Tulum is the site of a pre-ColumbianMayanwalled city which served as a major port for Coba, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.[1] The ruins are situated on 12-meter tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have resulted in very high fatalities, disrupting the society, and eventually causing the city to be abandoned.[citation needed] One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is today a popular site for tourists.

The site might have been called Zama, meaning City of Dawn, because it faces the sunrise. Tulum stands on a bluff facing east toward the Caribbean SeaTulúm is also the Yucatán Mayan word for fencewall[1] or trench. The walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to be defended against invasions. Tulum had access to both land and sea trade routes, making it an important trade hub, especially for obsidian. From numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god.Tulum was first mentioned by Juan Díaz, a member of Juan de Grijalva‘s Spanish expedition of 1518, the first Europeans to spot Tulum.The first detailed description of the ruins was published by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in 1843 in the book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. As they arrived from the sea, Stephens and Catherwood first saw a tall building that impressed them greatly, most likely the great Castillo of the site. They made accurate maps of the site’s walls, and Catherwood made sketches of the Castillo and several other buildings. Stephens and Catherwood also reported an early classic stele at the site, with an inscribed date of AD 564 (now in the British Museum‘s collection). This has been interpreted as meaning that the stele was likely built elsewhere and brought to Tulum to be reused.

Work conducted at Tulum continued with that of Sylvanus Morley and George P. Howe, beginning in 1913. They worked to restore and open the public beaches. The work was continued by the Carnegie Institution from 1916 to 1922, Samuel Lothrop in 1924 who also mapped the site, Miguel Ángel Fernández in the late 1930s and early 1940s, William Sanders in 1956, and then later in the 1970s by Arthur G. Miller. Through these later investigations done by Sanders and Miller, it has been determined that Tulum was occupied during the late Postclassic period around AD 1200. The site continued to be occupied until contact with the Spanish was made in the early 16th century. By the end of the 16th century, the site was abandoned completely.In 2020, an underwater archaeological expedition led by Jerónimo Avilés again excavated the cave and revealed the skeleton of a female about 30 years of age that lived at least 9,900 years ago. According to craniometric measurements, the skull is believed to conform to the mesocephalic pattern, like the other three skulls found in Tulum caves. Three different scars on the skull of the woman showed that she was hit with something hard and her skull bones were broken. Her skull also had crater-like deformations and tissue deformities that appeared to be caused by a bacterial relative of syphilis.According to study lead researcher Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, “It really looks as if this woman had a very hard time and an extremely unhappy end of her life. Obviously, this is speculative, but given the traumas and the pathological deformations on her skull, it appears a likely scenario that she may have been expelled from her group and was killed in the cave, or was left in the cave to die there”.


Munduk and the nearby villages of Kayuputih and Banyuatis are dotted along the scenic drive of twists and turns between Twin Lake Buyan and Tamblingan at the west of Bedugul to Seririt on Bali’s northern coast. Although Munduk village itself looks unassuming when you travel down its single main road, the buildings hold a hidden secret: behind them are the region’s prime spots for watching sunrises on one side and sunsets on the other. Million dollar views for a few thousand Rupiah per night cannot be bad!Often overlooked by tourists, Munduk’s cooler climate comes to many as a welcome break from the humidity common in the rest of Bali. Trekking is the big call card here and you can see why with the myriad of trails through the forested hills to hidden villages, the two main waterfalls and the coffee and cocoa plantations. You can hike them self-guided, although a decent map and some time and patience are essential for navigating the often maze-like tracks. Brush-up on your basic Balinese and ask the locals for help whenever you can.Dutch colonists used to stay in Munduk to escape the heat of Singaraja, Bali’s second largest city and the centre of the island’s colonial past. The Dutch built an assortment of rest houses for those wanting a break from the city. You can still see evidence of these colonial-style buildings today, some having survived by being converted into guest houses.

