Most popular tourist attraction in Italy

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An Overview

 Colosseum, also known as Flavian Amphitheatre, giant amphitheatre built in Rome under the Flavian emperors. Construction of the Colosseum was begun sometime between 70 and 72 CE during the reign of Vespasian. It is located just east of the Palatine Hill, on the grounds of what was Nero’s Golden House. The artificial lake that was the centrepiece of that palace complex was drained, and the Colosseum was sited there, a decision that was as much symbolic as it was practical. Vespasian, whose path to the throne had relatively humble beginnings, chose to replace the tyrannical emperor’s private lake with a public amphitheatre that could host tens of thousands of Romans.

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The Colosseum could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators during phases of its various renovations over the centuries, having an average audience of some 65,000; it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

                                   Image result for colosseum

Although substantially ruined because of earthquakes, thieves, and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and also has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum. In 2018, it was the most popular tourist attraction in the world, with 7.4 million visitors.

 

Architecture

 Exterior

Unlike earlier Greek theatres that were built into hillsides, the Colosseum is an entirely free-standing structure. It derives its basic exterior and interior architecture from that of two Roman theatres back to back. It is elliptical in plan and is 189 meters (615 ft / 640 Roman feet) long, and 156 meters (510 ft / 528 Roman feet) wide, with a base area of 24,000 square metres (6 acres). The height of the outer wall is 48 meters (157 ft / 165 Roman feet). The perimeter originally measured 545 meters (1,788 ft / 1,835 Roman feet). The central arena is an oval 87 m (287 ft) long and 55 m (180 ft) wide, surrounded by a wall 5 m (15 ft) high, above which rose tiers of seating. The outer wall is estimated to have required over 100,000 cubic metres (3,531,467 cubic feet) of travertine stone which were set without mortar; they were held together by 300 tons of iron clamps.

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The surviving part of the outer wall's monumental facade comprises three stories of superimposed arcades surmounted by a podium on which stands a tall attic, both of which are pierced by windows interspersed at regular intervals. The arcades are framed by half-columns of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders, while the attic is decorated with Corinthian pilasters. Each of the arches in the second- and third-floor arcades framed statues, probably honoring divinities and other figures from Classical mythology. 

Image result for Entrance LII of the Colosseum, with Roman numerals still visible

                                                                                           Entrance

Spectators were given tickets in the form of numbered pottery shards, which directed them to the appropriate section and row. They accessed their seats via vomitoria (singular vomitorium), passageways that opened into a tier of seats from below or behind. These quickly dispersed people into their seats and, upon conclusion of the event or in an emergency evacuation, could permit their exit within only a few minutes. The name vomitoria derived from the Latin word for a rapid discharge, from which English derives the word vomit.

 

Interior

 According to the Codex-Calendar of 354, the Colosseum could accommodate 87,000 people, although modern estimates put the figure at around 50,000. They were seated in a tiered arrangement that reflected the rigidly stratified nature of Roman society. Special boxes were provided at the north and south ends respectively for the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins, providing the best views of the arena. Flanking them at the same level was a broad platform or podium for the senatorial class, who were allowed to bring their own chairs. The names of some 5th century senators can still be seen carved into the stonework, presumably reserving areas for their use.

Image result for Interior of the Colosseum, Rome (1832) by Thomas Cole, showing the Stations of the Cross around the arena and the extensive vegetation

Each tier was divided into sections (maeniana) by curved passages and low walls (praecinctiones or baltei), and were subdivided into cunei, or wedges, by the steps and aisles from the vomitoria. Each row (gradus) of seats was numbered, permitting each individual seat to be exactly designated by its gradus, cuneus, and number.

           Image result for The raked areas that once held seating

                                                              The raked areas that once held seating

 

Arena & Hypogeum

 The arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters, It comprised a wooden floor covered by sand, covering an elaborate underground structure called the hypogeum. The hypogeum was not part of the original construction but was ordered to be built by Emperor Domitian. Little now remains of the original arena floor, but the hypogeum is still clearly visible. It consisted of a two-level subterranean network of tunnels and cages beneath the arena where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. Eighty vertical shafts provided instant access to the arena for caged animals and scenery pieces concealed underneath; larger hinged platforms, called hegmata, provided access for elephants and the like. It was restructured on numerous occasions; at least twelve different phases of construction can be seen. 

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                                                                                      Hypogeum

The hypogeum was connected by tunnels to a number of points outside the Colosseum. Animals and performers were brought through the tunnel from nearby stables, with the gladiators' barracks at the Ludus Magnus to the east also being connected by tunnels. Separate tunnels were provided for the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins to permit them to enter and exit the Colosseum without needing to pass through the crowds.

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                                                   Pollice Verso (Thumbs Down) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1872

 

Trend

 The Colosseum today is now a major tourist attraction in Rome with thousands of tourists each year entering to view the interior arena. There is now a museum dedicated to Eros located in the upper floor of the outer wall of the building. Part of the arena floor has been re-floored. Beneath the Colosseum, a network of subterranean passageways once used to transport wild animals and gladiators to the arena opened to the public in summer 2010. 

Image result for The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)

                                                  The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)

The Colosseum is also the site of Roman Catholic ceremonies in the 20th and 21st centuries. For instance, Pope Benedict XVI led the Stations of the Cross called the Scriptural Way of the Cross at the Colosseum on Good Fridays.

