The History of These Ancient Temples is Truly Fascinating

Among the earliest structures built by ancient civilizations, places of worship like tombs and temples were perhaps of the highest importance for the population of those days. In fact, of the buildings that still remain today from the early years of civilization, ancient temples are the most captivating and spectacular. You still can find several of the oldest known temples, built thousands of years ago, in different parts of the world today. While not all of them have been well-preserved, they still hold a magical allure and tell us of mysterious stories.. These old temples also help us get a better understanding of humanity’s earliest societies and what the world was like in those times. Some of the ancient temples featured in the list below are older than the written word itself, some have been built underground, and some have been able to maintain their architectural splendor even after thousands of years. Of all these ancient structures I only got the chance to visit The Temple of Apollo in Greece while taking a long trip throughout the country. It’s truly an amazing place! Take a look.

Temple of Amada, Egypt

The Temple of Amada is one of the oldest temples in Egypt and was first constructed by Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III of the 18th dynasty, sometime around the 15th century BC. Dedicated to the gods Amun and Ra-Horakhty, the temple is considered to be one of the earliest examples of Egyptian temple architecture in the area of the Middle Nile. While it was originally constructed on the east bank of the Nile, the Temple of Amada was moved in the 1960s and ’70s to a higher site on Lake Nasser to protect it from flooding. One of the most significant features of the temple is a relief along with two important inscriptions describing the military feats of the pharaohs who built it – Tuthmosis III and his son Amenhotep II. While the temple is quite small and dilapidated, it is still quite fascinating and vibrant from inside.

Luxor Temple, Egypt

Located on the east bank of the Nile River in Luxor, in the ancient city of Thebes, the Luxor Temple was built in 1,100 and 1,600 BC during the reigns of several pharaohs – Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC), Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC), and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC), and then added to by Rameses II (1279-13 BC). The temple was dedicated to the three Egyptian gods Amun, Mut, and Chons, and is considered the largest and most important site in ancient Egypt.The Luxor temple served as a place of worship for nearly 3,500 years and was also the center of the festival of Opet (ancient Egyptian festival of the second month of the lunar calendar). According to Egyptian legends, the Luxor Temple was “the place of the First Occasion,” where the god Amun experienced a rebirth. Today, the massive Great Colonnade Hall is one of the most vital remains of this vast temple complex.

Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, Malta

Image Source: Flickr/xiquinhosilva

Built around 2,500 BC, the Hypogeum in Malta is the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world. The island of Malta has several Megalithic Temples and this structure is easily one of the most remarkable ones. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hypogeum is one of the world’s best-preserved prehistoric sites and contains halls, chambers and passages carved out of rock. Archeologists believe that the Hypogeum was used as a temple as well as a sanctuary and a necropolis in prehistoric times. The complex is divided into three levels – the upper level (3600-3300 BC), the middle level (3300-3000 BC), and the lower level (3150 -2500 BC). Amazingly, the lower level has a room that is 10.6 meters (35 ft) underground. The structure was rediscovered in 1902 and was restored over mid-2016 to early 2017. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

Temple of Apollo, Greece

The Temple of Apollo is located at Delphi, the center of the Ancient Greek world, and was built on the location of two earlier temples. The temple was first built around the 7th century BC by the two iconic architects Trophonios and Agamedes and was rebuilt after a fire in the 6th century BC. The temple was of the Doric order and had 6 columns at the front, and 15 columns at the flanks.In 373 BC, the Temple of Apollo was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt for the third time in 330 BC. Even after so many centuries, the foundations of the iconic temple still survive today along with several Doric columns that are made of porous stone and limestone. Not much is known about the temple’s interior arrangement. However, ancient writers have mentioned that the walls of the temple were inscribed with the aphorisms of the seven sages.

Tchogha Zanbil, Iran

Tchogha Zanbil or Choga Zambil is a ruined palace and temple complex of the ancient Elamite city of Dur Untashi in Iran. Built in 1250 BC, the temple was founded by the Elamite king Untash-Napirisha (1275-1240 BC). The primary feature of the complex is a gigantic ziggurat (a rectangular stepped tower built to honor the main god of the city) dedicated to the Elamite divinities Inshushinak and Napirisha. Outside of Mesopotamia, the ziggurat at Tchogha Zanbil remains the best-preserved monument of this type.Incidentally, the city was never completed and was attacked and damaged by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal around 640 BC. The temple complex was excavated between 1946 to 1962 by archaeologist Roman Ghirshman after prospectors for an oil company discovered it in 1935.

