Thursday, October 2, 2014

100 STUNNING WONDERS OF THE WORLD PART 1

1 Machu Picchu. Cusco, Peru.

Machu Picchu (literally, "old peak of" true name unknown), sometimes referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas." The city is located on the top of a ridge at an altitude of 2057 meters above the valley of the Urubamba River in present-day Peru. This city was established as a sacred mountain shelter a great ruler of the Inca Pachacutec in the century before the conquest of his empire, that is, about 1440, and operated until 1532, when the Spanish invaded the Inca empire. However, before the settlement of Machu Picchu Spanish conquistadors never reached, and the city was not destroyed. Therefore still remains a mystery, where and why mysteriously disappeared all of its inhabitants in the distant 1532. There is speculation that it was the winter residence of Pachacutec. After the collapse of the Inca empire, the city lost its importance, and the inhabitants had left him forever.
 

According to its modest size Machu Picchu can not claim to be a large city - it in no more than 200 structures. This is mainly temples, residences, warehouses and other facilities for public use. For the most part they are composed of well-crafted stone, closely fitted to each other plates. It is believed that in it and around it lived up to 1,200 people, who worshiped the sun god Inti and cultivated crops on the terraces. More than 400 years, the city was abandoned and was in ruins. It found an American researcher at Yale University professor Hiram Bingham in 1911. When he got here, accompanied by a dedicated government unit care and local boy-conductor, he found the peasants living there. In addition, here before already visited attractions lovers who leave their names inscribed on the charcoal granite walls.
 

Machu Picchu has a very clear structure. In the south-east of the palace buildings complex guessed. Rocks, of which they are composed, processed so thoroughly that it is safe to say that it was the home of dignitaries and nobles. In the western part of the main temple stands the altar of sacrifice. Opposite him a residential area, a densely built two-story houses.Between them, as in the maze, twisted narrow streets and staircases, often resulting in a deadlock or hanging over the abyss terrace. In the south-eastern tip of the Machu Picchu Inca masons built two impressive design - a semi-circular tower and the adjacent structure. From the Sacred area on the granite slope with terraces, the long staircase can be very difficult to get to the top of the cliff, there is a large, carved stone polygonal "Intiuatana" or "place where the sun is tied." Bingham thought that here the Incas symbolically "tied" the sun, so it does not run away from them during the winter solstice. This elegant, carved into the rock and stone could be a solar observatory, where the priests determined the best time to start planting or harvest, following the disappearance of the shadows from the sun during the fall and spring equinox.
 

To build a city in such an inconvenient place for the construction, required incredible skill. According to today's professionals, more than half of the effort spent on construction, was spent on site preparation, drainage and work on laying the foundation. Massive retaining walls and stepped terraces over 500 years kept the city without giving rains and landslides carry it with rock cornice. Heirs of the Andean cultures and to this day believe Machu Picchu symbol of their connection with the great civilization of the past. journey from Machu Picchu in Cusco - a lovely piece of art Inca builders. Even in the rainy season the road in good condition. The whole empire was swept wide communications network, the length of about 40 thousand. Km. The roads in the Inca state had primarily of strategic importance - on them had to go through the army. In addition, they have contributed to the cultural exchange between all areas of the state. Thanks dear people learn from each other the art of pottery, weaving, metalworking, architecture and construction.
2.Piramidy in Giza, Cairo, Egypt.

The complex of pyramids in Giza is located on the Giza Plateau on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments is located about eight kilometers in the direction of the center of the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile.This Ancient Egyptian necropolis consists of the Pyramid of Khufu (also known as the Great Pyramid or the Pyramid of Cheops), the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, as well as a number of smaller accompanying buildings, known as the pyramid "queens", sidewalks, and the pyramid of the valley. The Great Sphinx is located on the eastern side of the complex facing east. Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu or) - the largest of the pyramids of Egypt, the only one of the "Seven Wonders of the World" that has survived to the present day.
 

Original height of the pyramid was 146.6 meters (approximately pyatidesyatietazhny skyscraper), but because of the loss caused by the earthquake crowning granite block "pyramidion" - its height to date decreased by 9.4 meters and is 137.2 meters. Length of the side of the pyramid - 230 meters. It is composed of approximately 2.3 million cubic meters of stone, stacked in tiers 203 (originally 210). Average weight of the stone - 2.5 tons, but there are larger, whose weight up to 15 tons. Time of construction is unknown. According to one legend, the pyramid was built in the XXVI century BC Pharaoh Khufu (2590-2568 BC), a Greek his name was "Cheops". The architect of the pyramid is considered Hemiun Vizier and relative Cheops. According to Herodotus, 100,000 workers, who succeeded each other every three months, built a pyramid of about 20-25 years. But this figure is that of modern scholars doubt. According to their calculations, only 8 000 people could easily build a pyramid without interfering with each other.
 

