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God's Bridge
The Bridge of God or the Natural Bridge, as it is also called, is located in the center of Ponoare. It is a huge arcade of stone which crosses the Baia de Aramă - Drobeta Turnu Severin road and the Prag Valley. It was formed by the collapse of the upper wall of the cave and it imposes in the landscape by its massiveness: 30 meters long, 13 meters high, 22 meters wide and 9 meters opening. The bridge can be admired in all its grandeur from the cave, from where it is revealed its opening towards the Prag Valley and its layered structure consisting of overlapping limestone blocks, subject to erosion and time. Looking from the opposite side, from the Turk Valley, the Bridge looks like a giant arch, under which you can admire the Cave Hill and the clear skies. Shades of green - vernal green, leek green, emerald green, olive green, khaki green - limestone shapes, traditions sewn with red wool and legends. Legends passed down from generation to generation, stories that make the place even more charming. At Ponoare you can find the only bridge in the world over which you can circulate although people did not do anything more than to pave it. At a stone's throw you'll see the Zaton Lake (or the Devil's Lake). Why the Devil’s? Because it is said that it has never been inhabited by any fish, but people died drowned here. Why the "Bridge of God"? Because although some accidents have occurred, everyone survived. The legend says that God defeated the Devil here, cast him out of the cave where he was staying, but he hung on the rock that now has his name. The signs are still visible and people have called them Clint’s.
Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Romania
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Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India
The charming Taj Falaknuma Palace is located in India, in the Hyderabad capital of the Andhra Pradesh state, a 20-minute drive from the Gandhi Hyderabad airport, 10 minutes from Charminar and 45 minutes from town. The full restoration of this archaeological wonder belonging to the Taj hotel chain took 10 years of hard work. The result is a truly magnificent one, a real monument of luxury and opulence. An intriguing building, the palace was built to resemble a scorpion and served as residence for the royal family Nizam. The Palace offers guests a truly royal feeling, recalling the way that kings and queens used to live some time ago. Those seeking opulence will live an unforgettable experience here. An outpouring of details and exclusive finishes strikes you as you cross the threshold of the palace - exceptional furniture and chandeliers, rich curtains made of the most expensive fabrics and quality leather. The entrance is decorated with white marble that adorns the entire main hall. Furthermore, the central staircase is also carved in white marble with complex decorations. Regarding the accommodation, the hotel has 60 rooms, from the Grand Suite apartment with private pool, Jacuzzi and indoor fountain, to Luxury rooms, all overlooking the beautiful courtyard. Inside you can also admire the longest table in the world, where 101 people can dine. As for "what can you do here," just let yourself transposed into the atmosphere of the 19th century by a horse-drawn carriage that will walk you through the fantastic palace gardens or discuss business in the stylish decor of a salon.
Hyderabad, India
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Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland
The Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland is the largest diplomatic center in the world, the United Nations European headquarters. Surrounded by old trees and modern monuments, the building ranks second largest in Europe after Versailles and it is one of the most important attractions of Geneva. Somewhere in a huge park, located on a gentle hill, there is the Palace of Nations - Palais des Nations, the first European headquarters of the United Nations where more than 200 international organisations operate. The United Nations Palace from Geneva is a "classic" building with a sober, harmonious and well-balanced architecture. Along with the old palace, the new building gives the city an additional architectural nobility. Due to the fact that Geneva hosts the second headquarters of the UN (the first and most important is the one in New York) and that here operates a large number of international organisations the town has gained a worldwide notoriety that you can hardly see in other similar cities. In addition, this circumstance has attracted here a significant tourist flow, but this is also the contribution of the "intrinsic" values of Geneva since the architectural, artistical, cultural and historical legacy accumulated here over the centuries is very rich and diverse. The Palace of Nations in Geneva is as a "state in a state". It has its own postal service with its own stamp just as Monaco. It is the place where 3500 civil servants from all around the world work and it is the most important congress center where over 5,000 meetings are held every year. The international symbol of Geneva, Palais des Nations was built between 1929 and 1936 and it is the European headquarters of the United Nations. This center of the world’s diplomacy has over 25,000 delegates each year. In its rooms you will find a large number of works of art.