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3.4
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Description : An Overview The Temple of Aphaea is located within a sanctuary complex dedicated to the goddess Aphaia on the Greek island of Aigina, which lies in the Saronic Gulf. Aphaia was a Greek goddess who was worshipped exclusively at this sanctuary. The extant temple of c. 500 BC was built over the remains of an earlier temple of c. 570 BC, which was destroyed by fire c. 510 BC. The elements of this destroyed temple were buried in the infill for the larger, flat terrace of the later temple, and are thus well preserved. Abundant traces of paint remain on many of these buried fragments. Significant quantities of Late Bronze Age figurines have been discovered at the site, including proportionally large numbers of female figurines indicating – perhaps – that cult activity at the site was continuous from the 14th century BC, suggesting a Minoan connection for the cult. The last temple is of an unusual plan and is also significant for its pedimental sculptures, which are thought to illustrate the change from Archaic to Early Classical technique. These sculptures are on display in the Glyptothek of Munich, with a number of fragments located in the museums at Aigina and on the site itself. History The sanctuary of Aphaia was located on the top of a hill c. 160 m in elevation at the northeast point of the island. The last form of the sanctuary covered an area of c. 80 by 80 m; earlier phases were less extensive and less well defined. Bronze Age phase In its earliest phase of use during the Bronze Age, the eastern area of the hilltop was an unwalled, open-air sanctuary to a female fertility and agricultural deity. Bronze Age figurines outnumber remains of pottery. Open vessel forms are also at an unusually high proportion versus closed vessels. There are no known settlements or burials in the vicinity, arguing against the remains being due to either usage. Large numbers of small pottery chariots and thrones and miniature vessels have been found. Although there are scattered remains dating to the Early Bronze Age such as two seal stones, remains in significant quantities begin to be deposited in the Middle Bronze Age, and the sanctuary has its peak use in the LHIIIa2 through LHIIIb periods. It is less easy to trace the cult through the Sub-Mycenean period and into the Geometric where cult activity is once more reasonably certain. Late Geometric phase Furtwangler proposes three phases of building at the sanctuary, with the earliest of these demonstrated by an altar at the eastern end dating to c. 700 BC. Also securely known are a cistern at the northeast extremity and a structure identified as a treasury east of the propylon (entrance) of the sanctuary. The temple corresponding to these structures is proposed to be under the later temples and thus not able to be excavated. Archaic phase (Aphaia Temple I) Only detected a (stone socle and mudbrick upper level) peribolos wall enclosing an area of c. 40 by 45 m dating to this phase. This peribolos was not aligned to the axis of the temple. A raised and paved platform was built to connect the temple to the altar. There was a propylon (formal entrance gate) with a wooden superstructure in the southeast side of the peribolos. A 14 m tall column topped by a sphinx was at the northeast side of the sanctuary. Late Archaic Phase (Aphaia Temple II) Construction of a new temple commenced soon after the destruction of the older temple. The remains of the destroyed temple were removed from the site of the new temple and used to fill a c. 40 by 80 m terrace within the overall sanctuary of c. 80 by 80 m. This new temple terrace was aligned on north, west, and south with the plan of the new temple. The temple was a hexastyle peripteral Doric order structure on a 6 by 12 column plan resting on a 15.5 by 30.5 m platform; it had a distyle in antis cella with an opisthodomos and a pronaos. Pedimental Sculptures The marbles from the Late Archaic temple of Aphaia, comprising the sculptural groups of the east and west pediments of the temple, are on display in the Glyptothek of Munich, where they were restored by the Danish neoclassic sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Sculpture of a warrior from the east pediment of the Temple of Aphaia II. These works exerted a formative influence on the local character of Neoclassicism in Munich, as exhibited in the architecture of Leo von Klenze. Each pediment centered on the figure of Athena, with groups of combatants, fallen warriors, and arms filling the decreasing angles of the pediments. Sculpture of a warrior from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia II. The theme shared by the pediments was the greatness of Aigina as shown by the exploits of its local heroes in the two Trojan wars, one led by Heracles against Laomedon and a second led by Agamemnon against Priam.
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Description : An Overview The Jefferson Memorial is a tribute to Founding Father of the United States, and the founder of the Democratic-Republican Party, Thomas Jefferson. It is also a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943, under the sponsorship of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The neoclassical Memorial building is situated in West Potomac Park on the shore of the Tidal Basin off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River. It was designed by the architect John Russell Pope and built by the Philadelphia contractor John McShain. Construction of the building began in 1939 and was completed in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947. Pope made references to the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The Jefferson Memorial, and the White House located directly north, form one of the main anchor points in the area of the National Mall in D.C. The Washington Monument, just east of the axis on the national Mall, was intended to be located at the intersection of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south, but soft swampy ground which defied 19th century engineering required it be sited to the east. Architecture Construction began on December 15, 1938, and the cornerstone was laid on November 15, 1939, by Franklin Roosevelt. By this point Pope had died (1937) and his surviving partners, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers, took over construction of the memorial. The design was modified at the request of the Commission of Fine Arts to a more conservative design. The memorial cost approximately $3 million to construct. Construction commenced amid significant opposition. The Commission of Fine Arts never actually approved any design for the memorial and even published a pamphlet in 1939 opposing both the design and site of the memorial. In addition, many Washingtonians opposed the site because it was not aligned with L'Enfant's original plan. Finally, many well-established elm and cherry trees, including rare stock donated by Japan in 1912, were destined for removal under the original plan. Construction continued amid the opposition, and although the chaining of women protestors to cherry trees, and the negative press toward the memorial that resulted, caused President Roosevelt considerable dismay, such protests ultimately helped limit the projected footprint of the new memorial, so that it would peacefully co-exist with the spring-blooming cherry orchard flanking and abutting it. Thomas Jefferson Memorial In 1939, the Memorial Commission hosted a competition to select a sculptor for the planned statue in the center of the memorial. They received 101 entries and chose six finalists. Of the six, Rudulph Evans was chosen as the main sculptor and Adolph A. Weinman was chosen to sculpt the pediment relief situated above the entrance. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. designed the memorial landscape. The Olmsted planting plan installed at the time of construction featured a simple design within a circular driveway; primarily evergreen trees with limited flowering trees and shrubs. The design was perceived as too thin, so white pines were added and some other plantings took place before the dedication in 1943. Many changes to Olmsted's plans occurred in the 1970s, while 1993 and 2000 restorations have attempted to restore integrity to Olmsted's altered design. President Roosevelt ordered trees to be cut so that the view of the memorial from the White House would be enhanced; additional tree pruning was completed to create an unobstructed view between the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. The Jefferson Memorial was officially dedicated by President Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birthday. At that time, Evans' statue had not yet been finished. Due to material shortages during World War II, the statue that was installed at the time was a plaster cast of Evans' work painted to look like bronze. The finished bronze statue was installed in 1947, having been cast by the Roman Bronze Works of New York. Description The Jefferson Memorial is composed of circular marble steps, a portico, a circular colonnade of Ionic order columns, and a shallow dome. The building is open to the elements. It has a diameter of approximately 165 feet. The memorial is constructed of white Imperial Danby marble from Vermont, which rests upon a series of granite and marble-stepped terraces. A flight of granite and marble stairs and platforms, flanked by granite buttresses, lead up from the Tidal Basin to a portico with a triangular pediment. The pediment features a sculpture by Adolph Alexander Weinman depicting the Committee of Five, the five members of the drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence. Beside Jefferson, the members of this committee were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. A cornice with an egg and dart molding surrounds this pediment, below which is a plain frieze. Interior The interior of the memorial has a 19-foot (5.8 m) tall, 10,000 lb (4336 kg) bronze statue of Jefferson by the sculptor Rudulph Evans. The statue was added four years after the dedication. Most prominent are the words which are inscribed in a frieze below the dome: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." This sentence is taken from a letter written by Jefferson on September 23, 1800, to Dr. Benjamin Rush wherein he defends the constitutional refusal to recognize a state religion. On the panel of the southwest interior wall are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We ... solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states ... And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence,we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.The inscription uses the word "inalienable", as in Jefferson's draft, rather than "unalienable", as in the published Declaration. On the panel of the northwest interior wall is an excerpt from the 1777 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, except for the last sentence, which is taken from a letter of August 28, 1789, to James Madison: Almighty God hath created the mind free ... All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens ... are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion ... No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively. The quotes from the panel of the northeast interior wall are from multiple sources. The first sentence, beginning "God who gave ...", is from A Summary View of the Rights of British America. The second, third and fourth sentences are from Notes on the State of Virginia. The fifth sentence, beginning "Nothing is more ...", is from Jefferson's autobiography. The sixth sentence, beginning "Establish the law ...", is from a letter of August 13, 1790, to George Wythe. The final sentence is from a letter of January 4, 1786, to George Washington: God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan. The inscription on the panel of the southeast interior wall is redacted and excerpted from a letter of July 12, 1816, to Samuel Kercheval: I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