 Vittala Temple, India

The Vittala Temple or Vitthala Temple in Hampi, India, is located near the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka. Among the many ancient temples at Hampi, the Vittala temple is the most well-renowned because of its stunning architecture and unmatched craftsmanship.Built in the 15th century by King Devaraya II (1422- 1446 AD) of the Vijayanagara Empire, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala or Krishna and is known for its iconic stone chariot and the unique musical pillars. Many sections of the temple were expanded and renovated during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (1509- 1529 AD). The temple is amazingly well-preserved and represents the epitome of ancient Indian architecture.

source of inspiration and reference : ba-bamail.com

Cristina David

Fascinating Facts About Paris

Thomas Jefferson once said, “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” He wasn’t wrong. There’s a reason that Paris is one of the most popular cities in the world and captivates all of us. Known as the “City of Light” or the “City of Love,” the streets of Paris gush with culture, art, beauty, and history. 

While we have all seen glorious pictures of the French capital, but there’s still a lot you may not know about it. For instance, did you know that Paris wasn’t always called “Paris”? And do you know what the city’s motto is? Here, we have listed some little-known and interesting facts about Paris that you are unlikely to know. Check them out./

1. Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris

Pont neuf, Ile de la Cite, Paris – France

It was built from 1578 to 1607 and was designed by Baptiste Du Cerceau and Pierre des Illes. It was the city’s first path-breaking public work and introduced them to a new kind of street life.

2. The motto of Paris is “Fluctuat nec mergitur”

small paris street with view on the famous paris eifel tower on a cloudy rainy day with some sunshine

This means ‘Tossed but not sunk,’ or ‘Beaten by the waves, but does not flounder.’ This phrase is most commonly found on Paris’ coat of arms and suggests resilience, courage, and inner strength. 

3. Paris was founded around the end of the 3rd century BC and was initially called Lutetia.

Paris cityscape taken from Montmartre

The city was founded around the end of the 3rd century BC by a Celtic tribe called Parisii who had settled on the banks of the Seine. In 52 BC, the village was conquered by the Romans, who went on to establish it as a Gallo-Roman town called Lutetia. The city changed its name to Paris during the 4th century.

4. Paris was among the first cities in the world to install street lights.

It is said that the first public lamp in Paris was the famous candle lantern placed in front of the Grand Chatelet in 1318. The first gas lamps were placed in the Place du Carrousel in 1829. By 1900, there were around 50,900 street lamps in Paris.

5. The oldest house in Paris was built in 1407

51 rue de Montmorency

The house is located at 51 rue de Montmorency and was built by the city’s most famous alchemist, Nicolas Flamel, in 1407. Historians believe that this is the house where Flamel carried out his experiments in alchemy.

6.The oldest café in Paris has been around since 1686

Café Procope is the oldest and among the most famous eateries in the city. It is known as the first literary cafe in the world and was opened in 1686 by the Sicilian chef Procopio Cutò. The café is said to have played a major part in setting up the café culture in Paris.

7. Cheese shops in Paris have more than 1000 different varieties of French Cheese

Wine and Cheese Shop – French Wine and Cheese Shop in Paris

You will be spoilt for choice when looking for French cheese in Paris. From the soft and creamy Camembert to the rich and firm Comté, you won’t be able to try out all the varieties in one trip.

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source : https://www.ba-bamail.com

Cristina David

Ein Gedi the most picturesque oasis in the world

An awsome Nature Reserve

En Gedi is the biggest oasis in Israel. It has springs and waterfalls, and flowing brooks at the foot of the cliffs, home to ibexes and rock hyraxes. Situated on the eastern border of the Judean Desert, on theDead Sea shore, Ein Gedi is a real jewel of Israel.

Foto: Wikimedia

I visited Israel recently, but never got to see it although I was not too far from it. On that day of my pilgrimage I just contemplated the desolate look oh the Dead Sea, after coming from other jewels one can admire in the desert : very old, impressive monasteries, holy places of spiritual life.

