May 30, 2016

2586 VIETNAM (Red River Delta) - Hanoi Opera House

Important architectural landmark of the capital city of Vietnam, the Hanoi Opera House  was erected by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911 in eclectic style, with important Neoclassical elements, modeled on the Palais Garnier. It had depended on touring artists performing French and Italian repertoire during the colonial period for a mainly French audience. After the departure of the French, it became the scene for political events, as well as the scene of street fighting during the war.

2585 ROMANIA (Alba) - The Alba Iulia Citadel

Since 1541, the town of Alba Iulia was the capital of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom, and then of the Principality of Transylvania, until 1690, when became part of the Habsburg Monarchy and was renamed Karlsburg, in honor of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor between 1711 and 1740. During his reign, between 1716 and 1735, two Swiss fortification architects built the citadel Alba Carolina, with seven bastions in a stellar shape.

May 29, 2016

0011, 2584 CANADA (Ontario) - Downtown Toronto

2584 Downtown Toronto seen from the Western Channel,
with CN Tower and Rogers Centre

Posted on 13.10.2011, 29.05.2016
Located entirely within the former municipality of Old Toronto, Downtown Toronto is approximately bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don River to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west. The area is made up of the city's largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses. Toronto has a prominent skyline and, as of 2015, has the third most skyscrapers in North America exceeding 200m in height, behind New York City and Chicago, respectively.

0011 Downtown Toronto in evening
In the 1970s, Toronto experienced major economic growth and surpassed Montreal to become the largest city in Canada. Many international and domestic businesses relocated to Toronto and created massive new skyscrapers in downtown. The area's First Canadian Place is the tallest building in Canada at height of 298m. The CN Tower, once the tallest free-standing structure in the world, remains the tallest such structure in the Americas, standing at 553.33m. Other notable buildings include Scotia Plaza, TD Centre, Commerce Court, the Royal Bank Plaza, The Bay's flagship store, and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

2583 BELARUS - Kupalle Holiday

2583 "Kupalle Holiday" (1921-1922), painting by Mikhail Filipovich

Kupala Night, also known as Ivan Kupala Day (Feast of St. John the BaptistBelarusian: Купалле / Kupalle), is celebrated in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Baltic countries and Russia currently on the night of 6/7 July in the Gregorian or New Style calendar, which is 23/24 June in the Julian or Old Style calendar still used by many Orthodox Churches. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Slavic rituals.

2582 ROMANIA (Braşov) - The Citadel on Straja Hill

Braşov has a unique location at the feet of the Carpathian mountains at one of the most important mountain-passes, so it had to develop a strong defense system. The Citadel on Straja Hill, or Citadel Hill as it's called today, was part of this system, even if it is located outside Braşov, aiming to observe and stop invaders approaching the main fortress of the city. It is thus known as the guarding fortress or the little fortress. Moreover, "strajă" means guardian in Romanian.

May 28, 2016

1491, 2581 MEXICO - Maya people

2581 Maya peoples

Posted on15.03.2015, 28.05.2016
The overarching term "Maya" is a collective designation to include the native peoples in southern Mexico and northern Central America that share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage. In other words, the term embraces many distinct ethnic groups that each have their own particular traditions, cultures, and historical identity. The pre-Columbian Maya population was approximately eight million, and despite the centuries of massacres, slavery and diseases, in nowadays there are an estimated seven million living in this area.

1491 A Mayan little girl

The largest populations of contemporary Maya inhabit Guatemala, Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador, as well as large segments of population within the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Chiapas. One of the largest group of modern Maya can be found in Mexico's Yucatán state and the neighboring states of Campeche and Quintana Roo. They commonly identify themselves simply as "Maya" with no further ethnic subdivision, and speak the language which anthropologists term "Yucatec Maya".

2580 FRANCE - Bernadette Soubirous

Marie-Bernarde "Bernadette" Soubirous (7 January 1844 - 16 April 1879) was the firstborn daughter of a miller from Lourdes, France, and is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. Soubirous is best known for the Marian apparitions of a "small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at the nearby garbage dump of the cave-grotto at Massabielle where apparitions are said to have occurred between 11 February and 16 July 1858. She would later receive recognition when the lady who appeared to her identified herself as the Immaculate Conception.

