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Designed by Hopkins Architects in 2011 the Olympic Velodrome in London is known as ‘The Pringle’. The roof is designed to reflect the geometry of cycling as well as being lightweight and efficient reflecting a bike. There is also a 360-degree concourse level with windows allowing people views of the Olympic Park. The velodrome is energy efficient—rooflights reduce the need for artificial lights, and natural ventilation reduces the need for air condition. Rain water is also collected, which reduces the amount of water used from the municipal water system. Designer Ron Webb, who designed the velodrome tracks for the Sydney and Athens Games, was in charge of the design and installation of the track. The 250-metre track was made with 56 km (35 miles) of Siberian Pine and 350,000 nails.
Situated in the Ashridge Estate, Dockey Woods comes alive in April with a sensational display of bluebells.
Owned by the National Trust, Ashridge is situated in the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Berkhamsted and 20 miles (32 km) north west of London.
The estate comprises 5,000 acres (20 km2) of woodlands (known as Ashridge Forest), commons and chalk downland which supports a rich variety of wildlife. It also offers a good choice of waymarked walks through outstanding country.
Other notable locations to find Bluebells in the UK are
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Garston Woods, nr Salisbury, Dorset
Heartwood Forest, Sandridge, Hertfordshire
Burroughs Wood, Ratby, Leicestershire
The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire
Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
Coed Cefn, Chrickhowell, Powys, Wales
Glen Finglas (Brig o’Turk) Trossachs National Park, Scotland
Carnmoney Hill, Newtonabbey, Country Antrim
Posted in Landscape
Tagged ashwood, bluebells, england, floral, flowers, forest, purple, shade, spring, uk, wood, woods
The South Bank Lion is a Coade stone sculpture of a standing male lion cast in 1837. It has stood at the east end of Westminster Bridge in London beside County Hall, since 1966.
The statue is about 13 feet (4.0 m) long and 12 feet (3.7 m) high, and weighs about 13 tonnes (14 tons). It is made of Coade stone, a type of ceramic stoneware that resembles artificial stone and which is very resistant to weathering.
The lion was originally mounted on the parapet of James Goding’s Lion Brewery on the Lambeth bank of the River Thames; Hungerford Bridge spanned the Thames nearby from 1845. The Lion Brewery closed in 1924 and the building was demolished in 1949, to make way for construction of the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Festival of Britain. The lion was removed, revealing the initials of the sculptor William Frederick Woodington and the date, 24 May 1837, under one of its paws. It was painted red as the symbol of British Rail, and mounted on high plinth beside the entrance to the Festival of Britain near Waterloo station.
The statue was removed from outside Waterloo station in 1966 to allow the station to be extended. The red paint was removed, and the statue was moved to its current location on a large granite plinth beside Westminster Bridge. The plinth bears the inscription “The South Bank Lion”. The statue was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage in 1981.
A second, similar Coade stone lion was removed from the Lion Brewery when it was demolished. Painted gold, it is now located above the central pillar of the Rowland Hill Memorial Gate to the west of Twickenham Stadium.
An exhibit entitled Journey at the Apartheid Museum. The discovery of gold in Johannesburg in 1886 attracted migrants from all over Southern Africa and many other parts of the world. This exhibit illustrates the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of some of those who journeyed to the city of gold in the years following 1886. Together they made up a diverse and often racially mixed community. It was this racial mixing that segregation and apartheid were designed to prevent.
The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where nearly 2 million people were killed and buried by the Communist Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 to 1979. The mass killings are widely regarded as part of a broad state sponsored genocide.
The Khmer Rouge regime arrested and executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government as well as professionals and intellectuals including their children. It is estimated that between 40,000 to 60,000 Buddhist monks were executed, with the Khmer Rouge destroying 95% of the country’s temples.
The best known monument of the Killing Fields is at the village of Choeung Ek, a short distance outside the capital Phnom Phen. The memorial park at Choeung Ek has been built around the mass graves of many thousands of victims, most of whom were executed after they had been transported from the S-21 Prison in Phnom Penh. It is thought that over 17,000 people were murdered and buried in the concentrated area at Choeung Ek, with 9,000 bodies being exhumed up to 2005. Bones and clothing can still surface after heavy periods of rainfalls due to the large number of bodies still buried in shallow mass graves. The site is now dominated by a Buddhist stupa which is filled with 5,000 human skulls.
The Feria Del Caballo is one of Andalucía’s biggest festivals. The fair attracts more than one million visitors and features music, dancing, bullfights and all kinds of horse competitions, from dressage through to polo.
Jerez del la Frontera is a city where sherry, flamenco and horses vie for top billing, but over these seven days in May the horses have no competition (even if the fair does also involve plenty of sherry and flamenco). Each day there’s a colourful parade featuring hundreds of horses passing through the Parque González Hontoria fairgrounds in the north of the city, the aristocratic-looking male riders decked out in flat-topped hats, frilly white shirts, black trousers and leather chaps, and their female crupera (sideways pillion) partners in flamenco-inspired dresses. Similar to Seville’s Feria de Abril, the fairgrounds are filled with more than 200 casetas(tents), all open to the public, which serve up an intoxicating mix of food, sherry and flamenco dancing which carries on into the early hours of the morning!
