Best Individual Sports in USA

Best individual sports in USA

This article describes about the best individual sports in USA.The information is derived from those websites which are being browsed most in the United States of America. (The websites concerned with the individual sports are taken into consideration). Continue reading “Best Individual Sports in USA”

Top 10 Historical Places of Europe

Historical Places Of Europe

This article is about historical places in Europe.

Cave monastery of Geghard

Location: Armenian

cave

 

The main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave. It stands deep in a canyon and blends in with the surrounding cliffs. The complex is partly dug out of the mountainside with annexed buildings. The two cave churches and vestibules you see today are all from the 13th century. Above the main entrance to the churches is a 10 m passage which leads to a cave chapel that is fully carved out of the mountain and has amazing acoustics. A small peephole in the corner makes it possible to look into the cave chamber. The monastery got its name “Geghardavank” – meaning “the Monastery of the Spear” – since the spear that wounded Christ on the cross was kept.

 

Former empires

Location: western Azerbaijan

townofsheki

Former home of Khans (kings) the town of Sheki, is a treasure-trove of historical architecture. On a small fortified hill, near the centre of town, sits the wonderful Palace of Sheki Khans. Also within the fort grounds are several excellently preserved Albanian churches. And while the town has a number of hotel choices, one cannot resist staying in the 18th century Caravansary Hotel. Although rather simple, this is an absolute bargain considering the building seemingly transports you back to a time long since passed. Priceless!

 

Dubrovnik

Location: Dalmatia

dubrovnik

 

Dubrovnik is the iconic Adriatic medieval walled city. In the middle Ages it flourished in maritime trading as the city-state of Ragusa and was rivalling Venice. During the Yugoslavian war, in the beginning of the 90’s, it was sieged for seven month and got severe damaged by artillery attacks. Today Dubrovnik is again insane pretty and manicured to limit that it’s almost too much. Just to top it off, there are beaches with the most crystal-clear water you can imagine, but screamingly cold. All this makes of course Dubrovnik to the perfect tourist magnet and the stream of tourist buses also seems never-ending, but it is still possible to find adorable corners, without being run over by sunburned tour group.

 

Mosaic at Paphos

Location: Roman

pophos

During at long period in ancient times Paphos was a Roman city (around 2nd and 3rd century AD). It was a prosperous place where exquisite tiles floors were in high fashion among the wealthy. Each mosaic tells a story, often about Greek mythology. They are a part of the sprawling Paphos Archaeological Site which begins down at Paphos harbour.

 

Salamis Ancient Roman Ruins

Location: Cyprus

salamis

In 11th century BC, the town was confined to a rather small area around the harbour but soon expanded westwards to occupy the area, which today is covered by forest. The splendid Roman Ruins at Salamis is one of Cyprus’s best archaeological site. An extensive area which once was a prosperous Roman city about 2000 years ago. Though most of the structures have been reduced to crumbling walls and columns, making it hard to figure out what they once were, some have been restored to some degree, making it possible to get an idea of how grand the city of Salamis once were. The whole area is kept wild with bushes and high grass covering the ruins, making a visit rather adventurous.

 

Tombs of the Kings

Location: Cyprus

tombsofkings

 

The collection of underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC, are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of Pathetic aristocrats and high officials up to the third century AD.Flanked by the sea on one side and resorts on the others lies this gem of an open-air museum. There are seven excavated tombs scattered over the rather large site. Some are cut into small hills, while others are underground, imitated the houses of the living. Not much is fenced off and there are staircases so you can descend into the tombs, which all are empty.

 

Temple of Apollo Epicurus

Location: Greece

temple of apollo epicurus

The architect Iktinos who designed the Parthenon did more than just that. On the Peloponnese peninsula, stands the by-him-designed temple of Apollo Epicurus, also called the temple of Bassae (Vasses). It is one of the best kept temples of its time and has some quite unique features. You can only walk around the temple but unfortunately not enter the central area. Inside used to be some nice friezes, which as so many ancient Greek art has been taken to London in the early 19th century.
For decades, this temple has been undergoing restoration works and in order to protect it from the elements it has been covered by a large tent, which prohibits a full-sized view. It looks like it will still be covered for quite a while. Many of the columns need to be entirely removed in order fix the fundaments of the temple.
The remote location of this temple still makes a great place to visit.