If you like authentic, and almost non-touristy places, then Munduk and the Twin Lakes is one of the best places to stay in Bali.The small town is hidden in the mountains, nestled between forest and rice terraces. We planned to stay one night and ended up here for three.We were lucky enough that we happened to be in Munduk during the Twin Lake Festival. It’s a multi-day festival with dancing and a lot of music.The locals compete against each other in artistic and sportive activities. All for fun and for the locals, nothing is staged for tourists (my friend and I were the only westerners here).If you don’t happen to arrive when the festival is on, then there are a few really nice hikes in the area and the waterfall of Munduk is a must-see too. It’s a short walk from the main road.The nights are early and dark, but with some luck, you’re able to see the beautiful milky way above you.Otherwise, there isn’t much to do, other than enjoying local life.If you’re looking for a charming, unpretentious town away from the hustle and bustle of the main areas in the south of Bali, don’t miss staying in Munduk.

Munduk is a small village tucked away in a lush jungle surrounded by cascading waterfalls. It makes for an impressive place to explore for adventurous travelers as there are so many things to do in Munduk, Bali.Whilst the influx of tourists into Bali increases, these smaller, lesser-known hill areas are making a name for themselves. They are fast becoming the go-to places to escape the crowded coastline and Munduk sure is a hidden gem that should be on your Bali bucket list!After traveling throughout Bali and visiting the more popular inland areas such as Ubud, I can safely say that Munduk has that remote feel which I felt was lacking throughout the rest of the island.I was pleasantly surprised by it’s beauty, the kind people and the cooler weather which I welcomed after spending my first few days around Kuta and Seminyak.


The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in AmsterdamNetherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and originally named Nieuwe Park (English: New Park), but later renamed Vondelpark, after the 17th-century playwright and poet Joost van den Vondel. The park has around 10 million visitors annually. Within the park is an open-air theatre, a playground and several food service facilities.In 1864 a group of citizens led by Christiaan Pieter van Eeghen established the Vereeniging tot Aanleg van een Rij- en Wandelpark (English: Association for the Construction of a Park for Riding and Walking). They bought several hectares of grass-land and marshes at the rim of the city of Amsterdam, in order to create the new park. They assigned its design to the architect Jan David Zocher, and in 1865 “Het Nieuwe Park” (English: “The New Park”) was opened free for members of the association and with other citizens paying an entrance fee.

Two years after the park opened, in 1867, a statue of writer and playwright Joost van den Vondel by sculptor Louis Royer was placed in the park on a stand designed by architect Pierre Cuypers[2] As a result, people started to call the park “Vondelspark” (English: “Vondel’s Park”).In 1873 a bandstand was built. In the same year, brewer Gerard Adriaan Heineken was denied permission to open a bar in the park, so he built the Bierhuis Vondel (English: “Beer House Vondel”) in a nearby street in what is now Vondelstraat 41.The last part of the park was designed by Louis Paul Zocher, Jan David Zocher’s son, and was realized from 1875 to 1877.[4] The park then arrived at its current size of 47 hectares. The English garden style design of the Zochers has been roughly maintained, although in the late 19th century the elongated park had a stream of water running through it with many paths and bushes alongside it.In 1878 the Pavillon (English: “Pavilion”) was built to replace a wooden chalet built by Louis Paul Zocher. The Pavillon is currently known as the Vondelparkpaviljoen (English: “Vondelpark Pavilion”). The park’s name officially became “Vondelpark” (English: “Vondel Park”) in 1880.Already in the 1880s and 1890s cycling in the park was causing problems. The park management tried to resolve this with restrictive measures against cyclists, such as special bike paths, limited opening hours, and fines for cyclists that were going faster than a horse’s trot. It was only after mediation of the Algemene Nederlandsche Wielrijders-Bond (English: “General Dutch Cyclists Union”), that helped fund the park, that a park guard was installed and cyclists were again permitted to cycle normally.