Circumstances and the exact time of the erection of the Sphinx still remain mysterious. Adopted in the current literature of ancient authors judgment that its builder was Chephren (Khafre), supported only by the fact that the construction of the temple with a statue used stone blocks of the same size as in the construction of the nearby pyramids. Further complicates the issue of customer statue of the fact that the statue's face has Negroid features, which differs from other Save Image Khafre and his relatives. Scientists are finding using a computer with the face of the Sphinx signed statues of Khafre, came to the conclusion that they can not represent the same person. Starting from the 1950s. in the popular literature dating of the Sphinx during the Old Kingdom became questioned. It has been argued that the lower part of the Sphinx is a classic example of the erosion caused by the prolonged presence of a stone in the water. Last time the appropriate level of precipitation was observed in Egypt at the turn of IV and III millennium. BCE. e., that, according to proponents of this theory, points to the creation of the statue in the pre-dynastic period or even earlier.
 

The relatively small size of the head of the Boston prompted historian Robert Schoch assume that the statue was originally muzzle of a lion, of which one of the pharaohs ordered to carve mysteriously smiling human face in his own image and likeness. This hypothesis has not found acceptance in the scientific community. Over the years, the Sphinx turned to the shoulders buried in the sand. Attempts were made to dig it in antiquity Thutmose IV and Ramses II. In 1817, the Italians managed to clear sand from the entire chest of the Sphinx, and he was fully exempted from thousands of years of sand deposits in 1925.
Iguazu Falls 3, Park Iguazu, Argentina.

Iguazu Falls - a set of waterfalls on the Iguazu River located on the border of Brazil (Paraná) and Argentina (Misiones region). Falls are on the border of Argentine and Brazilian national parks "Iguazu". The name Iguazu comes from the Guarani words in the language: and (water) and Guacu (large). Legend has it that God wanted to marry a beautiful Aboriginal name Naipu, but she fled with her ​​lover in a canoe. In anger, God cut the river, creating the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. Falls were discovered in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador Don Alvaro Nunez Kasese de Vaca, went to the South American jungle in search of gold and adventure.
 

The complex has a width of 2.7 km and comprises approximately 270 individual falls. Height of the drop of water is about 82 meters, but most falls - a little more than 60 meters. The largest waterfall - Garganta del Diablo («Devil's Throat») - U-shaped open a width of 150 and a length of 700 meters. This waterfall marks the border between Brazil and Argentina. During the dry season, visitors can see two separate falls in the form of two crescents. During the dry season is less rainfall and the water level in the river Iguazu reduced. As a result, flows into the waterfall Iguazu less water, so that it is divided into two individual falls. During the wet season, these two half-moon are joined together to form one large waterfall width of about 4 km.
 

Many islands (including quite large) waterfalls separated from each other. Most of the falls are within Argentine territory, but from Brazil offers a good view of the "Devil's Throat". In the vicinity is the Iguazu National Park, where visitors can explore the wildlife and vegetation. On the rivers Parana and Iguazu excursions by boat. You can also visit the dam Itaipu, one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world.
 
4 Taj Mahal Agra, India.

Taj Mahal - the mausoleum-mosque, located in Agra, India, on the banks of river Yamuna. Time of construction dates back to about 1630-1652 years. Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth (later was buried there himself Shah Jahan). Inside the mausoleum are two tombs - the Shah and his wife. Place of burial is in the same place and the tomb, but underground.
 

Taj Mahal is a five-domed building height of 74 m on the platform, with 4 minarets at the corners (they are slightly tilted away from the tomb, in order that in case of failure not to damage it), which adjoins the garden with fountains and a swimming pool. The walls are made of translucent polished marble inlaid with semi-precious stones. Were used turquoise, agate, malachite, carnelian and others. Marble has the peculiarity that in bright daylight it looks white, it looks at the dawn of pink and silver in the moonlight.
 

For the construction of the complex was invited more than 20,000 artists from all over the empire, as well as the master of Central Asia, Persia and the Middle East. On the other side of the river was located building twin black marble, but it was not completed. Connect the two buildings had a bridge made of gray marble. The mausoleum has numerous symbols hidden in its architecture and layout. For example, the gate through which visitors enter the Taj Mahal in the park complex surrounding the mausoleum carved a quote from the Koran, converted to the righteous, and ending with the words "enter into my paradise." Given that the language of the Mughals that time the word "paradise" and "garden" written the same way, we can understand the plan of Shah Jahan - the construction of paradise and putting it in the range of his beloved. On the left side of the tomb is a mosque made of red sandstone. Right replica of the mosque. The entire complex has an axial symmetry. The Shrine has a central symmetry with respect to the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. The only violation of this symmetry is the tomb of Shah Jahan, which built there after his death.
5 Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA.

Grand Canyon or the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world. Located on the Colorado Plateau, Arizona, United States, within the national park Grand Canyon. Cut by the Colorado River in the thickness of limestone, shale and sandstone. The length of the canyon 446 kilometers. The width (at the plateau) is between 6 and 29 kilometers at the bottom level - less than one kilometer. Depth - up to 1600 meters.
 