 

World’s Oldest Parliament

Location: Iceland

worldoldest

It named as Tynwald, started in 930 AD as world’s first democratic parliament. They had written laws which stated what has to be done to whom, when such and such crime was committed. At the annual assembly at Þingvellir, when people from all over Iceland would gather, these laws were recited at the Law Rock, maybe new were passed by the cheifmen, and disputes were settled. Every issue affecting Iceland were discussed on this site. Today, there are of course nothing left from the Viking age, besides the spectacular natural setting right at the rift valley created by the separation of the North American and Euroasien tectonic plates, but that will also do.

 

Roros

Location: Norway

roros

Røros is a delightful old copper-mining town, consisting of turf-roofed wooden miners’ cottages. But even the newer parts of town are quaint. Surrounded by mountains that remain snow-clad until early summer, Røros is small enough to walk around. There is also an 18th century church, a museum and several galleries worthy of a visit, and cafes line the main street. While it lacks a water-front setting, it certainly gives Bergen a run for its money in terms of pure aesthetics, and is not nearly as overrun by visitors. It is also possible to go on a cold, damp, subterranean tour of the old copper-mine, some distance out of town. And if all else fails, Røros is a good place for people watching, as its inhabitants seem to enjoy dressing up in traditional folk outfits for the slightest reason.

 

Bronze Age cemetery

Location: Scotland

bronce age cemetry

These stone rings are prehistoric burial chambers from the late 3rd millennium BC. There are about fifty of those, so-called clava cairns. Probably the most well-known is the Balnuaran of Clava not far from Inverness. You will find three chambers, two with chamber-passages and one without, each encircled by big standing stones – a bit like Stonehenge. Cremated bones have been found inside the chambers, but else not much is known about these mysterious Bronze Age cemeteries.

Top 10 Famous Historical Events in UK

Historical Events in UK

Historical events-History is history because it’s responsible for having changed the most basics of living of mankind. Can you imagine a day without using the telephone? Does not the discovery of that too have its grounds in deep rooted history? Matters so trivial are everyday affairs.

Great fire of London

great fire of london

On September 2, 1666, night the fire began on Pudding Lane, in the bake shop of Thomas Farynor, who is the baker to King Charles II. At one o’clock in the morning, a servant woke to find the house aflame, and the baker and his family escaped.

The strong wind blew that night sent sparks catch fire to the Church of St. Margaret and spread to Thomas Street with the riverside warehouses which was fully made of wood and pitch construction. The unit of people poured the buckets of water from the river over the flames. By 8o’clock in the morning, the fire had spread halfway across London Bridge. Most of the city got damage.

Lord Mayor Bludworth, worrying about the cost of rebuilding. The Trained Bands of London were called in to demolish houses by gunpowder, but remains too much to be cleared. The fire powerfully unchecked for another three days, until it stayed near Temple Church. At that time the Duke of York (later King James II) had the presence of mind to order the Paper House demolished to create a fire break, and the fire finally died down.
The loss of life was less but the property loss was deeply shocked. Some 430 acres, as much as 80% of the city proper was destroyed, Thousands of citizens found themselves homeless and financially ruined. The Great Fire, and the fire of 1676, which destroyed over 600 houses south of the river, changed the face of London forever. The one positive effect of the Great Fire of London was that the plague, which had carry off London since 1665, valuable greatly, due to the mass death of the plague-carrying rats powerfully.

Charles II appointed six Commissioners to redesign the city. The plan provided for wider streets and buildings of brick, rather than timber. By 1671, 9000 houses and public buildings had been completed. Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and oversee the construction of nearly 50 churches, not least of them a new St. Paul’s Cathedral, construction of which began in 1675. The King also had Wren design a monument to the Great Fire, which stands still today at the site of the bakery which started it all, on a street now named Monument Street.

