Monday, September 22, 2014


31 Cathedral of St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Cathedral of St. Sophia , or Hagia Sophia, Hagia Sophia - an outstanding monument of Byzantine architecture, the symbol of the "golden age" of Byzantium. The cathedral is located in the historic center of Istanbul, in the Sultanahmet district.
100 stunning wonders of the world (21 - 40)
He is currently a museum and one of the symbols of the city. Over thousands of years the Sofia cathedral remained the biggest church in the Christian world - until the construction of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome. Height of St. Sophia Cathedral - 55 meters, the diameter of the dome 31 meters.

The cathedral was built in the years 324-337 when Byzantine Emperor Constantine I, but was burned during the popular uprising. Emperor Theodosius II ordered to build in the same place the basilica, which was done in 415, however, and it suffered the same sad fate - in the year 532 during the uprising "Nick" basil burned. A little later, the Emperor Justinian decided to rebuild the cathedral again.
The new building stood until 989, when during an earthquake collapsed dome of the cathedral. July 16, 1054 in St. Sophia Cathedral in the holy altar during the service legate Cardinal Humbert Pope Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius was awarded otluchitelnaya diploma. Since then, there was a division in the churches of Catholic and Orthodox.
Are you traveling THREE AND Nochka
In 1453 conquered Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed II ordered to turn the cathedral into a mosque. Was attached to the cathedral by four minarets, and the cathedral became a mosque Hagia Sophia.
In 1935, the Hagia Sophia became a museum, and with frescoes and mosaics were scraping hides them plaster layers. In 2006, the temple was resumed carrying Muslim religious ceremonies.
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In terms of the cathedral is a cross 70x50 m. This three-nave basilica with a quadrangular sredokrestiem, topped with a dome. Giant Dome Cathedral became a masterpiece of architectural thought of his time.
Interior decoration of the temple lasted for several centuries and are particularly luxurious (for example: the golden mosaic floor, 8 green jasper columns of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus). The walls of the temple were completely covered with mosaics.
The attractions include the Hagia Sophia "crying column" Copper plated (it is believed that if you put a hand in the hole and, sensing moisture, make a wish, it will come true), and the "cold box", where even on the hottest day breathes cool breeze.
32 National Park "Carlsbad Caverns" piece. New Mexico, United States
"Carlsbad Caverns" - a national park in the mountains of Guadalupe in the state of New Mexico, USA. The name of the park was named after the nearby town of Carlsbad, which, in turn, is the namesake of the famous city in the Czech Republic. The main attraction of the park - Carlsbad Caverns, whose age is 250 million years old.
She has appeared as a result of the creation of the reef in the Inland Sea of ​​Japan (400 miles long), which closed this area.This horseshoe shaped reef, created from the remains of sponges, algae, sea shells and calcite. Eventually the sea evaporated and the reef was buried under a mass of salt and gypsum.
Today's appearance Carlsbad Caverns with stalactites, stalagmites and an incredible variety of other shapes began to form more than 500 thousand. Years ago after a large part of the cave was formed. Investigation of Carlsbad Caverns continues to this day. Thus, in recent years has been opened Grotto Guadeloupe.
The park is home to 16 species of bats. National Park "Carlsbad Caverns" is open all year round, but the majority of visitors to the park is visited by his priemuschestvenno summer. Tourists can independently go down into the cave at a depth of 230 meters, and use a specially installed lifts.
33 Meteora, Thessaly region, Greece

Meteora - one of the largest monasteries in Greece, renowned primarily for its unique location on the cliff top. Monastic center was formed around the X century and since then there continuously. Meteors are located in the region of Thessaly in northern Greece in the mountains Khasia (Pindos mountain range), a few kilometers north of the town of Kalambaka.
Six active Orthodox monasteries are located on the tops of dramatic cliffs, which are on a level surface Thessalian plain. Cliffs reach a height of 600 meters above sea level and is a rare geological phenomenon. They were formed over 60 million years ago and is a rocky bottom of a prehistoric sea, the plains are in place. As a result, the effects of water, wind and extremes of temperature turned massive, as if hovering in the air stone pillars, known as Meteora (from the Greek "floating in the air").

