cathedral has already been raised $45 million for the first phase, which began in late March. This involves repairing, restoring, and cleaning the soot-covered exterior, and an extensive cleaning of the
    8.00
    2 votes
    107
    Villa Kerylos

    Villa Kerylos

    • Near travel destination: Beaulieu-sur-Mer
    Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a Greek-style property built in the early 1900s by French archaeologist Theodore Reinach, and his wife Fanny Kann, a daughter of Maximilien Kann and Betty Ephrussi, of the Ephrussi family. Madame Fanny Reinach was a cousin of Maurice Ephrussi, who was married to Béatrice de Rothschild. Inspired by the beauty of the Reinach's Villa Kerylos and the area they built the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild at nearby Cap Ferrat. A Greek word, "Kerylos" means Halcyon or kingfisher which in Greek mythology was considered a bird of good omen. Reinach admired the architecture, interior decoration and art of the ancient world and decided to recreate the atmosphere of a luxurious Greek villa in a new building. He purchased land surrounded on three sides by the sea on the tip of the Baie des Fourmis at Beaulieu-sur-Mer which he felt offered a location similar to that of coastal Greek temples. Reinach selected as architect Emmanuel Pontremoli, who drawing on this travels in Asia Minor designed a faithful reconstruction of the Greek noble houses built on the island of Delos in the 2nd century B.C. and laid out the building around an open peristyle
    8.00
    2 votes
    108
    Kunstkamera

    Kunstkamera

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    The Kunstkamera (Russian: Кунсткамера) was the first museum in Russia. Established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727, the Kunstkammer Building hosts the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Russian: Музей антропологии и этнографии имени Петра Великого Российской академии наук), with a collection of almost 2,000,000 items. It is located on the Universitetskaya Embankment in Saint Petersburg, facing the Winter Palace. The Kunstkamera was established by Peter the Great on the Neva Riverfront. The turreted Petrine Baroque building of the Kunstkamera designed by Georg Johann Mattarnovy was completed by 1727. The foundation stone for the Kunstkammer was laid in 1719. Peter's museum was a cabinet of curiosities dedicated to preserving "natural and human curiosities and rarities", a very typical type of collection in the period. The tsar's personal collection, originally stored in the Summer Palace, features a large assortment of human and animal fetuses with anatomical deficiencies, which Peter had seen in 1697 visiting Frederick Ruysch and Levinus Vincent. The underlying idea of their kunstkammers was to acquire full knowledge of the world. The Dutch word
    9.00
    1 votes
    109
    Lake Victoria

    Lake Victoria

    • Near travel destination: Mwanza
    Lake Victoria (Nam Lolwe in Luo) is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake. With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world's second largest freshwater lake by surface area; only Lake Superior in North America is larger. In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world's ninth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750 cubic kilometers (2.2 billion acre-feet) of water. Lake Victoria receives most of its water from direct precipitation or from thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake's western shore. Two rivers leave the lake, the White Nile (known as the "Victoria Nile" as it leaves the lake), flows out at Jinja, Uganda on the lake's north shore, and the Katonga River flows out at Lukaya on the western shore connecting the lake to Lake George. Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84 m
    9.00
    1 votes
    110
    Pashupatinath temple

    Pashupatinath temple

    • Near travel destination: Patan
    Pashupatinath Temple (Nepali: पशुपतिनाथको मन्दिर) is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The temple served as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath, Nepal is a secular country . The temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams (Holy Abodes of Shiva on the continent). It is regarded as the most sacred among the temples of Lord Shiva (Pashupati). Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It is not known for certain when Pashupatinath Temple was founded. But according to Nepal Mahatmaya and Himvatkhanda, the deity here gained great fame there as Pashupati, the Lord of the Animals. Pashupatinath Temple's existence dates back to 400 A.D. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or holy symbol of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this temple, that is also known as 'The Temple of Living Beings'. There are many legends describing as to how the temple of Lord Pashupatinath came to existence here. Some of them are
    9.00
    1 votes
    111
    Piazza delle Erbe

    Piazza delle Erbe

    Piazza delle Erbe is a square in Verona, northern Italy. Once it was the town's forum during the time of the Roman Empire. The northern side of the square is occupied by the ancient town hall, the Torre dei Lamberti, the Casa dei Giudici ("Judges Hall") and the Mazzanti Houses. The western side, the shortest one, features the Baroque Palazzo Maffei, decorated by statues of Greek gods. It is faced by a white marble column, on which is St. Mark's Lion, symbol of the Republic of Venice. The north-western side occupies the site of the ancient Roman Capitol Hill, which looked towards the Forum. Numerous of its buildings facing the square have maintained façade frescoes. On the southern side is the Casa dei Mercanti ("House of the Merchants", also known as Domus Mercatorum), now the seat of the Banca Popolare di Verona. Other buildings are reminiscent of medieval tower-houses. The square's most ancient monument is the fountain, surmounted by a statue called Madonna Verona, which is however a Roman sculpture dating to 380 AD. Also historical is the capitello, dating to the 13th century, during which it was used for several ceremonies, including the oath of the city's medieval podestà and
    9.00
    1 votes
    112
    Rock of Monaco

    Rock of Monaco

    • Near travel destination: Monaco
    The Rock of Monaco (French: Rocher de Monaco) is a 141 meter (459 foot) tall monolith on the Mediterranean coast of the Principality of Monaco. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the port. The Rock has been a coveted possession from the beginning of the ancient Massilian colony of Monoïkos (Greek: Μόνοικος), named for the Ligurian tribes who occupied the area and vied for control of it; even earlier, it was a shelter for primitive populations. The Rock of Monaco was also the first conquest of the Grimaldi dynasty, the rulers of the country for more than 700 years, founded when the Guelf Francesco Grimaldi disguised himself as a Franciscan monk in order to gain entry to the city and open the gates for his soldiers. Today, the Rock is in the oldest of Monaco's four quarters, Monaco-Ville, which is also the location of Old Town, the oldest part of the city. This is not far from the Prince's Palace (French: Le Palais Princier), home of the current monarch, Albert II and the princely family, the Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. The Rock of Monaco is a popular attraction where tourists view the palace or the changing of the guards.
    9.00
    1 votes
    113
    Sydney Opera House

    Sydney Opera House

    • Near travel destination: Sydney
    The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opening in 1973 after a long gestation that had begun with his competition-winning design in 1957. Joseph Cahill's New South Wales Government gave the go-ahead for work to begin in 1958. The government's bold decision to select Utzon's design is often overshadowed by the scandal that followed. The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. It is one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world. The Sydney Opera House is on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the northeastern tip of the Sydney central business district (the CBD), surrounded on three sides by the harbour (Sydney Cove and Farm Cove) and inland by the Royal Botanic Gardens. Contrary to its name, the building houses multiple performance venues. The Sydney Opera House is among the busiest performing arts centres in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. It
    9.00
    1 votes
    114
    Tanzhe Temple

    Tanzhe Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Tanzhe Temple (Chinese: 潭柘寺; pinyin: Tán Zhè Sì; literally "Temple of Pool and Zhe Tree") is a Buddhist temple situated in the Western Hills, a mountainous area in western Beijing. It is one of the most well-known temples in Beijing. At one time, it was one of the most important temples in the nation. The temple is located near China National Highway 108 in the Mentougou District of Beijing. Built in the Jin Dynasty (265–420), it has an age of around 1,700 years. The area of the entire temple is 100 mu (6.8 hectares), and its arrangement of halls is akin to that found in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Tanzhe Temple is one of the oldest temples in Beijing. Most of the existing buildings in the temple are from the Ming and Qing dynasties, and there are pagodas from various historical periods such as the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The two "Emperor trees" by the Hall of Three Sages were planted during the Liao Dynasty about 1,000 years ago. The spacious and imposing buildings are arranged in three main northsouth axes. Along the central axis are the Archway, the Front Gate, Deveraja Hall, Mahavira Hall and Vairochana Pavilion. The temple's central hall is its Mahavira Hall.
    9.00
    1 votes
    115
    Wat Phou

    Wat Phou

    • Near travel destination: Pakxe
    Vat Phou or Wat Phu (Lao: ວັດພູ [wāt pʰúː] temple-mountain) is a ruined Khmer temple complex in southern Laos. It is located at the base of mount Phu Kao, some 6 km from the Mekong river in Champasak province. There was a temple on the site as early as the 5th century, but the surviving structures date from the 11th to 13th centuries. The temple has a unique structure, in which the elements lead to a shrine where a linga was bathed in water from a mountain spring. The site later became a centre of Theravada Buddhist worship, which it remains today. Wat Phou was initially associated with the city of Shrestapura, which lay on the bank of the Mekong directly east of mount Lingaparvata (now called Phu Kao). By the latter part of the 5th century the city was already the capital of a kingdom which texts and inscriptions connect with both Chenla and Champa, and the first structure on the mountain was constructed around this time. The mountain gained spiritual importance from the linga-shaped protuberance on its summit; the mountain itself was therefore considered the home of Shiva, and the river as representing the ocean or the Ganges River. The temple was naturally dedicated to Shiva,
    9.00
    1 votes
    116
    Englischer Garten

    Englischer Garten

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Englischer Garten, German for "English Garden", is a large public park in the centre of Munich, Bavaria, stretching from the city centre to the northeastern city limits. It was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814), later Count Rumford (Reichsgraf von Rumford) and extended and improved by his successors, Reinhard von Werneck (1757–1842) and Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell (1750–1823), who had advised on the project from the beginning. With an area of 3.7 km (1.4 sq mi) (370 ha or 910 acres), the Englischer Garten is one of the world's largest urban public parks, larger than New York's Central Park but smaller than London's Richmond Park. The name refers to the style of gardening; the term English garden is used outside of the English speaking world to refer to the style of informal landscape gardening which was popular in the United Kingdom from the mid 18th century to the early 19th century, and is particularly associated with Capability Brown. When the Elector of Bavaria Maximilian III Joseph, the last Wittelsbach ruler, died childless in 1777, the land passed to the Electorate of the Palatinate archduke and elector Carl Theodor. The new ruler preferred his home in
    6.67
    3 votes
    117
    Monastiraki

    Monastiraki

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    Monastiraki (Greek: Μοναστηράκι, pronounced [monastiˈraci], literally little monastery) is a flea market neighborhood in the old town of Athens, Greece, and is one of the principal shopping districts in Athens. The area is home to clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, and specialty stores, and is a major tourist attraction in Athens and Attica for bargain shopping. The area is named after Monastiraki Square, which in turn is named for the Pantanassa church monastery that is located within the square. The main streets of this area are Pandrossou Street and Adrianou Street. The Monastiraki Metro Station, located on the square, serves both Line 1 and Line 3 of the Athens Metro.
    6.67
    3 votes
    118
    Nymphenburg Palace

    Nymphenburg Palace

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Nymphenburg Palace (German: Schloss Nymphenburg), i.e. "Nymph's Castle", is a Baroque palace in Munich, Bavaria, southern Germany. The palace was the main summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria. The palace was commissioned by the prince-electoral couple Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy to the designs of the Italian architect Agostino Barelli in 1664 after the birth of their son Maximilian II Emanuel. The central pavilion was completed in 1675. Starting in 1701, Max Emanuel, the heir to Bavaria, a sovereign electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, undertook a systematic extension of the palace. Two pavilions were added each in the south and north of Barelli's palace by Enrico Zucalli and Giovanni Antonio Viscardi. Later, the south section of the palace was further extended to form the court stables. For the sake of balance, the orangery was added to the north. Finally, a grand circle (the Schlossrondell) with Baroque mansions (the so-called Kavaliershäuschen – cavalier's lodges) was erected under Max Emanuel's son Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII Albert. Two of the latter's children were born here: Maria Antonia (future Electress of Saxony) in 1724 and Maria Anna
    6.67
    3 votes
    119
    Ponte Vecchio

    Ponte Vecchio

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge", Italian pronunciation: [ˈponte ˈvɛkkjo]) is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio's two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie. The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333 save two of its central piers, as noted by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345, Giorgio Vasari recorded the tradition in his day, that attributed its design to Taddeo Gaddi, besides Giotto one of the few artistic names of the trecento still recalled two hundred years later. Modern historians present Neri di Fioravanti as a possible candidate.
    6.67
    3 votes
    120
    Smolny Cathedral in Saint Petersburg

    Smolny Cathedral in Saint Petersburg

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    Rastrelli began the design in 1734, and used a Muscovite style with vague French touches to the detailing. The building stands in the cdentre of a magnificent square formed by the monastic buildings. The central dome is over 105m high.
    6.67
    3 votes
    121
    Theatinerkirche

    Theatinerkirche

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Theatine Church of St. Cajetan (German: Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan) is a Catholic church in Munich, southern Germany. Built from 1663 to 1690, it was founded by Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, as a gesture of thanks for the birth of the long-awaited heir to the Bavarian crown, Prince Max Emanuel, in 1662. The church was built in Italian high-Baroque style, inspired by Sant'Andrea della Valle in Rome, designed by the Italian architect Agostino Barelli. His successor, Enrico Zuccalli, added two towers, originally not planned, and then finished the 71 meter high dome in 1690. The facade in Rococo style was completed only in 1768 by François de Cuvilliés. Its Mediterranean appearance and yellow coloring became a well known symbol for the city and had much influence on Southern German Baroque architecture. After the crown prince and later elector Max Emanuel had been born on the 11th of July, 1662, Agostino Barelli from Bologna received the draught order. As a construction site for church and cloister the north-east corner of the cross quarter was selected directly by the town wall and Schwabinger Gate which lies opposite to the Residence. Already
    6.67
    3 votes
    122
    Outamba-Kilimi National Park

    Outamba-Kilimi National Park

    • Near travel destination: Kabala
    Outamba-Kilimi National Park is located in northwest Sierra Leone near the border with the Republic of Guinea. The park is divided into two areas, Outamba (741 km²) and Kilimi (368 km²). The area became a game reserve in 1974, and was made a National Park in January 1986. From Freetown it is reached by traveling to Makeni on excellent, new blacktop, from that point via the town of Kamakwie the road is dirt and becomes more rough closer to the park. Vehicles must cross the Little Scarcies River by ferry. There are camping facilities there as well as some primitive huts with double beds. The vegetation is a mixture of jungle and savannah. Wildlife includes primates such as chimpanzees, colobus monkeys and sooty mangabeys; hippopotamuses and pygmy hippos; elephants; wart hogs; rare bongo antelopes and over a hundred species of birds.
    5.75
    4 votes
    123
    Schönbrunn Palace

    Schönbrunn Palace

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    Schönbrunn Palace (German: Schloss Schönbrunn [ʃøːnˈbʁʊn]) is a former imperial 1,441-room Rococo summer residence in modern Vienna, Austria. One of the most important cultural monuments in the country, since the 1960s it has been one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna. The palace and gardens illustrate the tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. In the year 1569, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased a large floodplain of the Wien river beneath a hill, situated between Meidling and Hietzing, where a former owner, in 1548, had erected a mansion called Katterburg. The emperor ordered the area to be fenced and put game there such as pheasants, ducks, deer and boar, in order to serve as the court's recreational hunting ground. In a small separate part of the area, "exotic" birds such as turkeys and peafowl were kept. Fishponds were built, too. The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring"), has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. During the next century, the area was used as a hunting and recreation ground. Especially Eleonora Gonzaga, who loved hunting, spent much time there and was bequeathed the area
    5.75
    4 votes
    124
    Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

    Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

    • Near travel destination: Turin
    Turin Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Torino) is the major Roman Catholic church of Turin, northern Italy. Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist (Italian: San Giovanni Battista), it was built during 1491-1498 and it is adjacent to an earlier campanile (1470). The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, the current resting place of the Shroud of Turin, was added to the structure in 1668-1694. The church lies in the place where the theatre of the ancient Roman city was located. The original Christian sacred house included three churches, dedicated to the Holy Saviour, Saint Mary of Dompno (Santa Maria de Dompno) and, the main of three, St. John the Baptist. According to some sources, the latter's consecration was carried on by Agilulf, the Lombard King of northern Italy from 591 to 613. Here, in 662, Garibald, Duke of Torino was assassinated in the church by a follower of Godepert, whose murder Garibald is believed to have had a part in. The three churches were demolished between 1490 and 1492. The new cathedral, again entitled to St. John the Baptist, was begun in 1491 under design of Amedeo de Francisco di Settignano, also known as Meo del Caprino, who finished it in seven years. The bell tower,
    7.50
    2 votes
    125
    Cervara Abbey

    Cervara Abbey

    • Near travel destination: Santa Margherita Ligure
    The Abbey of Cervara (Italian: Abbazia della Cervara or Abbazia di San Gerolamo) is a former abbey in the territory of Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria, northern Italy, on the coastal road leading to Portofino. It is a national monument of Italy. In the Middle Ages this place, as the whole stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Tigullio down to the sea to Portofino, it was said Silvaria (silvas from the Latin word meaning "woods"), because it was full of vegetation. The term was later Silvaria Italianate in Cervara. The edifice was built in 1361 by Ottone Lanfranco, a priest at the church of Santo Stefano in Genoa, on land owned by the Carthusian monks. It was dedicated to St. Jerome. Later, Pope Eugene IV transferred ownership of it to the Benedictines of Monte Cassino (c. 1420) and had it restored. The monastery became a center for the spread of Flemish artistic influence in Liguria, with works such as the Cervara Polyptych (1506), by Gerard David, and an Adoration of the Magi triptych by Pieter Coecke van Aelst. The monastery was elevated to the rank of abbey in 1546. In the same period it was fortified in response to the increasing inroads made by North African pirates. In the
    7.50
    2 votes
    126
    Eiffel Tower

    Eiffel Tower

    • Near travel destination: Paris
    The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, [tuʁ ɛfɛl], nickname La dame de fer, the iron lady) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The third level observatory's upper platform is at 279.11 m the highest accessible to public in the European Union and the highest in Europe as long as the platform of the Ostankino Tower, at 360 m, remains closed as a result of the fire of August 2000. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010. The tower stands 320 metres (1,050 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. However,
    7.50
    2 votes
    127
    Fayuan Temple

    Fayuan Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Fayuan Temple (Chinese: 法源寺; pinyin: Fǎyuán Sì), situated in the southwest quarter of central Beijing, is one of the city's most renowned Buddhist temples. The temple was first built in 645 during the Tang Dynasty by Emperor Li Shimin, and later rebuilt in the Zhengtong Period (1436–1449) of the Ming Dynasty. The temple occupies an area of 6,700 square meters. The temple also contains a large number of cultural relics, including sculptures of ancient bronzes, stone lions, as well as gilded figures of the three Buddhas-Vairochana. The temple also features large number of Buddhist texts from the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has a compact overall arrangement and buildings are arranged along the medial axis symmetrically. Main buildings there include the Gate of Temple, Heavenly King Hall, Main Hall, Hall of Great Compassion, Sutra Hall, and Bell and Drum Towers. On both sides of the Gate of Temple stand the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower respectively. The Main Hall, which is magnificent and sacred, houses Statues of Flower Adornment School's three saints: Vairocana Buddha, Manjusri, and Samantabhadra. The Hall of Great Compassion houses statues, carved stones, and artistic
    7.50
    2 votes
    128
    Isalo National Park

    Isalo National Park

    • Near travel destination: Madagascar
    Isalo National Park is a National Park in the Ihorombe Region of Madagascar. The park is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, palm-lined oases, and grassland. The closest town is Ranohira, and the closest cities are Toliara and Ihosy. A local guide is required for visitors entering the park, and guides and porters can be hired in Ranohira. Treks in the park can last from several hours to a week or longer. The main threat to this park comes from illegal wildfires set in the park. The wildfires limit the extent of forest and maximize grasslands used by cattle. A total of 340 faunal species are known to inhabit the area, including 82 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 15 species of frogs and 14 species of mammals. Several different species of lemur are found in the park.
    7.50
    2 votes
    129
    Lake Natron

    Lake Natron

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    Lake Natron is a salt lake located in northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border, in the eastern branch of the East African Rift. The lake is fed by the Southern Ewaso Ng'iro River and also by mineral-rich hot springs. It is quite shallow, less than three meters (10 feet) deep, and varies in width depending on its water level, which changes due to high levels of evaporation, leaving concentrations of salt and other minerals, notably sodium carbonate (natron). The surrounding country is dry and receives irregular seasonal rainfall. The lake falls within the Lake Natron Basin Wetlands of International Importance Ramsar Site. Temperatures in the lake can reach 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit), and depending on rainfall, the alkalinity can reach a pH of 9 to 10.5 (almost as alkaline as ammonia). The color of the lake is characteristic of those where very high evaporation rates occur. As water evaporates during the dry season, salinity levels increase to the point that salt-loving microorganisms begin to thrive. Such halophile organisms include some cyanobacteria that make their own food with photosynthesis as plants do. The red accessory photosynthesizing pigment in the
    7.50
    2 votes
    130
    Mariinsky Theatre

    Mariinsky Theatre

    The Mariinsky Theatre (Russian: Мариинский театр, Mariinskiy Teatr, also spelled Maryinsky, Mariyinsky) is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. The Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Opera and Mariinsky Orchestra. Since Yuri Temirkanov's retirement in 1988, the conductor Valery Gergiev has served as its general director. The theatre is named after Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Tsar Alexander II. There is a bust of the Empress in the main entrance foyer. The theatre's name has changed throughout its history, reflecting the political climate of the time: Note: The acronym "GATOB" (Gosudarstvennïy Akademicheskiy Teatr Operï i Baleta) is often encountered in historical accounts. The theatre building is commonly called the Mariinsky Theatre. The companies that operate within it have for brand recognition purposes retained the famous Kirov name, acquired during the Soviet era to commemorate the assassinated Leningrad Communist Party
    7.50
    2 votes
    131
    Monaco-Ville

    Monaco-Ville

    • Near travel destination: Monaco
    Monaco-Ville (also known locally as French: Le Rocher or English: The Rock) is one of Monaco's administrative divisions located on a rocky headland that extends into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the four traditional quarters (French: quartiers) of Monaco, the others being La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille. However, in modern administrative terms it is one of ten wards (see navigation box below for a complete list). Therefore, Monaco-Ville is neither a town nor the capital of Monaco for which Monaco-Ville is erroneously taken by some people. Monaco-Ville is located at 43°44′15″N 7°24′55″E / 43.7375°N 7.41528°E / 43.7375; 7.41528 and has estimated population of 1,151. Monaco-Ville was originally called Monoikos, after the temple of Hercules Monoikos, which presumably was located in the nearby colony established by Phocaean Greeks in the 6th century BC. During its history, Monoikos passed hands a number of times. It became known as Monaco in the Middle Ages when a fortress was built on the Rock in the 13th century and later a fortified town. Some of the city walls still remain. In 1297 the Rock was seized by François Grimaldi, a member of the Grimaldi family, which
    7.50
    2 votes
    132
    Raphael Rooms

    Raphael Rooms

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The four Stanze di Raffaello ("Raphael's rooms") in the Palace of the Vatican form a suite of reception rooms, the public part of the papal apartments. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop. Together with Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, they are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome. The Stanze, as they are invariably called, were originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. He commissioned Raphael, then a relatively young artist from Urbino, and his studio in 1508 or 1509 to redecorate the existing interiors of the rooms entirely. It was possibly Julius' intent to outshine the apartments of his predecessor (and rival) Pope Alexander VI, as the Stanze are directly above Alexander's Borgia Apartment. They are on the third floor, overlooking the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard. Running from east to west, as a visitor would have entered the apartment, but not following the sequence in which the stanze were frescoed, the rooms are the Sala di Costantino ("Hall of Constantine"), the Stanza di Eliodoro ("Room of Heliodorus"), the Stanza della Segnatura ("Room of the Signatura")
    7.50
    2 votes
    133
    Temple of Hephaestus

    Temple of Hephaestus

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Hephaisteion or earlier as the Theseion, is a well-preserved Greek temple; it remains standing largely as built. It is a Doric peripteral temple, and is located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill. From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of St. George Akamates. Hephaestus was the patron god of metal working and craftsmanship. There were numerous potters' workshops and metal-working shops in the vicinity of the temple, as befits the temple's honoree. Archaeological evidence suggests that there was no earlier building on the site except for a small sanctuary that was burned when the Persians occupied Athens in 480 BC. The name Theseion or Temple of Theseus was attributed to the monument under the assumption it housed the remains of the Athenian hero Theseus, brought back to the city from the island of Skyros by Kimon in 475 BC, but refuted after inscriptions from within the temple associated it firmly with Hephaestus. After the battle of Plataea, the Greeks swore never to rebuild their sanctuaries destroyed by the Persians during their invasion of Greece, but to
    7.50
    2 votes
    134
    Chitwan

    Chitwan

    • Near travel destination: Gorkha District
    At the foot of the Himalayas, Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the Terai region, which formerly extended over the foothills of Nepal. It has a particularly rich flora and fauna. One of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the Chitwan National Park, which is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger. There are also elephants that reside in the National Park. It is believed that Nepali revolutionary Prachanda spent his childhood in Chitwan.
    5.50
    4 votes
    135
    Plaka

    Plaka

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    Pláka (Greek: Πλάκα) is the old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. Plaka is built on top of the residential areas of the ancient town of Athens. It is known as the "Neighbourhood of the Gods" due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites. The name "Plaka" was not in use until after the Greek War of Independence. Instead, the Athenians of that time referred to the area by various names such as Alikokou, Kontito, Kandili, or by the names of the local churches. The name Plaka became commonly in use in the first years of the rule of King Otto. The origin of the name is uncertain: it has been theorized to come from Arvanite "Pliak Athena", meaning "Old Athens", or from the presence of a "plaque" which once marked its central intersection. Plaka is on the northeast slope of Acropolis, between Syntagma and Monastiraki square. Adrianou Street (running north and south) is the largest and most central street in Plaka and divides it into two areas: the upper level, - Ano Plaka - located right under the Acropolis and the lower level
    5.50
    4 votes
    136
    Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio

    Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio (St. Ambrose) is a church in Milan, northern Italy. One of the most ancient churches in Milan, it was built by St. Ambrose in 379-386, in an area where numerous martyrs of the Roman persecutions had been buried. The first name of the church was in fact Basilica Martyrum. When St. Ambrose arrived in Milan, the local churches were in conflict with each other over the conflict between Arianism and the Nicene Creed as well as numerous local issues. He was firmly in support of the Nicene side of the conflict, and wanted to make northern Italy into a pro-Rome stronghold. He did this through both preaching and construction. He built three or four churches surrounding the city; Basilica Apostolorum (now San Nazaro in Brolo), Basilica Virginum (now San Simpliciano, and Basilica Martyrum (which was later renamed in his honor). A fourth church, Basilica Salvatoris (now San Dionigi) is attributed to him as well, but may not actually be from the 4th Century. These churches were dedicated with anti-Arian language and as symbols of the wealth and power of the pro-Nicene faction in Milan. In the centuries after its construction, the edifice underwent several
    6.33
    3 votes
    137
    Brühl Palace, Warsaw

    Brühl Palace, Warsaw

    • Near travel destination: Warsaw
    The Brühl Palace (Polish: Pałac Brühla), otherwise known as Sandomierski Palace standing at Piłsudski Square. It was a large palace and one of the most beautiful rococo buildings in pre-World War II Warsaw. The palace was built between 1639-42 by Lorenzo de Sent for Crown Grand Chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński in Mannerist style. It was built on the plan of elongated rectangular with two hexagonal towers at garden side of the building. The palace was adorned with sculptures - allegory of Poland above the main portal, four figures of kings of Poland in the niches and a statue of Minerva crowning the roof. Possible inspiration to palace's upper parts pavilion with characteristic roof was Bonifaz Wohlmut's reconstruction of Belvedere in Prague, 1557-1563. After the Chancellor's death the property was inherited by his daughter Helena Tekla Ossolińska, wife of Aleksander Michał Lubomirski, Starost of Sandomierz (from whom it takes its name). Later, between 1681–96, it was rebuilt and remodeled by Tylman Gamerski and Giovanni Bellotti for Prince Józef Karol Lubomirski - Aleksander Michał's son. In 1750, Heinrich von Brühl bought the palace as a residence. Between 1754-59 it was rebuilt
    6.33
    3 votes
    138
    Helliniko Olympic Complex

    Helliniko Olympic Complex

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Helliniko Olympic Complex is situated at Ellinikon on the east coast of Greece south of Athens, approximately 16 kilometres from the Olympic Village. It was built on the site of the former Ellinikon International Airport for the staging of the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Paralympics. It consists of 5 separate venues. The Olympic Baseball Centre in Athens consists of two Baseball stadiums. It was the site of the Baseball games at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The facility consists of two fields. The larger stadium seats 8,700 fans-though only 6,700 seats were made publicly available during the Olympics - and the smaller stadium seats 4,000 spectators- though only 3,300 seats were made publicly available during the Games. The facility had to be constructed with significant foreign help in the design, as there were only a handful of dusty baseball diamonds in the whole of Greece before the 2004 Olympics were awarded to Athens in 1997. Construction on the facility was completed on February 27, 2004, and it was officially opened on August 12, 2004, a day before the Opening Ceremonies. During the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games, the Olympic Baseball Centre was the
    6.33
    3 votes
    139
    Nevsky Prospekt

    Nevsky Prospekt

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    Nevsky Avenue (Russian: Не́вский проспе́кт, tr. Nevsky Prospekt; IPA: [ˈnʲefskʲɪj prɐˈspʲekt]) is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow, the avenue runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. The chief sights include the Rastrelliesque Stroganov Palace, the huge neoclassical Kazan Cathedral, the Art Nouveau Bookhouse (Dom Knigi), Elisseeff Emporium, half a dozen 18th-century churches, a monument to Catherine the Great, an enormous 18th-century shopping mall, a mid-19th-century department store, the Russian National Library, and the Anichkov Bridge with its horse statues. The feverish life of the avenue was described by Nikolai Gogol in his story "Nevsky Prospekt". Fyodor Dostoevsky often employed the Nevksy Prospekt as a setting within his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Double: A Petersburg Poem. During the early Soviet years (1918–44) the name of Nevsky Prospect was changed, first to "Proletkult Street" (Ulitsa Proletkul'ta) in honor of that Soviet artistic organization. Following the demise
    6.33
    3 votes
    140
    Roman Forum