Initially, the Colorado River flowed across the plain, but as a result of movements of the earth's crust about 65 million years ago the Colorado Plateau rose. As a result, the plateau uplift, change the angle of the flow of the Colorado River, resulting in increased speed and its ability to destroy the rock that lies in its path. First of all, the river has eroded the upper limestone, and then set about a deep and ancient sandstones and shales. So about 5-6 million years ago formed the Grand Canyon.Canyon and is now growing due to continued erosion.
 

Native Americans (Indians) knew about the Grand Canyon even thousands of years ago. Among the first signs of life in the canyon include rock paintings that were created by Indians about 3 thousand years ago. In 1540, the Grand Canyon was discovered by a group of Spanish soldiers, under the command of Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, traveling in search of gold.Several Spanish soldiers accompanied by Hopi Indians tried to go to the bottom of the canyon, but had to return due to lack of drinking water. Since then, the canyon is not visited by Europeans for more than two centuries. The first scientific expedition to the Grand Canyon, led by John Powell Weasley, was held in 1869. Powell researched and described the canyon.In 1903, Canyon visited President Theodore Roosevelt, he also declared it a national monument in 1909.


6 The Great Wall, Badaling, China.

Great Wall of China (translated from the language pinyin - "The long wall of 10,000 li") - the largest monument of architecture. Passes through northern China over 6350 km. Construction of the first wall began in the III century BC. e.during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang-ti (Qin Dynasty), in the period of the "Warring States» (V-III centuries. BC. e.) to protect the state from the raids of the nomadic Xiongnu people. In construction, then participated fifth of the population, ie. E. Approximately one million people. The wall was to serve at the northern line of the possible expansion of the Chinese themselves, it also had to protect the citizens, "the Middle Kingdom" from the transition to a semi-nomadic life, from the confluence with the barbarians. Wall clearly fixed boundaries of Chinese civilization, contributed to the consolidation of a single empire, just made ​​up of a number of the conquered kingdoms.
 

During the reign of the Han dynasty (III century BC) Wall was extended west to Dunhuang. Also, the line was built watchtowers, goes deep into the desert, to protect the trade caravans of the nomads. Those sections of the Great Wall of China, which have survived to our time, were built mainly during the Ming Dynasty (XIV-XVII centuries.). In this era of basic building materials were brick and stone blocks, makes the design more robust. During the reign of Ming Wall stretches from east to west from Shanhaiguan outposts on the coast of the Bohai Sea to the Yellow Sea frontier Yuymenguan at the junction of the modern provinces of Gansu and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Manchurian Qing Dynasty (mid XVII. - Beg. XX c.), Breaking the wall with the betrayal I Sanguya, reacted to the walls with disdain. Over three centuries of its reign of the Great Wall is almost collapsed under the influence of time. Only a small portion of it near Beijing - Badaling - maintained in order. He served as a kind of "gateway to the capital."
 

In 1984, on the initiative of Deng Xiaoping launched a program for the restoration of the Great Wall of China, financed by the Chinese and foreign companies as well as individuals. It is reported that the 60-kilometer stretch of wall in the region Mingin Shanxi province in the north-west of the country is exposed to active erosion. The reason - the intensive farming practices in China since the 1950s, which led to the draining of groundwater, as a result, the region became the main source and center of origin of powerful sandstorms. More than 40 kilometers of the wall has disappeared, and only 10 km far are in place, but the height of the wall in some places reduced from five to two meters.
7 Petra (Wadi Musa), Jordan.

Peter - the capital of Edom, or Idumea, and later the capital of the Nabataean kingdom, the main city of the sons of Esau.The city is located on the territory of present-day Jordan, at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level and 660 meters above the surrounding terrain, the Arava Valley, in the narrow canyon Siq. Pass into the valley through the gorge, located in the north and the south, while the east and west cliffs steeply break off, forming a natural wall of up to 60 meters in height.Peter was located at the crossroads of two important trade routes: one connected the Red Sea to Damascus, the other - the Persian Gulf with Gaza in the Mediterranean coast. Dispatched from Gulf caravans with spices weeks had bravely endure the harsh conditions of the Arabian desert, until they reached the cool narrow canyon Siq, leading to the long-awaited Peter.There travelers found food, shelter and life-giving water cooler.
 

Each year, the level of rainfall in Petra is only about 15 centimeters. To get water locals cut down the channels and reservoirs in the rocks. Over time, almost every drop of rain in Petra and the surrounding area is collected and stored. Due to the water, which the inhabitants of Petra skillfully maintained, they could grow crops and raise camels. In addition, they were able to build a city - a center of trade. Until now, all over the canyon Siq the winding stone channels flowing water. Hundreds of years of trade brought great wealth of Petra. But when the Romans discovered the sea routes to the East, the land of spices trade almost ceased, and Peter gradually emptied, lost in the sands. Many buildings were erected Petra at different times and under different host city, among which were the Edomites (18-2 cc. BC. E.), The Nabateans (2-106 BC. E.), The Romans (106-395 gg. BC. e.), Byzantines and Arabs. In the XII century BC. e. they owned the Crusaders. The first European to new time Peter saw and described traveled incognito Swiss Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Near the ancient theater where you can see the building era of the Edomites or the Nabataeans. Monuments is erected after the VI century BC there is little, because at that time the city has lost its meaning.