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Description : An Overview The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California—the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula—to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide (1.6 km) strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommer's travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world." At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 4,200 feet (1,280 m) and a total height of 746 feet (227 m). Design Strauss was chief engineer in charge of overall design and construction of the bridge project. However, because he had little understanding or experience with cable-suspension designs, responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts. Strauss's initial design proposal (two double cantilever spans linked by a central suspension segment) was unacceptable from a visual standpoint. The final graceful suspension design was conceived and championed by Leon Moisseiff, the engineer of the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. Irving Morrow, a relatively unknown residential architect, designed the overall shape of the bridge towers, the lighting scheme, and Art Deco elements, such as the tower decorations, streetlights, railing, and walkways. The famous International Orange color was Morrow's personal selection, winning out over other possibilities, including the US Navy's suggestion that it be painted with black and yellow stripes to ensure visibility by passing ships. With an eye toward self-promotion and posterity, Strauss downplayed the contributions of his collaborators who, despite receiving little recognition or compensation, are largely responsible for the final form of the bridge. He succeeded in having himself credited as the person most responsible for the design and vision of the bridge. Only much later were the contributions of the others on the design team properly appreciated. In May 2007, the Golden Gate Bridge District issued a formal report on 70 years of stewardship of the famous bridge and decided to give Ellis major credit for the design of the bridge. Construction Construction began on January 5, 1933. The project cost more than $35 million ($514 million in 2018 dollars), and was completed ahead of schedule and $1.3 million under budget (equivalent to $24.2 million today). The Golden Gate Bridge construction project was carried out by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Co., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation founded by Howard H. McClintic and Charles D. Marshall, both of Lehigh University. Panorama showing the height, depth, and length of the span from end to end, looking west The project was finished and opened May 27, 1937. The Bridge Round House diner was then included in the southeastern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, adjacent to the tourist plaza which was renovated in 2012. The Bridge Round House, an Art Deco design by Alfred Finnila completed in 1938, has been popular throughout the years as a starting point for various commercial tours of the bridge and an unofficial gift shop. The diner was renovated in 2012 and the gift shop was then removed as a new, official gift shop has been included in the adjacent plaza. Panorama of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, as seen from just north of Alcatraz Island During the bridge work, the Assistant Civil Engineer of California Alfred Finnila had overseen the entire iron work of the bridge as well as half of the bridge's road work. With the death of Jack Balestreri in April 2012, all workers involved in the original construction are now deceased. Opening Ceremony The bridge-opening celebration began on May 27, 1937, and lasted for one week. The day before vehicle traffic was allowed, 200,000 people crossed either on foot or on roller skates. On opening day, Mayor Angelo Rossi and other officials rode the ferry to Marin, then crossed the bridge in a motorcade past three ceremonial "barriers," the last a blockade of beauty queens who required Joseph Strauss to present the bridge to the Highway District before allowing him to pass. An official song, "There's a Silver Moon on the Golden Gate," was chosen to commemorate the event. Strauss wrote a poem that is now on the Golden Gate Bridge entitled "The Mighty Task is Done." The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington, D.C. signaling the official start of vehicle traffic over the Bridge at noon. As the celebration got out of hand there was a small riot in the uptown Polk Gulch area. Weeks of civil and cultural activities called "the Fiesta" followed. A statue of Strauss was moved in 1955 to a site near the bridge. Architecture After rejection and then on re-submission of his bridge construction plan, he added details, such as lighting, to outline the bridge's cables and towers. In 1999, it was ranked fifth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. The color of the bridge is officially an orange vermilion called international orange. The colour was selected by consulting architect Irving Morrow because it complements the natural surroundings and enhances the bridge's visibility in fog. The bridge was originally painted with red lead primer and a lead-based topcoat, which was touched up as required. In the mid-1960s, a program was started to improve corrosion protection by stripping the original paint and repainting the bridge with zinc silicate primer and vinyl topcoats. Since 1990, acrylic topcoats have been used instead for air-quality reasons. The program was completed in 1995 and it is now maintained by 38 painters who touch up the paintwork where it becomes seriously corroded. The ongoing maintenance task of painting of the bridge is continuous.
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Description : An Overview The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older temple, which had burned down. The building is cylindrical with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still unreinforced. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43 metres (142 ft). It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history and, since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been in use as a church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (Latin: Sancta Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda". The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. The Pantheon is a state property, managed by Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism through the Polo Museale del Lazio; in 2013 it was visited by over 6 million people. Architecture Portico The building was originally approached by a flight of steps. Later construction raised the level of the ground leading to the portico, eliminating these steps. The pediment was decorated with relief sculpture, probably of gilded bronze. Holes marking the location of clamps that held the sculpture suggest that its design was likely an eagle within a wreath; ribbons extended from the wreath into the corners of the pediment. In the walls at the back of the Pantheon's portico are two huge niches, perhaps intended for statues of Augustus Caesar and Agrippa. The large bronze doors to the cella, once plated with gold, are not the original ones of the Pantheon. The current doors – manufactured too small for the door frames – have been there since about the 15th century. Room with the Dome The 4,535-tonne weight of the Roman concrete dome is concentrated on a ring of voussoirs 9.1 metres (30 ft) in diameter that form the oculus, while the downward thrust of the dome is carried by eight barrel vaults in the 6.4-metre-thick (21 ft) drum wall into eight piers. The thickness of the dome varies from 6.4 metres (21 ft) at the base of the dome to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) around the oculus. The materials used in the concrete of the dome also varies. At its thickest point, the aggregate is travertine, then terracotta tiles, then at the very top, tufa and pumice, both porous light stones. At the very top, where the dome would be at its weakest and vulnerable to collapse, the oculus actually lightens the load. The stresses in the dome were found to be substantially reduced by the use of successively less dense aggregate stones, such as small pots or pieces of pumice, in higher layers of the dome. Mark and Hutchison estimated that, if normal weight concrete had been used throughout, the stresses in the arch would have been some 80% greater. Hidden chambers engineered within the rotunda form a sophisticated structural system. This reduced the weight of the roof, as did the elimination of the apex by means of the oculus. The top of the rotunda wall features a series of brick relieving arches, visible on the outside and built into the mass of the brickwork. The Pantheon is full of such devices – for example, there are relieving arches over the recesses inside – but all these arches were hidden by marble facing on the interior and possibly by stone revetment or stucco on the exterior. Though often drawn as a free-standing building, there was a building at its rear which abutted it. While this building helped buttress the rotunda, there was no interior passage from one to the other. Interior Upon entry, visitors are greeted by an enormous rounded room covered by the dome. The oculus at the top of the dome was never covered, allowing rainfall through the ceiling and onto the floor. Because of this, the interior floor is equipped with drains and has been built with an incline of about 30 centimetres (12 in) to promote water run off. The interior of the dome was possibly intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens. The oculus at the dome's apex and the entry door are the only natural sources of light in the interior. Throughout the day, the light from the oculus moves around this space in a reverse sundial effect. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. During storms, a drainage system below the floor handles the rain that falls through the oculus. The dome features sunken panels (coffers), in five rings of 28. This evenly spaced layout was difficult to achieve and, it is presumed, had symbolic meaning, either numerical, geometric, or lunar. In antiquity, the coffers may have contained bronze rosettes symbolising the starry firmament.