In 1936, a rose garden was created in the center of the park.One year later in 1937, the Blauwe Theehuis (English: “Blue Tearoom”) was opened. This tearoom is a round modernist building, designed by the architectural office Baanders.In the following years the overall maintenance of the park became too expensive for the Vereniging tot aanleg van een rij- en wandelpark (English: “Association for the creation of a park for riding and strolling”), due to an intensified use, and in 1953 the association donated the park to the city of Amsterdam. The landscape architect Egbert Mos renovated the Vondelpark for the city in the 1950s. The purpose was improve the park for both usage and maintenance. Small bushes were grouped into larger bushes, superfluous paths were removed, and the rose garden was renovated. Also the stream of water in the “trunk” near the northern entrance of the park was removed.In the 1960s children’s playgrounds were created. During the flower power era in the 1960s/1970s the Vondelpark became a symbol of a place where “everything is possible and (almost) everything is allowed”.[6] In the 1980s an open-air theatre was built.The Vondelpark received the status of rijksmonument.

Tatra Mountains

The Tatra Mountains, is a mountain range that forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. They are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. The Tatras are distinct from the Low Tatras, a separate Slovak mountain range further south.The Tatra Mountains occupy an area of 785 square kilometres (303 sq mi), of which about 610 square kilometres (236 sq mi) (77.7%) lie within Slovakia and about 175 square kilometres (68 sq mi) (22.3%) within Poland. The highest peak, called Gerlach, at 2,655 m (8710 ft), is located north of Poprad, entirely in Slovakia. The highest point in Poland, Rysy, at 2,499 m (8200 ft), is located south of Zakopane, on the border with Slovakia.The Tatras’ length, measured from the eastern foothills of the Kobylí vrch (1109 m) to the southwestern foot of Ostrý vrch (1128 m), in a straight line, is 57 km (35 mi) (or 53 km (33 mi) according to some),[2] and strictly along the main ridge, 80 km (50 mi). The range is only 19 km (12 mi) wide.[3] The main ridge of the Tatras runs from the village of Huty at the western end to the village of Ždiar at the eastern end.The Tatras are protected by law by the establishment of the Tatra National Park, Slovakia and the Tatra National Park, Poland, which are jointly entered in UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In 1992, UNESCO jointly designated the Polish and Slovak parks a transboundary biosphere reserve in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, under its Man and the Biosphere Programme.

The first written record of the name is from 999, when the Bohemian Duke Boleslaus II, on his deathbed, recalled when the Duchy of Bohemia extended to the Tritri montes. Another mention is in the 1086 document from Henry IV, wherein he referred to the Diocese of Prague with Tritri mountains. Still another is in 1125, where the Kosmas chronicles (Chronica Boemorum) mention the name Tatri.Machek in 1931 favored the theory of the Polish linguist Rozwadowski with a syllabic r like in the words chrt (Czech hound), smrt (Czech death). In Czech this syllabic is sometimes with vowels ie or u for example črný – černý, so the Czech reconstruction from Tritri/Tritry would be Trtry. In Polish, the term Tatry is firstly mentioned in 1255. Syllabic r often has vowels on both sides in Polish, so in case of Tarty we can reconstruct the name to Tartry, where the vowel a originated before the syllabic r which dissimilated. This theory is supported by Hungarian forms of term TurturTurtulTortol from 12th to 14th centuries. It is unknown how the Slovak term looked like until the 17th century when the form Tatry is firstly mentioned and was probably taken from Polish and later found its way into Czech and Hungarian. The term Tatra also appears as a general term in Slovak for barren or stony land, and also in Little Russia for rocks and little stones in a river. Machek stresses that the name has no Slavic origin and mentions Rozwadowski’s theory of an Illyrian origin because of a connection with a Herzegovian highland called Tatra, thus taken from local inhabitants.The name is also close to the Ukrainian word for gravel, toltry.