 

The inhabitants of Petra skillfully mastered the art of working with stone. The name "Peter" (which means "rock") is associated with the stone. Nabateans, who built the city, carved houses, tombs and temples of stone blocks. The famous rock temple-mausoleum of El-Khazneh, "The Treasury of Pharaoh," as the Arabs call it, was created in the II. - Possibly in connection with a visit to Syria by the Emperor Hadrian. The exact purpose of the construction has not been fully elucidated.Petra territory occupies a large area. From the center where the well-preserved ruins of many buildings, not rock, and lined up in the traditional way, from a stone, it stretches for several kilometers. The main street, stretching from east to west through the city, was built in Roman times. On both sides of it, a majestic colonnade. The western end of the street rests on the great temple, and the Eastern ended trehprolёtnoy triumphal arch. Ed-Deir, carved into the rock cliff-top monastery - a huge building width of about 50 m and a height of more than 45 m. Judging by the carved crosses on the walls of the temple for some time served as a Christian church.
 

Today, nearly half a million tourists visit Jordan every year to look at Peter, the structure of which testify to its glorious past.When tourists pass through the Siq canyon cool kilometer long, around the corner it opens Treasury - a majestic building with a facade, carved out of a huge rock. This is one of the best preserved structures of the first century. The building is crowned by a huge urn of stone, which supposedly kept gold and precious stones. Canyon gradually expanded, and tourists get in a natural amphitheater in the sandstone walls of which many caves. But the thing that catches your eye - a drilled hole in rock tombs. Colonnade and amphitheater indicate the presence of the Romans in the first and second centuries.
8 Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Kenya


Serengeti National Park - national park in the territory of the Serengeti savanna, located in Tanzania and Kenya. Savannah extends from the north of Tanzania, east of Lake Victoria, to the south of Kenya and covers an area of about 30 thousand. Sq. km. The name comes from the Maasai word «siringet», meaning "extended area". Serengeti is located at an altitude of 920 to 1850 m above sea level and its landscape varies from long or short grass on the south to the hills covered with forests in the north. For Serengeti characterized clusters (more than 1.5 million head) of wild ungulates (antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes, hippos), normal (elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, etc.). Year-round relentless migration of large herds of ungulates, who are looking for a watering place, is considered one of the most striking seasonal phenomena in the wild.
 


The world's largest pride of lions, or, as it is called zoologists - pride of lions was discovered in the park of Serengeti in 2005.Pride consists of 41 lions. Bossed them three adult males, each of which - 10 years. In the pack also includes eight 4-year-old lionesses and 9 young "princesses" who turned two years old. More Pride in live 13 cubs aged 4 months to a year.Nowhere in Africa had not been such a big pack.
 


First of these places Europeans learned only in 1913. Unfortunately, like all the territory of the British colonies in East Africa, the Serengeti Plains quickly became a place of pilgrimage hunters from Europe. The national park was founded in 1940 due to the danger of destruction of large animals many hunters, both local and from other countries.
 
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9 Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Victoria - Falls on the Zambezi River in South Africa. Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The width of the waterfall - about 1800 meters, height - 128 meters. Scottish explorer David Livingstone visited the falls in 1855 and named it in honor of Queen Victoria. Earlier, the waterfall was known among the locals as "Rumbling Smoke» («Mosi-oa-Tunya»). The waterfall is located approximately in the middle of the river Zambezi. Above the falls of the Zambezi flows over a flat plate basalt in the valley bounded by low hills and rare sandstone. In the course of the river islands are located, the number of which increases as you get closer to the falls. The waterfall itself was formed in the place where the Zambezi plummets into a narrow crevice. Numerous islands are divided on the crest of the falls, forming ducts. C over time, the waterfall receded upstream, gnawing itself more and more crevices. These now form a cleft zigzagoboraznoe riverbed with steep walls.
 

Victoria Falls is approximately two times higher than Niagara Falls, and more than two wider than its main part ("horseshoe").Falling water spray and mist forms, which can be raised to a height of 400 meters and above, and visible at a distance of 50 kilometers. Waterfall hardly visited by people as long as in 1905 there was a railway. After commissioning of the railway, they quickly gained popularity and kept it until the end of British colonial rule. On the side of Zimbabwe increased tourist town.
 

At the end of 1960 the number of tourists has decreased due to the guerrilla struggle in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and detention of foreigners tourists during the reign Venneta Konda in independent Zambia. Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980 brought relative peace in the 80s in the region was a new wave of tourism. By the end of the 90's almost 300 thousand people visit the falls annually. In the 2000s, the number of tourists visiting Zimbabwe began to decline due to disturbances associated with the rule of Robert Mugabe.
 
