Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社, Yasukuni Jinja) is a Shinto shrine in central Tokyo that commemorates Japan's war dead. The shrine was founded in 1869 with the purpose of enshrining those who have died in war for their country and sacrificed their lives to help build the foundation for a peaceful Japan.
The Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, lies in the city center of Beijing, and was once the Chinese imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). It was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is the largest, best-preserved ancient timber-built palace complex in the world.Rectangular in shape, the Forbidden City is enormous, covering an area of 72 hectares, and boasting more than 9,000 bays of rooms. It is divided into two parts – the Outer Court for national affairs in the south and the Inner Court as living quarters in the north. It is not only an immense architectural masterpiece, but also a treasury housing a unique collection of 1.8 million pieces of art, including ancient calligraphy and painting, imperial artifacts, ancient books and archives. A must-see in Beijing and the world’s most visited museum, it is worth spending half to one day to visit the Forbidden City and appreciate the precious cultural heritage of China.
Mutianyu Great Wall is located 70 km away from Beijing, which makes it significantly less busy and features some fun, modern amusements, such as a cable car, chairlift, and toboggan. It has unique design and construction, having 3 enemy towers build next to each other. When visiting, each season bring their own beauty to the scenery. From green mountains and flowers to snowy mountain tops tops and autumn leaves.
The Summer Palace is said to be the most well-preserved imperial gardens and the largest of its kind still in existence in China. There’s so much to see and enjoy that most people prefer to stay there at least half a day. Composed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, it owns over 3,000 man-made ancient structures, including pavilions, towers, bridges, corridors, etc. On the grounds of the Palace you will be able to walk through 'The Long Corridor' which is the longest corridor in the world.
Chapultepec has the rather dubious distinction of being the only castle within North America to ever house actual sovereigns. It was originally constructed in 1725 on the orders of the Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez, and was meant to be a large manor house for the Viceroy, who was the commander-in-chief of the Spanish colony, New Spain.
Currently the castle is the seat of National Museum of Cultures, which was formerly known as the Museum of Natural History. It was established as such by Lázaro Cárdenas in 1939. In this capacity it is open to visitors who can come and tour both the castle itself and the various collections it now houses. Through the past decades it has become a favorite location of movie directors appearing in both Robert Aldrich’s Vera Cruz and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.
Mexico City’s mammoth cathedral was built across three centuries (1573–1813)—starting soon after Cortés and his allies vanquished the Aztec Empire—using stones taken from a destroyed indigenous temple. Today’s sanctuary serves up contrasts between unadorned neoclassical walls alongside exuberant gilt chapels and altarpieces as well as a massive pipe organ, with some baroque elements, that’s still dusted off and played from time to time. Be sure not to miss the high altar, and consider shelling out for a visit to the sacristy, with its glistening dome, grand canvases, and massive cabinets, fit to hold an archbishop’s entire stock of holy utensils. And for a queasy view of how much the ground beneath the city is sinking, note how chandeliers appear to list in comparison to the chapel’s vertical lines.
Built on an islet in the center of the lake, the city of Mexico grew up with a network of canals and artificial islands, making the Templo Mayor take place. The Spanish conquerors built he Metropolitan Cathedral on top of it, so the memory of the old and imposing pre-Hispanic Temple was lost for centuries. In the late 70s, workers from the electricity company accidentally found structures that the archaeologists identified as the sought temple.
Fortunately, today you can visit a large dug up section in a good state of conservation. You can admire sections of the temples dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the lord of war, and Tlaloc, lord of the rain. Between the walls of several sections of the temple, there are altars, snakes carved in stone and an imposing Tzompantli, which is a wall covered with representations of skulls, this because the Aztecs worshipped the dead, tradition maintained by Mexicans.
Its one of the most visited attractions of India, it has been recorded that this place has daily 10000 visitors and almost 4 millions of tourists have visited Lotus Temple!