Monastery "Transfiguration"

Monastery "Barlaam"

Monastery "St. Nicholas Anapafsas"

Monastery "Holy Trinity"
According to legend, the first hermits climbed the rocky and inaccessible, cut off from the top of the rocks of the world long before the X century. They lived in caves and rock pits, and founded a number of small areas, the so-called "prayer room" for sharing a prayer and the study of religious texts. However, to participate in worship and the sacraments (especially the sacrament) hermits had to go down to the old church of the Archangels in Stag. Barnabas was the first hermit, who in 950-970 years built the oldest monastery of the Holy Spirit. This was followed by the erection of a monastery of the Transfiguration (1020) Cretan monk Andronicus, and in 1160 the monastery was built Stag or Dupiani. The foundation of this monastery was the beginning of organized monastic "state" (community) - Meteors and communal monastic life.

"Rusanov," or "The Monastery of St. Barbara"

Monastery "St. Stephen"

Currently, there are only six monasteries for men - "Transfiguration", "Varlaam," "St. Nicholas Anapafsas", "Holy Trinity"; and women - "Rusanov," or "The Monastery of St. Barbara," "St. Stephen." Others (which was still about twenty) or in ruins or disappeared altogether. 20-ies of XX century, when the monasteries were the roads and made of stone steps to climb, the monks and the visitors could get in monasteries only hanging ladder, or by means of the monks who raised them in special grids. In the same way to the top of the cliffs rising all the building materials for the construction of the monastery buildings, as well as food and other necessary things for the monastic life. Now monasteries are open to the faithful and tourists within the days and hours.
34 Banaue Rice Terraces in, o.Luson, Philippines

Rice terraces in Banaue - by more than 2 thousand. ago Ifugao tribe terraced rice fields near the small town of Banaue on the island of Luzon, Philippines, 250 km from the capital, Manila.

Terraces are located at an altitude of about 1500 meters and occupy more than 10 thousand square kilometers. Terrace extends the length of 22 kilometers and commonly follow the contours of the mountain slopes of the Philippine Cordilleras, preserving the natural landscape of exceptional beauty.
Locals still grow rice on the same terraces in the same way that their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Recently, in the mountains around Banaue discovered gold, but local communities are not allowed to develop gold-layers, remained faithful to the traditional rice farming.
35 City of Venice, Italy
Venice (Italian. Venezia) - a city in northern Italy. The population is about 270 thousand. Residents. Venice is a port on the Adriatic. The historic center is located on the 118 islands of the Venetian lagoon, separated by 150 canals and channels through which airlifted about 400 bridges.

The first settlement existed here since the V century BC. e. The city of Venice has become since the beginning of the IX century. In the Middle Ages, Venice was a republic with a large dominion territory.

Now Venice - a seaside resort, the center of international tourism of global significance, the venue of international film festivals, art exhibitions. Urban traffic is carried on motor boats, gondolas and barges. Along the canals and narrow crooked streets located richly decorated churches, palaces.

Among the main attractions of the cathedral on the Piazza San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Old Library of San Marco, the building of religious brotherhoods (skoul), Rialto Bridge, the bridge "sighs", numerous monasteries.

Cathedral on the Piazza San Marco

Ducal Palace. Rialto bridge. Bridge "sighs."

During the XX century Venice is quite fast (up to 5 mm per year) sinking into the lagoon. The main reason for the disaster acted industrial extraction of water from artesian wells and as a result, lowering the aquifer ground. After closing the wells settling the city slowed. It is interesting that Venice is built on stilts from the Russian larch, which almost does not rot in the water.

36 Cappadocia, Goreme Valley, Turkey
Cappadocia (in Persian "Land of beautiful horses") - the historical name of the area in the east of Asia Minor in modern Turkey. Characterized by an extremely interesting landscape of volcanic origin, underground cities created in the I millennium BC. and extensive cave monasteries leading its history since the days of the early Christians. Cappadocia - it's mostly flat, devoid of vegetation plateau continental climate, few rivers, which is at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level.
Cappadocia has a unique geology. Its structure it must clash of two opposing forces of nature in the Cenozoic period of about 65-62 million. Years ago during the formation of mountains having deep cracks and significant failures in the ground.Magma rising to the surface to form volcanoes. Lava flowing down to the failures of the soil, peaks and valleys, these covers education and gave them the appearance of a plateau.
So there were cones of extinct volcanoes, lava flows, the hills pressed gray ash and debris deposits of pyrite. The next period is characterized by erosion and weathering. Due to sharply continental climate of Cappadocia with sudden and drastic temperature fluctuations, in rocks formed cracks.