10 Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Australia

Great Barrier Reef - the ridge of coral reefs and islands in the Coral Sea, which stretches along the north-east coast of Australia for 2 300 km. In the northern part of its width is up to 2 km in the south - 150 km. Most of the reef is under water (which are exposed at low tide). In 1979 there was founded Marine National Park with an area of over 5 million. Hectares.History of the Great Barrier Reef has been about 18 million years. The modern history of its development lasts for about 8000 years. On the old foundation is still there are new layers. The main part of the reef covers more than 2,100 individual reefs, which are surrounded by nearly 540 barriers forming offshore islands.
 

Between the reef and the coast stretches lagoon. This area of ​​shoals rarely exceeds a depth of 100 m. From the sea, reef slopes steeply fall thousands of meters into the sea. Barrier at this point is affected by waves and winds. Growth coral here is the fastest, while in places where the waves reach extreme temperatures and heights reefs lose the greatest amount of construction material. Most of the free stuff is woven into the reefs and forms new rocks, so on the reef, there are constant, successive processes of destruction and subsequent recovery.
 

Due to the variety and brilliance of the underwater world in the territory of the Reef, and is almost always warm clear sea water, this place is incredibly popular with tourists, especially fond of diving. For this reason, large island, located near the Great Barrier Reef turned into a luxury tourist resorts.
 



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

100 STUNNING WONDERS OF THE WORLD PART 2

11 The rain forests of the Amazon, the Amazon basin, Brazil
Rainforests of Amazonia , or the Amazon jungle is an extensive, almost flat plain, covering almost the entire Amazon basin.Actually forest covers 5.5 million. Sq. km. He is located in nine countries (Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana). Forests in the Amazon - the largest tropical forest in the world. They take up half of the total left on the planet rainforest. Tropical rainforests of South America have the highest biodiversity. The diversity of plants and animals there are much higher than in the tropical forests of Africa and Asia. One in ten described species of animal or plant is widespread in the Amazon jungle.
There has been described, at least 40,000 plant species, more than 3 thousand species of fish, 1,300 species of birds, 500 species of mammals, over 400 species of amphibians, nearly 400 species of reptiles and about 100 thousand different species of invertebrates. Here there is the greatest diversity of plants in the world.
According to some experts, per 1 square kilometer there has to 150,000 species of higher plants, including 75 thousand species of trees. In the Amazon jungle is home to many animals that may pose a serious risk to humans. Of large predators live here jaguar, anaconda and caiman.
In the rivers are electric eels and candiru, trees live a different kind of tailless amphibians from the family of climbers, the skin that secrete a powerful poison. There is also home to a variety of parasites and vectors of infectious diseases. In particular, certain species of bats can be carriers of rabies virus. Warm moist IDE creates favorable conditions for the spread of malaria, dengue fever and other infectious diseases, their vectors.
Amazon lowlands populated very weakly. The main means of communication - the river; along which there are small villages and two major cities: Manaus - at the mouth of the Rio Negro and Belen - in the estuary. Steam; the latest from Brasilia paved highway. Due to the ongoing climate change and tree cutting massive amounts of the Amazon rainforest could become the Cerrado - the predominant type of arid savannah in contemporary Brazil.
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On the basis of satellite monitoring of the Amazon River floodplain in the past few decades, scientists have noted a reduction in forest by 70%. Deforestation negative impact on the fragile ecological balance of the Amazon forest, and led to the extinction of many species of trees, plants and animals.
In addition, the decomposition of wood waste and other vegetation as a result of deforestation and the burning of forests leads to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions by a quarter in the atmosphere. This in turn increases the greenhouse effect.
12 Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor - The Khmer Empire metropolitan area IX-XV centuries. dominate the whole of Southeast Asia, which has Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom - outstanding monuments of medieval art Rouge. Angkor stretched for 24 kilometers from east to west and 8 km from north to south. It is located on the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake is about 240 kilometers north-west of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The construction of this grand temple complex lasted for four centuries. It began to founder of Angkor dynasty prince Dzhayyavarman II at 802 g, and the last temple complexes were built by King Dzhayyavarmanom VII to XII century. After his death in 1218, the construction stopped, the builders of Angkor ended their centuries-old project.According to another version, in the Khmer Empire just finished mine sandstone.
Interestingly, all the successors Dzhayyavarman II followed his principles of construction. Each new ruler of the city of finishing work in such a way that its kernel is constantly moving: the old town center turned out to be on the edge of a new one. It gradually grew this giant city. In the center of each time the temple was built five-turret, symbolizing Mount Meru, the center of the world. As a result, Angkor Wat has turned into a complex of temples. Before our time Angkor came not just as a city, but rather as a temple city. In the days of the Khmer Empire residential and public buildings were constructed of wood, which is rapidly degraded under the influence of a hot and humid tropical climate. With the construction of temples often used stone-sandstone. The city walls were built of tufa. This explains the relatively good preservation of the religious and fortifications in the absence of a housing estate. However, in the heyday of the empire alone Angkor Tom lived more than a million people, which was larger than any European city of the time.
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The temple of Ta Prohm was built Dzhayyavarmanom VII in memory of his mother. Now it is interesting in that it did not become clear of the jungle. Temple appears bearing the stamp of extraordinary beauty, here the entire surface is covered with a cloak of tree roots and lush greenery. Since the end of the civil war in Cambodia, and the inclusion of the Angkor complex in the UNESCO World Heritage in the other temples under active restoration. Preah Khan (in Khmer "sacred sword") - a huge temple built in honor of the victory over King tyamami Dzhayyavarmanom VII at the end of the XII century. In another version of the temple was dedicated to the memory of his father the king. Back in the late nineties of the XX century, as well as Ta PromHim, it was a jungle-covered ruins, with their gigantic, grown on trees. Now they are working restorers of the United States. The vegetation is almost completely removed.