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Description : An Overview The Khusro Bagh is a well protected walled garden close to the Allahabad junction station. It surrounds the three tombs of the Mughal king - Jehangir’s family. The three tombs belong to Khusrau Mirza (Jehangir’s eldest son), Shah Begum (Jehangir’s first wife) and Princess Sultan Nithar Begam (Jehangir’s daughter). They were buried within this complex in the 17th century. The beautifully carved three-tier tombs exemplify the best of Mughal art and architecture. It is said that Jehangir employed the country’s best artisans to build these tombs. Jehangir’s eldest son was murdered by his brother Shah Jahan. It is believed his mother poisoned herself and died an unnatural death. However, the emperor spared no expense on the tombs. Architecture The three sandstone mausoleums within this walled garden, present an exquisite example of Mughal architecture The design of its main entrance, the surrounding gardens, and the three-tier tomb of Shah Begum, who died in 1604, has been attributed to Aqa Reza, Jahangir’s principal court artist. Shah Begum, originally Manbhawati Bai, was the daughter of Raja Bhagwant Das of Amber. Distressed by the discord between her husband Jahangir and son Khusrau, she committed suicide in 1604 by swallowing opium. Her tomb was designed in 1606 by Aqa Reza and is a three storied terrace plinth without a main mound, inviting comparisons with Fatehpur Sikri by experts. The tomb however has a large chhatri that surmounts the plinth and the arabesque inscriptions that adorn her tomb were carved out by Mir Abdullah Mushkin Qalam, Jahangir's greatest calligrapher. Next to the Begum's is the tomb of Khusrau's sister, Nithar. Architecturally, this is the most elaborate of the three. It lies on an elevated platform and is adorned with panels depicting the scalloped arch motif. Within the plinth are rooms whose ceilings have been elaborately painted with stars in concentric circles. The central room has on its walls floral decorations depicting Persian cypresses, wine vessels, flowers and plants. The tomb of Khusrau, is the last of the three tombs in Khusro Bagh. Khusro was first imprisoned within the garden after he rebelled against his father, Jahangir, in 1606. Following an attempt to escape, he was blinded on Jahangir's instructions. In 1622 he was killed on the orders of Khusrau's brother and Jehangir's third son Prince Khurram, who later became the Emperor Shah Jahan. The tomb has fretwork windows and the tomb of his mare lies near his own. Khusrau's tomb was completed in 1622, while that of Nithar Begum's, which lies between Shah Begum's and Khusrau's tombs, was built on her instructions in 1624-25. Nithar's mausoleum is however empty and it does not contain her tomb within it. During the Revolt of 1857 Khusrau Bagh became the headquarters of the sepoys under Maulvi Liaquat Ali who took charge as the Governor of liberated Prayagraj. In Prayagraj however the Mutiny was swiftly put down and Khusro Bagh was retaken by the British in two weeks. The garden has now lent its name to the surrounding locality of Khusrobagh, which is now a bustling township.
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Description : An Overview The Bunker Hill Monument was erected to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was among the first major battles between British and Patriot forces in the American Revolutionary War, fought there June 17, 1775. The 221-foot (67 m) granite obelisk was erected between 1825 and 1843 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, with granite from nearby Quincy conveyed to the site via the purpose-built Granite Railway, followed by a trip by barge. There are 294 steps to the top. An exhibit lodge built adjacent to the monument in the late 19th century houses a statue of fallen hero Dr. Joseph Warren. Bunker Hill is one of the sites along the Freedom Trail and is part of Boston National Historical Park. The monument underwent a $3.7 million renovation, completed in 2007, that included repairs, handicap accessibility improvements, and new lighting. The Bunker Hill Museum across the street was dedicated in June of that year and includes many exhibits about the battle. No admission charge applies to the museum or monument. Breed’s Hill Breed's Hill is a glacial drumlin located in the Charlestown section of Boston, Massachusetts. It is located in the southern portion of the Charlestown Peninsula, a historically oval, but now more roughly triangular, peninsula that was originally connected to Cambridge in colonial times by a short, narrow isthmus known as the Charlestown Neck. It is best known as the location wherein 1775, early in the American Revolutionary War, most of the fighting in the Battle of Bunker Hill took place. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the peninsula's shape and connections to other landforms were significantly altered, with the waters of the Charles River between Cambridge and Charlestown heavily filled in. Much of the hill is now occupied by residential construction, but the summit area is the location of the Bunker Hill Monument and other memorials commemorating the battle. Battle of Bunker Hill/Breed's Hill The hill is about 62 feet (19 m) high, and is topped by Monument Square, site of the Bunker Hill Monument. The hill slopes fairly steeply to the east and west. In addition to its historic sites and tourist-oriented facilities, the hill is the site of a great deal of residential property, as well as supporting municipal and retail infrastructure. It is about 700 yards (640 m) from Bunker Hill. Architecture William Ticknor, a well-known Boston lawyer, and antiquarian, first suggested the memorial. An interested group of men met for breakfast at the home of Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins, including William Tudor, Daniel Webster, Professor George Ticknor, Doctor John C. Warren, William Sullivan, and George Blake. On May 10, 1823, the first public meeting was called. Each member subscribed five dollars, and on June 7, 1823, the Bunker Hill Monument Association was established and the work of raising money was begun. Famed nineteenth-century philanthropist Amos Lawrence contributed $10,000 to the monument's erection. In the spring of 1825, the directors had purchased about 15 acres (61,000 m²) on the slope of Breed's Hill but had not yet chosen a design. The first design committee consisted of Webster, noted engineer Loammi Baldwin, Jr., George Ticknor, Gilbert Stuart, and Washington Allston. One hundred dollars was offered for the best design; about 50 plans were presented in response. The choice was soon narrowed to a column and an obelisk and a new committee was appointed to procure designs and estimate expenses for each. At the next meeting, the majority voted that the obelisk designed by Solomon Willard be used. The directors laid the cornerstone on June 17, 1825. The Marquis de Lafayette (who was on a 14-month tour of the United States on the 50th anniversary of the War) performed the ceremony, Webster delivered the oration, and the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, conducted the services. Rev. Joseph Thaxter, who was wounded in the battle, officiated as chaplain at the ceremony, offering a prayer in thanks for the colonists' victory. More than 100,000 attended the event, including 190 veterans who had participated in the battle. Blocks of granite for the monument