Being a central highlight of Delhi, Lotus Temple is one of those religious attractions that bring all the religions together as its chief philosophy accepts every religion with an open heart. This monument was accomplished in 1986 and is a foremost site to visit in Delhi. It is built in the shape of a lotus and is stunning in its architecture and structural design which can blow anyone’s mind!
Lotus Temple is ideal to visit during the winter and springtime of October to March as the scorching heat of summers is not idyllic for traveling in Delhi.
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
During nightfall, India Gate is dramatically floodlit while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with coloured lights. India Gate stands at one end of Rajpath, and the area surrounding it is generally referred to as 'India Gate'.
Surrounding the imposing structure is a large expanse of lush green lawns, which is a popular picnic spot. One can see hoards of people moving about the brightly lit area and on the lawns on summer evenings.
Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.
This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi is the first of the grand dynastic mausoleums that were to become synonyms of Mughal architecture with the architectural style reaching its zenith 80 years later at the later Taj Mahal. Humayun’s Tomb stands within a complex of 27.04 ha. that includes other contemporary, 16th century Mughal garden-tombs such as Nila Gumbad, Isa Khan, Bu Halima, Afsarwala, Barber’s Tomb and the complex where the craftsmen employed for the Building of Humayun’s Tomb stayed, the Arab Serai.
Humayun’s Tomb was built in the 1560’s, with the patronage of Humayun’s son, the great Emperor Akbar. Persian and Indian craftsmen worked together to build the garden-tomb, far grander than any tomb built before in the Islamic world. Humayun’s garden-tomb is an example of the charbagh (a four quadrant garden with the four rivers of Quranic paradise represented), with pools joined by channels. The garden is entered from lofty gateways on the south and from the west with pavilions located in the centre of the eastern and northern walls.
Being the most recognizable symbol of Russia in the world, the glorious Red Square is the UNESCO listed World Heritage which accepts thousands of tourists each year. No wonder that this sight is a true must-visit of any Moscow trip and every adventurous globe-trotter has a picture in front of St. Basil's Cathedral.
The Red Square is set in the very heart of Moscow, separating the Kitay Gorod commercial district from the Kremlin walls, and has a history as old as the post-Mongol fortress itself. The name "Krásnaya Plóshchaď" translates from Russian as "red", yet the word also means "beautiful". This ancient center of Russia's political power dates back to the end of the 13th century and has a long and rich history.
Originally, it was the site of a central market square established in an area cleared by decree for the defense of Kremlin on the banks of Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers. It was also a place where various festive processions were held and thus the square was considered a sacred place.
St. Basil’s Cathedral is Moscow’s most famous artistic work of architecture. Also called "Pokrovsky Cathedral" or "The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat", it is the most recognizable Russian building. This Cathedral is to the Russians what the Eiffel Tower is to the French, an honorable symbol of their past, present, and future.
The cathedral stands on the Red Square, facing the Ivory Gate Chapel. The St. Basil's Cathedral history started in 1555 by the order of Ivan IV ("Ivan the Terrible") in celebration of the defeat of Kazan, the last remaining grip of the Mongol Empire on European lands.
Today there are more than 400 icons painted between the 14th and 19th centuries by the most famous schools of Novgorod and Moscow hanging on the walls.
A narrow pathway leads you from one alter to another, passing through a wooden spiral staircase so well hidden in a wall, that it was only found during the 1970 restoration of the cathedral. Taking in the medieval aura and mystical spirituality of St. Basil’s imbues visitors with what can only be described as a quintessential Russian experience.
Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square offers up one of Moscow’s most macabre attractions and perhaps the most famous “modern mummy” in the world.
Frozen in time, Vladimir Ilych Lenin’s embalmed body lays within a red granite and black labratorite step-pyramid. Here visitors may gaze on it in the dark, cool of the tomb. The sarcophagus is kept at a constant temperature of 16° C (61° F) and humidity of 80 - 90 percent. Weekly, a mild bleach is used to fight discoloring fungus and mold on Lenin’s skin, and every eighteen months the corpse undergoes a chemical bath of glycerol and potassium for thirty days while the mausoleum is closed. During this time, Lenin’s clothes are washed and carefully ironed. And every three years, Lenin receives a new suit.
