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.
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.