 

Museum of London

meseum of london

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s collections span two thousand years of art in virtually every medium, from many parts of the world, and visitors to the museum encounter a treasure house of amazing and beautiful objects. The story of the V&A’s foundation helps to explain its astonishing richness and diversity.

The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections.

The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. Its collections expanded rapidly as it set out to acquire the best examples of metalwork, furniture, textiles and all other forms of decorative art from all periods. It also acquired fine art – paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture – in order to tell a more complete history of art and design.

In 1899, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grand facade and main entrance. To mark the occasion, it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, in memory of the enthusiastic support Prince Albert had given to its foundation. Throughout the 20th century, the collections continued to grow. While expanding its historical collections, the V&A also maintained its acquisition of contemporary objects, starting with a collection of Art Nouveau furniture in 1900.

Although the V&A’s collections are international in their scope, they contain many particularly important British works – especially British silver, ceramics, textiles and furniture. The British Galleries are designed to give visitors from this country and from around the world a new insight into the history of Britain by bringing us closer to the thoughts and lives of key people in an influential culture.

The Victoria and Albert Museum also offers visitors the chance to experience at first hand the splendour of the arts of Asia. Visitors can also enjoy galleries devoted to the art of Japan, China, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic gallery displays some truly spectacular carpets.

Contemporary design has always been at the heart of the V&A’s work and it works hard to encourage contemporary designers, acquiring their work, and providing inspiration through its displays. Many of Britain’s most successful designers have used the V&A as a source of ideas and stimulation and visitors have the opportunity to see their work alongside the historic collections which helped shape them.

Henry Cole, the V&A’s first director, declared that the Museum should be a ‘schoolroom for everyone’. The V&A today offers visitors the chance to explore more deeply by using its study rooms, guided tours, gallery activities, lectures and special events. Whether you want to enjoy the galleries independently, or get more closely involved, there are many ways to discover the delights of the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Recession in 2008

recession in 2008

In 2008 October, the government part-nationalises three leading UK banks with a 37 billion pound rescue package. It also pumps billions into the UK financial system after record stock market falls precipitated by the global “credit crunch”.

In 2008 December, the FTSE 100 ends closes down by 31.3% since the beginning of 2008, the biggest annual fall in the 24 years since the index was started.

In 2009 January, the Bank of England cuts interests rates to 1.5%, the lowest level in its 315-year history.The government announces a second package of measures to help Britain’s ailing banks, amid surging unemployment and deepening economic gloom.

In 2009 May, Furore erupts over MPs’ expenses when details about what they have been claiming are leaked to a national newspaper.

In 2009 June, European election: Governing Labour Party slumps to its lowest share of the vote – 15.7% – since World War II, and is beaten into third place. The main opposition Conservative Party comes first with 27.7%.House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin stands down after widespread criticism for his reaction to the MPs’ expenses scandal.

In 2009 November, Britain withdraws bulk of its remaining troops in southern Iraq, leaving only a small force tasked with training the Iraqi military.

Iraq inquiry chaired by former civil servant Sir John Chilcot opens. Its stated aim is to “learn the lessons” of the Iraq conflict. The UK economy comes out of recession, after figures show it grew by 0.1% in the last quarter of 2009, following six consecutive quarters of economic contraction – the longest such period since quarterly figures were first recorded in 1955.

In 2010 February, A full list of repayments MPs have been asked to make following the expenses scandal is published in a report from auditor Sir Thomas Legg.

First World War

1st wrld war

The First World War or the Great War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents’ technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The toll exacted by the First World War can be seen in Britain’s conduct of its successor. The paralysis and weakness which gripped Whitehall as Hitler’s shadow extended first through Austria, then through Czechoslovakia, had no precedent since Tudor times. The war itself was not, as the First had been, a grinding, additional question of superior force and power eventually overcoming an entrenched enemy; rather it was a miracle of luck and spirit, so badly had Britain prepared for it.