2578 CANADA (British Columbia) - The Totem Poles in Stanley Park in Vancouver

Stanley Park borders the downtown of Vancouver, and is almost entirely surrounded by waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. It has a long history and was one of the first areas to be explored in the city. The land was originally used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before British Columbia was colonized by the British during the 1858 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. For many years after colonization, the future park with its abundant resources would also be home to nonaboriginal settlers.

May 26, 2016

2576 ITALY (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) - Fortress Town of Palmanova (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

Surrounded by the powerful states of the Austrian Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Venetian Republic, the patriarchal state of Friuli was the theatre of the war between Hungary and Venice in early 15th century, and was conquered by the latter in 1420. How Venetians did almost nothing to strengthen this eastern border of the Stato da Tera, between 1470 and 1499 the region had endured no less than seven raids undertaken by the Turks, who had occupied the Balkans and had begun to threaten the area.

May 24, 2016

2574 ROMANIA (Mureş) - Sovata

Located in the Székely Land, in the historical Transylvania province, between the Corund River and the valley of the Târnava Mică River, Sovata is a resort for all seasons, recognized at European level even since 1850. The first data about Sovata are from 1578, by 1583 it was already a village, and it gained the status of town in 1952. Due to its salty lakes and warm water it became an increasingly popular health resort during the end of the 19th and the 20th century.

0084, 2573 GHANA - Traditional Huts

Posted on 27.12.2011, 24.05.2016
Unlike the polite architecture, the vernacular architecture is based on local needs and construction materials, and reflects local traditions, responding primarily to the functional requirements. As a result, even though Ghana is a multiethnic country, the traditional huts from across the country share many common features. Since the climate of Ghana is tropical, therefore hot, the houses were mostly used for storage and sleeping, while the rest of the activities were mainly done outside.

May 23, 2016

1736, 2572 CANADA (Québec) - Historic District of Old Québec (UNESCO WHS)

1736 Historic District of Old Québec - Château Frontenac in nowadays

Posted on 12.07.2015, 23.05.2016
Founded in 1608 by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America, being also the only North American city to have preserved its ramparts, together with the numerous bastions, gates and defensive works which still surround Old Quebec. The Upper Town, built on the cliff, has remained the religious and administrative centre, with its churches, convents and other monuments like the Dauphine Redoubt, La Citadelle and Château Frontenac. Together with the Lower Town, developed around the Place Royale and the harbour, it forms an urban ensemble, the Historic District of Old Québec, which is one of the best examples of a fortified colonial city.

2573 Historic District of Old Québec - Château Frontenac in 1930's

The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River proximate to the city's promontory, Cap-aux-Diamants (Cape Diamond), and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". It was the capital of New France and, after 1760, of the new British colony. The construction of a citadel at the far south-east end of Cap-aux-Diamants by the engineer Elias Durnford from 1819 to 1831 and the expansion of the system of fortifications were in keeping with the original spatial organization of the city and gave Québec its current topographical features.

2570 FRANCE (Grand Est) - Alsace

Alsace is a cultural and historical region located on France's eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. The historical language of Alsace is Alsatian, a Germanic (mainly Alemannic) dialect also spoken across the Rhine, but today most Alsatians primarily speak French. It is an important wine-producing région, and also the main beer-producing region of France. The economic and cultural capital as well as largest city of Alsace is Strasbourg, the seat of several international organizations and bodies.

May 22, 2016

2569 UNITED STATES (U.S. Virgin Islands) / UNITED KINGDOM (Overseas Territory) - The map of the Virgin Islands


The Virgin Islands are the western island group of the Leeward Islands, which are the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, and form the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Politically, the eastern islands form the British Virgin Islands and the western ones form the United States Virgin Islands.
The first is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom comprising approximately 60 islands and cays including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada. The last is one of five inhabited insular areas of the United States, and comprises the islands St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.