averaged two cubic yards each and were quarried by wedging. Delivered to the site of the monument at an actual cost of $5.40 per cubic yard from a quarry opened for the purpose far under the average contract offers for the same of $24.30. Work proceeded somewhat slowly at first, but the Granite Railway was completed in short order and became operational on October 7, 1826, as the first commercial railroad in the United States functioning as a common carrier. Construction was frequently halted as available funds were depleted. To bring the project to completion the Monument Association in 1838 began to sell off the 10 acres (40,000 m2) of the battlefield as house lots, eventually preserving only the summit of Breed's Hill as the monument grounds. Neighbour’s disgruntled with the construction eyesore were rumored to have plans to raise money to tear down the partially completed monument. Sarah Josepha Hale and the readers of her magazine supplied funds essential to the monument's successful completion. The capstone was laid on July 23, 1842, with the monument being dedicated on June 17 of the following year, again with a Daniel Webster oration. According to the Boston Latin School Association's "Points of Pride Quiz" for December 2007, BLS boys helped erect the Boston landmark. The Bunker Hill Monument Association maintained the monument and grounds until 1919 when it was turned over to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1976 the monument was transferred to the National Park Service and became a unit of Boston National Historical Park. The monument was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, in part for its architectural significance as a major early war memorial, and the nation's largest-scale memorial prior to the construction of the Washington Monument. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and was included in the Monument Square Historic District in 1987.
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Description : An Overview The Jefferson Memorial is a tribute to Founding Father of the United States, and the founder of the Democratic-Republican Party, Thomas Jefferson. It is also a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943, under the sponsorship of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The neoclassical Memorial building is situated in West Potomac Park on the shore of the Tidal Basin off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River. It was designed by the architect John Russell Pope and built by the Philadelphia contractor John McShain. Construction of the building began in 1939 and was completed in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947. Pope made references to the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The Jefferson Memorial, and the White House located directly north, form one of the main anchor points in the area of the National Mall in D.C. The Washington Monument, just east of the axis on the national Mall, was intended to be located at the intersection of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south, but soft swampy ground which defied 19th century engineering required it be sited to the east. Architecture Construction began on December 15, 1938, and the cornerstone was laid on November 15, 1939, by Franklin Roosevelt. By this point Pope had died (1937) and his surviving partners, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers, took over construction of the memorial. The design was modified at the request of the Commission of Fine Arts to a more conservative design. The memorial cost approximately $3 million to construct. Construction commenced amid significant opposition. The Commission of Fine Arts never actually approved any design for the memorial and even published a pamphlet in 1939 opposing both the design and site of the memorial. In addition, many Washingtonians opposed the site because it was not aligned with L'Enfant's original plan. Finally, many well-established elm and cherry trees, including rare stock donated by Japan in 1912, were destined for removal under the original plan. Construction continued amid the opposition, and although the chaining of women protestors to cherry trees, and the negative press toward the memorial that resulted, caused President Roosevelt considerable dismay, such protests ultimately helped limit the projected footprint of the new memorial, so that it would peacefully co-exist with the spring-blooming cherry orchard flanking and abutting it. Thomas Jefferson Memorial In 1939, the Memorial Commission hosted a competition to select a sculptor for the planned statue in the center of the memorial. They received 101 entries and chose six finalists. Of the six, Rudulph Evans was chosen as the main sculptor and Adolph A. Weinman was chosen to sculpt the pediment relief situated above the entrance. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. designed the memorial landscape. The Olmsted planting plan installed at the time of construction featured a simple design within a circular driveway; primarily evergreen trees with limited flowering trees and shrubs. The design was perceived as too thin, so white pines were added and some other plantings took place before the dedication in 1943. Many changes to Olmsted's plans occurred in the 1970s, while 1993 and 2000 restorations have attempted to restore integrity to Olmsted's altered design. President Roosevelt ordered trees to be cut so that the view of the memorial from the White House would be enhanced; additional tree pruning was completed to create an unobstructed view between the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. The Jefferson Memorial was officially dedicated by President Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birthday. At that time, Evans' statue had not yet been finished. Due to material shortages during World War II, the statue that was installed at the time was a plaster cast of Evans' work painted to look like bronze. The finished bronze statue was installed in 1947, having been cast by the Roman Bronze Works of New York. Description The Jefferson Memorial is composed of circular marble steps, a portico, a circular colonnade of Ionic order columns, and a shallow dome. The building is open to the elements. It has a diameter of approximately 165 feet. The memorial is constructed of white Imperial Danby marble from Vermont, which rests upon a series of granite and marble-stepped terraces. A flight of granite and marble stairs and platforms, flanked by granite buttresses, lead up from the Tidal Basin to a portico with a triangular pediment. The pediment features a sculpture by Adolph Alexander Weinman depicting the Committee of Five, the five members of the drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence. Beside Jefferson, the members of this committee were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. A cornice with an egg and dart molding surrounds this pediment, below which is a plain frieze. Interior The interior of the memorial has a 19-foot (5.8 m) tall, 10,000 lb (4336 kg) bronze statue of Jefferson by the sculptor Rudulph Evans. The statue was added four years after the dedication. Most prominent are the words which are inscribed in a frieze below the dome: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." This sentence is taken from a letter written by Jefferson on September 23, 1800, to Dr. Benjamin Rush wherein he defends the constitutional refusal to recognize a state