    Roman Forum

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Roman Forum (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers. Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and
    6.33
    3 votes
    141
    Shichahai

    Shichahai

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Shichahai (Chinese: 什刹海; pinyin: Shíchàhǎi) is an historic scenic area consisting of three lakes in the north of central Beijing in China. They are located to the north-west of the Forbidden City and north-west of the Beihai Lake. Shichahai consists of the following three lakes: Qianhai (前海), Xihai (西海) and Houhai (后海). In imperial times it was called the Riverbank (Chinese: 河沿; pinyin: héyán). Shichahai consists of 147 hectares and dates back to the Jin Dynasty. From the time of the Yuan Dynasty it was the northernmost part of the Grand Canal linking Hangzhou in the south to Beijing in the North of China. Because of this, the Shichahai area used to be the most important commercial district with all kinds of activities going on. It harbors several temples and mansions. Around the lake there are ten famous Taoist and Buddhist temples and several formal royal mansions and gardens. The most well known are the Prince Gong Mansion (恭亲王府) and the Prince Chun Mansion (醇亲王府). The borders of the lakes are surrounded by large trees. Shichahai is a famous scenic spot in Beijing, and it is near the north-gate of the Beihai Park. In the summer tourists can rent boats to peddle on the lakes. In
    6.33
    3 votes
    142
    Alamo Mission in San Antonio

    Alamo Mission in San Antonio

    • Near travel destination: San Antonio
    The Alamo, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound and was the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. It is now a museum in Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. The compound, which originally comprised a sanctuary and surrounding buildings, was built by the Spanish Empire in the 18th century for the education of local Native Americans after their conversion to Christianity. In 1793, the mission was secularized and soon abandoned. Ten years later, it became a fortress housing the Mexican Army group the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, who likely gave the mission the name "Alamo." Mexican soldiers held the mission until December 1835, when General Martin Perfecto de Cos surrendered it to the Texian Army following the siege of Bexar. A relatively small number of Texian soldiers then occupied the compound. Texian General Sam Houston believed the Texians did not have the manpower to hold the fort and ordered Colonel James Bowie to destroy it. Bowie chose to disregard those orders and instead worked with Colonel James C. Neill to fortify the mission. On February 23, Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa
    8.00
    1 votes
    143
    Beijing Museum of Natural History

    Beijing Museum of Natural History

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Beijing Museum of Natural History (“BMNH”, Chinese: 北京自然博物馆) is located at 126, Tian Qiao Nan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100050, and is the most popular natural history museum in China. It was originally founded in 1951 as the National Central Museum of Natural History, and its name changed to the Beijing Museum of Natural History in 1962. The BMNH is the first large scale natural history museum created in China. The BMNH has total floor space of 24,000 square meters, of which 8,000 square meters are available for display and owns more than 200,000 specimens. The major display area is the Tian Jiabing Building. The collections include paleontology, ornithology, mammals and invertebrates, and include a major collection of dinosaur fossils and mounted skeletons. The BMNH also engages in significant scientific research in these areas.
    8.00
    1 votes
    144
    Butaritari

    Butaritari

    Butaritari (previously known as Makin, Pitt Island, Taritari Island, or Touching Island) is an atoll located in the Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati. Three kilometers to the northeast is Makin. Butaritari was called Makin Atoll by the U.S. military, and Makin was then known as Makin Meang or Little Makin to distinguish it. Now that Butaritari has become the preferred name for the larger atoll, speakers tend to drop the qualifier for Makin. Butaritari atoll has a land area of 13.6 km² and a population of 4,200 as of 2002. The atoll is roughly four-sided and nearly 30 km across in the east west direction, and averages about 15 km north to south. The reef is more submerged and broken into several broad channels along the west side. Small islets are found on reef sections between these channels. The atoll reef is continuous but almost without islets along the north side. In the northeast corner, the reef is some 1.75 km across and with only scattered small islet development. Thus, the lagoon of Butaritari is very open to exchange with the ocean. The lagoon is deep and can accommodate large ships, though the entrance passages are relatively narrow. The south and southeast portion
    8.00
    1 votes
    145
    Frauenkirche, Munich

    Frauenkirche, Munich

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Frauenkirche (full name Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau, "Cathedral of Our Dear Lady") is a church in the Bavarian city of Munich that serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and seat of its Archbishop. It is a landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian capital city. The church towers are widely visible because of local height limits. According to the narrow outcome of a local plebiscite, city administration prohibits buildings with a height exceeding 99 m in the city center. Since November 2004, this prohibition has been provisionally extended outward and as a result, no buildings may be built in the city over the aforementioned height. The south tower is open to those wishing to climb the stairs and offers a unique view of Munich and the nearby Alps. Right next to the town's first ring of walls, a romanesque church was added in the 12th century, serving as a second city parish following Alter Peter church (nicknamed 'Ole Pete'), which is the oldest. The current construction replaced this older church and was commissioned by Duke Sigismund and the people of Munich. The cathedral was erected in only 20 years time by Jörg von Halsbach. For financial
    8.00
    1 votes
    146
    French pyramids

    French pyramids

    • Near travel destination: Nice
    Several pyramids have been built in France, during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Falicon pyramid is a monument located at a rural site near the town of Falicon, on the French Riviera, near Nice. It is constructed above a karstic cave known as the Cave of the Bats (Occitan: Bauma des Ratapignata) and is one of the few pyramids in Europe. The pyramid is constructed of small irregularly-shaped stones, possesses a fairly acute angle of inclination, and is in a partly ruined condition. While most of its upper section is missing, the lower section is reasonably well-preserved. The pyramid's purpose and exact origins are unknown. Though it had been suggested that it may have been constructed by Roman legionaries involved in Egyptian cult practices, more recent research indicated that it was actually built between 1803 and 1812.
    8.00
    1 votes
    147
    Lérins Abbey

    Lérins Abbey

    • Near travel destination: Lérins Islands
    Lérins Abbey (pronounced: [leʁɛ̃]) is a Cistercian monastery on the island of Saint-Honorat, one of the Lérins Islands, on the French Riviera, with an active monastic community. There has been a monastic community there since the 5th century. The construction of the current monastery buildings began around 1073. Today the monks cultivate vineyards and produce wine and liqueur. The island, known to the Romans as Lerina, was uninhabited until Saint Honoratus, a disciple of a local hermit named Caprasius of Lérins, founded a monastery on it at some time around the year 410. According to tradition, Honoratus made his home on the island intending to live as a hermit, but found himself joined by disciples who formed a monastic community around him. This had become "an immense monastery" by 427, according to the contemporary writings of John Cassian. There is also a tradition that Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, studied here in the fifth century, and during the sixth century, Saint Quinidius was a monk at Lérins. The abbey provided three bishops for the diocese of Arles: Honoratus himself, followed by Hilarius and Cesarius in the fifth and sixth centuries respectively. One of the
    8.00
    1 votes
    148
    Mafia Island

    Mafia Island

    • Near travel destination: Kibaha
    Mafia Island ("Chole Shamba") is part of the Tanzanian Spice Islands, together with Unguja and Pemba. As one of the six districts of the Pwani Region, Mafia Island is governed from the mainland, not from the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, of which it has never been considered to be a part. According to the 2002 Tanzania census, the population of the Mafia District was 40,801. The economy is based on fishing, subsistence agriculture and the market in Kilindoni. The island attracts some tourists, mainly adventure scuba divers, game fishermen, and people wanting relaxation. The Mafia archipelago consists of one large island (394 km²) and several smaller ones. Some of these are inhabited, such as Chole Island (2 km²), with a population of 800. Chole Bay, Mafia's protected deep-water anchorage and original harbour, is studded with islands, sandbanks and beaches. The main town is Kilindoni. The stretch of water between the deltas of the Rufiji River and the island is called Mafia Channel. There are popular rumours of pygmy hippo on the island but there are no confirmed sightings. Mafia Island's history goes back to the 8th century. The island once played a major role in ancient
    8.00
    1 votes
    149
    Prater

    Prater

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Wiener Prater is a large public park in Vienna's 2nd district (Leopoldstadt). The Wurstelprater amusement park, often simply called "Prater", stands in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the Wiener Riesenrad. The name Prater derives from one or the other or possibly both Latin words pratum meaning meadow and Praetor meaning magistrate or lawyer, possibly via Spanish prado. The area that makes up the modern Prater was first mentioned in 1162, when Emperor Friedrich I gave the land to a noble family called de Prato. The word "Prater" was first used in 1403, originally referring to a small island in the Danube north of Freudenau, but was gradually extended to mean the neighbouring areas as well. The land changed hands frequently until it was bought by Emperor Maximilian II in 1560 to be a hunting ground. To deal with the problem of poachers, Emperor Rudolf II forbade entry to the Prater. On April 7 1766, Emperor Joseph II declared the Prater to be free for public enjoyment, and allowed the establishment of coffee-houses and cafés, which led to the beginnings of the Wurstelprater. Throughout this time, hunting continued to take place in the Prater, ending only in 1920. In
    8.00
    1 votes
    150
    Temple of Heaven

    Temple of Heaven

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (simplified Chinese: 天坛; traditional Chinese: 天壇; pinyin: Tiāntán; Manchu: Abkai mukdehun) is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese Heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taois. The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. The Jiajing Emperor also built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of Sun (日壇)in the east, the Temple of Earth (地壇)in the north, and the Temple of Moon (月壇)in the west . The Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. Due to the deterioration of state budget, this became the last large-scale renovation of the temple complex in the imperial time. The temple
    8.00
    1 votes
    151
    Miaoying Temple

    Miaoying Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Miaoying Temple (simplified Chinese: 妙应寺; traditional Chinese: 妙應寺; pinyin: Miàoyìng Sì), also known as the "White Stupa Temple" (Chinese: 白塔寺; pinyin: Báitǎ Sì), is a Chinese Buddhist temple on the north side of Fuchengmennei Street in Xicheng District of Beijing. There were temples built on the sites since the Liao and Yuan dynasties. The temple's famous white stupa also dates to the Yuan Dynasty. However, the present-building dates to the Ming Dynasty as well as its given name, "Miaoying", meaning "Divine Retribution". In 1961, then Chinese Premier Zhou En-lai signed a Proclamation stating that the Temple was to be protected as a National Treasure. This Proclamation kept the White Stupa safe during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. In 1976, the temple was seriously damaged by the Tangshan earthquake. The top of stupa tilted to one side, and the bricks and mortar supporting the stupa crumbled off, and many relics were broken. In 1978, the Beijing Department of Cultural Relics undertook the task of repairing and renovating the temple. The courtyards, the four corner-pavilions, the Hall of the Buddhas of the Three Ages, the Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tianwangdian) in front
    5.25
    4 votes
    152
    Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster

    Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster

    • Near travel destination: City of Westminster
    Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower, officially named Elizabeth Tower, as well. Elizabeth Tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. It celebrated its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place. The tower was completed in 1858 and has become one of the most prominent symbols of both London and England, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city. The Elizabeth Tower (previously called the Clock Tower) named in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in her Diamond Jubilee year – was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was largely destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834. The new Parliament was built in a Neo-gothic style. Although Barry was the chief architect of the Palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the clock tower, which resembles earlier Pugin designs, including one for Scarisbrick Hall. The design for the Elizabeth Tower was Pugin's last design
    7.00
    2 votes
    153
    Hermitage Museum

    Hermitage Museum

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    The State Hermitage (Russian: Госуда́рственный Эрмита́ж; IPA: [gəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnɨj ɪrmʲɪˈtaʂ]) is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise nearly three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property. Since 1990, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky. Out of six buildings of the main museum complex, four, named the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage, are partially open to the public. The other two are the Hermitage Theatre and the Reserve House. The entrance
    7.00
    2 votes
    154
    Pinacoteca di Brera

    Pinacoteca di Brera

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    The Pinacoteca di Brera ("Brera Art Gallery") is an art collection in Milan, Italy. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings, an outgrowth of the cultural program of the Brera Academy, which shares the site in the Palazzo Brera. The Palazzo Brera owes its name to the Germanic braida, indicating a grassy opening in the city structure: compare the Bra of Verona. The convent on the site passed to the Jesuits (1572), then underwent a radical rebuilding by Francesco Maria Richini (1627–28). When the Jesuits were disbanded in 1773, the palazzo remained the seat of the astronomical Observatory and the library founded by the Jesuits. In 1774 were added the herbarium of the new botanical garden. The buildings were extended to designs by Giuseppe Piermarini, who was appointed professor in the Academy when it was formally founded in 1776, with Giuseppe Parini as dean. Piermarini taught at the Academy for 20 years, while he was controller of the city's urbanistic projects, like the public gardens (1787–1788) and piazza Fontana, (1780—1782). For the better teaching of architecture, sculpture and the other arts, the Academy initiated by Parini was provided with a
    7.00
    2 votes
    155
    San Petronio Basilica

    San Petronio Basilica

    • Near travel destination: Bologna
    The Basilica of San Petronio is the main church of Bologna, Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. It dominates the Piazza Maggiore. It is the fifthteen largest church in the world, stretching for 132 meters in length and 60 meters in width, while the vault reaches 45 meters inside and 51 meters in the facade. It can contain about 28,000 persons. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, who was the bishop of Bologna in the fifth century. The construction was a communal project of Bologna, not of the bishops: The property was a symbol of communal power that was not transferred from the city to the diocese until 1929; the basilica was finally consecrated in 1954. It has been the seat of the relics of Bologna's patron saint only since 2000; until then they were preserved in the Santo Stefano church of Bologna. Following a council decree of 1388, the first stone of construction was laid June 7, 1390, when the town council entrusted Antonio di Vincenzo with raising a Gothic cathedral. Works lasted for several centuries: after the completion of the first version of the facade, in 1393 the first pair of side chapels were begun. The series were completed only in
    7.00
    2 votes
    156
    Spanish Steps

    Spanish Steps

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Spanish Steps (Italian: Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti) are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe. The monumental stairway of 138 steps was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above — to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below. The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi. Following a competition in 1717 the steps were designed by the little-known Francesco de Sanctis, though Alessandro Specchi was long thought to have produced the winning entry. Generations of heated discussion over how the steep slope to the church on a shoulder of the Pincio should be urbanised preceded the final execution. Archival drawings from the 1580s show that Pope Gregory XIII was interested in constructing a stair to the recently completed façade of the French
    7.00
    2 votes
    157
    Statue of Liberty

    Statue of Liberty

    • Near travel destination: New York City
    The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad. Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye, who commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. Due to the troubled political situation in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the pedestal and the site. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm
    7.00
    2 votes
    158
    Bondi Beach

    Bondi Beach

    • Near travel destination: Sydney
    Bondi Beach or Bondi Bay ( /ˈbɒndaɪ/ BON-dy) is a popular beach and the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Bondi Beach is located 7 km (4 mi) east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverley Council, in the Eastern Suburbs. Bondi, North Bondi and Bondi Junction are neighbouring suburbs. "Bondi" or "Boondi" is an Aboriginal word meaning water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks. The Australian Museum records that Bondi means place where a flight of nullas took place. In 1809, the road builder William Roberts received a grant of land in the area. In 1851, Edward Smith Hall and Francis O'Brien purchased 200 acres (0.81 km) of the Bondi area that included most of the beach frontage, which was named the "The Bondi Estate." Hall was O'Brien's father-in-law. Between 1855 and 1877 O'Brien purchased his father-in-law's share of the land, renamed the land the "O'Brien Estate," and made the beach and the surrounding land available to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. As the beach became increasingly popular, O'Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, the Municipal
    6.00
    3 votes
    159
    Churches of Rome