Geneva, Switzerland
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Tombs of the Kings, Paphos
Beyond the sun, beaches and palm trees there are culture and tradition. Its own flavour is given by the past that has made its mark over places and people and Cyprus is no exception to the rule anymore. Located north of Paphos, the Tombs of the Kings were built to meet the needs of the new settlement, Nea Paphos. The Tombs of the Kings, located near the town of Paphos, are actually a huge necropolis dating from the IV century BC. The tombs were carved into the rock and decorated with Doric columns. Despite the name, there is no evidence that any member of the royal family is buried in this place. However, the necropolis was the burial place for the old Ptolemaic aristocrats. These tombs are unique in Cyprus, influenced by the Egyptian tradition when it was believed that the graves should resemble a house. The Tombs of the Kings is an area with underground tombs carved into the rock dating from the 4th century BC many of them decorated with Doric columns. Whether the kings were buried here or not, the charm of the tombs gave this name to the area. The Tombs of the Kings in Paphos are an acropolis that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, being a historical vestige of great importance. The monument is located about two kilometres from Paphos and got this name from its size and grandeur, despite the fact that there is no king buried here.
Paphos, Cyprus
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St. Basil Cathedral, famous for its special architecture
St. Basil's Cathedral was built between 1555-1561 to mark the victorious campaign of Ivan the Terrible against the Tatars from the Khanate of Kazan and consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation. Initially, the Czar and the architect had in mind the building of a group of chapels dedicated to every saint from the day in which the Tsar won a victorious assault, but the construction later in 1588 of a central tower of 60 meters above the tomb of St. Basil unified these spaces. The image of red brick turrets ended with onion-shaped domes in various places and coloured in spiral creates a delightful picture that gave birth to the legend, although unconfirmed historically that the Tsar had ordered that the architects should be blinded in order to stop them create a similar work. Besides the aesthetic appeal, the plan of the church has a deep religious symbolism. Four chapels are arranged in cardinal points, the other four in the northeast, southeast, northwest and southeast, and the ninth is located right in the center. This forms an eight-cornered star, number eight remembering the Resurrection day - the eighth day after the Jewish calendar - and the symbol from Virgin Mary’s shoulders and forehead as well. The extravagant exterior disguises the modest and less spectacular interior. The vague lights that penetrate the windows break through the labyrinth of the corridors that connect the chapels. You can find in here nine iconostasis, containing over 400 icons and numerous frescoes belonging to the painting schools from Moscow and Novgorod, all dating from the sixteenth and nineteenth century.
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Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, located on Kathmandu Valley at an altitude of 1300 meters and surrounded by the icy peaks of the Himalayas. The metropolitan area totals about 1.5 million inhabitants. The capital of pilgrims and hippies is a city full of mystery in which countless beliefs influence each other. It is called the "city of 1000 temples": Hindu temples, with three level roofs alternate with Buddhist pagodas and pavilions decorated with images of gods and demons masks. The contrast between modern and traditional in Kathmandu is pushed to the limit, with the medieval atmosphere from the Old Town, very different from the modern area. Nepal's capital has a university, museums and factories. A specific image seen everywhere: temples, palaces, pagodas, shops with traditional items, narrow streets - the promenade place for sacred cows. The Durbar Square is a place of reference in the Old Town where you feel like time stood still. You can find here the royal palace built in the sixteenth century and dedicated to the monkey king Hanuman. Believers address prayers and bring him offerings, believing that the god protects them against diseases. Here is worshiped the elephant-headed god Ganesha as well who brings wisdom and wealth. The Nepal kings were crowned in the courtyard, in which you enter through a golden gate. Nearby there is another courtyard where offerings such as cows or chickens are brought to mother goddess Durga in order to appease her. 7 of the 10 monuments of the country included in the UNESCO World Heritage can be found in Kathmandu. Hopefully we have given you enough reasons to visit this open air museum. You will discover the rest on the spot...