religion. On the panel of the southwest interior wall are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We ... solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states ... And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence,we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.The inscription uses the word "inalienable", as in Jefferson's draft, rather than "unalienable", as in the published Declaration. On the panel of the northwest interior wall is an excerpt from the 1777 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, except for the last sentence, which is taken from a letter of August 28, 1789, to James Madison: Almighty God hath created the mind free ... All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens ... are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion ... No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively. The quotes from the panel of the northeast interior wall are from multiple sources. The first sentence, beginning "God who gave ...", is from A Summary View of the Rights of British America. The second, third and fourth sentences are from Notes on the State of Virginia. The fifth sentence, beginning "Nothing is more ...", is from Jefferson's autobiography. The sixth sentence, beginning "Establish the law ...", is from a letter of August 13, 1790, to George Wythe. The final sentence is from a letter of January 4, 1786, to George Washington: God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan. The inscription on the panel of the southeast interior wall is redacted and excerpted from a letter of July 12, 1816, to Samuel Kercheval: I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
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Description : An Overview Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda is a popular tourist monument in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari, India. According to local legends, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed Tapas in devotion of lord Shiva. A meditation hall known as Dhyana Mandapam is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. The rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea. The memorial consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. The great contribution of Eknath Ranade The first step Eknath Ranade took on being asked to take charge of the Rock Memorial work, was to ascertain that this effort had the full support of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. He was made the Organising Secretary of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee so that he was officially in charge of the Rock Memorial mission. The immediate obstacles were Bhaktavatsalam's stand that he would not allow the memorial to come up as Humayun Kabir, the Union Minister for Cultural Affairs, had said that the natural beauty of the Rock would be spoiled. Kabir's constituency was Calcutta. When Ranade publicised in Calcutta, that it was Kabir who was against the creation of Memorial of one of the greatest sons of Bengal, there was such a hue and cry that Kabir had to do a volte-face. However, to prevail over Bhaktavatsalam, only Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's support would do. To that end, on Lal Bahadur Shastri's advice, Ranade camped in Delhi. In three days, he collected the signatures of 323 Members of Parliament in a show of all-round support for the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, which was presented to the Prime Minister. Bhaktavatsalam had no option now but to allow the construction of the Rock Memorial. Bhaktavatsalam had given permission only for a small 15’ x 15’ shrine. Knowing his reverence for the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Ranade approached the latter for suggesting the design of the Rock Memorial. Bhaktavatsalam unhesitatingly agreed to the larger design (130’-1½" x 56’)approved by the Paramacharya. Architecture Once all the political hurdles were removed, construction was underway. Ranade was in the forefront facing all the challenges that came his way: to establish scientifically that the Rock was structurally sound and could support such a huge structure on it; the logistics of quarrying and transporting large blocks of stone from great distances, and from the shore to the Rock; provision of water and power supplies; the growing demand for skilled artisans, craftsmen, and labor; building of jetty platforms on the rock and the shore (the pedestrian footbridge idea to the Rock was dropped); the de-silting around the jetty platform areas to enable bigger crafts to approach the shore, and so on. The biggest and ever-present challenge, however, was that of financing the whole operation. Ranade's belief in the success of the Rock Memorial mission was so strong, that he never slowed down the pace of work when funds were in paucity. He brushed aside the discouragement of others whose belief was not as strong and started a fund-campaign. Ranade believed that as the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was a national monument, every Indian should be invited to contribute to its construction. He approached almost every State government and asked for their contribution, making a special effort to go to the north-eastern states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh so that they could also feel a part of the national endeavor. But the bulk of the contributions came from the general public. Ranade launched the campaign of one-rupee folders throughout the nation, which was used to mobilize the donations of the common man, starting from as tiny an amount as a rupee. Thus so many people visiting the Rock Memorial could feel with justified pride that they too had contributed to that monument. Within the unbelievably short period of six years, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was inaugurated in 1970 and dedicated to the nation. The Living Memorial The establishment of Vivekananda Kendra—the Living Memorial alongside the stone structure of the Rock Memorial—was mentioned in 1964. After the groundwork of about nine years, Vivekananda Kendra was officially founded on 7 January 1972 (the 108th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda by the Hindu calendar). On that day, as the sun rose, a saffron flag with Om inscribed on it was unfurled on the Vivekananda Rock Memorial to celebrate the founding of the Vivekananda Kendra: a spiritually oriented service mission of non-monastic order. Vivekananda Mandapam This Mandapam, which is erected in honour of Vivekananda consists of the following sections: Dhyana Mandapam is the meditation Hall with six adjacent rooms. Sabha Mandapam is the Assembly Hall consists Pralima Mandapam (statue section) two rooms, a corridor and an open prakaram(outer courtyard) round the Sabha Mandapam. Mukha Mandapam Namashtubhyam to the Son of jagadamba (This is the place where he got his aim of life.) Mata Parvati called him to come there and to know the truth of India i.e., what was the glory of India, reasons for its downfall, and how it can be elevated. Shripada Mandapam This square hall consists of the following structures: Garbha Graham Inner Prakaram Outer Prakaram Outer Platform Both the Mandapams are so designed that the vision of Vivekananda in the statue would be seen direct towards the Shripadam. There is also Sri Padaparai Mandapam which is a shrine erected at the spot where the footprint of the Virgin Goddess is seen on the rock.