    Churches of Rome

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    There are more than 900 churches in Rome , including some notable Roman Catholic Marian churches. Most, but not all, of these are Roman Catholic. The first churches of Rome originated in places where Christians met. They were divided into three categories: Only the tituli were allowed to distribute sacraments. The most important priest in a titulus was given the name of Cardinal. Pope Marcellus I (at the beginning of the 4th century) confirmed that the tituli were the only centres of administration in the Church. In 499 a.d., a synod held by Pope Symmachus listed all the presbyters participating, as well as the tituli who were present at that time.: It is known that in 336, Pope Julius I had set the number of presbyter cardinals to 28, so that for each day of the week, a different presbyter cardinal would say mass in one of the four major basilicas of Rome, St. Peter's, Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and Basilica of St. John Lateran. These four basilicas had no cardinal, since they were under the Pope's direction. The Basilica of St. John Lateran was also the seat of the bishop of Rome. Traditionally, pilgrims were expected to visit all
    6.00
    3 votes
    160
    Fragrant Hills Park

    Fragrant Hills Park

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Fragrant Hills Park (Xiangshan Park; Chinese: 香山公园; pinyin: Xiāngshān Gōngyuán) is a public park at the foot of the Western Mountains in the Haidian District, in the northwestern part of Beijing, China. It covers 1.6 km² (395 acres) and consists of a natural pine-cypress forest, hills with maple trees, smoke trees and persimmon trees, as well as landscaped areas with traditional architecture and cultural relics. The name derives from the park's highest peak, Xianglu Feng (Incense Burner Peak), a 557 meters (1827 ft) hill with two large stones resembling incense burners at the top. The xiang in the name refers to incense, not fragrance per se. This name is perhaps derived from the name of the highest peak Xianglu feng 香炉峰, or "Incense-burner peak," the bronze-cast incense burner (with remote roots in ritual bronzes) being a common article found in temples. Indeed, incense was also often used as a metonym for temples. The park was built in 1186 in the Jin Dynasty (1115 to 1234) and expanded during the Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty. In 1745, Emperor Qianlong (1711 to 1799) ordered the addition of many new halls, pavilions and gardens and gave it a new name, Jingyi Garden (Garden of
    6.00
    3 votes
    161
    Lérins Islands

    Lérins Islands

    • Near travel destination: Mandelieu-La Napoule
    The Lérins Islands (in French: les Îles de Lérins, pronounced: [lɛz‿il də leʁɛ̃]) are a group of four Mediterranean islands off the French Riviera, near Cannes. The two largest islands in this group are the Île Sainte-Marguerite and the Île Saint-Honorat. The smaller Îlot Saint-Ferréol and Îlot de la Tradelière are uninhabited. Administratively, the islands belong to the commune of Cannes. The islands are first known to have been inhabited during Roman times. The Île de Saint-Honorat bears the name of the founder of the monastery of Lérins, Saint Honoratus. It was founded around the year 410. It is in this monastery that Saint Porcarius lived and probably was killed during an invasion by Saracens. According to tradition, Saint Patrick, patron of Ireland, studied there in the fifth century. A fortified monastery was built between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. The monastic community today lives in a monastery built during the nineteenth century. The Île Sainte-Marguerite held a fortress where The Man in the Iron Mask was held captive for a time. In 1707 the Lérins were occupied by the English navy, under the command of Sir Cloudesley Shovell. This was done in order to block
    6.00
    3 votes
    162
    Rome Observatory

    Rome Observatory

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Rome Observatory (Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma in Italian) is one of twelve Astronomical Observatories in Italy. It consists of three sites: Monte Porzio Catone, Campo Imperatore and Monte Mario. Part of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica). Monte Porzio Catone is located approximately 20 kilometres southeast of Rome proper. The Campo Imperatore station (IAU code 599) is located in the mountains of L'Aquila, roughly 115 kilometres northeast of Rome and is between an hour and an hour and a half by car. The Campo Imperatore Near-Earth Objects Survey (CINEOS) operates there. Monte Mario Observatory (IAU code 034) is the only station of the three in Rome itself. It is located at 84 via del Parco Mellini in the northwest part of the city, atop Monte Mario. Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italian)
    6.00
    3 votes
    163
    Santa Maria sopra Minerva

    Santa Maria sopra Minerva

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Saint Mary above Minerva (Latin: Sancta Maria supra Minervam, Italian: Santa Maria sopra Minerva) is one of the major churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian church structure on the site was built directly over (Latin: supra) the ruins or foundations of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, which had been erroneously ascribed to the Greco-Roman goddess Minerva. The church is located in the Piazza della Minerva one block behind the Pantheon in the Pigna rione of Rome, Italy within the ancient district known as the Campus Martius. The present church and disposition of surrounding structures is visible a detail from the Nolli Map of 1748. The Minerva has been a titular church since 1557 and a minor basilica since 1566. The church's first titular cardinal was Michele Ghislieri who would become Pope Pius V in 1566 and raise the church to the level of minor basilica that same year. The current Cardinal Priest of the Titulus Sanctae Mariae supra Minervam has been Cormac Murphy-O'Connor since 2001, when he was Archbishop of Westminster, the senior position in the English
    6.00
    3 votes
    164
    Sistine Chapel

    Sistine Chapel

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Sistine Chapel (Latin: Sacellum Sixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina) is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 1,100 m (12,000 sq ft) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment (1535–1541), is widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievement in painting. The chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored the old Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480. During this period a team of painters that included Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio created a series of frescoed panels depicting the life of Moses and the life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483, Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and
    5.67
    3 votes
    165
    Île de la Cité

    Île de la Cité

    • Near travel destination: Paris
    The Île de la Cité (French pronunciation: [il də la site]) is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris (the other being the Île Saint-Louis). It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded. The western end has held a palace since Merovingian times, and its eastern end since the same period has been consecrated to religion, especially after the 10th century construction of a cathedral preceding today's Notre Dame. The land between the two was, until the 1850s, largely residential and commercial, but since has been filled by the city's Prefecture de Police, Palais de Justice, Hôtel-Dieu hospital and Tribunal de Commerce. Only the westernmost and northeastern extremities of the island remain residential today, and the latter preserves some vestiges of its 16th century canon's houses. Most scholars believe that in 52 BC, at the time of Vercingetorix's struggle with Julius Caesar, a small Gallic tribe, the Parisii, lived on the island. At that time, the island was a low-lying area subject to flooding that offered a convenient place to cross the Seine and a refuge in times of invasion. However, some modern historians
    6.50
    2 votes
    166
    Kapuzinerkirche

    Kapuzinerkirche

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Capuchin Church (German: Kapuzinerkirche) in Vienna is the church and monastery of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. It is located on the Neuer Markt square in the Innere Stadt, near the imperial Hofburg Palace. The official name is Church of St. Mary of the Angels, but is commonly known in Vienna as the Capuchin Church. The church is most famous for the Imperial Crypt, the final resting place for members of the Habsburg dynasty. About 1599 the Capuchin brothers under Lawrence of Brindisi resided at Vienna on their way to Prague, where they had been sent by Pope Clement VIII in the course of the Counter-Reformation. The church was donated by will of Anna of Tyrol (1585 – 1618), consort of Holy Roman Emperor Matthias of Habsburg. Construction was delayed due to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War and not finished until 1632, under the rule of Matthias' successor Ferdinand II. It was consecrated in 1632. The aisleless church contains the tombs of friar Marco d'Aviano (d. 1699) and architect Donato Felice d'Allio (1761) as well as a pietà by Peter Strudel. Its subterranean mausoleum is the Imperial Crypt (German: Kaisergruft, though usually called Capuchin Crypt, German:
    6.50
    2 votes
    167
    Minoritenkirche, Vienna

    Minoritenkirche, Vienna

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Minoritenkirche, formal name: Italienische Nationalkirche Maria Schnee (English: Greyfriars Church or Minorite Church, formal "Italian National Church of Mary of the Snows") is a church built in French Gothic style in the Altstadt or First District of Vienna, Austria. The site on which the church is built was given to followers of Francis of Assisi in 1224. The foundation stone was laid by Premysl Ottokar II in 1276. Duke Albrecht II later supported the building process, especially the main portal. The Gothic Ludwig choir was built between 1316 and 1328, and used as a mausoleum in the 14th and 15th centuries. Construction of the church was completed in 1350. The top of its belltower was damaged during the first Austro-Turkish war, rebuilt, then again destroyed again during the second Austro-Turkish war; the top was then replaced by a flat roof. When Joseph II gave the church to the Italians as a present, they transferred the name Maria Schnee ("Mary of the Snows") from a nearby chapel which was subsequently destroyed. The Minoritenkirche stands in the Innere Stadt of Vienna, northwest of the Hofburg, at the Minoritenplatz. The Minoriten were Franciscan monks (Latin: "fratres
    6.50
    2 votes
    168
    Two Towers of Bologna

    Two Towers of Bologna

    • Near travel destination: Bologna
    The Towers of Bologna are a group of medieval structures in Bologna, Italy. The two most prominent ones, also called the Two Towers, are the landmark of the city. Between the 12th and the 13th century, the number of towers in the city was very high, possibly up to 180 (see also below). The reasons for the construction of so many towers are not clear. One hypothesis is that the richest families used them for offensive/defensive purposes during the period of the Investiture Controversy. Besides the towers, one can still see some fortified gateways (torresotti) that correspond to the gates of the 12th-century city wall (Mura dei torresotti or Cerchia dei Mille), which itself has been almost completely destroyed. During the 13th century, many towers were taken down or demolished, and others simply collapsed. Many towers have subsequently been utilized in one way or the other: as prison, city tower, shop or residential building. The last demolitions took place during the 20th century, according to an ambitious, but retrospectively unfortunate, restructuring plan for the city. The Artenisi Tower and the Riccadonna Tower at the Mercato di mezzo were demolished in 1917. Of the numerous
    6.50
    2 votes
    169
    Olympiaturm

    Olympiaturm

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Olympiaturm (English translation: Olympic Tower) in Olympiapark (the Olympic Park), Munich was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics. It has an overall height of 291 m and a weight of 52,500 tons. At a height of 190 m there is an observation platform as well as a small rock and roll museum housing various memorabilia. Since its opening in 1968 the tower has registered over 35 million visitors (as of 2004). At a height of 182 m there is a revolving restaurant that seats 230 people. A full revolution takes 53 minutes. The tower also serves as a broadcast tower, and has one Deutsche Telekom maintenance elevator with a speed of 4 m/s, as well as two visitor lifts with a speed of 7 m/s which have a capacity of about 30 people per car. The travel time is about 30 seconds. The tower is open daily from 09:00 to 24:00 hrs (last elevator up at 23:30). The following radio and television stations broadcast from the Olympiaturm.
    4.75
    4 votes
    170
    Fisherman's Wharf

    Fisherman's Wharf

    • Near travel destination: San Francisco
    Fisherman's Wharf is a neighborhood and popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, California. It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street. The F Market streetcar runs through the area, the Powell-Hyde cable car lines runs to Aquatic Park, at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf, and the Powell-Mason cable car line runs a few blocks away. Fisherman's Wharf gets its name and neighborhood characteristics from the city's early days during the Gold Rush when Italian immigrant fishermen settled in the area and fished for the Dungeness crab. From then until the present day it remained the home base of San Francisco's fishing fleet. Despite its redevelopment into a tourist attraction during the 1970s and 1980s, the area is still home to many active fishermen and their fleets. In 2010, a $15,000,000 development plan was proposed by city officials hoping to revitalize its appearance for tourists, and to reverse the area's downward trend in popularity among San Francisco residents, who have shunned the locale over the years. One of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in the western
    7.00
    1 votes
    171
    Millennium Tower

    Millennium Tower

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Millennium Tower, located at Handelskai 94-96 in the 20th district of Brigittenau in Vienna, is currently the tallest building and 3rd tallest structure in Austria at 171 metres (561 feet) after the Donauturm. An antenna mounted on top of the tower brings the architectural height to 202 metres (663 feet) but does not count to its overall height. However DC Tower 1 which is under construction at the moment, will be higher than Millenium Tower when completed and will then be Austria's tallest building. This is expected to take place in summer 2013. Millenium Tower was designed by the architects Gustav Peichl, Boris Podrecca and Rudolf Weber. The tower has 51 floors, serves both commercial and residential purposes, and is the focal point of a complex known as "Millennium City". It was completed in 1999 for the coming of the third millennium. The office tower has a gross floor area of 47,200 m (508,000 sq ft), of which 38,500 m (414,000 sq ft)is used as office space. The remaining area is to 2 levels are generally available and is used for a shopping center (Millennium City), restaurants and a multiplex cinema (UCI). The Millennium Tower was built in an extremely short construction
    7.00
    1 votes
    172
    Silk Street

    Silk Street

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Silk Street (Chinese: 秀水街; pinyin: Xiùshuǐjiē, aka Silk Market, Silk Street Market) is a shopping center in Beijing that accommodates over 1,700 retail vendors, notorious among international tourists for their wide selection of counterfeit designer brand apparels. The Silk Street attracts approximately 20,000 visitors daily (from 9am to 9pm) on weekdays and between 50,000 and 60,000 on weekends as of 2006. This 35,000-square-meter complex houses 1,700 retail vendors and over 3,000 salespeople spread over seven floors with three levels of basements. Many of the stalls have, over the years, gained local and international reputation for selling counterfeit luxury designer brands at relatively low prices. Some have carried on this trademark despite growing pressures from the management, the Chinese government and famous brand-name companies. Opened on March 19, 2005, and replacing the old alley-based Xiushui Market, the current Silk Street establishment has diversified their business scope. In addition to selling fashion apparels and accessories such as hats, handbags, shoes, belts, sportswear and silk fabrics like their predecessor, the new Silk Street has introduced traditional
    7.00
    1 votes
    173
    Tarangire National Park

    Tarangire National Park

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    Tarangire National Park is a national park in Tanzania. Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire river that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. During the dry season thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire National Park from Manyara. It lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers(1,100 square miles.) The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit. The hilly landscape is dotted with vast numbers of Baobab trees, dense bush and high grasses. The park is famous for its huge number of elephants, baobab trees and tree climbing lions. Visitors to the park can expect to see any number of resident zebra and wildebeest in addition to the less common animals. Other common animals include waterbuck, giraffe, and olive baboons. Home to more than 550 species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts who can expect so see dozens of species even in the
    7.00
    1 votes
    174
    Maximilianstrasse

