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The famous Taj Mahal in Agra, India

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Ruins of Trosky Castle in Czech Republic

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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, is a popular tourist attraction near Port Louis, Mauritius, and the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. The…

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by Asiacamera on Flickr.Tanah Lot Temple - Bali, Indonesia.

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Natural thermal pools at Hidden Valley Springs in Philippines

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by whl.travel on Flickr.Roman ruins of Palmyra - near Damascus, Syria.

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Mount Kenya 5199m is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just…

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Hillwood Museum and Gardens, Washington DC, USA

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Between NoHo and Union Square, Manhattan

Grace Church is a historic parish church in Manhattan, New York City which is part of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The church is located at 800-804 Broadway, at the corner of East 10th Street, where Broadway bends to the south-southeast, bringing it in alignment with the avenues in Manhattan’s grid. Grace Church School and the church houses – which are now used by the school – are located to the east at 86-98 Fourth Avenue between East 10th and 12th Streets.

The church, which has been called “one of the city’s greatest treasures”, is a French Gothic Revival masterpiece designed by James Renwick, Jr., his first major commission. Grace Church is a National Historic Landmark designated for its architectural significance and place within the history of New York City,[5][8][9] and the entire complex is a New York City landmark, designated in 1966 (church and rectory) and 1977 (church houses).

Grace Church was initially organized in 1808 at Broadway and Rector Street, on the current site of the Empire Building. Under rector Thomas House Taylor, who began service at the church in 1834, the decision was made to move the church uptown with the city’s expanding population. In 1843, the land on which the church was built was purchased from Henry Brevoort. The 25-year-old architect James Renwick, Jr. – a nephew of Brevoort – whose sole completed work at the time was the Bowling Green Fountain, was commissioned as the architect.

The cornerstone for the new church was laid in 1843 and the church was consecrated in 1846. Grace Church was designed in the French Gothic Revival style out of Sing Sing marble, and vestry minutes from January of that year break down some of the expenses for building a new church – including items ranging from the cost of the workers from Sing Sing state prison who cut the stone to the cost of the embroidery for the altar cloth. The church originally had a wooden spire, but under the leadership of the rector at the time, Henry Codman Potter, it was replaced in 1881 with a marble spire designed by Renwick. The interior of the church is primarily constructed from lath and plaster.

The east window over the high altar created by the English stained glass manufacturer Clayton and Bell in 1878, dominates the chancel, and the whole church; a “Te Deum” window, its theme is praise. The figures with their faces raised toward Christ, who is seated at the top center, represent prophets, apostles, martyrs and all the world. Other windows in the church are by Henry Holiday. The reredos, with mosaic figures of the evangelists, is made of French and Italian Marble and Caen stone, and shows the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, flanking the Risen Christ as he gives the great commission, “Go into all the world and make disciples…” This piece, along with the altar, was designed by Renwick and executed by Ellin & Kitson in 1878. The choir furniture was installed in 1903 after the chancel was lengthened an additional fifteen feet in a renovation designed by Heins and La Farge. On the lawn in front of Renwick’s Grace House (1880–1881), which connects the sanctuary to his Rectory (1846–1847), stands a terra-cotta Roman urn dating from around the time of the Emperor Nero.

For a full generation after it was built it was the most fashionable church in New York: “For many years Grace has been the centre of fashionable New York”, Matthew Hale Smith observed in 1869: “To be married or buried within its walls has been ever considered the height of felicity”.

Source: Wikipedia

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Ale’s Stones, Sweden (No. 1)

Ale’s Stones (Swedish: Ales stenar or Ale stenar) is a megalithic monument in Scania in southern Sweden. It is a stone ship, oval in outline, with the stones at each end markedly larger than the rest. It is 67 m (220 ft) long formed by 59 large boulders, weighing up to 5 tonnes each.

The carbon-14 dating system for organic remains has provided seven results at the site. One indicates that the material is around 5,500 years old whereas the remaining six indicate a date about 1,400 years ago. The latter is considered to be the most likely time for Ales Stenar to have been created. That would place its creation towards the end of the Nordic Iron Age.

The function and purpose of Ale’s stones is much disputed and there are many different theories. It is generally believed to be a grave monument or a cult center, but another theory is that it is a sun calendar.

A theory explained by Howard Crowhurst (ACEM, Association for the Knowledge and Study of Megaliths, in France) claims that the monument is connected with summer solstice and lunar standstill.

“The Ales Stenar, known in English as the Ale’s Stones, is an ancient megalithic monument of Sweden. The stones are outlining a ship. Here we show the well-known alignment of this ship along the sunset direction on summer solstice. We propose also alignments of the stones along the northern possible moonset on major and minor lunar standstills. These astronomical alignments are shown using the Photographer’s Ephemeris. It is possible that this megalithic monument was used for observing the cycles of the moon." 

In 1989, during the first archaeological excavations performed in order to scientifically investigate and date the monument, archaeologists found a decorated clay pot with burned human bones inside the ship setting. The bones are thought to come from a pyre and to have been placed in the pot at a later date. The pot’s contents varied in age; some material was from 330–540 CE while a piece of charred food crust also found inside was determined to be from 540–650 CE. The archaeologists working on the project also found birch charcoal remains from 540–650 CE underneath an undisturbed boulder.  According to the Swedish National Heritage Board, carbon-14 dating of the organic material from the site indicates that six of the samples are from around 600 CE, while one sample is from ca. 3500 BCE. The diverging sample came from soot-covered stones that are believed to be the remnants of an older hearth, found close to the ship setting. On the basis of these results, the Swedish National Heritage Board has set a suggested date of creation for Ales Stenar to 1,400 BP, which is the year 550 CE.

Source: Wikipedia

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Dining place at Hotel de Sal, near Colchani, Bolivia, a hotel entirely made from salt

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by hatschiputh on Flickr.Backside view of Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India.

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Durdle Door on the Dorset Coast / England

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Ceiling of Apollo Gallery at Louvre Museum in Paris, France

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by stephenk1977 on Flickr.Swimming at Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park, Australia.

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Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the flag of Cape Town and other…

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Architecture inside Opera Garnier, Paris, France

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by chrisbwah on Flickr.Demanovska Ladova Jaskyna ice caves, near Poprad, Slovakia.

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