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Description : An Overview Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the striking clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower. The official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was originally the Clock Tower, but it was renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The tower was designed by Augustus Pugin in a neo-Gothic style. When completed in 1859, its clock was the largest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world. The tower stands 315 feet (96 m) tall, and the climb from ground level to the belfry is 334 steps. Its base is square, measuring 39 feet (12 m) on each side. Dials of the clock are 23 feet (7.0 m) in diameter. On 31 May 2009, celebrations were held to mark the tower's 150th anniversary. Big Ben is the largest of the tower's five bells and weighs 13.5 long tons (13.7 tonnes; 15.1 short tons). It was the largest bell in the United Kingdom for 23 years. The origin of the bell's nickname is open to question; it may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw its installation, or heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt. Four quarter bells chime at 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour and just before Big Ben tolls on the hour. The clock uses its original Victorian mechanism, but an electric motor can be used as a backup. Design The tower is designed in Pugin's celebrated Gothic Revival style, and is 315 feet (96.0 m) high. The bottom 200 feet (61.0 m) of the tower's structure consists of brickwork with sand-coloured Anston limestone cladding. The remainder of the tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. The tower is founded on a 50 feet (15.2 m) square raft, made of 10 feet (3.0 m) thick concrete, at a depth of 13 feet (4.0 m) below ground level. The four clock dials are 180 feet (54.9 m) above ground. The interior volume of the tower is 164,200 cubic feet (4,650 cubic metres). Despite being one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to overseas visitors, though United Kingdom residents were able to arrange tours (well in advance) through their Member of Parliament before the current repair works. However, the tower currently has no lift, though one is being installed, so those escorted had to climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top. Big Ben Renovations in the 1930s Due to changes in ground conditions since construction, the tower leans slightly to the north-west, by roughly 230 millimetres (9.1 in) over 55 m height, giving an inclination of approximately 1⁄240. This includes a planned maximum of 22 mm increased tilt due to tunnelling for the Jubilee line extension. It leans by about 500 millimetres (20 in) at the finial. Experts believe the tower's lean will not be a problem for another 4,000 to 10,000 years. Due to thermal effects it oscillates annually by a few millimetres east and west. Bells Great Bell The main bell, officially known as the Great Bell but better known as Big Ben, is the largest bell in the tower and part of the Great Clock of Westminster. It sounds an E-natural. The original bell was a 16 ton hour bell, cast on 6 August 1856 in Stockton-on-Tees by John Warner & Sons. It is thought that the bell was originally to be called Victoria or Royal Victoria in honour of Queen Victoria, but that an MP suggested the bell's current nickname of "Big Ben" during a Parliamentary debate; the comment is not recorded in Hansard. Chimes Along with the Great Bell, the belfry houses four quarter bells which play the Westminster Quarters on the quarter hours. The four quarter bells sound G?, F?, E, and B. They were cast by John Warner & Sons at their Crescent Foundry in 1857 (G?, F? and B) and 1858 (E). The Foundry was in Jewin Crescent, in what is now known as The Barbican, in the City of London. The bells are sounded by hammers pulled by cables coming from the link room—a low-ceiling space between the clock room and the belfry—where mechanisms translate the movement of the quarter train into the sounding of the individual bells. Cultural Significant The sound of the clock chiming has also been used this way in audio media, but as the Westminster Quarters are heard from other clocks and other devices, the sound is by no means unique. Big Ben is a focal point of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom, with radio and television stations airing its chimes to welcome the start of the New Year. To welcome in 2012, the clock tower was lit with fireworks that exploded at every toll of Big Ben. Similarly, on Remembrance Day, the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and the start of the two minutes' silence. The chimes of Big Ben have also been used at the state funerals of monarchs on three occasions: firstly, at the funeral of King Edward VII in 1910, when Big Ben chimed 68 times, one stroke for each year of the monarch's life; secondly, at the funeral of King George V in 1936 (70 strokes); and finally, at the funeral of King George VI in 1952 (56 strokes). Londoners who live an appropriate distance from the tower and Big Ben can, by means of listening to the chimes both live and on analogue radio, hear the bell strike thirteen times. This is possible because the electronically transmitted chimes arrive virtually instantaneously, while the "live" sound is delayed travelling through the air since the speed of sound is relatively slow. Maintainance Work at Big Ben
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Description : An Overview The Indian Museum in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, also referred to as the Imperial Museum at Calcutta in colonial era texts, is the ninth oldest museum of the world and the second largest museum in India, after the Madras Museum, and has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies and Mughal paintings. It was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, in 1814. The founder curator was Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist. It has six sections comprising thirty five galleries of cultural and scientific artifacts namely Indian art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology and economic botany. Many rare and unique specimens, both Indian and trans-Indian, relating to humanities and natural sciences, are preserved and displayed in the galleries of these sections. the administrative control of the Cultural sections, viz. Art, Archaeology and Anthropology rests with the Board of Trustees under its Directorate, and that of the three other science sections is with the geological survey of India, the zoological survey of India and the Botanical survey of India. The museum Directorate has eight co-ordinating service units: Education, Preservation, publication, presentation, photography, medical, modelling and library. This multipurpose Institution with multidisciplinary activities is being included as an Institute of national importance in the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India. It is the oldest museum in India. In particular the art and archaeology sections hold collections of international importance. It is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The present Director of the Indian Museum is Shri Arijit Dutta Choudhury who is also the Director General, NCSM and having the additional charge of Director General of National Library. History The Indian Museum originated from the Asiatic Society of Bengal which was created by Sir William Jones in 1784. The concept of having a museum arose in 1796 from members of the Asiatic Society as a place where man-made and natural objects collected could be kept, cared for and displayed. The objective began to look achievable in 1808 when the Society was offered suitable accommodation by the Government of India in the Chowringhee-Park Street area. This building had been designated as the site the for not just the Asiatic Societies, Oriental Museum's collection and the Economic Geology collection of the Geological Survey of India but also to hold the offices of both. The Zoological and Anthropological sections of the museum gave rise to the Zoological Survey of India in 1916, which in turn gave rise to the Anthropological Survey of India in 1945. The Scottish anatomist and zoologist John Anderson took up the position of curator in 1865, and catalogued the mammal and archaeology collections. The English zoologist James Wood-Mason worked at the museum from 1869 and succeeded Anderson as curator in 1887. Collections Egyptian It currently occupies a resplendent mansion, and exhibits among others: an Egyptian mummy. The mummy is being restored. Egyptian Mummy Statue of Ancient Egyptian God Indian The large collection of ancient and medieval Indian artefacts include remains of the Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, the Buddha's ashes, a copy of the Lion Capital of Ashoka from an whose four-lion symbol became the official emblem of the Republic of India, fossil skeletons of prehistoric animals, an art collection, rare antiques, and a collection of meteorites.The Indian Museum is also regarded as "the beginning of a significant epoch initiating the socio-cultural and scientific achievements of the country. It is otherwise considered as the beginning of the modernity and the end of medieval era" by UZER Places. Stone Imprint of Buddha's Foot Copy of the Lion Capital of Ashoka The Mathura Herakles Natural History The museum has four galleries dedicated to natural history, namely the botanical, insect, mammal and bird galleries. It also contains prehistoric artifacts such as the huge skeleton of a dinosaur. Elephant skeleton Showcases with different types of fossils Skull of Indus Valley inhabitants An Abnormal Young Goat With Eight Legs