Water and ice contributed to the destruction of rocks, along with torrential rains and the impact of rivers. In this way were formed the famous "stone pillars" peribadzhalary (in Turkish "fairy chimney") - outliers in the form of stone mushrooms and stone pillars bizarre forms and shapes.

Cappadocia is also famous svoimmi cave cities and churches. This area has always seemed kind of people, and the spirit was very suitable austere and pious Christians, believers here was very convenient to the hermit life, enjoying the solitude and the opportunity to communicate with God. Most appropriate for Christian Rein Cappadocia needs became Goreme Valley. It is here that believers began to build the first cell, churches and underground tunnels. The main attraction was, of course, the church.
It should be noted that not all of them hit their furnishings and dimensions - on the contrary, it is more than just the usual reminders spacious rooms. Although there are also some architectural masterpieces with domes and arches.

At the moment only in Goreme survived more than 350 churches, which are located directly in the rock. Most of them are X and XI centuries, although there are more ancient. Early patterns, not extremely difficult, marked by ancient artists directly on the bare walls of underground rooms.

But the greatest interest to researchers are stacked huge underground cities, open one of the inhabitants of Cappadocia, quite by accident, when he wanted to expand your cellar. Already the first examination showed that the underground rooms - an incredible set, and now there is constantly being excavated, opening new and new corridors and rooms.

They say that the strange landscapes of Cappadocia and its cave houses inspired George Lucas when creating a desert landscape of Tatooine in the movie "Star Wars. Episode IV. A New Hope. "
37 Redemptive Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, ​​Spain
2009 - Sagrada Familia

Redemptive Sagrada Familia , or the Sagrada Familia, located just north of the Old City of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) in the area of Eixample. Construction of the temple started in 1882, has not yet been completed. In 1882, the city government of Barcelona began to build a church dedicated to the Holy Family - Sagrada Familia.

For a new church was allocated free land, was at that time a few kilometers from the city. The initial draft of the church by the architect Francesco del Villar. Del Villar planned to erect a church in the Gothic Revival style, but managed to build only the crypt under the apse. In 1891, the chief architect of the building was Antoni Gaudí. Construction of Sagrada Familia continued throughout adulthood Gaudi. When asked about the unusually long duration of the work, he replied: "My client is not in a hurry."

From the outset, Gaudí decided not to follow the path of the normal architecture of the neo-Gothic style. The Church was to be Gothic only in spirit and in the primary, having a plan in the form of a "Latin cross", but in the rest of the architect intended to use their own language of visual images. As soon as the construction progressed, the cathedral acquired its unusual for the Catholic Church form spindle-shaped towers, shaped like sand castles, roof elements, made in the style of cubism.

Following his usual method, Gaudi was not the tentative work plan. Rather, he sketched in outline the main forms of construction, and then improvised structures and components as we move forward. To do this, he had to be constantly present at the construction site, and eventually he moved into a room in an unfinished building of the cathedral. Watching the construction, Gaudi constantly interfered in the course of work: it occurred to unexpected thoughts and he sought to embody them, sometimes even stopping work and breaking built.

According to the plan, all three of the facade of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia had to have the same look and stylistically crowned with four-high towers, curved shapes.

As a result, over the temple rose to twelve towers, each of which would symbolize one of the twelve apostles. And each of the three facades was dedicated to one of the three central themes of earthly life of Christ, "Christmas", "The Passion of the Christ" and "Resurrection". After Gaudí's death in 1926, work on the temple continued under the direction of Dominic Sugranesa. But soon the events of the Civil War in Spain for a few years interrupted construction. During the war, Catalan anarchists destroyed the model of the cathedral and destroyed the drawings of Gaudi.

The building itself was also damaged. In the 40's work was resumed and the project was continued, now funded by conservative Catholic organizations, individuals and from abroad. Provisional completion date of construction indicated in 2026 - the centenary of the death of the author of the project by Antonio Gaudi.

38 The Vatican, Rome, Italy

Vatican City State (lat. Status Civitatis Vaticanae) is sometimes seen as a dwarf-state enclave (the smallest country in the world) in Rome, completely independent from Italy. The name of the state received from the name of the hill Mom Vaticanus, Latin vaticinia - «place of divination." Status of the Vatican in international law: Minor sovereign territory of the Holy See.

St. Peter's Basilica.