Kathmandu, Nepal
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St. Moritz - Switzerland
St. Moritz is the oldest and one of the most famous and beautiful resorts in the world. Elegant and exclusive, the resort is situated at an altitude of 1856 m and enjoys 322 sunny days per year, which is a record in Switzerland. St. Moritz is located on the upper Engadin valley at an altitude of 1856 m. This gives the advantage of having a fresh and clean air, that’s why the resort is ideal for those suffering from different allergies. I even found out that it is a famous balneotherapeutical resort and also has a modern spa centre. In 2003 the St. Moritz and Engadin regions were chosen by ADAC Ski Guide in five categories as the best in the world. Situated in the upper Engadin valley in the Swiss canton Graubünden, St. Moritz is the cradle of alpine tourism. The winter resort attracts rich and famous tourists since the mid-19th century, with its lake, imposing mountains and high forests. One of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, St. Moritz is well known among the lovers of skiing, snowboarding, ice skating (which can be practiced even during summer), walking or biking. Moreover, it is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts since you can find here many famous shops often frequented by celebrities. Of all the attractions in St. Moritz, do not miss a visit to Heidi's chalet. Here it was filmed the famous film and it is one the most popular tourist attractions in the area. St. Moritz is the oldest resort in the world and one of the most famous, which has earned its reputation since the remotest times due to the mineral springs that flow from the mountain and are well known for their curative properties. St. Moritz has gained the title of "Top of the World" since 1987 after the registration of the brand of mineral water that is extremely pure and beneficial to health.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
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Jade Mountain Santa Lucia
Jade Mountain is a hotel in St. Lucia, an island country in the Caribbean archipelago. Each room at Jade Mountain has only three walls and incredible views of the sea. The price of a room starts from $ 1,000 per night. The luxury resort is located in the western part of the island of Santa Lucia, in Soufrière, on a hilltop that offers a panoramic view of the Anse Chastanet Hotel, which is under the same management. Those staying at Jade Mountain Santa Lucia can use for free the facilities of the Anse Chastanet Hotel. The hotel offers concierge service as well, not only reception. The hotel has 29 rooms. Most of them have private pool and all enjoy a special design, according to the concept "missing the forth wall" which implies the absence of the fourth wall of the room that was replaced with a spectacular view of the sea. Located in a tropical paradise with breath-taking views of the turquoise sea, the charming Jade Mountain can be found on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. For nowhere else you can better admire the famous Piton Mountains than from this masterpiece of organic architecture, which rises majestically on a cliff above the vast tropical gardens. The hotel is a declaration of love from the Russian-Canadian architect Nick Troubetzkoy to his adoptive home, the island of St. Lucia. Its specific design together with the furniture made of natural materials make Jade Mountain a unique place of refuge. The 29 rooms are divided into three categories of colour schemes, giving each room its own personality - Star, Moon and Sun. The Jade Mountain sanctuaries intentionally lack any element of technology - no telephone, radio or television. Just relax and forget about the everyday life. The hotel is considered by many guests the most beautiful and welcoming place in the Caribbean thanks to the luxury, outstanding services and original design of the entire resort, most rooms having only three walls and an overwhelming view of the bay and the Piton volcanoes. It is especially recommended for couples or for those who are interested in a luxury exotic vacation.
Castries, Saint Lucia
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Lucerne - the little jewel in central Switzerland
Located in the heart of Switzerland, Lucerne is a small town that has preserved intact over the years its beauty and its culture. The city came to public attention in the 19th century when some influential people such as Queen Victoria and Goethe spoke in very beautiful terms about it. Surrounded by majestic mountains and embellished by the Lake Lucerne, the city is the ideal destination for those who love paragliding. Tourists will be delighted with the unique look of the city completed by bridges or with the walk places by the water and the houses in pastel colours. In addition, Lucerne is the place where there were born some of the most beautiful songs of all time. The town is dominated by rocky and bald mountains. Is the well-known Pilatus peak and everywhere in the city and you'll see advertisements that invite you to climb it. Do not worry, it's not very difficult, you can find everywhere cable cars or trains rack, but a complete tour will give you a gorgeous picture from the peak which dominates a good part of northern Switzerland (basically the Central Switzerland Massif begins with Pilatus), but also an excellent boat trip on Lake Lucerne. The main tourist attractions of the city are the Chapel Bridge, built in 1365, the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and the city’s water tower which stands since 1300 and is the most photographed building in Lucerne. In addition, the perfect combination of three different cultures - German, French and Italian - is irresistible to tourists. It means, among other things, three types of traditional dishes, three traditional costumes and a variety of ancient customs.