Beautiful monument of the whole complex of Angkor is the most famous and well-preserved temple of Angkor Wat, which was built for thirty years under the reign of Suryavarman II. After the death of the King of the temple took it into their walls and became a tomb-mausoleum. In situated at a distance of two kilometers fortress Angkor Thom is particularly noteworthy central Bayon temple and its fifty four huge towers, each of which is decorated with four guises Buddha. According to one version of the image of the Buddha was a portrait of the king himself. This temple was the last built at Angkor largest place of worship. This thriving tourist center has an international airport and many modern hotels. The distance from the center of Siam Reap to the main temple complex - Angkor Wat is about 5 km.
13 Sands of the Sahara, North Africa, Egypt.

Sahara - the largest desert in the world, with an area of about 9,000,000 square kilometers, which is slightly less than the area of the United States of America. Sahara is located in Northern Africa, in more than ten countries (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan). Sugar defies categorization within the same type of desert, although predominant sandy-rocky type.

As part of the desert regions of distinguished set: Ténéré, the Great Eastern Erg, the Great Western Erg, Tanezruft, Hamad al-Hamra, Erg Igidi, Erg Shesh, Arabian, Libyan, Nubian desert. The name "Sahara" - is the Arabic translation Tuareg word "Ténéré" meaning desert.
In 2008, an international team of scientists from Germany, Canada and the United States as a result of studies have found that the Sahara became a desert about 2,700 years ago as a result of very slow evolution of the climate. These scientists were able to make conclusions based on the study of geological sediments dredged from the lake Joa, located in the north of Chad. According to studies, about 6 thousand. Years ago in the Sahara were trees and had a lot of lakes.
Thus, the work of scientists refute the existing theory of the transformation of this part of Africa in the wilderness of 5.5 thousand. Years ago and that the desertification process took only a few centuries. In the Sahara, every year there is about 160 thousand. Mirages. They are stable and wandering, vertical and horizontal. Composed even special cards caravan routes to the assessment of places usually seen mirages. These maps indicated where there are wells, oases, palm groves, mountain ranges.
14 Salar de Uyuni, Altiplano plateau, Bolivia.

