August 28, 2015

1857 MONGOLIA - The Nine Base White Banners

The state banner flown by the Mongols, the "Yöson Khölt tsagaan tug" or the "Nine Base White Banners", is composed of nine flag poles decorated with the tail hair of 1000 white stallions from all over the country, hanging from a round surface with a flame or trident-like shape on the top. It was a peacetime emblem used exclusively by the Khans in front of their yurt, while a black banner was for wartime. The central banner is larger in size than the rest and is placed in the center of the other eight. The modern Mongolian Nine White banners are kept in the Government Palace in Ulaanbaatar.

1856 RUSSIA (Republic of Mordovia) - The Railway Station in Saransk

Located in the Volga basin at the confluence of the Saranka and Insar Rivers, about 630km east of Moscow, Saransk is the capital city of the Republic of Mordovia. Founded in 1641 as the Russian fortress Atemar (at the time, located on the southeastern frontier of Russia), now it accounts for 34.3% of the total population of the republic, that means about 300,000 inhabitants. Trains from Moscow to Ruzaevka was opened to traffic in 1893, and in 1903, in the summer, was completed rail line from Ruzaevka to Nizhny Novgorod, through Saransk.

1855 ROMANIA (Braşov) - A street in Criţ

Mentioned for the first time in 1270 and named for hundreds of years Cruce (German: Kreuz), both names meaning The Cross, because it appears that the settlement formed around a large cross thrust into a promontory, Criţ is a village in the Târnavelor Plateau, at a few km from Viscri. Like any Transylvanian Saxon village is systematized after a staunch geometric line with parallel and perpendicular streets (a spinal layout, not grid-like). What is considered today Transylvanian Saxon architecture actually dates back from the 17th century, when the wooden houses were replaced by stone houses, much less exposed to fire.

August 26, 2015

1854 BELIZE - The Garifuna village of Hopkins

To distinguish the descendants of Caribs Indians and Black African slaves from the Caribs who had not intermarried with Africans, the British colonial administration of then British Honduras named on the first Black Carib and Garifuna, and the last ones Yellow and Red Carib. For a long time, all the black communities living on the Caribbean coast of Central America are commonly called Garifuna. They speak the Garifuna language, a member of the Arawakan languages family albeit an atypical one, containing an unusually high number of loanwords from European languages. The Garifuna language was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2008 along with Garifuna music and dance (here).

1853 ITALY (Lombardy) - Teatro alla Scala in Milan

La Scala (abbreviation for Teatro alla Scala) is a famous opera house in Milan, inaugurated on 3 August 1778, and originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala (Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala). The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. La Scala's season traditionally opens on 7 December, Saint Ambrose's Day, the feast day of Milan's patron saint. All performances must end before midnight, and long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary.

1852 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - The map of Cornwall

Cornwall is a ceremonial county of England, located in a peninsula bordered by the Celtic Sea, the English Channel, and the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. It has a population of 536,000, its administrative centre, and only city in Cornwall, being Truro, although the town of St Austell has the largest population. The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits possession of the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall. The current duke is Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.

August 25, 2015

1851 SINGAPORE - The Battle Box under Fort Canning

Given its position in the western Pacific, Singapore had long been recognised as being strategically important for the Royal Navy to counter the growing influence of the Japanese, who were regarded as being the logical threat to Britain's interests in the Far East and the Pacific. To counter this, the Admiralty devised the Singapore strategy, which required a well equipped naval base. Thereby in 1942, Singapore was considered an impregnable fortress, being nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". When Japanese Army conquered it in only 8 days (8 to 15 February 1942), Winston Churchill considered this "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history."

1850 UNITED KINGDOM (Cayman Islands) - Brac Reef Beach on Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac is one of the three islands which forms Cayman Islands, named after this prominent feature, as "brac" is a Gaelic name for a bluff. Located on the South Shore of Cayman Brac with 300m of beautiful white sand beach, Brac Reef Beach Resort is an intimate, casual 40-room property catering to divers and snorkelers. The resorts' deluxe beach view rooms have attractive tropical decor.

August 24, 2015

1849 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - A boy on his donkey

Even if Dominican Republic is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region, a lot of the population lives away from towns, in what is commonly referred to as “el campo” or the country. Here most people live in typical houses made mostly of palm wood, or more commonly now, half concrete half wood. Here people mostly grow “viveres” which refers to root vegetables. Of course, meat also makes up a large portion of the nutrition, and so the care taking of farm animals takes up a large portion of the day.

1533, 1848 KAZAKHSTAN - Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly (UNESCO WHS)

1533 Petroglyphs of Tamgaly (1)

Posted on 22.04.2015, 24.08.2015
Set around the lush Tamgaly Gorge, amidst the vast, arid Chu-Ili mountains, Tamgaly (which in Kazakh means "painted or marked place") is a remarkable concentration of some 5,000 petroglyphs dating from the second half of the second millennium BC to the beginning of the 20th century. The majority are in the main canyon, but there are a number in the many side canyons, distributed among 48 complexes with associated settlements and burial grounds. They are testimonies to the husbandry, social organization and rituals of pastoral peoples. A huge number of ancient tombs are also to be found including stone enclosures with boxes and cists (middle and late Bronze Age), and mounds (kurgans) of stone and earth (early Iron Age to the present).

1848 Petroglyphs of Tamgaly (2)

The delineation of the property into a sacred core and outer residential periphery, combined with sacred images of sun-heads, altars, and enclosed cult areas, provide a unique assembly. Petroglyphs on unsheltered rock faces, which have been formed using a picketing technique with stone or metal tools, are the most abundant monuments on the property. By far the most exceptional engravings come from the earliest period and are characterized by large figures deeply cut in a sharp way with a wide repertoires of images including unique forms such as solar deities, zoomorphic beings dressed in furs, syncretic subjects, disguised people, and a wide range of animals.