The failure to prepare for war was a dark harbinger of the next half century. It is unquestionable that the British sacrifice against Nazi Germany single-handedly (in 1940 at least) prevented the entirety of Western European civilisation falling under its spell. If no other action could be said to justify a nation’s place in the world, this alone would be enough. And yet, the war was known to be coming. In replacing a national industrial strategy with wishful thinking, the British set out their stall for the dog days of decline and fall which would follow. The lamps which Sir Edward Grey saw going out all over Europe in 1914 were now well and truly extinguished.

Second World War

second world war

The British government knew that Germany would target London in their bombing raids. If the capital was put out of action, it would severely affect the war effort and have a devastating impact on the nation’s morale.

The Blitz on London from September 1940 to May 1941 and the V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket attacks in1944 caused a massive amount of damage. It is estimated that more than 12,000 metric tons of bombs were dropped on London and nearly 30,000 civilians were killed by enemy action. The worst hit places tended to be the poorer districts, like the East End, but all Londoners were affected by German air raids to a varying degree.

The Blitz changed the landscape of the city. Many famous landmarks were hit, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and the Imperial War Museum. Some areas, such as Stepney, were so badly damaged that they had to be almost entirely rebuilt after the war. With the arrival of large numbers of Commonwealth and overseas service personnel, London became more cosmopolitan. After 1942, by far the overwhelming presence was that of American servicemen. It was also a busy transport hub and a popular destination for troops on leave.

London was the focus for VE and VJ Day celebrations at the end of the war. Thousands of people waited to see the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and for Churchill to appear at Whitehall. On VE Day, St Paul’s Cathedral and the National Gallery were floodlit, and there were bonfires in the city’s parks. The British government knew that Germany would target London in their bombing raids. If the capital was put out of action, it would severely affect the war effort and have a devastating impact on the nation’s morale.

The Blitz on London from September 1940 to May 1941 and the V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket attacks in 1944 caused a massive amount of damage. It is estimated that more than 12,000 metric tons of bombs were dropped on London and nearly 30,000 civilians were killed by enemy action. The worst hit places tended to be the poorer districts, like the East End, but all Londoners were affected by German air raids to a varying degree.

The Blitz changed the landscape of the city. Many famous landmarks were hit, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and the Imperial War Museum. Some areas, such as Stepney, were so badly damaged that they had to be almost entirely rebuilt after the war. With the arrival of large numbers of Commonwealth and overseas service personnel, London became more cosmopolitan. After 1942, by far the overwhelming presence was that of American servicemen. It was also a busy transport hub and a popular destination for troops on leave.

London was the focus for VE and VJ Day celebrations at the end of the war. Thousands of people waited to see the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and for Churchill to appear at Whitehall. On VE Day, St Paul’s Cathedral and the National Gallery were floodlit, and there were bonfires in the city’s parks.


Olympic Games and Paralympic

olympic

The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were a great triumph for London and the whole country. Our athletes excelled, tens of thousands of volunteers made a fantastic contribution, and the opening and closing ceremonies were widely praised. The success of the Games demonstrates that it is possible for government departments to work together and with other bodies effectively to deliver complex programmes. The government’s preparations were led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (the Department); the Olympic Delivery Authority delivered the construction programme on time and within budget; and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) ensured that the events themselves were so well organised. We now expect the government to build on the success of the Games by putting the lessons learned from delivering the Games to the best possible effect in delivering other major projects. In this report we make a number of observations and recommendations which are designed to ensure that this happens.

The $9.298 billion Public Sector Funding Package for the Games is set to be underspent. We welcome the Department’s commitment to reflect on what more it can do to present costs in a way that goes further and brings out those costs associated with the Games and the legacy that are not covered by the Funding Package. The notable blemish on planning for the Games was venue security, which was a sorry episode. The costs and scale of venue security were vastly underestimated before 2011, and could only be met from the Public Sector Funding Package due to underspend elsewhere. G4S then agreed a contract for providing the necessary security guards, but failed to deliver fully. Thankfully, the armed forces and police were ready and able to step in—we acknowledge their very impressive ability to do so at short notice, and the huge contribution they made to the successful security operation, which passed off without any major problems.