Salar de Uyuni - dried-up salt lake in the south of the desert plains of the Altiplano in Bolivia at an altitude of 3650 m above sea level. Has an area of 10.5 thousand. Sq km and is the largest salt marsh in the world. Located near the town of Uyuni in the departments of Oruro and Potosi in the south-west of the country. The inner part of the lake is covered with a layer of salt thickness from 2 to 8 meters! During the rainy season marsh covered with a thin layer of water and turns into the world's largest mirror.
About 40 thousand. Years ago, this area was part of Lake Minchin. After drying left two currently existing lakes Poopó and Uru Uru, and two large salt marsh: the Salar de Uyuni and Koypasa. According to experts, the Salar de Uyuni contains a reserve of 10 billion. Tons of salt, of which the annual production of less than 25 thousand. Tons.
Thanks to the development of tourism in the Salar de Uyuni, local residents began to build hotels of salt blocks, where you can stay for the night. In addition, the Salar de Uyuni is the perfect tool for testing and calibration of remote sensing instruments on orbiting satellites. Clear skies and dry air Uyuni allow to calibrate satellites five times better than if you had used the surface of the ocean.
15 The ice in Antarctica, South Pole, Antarctica
Antarctica (in Greek, "the opposite of the Arctic") - a continent located in the far south of the Earth, the center of Antarctica roughly coincides with the south geographic pole. The area of the continent is about 15 million square kilometers (of which 1.6 million square kilometers of ice shelves are). Antarctica was discovered in 1820 by the Russian expedition led by Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. First entered the mainland in 1895, the captain of the Norwegian ship "Antarctic" Christensen and Science teacher Karlsten Borhgrёvink.
Antarctica - the highest continent on Earth, the average height of the surface of the continent above sea level is 2000 m, and in the center of the continent up to 4000 meters. Most of this altitude is the permanent ice cover of the continent, which is hidden under the continental relief and only ~ 5% of its area free of ice - mostly in West Antarctica and the Transantarctic Mountains: islands, coastal areas, the so-called "Dry Valleys" and some ridges and mountain peaks (nunataks), towering over the ice surface.
Antarctic ice sheet is the largest on the planet and the closest in size exceeds the Greenland ice sheet over the area about 10 times. In it is concentrated about 30 million square feet. km ice, i.e. 90% of all ice sushi. The average thickness of the ice layer - 2 500-2 800 m, reaching a maximum value in some areas of East Antarctica - up to 5 kilometers.
Feature of Antarctica is a large area of ​​ice shelves (low "blue" region of West Antarctica) is ~ 10% of the area, towering above the sea level; These glaciers are the source of icebergs record size. In winter (summer in the northern hemisphere) the area of ​​sea ice around Antarctica increased to 18 million square kilometers, and in summer decreases to 3.4 million square kilometers
In accordance with the convention of the Antarctic, Antarctica does not belong to any state. Allowed only scientific activity.Placement of military facilities, as well as set warships and armed vessels to the south of 60 degrees latitude prohibited.Because of the severity of the climate in Antarctica has no permanent population. Temporary population of Antarctica varies from 4,000 to 1,000 in the summer in the winter.
16 Ha Long Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam
Ha Long - the bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long. Bay is a picturesque seaside landscape through scattered in shallow rocky limestone islands. Due to the inaccessible terrain almost all the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by human influence.Exceptional aesthetics of the area combined with its biological value. The bay is located in the north-east of Vietnam, it extends from region to region Hurng Ian Van Don, its length is 120 km along the coast.
In the bay is scattered almost two thousand limestone islands, each of which is covered with wild vegetation. Most of the islands are under the form of the tower height from 50 to 100 meters.
Some of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. The largest cave in the bay "Hang Dau-Go" - one of the main attractions of the region. In the bay there is a large inhabited islands (Tuan Chau Cat Ba), which even built hotels.
Local legends say that when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders, the gods sent dragons to help the Vietnamese.Dragons spewed from their mouths gems that turned into stone island. As a result, the island formed a wall. It saved locals and allowed to keep their land. Dragons enjoyed on the ground and they decided to stay. The place to which sank Mother of Dragons, called Ha Long (Long translated from Vietnamese means "dragon"), and a place that chose her children - Bai Tu Long.
Ha Long Bay is the main attraction of Vietnam. And those who have never been to this place, could see him in a series of Hollywood films about James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies".
17 The island of Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean
Bora Bora - one of the Leeward Islands Archipelago Society Islands in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. Bora Bora is an atoll typical Thomas the central mountain, surrounded by a coral reef with numerous Motu.
Central island consists mainly of basaltic lava, while Motu - of coral fragments and layers of sand. Elongated central island is 9 km long and 5 km at its widest point. Settlements are located exclusively on the coast, while covered with lush interior of the island inaccessible.
Ring road paved, length 32 km, surrounds the island, making available travel between coastal settlements and hotels, while the interior of the island in some places is only available on machines terrain.
The population of Bora Bora is about 7 500 people. The largest settlement of Vaitape (about 4000 inhabitants), located in the western part of the island, opposite the main passage into the lagoon, which is so deep that it is able to pass even the big cruise ships.
Inhabited islands of the Company within the Polynesian expansion occurred relatively late. When the first wave of settlement were reached Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Marquesas Islands in prison, from which about 400, there was a settlement of the Society Islands. European discoverer of the island is considered to James Cook. He first landed on Bora Bora only in 1777, during his third voyage. April 2, 1786 French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville reached Tahiti and Society Islands declared possession of France, thus founding the modern French Polynesia. During World War II, after the Japanese attack on the naval aviation Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, Bora Bora is becoming an important supply base for the United States in the South Pacific. Nevertheless, during the war, the base has never been attacked, and in 1946 was disbanded. Today, Bora Bora is part of the territories of French Polynesia.
Monetary unit of French Polynesia is the Pacific franc whose value is fixed against the euro. The island's economy is based almost entirely on tourism. Bora Bora, along with Tahiti, is considered one of the most open tourist islands of the South Pacific. The island abounds with numerous high-end hotels, frequented mostly by American and Japanese tourists. Many hotels Class "luxury" located on the motu and offer vacationers home located directly on stilts in the lagoon.