2568 CANADA (British Columbia) - Burrard Bridge in Vancouver

The Burrard Bridge is a five-lane, Art Deco style, steel truss bridge, which connects downtown Vancouver with Kitsilano via connections to Burrard Street on both ends. It is one of three bridges crossing False Creek, and was built between 1930 and 1932 by the architect George Lister Thornton Sharp, and by the engineer John R. Grant. In addition to the vehicle deck, it has sidewalks on both sides, the northern one for pedestrians and the southern one dedicated to cyclists.

2567 ROMANIA (Alba) - Oaşa Monastery

Located on the territory of Şugag village, in a isolated area at the foot of Şureanu Montains, at 1400m altitude, Oaşa Monastery is an oasis of tranquility, surrounded by forests, valleys and lakes, a perfect place for an authentic spiritual life. It is placed on the shore of the Oaşa Lake, a reservoir on the Frumoasa Valley (how is named Sebeş River before the reservoir), at the border between Alba and Sibiu counties. The nearest human settlement is situated at 40 km.

May 21, 2016

2566 ROMANIA (Constanţa) - Neptun

Neptun is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, 6 km north of Mangalia, part of a string of such resorts, Olimp, Jupiter, Cap Aurora, and Venus (between Olimp and Jupitor). Situated in a very beautiful landscape, boarded by Comorova forest to the West and Lake Neptun to the East, Neptun resort hasn't lost its charm and elegance. It is crossed by a main street, wide enough, from where secondary streets and shady alleys come off. The resort is abundant in well taken care greenery which “hide” hotels, villas and restaurants.

May 20, 2016

2565 ITALY (Lazio) - Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (UNESCO WHS)

Founded, according to legend, by Romulus and Remus in 753 BC in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, along the shores of Tiber river, Rome was first the centre of the Roman Republic, then of the Roman Empire, and it became the capital of the Christian world in the 4th century. Regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization, it is referred to as Roma Aeterna (The Eternal City) and Caput Mundi (Capital of the World), two central notions in ancient Roman culture.

May 19, 2016

2564 CHINA (Inner Mongolia) - Tsagaan sar, the White Moon Festival

Tsagaan sar (literally White Moon) is the first day of the year according to the Mongolian lunar calendar, and is a big celebration for the Mongols. The traditional Mongol calendar is a lunisolar calendar based on Tegus Buyantu zurkhai system developed in 1747 by monk Ishbaljir. The Mongol year is composed of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added every two or three years, so that an average year is equal to the solar year.

May 18, 2016

2563 CANADA (Ontario) - Casa Loma In Toronto

Built between 1911 and 1914 as a residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, Casa Loma (Spanish for Hill House) is a Gothic Revival style house and gardens in midtown Toronto. The architect was E. J. Lennox, who designed several other city landmarks. It is a museum, but also a popular venue to hold wedding ceremony and rites. An underground tunnel connects Casa Loma to the Hunting Lodge and to the stables (garage, potting shed, stalls, carriage room and tack rooms).

May 17, 2016

2562 ROMANIA (Constanţa) - Cap Aurora

2562 Cap Aurora in 1980's

Cap Aurora is the youngest resort on the Romanian seaside, located in the Mangalia municipality, on a high peninsula between the neighbouring resorts of Jupiter and Venus. When it was inaugurated, in 1973, the resort was considered the "Queen of the Coastline", because of its modern architecture and the special conditions which it offered. A secluded but modern resort, with a special appearance, in contrast to the other seaside resorts.

2560 CANADA (Ontario) - Ontario Place in Toronto

Ontario Place is a multiple use site under development, located on the shore of  Lake Ontario, to the south-west of downtown Toronto. It opened on May 22, 1971 and consists of three artificially constructed, landscaped islands. Currently the site includes the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, event facility "Atlantis", and a marina. Buildings on the site include "pods" designed by Eb Zeidler and a geodesic dome, that contained the Cinesphere IMAX theatre.