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Description : Which Corporate Animal Are You Really? Well as the title might look to be more of an advisory article, let me guarantee....it isn’t!! With my little corporate experience and close proximity with people with different attributes, I realize all of us do represent a type of animal, in the corporate world. As and when we step inside the “Khul ja sim sim” door, we all change to a different being...some stay human and others turn into a wholesome new being. Ohh just to clear, those considered humans are the freshers..the new entrees to the corporate zoo, who gradually, necessarily not by wish but by force, will change to “Corporate animals” either voluntarily or by force. Let’s see the behavioral traits that the corporate employees share with animals in the zoo. Donkeys: Ahh these are the people in majority. Certainly the employees can be identified by very specific features like very hard working without any concern about the reason behind each act as well the destination to be reached. They definitely believe in being available to their masters 24*7 and putting all efforts to do the told “jobs” without even knowing the relevance of each act. Also, they are often seen loading themselves with unbearable loads, much more than their capacity and roles they are assigned to, without showing concern, just to be ahead of the other beings in same creed. Horses: These are the employees with traits equivalent to horses. They have nothing to do with anything in and around them. But once given a goal or destination, they run to achieve them. Focused yet ignorant of the facts detailing changes in and around them, even though at times they don’t realize the competition they have been trying to “win” has been dispersed. They are fast but one tracked, always on the urge to reach the destination whatsoever. Dogs: Though being dogs may sound negative but its not. Matching the traits, it points the most loyal employees of the company. Loyal to company, bosses & work. They exactly justify the tag “humans best friend”. They are the safe players, liked by the bosses and always used as an example. The lowest risk takers but smart workers, yeah they do exists…. But as the traits suggests they are definitely not best with colleagues and always on the hit list of the team. Since they are biased and diplomatic (always maintaining their loyalty to the seniors) they become the least accepted value adders in any project. Monkeys: They are the keen followers of their seniors or as I say dominants. They are good at mimicking the work methods, process, attitude and every possible thing that they think has contributed to the success of their bosses. They have the very basic trait of monkeys….to jump. They are very indecisive, frequently changing their roles, interests, work, skill and very specifically attitude. Their behavior changes in very situation even for same person. Very much unpredictable, yet very opportunistic. Blame game is their strength and being jumpy their have their ways to come out of a situation even if they are at fault (which can be negative for the submissive teammates working with them). Snakes: Ohh you have to be so careful from these people. As like snakes these are the most dangerous creature of all. Mostly making their way forward by killing every hurdle (people in corporate world) coming their way. They keep climbing the corporate hierarchy at snake speed. Nothing can stop them and of course they don’t stop for others. Very are never a leader but always a BOSS. Appreciation and money are their food and staying ahead is what make them keep going. They don’t hesitate destroying others coming in the way to stay ahead of everyone. Fearless and always daring to do everything that could lead to their success. Inspite of the above traits they are good learners. These all above may sound too much of pessimistic, Hello, isn’t it! But it’s not a fair world at all. People out there always looking for a chance to crush you under the cleat of their shoes. But where there is life there is millions of possibilities, so lemma introduce you to the animal, which is Very rarely found & one of its kind. The Jaguars! JAGUAR: These are the once who are icon of Focus, commitment & sheer will. They don’t care what people are taking behind, they are always young in their mind and promising at their work place rather than being challenging or competing others as they believe the competition is only inside to be a better version of themselves as they were yesterday. Whatever Position they might achieve, they never believe on taking advantages of their hierarchy at organization. As the jaguar is such an animal, who can over through any animal with it’s speed, so vigorous and have such an endurance to overcome any kind of unpleasant situation and having a agility to hunt their prey by deteriorating its stamina in a playful manner and not by killing directly. These rare beings are having the same DNA, same infection that, they don’t believe on fixing things, they believe on finding problems over & over and then Making a solution for it. But it’s not an everyday thing which you can witness, come across or deal with maybe you can find only one or two of this kind in your whole life, as they believe success is not an achievement, it’s a lifestyle. But at last I want to exaggerate a truth or a question that often come to my mind that as Jaguar on corporate explained “Is that the state of oxymoron what anyone can ever achieve or there is something above and beyond?” Well these are the most commonly found “corporate animals”. Look around and have fun categorizing people in your workspace (also self :P ). Also, let me know if you find traits matching some other species of animal kingdom….. ????
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Description : An Overview The Government Museum is the second oldest museum after Indian Museum, Kolkata and tenth old museum in world. This Museum have a wide collection of human history and culture located in the neighbourhood of Egmore in Chennai, India. Started in 1851. It is particularly rich in archaeological and numismatic collections. It has the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe. Among them, the colossal Museum Theatre is one of the most impressive. The National Art Gallery is also present in the museum premises. Main Buliding Built in Indo-Saracenic style, it houses rare European and Asian painting of renowned artists, including that of Raja Ravi Varma. It is the third largest museum in the world, and with 0.6 million visitors in 2018. It has the richest collections of bronze idols, 500 of them dating to 1000 BC, in Asia. History In 1778, the governor of Madras granted 43 acres for an estate to a civil servant, who, subsequently in 1793, assigned the grounds to a committee of 24 which then regulated the public amusements in the city. In 1821, the committee sold the main house and central garden space to E. S. Moorat, an Armenian merchant who, in turn, sold it back to the government in 1830. The government first used the buildings and the grounds as the collector's "Cutcherry" and later for the "Central Museum." The museum was originally established in a building on College Road in Nungambakkam in the year 1851 and was shifted to the present site in 1854. Building Architecture The museum complex consisting of six buildings and 46 galleries covers an area of around 16.25 acres (66,000 m²) of land. The objects displayed in the museum cover a variety of artifacts and objects covering diverse fields including archeology, numismatics, zoology, natural history, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings. Located close to the main museum entrance gates on Pantheon Road, the museum theatre is a rare specimen of the Italianate style of architecture, inspired by Classical architecture and developed in 1802 at Britain by John Nash. However, the theatre was built by the British in the late 19th century when this style was no longer popular in England. The structure has a high plinth and is accessed through a tall flight of stairs. It is primarily a semicircular structure with a rectangular wing at the rear. The latter wing now houses some of the galleries of the museum. The main hall is accessed through a verandah with a row of columns linked by semicircular arches. The walls and columns are embellished with floral and geometric designs. The huge main hall was initially designed for staging theatrical performances. It has around 600 seats and a commodious stage and the actors' dressing rooms adjoin this stage. Collections Cannons at the museum complex Sculpture of Vishnu in bronze from the Chola period Sculpture of Bhadrakali in bronze from the 14th century CE Sculpture of Dakshinamurthi from the Chola period, 12th century CE Sculpture of Mahishasuramardini in bronze from the Chola period, 11 century CE Contemporary Paintings Folk Religion Dinosaur Skeleton