By the end of the First Polish Republic, the border with the Kingdom of Hungary in the Tatras was not exactly defined. The Tatras became an unoccupied borderland. On 20 November 1770, under the guise of protection against the epidemic of plague in the Podolia, an Austrian army entered into Polish land and formed a cordon sanitaire, seizing SądecczyznaSpiš and Podhale. Two years later, the First Partition of Poland allocated the lands to Austria. In 1824, Zakopane region and area around Morskie Oko were purchased from the authorities of the Austrian Empire by a Hungarian Emanuel Homolacs. When Austria-Hungary was formed in 1867, the Tatra Mountains have become a natural border between the two states of the dual monarchy, but the border itself still has not been exactly determined. In 1889, a Polish Count Władysław Zamoyski purchased at auction the Zakopane region along with the area around Morskie Oko. Due to numerous disputes over land ownership in the late 19th century, attempts were made at the delimitation of the border. They were fruitless until 1897, and the case went to an international court which determined on 13 September 1902 the exact course of the Austro-Hungarian border in the disputed area.A new round of border disputes between Poland and Czechoslovakia started immediately after the end of the First World War, when these two countries were established. Among other claims, Poland claimed ownership of a large part of the Spiš region. This claim also included additional parts of the Tatra Mountains. After several years of border conflicts, the first treaty (facilitated by the League of Nations) was signed in 1925, with Poland receiving a small northernmost part of the Spiš region, immediately outside (to the north-east of) the Tatra Mountains, thus not changing the border in the mountains themselves. During the Second World War there were multiple attempts by both sides of the conflict to occupy more land, but the final treaty signed in 1958 (valid until present day) preserved the border line agreed in 1925.

With the collapse of the Austrian Empire in 1918 and the creation of Poland and Czechoslovakia, the Tatra Mountains started to be divided by international border. This brought considerable difficulties to hikers, as it was illegal to cross the border without passing through an official border checkpoint, and for many decades there were no checkpoints for hikers anywhere on the border ridge. The nearest road border crossings were Tatranská Javorina – Łysa Polana and Podspády – Jurgów in the east, and Suchá Hora – Chocholów in the west. Indeed, those who did cross elsewhere were frequently fined or even detained by border police of both countries. On the other hand, the permeable border in the Tatra Mountains was also heavily used for cross-border smuggling of goods such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, etc. between Poland and Czechoslovakia. Only in 1999, more than 80 years after the dissolution of the Austrian Empire, the governments of Poland and Slovakia signed an agreement designating several unstaffed border crossings (with only irregular spot checks by border police) for hikers and cyclists on the 444 km-long Slovak-Polish border. One of these border crossings was created in the Tatra Mountains themselves, on the summit of the Rysy peak. However, there were still many other peaks and passes where hiking trails ran across the border, but where crossing remained illegal. This situation finally improved in 2007, with both countries accessing the Schengen Area. Since then, it is legal to cross the border at any point (i.e. no further official checkpoints were designated). Of course, rules of the national parks on both sides of the border still apply and they restrict movement to official hiking trails and (especially on the Slovak side) mandate extensive seasonal closures in order to protect wildlife.

Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg , also known in English as the Luxembourg Gardens, is located in the 6th arrondissement of ParisFrance. It was created beginning in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, for a new residence she constructed, the Luxembourg Palace. The garden today is owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace. It covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, model sailboats on its circular basin, and picturesque Medici Fountain, built in 1620.The name Luxembourg comes from the Latin Mons Lucotitius, the name of the hill where the garden is located.

In 1611, Marie de’ Medici, the widow of Henry IV and the regent for the King Louis XIII decided to build a palace in imitation of the Pitti Palace in her native Florence. She purchased the hotel du Luxembourg (today the Petit-Luxembourg palace) and began construction of the new palace. She commissioned Salomon de Brosse to build the palace and a fountain, which still exists. In 1612 she planted 2,000 elm trees, and directed a series of gardeners, most notably Tommaso Francini, to build a park in the style she had known as a child in Florence.Francini planned two terraces with balustrades and parterres laid out along the axis of the chateau, aligned around a circular basin. He also built the Medici Fountain to the east of the palace as a nympheum, an artificial grotto and fountain, without its present pond and statuary. The original garden was just eight hectares in size.In 1630 she bought additional land and enlarged the garden to thirty hectares, and entrusted the work to Jacques Boyceau de la Barauderie, the indendant of the royal gardens of Tuileries and the early garden of Versailles. He was one of the early theorists of the new and more formal garden à la française, and he laid out a series of squares along an east–west alley closed at the east end by the Medici Fountain, and a rectangle of parterres with broderies of flowers and hedges in front of the palace. In the center he placed an octagonal basin with a fountain, with a perspective toward what is now the Paris observatory.