The main attraction is the Bora Bora lagoon with its rich marine life. In the depths of the lagoon inhabited by barracuda and sharks, which, under the supervision of an instructor is allowed to feed. The most famous attraction for divers is the "road skates", representing the portion of the lagoon inhabited by many different species of rays.
Worthy of beholding the ruins of more than 40 marae (ceremonial site), most of which are located in the vicinity of the village Faanui.
18 Niagara Falls, United States, Canada
Niagara Falls - the general name of the three waterfalls on the Niagara River, which separates the American state of New York from the Canadian province of Ontario. Niagara Falls - a waterfall, "Horseshoe" (English. Horseshoe Falls), sometimes also called the Canadian Falls (eng. Canadian Falls), American Falls (English. American Falls) and the waterfall "Veil" (English. Bridal Vail Falls).
Although the difference in height and is not very large, the waterfalls are very wide, and by the volume of water passing through it Niagara Falls - the most powerful in North America. The height of the waterfalls is 53 meters. Foot of American Falls obscures a heap of stones, which is why its apparent height is 3 times less. The width of the American Falls - more than 300 m, the waterfall "Horseshoe" - almost 800 m. Name "Niagara" takes its name from the Iroquois word «Onguiaahra», which translated literally means "thunder of water". Local indigenous peoples is Iroquois tribe Ongiara.
USA Urlaub 8.7.2006 - 13.8.2006
The roots of the falls lie in the Wisconsin glaciation, which ended about 10,000 years ago. North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River - is the result of the last continental ice sheet - a massive glacier, heading for the area from the territory of eastern Canada. After the ice melted, the drainage ditch on the part of the Great Lakes has become a modern river Niagara, which could no longer flow through the old valley and formed a new channel in an altered landscape. When the newly formed river came across not susceptible to erosion dolomitic rocks, this layer was eroded more slowly than lying on the lower level of the soft shale and sandy rocks. As a result, the river undercut the solid layers and formed a waterfall.
In the XIX century, tourism came into vogue, and by mid-century, this industry has become mainstream in the region.Popularity waterfall among tourists has increased dramatically after the end of World War I in connection with the spread of traffic. Today, the beauty of this miracle of nature attracts many tourists from all over the world that contributes to the prosperity of the cities located on the banks of the falls of Niagara Falls, New York, USA and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.The most colorful view of the falls from the Canadian coast opens. A few hundred meters downstream through Niagara spanned "Rainbow Bridge", is open to the movement of light vehicles and pedestrians between the two countries. Under a waterfall built hydropower plants that currently generate up to 4.4 gigawatts of electricity.
19 Pagan, DC Magway, Myanmar (Burma)
Pagan (or Bagan) - the ancient capital of the eponymous kingdom in present-day Myanmar. The city is located on a dry plateau along the west bank of the Irrawaddy River, southeast of Mandalay, near the town of Chowk in Magway District.Currently, the site of the ancient town is an archaeological zone with thousands of pagodas, temples, stupas and monasteries. Pagan ruins cover an area of about 40 square kilometers
Most of the buildings were built during the XI-XIII centuries, when Bagan was the capital of the dynastic kingdom. King Pinbya at the end of the IX century moved to the capital of Bagan. However, transfers of capital in Burmese history occurred frequently, and in the XI century, King Anoratha moved the capital to another city. Anoratha decided to transform Bagan into a cultural center. He adopted the doctrine of Theravada Buddhism as the state religion and spiritual mission sent to Sri Lanka, where the monks arrived and helped him to complete the conversion of the whole country in the Theravada.
Pagan became a center of science, religion and culture, one of the largest cities in the world. At the end of the XIII century the kingdom was occupied by the Mongols. The city was sacked, golden pagodas skinned, numerous religious relics were stolen.
Bagan city itself does not exist - there is only Bagan airport, and several villages (Nyaung U, Ve-Zhi Ying, Minkaba, Old Bagan) in and around the vast archaeological zone littered with thousands of large and small stupas and pagodas. The most important stupas - such as Shvezigon and Lokananda Chown, keeping the teeth of the Buddha - gold plated, approaches to them are paved, and built around a set of pavilions.
Most pagodas were built of red brick and white stone and covered with gold. Less significant pagodas are also protected and restored. In removal costs a lot of very small stupas and pagodas, some of them are destroyed. Spaces between temples - scorched desert places - standing alone palm trees, places - green thickets.
Usually temples symmetrical shape with four altars and statues of the Buddha in each horizon. There is also more than 700 stupas with the holy relics. Interesting and caves "Gubyauchzhi" - temples with a maze of corridors, painted frescoes. Older two-color murals, frescoes later multicolored, and the images are often fantastic and surreal.
This place is very popular with tourists, as there may be more than one day to go from one temple to meditate in front of altars, to climb to the upper tiers of the steep steps and through the inner dark stairs, enjoy the sunset with a special viewing platforms on the tops of temples. Despite the obvious cultural and historical significance, UNESCO has failed to declare Pagan World Heritage site for political reasons.
20 Fjords of Norway, north of the country, Norway
Fjord (translated from Norwegian "bay") - a narrow, sinuous and deeply incised into the land of the bay with rocky shores.The length of the fjord a few (usually in the tens) times greater than the width. The shore of the fjord, in most cases formed by cliffs up to 1000 m. Most cases, the fjords are of tectonic origin and having a sharp and sudden change of direction of motion of tectonic plates from the counter on the opposite. As a result, the edges of slabs already compressed preliminary oncoming traffic formed numerous cracks and fractures which are filled with sea water. In some cases, the appearance of the fjords is the result of processing glaciers river valleys and tectonic depressions, followed by flooding them with water.
In Norway, the fjords are located in the northern part of the country. They were formed during the last ice age. Each fjord has its own characteristics and attractions. Thus, the famous Geiranger fjord highest and picturesque waterfalls. Sognefjord - the longest fjord in the world. Hardangerfjord is famous for the locality where the spring bloom gorgeous orchards. Fox fjord famous Pulpit rock, where you can enjoy a magnificent view, and the most daring can go to the edge of the cliff.
With its beauty and picturesque fjords have earned interest from tourists from all over the world.
Continuation of the wonders of the world is sure to be!)
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