    Maximilianstrasse

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The neo-Renaissance Maximilianstraße in Munich is one of the city's four royal avenues. It starts at Max-Joseph-Platz, where the Residenz and the National Theatre are situated, and runs from west to east. Principal was king Maximilian II of Bavaria, who started the project in 1850, the avenue is named for his honour. Leading architect was Friedrich Bürklein. With this project, the king also aimed to "invent" a new architectural style which would combine the best features of historical models combined with then modern building technology. The avenue is framed by mostly neo-Gothic buildings influenced by the English Perpendicular style. Opposite to the National Theatre the north facade of the Old Mint Yard got its neogothic decoration when the Maximilianstrasse was built to fit it with the concept of this royal avenue. The new buildings house, among others, in the western portion of the street the Schauspielhaus (built by Max Littmann, 1901) and in the eastern portion several state buildings like the building of the district government of Upper Bavaria (Friedrich Bürklein, 1856–1864), the Völkerkundemuseum (Museum of Ethnology, built by Eduard Riedel, 1858–1865) and the building of
    5.33
    3 votes
    175
    Munich Residenz

    Munich Residenz

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Munich Residenz (Münchner Residenz, Munich Palace) is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs in the center of the city of Munich, Germany. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is today open to visitors for its architecture and room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections. The complex of buildings contains ten courtyards and the museum displays 130 rooms. The three main parts are the Königsbau (near the Max-Joseph-Platz), the Alte Residenz (towards the Residenzstraße) and the Festsaalbau (towards the Hofgarten). A wing of the Festsaalbau contains the Cuvilliés Theatre since the reconstruction of the Residenz after World War II. It also houses the Herkulessaal (Hercules Hall), the primary concert venue for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Byzantine Court Church of All Saints (Allerheiligen-Hofkirche) at the east side is facing the Marstall, the building for the former Court Riding School and the royal stables. The first buildings at this site were erected in the year 1385. The sturdy new castle (Neuveste - new fortress), surrounded by wide moats at what used to be the very north eastern corner of the new double ring of
    5.33
    3 votes
    176
    Paraggi

    Paraggi

    • Near travel destination: Santa Margherita Ligure
    Paraggi (Santa Margherita Ligure) Paraggi is a bay between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.
    5.33
    3 votes
    177
    Santa Maria delle Grazie

    Santa Maria delle Grazie

    • Near travel destination: Milan
    Santa Maria delle Grazie ("Holy Mary of Grace") is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy, included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites list. The church contains the mural of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent. The Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza ordered the building of a Dominican convent and a church in the place where a small chapel dedicated to St. Mary of the Graces was. The main architect was Guiniforte Solari, the convent was completed by 1469 while the church took more time. The new duke Ludovico Sforza decided to have the church as the Sforza family burial place and rebuild the cloister and the apse which were completed after 1490. Ludovico's wife Beatrice was buried in the church in 1497. The design of the apse of the church has been attributed to Donato Bramante; however, while it was built while he was in the service of the Duchy, there is scant documentary evidence linking him to this church. His name is inscribed in a piece of marble in the church vaults delivered in 1494. Some documents though mention the name Amadeo, likely Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. Similarities to his work at Santa Maria alla Fontana make
    5.33
    3 votes
    178
    Schloss Velden

    Schloss Velden

    • Near travel destination: Velden am Wörthersee
    Schloss Velden, a Capella Hotel, is a year-round Austrian resort located in Velden am Wörthersee on Lake Woerth (Wörthersee). The hotel began as the Castle Velden in 1590, over 400 years ago. A fire in 1762 burned the castle, and it was then rebuilt and opened as a hotel in 1890. The hotel became popular with celebrities and royalty. In 1990, the hotel reverted to being the private chateau of a German industrialist. In the 1990s, Schloss Velden served as the setting for many films and the Austrian/German TV series Ein Schloss am Wörthersee. It was purchased by Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International. Under the direction of Horst Schulze, the founder of Ritz-Carlton and Capella, a hotel management company based in Atlanta, Georgia, it re-opened in summer 2007 under the Capella brand.
    5.33
    3 votes
    179
    Wanshou Temple

    Wanshou Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Wanshou Temple (simplified Chinese: 万寿寺; traditional Chinese: 萬壽寺; pinyin: Wànshòu Sì) is a temple located at the Suzhou Jie (Suzhou street) in Beijing. In addition to being a Buddhist temple, the Wanshou Temple also houses the Beijing Art Museum (北京艺术博物馆/北京藝術博物館). It was built in 1577 during the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty to store Chinese Buddhist scriptures; it also later became a permanent celebration place for the imperial families of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Wanshou Temple was known as one of Beijing's most important temples, and it was declared as one of Beijing's "Key Cultural Heritage of Preservation" in August 1979. The Beijing Art Museum housed in the Wanshou Temple has also collected and preserved precious historical relics such as bronze and jade articles of Shang and Zhou Dynasties (17th - 3rd centuries B.C), and ancient art treasures such as porcelains, earthenwares, enamels, carved lacquer ware, ivory carving, wood carving, and many relics from past dynasties; it has a permanent collection of 70,000 items. Among the most important items displayed in the museum includes Chinese paintings and calligraphies from the Ming and Qing Dynasties since 1368 A.D,
    5.33
    3 votes
    180
    Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze

    Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south west of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile and Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie). The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Its most notable features are its sixteen chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils, and its tombs and cenotaphs. Legend says that Santa Croce was founded by St Francis himself. The construction of the current church, to replace an older building, was begun on 12 May 1294, possibly by Arnolfo di Cambio, and paid for by some of the city's wealthiest families. It was consecrated in 1442 by Pope Eugene IV. The building's design reflects the austere approach of the Franciscans. The floorplan is an Egyptian or Tau cross (a symbol of St Francis), 115 metres in
    6.00
    2 votes
    181
    Basilica of St. John Lateran

    Basilica of St. John Lateran

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (Italian: Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano), commonly known as St. John Lateran's Archbasilica and St. John Lateran's Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. It is the oldest and ranks first among the four Papal Basilicas or major basilicas of Rome (having the cathedra of the Bishop of Rome). It claims the title of ecumenical mother church among Roman Catholics. The current archpriest is Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. The President of the French Republic, currently François Hollande, is ex officio the "first and only honorary canon" of the basilica, a title held by the heads of the French state since King Henry IV of France. An inscription on the façade, Christo Salvatori, indicates the church's dedication to "Christ the Saviour", for the cathedrals of all patriarchs are dedicated to Christ himself. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter's Basilica. For that reason, unlike all other Roman Basilicas, it holds the title of
    6.00
    2 votes
    182
    Lake Manyara National Park

    Lake Manyara National Park

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    Lake Manyara National Park is a national park in Arusha Region, Tanzania. The majority of the land area of the park is a narrow strip running between the Gregory Rift wall to the west and Lake Manyara, an alkaline or soda-lake, to the east. The park consists of 330 km (130 sq mi) of arid land, forest, and a soda-lake which covers as much as 200 km (77 sq mi) of land during the wet season but is nearly nonexistent during the dry season. Lake Manyara National Park is known for the flamingos that inhabit the lake. During the wet season they inhabit the edges of the lake in flocks of thousands but they are not so present during the dry season. More than 400 species of birds inhabit the park and many remain throughout the year. Because of this Lake Manyara National Park is a good spot for bird watching. Visitors to the park can expect to see upwards of 100 different species of bird on any day. Leopards, lions, elephants, blue monkeys, dik-dik, gazelle, hippo, giraffe, impala, and more inhabit the park and many can be seen throughout the year. There is a hippo pond at one end of the park where visitors can get out of their cars and observe from a safe distance. The leopards and lions are
    6.00
    2 votes
    183
    Pemba, Tanzania

    Pemba, Tanzania

    • Near travel destination: Wete
    Pemba Island, known as "The Green Island" in Arabic (الجزيرة الخضراء), is an island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is situated about 50 kilometres to the north of the Unguja (the island proper of Zanzibar). In 1964 Zanzibar was united with the former colony of Tanganyika to form Tanzania. It lies 50 kilometres east of mainland Tanzania, across the Pemba Channel. Together with Mafia Island (south of Zanzibar), these three islands form the Spice Islands (not to be confused with the Maluku Islands of Indonesia). In 1988, the estimated population was 265,000, with an area of 980 km². Most of the island, which is hillier and more fertile than Zanzibar, is dominated by small scale farming. There is also large scale farming of cash crops such as cloves — there are over 3 million clove trees. In previous years the island was seldom visited due to inaccessibility and a reputation for political violence, with the notable exception of those drawn by its reputation as a center for traditional medicine and witchcraft. There is a quite large Arab community on the island who immigrated from Oman. The population is a mix of Arab
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    2 votes
    184
    Piazza della Signoria

    Piazza della Signoria

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near Ponte Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery. The impressive 14th century Palazzo Vecchio is still preeminent with its crenellated tower. The square is also shared with the Loggia della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palace of the Tribunale della Mercanzia (1359) (now the Bureau of Agriculture), and the Palazzo Uguccioni (1550, with a facade attributed to Raphael, who however died thirty years before its construction). Located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is the Palace of the Assicurazioni Generali (1871, built in Renaissance style). The Palazzo Vecchio ("Old Palace") is the town hall of the city. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the square with its copy of Michelangelo's
    6.00
    2 votes
    185
    St. Peter's Basilica

    St. Peter's Basilica

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), officially known in Italian as Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, Saint Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". In Roman Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, also according to tradition, the first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the
    6.00
    2 votes
    186
    Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

    Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

    • Near travel destination: San José
    The National Theatre of Costa Rica (Spanish: Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica) is the national theatre of Costa Rica. It is located in the central section of San José, Costa Rica. Construction began in 1891, and it opened to the public on 21 October 1897 with a performance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust. The National Theatre stood as a cultural asset of the country during a time when coffee exports were a source of its success. It presents high quality performances, with artistic criteria being very high. The building is considered the finest historic building in the capital, and it is known for its exquisite interior which includes its lavish furnishings. Constructed in the late 19th century, when San Jose's population was only around 19,000 people, the theatre presented many private performances. Its only real competition was the Teatro Mora (also called the Municipal Theatre, or Teatro Municipal), that existed for many years until it was abandoned and destroyed by an earthquake. In order to finance the construction of a theatre fit for name "National Theatre", the President of Costa Rica, José Joaquín Rodríguez Zeledón decided to place a tax on coffee, then the principal
    6.00
    2 votes
    187
    White Cloud Temple

    White Cloud Temple

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The White Cloud Temple or the Monastery of the White Clouds (simplified Chinese: 白云观; traditional Chinese: 白雲觀; pinyin: Bái Yún Gùan; literally "White Cloud See") is a Daoist temple located in Beijing, China. It is one of "The Three Great Ancestral Courts" of the Complete Perfection School of Taoism, and is titled "The First Temple under Heaven". The White Cloud Temple was first founded in the mid-8th century during the Tang Dynasty, and was initially called Tianchang Abbey (Abbey of Celestial Perpetuity). During this period, the abbey was state sponsored and staffed by an elite clergy. From 1125-1215 when what is now Beijing was controlled by the Jin Dynasty, the abbey served as the Daoist administrative headquarters and played an important role in state ceremonies. In 1148, the abbey was taken over by the Quanzhen patriarch Qiu Chuji, and became the headquarters of the Quanzhen movement until the establishment of the Ming Dynasty. He renamed the abbey Changchun Gong (Palace of Eternal Spring). In October 1222, he gave his exposition of Taoism to Genghis Khan having travelled since 1219 from Shangtung on being invited to come and visit. Qiu’s successor Yin Zhiping (1169-1251)
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    2 votes
    188
    Betio

    Betio

    Betio is an island and a town at the extreme southwest of South Tarawa in Kiribati. The main port of Tarawa Atoll is located there. The island is most well known as the scene of the Battle of Tarawa during World War II. Relics of the Japanese invasion, and the subsequent American assault on the islet in 1943, remain there. After the battle the airstrip was renamed Hawkins Field. The airstrip no longer exists, but its effect can be seen in the stunted growth of palms along its length. Many bunkers remain, as well as the wrecks of military equipment. It was also the scene of a massacre by beheading of New Zealand and Fiji and military and civilian coastwatchers by Japanese forces prior to the US landings. The massacre was in retaliation for an American air raid and not in retaliation for assistance given to the escape of civilians and seamen from the RCS (Royal Colonial Ship) Nimanoa (also sometimes wrongly written as Niminoa). Pacific Wrecks. The partly submerged hulk of the Saidu Maru, a Japanese merchant ship often wrongly called the Niminoa, would later be used as a machine gun post by the Japanese against the US forces that re-took Tarawa. Note: RCS Nimanoa was a wooden-hulled
    5.00
    3 votes
    189
    Golden Gate Bridge

    Golden Gate Bridge

    • Near travel destination: San Francisco
    The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world". Before the bridge was built, the only practical short route between San Francisco and what is now Marin County was by boat across a section of San Francisco Bay. Ferry service began as early as 1820, with regularly scheduled service beginning in the 1840s for purposes of transporting water to San Francisco. The Sausalito Land and Ferry Company service, launched in 1867, eventually became the Golden Gate Ferry Company, a Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary, the largest ferry operation in the world by the late 1920s. Once for
    5.00
    3 votes
    190
    Vienna International Centre

    Vienna International Centre

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Vienna International Centre (VIC) is the campus and building complex hosting the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV; in German: Büro der Vereinten Nationen in Wien). As colloquially also known as UNO City, the VIC is only the one part of it. The other one is the Austria Center Vienna (ACV). The VIC, designed by Austrian architect Johann Staber, was built between 1973 and 1979 just north of the river Danube. The initial idea of setting up an international organization in Vienna came from the Chancellor of Austria Dr. Bruno Kreisky. Six Y-shaped office towers surround a cylindrical conference building for a total floor area of 230,000 square metres. The highest tower stands 127 metres tall, enclosing 28 floors. About 5,000 people work at the VIC, which also offers catering and shopping facilities and a post office (postal code 1400 Wien). Two banks (Bank Austria and United Nations Federal Credit Union offices), travel agents and other commercial services have offices on the premises. The VIC is an extraterritorial area, exempt from the jurisdiction of local law. Complementing the ongoing asbestos removal works in the VIC, a new conference building has been put into service in
    5.00
    3 votes
    191
    Karlskirche, Vienna

    Karlskirche, Vienna

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The St. Charles's Church (German: Karlskirche) is a church situated on the south side of Karlsplatz, Vienna. It is located on the edge of the 1st district, 200 metres outside the Ringstraße. It is one of the most outstanding baroque church structures, and boasts a dome in the form of an elongated ellipsoid. Since Karlsplatz was restored as an ensemble in the late 1980s, the Karlskirche has garnered fame due to its dome and its two flanking columns of bas-reliefs, as well as its role as an architectural counterweight to the buildings of the Musikverein and of the Vienna University of Technology. The church is cared for by a religious order and has long been the parish church as well as the seat of the Catholic student ministry of the Vienna University of Technology. In 1713, one year after the last great plague epidemic, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, pledged to build a church for his namesake patron saint, Charles Borromeo, who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. An architectural competition was announced, in which Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach prevailed over, among others, Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena and Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. Construction began in 1716 under
    5.50
    2 votes
    192
    Monaco Grand Prix

    Monaco Grand Prix

    • Near travel destination: Monaco
    The Monaco Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One motor race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. Run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world, alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The circuit has been called "an exceptional location of glamour and prestige." The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, it is a dangerous place to race. It is the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA's mandated 305 km minimum race distance. The first race in 1929, was organised by Anthony Noghès under the auspices of the "Automobile Club de Monaco", and was won by William Grover-Williams driving a Bugatti. The event was part of the pre-Second World War European Championship and was included in the first Formula One World Championship in 1950. It was designated the European Grand Prix two times, 1955 and 1963, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one
    5.50
    2 votes
    193
    Peter and Paul Cathedral