Later monarchs largely neglected the garden. In 1780, the Comte de Provence, the future Louis XVIII, sold the eastern part of the garden for real estate development. Following the French Revolution, however, the leaders of the French Directory expanded the garden to forty hectares by confiscating the land of the neighboring religious order of the Carthusian monks. The architect Jean Chalgrin, the architect of the Arc de Triomphe, took on the task of restoring the garden. He remade the Medici Fountain and laid out a long perspective from the palace to the observatory. He preserved the famous pepiniere, or nursery garden of the Carthusian order, and the old vineyards, and kept the garden in a formal French style.During and after the July Monarchy of 1848, the park became the home of a large population of statues; first the Queens and famous women of France, lined along the terraces; then, in 1880s and 1890s, monuments to writers and artists, a small-scale model by Bartholdi of his Liberty Enlightening the World (commonly known as the Statue of Liberty) and one modern sculpture by Zadkine.In 1865, during the reconstruction of Paris by Louis Napoleon, the rue de l’Abbé de l’Épée, (now rue Auguste-Comte) was extended into the park, cutting off about seven hectares, including a large part of the old nursery garden. The building of new streets next to the park also required moving and rebuilding the Medici Fountain to its present location. The long basin of the fountain was added at this time, along with the statues at the foot of the fountain.


Krakow and traditionally known as Cracow, is the second-largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in Lesser Poland Province, the city dates back to the 7th century.Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities,its Old Town was declared the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world.The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland’s second-most-important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was reported as a busy trading centre of Central Europe in 965.With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. The city has a population of about 780,000, with approximately 8 million additional people living within a 100 km (62 mi) radius of its main square.

After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany at the start of World War II, the newly defined Distrikt Krakau (Kraków District) became the capital of Germany’s General Government. The Jewish population of the city was forced into a walled zone known as the Kraków Ghetto, from which they were sent to German extermination camps such as the nearby Auschwitz, and the Nazi concentration camps like Płaszów.However, the city was spared from destruction and major bombing.In 1978, Karol Wojtyła, archbishop of Kraków, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II—the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.Also that year, UNESCO approved Kraków’s entire Old Town and historic centre as its first World Heritage List alongside Quito.Kraków is classified as a global city with the ranking of “high sufficiency” by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.Its extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of GothicRenaissance and Baroque architecture includes the Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula, the St. Mary’s BasilicaSaints Peter and Paul Church and the largest medieval market square in Europe, the Rynek Główny.

The name of Kraków is traditionally derived from Krakus (Krak, Grakch), the legendary founder of Kraków and a ruler of the tribe of Lechitians. In Polish, Kraków is an archaic possessive form of Krak and essentially means “Krak’s (town)”. The true origin of the name is highly disputed among historians, with many theories in existence and no unanimous consensus. The first recorded mention of Prince Krakus (then written as Grakch) dates back to 1190, although the town existed as early as the 7th century, when it was inhabited by the tribe of Vistulans.It is possible that the name of the city is derived from the word “kruk“, meaning crow or raven.The city’s full official name is Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków,[19] which can be translated as “Royal Capital City of Kraków”. In English, a person born or living in Kraków is a Cracovian (Polishkrakowianin or krakus). While in the 1990s the English version of the name was often written Cracow, the most widespread modern English version is Krakow.

Palace of Versailles

In 1789, the French Revolution forced Louis XVI to leave Versailles for Paris. The Palace would never again be a royal residence and a new role was assigned to it in the 19th century, when it became the Museum of the History of France in 1837 by order of King Louis-Philippe, who came to the throne in 1830. The rooms of the Palace were then devoted to housing new collections of paintings and sculptures representing great figures and important events that had marked the History of France. These collections continued to be expanded until the early 20th century at which time, under the influence of its most eminent curator, Pierre de Nolhac, the Palace rediscovered its historical role when the whole central part was restored to the appearance it had had as a royal residence during the Ancien Régime.