During the Games a large number of accredited seats went unused at events for which the public demand for tickets could not be met, and it is a shame that so few tickets for popular events were available to the UK public. For example, only 51% of tickets for the men’s 100 metres final were available to the UK public and only 47% of tickets for the track cycling. International sports bodies and media organisations wield a lot of power and it cannot be easy for individual event organisers to push back at their demands. But, learning from the experience of the London Games, the government, possibly alongside other governments and event organizers, should challenge demands for large numbers of accredited seats. It is now up to the London Legacy Development Corporation to attract investment in the Olympic Park and generate the promised returns to funders.

We are concerned that the lottery good causes do not have any clear influence over decisions about future sales, despite these decisions directly affecting how much will be available to them and when. On the wider legacy, we look to the Cabinet Office to provide strong leadership to ensure delivery of the longer term benefits, on which basis the public spending was justified, 4 including opportunities for business, tourism and increased sports participation on the back of the Games.

We are keen to see the government building on the success of the volunteering programme, but are not convinced that it is doing all it can to learn and disseminate lessons and to encourage volunteering opportunities both within sport and beyond. On the basis of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, we took evidence from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Home Office, LOCOG, the Ministry of Defence, G4S, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Cabinet Office on the staging of the Games and plans for delivering the legacy.

The Tower of London

tower of london

The Tower of London is one of the most famous buildings in London. It has stood guard over the city since Norman times. The first part of the Tower of London to be built was the White Tower. It was probably begun in 1078 and finished by 1100. The new tower was designed by a Norman bishop called Gandalf, who was a famous builder.

White limestone was brought from Caen in ships to build the Tower and a local stone called Kentish rag stone was brought by barge along the Medway and the Thames. When it was completed the White Tower stood 90 feet high. Its walls were 15 feet thick at the bottom and tapered to 11 feet thick at the top. The entrance was on the first floor.

About 1097 William Rufus built a stone wall around the White Tower to enclose it. For centuries the Tower of London was used to hold important prisoners. Bell Tower was built in 1190-1210. The bell at the top was rung in an emergency. Wardrobe Tower was built in 1190-1199. As its name suggests it was used to hold clothes and jewels.

The Tower of London was greatly extended by Henry III (1216-1272).The Tower of London has always been guarded by armed men. However the Yeomen Warders were founded by Henry VII in 1485.The Tower of London is, of course, famous for its many executions. Several took place during the 16th century.

In 1603 Sir Walter Raleigh was convicted of treason and sent to the Tower. He was held there for 13 years. Raleigh used the time to write a History of the World. Charles II (1660-1685) strengthened the Tower’s fortifications. Furthermore during the reign of Charles II members of the public were allowed to visit the Tower of London for the first time.

In year, 1685 the Royal Fusiliers were founded to guard the weapons in the Tower of London.

In the 19th century the Tower of London changed its function. Since the 13th century there had been a royal menagerie in the Tower. In 1835 it was moved to Regent’s Park. Then in the 1950s state documents were removed from the Tower. Also in the 1850s they ceased storing weapons in the Tower. Meanwhile building work continued. In 1843 the moat around the Tower was drained. In the mid-19th century the Waterloo Barracks and the Officer Block (now the Fusilier’s Museum) were built.

In the 1850s and 1860s a man named Anthony Salvin was employed to restore medieval buildings in the Tower of London. He restored the Beauchamp Tower, the Salt Tower, St Thomas’s Tower and Wakefield Tower. In the 1870s and 1880s restoration work continued under a man named John Taylor.

During the First World War eleven German spies were shot by firing squad in the Tower of London. Only one bomb was dropped on the Tower during that war and fortunately it fell on the moat.

During the Second World War the Tower of London was closed to the public and the crown jewels were removed to a safer location. During the war the Tower suffered bomb damage and two 19th century buildings were destroyed. Part of the Old Hospital Block was also destroyed.