Bad Gastein Frisiersalon
The once fashionable spa town and ski resort Bad Gastein has been held to ransom over a number of years by Viennese financier Francis Duval and his family who have let a number of grand buildings in its centre to fall into dereliction, resulting in an dramatic effect on tourism and the town’s economy. The stucco fronted buildings are empty, open to vandalism and the elements, and have been left to fall into disrepair….. a blight in the centre of a once beautiful resort.
Situated at the northern rim of the Hohe Tauern national park, Bad Gastein became fashionable in the 19th century with visits from monarchs, notably Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) and the German Emperor Wilhelm I, as well as Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who all came to take the thermal waters. The rocks in the nearby mountains were found to have large concentrations of Radon which seemed to have a healing effect on the miners who worked in the local mines. Radon inhalation therapy at Gasteiner-Heilstollen began as a result of further investigation into the anecdotal experiences of the miners who noticed improvements in symptoms from various ailments including arthritis.
As well as its water treatments, Bad Gastein is popular for winter sports, with extensive skiing throughout the beautiful Gasteiner valley.
Should speculative financiers be allowed to the tear the heart and soul out of a community like Bad Gastein?
Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill. Eventually the arch will collapse to leave a sea stack.
Scenes from the 1967 film of Thomas Hardy’s novel ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ were filmed at Durdle Door, and in 1997 it was used as a location for the film ‘Wilde’ starring Stephen Fry.
The promotional video for Cliff Richards’ 1990 hit ‘Saviour’s Day’was shot here, which saw Cliff singing both down on the beach and on the clifftop. Later, Tears for Fears shot parts of their video to promote ‘Shout’ at the iconic arch.
Villa La Rotunda Vincenza
Villa La Rotonda is a Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza in northern Italy, and was designed by Andrea Palladio. The proper name is Villa Almerico Capra, but it is also known as La Rotonda and Villa Rotonda. The name “Capra” derives from the Capra brothers, who completed the building after it was ceded to them in 1592. Along with other works by Palladio, the building is conserved as part of the World Heritage Site “City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto”.
The name Rotonda (round), derives from its plan, a perfect circle inside a square, forming a fully symmetrical composition, with a traditional temple gate in front of each facade. The Villa is seen as being the jewel in all of Palladio’s designs.
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic), a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments,”which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.
The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.
The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, which took about twenty years to build, was completed around year 24 of the reign of Ramesses the Great. It was dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah, as well as to the deified Rameses himself. It is generally considered the grandest and most beautiful of the temples commissioned during the reign of Rameses II, and one of the most beautiful in Egypt.
The eight-foot-tall sculpture of a boy holding a squirming frog by was commissioned to sit at the tip of the Punta della Dogana, between the Grand and the Guidecca canals in Venice. The work, by the California artist Charles Ray, was a much-loved landmark, photographed daily by scores of tourists. However, the city of Venice, vowed to local pressure to remove it and replace it with a reproduction of the 19th-century lamppost that formerly stood there.
While the sculpture had its fans, it also had detractors. Although classically inspired and seemingly in keeping with much of the city’s art and architecture, some local residents missed the lamppost, long a romantic meeting spot for loving couples!
François Pinault, the French luxury goods magnate and collector, commissioned Mr. Ray’s sculpture, made of white-painted stainless steel, after signing a 33-year-agreement with the city to transform the 17th-century Dogana, a former customs house, into an art museum filled with work from his vast collection. It opened in June 2009, on the eve of that year’s Venice Biennale.
Time Reflects Everlasting Expressions #9
Part of an ongoing series of abstract images of trees
Time Reflects Everlasting ExpressionS #6
Part of a series of abstract tree images
#trees #art #photography #abstract
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic), a small village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments” which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
The monument to the German Kaiser and King of Prussia Wilhelm I in Bad Gastein, Austria.
Dating from the 12th century, Bayon Temple is the spectacular central temple of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself, has been dubbed by some the “Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia.” There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.
Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) was first a Hindu, later a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors
Standing at 2941m the Hochkoenig is the highest mountain in the Berchtesgaden Alps, Salzburgerland, Austria
The Kitzsteinhorn is part of the Hohe Tauern range in the eastern Alps and reaches a height of 3,203 m (10,509 ft) above sea level. It was first climbed in 1828 by Johann Entacher.
The Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains) were created between 1730 and 1736 when more than 100 volcanoes, covering more than 50 km², rose up and devastated this part of the island (including several villages). The last eruptions … Continue reading
The glory of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is its ornately patterned, richly coloured roof, 111 metres (364 ft) long, and covered by 230,000 glazed tiles. Above the choir on the south side of the building the tiles form a mosaic of the double-headed eagle that is symbolic of the empire ruled from Vienna by the Habsburg dynasty. On the north side the coats of arms of the City of Vienna and of the Republic of Austria are depicted. In 1945,fire caused by World War II damage to nearby buildings leapt to the north tower of the cathedral and destroyed the wooden framework of the roof. Replicating the original bracing for so large a roof (it rises 38 metres above the floor) would have been cost prohibitive, so over 600 metric tons of steel bracing were used instead. The roof is so steep that it is sufficiently cleaned by the rain alone and is seldom covered by snow