The Palace of Versailles never played the protective role of a medieval stronghold. Beginning in the Renaissance period, the term “chateau” was used to refer to the rural location of a luxurious residence, as opposed to an urban palace. It was thus common to speak of the Louvre “Palais” in the heart of Paris, and the “Château” of Versailles out in the country. Versailles was only a village at the time. It was destroyed in 1673 to make way for the new town Louis XIV wished to create. Currently the centrepiece of Versailles urban planning, the Palace now seems a far cry from the countryside residence it once was. Nevertheless, the garden end on the west side of the Estate of Versailles is still adjoined by woods and agriculture

Louis XIV first visited the château on a hunting trip in 1651 at the age of twelve, but returned only occasionally until his marriage to Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660 and the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, after which he suddenly acquired a passion for the site.[8] He decided to rebuild, embellish and enlarge the château and to transform it into a setting for both rest and for elaborate entertainments on a grand scale.The first phase of the expansion (c. 1661–1678) was designed and supervised by the architect Louis Le Vau. Initially he added two wings to the forecourt, one for servants quarters and kitchens, the other for stables.In 1668 he added three new wings built of stone, known as the envelope, to the north, south and west (the garden side) of the original château. These buildings had nearly-flat roofs covered with lead. The king also commissioned the landscape designer André Le Nôtre to create the most magnificent gardens in Europe, embellished with fountains, statues, basins, canals, geometric flower beds and groves of trees. He also added two grottos in the Italian style and an immense orangerie to house fruit trees, as well as a zoo with a central pavilion for exotic animals.After Le Vau’s death in 1670, the work was taken over and completed by his assistant François d’Orbay.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower  is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.Locally nicknamed “La dame de fer” (French for “Iron Lady”), it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.[3] The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. It was the first structure in the world to surpass both the 200 meter and 300 meter mark in height. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.

The design of the Eiffel Tower is attributed to Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel. It was envisioned after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world’s fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel openly acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853.In May 1884, working at home, Koechlin made a sketch of their idea, described by him as “a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals”.Eiffel initially showed little enthusiasm, but he did approve further study, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company’s architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base of the tower, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments.The new version gained Eiffel’s support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel presented his plans to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying the tower would symbolise.

Little progress was made until 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as president of France and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as minister for trade. A budget for the exposition was passed and, on 1 May, Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition being held for a centrepiece to the exposition, which effectively made the selection of Eiffel’s design a foregone conclusion, as entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars.(A 300-metre tower was then considered a herculean engineering effort). On 12 May, a commission was set up to examine Eiffel’s scheme and its rivals, which, a month later, decided that all the proposals except Eiffel’s were either impractical or lacking in details.After some debate about the exact location of the tower, a contract was signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the next 20 years. He later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself.

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.

De Gooyer, Amsterdam

De Gooyer is a windmill in Amsterdam located between Funenkade and Zeeburgerstraat. It is the tallest wooden mill in the Netherlands at 26.6 meters high.It is registered as a National Monument.The names dates from the around 1609, when the mill was owned by Claes and Jan Willemsz, two brothers from Gooiland.It is also known as “The Funenmolen” (“The Mill on the Funen”).The Gooyer consists of a stone foundation topped by a wooden octagonal body. The mill is owned by the municipality of Amsterdam and is not open to visitors. Although the blades are functional, they no longer operate any grinding mechanism.Next to the mill, in the former municipal bathhouse dating back to 1911, is the Brouwerij ‘t IJ. The mill and the bathhouse building are unrelated, and the mill fulfils no function for the brewery despite the image of a mill being in the brewery logo.

The original mill was constructed in the 16th century. After destruction and some movements, in 1725 the mill stood on the site of the current Orange-Nassau barracks. Finally, in 1814 the mill moved again to its current location on Funenkade atop the stone base of a watermill that had been demolished in 1812.This mill is the last of 26 corn mills on the bastions of the 17th century walls of Amsterdam. The location of the mills was at that time very favourable as the outskirts of town provided ample wind.After the mill had fallen into disrepair, it was purchased in 1928 by the city of Amsterdam for 3200 guilders and restored. Due to the lack of power during the Second World War the mill served as a corn mill for Amsterdam. The sails were damaged on November 13, 1972 during a storm. The upper shaft broke and the blades embedded in the adjacent Nieuwevaart. Some years later the original, old Dutch type blades were restored.