Lucerne, Switzerland
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Monastery of Arkadi in Rethymno, Crete, Greece
The Arkadi Monastery is one of the most famous and beloved Orthodox monasteries in Crete, Greece, being located at only 23 kilometres in the southeast of the Rethymnon town. The Arkadi Monastery is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. The monastery occupies an important role in the history of Crete; from here it starts the momentum towards gaining the independence of the island that was under the authority of the Ottoman Empire for more than two centuries. In 1866, the Arkadi monastery was used as a place of refuge by the Cretan rebels. The Arkadi Monastery was one of the biggest cultural centres during the Renaissance. Located 30 kilometres southwest of Rethymno, the Arkadi monastery is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The monastery is linked to some memorable events that occurred during the times when the island was fighting the Turks attacks. In the reflector’s door there still are visible traces of bullets, an old cypress in the courtyard of the monastery still keeps the bullet encrusted and the windmill was turned into a charnel house in which are preserved skulls of those who perished in the bloody slaughter. The Arkadi Monastery is a unique tourist attraction in Crete. This is the place of a true Greek tragedy and the walls of the monastery remained as a testimony of a tumultuous period in history. In 1866 the inhabitants of Crete were under Turkish rule, but they decided to rebel. During the riots, more than 900 people, mostly women and children, found refuge in the monastery. Turks began a siege of the Arkadi Monastery. After three days, the invaders managed to break the Greek defence and to penetrate the gates of the worship place. This is the moment when one of the most tragic events in the history of Crete happened. The people sheltered in the monastery refused to be taken captive and they burned the gunpowder barrels, blowing up the building. Thus perished nearly 1,000 Cretans as well as numerous Turks and the Arkadi Monastery, dating from the twelfth century was severely damaged. In 1870, only four years after the tragedy, the monastery was restored and today is considered to be a symbol of the struggle for freedom of the inhabitants of Crete.
Crete, Greece
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Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) in Prague
Charles Bridge over the Vltava River is surely one of the most beautiful places in Prague. It is the oldest bridge in the city, built between XIV and XV centuries, linking the banks of the river. Embellished with statues and lamps, the bridge forms together with the gothic towers at each end a breath-taking historical monument. There is no better place in Prague for an evening walk. The construction of the Charles Bridge began in 1357 and it was completed in the early XV century. It has 515 meters long and 9.50 meters wide, it has 16 pillars (with heights between 16 and 23 meters) and the paving is 13 meters above the Vltava River. Charles Bridge is decorated with 30 statues on both parapets. Most of them were placed there between 1706 and 1714. The first cross was placed on the Charles Bridge in the XIV century. The Bruncvik statue was placed there before 1503, but only its pedestal is exposed there. The statue is in the National Museum Lapidary and on the bridge there is a replica that’s exposed. The oldest preserved statue is the statue of St. John of Nepomulk from 1683 and the newest one is the statue of St. Cyril and St. Methodius from 1928. Charles Bridge in Prague manages to attract thousands of tourists, captivated by that magical moment, as if lost in time. It may happen due to its venerable and noisy history, to the gallery of saints keep here to eternity or maybe due to the unique view that we can admire in the direction of the Prague Castle. Whatever the reasons why the Charles Bridge in Prague is so appreciated and admired, tourists along with locals love to walk or idle along the wide sidewalks of hundreds of years, giving to the Czech capital that unique character that we can enjoy every day.
Prague, Czech Republic
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Place de la Concorde, Paris
Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris and separates the Tuileries gardens from the Champs-Elysees Boulevard. It was originally called Louis XV Market and in the middle it was placed an equestrian statue of Louis XV. The market has the shape of an octagon; its construction began in 1754 and it was completed in 1763. A period after its construction, the market has served as a meeting place for participants in the bloodiest revolution in the history of France. After revolutionaries seized power, they renamed it The Revolution Square and replaced the statue of King Louis XV with a guillotine. Between 1793 and 1795, over 1300 people were beheaded, including Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre. The name of Place de la Concorde symbolises the end of an era of suffering and the hope for a better future. The Obelisk of Luxor, a pink granite monolith was given to France in 1829 by the viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali and replaced the guillotine from the Place de la Concorde. The building, which used to mark the entrance in the Amon temple has over 3300 years old and it is decorated with hieroglyphs representing the power of the Pharaohs Ramesses II and III. The obelisk that was brought in 1833 weighs 230 tons and has 22.83 meters. Having survived more than 33 centuries, the obelisk has suffered most damage in the last half of the last century due to exposure to pollution from exhaust fumes. The obelisk is a monument with four inscribed surfaces forming a pyramid to the top. Egyptians rose them by two and they were associated with sunlight which grew in thickness when approaching the ground. In each corner of the octagon forming the market there are statues representing the French cities: Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest and Rouen. In the south-east of the market, the Concorde Bridge passes over the Seine towards the Bourbon Palace where the National Assembly is located. Near the Obelisk, in the Tuileries gardens you can find the Orangerie Museum.
Paris, France
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