While the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve offers over nine different hiking trails, suitable for everyone from family groups to experienced hikers, and ranging in duration from just half an hour in length to a full day, some of the most popular hiking trails are those which head through Wadi David.

King David fall and cave

Whichever of the hikes you decide to take, you are likely to gaze in awe at the beauty of Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and be amazed in particular at how it contrasts to its desert surroundings. The springs are a source of beauty today, and have, for thousands of years, been the source upon which life, both human and otherwise, has relied upon for living in the area.

The reserve has two streams which flow year round, and four springs which feed the streams. This hike passes through the David stream and three of the four springs. The David stream has a series of waterfalls and pools and descends 200 meters to the height of the Dead Sea.

The Nahal David lower stream – the internet

Flora in the nature reserve includes the acacia, Sodom apple, Christ-thorn, reeds and cattails. Fauna in the reserve includes foxes, wolves, hyenas, and leopards, as well as the commonly seen ibex and hyrax.

Hoping you will have the occasion to see these great views, I wish you to stay safe and healthy amid this ugly pandemic.

https://www.attractions-in-israel.com

Cristina David

Interesting Facts about the Black Sea

The Black Sea islocated between Western Asian and Southeastern Europe. Before the sea was drained in the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean, it will flow from the Aegean Sea. The Black Sea was surrounded by the Caucasus, Anatolia and Europe. I come from Romania, one of the countries that border this sea. I lwas born and lived there , in Bucharest, that is until I moved over seas and came to live in New Jersey.

The Black Sea is considered as an important tourist destination. On the Black Sea shores, one can see and visit gorgeous resorts, just like here in the States, if not even more enchanting.

Here are other interesting facts about Black Sea for you: There are various straits which connect to the Black Sea. The Black Sea is linked to Aegean Sea by Strait of Dardanelles. The Black Sea and Sea of Marmara are connected by Bosphorus Strait. Strait of Kerch connects Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

There are several cities located along Black Sea. Those include Zonguldak, Rize, Sinop, Giresun, Hopa, Batumi, Burgas, Varna, Yalta, Sevastopol, Sochi, Mangalia, Navodari, Odessa, Ordu, Constanta, Istanbul, Sukhumi, Trabzon, Novorossiysk, Poti, and Sozopol.

There are at least 12 seaports located in Ukraine. The port of Constanta (Romania) is the main container hub in the Black Sea and all direct lines between Asia and the Black Sea call in Constanța. The port is also a starting and terminus point for the Pan-European Pipeline designed to the transportation of Russian and Caspian oil to Central Europe.

The water of Black Sea is less saline if you compare it with the salinity of Mediterranean water. Therefore, it floats over the inflow of Mediterranean water due to the less saline and cool water. There are several animals endemic in Black Sea. Those include the Zebra Mussels, common carps, and round goby. Black Sea is also a good source of fishing. On average, there are around 300,000 tons of fish caught by the Turkish commercial fishing fleet per year..

Last year, in 2019, together with a group of friends I spent about 8 days in Venus, one of the resorts in Romania, staying at Hotel Afrodita. Gorgeous weather, wonderful sunny days, soothing breeze along the shore…I made a few video clips and took quite a number of pictures.

Video clip-sunrise at the Black Sea – the property of Cristina David

Have a wonderful summer!

Cristina David

Mount Holly – a Historic City

I happen to live in a small but very old town, that is in American terms, considering the short history this country has had so far. It is also very important in the area, it holds the position of the seat in the largest county (Burlington) in New Jersey! It is also considered to be an eastern suburb of Philadelphia, PA. Quite interesting, isn’t it? Maybe you would enjoy coming with me on a short trip by car meandering along its streets flanked with old historic buildings. Let’s get off!

By the way, the township was named for hills covered with holly trees and shrubs.

Hoping you liked our short trip, I wish you a wonderful week ! Stay healthy and safe!