Lenin can be viewed for five minutes at a time in small groups under the watchful eye of guards in every corner of the room.
The wooden palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich with 270 rooms decorated with paintings and carvings was built in 1667 without using any fasten materials, nails or hooks. It consisted of 26 buildings connected with each other by passages and halls. The whole complex was divided into male and female parts. The male part included ceremonial chambers, chambers of the Tsar and of his sons, while the female part belonged to the Tsarina and to the Tsar’s daughters.
The history of the Cathedral of São Paulo goes back in time to 1589, when it was decided that a main church (the Matriz) would be built in the small village of São Paulo.
The Cathedral is the largest church in the city of São Paulo: 111 metres long, 46 metres wide, with the two flanking towers reaching a height of 92 metres. The Cathedral is a Latin cross church with a five-aisled nave and a dome that reaches 30 metres over the crossing. Although the building in general is Neo-Gothic, the dome is inspired by the Renaissance dome of the Cathedral of Florence.
The cathedral’s organ, built in 1954 by the Italian firm Balbiani & Rossi, is one of the largest in Latin America. It has five keyboards, 329 stops, 120 registers, and 12,000 pipes, the mouths of which display hand-engraved reliefs in Gothic style.
One of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Constructed for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (527-565), this big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called Basilica Cistern.
The cistern is a giant structure covering a rectangular area of 140 meters in length and 70 meters in width. Covering a total area of 9,800 m2, this cistern has a storage capacity of approximately 100,000 tons of water. There are 336 columns, each 9 meters high, inside this cistern, which is descended by a 52-step stone staircase. These columns, erected at intervals of 4.80 meters, form 12 rows of 28 columns each. Most of the columns, which are understood to have been collected from older structures, were carved from various types of marble and consisted of one piece and two pieces. The walls of the cistern, 4.80 meters thick, made of bricks and the brick-paved floor, were plastered with a thick layer of Horasan mortar and made water impermeable.
There are three major pyramids in the pyramids necropolis in Giza. If you do not fear small spaces, take the opportunity to step inside the small cavity of the Great Pyramid (for a negotiable tip or fee) to experience the pyramid’s rather daunting descending staircase as well as the king’s and queen’s respective burial chambers.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is believed to have been built over a twenty-year period and completed around the year 2560 B.C. For centuries, the Pyramid held the record as the tallest
man-made structure in the world. Besides the many theories and symbolism that it embodies, the Pyramid is one of the most breathtaking monuments of Ancient Egypt; take a trip to gaze at its peak and see for yourself.
Although not as magnificently large as the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafra has a more complex interior and a large number of statues dedicated to Khafra, son of Khufu,
including the Sphinx.
The smallest of the three, the Pyramid of Menkara rarely gets the same attention as its two larger neighbours; as it lacks the size of Khufu and the Sphinx of Khafra. Menkara’s one advantage may be its material: the two predecessors used limestone, whereas Menkara used the more valuable and pricier granite in his burial chambers.
As familiar and known a sight as that of the Giza Pyramids, the medieval Citadel sits conspicuously over the haze of Cairo’s minarets, with the Mohammed Ali mosque glimmering like a beacon to all travellers, visitors and Cairenes alike. The gentle breeze from the hilltop location brings to mind a legend about Saladin, the builder of this medieval fortress in the 12th century. In the search to build a proper fortress against the Crusaders, he hung pieces of meat throughout Cairo and swore that wherever the meat stayed fresh the longest would become the location of his fortress. All the meat he placed was ruined in a day except for the meat hung on a hilltop near Cairo, where the fresh breeze kept the meat fresh for days. Who knows? Maybe he built the Citadel on a hill because in his native mountainous Syria most fortresses were built in strategic high locations, or maybe fresh meat was a big deal to Saladin.