There is a misunderstanding about our relationship to that huge windmill that made it into some of the trustworthiest of travel guides. Even certain people who visited claim our beer is brewed and consumed inside that wooden giant. We recognize the appeal of the idea, but in reality brewery and windmill are two separate entities.In 1814, the wooden frame was placed on top of the stone walls it still rests on today. As before, it continued to function as a corn mill, up until mid-20th century. It is municipal property today and, unfortunately, not open to the public.

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Museum Square in Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw.The museum opened on 2 June 1973,and its buildings were designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa.The museum contains the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. In 2017, the museum had 2.3 million visitors and was the most-visited museum in the Netherlands, and the 23rd-most-visited art museum in the world. In 2019, the Van Gogh Museum launched the Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, a technology-driven “immersive exhibition” on Van Gogh’s life and works, which has toured globally.The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Museum Square in Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw.The museum opened on 2 June 1973,and its buildings were designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa.The museum contains the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. In 2017, the museum had 2.3 million visitors and was the most-visited museum in the Netherlands, and the 23rd-most-visited art museum in the world. In 2019, the Van Gogh Museum launched the Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, a technology-driven “immersive exhibition” on Van Gogh’s life and works, which has toured globally.

Design for a Van Gogh Museum was commissioned by the Dutch government in 1963 to Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld.Rietveld died a year later, and the building was not completed until 1973,when the museum opened its doors.In 1998 and 1999, the building was renovated by the Dutch architect Martien van Goor,and an exhibition wing by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa was added.In late 2012, the museum was closed for renovations for six months. During this period, 75 works from the collection were shown in the Hermitage Amsterdam.On 9 September 2013, the museum unveiled a long-lost Van Gogh painting that spent years in a Norwegian attic believed to be by another painter. It is the first full-size canvas by him discovered since 1928. Sunset at Montmajour depicts trees, bushes and sky, painted with Van Gogh’s familiar thick brush strokes. It can be dated to the exact day it was painted because he described it in a letter to his brother, Theo, and said he painted it the previous day 4 July 1888.

In 1991, twenty paintings were stolen from the museum, among them Van Gogh’s early painting The Potato Eaters. Although the thieves escaped from the building, 35 minutes later all stolen paintings were recovered from an abandoned car. Three paintings – Wheatfield with CrowsStill Life with Bible, and Still Life with Fruit – were severely torn during the theft. Four men, including two museum guards, were convicted for the theft and given six or seven-year sentences.It is considered to be the largest art theft in the Netherlands since the Second World War.In 2002, two paintings were stolen from the museum, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen and View of the Sea at Scheveningen.Two Dutchmen were convicted for the theft to four-and-a-half-year sentences, but the paintings were not immediately recovered.[20][21] The museum offered a reward of €100,000 for information leading to the recovery of the paintings.The FBI Art Crime Team listed the robbery on their Top Ten Art Crimes list, and estimates the combined value of the paintings at US$30 million.In September 2016, both paintings were discovered by the Guardia di Finanza in NaplesItaly. The two artworks were found in a “relatively good state”, according to the Van Gogh Museum.

The museum is situated at the Museumplein in Amsterdam-Zuid, on the Paulus Potterstraat 7, between the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum, and consists of two buildings, the Rietveld building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, and the Kurokawa wing, designed by Kisho Kurokawa. Museum offices are housed on Stadhouderskade 55 in Amsterdam-Zuid.The Rietveld building is the main structure and houses the permanent collection. It has a rectangular floor plan and is four stories high. On the ground floor are a shop, a café, and an introductory exhibition. The first floor shows the works of Van Gogh grouped chronologically. The second floor gives information about the restoration of paintings and has a space for minor temporary exhibitions. The third floor shows paintings of Van Gogh’s contemporaries in relationship to the work of Van Gogh himself.