Meanwhile Rudolf Hess the Deputy Fuhrer flew to Scotland in May 1941 and was imprisoned in the Tower. However only one German was actually shot in the Tower of London during World War II. He was a man named Josef Jakobs and he was executed in August 1941.Today the Tower of London is one of the main tourist attractions in London.


Monument to the great fire of London

monument oftower of london

The first Rebuilding Act, passed in 1669, stipulated that “the better to preserve the memory of this dreadful visitation”, a column of either brass or stone should be set up on Fish Street Hill, on or near the site of Farynor’s bakery, where the fire began. Christopher Wren, as surveyor-general of the King’s Works, was asked to submit a design. Wren worked with Robert Hooke on the design of the monument. It is impossible to disentangle the collaboration between Hooke and Wren, but Hooke’s drawings of possible designs for the column still exist, with Wren’s signature on them indicating his approval of the drawings rather than their authorship. It was not until 1671 that the City Council approved the design, and it was another six years before the 202 ft. column was complete. It was two more years before the inscription (which had been left to Wren — or to Wren’s choice — to decide upon) was set in place. “Commemorating — with a brazen disregard for the truth — the fact that ‘London rises again…three short years complete that which was considered the work of ages.

Hooke’s surviving drawings show that several versions of the monument were submitted for consideration: a plain obelisk, a column garnished with tongues of fire, and the fluted Doric column that was eventually chosen. The real contention came with the problem of what type of ornament to have at the top. Initially, Wren favoured a statue of a phoenix with outstretched wings rising from the ashes, but as the column neared completion he decided instead on a 15 ft. statue either of Charles II, or a sword-wielding female to represent a triumphant London; the cost of either being estimated at £1,050. Charles himself disliked the idea of his statue atop the monument and instead preferred a simple copper-gilded ball “with flames sprouting from the top”, costing a little over £325, but ultimately it was the design of a flaming gilt-bronze urn suggested by Robert Hooke that was chosen. The total cost of the monument was £13,450 11s 9d of which £11,300 was paid to the mason-contractor Joshua Marshall.

The Edinburgh-born writer James Boswell visited the Monument in 1763 to climb the 311 steps to what was then the highest viewpoint in London. Halfway up, he suffered a panic attack, but persevered and made it to the top, where he found it “horrid to be so monstrous a way up in the air, so far above London and all its spires”.

The area around the base of the column, Monument Street, has now been pedestrianized in a £790,000 street improvement scheme. The Monument closed in July 2007 for an 18-month, £4.5 million refurbishment project and re-opened in February 2009.

Between 1 and 2 October 2011, a Live Music Sculpture created especially for the Monument by British composer Samuel Bordoli was performed 18 times during the weekend. This was the first occasion that music had ever been heard inside the structure and effectively transformed Wren’s design into a gigantic reverberating musical instrument.

Westminster Abbey

westministry

Westminster Abbey a shrine was first founded here in 616 on a site then known as Thorny Island. It was said to have been miraculously consecrated after a fisherman on the River Thames saw a vision of Saint Peter.

While the existence of this shrine is uncertain, the historic Abbey was built by Edward the Confessor between 1045-1050 and was consecrated on December 28, 1065. Its construction originated in Edward’s failure to keep a vow to go on a pilgrimage; the Pope suggested that he redeem himself by building an Abbey.

The original Abbey, in the Romanesque style that is called “Norman” in England, was built to house Benedictine monks. It was rebuilt in the Gothic style between 1245-1517. The first phase of the rebuilding was organised by Henry III, in Gothic style, as a shrine to honour Edward the Confessor and as a suitably regal setting for Henry’s own tomb, under the highest Gothic nave in England.

The work was largely finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of King Richard II. Henry VII added a Perpendicular style chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary in 1503 (known as the Henry VII Lady Chapel). It is a Gothic monastery church in London that is the traditional place of coronation and burial for English monarchs. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is a place of worship owned by the royal family.