    Peter and Paul Cathedral

    • Near travel destination: Saint Petersburg
    The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were originally built under Peter the Great and designed by Domenico Trezzini. The cathedral's bell tower is the world's tallest Orthodox bell tower. Since the belfry is not standalone, but an integral part of the main building, the cathedral is sometimes considered the highest Orthodox Church in the world. The cathedral is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the fortress (Saint Peter being the patron saint of the city). The current cathedral is the second one on the site. The first, built soon after Peter's founding of the city, was consecrated by Archbishop Iov of Novgorod the Great in April 1704. The current building, the first stone church in St. Petersburg, was designed by Trezzini and built between 1712 and 1733. Its golden spire reaches a height of 404 feet and features at its top an angel holding a cross. This angel is one of the most important symbols of St.
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    2 votes
    194
    Esterel massif

    Esterel massif

    • Near travel destination: Mandelieu-La Napoule
    The Esterel Massif (in Occitan Provençal: Esterèu; French: Massif de l'Esterel) is a coastal (mediterranean) mountain range in the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes in Provence, south-east France. Neighbouring cities are Mandelieu and Cannes (in the east) and Saint-Raphaël / Fréjus (in the west). The soil and rocks of the range are of volcanic origin, composed mainly of porphyry, which gives the hills a red color. The terrain is rugged, with deep ravines and oak forests. The highest point of the massif is Mont Vinaigre (618 metres). The massif covers an area of 320 km², of which 130 km² are officially protected in the Forêt domaniale de l'Esterel. The nature reserve offers excellent hiking and mountain biking trails including the GR 49 and GR 51. The Esterel mountains also host the Pierre et Vacances holiday village "Cap Estérel".
    4.67
    3 votes
    195
    Catacombs of Rome

    Catacombs of Rome

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Catacombs of Rome (Italian: Catacombe di Roma) are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under or near Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century, much as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. Many scholars have written that catacombs came about to help persecuted Christians to bury their dead secretly. The soft volcanic tuff rock under Rome is highly suitable for tunnelling, as it is softer when first exposed to air, hardening afterwards. Many have kilometres of tunnels, in up to four stories (or layers). The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture. The Jewish catacombs are similarly important for the study of Jewish art at this period. The Etruscans, like many other European peoples, used to bury their dead in underground chambers. The original Roman custom was cremation, after which the burnt remains were kept in a pot, ash-chest or urn, often in a
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    1 votes
    196
    Lao National Museum

    Lao National Museum

    • Near travel destination: Vientiane
    The Lao National Museum is located in Vientiane, Laos. It was founded as the national museum highlighting the revolution of the 1970s and is located in a French colonial building. In 2007, the United States donated a grant to help develop the museum. This museum, which was originally built in 1925 as the French governor’s residence, presents the history of Laos, highlighting the Laotian people’s struggle to free the country from foreign occupiers and imperialist forces. It is located on Samsenthai road, opposite the Cultural Hall.
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    1 votes
    197
    Piazza Venezia

    Piazza Venezia

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Piazza Venezia is a piazza in central Rome, Italy. It takes its name from Cardinal Venezia who built the adjacent Palazzo Venezia, the former embassy of the city of the Republic of Venice. The piazza is at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and near the Roman Forum. It is dominated by the imposing Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II. In 2009, during excavations for the Rome C Metro Line, ancient remains of what has been identified as emperor Hadrian's Athenaeum were unearthed in the middle of the square.
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    1 votes
    198
    Serengeti National Park

    Serengeti National Park

    • Near travel destination: Arusha
    The Serengeti National Park is a large national park in Serengeti area, Tanzania. It is most famous for its annual migration of over one and a half million white bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey. The Maasai people had been grazing their livestock in the open plains which they knew as “endless plain” for around 200 years when the first European explorers visited the area. The name Serengeti is an approximation of the word used by the Maasai to describe the area. German geographer and explorer Dr. Oscar Baumann entered the area in 1892. Baumann killed three rhinos during a stay in the Ngorongoro crater. The first Briton to enter the Serengeti, Stewart Edward White, recorded his explorations in the northern Serengeti in 1913. Stewart returned to the Serengeti in the 1920s, and camped in the area around Seronera for three months. During this time he and his companions shot 50 lions. Because the hunting of lions made them so scarce, the British decided to make a partial game reserve of 800 acres (3.2 km) in the area in 1921 and a full one in 1929.
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    1 votes
    199
    Federal Hall

    Federal Hall

    Federal Hall, built in 1700 as New York's City Hall, later served as the first capitol building of the United States of America under the Constitution, and was the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States. It was also where the United States Bill of Rights was introduced in the First Congress. The building was demolished in 1812. Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street was built in 1842 as the United States Custom House, on the site of the old Federal Hall, and later served as a sub-Treasury building. It is now operated by the National Park Service as a museum commemorating the historic events that occurred there. The original structure on the site was built as New York's City Hall in 1700. In 1735, John Peter Zenger, an American newspaper publisher, was arrested for committing libel against the British royal governor and was imprisoned and tried there. His acquittal on the grounds that the material he had printed was true established the freedom of the press as it was later defined in the Bill of Rights. In October 1765, delegates from nine of the 13 colonies met as the Stamp Act Congress in response to the levying of the Stamp Act
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    2 votes
    200
    Palatine Towers

    Palatine Towers

    • Near travel destination: Turin
    The Palatine Gate (Italian: in Italian Porta Palatina; Piedmontese: Tor Roman-e) was the ancient Porta Principalis Dextera which allowed access from the North to Julia Augusta Taurinorum, the roman civitas now known as Turin. It is the main archaeological evidence of Roman age town, and one of the doors walls of the 1st century BC the best preserved in the world. Together with the ancient theatre, located at a short distance, is contained in area of Archaeological Park opened in 2006. Formerly known as Porta Doranea in the 11th century, the name Porta Palatina is surely next to Roman times and is derived from the Latin Porta Palatii (gate of palace). The origin of this term can be traced back to various hypotheses. The first and most trusted of these suggests that results from the probably contiguity of Palatium, the building was the seat of the Imperial sovereign Lombard. A second hypothesis might lead to the presence of an alleged adjacent amphitheatre built near present-day Borgo Dora. rapidly fall into disrepair of hypothetical circus structure could have earned him the name "Palatium . The Porta Principalis Dextera allowed access to cardo maximus currently identified in the
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    2 votes
    201
    Pantheon

    Pantheon

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Pantheon ( /ˈpænθiːən/ or US /ˈpænθiːɒn/; Latin: Pantheon, from Greek: Πάνθειον (ἱερόν), an adjective meaning "(temple consecrated) to all gods") is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft). It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria della Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. The ancient Roman writer
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    2 votes
    202
    San Nicola in Carcere

    San Nicola in Carcere

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    San Nicola in Carcere (Italian, "St Nicholas in prison") is a titular church in Rome near the Forum Boarium in rione Ripa. It is one of the traditional stational churches of Lent. The first church on the site was probably built in the 6th century, and a 10th century inscription may be seen on a fluted column next to the entrance, but the first definite dedication is from a plaque on the church dating to 1128. It was constructed in and from the ruins of the Forum Holitorium and its temples, along with a jail (carcer) which a tradition (supported by Pliny's history of Rome) states was sited in the temples' ruins. However, the in Carcere (in jail) part of the name of the church was only changed to "in Carcere Tulliano" in the 14th century, owing to an erroneous identification. The prison was really that of Byzantine times (LPD i.515, n13; ii.295, n12). Spolia from all these ancient remains is still apparent in the church's construction, most particularly three columns from the Temple of Juno Sospita which are incorporated into both the 10th century and 1599 north facades of the church. The dedication to St Nicholas was made by the Greek population in the area. In the 11th century, it
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    2 votes
    203
    Stephansdom

    Stephansdom

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    St. Stephen's Cathedral (German: Stephansdom) is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP. Its current Romanesque and Gothic form seen today, situated at the heart of Vienna, Austria in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Rudolf IV and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first being a parish church consecrated in 1147. As the most important religious building in Austria's capital, the cathedral has borne witness to many important events in that nation's history and has, with its multi-colored tile roof, become one of the city's most recognizable symbols. By the middle of the 12th century, Vienna had become an important centre of German civilization in eastern Europe, and the four existing churches, including only one parish church, no longer met the town's religious needs. In 1137, Bishop of Passau Reginmar and Margrave Leopold IV signed the Treaty of Mautern, which referred to Vienna as a Civitas for the first time and transferred the Church of St. Peter to the Diocese of Passau. Under the Treaty, Margrave Leopold IV also received from the Bishop extended stretches of land beyond
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    2 votes
    204
    Summer Palace

    Summer Palace

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Summer Palace (simplified Chinese: 颐和园; traditional Chinese: 頤和園; pinyin: Yíhé Yuán; literally "Gardens of Nurtured Harmony") is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. Longevity Hill is about 60 meters (200 feet) high and houses many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich in the splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty The central Kunming Lake covering 2.2 square kilometers was entirely man made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill. In the Summer Palace, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value." It is a popular tourist destination but
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    2 votes
    205
    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Greek: Ναὸς τοῦ Ὀλυμπίου Διός, Naos tou Olympiou Dios), also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. The temple's glory was short-lived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the temple was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, substantial remains remain visible today and it continues to be a major tourist attraction. The temple is located about 500 m
    5.00
    2 votes
    206
    Durbar Square

    Durbar Square

    • Near travel destination: Kavrepalanchok District
    Durbar Square is the generic name used to describe plazas opposite old royal palaces in Nepal. Before the Unification of Nepal, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms in Nepal. In particular, three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, belonging to the three kingdoms situated there before unification, are most famous: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. All three are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
    4.50
    2 votes
    207
    Linderhof

    Linderhof

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    Linderhof Palace (German: Schloss Linderhof) is in Germany, in southwest Bavaria near Ettal Abbey. It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed. Ludwig already knew the area around Linderhof from his youth when he had accompanied his father King Maximilian II of Bavaria on his hunting trips in the Bavarian Alps. When Ludwig II became king in 1864 he inherited the so-called Königshäuschen from his father, and in 1869 began enlarging the building. In 1874 he decided to tear down the Königshäuschen and rebuild it on its present-day location in the park. At the same time three new rooms and the staircase were added to the remaining U-shaped complex, and the previous wooden exterior was clad with stone façades. The building was designed in the style of the second rococo-period. Between 1863 and 1886 a total of 8,460,937 marks was spent constructing Linderhof. Although Linderhof is much smaller than Versailles, it is evident that the palace of the French Sun-King Louis XIV (who was an idol for Ludwig) was its inspiration. The staircase, for example, is a reduction of the famous Ambassador's staircase in
    4.50
    2 votes
    208
    The Mall Athens

    The Mall Athens

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Mall Athens is a shopping mall in Athens, Greece. It was the first of the kind to be constructed in Greece and one of the largest shopping and leisure centres in Southeastern Europe. The Mall Athens is located close to the Athens Olympic Stadium in the suburb of Maroussi and was opened to the public on November 25, 2005. It has approximately 200 outlets for commercial and entertainment use, spread over four levels, and covers about 58,500 square meters with 90,000 square meters of underground space. Built under the pretext of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, its construction and operation have evolved into one of the biggest Greek scandals of the last decade involving real-estate, construction and commercial corporations, heads of government, ministers, mayors and the media. Its main competitors in the region of Attica are Golden Hall, Avenue, Athens Heart, River West and mainly Athens Metro Mall. The Mall provides access for handicapped persons and has a play area for children, along with a babysitting service and a special children’s care area. It also has a first-aid area. Automated teller machines are available. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and
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    2 votes
    209
    Allianz Arena

    Allianz Arena

    The Allianz Arena is a football stadium in the north of Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The two professional Munich football clubs FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München have played their home games at the Allianz Arena since the start of the 2005–06 season. Both clubs had previously played their home games at the Munich Olympic Stadium since 1972, where FC Bayern Munich played all of their games and TSV 1860 München most of their games. The Allianz Arena is the third biggest stadium in Germany behind Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund and the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The large financial services provider Allianz purchased the rights to name the stadium for 30 years. However this name cannot be used when hosting FIFA and UEFA events, since these governing bodies have policies forbidding corporate sponsorship from companies that are not official tournament partners. During the 2006 World Cup, the stadium was referred to as FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich. In UEFA club matches, it is known as Fußball Arena München, and it hosted the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The stadium has been nicknamed "Schlauchboot" (inflatable boat). The stadium is located at the northern edge of Munich's borough of
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    1 votes
    210
    Appian Way

    Appian Way

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Appian Way (Latin and Italian: Via Appia) was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, Apulia, in southeast Italy. Its importance is indicated by its common name, recorded by Statius: The road is named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor who began and completed the first section as a military road to the south in 312 BC during the Samnite Wars. The Roman army depended for its success on the use of bases in which to prepare for retreat and to refresh and re-equip afterwards. Bases allowed the Romans to keep a large number of soldiers in the field waiting for the opportunity to strike. However, the bases needed to be connected by good roads for easy access and supply from Rome. The Appian Way was used as a main route for military supplies since its construction for that purpose in the mid-4th century BC. The Appian Way was the first long road built specifically to transport troops outside the smaller region of greater Rome (this was essential to the Romans). The few roads outside the early city were Etruscan and went mainly to Etruria. By the late Republic, the Romans had expanded over most
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    1 votes
    211
    Ruaha National Park

    Ruaha National Park

    • Near travel destination: Iringa
    Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania. It covers an area of about 22,000 km². It is located in the middle of Tanzania about 130 km from Iringa. The park is part of a more extensive ecosystem which includes Rungwa Game Reserve, Usangu Game Reserve, and several other protected areas. The name of the park is derived from the Great Ruaha River, which flows along its south-eastern margin and is the focus for game-viewing. The park can be reached by car via Iringa and there is an airstrip at Msembe, park headquarters. The creation of a national park in this area was first proposed in 1949 by the Senior Game Ranger in Mbeya, George Rushby. In 1951 it was gazetted by the British colonial authorities as an extension of the neighbouring Rungwa Game Reserve. People living in the new protected area were subsequently forced to move out. In 1964 it was excised from the game reserve and elevated to full park status. In 2008 it was extended to incorporate the former Usangu Wildlife Management Area, in the upper Ruaha catchment, making Ruaha the largest National Park in Africa. Ruaha is famous for its large population of Elephants. Presently about 10.000 are roaming
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    Alcatraz Island

    Alcatraz Island

    • Near travel destination: San Francisco
    Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock," the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Aboriginal Peoples from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972 Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island. Hornblower launched the nation's first hybrid propulsion ferry in 2008, the Hornblower Hybrid, which now serves the island, docking at the Alcatraz Wharf. It is
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    213
    Pyramid of Cestius