St. Peter's Basilica.

The sovereignty of the Vatican is not independent, and derives from the sovereignty of the Holy See. The Vatican is only used as the location of the Holy See, the papal court and its staff. The population of the Vatican - less than a thousand people, the total area occupied by the state - 0.44 square kilometers

In antiquity, the Vatican has not been inhabited since ancient Rome it was considered a sacred place. In 326, after the advent of Christianity, over the alleged tomb of St. Peter's Basilica was built by Constantine and since then it has become the place to be occupied. Formed in the middle of the VIII century Papal State swept most of the peninsula, but in 1870 it was abolished by the Italian kingdom. In its modern form originated in 1929 on the basis of concluded Government Mussolini Lateran agreements.

The Vatican is a non-profit planned economy. Sources of income - primarily donations of Catholics around the world. In addition, tourism brings large revenues (sale of postage stamps, Vatican euro coins, souvenirs, fees for visiting museums).

Vatican bibpioteka

The Vatican is a world-famous masterpieces of architecture: St. Peter's Basilica with the interior, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and others. Also famous Vatican Library.
39 Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dramatic Aerial view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro

Statue of Christ the Redeemer (the port. Cristo Redentor) - the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. Considered a symbol of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil as a whole. Every year millions of tourists ascend to his foot, which offers a stunning view of the city and the bay with a picturesque mountain Sugar Loaf (port. Ban Sugar Loaf Mountain), the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, a huge bowl of the stadium "Marakana".
Cristo Redentor - Rio de Janerio

The exact dimensions of the statue of Christ the Redeemer is: height - 38 m, including the pedestal - 8 m; weight - 1145 tons; arm span - 30 meters. At the top is electrified railway (the first in Brazil), which run over it with a miniature train. It was built long before the statue of Christ, in the 1882-1884 period., And later played a major role in the construction of the monument: up on it delivered construction materials. To get to the statue, you can also drive on the highway passing through the Tijuca national park. Tijuca is the largest forest area in the world, located in the city.

In 1921, the approaching centenary of the national independence of Brazil (1822) was inspired by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro to create a monument to Christ the Redeemer. The construction of the statue lasted for about nine years, from 1922 to 1931. The original sketch of the monument designed by the artist Carlos Oswald. It was he who suggested to depict Christ with open arms in a gesture of blessing, why published figure would look like a huge cross. In the original version of the pedestal for the statue was supposed to be in the form of the globe. Since a number of reasons to create such a huge sculpture in Brazil was then impossible, all its parts, including the frame, manufactured in France. October 12, 1931 the grand opening and dedication of the monument, which has become a symbol of Rio de Janeiro.
40 Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

The Potala Palace is located in the city of Lhasa in Tibet. Palace is located at an altitude of 3700 m on the Red Hill (MARP Pu) in the middle of Lhasa Valley. This royal palace and Buddhist temple complex, which was the main residence of the Dalai Lama until the flight of the Dalai Lama XIV in Dharamsala (India) after the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959.

The palace is located overlooking the city on a high hill. The total area of ​​the palace complex is 360 thousand. Sq. m. name of the palace is happening, apparently, from the legendary Mount Potala, the home of the Bodhisattva Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), who on earth is the Dalai Lama.

In 637, the king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo built the first building here in the place where he used to meditate. When he decided to make his capital to Lhasa, he built a palace. After his engagement with the Chinese Princess Wen Cheng, it has expanded to 999 rooms palace, erected walls and towers, and dug a diversion channel.

In the second half of the VIII century, the palace was struck by lightning and the wooden buildings were burned, and then because of internecine wars palace collapsed. Now from the original buildings preserved only cave-Fa Wang and Hall Pabalakan.

Palace in its present form was started in 1645 on the initiative of the Dalai Lama V. After three years of construction was completed the White Palace (Potrang Karpo) and the Potala was used as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas. Red Palace (Potrang MARP) was completed between 1690 and 1694 years.

White Palace consists of a large eastern pavilion, solar pavilion, living quarters regent and mentor of the Dalai Lama, as well as the premises of the government. Great Eastern Pavilion was used for official ceremonies, in Sunny pavilion Dalai Lama actually lived and worked, read the scriptures, he managed. Red Palace served as a place of prayer and religious rituals.Today the Potala Palace is a museum, is actively visited by tourists, while remaining a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, and continuing to be used in Buddhist rituals.

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