Located next to the Houses of Parliament in the heart of London, Westminster Abbey is a must-see for any London visitor. With its oldest parts dating to the year 1050, the Abbey contains some of the most glorious medieval architecture in London. Because of its royal connections, it was spared King Henry VIII’s general assault on monastic buildings during the Reformation.

The interior is a veritable museum of English history. Among many highlights are the medieval coronation throne; Poet’s Corner with its memorials to William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and other giants of literature; and the tombs of Queen Elizabeth I, “Bloody” Queen Mary, explorer David Livingstone and naturalist Charles Darwin.

It suffered damage during the turbulent 1640s, when it was attacked by Puritan iconoclasts, but was again protected by its close ties to the state during the Commonwealth period. Oliver Cromwell was given an elaborate funeral there in 1658, only to be disinterred in January 1661 and posthumously hanged from a nearby gibbet.

The Abbey was restored to the Benedictines under Queen Mary, but they were again ejected under Queen Elizabeth I in 1559. In 1579, Elizabeth re-established Westminster as a “royal peculiar” – a church responsible directly to the sovereign, rather than to a diocesan bishop – and made it the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, (i.e. a church with an attached chapter of canons, headed by a dean).

The abbey’s two western towers were built between 1722 and 1745 by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawks moor, constructed from Portland stone to an early example of a Gothic Revival design. Further rebuilding and restoration occurred in the 19th century under Sir George Gilbert Scott.

The New English Bible was also put together here in the 20th century. Closer to our own time, in 1998 ten 20th-century Christian martyrs including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Oscar Romero were immortalized in stone statues over the Great West Door.

Channel tunnel opened in 1994

channeltunnel opened

 

In a ceremony presided over by England’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.

The channel tunnel, or “Chunnel,” connects Folkstone, England, with Sangatte, France, 31 miles away. The Chunnel cut travel time between England and France to a swift 35 minutes and eventually between London and Paristo two-and-a-half hours.

As the world’s longest undersea tunnel, the Chunnel runs under water for 23 miles, with an average depth of 150 feet below the seabed. Each day, about 30,000 people, 6,000 cars and 3,500 trucks journey through the Chunnel on passenger, shuttle and freight trains.

Millions of tons of earth were moved to build the two rail tunnels–one for northbound and one for southbound traffic–and one service tunnel. Fifteen thousand people were employed at the peak of construction. Ten people were killed during construction.

Napoleon’s engineer, Albert Mathieu, planned the first tunnel under the English Channel in 1802, envisioning an underground passage with ventilation chimneys that would stretch above the waves. In 1880, the first real attempt was made by Colonel Beaumont, who bore a tunnel more than a mile long before abandoning the project. Other efforts followed in the 20th century, but none on the scale of the tunnels begun in June 1988.

The Chunnel’s $16 billion cost was roughly twice the original estimate, and completion was a year behind schedule. One year into service, Eurotunnel announced a huge loss, one of the biggest in United Kingdom corporate history at the time. A scheme in which banks agreed to swap billions of pounds worth of loans for shares saved the tunnel from going under and it showed its first net profit in 1999.

Freight traffic was suspended for six months after a fire broke out on a lorry in the tunnel in November 1996. Nobody was seriously hurt in the incident.

In 1996, the American Society of Civil Engineers identified the tunnel as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Best Team Sports in USA

Best team sports in USA

Team sports in USA-The most popular team sports in the United States are American football, basketball, baseball/softball, ice hockey, and soccer (association football),etc. All of these team sports are popular with fans, are widely watched on television, have a fully professional league, are played by millions of Americans, enjoy varsity status at many Division 1 colleges, and are played in high schools throughout the country. Continue reading “Best Team Sports in USA”

Best Tourist spots in USA

Tourist spots in USA

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Famous Temples in USA

Famous Temples In USA

Famous Temples in USA-Are there too many Hindu temples in America today?

Yes.

A brief count of Hindu-temple websites and the number of temples listed with the “Council for Hindu Temples of USA” reveal a conservative estimate of about 80 temples.

Far too many, in my opinion.i have listed few

Continue reading “Famous Temples in USA”