    Pyramid of Cestius

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Pyramid of Cestius (in Italian, Piramide di Caio Cestio or Piramide Cestia) is an ancient pyramid in Rome, Italy, near the Porta San Paolo and the Protestant Cemetery. It stands at a fork between two ancient roads, the Via Ostiensis and another road that ran west to the Tiber along the approximate line of the modern Via della Marmorata. Due to its incorporation into the city's fortifications, it is today one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. The pyramid was built about 18 BC–12 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a magistrate and member of one of the four great religious corporations in Rome, the Septemviri Epulonum. It is of brick-faced concrete covered with slabs of white marble standing on a travertine foundation, measuring 100 Roman feet (29.6 m) square at the base and standing 125 Roman feet (37 m) high. In the interior is the burial chamber, a simple barrel-vaulted rectangular cavity measuring 5.95 metres long, 4.10 m wide and 4.80 m high. When it was (re)discovered in 1660, the chamber was found to be decorated with frescoes, which were recorded by Pietro Santi Bartoli, but only the scantest traces of these now remain. There was no trace left of any other
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    214
    Sydney Harbour Bridge

    Sydney Harbour Bridge

    • Near travel destination: Sydney
    The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design. Under the directions of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York. It was the world's widest long-span bridge until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge. It is also the fifth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (440 ft) from top to water level. Until 1967 the Harbour Bridge was Sydney's tallest structure. The southern (CBD) bridge end is located at Millers Point in The Rocks area, and the northern end at Milsons Point in the lower North Shore area. It carries six lanes of road traffic on its
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    215
    Ancient Agora of Athens

    Ancient Agora of Athens

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Ancient Agora of Athens (aka Forum of Athens in older texts) is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and is bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Colonus Agoraeus. The agora in Athens had private housing, until it was reorganized by Peisistratus in the 6th century BC. Although he may have lived on the agora himself, he removed the other houses, closed wells, and made it the centre of Athenian government. He also built a drainage system, fountains and a temple to the Olympian gods. Cimon later improved the agora by constructing new buildings and planting trees. In the 5th century BC there were temples constructed to Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo. The Areopagus and the assembly of all citizens met elsewhere in Athens, but some public meetings, such as those to discuss ostracism, were held in the agora. Beginning in the period of the radical democracy (after 509 BC), the Boule, or city council, the Prytaneis, or presidents of the council, and the Archons, or magistrates, all met in the agora. The law courts were located there, and anyone who happened to be in the agora when a
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    216
    Apostolic Palace

    Apostolic Palace

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V. The palace is more accurately a series of self-contained buildings within the well-recognised outer structure which is arranged around the Courtyard of Sixtus V (Cortile di Sisto V). It is located North-East of St Peter's Basilica and adjacent to the Bastion of Nicholas V and Palace of Gregory XIII. Rather than a traditional palace (a residential building surrounded by support buildings) the Apostolic Palace houses both residential and support offices of various functions as well as administrative offices not focused on the life and functions of the Pope himself. The building contains the Papal Apartments, various government offices of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy See, private and public chapels, Vatican Museums and the Vatican library, including the Borgia Apartment now used to house artworks. The ancient Vatican Palace had fallen into disrepair during the period of the Avignon Papacy, when the popes
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    217
    Central Park

    Central Park

    • Near travel destination: New York City
    Central Park is a public park at the center of Manhattan in New York City. The park initially opened in 1857, on 843 acres (3.41 km) of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan. Construction began the same year, continued during the American Civil War, and was completed in 1873. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, the park is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the city government. The Conservancy is a non-profit organization that contributes 83.5% of Central Park's $37.5 million dollar annual budget, and employs 80.7% of the park's maintenance staff. Central Park, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, was designed by landscape designer and writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the English architect Calvert Vaux in 1858 after winning a design competition. They also designed Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the south by West 59th Street, on the west by Eighth Avenue. Along the park's borders, these streets are known as Central Park North,
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    218
    Florence Cathedral

    Florence Cathedral

    • Near travel destination: Florence
    The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is currently Giuseppe Betori. Santa Maria del Fiore was built on the site of an earlier
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    Gulou and Zhonglou

    Gulou and Zhonglou

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Gǔlóu (鼓楼), the drum tower of Beijing, is situated at the northern end of the central axis of the Inner City to the north of Di’ anmen Street. Originally built for musical reasons, it was later used to announce the time and is now a tourist attraction. Zhōnglóu (钟楼), the bell tower of Beijing, stands closely behind the drum tower. Together with the drum tower, they provide an overview of central Beijing and before the modern era, they both dominated Beijing's ancient skyline. Bells and drums were musical instruments in ancient China. Later they were used by government and common people as timepieces. The Bell and Drum towers were the center of Chinese chronology during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The Bell and Drum Towers continued to function as the official timepiece of China and government until 1924, when the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty was forced to leave the Forbidden City) and western-style clockwork was made the official means of time-keeping. The Drum Tower was built in 1272 during the reign of Kublai Khan, at which time it stood at the very heart of the Yuan capital Dadu. At that time it was known as the Tower of Orderly Administration (Qizhenglou). In 1420,
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    220
    Kolonaki

    Kolonaki

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    Kolonaki (Greek: Κολωνάκι, pronounced [koloˈnaci]), literally "Little Column" is a neighborhood in central Athens, Greece. It is located on the southwestern slopes of Lycabettus hill. Its name derives from the 2 metre column (located in Kolonaki Square) that defined the area even before a single house had been built there. (See map, with Colonne indicating the column.) Kolonaki is a wealthy, chic and upmarket district, and a fashionable meeting area. As one of the capital's leading shopping areas, it includes a number of high-end boutiques from young adult to casual fashion to prestigious haute couture from Greek and international designers. One of its main shopping streets, Voukourestiou Street, is now known for its jewellery. Museums and galleries also abound in Kolonaki. The Benaki Museum, inside a preserved neoclassical manor house, and the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art and are two of the finest private collections in the country. Two smaller museums to be found in Kolonaki are the Museum of the History of Greek Costume and the Theater Museum, both highly specialized in their respective areas. A walk across the street from Vasilissis Sofias Avenue are the Byzantine Museum,
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    221
    Kunstareal

    Kunstareal

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    The Kunstareal ("art district") is a museum quarter in the city centre of Munich, Germany. It consists of the three "Pinakotheken" galleries (Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne), the Glyptothek, the Staatliche Antikensammlung (both museums are specialized in Greek and Roman art), the Lenbachhaus, the Museum Brandhorst (a private collection of modern art) and several galleries. It is planned to move also the Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptische Kunst (the state collection of Egypt art) to the Kunstareal. The history of the museums in this area of Munich began in 1816 with the erection of the Glyptothek at Königsplatz and will be completed with the new building for the Egyptian Museum (planned for 2010) and the extension of the Lenbachhaus (planned for 2012). Close to the Pinakothek der Moderne the neo-classical Palais Dürckheim (constructed in 1842–44) serves as a building dedicated to bringing art closer to the visitors, while the adjoining Türkentor (1826), the gate of a demolished royal caserne, is set to become a display window for temporary contemporary art. As of 2009 a general project plan is under discussion to ensure the integration of the different
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    Neuschwanstein Castle

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein, pronounced [nɔʏˈʃvaːnʃtaɪn]) is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Contrary to common belief, Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public funds (see below). The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures. The municipality of Schwangau lies at an elevation of 800 m (2,620 ft) at the south west border of the German state of Bavaria. Its surroundings are characterized by the transition between the Alpine foothills in the south (towards the nearby Austrian border) and a hilly
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    Nice Observatory

    Nice Observatory

    • Near travel destination: Nice
    The Observatoire de Nice (Nice Observatory) is an astronomical observatory located in Nice, France on the summit of Mont Gros. The observatory was founded in 1879 by the banker Raphaël Bischoffsheim. The architect was Charles Garnier, and Gustave Eiffel designed the main dome. The 77 cm (30.3 inch) refractor telescope made by Henry and Gautier became operational around 1886–1887, was the largest in a privately funded observatory, and the first at such high altitude (325 m (1,066 ft) above sea level). It was slightly bigger in aperture and several metres longer than the new (1895) 30 inch at Pulkovo observatory in the Russian Empire. The French telescope was also at a higher altitude. The two 30 inch telescopes had taken the crown from the 69 cm at Vienna Observatory (completed early 1880s). All three were outperformed by the 36 in (91 cm) refractor installed at the Lick Observatory in 1889. As a scientific institution, the Nice Observatory no longer exists. It was merged with CERGA in 1988 to form the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur. The Nice Observatory was featured in the 1999 film Simon Sez.
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    Notre Dame de Paris

    Notre Dame de Paris

    • Near travel destination: Paris
    Notre Dame de Paris (IPA: [nɔtʁ dam də paʁi]; French for "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre Dame Cathedral or simply Notre Dame, is a historic Roman Catholic Marian cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. Widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known churches in the world ever built, Notre Dame is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris; that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra (official chair) of the Archbishop of Paris, currently André Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary, which houses the purported crown of thorns, a fragment of the True Cross and one of the Holy Nails – all instruments of the Passion and a few of the most important first-class relics. Notre Dame de Paris is often reputed to be one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture in both France and in Europe as a whole, and the naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The first period of construction from 1163 into 1240s coincided with the musical experiments of
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    Opéra de Monte-Carlo

    Opéra de Monte-Carlo

    • Near travel destination: Monaco
    The Opéra de Monte-Carlo is an opera house, which is part of the Monte Carlo Casino located in the principality of Monaco. With the lack of cultural diversions available in Monaco in the 1870s, Prince Charles III, along with the Société des bains de mer, decided to include a concert hall as part of the casino. The main public entrance to the hall was from the casino, while Charles III's private entrance was on the western side. It opened in 1879 and became known as the Salle Garnier, after the architect Charles Garnier, who designed it. During the renovation of the Salle Garnier in 2004–05, the company presented operas at the Salle des Princes in the local Grimaldi Forum, a modern conference and performance facility where Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra regularly perform. The architect Charles Garnier also designed the Paris opera house now known as the Palais Garnier. The Salle Garnier is much smaller, seating 524, compared to about 2,000 for the Palais Garnier, and unlike the Paris theatre, which was started in 1861 and only completed in 1875, the Salle Garnier was constructed in only eight and a half months. Nevertheless, its ornate style
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    Wangfujing

    Wangfujing

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    Wángfǔjǐng (Chinese: 王府井; pinyin: Wángfǔjǐng; literally "Prince's Mansion well"), located in Dongcheng District, Beijing, and is one of the Chinese capital's most famous shopping streets. The majority of the main shopping area is pedestrianised and is very popular for shopping for both tourists and residents of the capital. Since the middle of the Ming Dynasty there have been commercial activities in this place. In the Qing Dynasty, ten aristocratic estates and princess residence were built here, soon after when a well full of sweet water was discovered, thereby giving the street its name "Wang Fu" (princely residence), "Jing" (well). In 1903, Dong'an market was formed. It starts from Wangfujing Nankou ("south entrance"), where the Oriental Plaza and the Beijing Hotel are located and the Wangfujing Subway Station north exits. The street then heads north, passing the Wangfujing Xinhua Bookstore, the Beijing Department Store as well as the Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore before ending at the Xin Dong An Plaza and Wangfujing Catholic Church. The street was also previously known as Morrison Street in English, after the Australian journalist George Ernest Morrison. Wangfujing is
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    Abemama

    Abemama

    Abemama (also Abamama, Apamama, Dundas, Hopper Island, Roger Simpson Island or Simpson Island) is an atoll in the central part of the Kiribati (Gilberts) Group located 152 kilometres southeast of Tarawa and just north of the Equator. It has an area of 16 square kilometres and an estimated population of 3,608. The islets surround a deep lagoon. The eastern part of the atoll of Abemama is linked together by causeways making automobile traffic possible between the different islets. The outlying islands of Abatiku and Bike are situated on the southwestern side of the atoll. The village of Kariatebike serves as the government center for the atoll which includes an administration building, the police station and a hospital. During the 19th century the Gilbert Islands ruling family had its seat on Ademama. Abemama is known as the island where the declaration of a British Protectorate was first proclaimed by Captain Davis of HMS Royalist (1883) on 27 May 1892. Robert Louis Stevenson, Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson and her son Lloyd Osbourne spent 2 months on Abemama in 1889. Near Tabontebike is the tomb of tyrant-chief Tem Binoka, who was immortalized by Stevenson in his account of the 1889
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    Albanian Riviera

    Albanian Riviera

    • Near travel destination: Vlorë
    Albanian Riviera (Albanian: Riviera shqiptare/Bregu) is a coastal area in the County of Vlorë running along the Ionian Sea under the Ceraunian Mountains in Southern Albania. It should not be confused with the Albanian coastline as a whole which includes both the Riviera and the mostly flat coastline of central and north Albania. Traditionally, the region begins south of Llogara National Park, continues down along the coast through the villages of Borsh, Himara, Qeparo, Piqeras, and ends at Lukovë. Other sources mark Sarandë or Tongo Island as the end point, and Vlorë or Karaburun Peninsula as the start point. The Albanian riviera was procclaimed as the 2012 Top Value Destination by Frommer's. In 2009, the region gained international attention after the reconstruction of the coastal road SH8, DJ Tiesto's tour stop in Dhermi, and the filming of a Top Gear episode featuring a breath-taking car pursuit along the winding coastal road. and Bon Jovi's and Roger Taylor's holiday stops along the coast. The area is a major nightlife, ecotourist, and elite retreat destination in Albania. The region features traditional Mediterranean villages, ancient castles, and Orthodox churches. In fact,
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    Baths of Caracalla

    Baths of Caracalla

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Baths of Caracalla (Italian: Terme di Caracalla) in Rome, Italy were Roman public baths, or thermae, built in Rome between AD 212 and 216, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. Chris Scarre provides a slightly longer construction period 211-217 AD. They would have had to install over 2,000 tons of material every day for 6 years in order to complete it in this time period. Records show that the idea for the baths were drawn up by Septimius Severus, and merely completed or opened in the lifetime of Caracalla. This would allow for a longer construction timeframe. They are today a tourist attraction. The baths remained in use until the 6th century when the complex was taken by the Ostrogoths during the Gothic War, at which time the hydraulic installations were destroyed. The bath was free and open to the public. The building was heated by a hypocaust, a system of burning coal and wood underneath the ground to heat water provided by a dedicated aqueduct. It was in use up to the 19th century. The Aqua Marcia aqueduct by Caracalla was specifically built to serve the baths. It was most likely reconstructed by Garbrecht and Manderscheid to its current place. In the 19th and early
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    230
    Beijing Ancient Observatory

    Beijing Ancient Observatory

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Beijing Ancient Observatory (simplified Chinese: 北京古观象台; traditional Chinese: 北京古觀象台; pinyin: Běijīng Gǔ Guānxiàngtái) is a pretelescopic observatory located in Beijing, China. The revolutionary tools used within this ancient observatory were built in 1442 during the Ming Dynasty, and later amended during the Qing. As one of the oldest observatories in the world, the Beijing Ancient Observatory grounds cover an area of 10,000 square meters. The observatory itself is located on a 15 meter tall brick platform and about 40 x 40 square meters wide, an extant portion of the old Ming Dynasty era city wall that once encircled Beijing. Several of the bronze astronomical instruments are on the platform, and other armillary spheres, sundials, and other instruments are located nearby at ground level. It is operated as a museum in affiliation with Beijing Planetarium. It was said that in 1227, the Jin Dynasty transferred the ancient astronomical instruments from Kaifeng to the first observatory in Beijing. In 1279, the succeeding Mongols under Kublai Khan built a new observatory just north of the current observatory. After the Mongols, Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding Ming Emperor, transferred
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    Colosseum