Cristina David

Quite Unusual and Very Beautiful Places You Should Consider Visiting – Today : Tropea in Italy

Walk up to the Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea, Italy

Are you up for a secret getaway? Like literally, a secret getaway. Then pack your bags and head to Tropea, Italy.  Get a good view of this 12th century Norman cathedral Franciscan monastery.  This place is a best kept secret of Italians where they all go to for vacations. (Apologies to the Italians for sharing it with the world!)

Not a lot of travellers know about this place yet. Not only do you get the scenic view of the castle but you can also enjoy an afternoon dip in its warm, turquoise clear water. How can you resist a dramatic coastal cliff view while you’re sunbathing?

Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola

The history of Tropea begins in Roman times. Legend says that it was Hercules ho, returning from Spain (Pillars of Hercules) stood on the Coast of the Gods and made Tropea one of his ports. Today it is considered the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Tropea – eyebird view

Please remember that the Church on top of the cliff is worth the climb, visiting and enjoy the breathtaking view. The rock on which the church stands today was probably inhabited around the 7th century by Greek hermit monks. These, isolating themselves from the world, devoted themselves to a contemplative and ascetic life. Built before the 9th century, the church belonged, at first, to the Basilian monks. In the 11th century, after the arrival of the Normans, it was passed on to the Benedictines, who still own it today.

The Cathedral

In the cathedral there is a picture of Virgin Mary of Romania, of Byzantine origin, dating from around 1330.

Over the centuries, due to the violent earthquakes from 1783 and 1905, the complex has undergone various restorations and renovations, little of the original structure of the sanctuary being preserved until today.

The staircase that runs to the top was built around 1810. The current facade of the church was built after the earthquake of 1905. The last restoration took place in 2010-2011.

This super place on earth would make a good choice for a wonderful vacation in Europe!

Take care and stay safe!

Cristina David

5 Surprising Spots to See the Northern Lights in the U.S.

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights

If you haven’t had an opportunity to see nature’s exhilarating, captivating northern lights (also known as Aurora Borealis), make sure you add it to your bucket list. The northern lights occur when charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gaseous particles. The collisions create stunning light shows in a variety of colors 50 to 400 miles above the earth’s surface. Waves of vibrant green and pink are the most common sights, although you’ll occasionally see violet, red, blue, and yellow waves.

Northern Lights – Maine

The best time to view the northern lights is between October and April when the skies are darkest and clearest. Fall can be a little cloudy in the north, so December through April tends to be the best time to catch the spectacle. You can also see similar light shows called the Aurora Australis in the far southern hemisphere from April through October. The optimum time to see the lights is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time. Shows can last from 15 minutes to several hours. Avoid days when the moon is full or near full since a dark sky makes the lights more visible.

Northern Lights over Lake Michigan

The best places for viewing nature’s light show are the northern parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Siberia. The good news is you don’t have to venture to far-flung locations. You can see them from several places in the U.S. without traveling to Alaska. Here are five surprising spots to see the northern lights.

Hope these wondrous images of the rarely seen Northern Lights will make you take soon a decision to be some of the few lucky persons to see them LIVE.

Have a super day tomorrow!

Cristina David

A Pearl under the Sun

https://www.ba-bamail.com/video.aspx

Let’s travel to the heart of the tropical paradise that is Hawaii, the famous and ever beautiful Big Island. The island is one of the most biologically diverse and unique ecosystems on the entire planet, and it is home to a multitude of scenic beaches, picturesque drives, and historical locations. Soak in the sun and marvel at the gorgeous scenery of the most iconic travel destinations on Big Island.

The Hawaii Island, also known as “The Big Island,” is the largest of the island chain. As self-explanatory as it is stunning, the Big Island boasts some of Hawaii’s most varying landscape. Unique in its encompassing 12 separate climate zones, visitors here will marvel at the dramatically different temperatures and scenic beauty that span across each distinct area, ranging from the warmth found amid balmy coastal jungles in Puna to the snowcapped peaks dotting the slopes of Mauna Kea. Beach goers get their fill of sunshine and sand at any of the five star resorts located along the Big Island’s Kona coast and within the resort area of Waikoloa, while those seeking a more quiet, casual experience will adore Hilo, a sleepy little bayside town speckled with small mom-and-pop shops. The must-do on Hawaii Island is a visit to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

sources : ba-bamail.com and hawaii.com

Cristina David

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