The Citadel is a popular destination for tour groups and local school field trips. While most tourists are taken to the Hagia Sophia inspired Mohammed Ali mosque, they might miss the great sites that lie nearby, marking massacres, harem palaces, spiral wells, royal court drama, crime, and ancient Egyptian ruins.
Built as a tomb for the pharaoh Djoser (or Zoser), the Djoser Pyramid was constructed between 2630 BC and 2611 BC in Saqqara, Egypt. Although it is considered the world’s oldest intact large-scale stone monument, the ancient structure is often overshadowed by Egypt’s most famous pyramids.
The Djoser Pyramid stands 197 feet high and was built using 11.6 million cubic feet of stone and clay. Imhotep—a doctor, priest, and sculptor, among other titles and talents—is widely attributed as the pyramid’s architect. Initially, the structure was designed as a traditional, flat-roofed tomb called a mastaba, but Djoser wanted something bigger, something grander.
The pyramid was part of a larger 40-acre complex containing a courtyard, temples, and chapels, all enclosed inside a 30-foot wall. The entrance to the complex, as well as 13 fake doors, is built into the wall. The complex also includes a number of building facades, all of which served ritual purposes.
The pharaoh’s burial chambers are located deep within the pyramid, along with those of his 11 daughters. The burial chamber is part of the pyramid’s winding, maze-like series of tunnels, which researchers think may have been designed to prevent theft (although the pyramid was eventually looted).
Although now far inland, Bramber Castle was originally situated on the coast where the River Adur meets the sea. Built by the de Braose family it was confiscated by King John whose harsh treatment of Lady de Braose and her two sons led to the rebellion that culminated in Magna Carta.
The striking chequerboard flint and Caen limestone facade is part of one of the oldest Norman buildings in Sussex. The museum tells the story of Shoreham’s maritime and local history from prehistoric to medieval times.
The world’s most famous sidewalk boasts 2,500 stars and counting!
When you’re in Tinseltown, posing with a sidewalk star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame is practically a rite of passage—and it’s also one of the city’s most beloved free attractions.
Honoring luminaries in motion pictures, television, radio, live theatre, and recording since 1960, the famous sidewalk includes both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to La Brea, plus both sides of Vine Street from Yucca to Sunset. The handsome terrazzo-and-brass stars (each costs about $30,000 to install and maintain) are unveiled at free public ceremonies, which are often attended by honorees and their celebrity entourages—a great way to see stars if that’s one of your Hollywood goals (and isn’t it everyone’s?).
And don’t think this is about honoring has-beens or where-are-they-nows: Getting a star is still considered an honor, with an impressive roster of recent honorees (Javier Bardem, Viola Davis, James Franco, Kevin Spacey, to name a few). Want to find a particular star? Use the Walk of Fame’s online Star Search tool to send you to the location for your dream photo op.
Experience a piece of Victoria’s heritage on this historic island, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the fragrant cottage gardens and lawns. Coastline walks offer magnificent views of Phillip Island and Western Port, while the restored farmhouse and cottages provide a glimpse into the past lives of early Australian settlers and past farming practices.
Churchill Island, just off the coast of Phillip Island holds an important place in the history of European settlement in Victoria. The site of the first European agricultural pursuits in Victoria, the island has been farmed since the 1850’s and in 1872 was purchased by Samuel Amess, former Mayor of Melbourne.
This tiny island of 57 hectares is now open to the public as an historic working farm that boasts significant natural and cultural values with world-class wetlands, ancient Moonah trees, heritage gardens and historic buildings.
Located just 300 metres from the beach, the Portarlington Mill was constructed in 1856 with rough local sandstone and Baltic Pine floors.
The interior spaces are quintessential mid 19th century industrial style: large open spaces with heavy timber posts and beams enclosed by natural stone.
The Mill is one of the few remaining and preserved Victorian flour mills.
Warrook is living history, a full working farm over 100 years old. Take a step back in time, channel your inner ‘farmer’ self as you experience a range of hands on activities and demonstrations at Warrook – a genuine Aussie farm experience!