    Colosseum

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, built of concrete and stone. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia). Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. Although in the 21st century it stays
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    Dandenong Ranges

    Dandenong Ranges

    • Near travel destination: Melbourne
    The Dandenong Ranges (commonly just the Dandenongs) are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, approximately 35 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ranges consist mostly of rolling hills, steeply weathered valleys and gullies covered in thick temperate rainforest, predominantly of tall Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth. After European settlement in the region, the range was used as a main source of timber for Melbourne. The ranges were popular with day-trippers from the 1870s onwards. Much of the Dandenongs were protected by parklands as early as 1882 and by 1987 these parklands were amalgamated to form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was added to again in 1997. The range experiences light to moderate snow falls a few times most years, frequently between late winter and late spring. Today, the Dandenongs are home to over 100,000 residents and the area is popular amongst visitors, many of which stay for the weekend at the various Bed & Breakfasts through the region. The popular Puffing Billy Railway, a heritage steam railway, runs through the southern parts of the Dandenongs. The etymology of the Dandenongs is a
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    Great Ocean Road

    Great Ocean Road

    • Near travel destination: Melbourne
    The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I. It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations. The Great Ocean Road, officially designated as the B100, begins at Torquay and travels 243 kilometres westward to finish at Allansford near Warrnambool, the largest city along the road. The road is two lane (one in each direction), with the majority covered by an 80 kilometre per hour speed limit. The road is considered a tourist attraction in the area, in which much of the road hugs coastline affectionately known as the Shipwreck Coast, providing visibility of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. The road traverses rainforests, as well as beaches and cliffs composed of limestone and sandstone, which is
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    Hadrian's Villa

    Hadrian's Villa

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana in Italian) is a large Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy. The villa was constructed at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD. Hadrian was said to dislike the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa. A large court therefore lived there permanently. The postal service kept it in contact with Rome 18 miles (29 km) away. After Hadrian, the villa was used by his various successors. During the decline of the Roman Empire the villa fell into disuse and was partially ruined. In the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este had much of the marble and statues in Hadrian's villa removed to decorate his own Villa d'Este located nearby. Hadrian's villa was a complex of over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least 1 square kilometre (c. 250 acres) of which much is still unexcavated. The villa was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape. The complex included palaces, several thermae,
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    Kangari Hills Forest Reserve

    Kangari Hills Forest Reserve

    • Near travel destination: Bo
    Kangari Hills Forest Reserve is a non-hunting forest reserve in centre of Sierra Leone. The area became a forest reserve in 1924. Laying between 200 and 500 metres above sea level the Reserve has an area of 8,573 hectares (85.73 km²), although parts of this area have been encroached upon by farming and mining. The Reserve is one of the few places in Sierra Leone where the endangered forest elephant survives. Protected areas of Sierra Leone
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    Lombard Street

    Lombard Street

    • Near travel destination: San Francisco
    Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. Lombard Street begins at Presidio Boulevard inside The Presidio and runs east through the Cow Hollow neighborhood. For twelve blocks, between Broderick Street and Van Ness Avenue, it is a principal arterial road that is co-signed as U.S. Route 101. Lombard Street then continues through the Russian Hill neighborhood and onto the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. At Telegraph Hill it breaks off to the south, becoming Telegraph Hill Boulevard, leading to Pioneer Park and Coit Tower. Lombard Street starts again at Winthrop Street and finally terminates at The Embarcadero as a collector road. Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest (most winding) street in the world (though this title is contested - see "See Also" links). The switchback's design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry and instituted in 1922, was born out of necessity
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    Old Summer Palace

    Old Summer Palace

    • Near travel destination: Beijing
    The Old Summer Palace, known in Chinese as Yuan Ming Yuan (the Gardens of Perfect Brightness), and originally called the Imperial Gardens, was a complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing. It is located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) northwest of the walls of the Imperial City, built in the 18th and early 19th century, where the emperors of the Qing Dynasty resided and handled government affairs (the Forbidden City was used for formal ceremonies). Known for its extensive collection of garden and building architectures and other works of art (a popular name in China was the "Garden of Gardens", simplified Chinese: 万园之园; traditional Chinese: 萬園之園; pinyin: wàn yuán zhī yuán). In 1860 during the Second Opium War, two British envoys, a journalist for The Times and their small escort of British and Indian troopers met with the Royal Prince to negotiate. They were imprisoned and tortured, resulting in twenty deaths. The British High Commissioner to China, Lord Elgin, retaliated by ordering the destruction of the palace, which was then carried out by British and French troops. The Old Summer Palace is located in Haidian District just outside the west gate of Tsinghua University, north of Peking
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    Palazzo Farnese

    Palazzo Farnese

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Palazzo Farnese is one of the most important High Renaissance palaces in Rome. Owned by the Italian state, it was given to the French Government in 1936 for a period of 99 years, and currently serves as the French embassy in Italy. First designed in 1517 for the Farnese family, the building expanded in size and conception when Alessandro Farnese became Pope Paul III in 1534, to designs by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. Its building history involved some of the most prominent Italian architects of the 16th century, including Michelangelo, Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola and Giacomo della Porta. At the end of the 16th century, the important fresco cycle of The Loves of the Gods in the Farnese Gallery was carried out by the Bolognese painter Annibale Carracci, marking the beginning of two divergent trends in painting during the 17th century, the Roman High Baroque and Classicism. The famous Farnese sculpture collection, now in the National Archeological Museum of Naples, as well as other Farnese collections, now mostly in Capodimonte Museum in Naples, were accommodated in the palace. "The most imposing Italian palace of the 16th century", according to Sir Banister Fletcher, this palace
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    Piazza del Popolo

    Piazza del Popolo

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means "People's Square", but historically it derives from the poplars (populus in Latin, pioppo in Italian) after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name. The piazza lies inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, and now called the Porta del Popolo. This was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern day Rimini) and the most important route to the north. At the same time, before the age of railroads, it was the traveller's first view of Rome upon arrival. For centuries, the Piazza del Popolo was a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826. The layout of the piazza today was designed in neoclassical style between 1811 and 1822 by the architect Giuseppe Valadier, He removed a modest fountain by Giacomo Della Porta, erected in 1572, and demolished some insignificant buildings and haphazard high screening walls to form two semicircles, reminiscent of Bernini's plan for St. Peter's Square, replacing the original cramped trapezoidal square centred
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    Prince's Palace of Monaco

    Prince's Palace of Monaco

    • Near travel destination: Monaco
    The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldi ruled the area first as feudal lords, and from the 17th century as sovereign princes, but their power was often derived from fragile agreements with their larger and stronger neighbours. Thus while other European sovereigns were building luxurious, modern Renaissance and Baroque palaces, politics and common sense demanded that the palace of the Monegasque rulers be fortified. This unique requirement, at such a late stage in history, has made the palace at Monaco one of the most unusual in Europe. Ironically, when its fortifications were finally relaxed during the late 18th century, it was seized by the French and stripped of its treasures, and fell into decline, while the Grimaldi were exiled for over 20 years. The Grimaldi's occupation of their palace is also unusual because, unlike other European ruling families, the absence of
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    Promenade de la Croisette

    Promenade de la Croisette

    • Near travel destination: Cannes
    The Promenade de la Croisette (pronounced: [pʀɔmənad də la kʁwazɛt]) (or Boulevard de la Croisette) (French: "Little Cross Drive") is a prominent road in Cannes, France. It stretches along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and is about 2 km long. The Croisette is known for the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, where the Cannes Film Festival (Le Festival International du Film de Cannes) is held. Many expensive shops, restaurants, and hotels (such as the Carlton, Majestic, JW Marriott Cannes, Chanel and Martinez) line the road. It goes completely along the coastline of Cannes. The Croisette is listed in the cultural heritage general inventory of France .
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    Promenade des Anglais

    Promenade des Anglais

    • Near travel destination: Nice
    The Promenade des Anglais (Niçard: Camin deis Anglés, English: English Promenade) is a celebrated promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice, France. Before Nice was urbanized, the coast at Nice was just bordered by a deserted band of beach. The first houses were located on higher ground well away from the sea. Starting in the second half of the 18th century, the English took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. When a particularly harsh winter up north brought an influx of beggars to Nice, some of the rich Englishmen proposed a useful project for them: the construction of a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea. The city of Nice, intrigued by the prospect of a pleasant promenade, greatly increased the scope of the work. The Promenade was first called the Camin deis Anglés (the English Way) by the Niçois in their native dialect Nissart. After the annexation of Nice by France in 1860 it was rechristened La Promenade des Anglais, replacing the former Nissart name with its French translation. For the local inhabitants, the Promenade des Anglais has simply become the Promenade or, for short, La Prom. On Sundays, bicyclists, babystrollers, and
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    Quirinal Palace

    Quirinal Palace

    • Near travel destination: Rome
    The Quirinal Palace (known in Italian as the Palazzo del Quirinale or simply Quirinale) is a historic building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic. The current site of the palace has been in use since Roman times, as excavations in the gardens testify. On this hill, the Romans built temples to several deities, from the Flora to Quirinus, after whom the hill was named. During the reign of Constantine the last complex of Roman baths was built here, as the statues of the twins Castor and Pollux taming the horses decorating the fountain in the square testify. The Quirinal, being the highest hill in Rome, was very sought after and became a popular spot for the Roman patricians, who built their luxurious villas. An example of those are the remains of a villa in the Quirinal gardens, where a mosaic, part of the old floor has been found. The palace, located on the Via del Quirinale and facing onto the Piazza del Quirinale, was built in 1583 by Pope Gregory XIII as a papal summer
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    Royal Palace of Turin

    Royal Palace of Turin

    • Near travel destination: Turin
    Royal Palace of Turin or Palazzo Reale, is a palace in Turin, northern Italy. It was the royal palace of the House of Savoy. It was modernised greatly by the French born Madama Reale Christine Marie of France (1606–1663) in the 17th century. The palace was worked on by Filippo Juvarra. It includes the Palazzo Chiablese. In the reign of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1528–1580), the site was once part of an old Bishops palace in the center of the new capital of Savoy, Turin. From this palace, the Duke was able to monitor the two entrances of the city - the Palatine and Pretoria gates. The old palace in Turin was thus abandoned and had previously been the residence of the French Viceroys of Savoy who were appointed by Francis I of France having captured Savoy 1536. Opposite the bishops palace was the Palazzo Vecchio or the Palazzo di San Giovanni. These would later be swallowed up by the grander Ducal Palace. The old Bishops Palace thus became the seat of power and was greatly expanded by Emmanuel Philibert in order to house his ever expanding collections of art, animals, marbles and furniture. Emmanuel Philibert died in Turin in August 1580 and the Savoyard throne was handed on
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    St. Michael's Church, Munich

    St. Michael's Church, Munich

    • Near travel destination: Munich
    St Michael is a Jesuit church in Munich, southern Germany, the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps. The style of the building had an enormous influence on Southern German early Baroque architecture. The church was built by William V, Duke of Bavaria between 1583 and 1597 as a spiritual center for the Counter Reformation. The foundation stone was laid in 1585. In order to realise his ambitious plans for the church and the adjoining college, Duke Wilhelm had 87 houses in the best location pulled down, ignoring the protests of the citizens. The church was erected in two stages. In the first stage (1583-88), the church was built by the model of Il Gesù in Rome and given a barrel-vaulted roof by an unknown architect, the vault being the largest in the world apart from that of St Peter's in Rome, spanning freely more than 20 meters. When the church was built, there were doubts about the stability of the vaulting. But it was the tower that collapsed in 1590, destroying the just completed quire. Duke William V took it as a bad omen and so planned to build a much larger church. The second phase of construction continued until the consecration of the church in 1597. Friedrich
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    Stonehenge

    Stonehenge

    • Near travel destination: Wiltshire
    Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 2.0 miles (3.2 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks. It is at the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe the stone monument was constructed anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, as described in the chronology below. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were erected in 2400–2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been erected at the site as early as 3000 BC (see phase 1 below). The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury Henge monument. It is a national legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage, while the surrounding
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    Vienna Rathaus

    Vienna Rathaus

    • Near travel destination: Vienna
    The Rathaus is a building in Vienna which serves as the seat both of the mayor and city council of the city of Vienna. The town hall also serves, in personal union, as Governor and Assembly (Landtag) of the State of Vienna, a state with the Austrian federal system. The Rathaus was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in the Gothic style, and built between 1872 and 1883. On the top of the tower is the Rathausmann, one of the symbols of Vienna. Facing the Rathaus is a large park, the Rathauspark. The Rathaus also accommodates the historic 'Wiener Rathauskeller' restaurant. The traditional restaurant consists of several baroque halls, offering small traditional Viennese delicacies to grand gala buffets. On September 27, 2012 renovation work started on what is expected to be a 35 million euro project to renovate the building by the year 2023 when the work – expected to take place in 11 stages and affecting 40,000 m² – will be complete. Recently finished renovations (2000) include the re-opening of the neo-baroque Salon Ziehrer and the redesigned Lanner-Lehar Hall with wall and ceiling murals by German Trompe-l'œil artist Rainer Maria Latzke.
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    White House

    White House

    • Near travel destination: Washington, D.C.
    The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical style. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) expanded the building outward, creating two colonnades that were meant to conceal stables and storage. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed house in October 1817. Construction continued with the addition of the South Portico in 1824 and the North in 1829. Because of crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had all work offices relocated to the newly constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later, President William Howard Taft expanded the West
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    Willis Tower

    Willis Tower

    • Near travel destination: Chicago
    Willis Tower (formerly named and still commonly referred to as Sears Tower) is a 108-story, 1,451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of its completion in 1973, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York, and it held this rank for nearly 25 years. The Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world. The skyscraper is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago, and over one million people visit its observation deck each year. Although Sears' naming rights expired in 2003, the building continued to be called the Sears Tower for several years. In March 2009, London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings agreed to lease a portion of the building, and obtained the building's naming rights. On July 16, 2009, the building was officially renamed the Willis Tower. On August 13, 2012, United Airlines announced it will be moving its corporate headquarters from 77 West Wacker Drive to the Willis Tower. In 1969, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was the largest retailer in the world, with approximately 350,000 employees. Sears executives decided
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    Zappeion

    Zappeion

    • Near travel destination: Athens
    The Zappeion (Greek: Ζάππειον Μέγαρο, Záppeion Mégaro) is a building in the National Gardens of Athens in the heart of Athens, Greece. It is generally used for meetings and ceremonies, both official and private. In 1869, the Greek Parliament allocated 80,000 square metres (860,000 sq ft) of public land between the Palace Gardens and the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus, and also passed a law on 30 November 1869, "for the building works of the Olympic Games", as the Zappeion was the first building to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world. The ancient Panathenian stadium was also refurbished as part of the works for the Olympic Games. Following some delay, on 20 January 1874, the cornerstone of the building was laid; this new building would be designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen. Finally, on 20 October 1888, the Zappeion opened. Unfortunately for its benefactor, Evangelis Zappas, he did not live long enough to see the Zappeion built, and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas was nominated by Evangelos Zappas to complete the building. The Austrian Parliament Building was also designed by Hansen and followed the same theme in the
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