Tulum

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”.

Krakow

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.

Louvre Museum

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in ParisFrance, and is best known for being the home of the Mona Lisa. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city’s 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum was closed for 150 days in 2020, and attendance plunged by 72 percent to 2.7 million. Nonetheless, the Louvre still topped the list of most-visited art museums in the world in 2020.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings.[6] The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture.[7] In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation’s masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon’s abdication, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian AntiquitiesNear Eastern AntiquitiesGreekEtruscan, and Roman AntiquitiesIslamic ArtSculptureDecorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

Notre Dame Cathedral

The cathedral’s construction began in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of many presidents of the French Republic.Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the 1831 publication of Victor Hugo‘s novel Notre-Dame de Paris (better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The Allied liberation of Paris in 1944 was celebrated within Notre-Dame with the singing of the Magnificat. Beginning in 1963, the cathedral’s façade was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime. Another cleaning and restoration project was carried out between 1991 and 2000.

The cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris (Michel Aupetit). In 1805, Notre-Dame was given the honorary status of a minor basilica. Approximately 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monument in Paris.The cathedral was renowned for its Lent sermons, founded by the Dominican Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire in the 1830s. In recent years, an increasing number have been given by leading public figures and state-employed academics.The cathedral has been progressively stripped of its original decoration and works of art. Several noteworthy examples of Gothic, Baroque, and 19th-century sculptures and a group of 17th- and early 18th-century altarpieces remain in the cathedral’s collection. Some of the most important relics in Christendom, including the Crown of Thorns, a sliver of the true cross and a nail from the true cross, are preserved at Notre-Dame.

While undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019. Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the flèche (the timber spirelet over the crossing) and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling.Contamination of the site and the nearby environment resulted.Following the fire, many proposals were made for modernizing the cathedral’s design. However, on 29 July 2019, the French National Assembly enacted a law requiring that the restoration must preserve the cathedral’s ‘historic, artistic and architectural interest’.Stabilizing the structure against possible collapse was completed in November 2020, with reconstruction beginning in 2021. The government of France hopes the reconstruction can be completed by Spring 2024, in time for the opening of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on 14 April 2021 that the cathedral site will be formally returned to the church on April 15, 2024, and the first mass will be held in the cathedral nave on that day, even if the reconstruction is not finished.

South Island

The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world’s 12th-largest island. At low altitude, it has an oceanic climate.The South Island is shaped by the Southern Alps which run along it from north to south. They include New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki / Mount Cook at 3,724 metres (12,218 ft). The high Kaikoura Ranges lie to the northeast. The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines such as Fiordland, a very high proportion of native bush and national parks, and the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The main centres are Christchurch and Dunedin. The economy relies on agriculture and fishing, tourism, and general manufacturing and services.

As it is 32 percent larger than the North Island, the South Island is sometimes nicknamed the “mainland” of New Zealand.[3] It is home to 23 percent of New Zealand’s 5.1 million inhabitants. After the 1860s gold rushes in the early stages of Pākehā (European) settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth. The North Island’s population overtook the South Island’s in the early 20th century, with 56 percent of the New Zealand population living in the North Island in 1911. The drift north of people and businesses continued throughout the twentieth century.In the 19th century, some maps identified the South Island as Middle Island or New Munster, and the name South Island or New Leinster was used for today’s Stewart Island/Rakiura.[5] In 1907, the Minister for Lands gave instructions to the Land and Survey Department that the name Middle Island was not to be used in the future. “South Island will be adhered to in all cases”.

Although the island had been known as the South Island for many years, in 2009 the New Zealand Geographic Board found that along with the North Island, the South Island had no official name After a public consultation, the board officially named the island South Island or Te Waipounamu in October 2013.Said to mean “the Water(s) of Greenstone“, Te Waipounamu possibly evolved from Te Wāhi Pounamu (“the Place of Greenstone”). The island is also known as Te Waka a Māui which means “Māui’s Canoe”. In some Māori legends, the South Island existed first, as the boat of Māui, while the North Island was the fish that he caught. Various Māori iwi sometimes use different names, with some preferring to call the South Island Te Waka o Aoraki.In prose, the two main islands of New Zealand are called the North Island and the South Island, with the definite article It is also normal to use the preposition in rather than on, for example “Christchurch is in the South Island”, “my mother lives in the South Island”.Maps, headings, tables, and adjectival expressions use South Island without “the”.