At 1316 metres long, the open-air art gallery on the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain is the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still in existence. Immediately after the wall came down, 118 artists from 21 countries began painting the East Side Gallery, and it officially opened as an open air gallery on 28 September 1990. Just over a year later, it was given protected memorial status.
In more than a hundred paintings on what was the east side of the wall, the artists commented on the political changes in 1989/90. Some of the works at the East Side Gallery are particularly popular, such as Dmitri Vrubel’s Fraternal Kiss and Birgit Kinders’s Trabant breaking through the wall. They are not just a popular subject for postcards – you’re sure to want to photograph them yourself.
Dominating the Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada - or pink house - is the seat of the Argentine national government and houses the president's office.
Witness to much of the city's history, it was from the balconies of the Casa Rosada that Juan and “Evita” Perón addressed the masses during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The central archway was designed by Italian architect Francisco Tamburini, who was also responsible for the original design of the Colón Theatre, and was completed in 1890.
The Plaza de Mayo is the oldest public square in Buenos aires, and has been the scene of many of the most important events in the city's history, from the second founding of the city in 1580, through the revolution of independence, to more recent political demonstrations.
The square is named after the Argentine revolution, which began on May 25, 1810. Around the square are several important buildings: the Cabildo, the Metropolitan Cathedral, where Pope Francis conducted mass for 20 years, the Casa Rosada, seat of the national government, the national revenue office (AFIP), the national bank and the intelligence secretariat.
Known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Roman Colosseum is one of the capital's most remarkable monuments. Every year over 6 million people visit it.
The Colosseum is the main symbol of Rome. It is an imposing construction that, with almost 2,000 years of history, will bring you back in time to discover the way of life in the Roman Empire. The construction of the Colosseum began in the year 72 under the empire of Vespasian and was finished in the year 80 during the rule of the emperor Titus. After completion, the Colosseum became the greatest Roman amphitheatre, measuring 188 meters in length, 156 meters in width and 57 meters in height.
During the Roman Empire and under the motto of "Bread and Circuses" the Roman Colosseum (known then as Flavian Amphitheatre) allowed more than 50,000 people to enjoy its finest spectacles. The exhibitions of exotic animals, executions of prisoners, recreations of battles and gladiator fights kept the Roman people entertained for years.
The Colosseum remained active for over 500 years. The last recorded games in history were celebrated in the 6th century. Since the 6th century the Colosseum has suffered lootings, earthquakes and even bombings during World War Two. Demonstrating a great survival instinct, the Colosseum was used for decades as a storehouse, church, cemetery and even a castle for nobility.
At present the Colosseum is, along with the Vatican City, Rome's greatest tourist attraction. Each year 6 million tourists visit it. On 7 July 2007 the Colosseum became one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
The Roman Forum was where religious and public life in ancient Rome took place. The Forum is, along with the Colosseum, the greatest sign of the splendour of the Roman Empire that can be seen today.
After the fall of the Empire, the Roman Forum was forgotten and little by little it was buried under the earth. Although in the 16th century the existence and location of the Forum was already known, it was not until the 20th century that excavations were carried out.
Interestingly, the place where the Forum was built was originally a marshy area. In the 6th century B.C. the area was drained by means of the Cloaca Maxima, one of the first sewer systems in the world.
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest temples for Christendom and one of the largest churches in the world. Besides, it is where the Pope presides many liturgies all year round.
The construction of the new basilica began in 1506, when the old basilica had been torn down, and was finished in 1626. It was consecrated on 18 November, 1626. Several renowned architects designed the temple, highlighting the works of Bramante, Michelangelo and Carlo Maderno.
The basilica was called St Peter’s after one of Jesus’s twelve disciples known as Saint Peter, who became one of the founders of the Catholic Church and was executed in Rome and buried where the Basilica now stands.
Visiting St Peter’s Basilica is an unforgettable experience when staying in Rome. Visitors mustn’t miss out on climbing to the top of the dome, where a stunning view of St Peter’s Square, and if the day is clear of most of the city, awaits them.