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Miscellaneous
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
Museum
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
Corporate
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….. ????
Miscellaneous
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
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview This temple is situated on the western bank of holy river Ganga in Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main deity of Kashi Vishwanath Temple is Lord Shiva, also known as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwarar meaning 'the ruler of the universe'. The city of Varanasi, the cultural capital of India, is thus known as the city of Lord Shiva. The temple has 800 kg of gold plating on its tower. Camera, mobile phones, electronic devices are not allowed inside and must be deposited in lockers outside. Foreigners can enter from Gate number 2 where they can walk past the Indians waiting for their turn. There is also a well present within the temple complex called Jnana Vapi or wisdom well where only Hindus are allowed to enter. In the olden times, on special festivals such as Shivaratri, the king of Kashi (Kashi Naresh) visited the temple for worship during which nobody else is allowed to enter the temple premises. Devotees were allowed after the king had concluded his prayers. The importance of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple also stems from the fact that it finds mentions in several holy scriptures of the Hindus. On the outside, the temple is adorned with intricate carvings that impart a divine quality to the facade. Other than that, the temple also houses several other small temples such as Kaalbhairav, Vishnu, Virupaksh Gauri, Vinayaka and Avimukteshwara. Architecture The temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The linga of the main deity at the shrine is 60 centimetres (24 in) tall and 90 centimetres (35 in) in circumference housed in a silver altar. The main temple is quadrangle and is surrounded by shrines of other gods. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi also spelled as Gyaan vapi (the wisdom well). The Jnana Vapi well sites to the north of the main temple and during the invasion by the Mughals the Jyotirlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the Jyotirlinga from invaders. According to the structure of the temple, there is a Sabha Griha or Congregation Hall leading to the inner Garbha Griha or Sanctum Sanctorum. The venerable Jyotirlinga is a dark brown colored stone which is enshrined in the Sanctum, placed on a silver platform. Structure of the Mandir is composed of three parts. The first compromises a spire on the Mandir of Lord Vishwanath or Mahadeva. The second is gold dome and the third is the gold spire atop Lord Vishwanath carrying a flag and a trident. The Kashi Vishwanath temple receives around 3,000 visitors every day. On certain occasions, the numbers reach 1,000,000 and more. Noteworthy about the temple is 15.5-metre-high gold spire and gold dome. There are three domes each made up of pure gold, supplied by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835. History The temple has been mentioned in the Puranas including the Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana. The original Vishwanath temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1194 CE, when he defeated the Raja of Kannauj as a commander of Mohammad Ghori. The temple was rebuilt by a Gujarati merchant during the reign of Delhi's Sultan Iltutmish (1211–1266 CE). It was demolished again during the rule of either Hussain Shah Sharqi (1447–1458) or Sikandar Lodhi (1489–1517). Raja Man Singh built the temple during Mughal emperor Akbar's rule, but some Hindus boycotted it as he had let the Mughals marry within his family. Raja Todar Mal further re-built the temple with Akbar's funding at its original site in 1585. After a lot of rough history, the temple was managed by a hereditary group of pandas or mahants. After the death of Mahant Devi Dutt, a dispute arose among his successors. In 1900, his brother-in-law Pandit Visheshwar Dayal Tewari filed a lawsuit, which resulted in him being declared the head priest. Legends of Jyotirlinga As per Shiva Purana, once Brahma (the Hindu God of creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God of Harmony) had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshiped till the end of eternity. The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyothirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. There are 64 forms of Shiva, not to be confused with Jyotirlingas. Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity - each considered different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. The twelve jyothirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deogarh in Deoghar, Jharkhand, Nageswar at Dwarka in Gujarat, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview The Lincoln Memorial is an American national memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon; the designer of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French; the Lincoln statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers; and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. Dedicated in May 1922, it is one of several memorials built to honor an American president. It has always been a major tourist attraction and since the 1930s has been a symbolic center focused on race relations. The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Exterior The exterior of the Memorial echoes a classic Greek temple and features Yule marble quarried from Colorado. The structure measures 189.7 by 118.5 feet (57.8 by 36.1 m) and is 99 feet (30 m) tall. It is surrounded by a peristyle of 36 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death, and two columns in-antis at the entrance behind the colonnade. The columns stand 44 feet (13 m) tall with a base diameter of 7.5 feet (2.3 m). Each column is built from 12 drums including the capital. The columns, like the exterior walls and facades, are inclined slightly toward the building's interior. This is to compensate for perspective distortions which would otherwise make the memorial appear to bulge out at the top when compared with the bottom, a common feature of Ancient Greek architecture. The Memorial is anchored in a concrete foundation, 44 to 66 feet (13 to 20 m) in depth, constructed by M. F. Comer and Company and the National Foundation and Engineering Company, and is encompassed by a 187-by-257-foot (57 by 78 m) rectangular granite retaining wall measuring 14 feet (4.3 m) in height. Leading up to the shrine on the east side are the main steps. Beginning at the edge of the Reflecting Pool, the steps rise to the Lincoln Memorial Circle roadway surrounding the edifice, then to the main portal, intermittently spaced with a series of platforms. Flanking the steps as they approach the entrance are two buttresses each crowned with an 11-foot (3.4 m) tall tripod carved from pink Tennessee marble by the Piccirilli Brothers. Interior The Memorial's interior is divided into three chambers by two rows of four Ionic columns, each 50 feet (15 m) tall and 5.5 feet (1.7 m) across at their base. The central chamber, housing the statue of Lincoln, is 60 feet wide, 74 feet deep, and 60 feet high. The north and south chambers display carved inscriptions of Lincoln's second inaugural address and his Gettysburg Address. Bordering these inscriptions are pilasters ornamented with fasces, eagles, and wreaths. The inscriptions and adjoining ornamentation are by Evelyn Beatrice Longman. The Memorial is replete with symbolic elements. The 36 columns represent the states of the Union at the time of Lincoln's death; the 48 stone festoons above the columns represent the 48 states in 1922. Inside, each inscription is surmounted by a 60-by-12-foot (18.3 by 3.7 m) mural by Jules Guerin portraying principles seen as evident in Lincoln's life: Freedom, Liberty, Immortality, Justice, and the Law on the south wall; Unity, Fraternity, and Charity on the north. Cypress trees, representing Eternity, are in the murals' backgrounds. The murals' paint incorporated kerosene and wax to protect the exposed artwork from fluctuations in temperature and moisture. The ceiling consists of bronze girders ornamented with laurel and oak leaves. Between these are panels of Alabama marble, saturated with paraffin to increase translucency. But feeling that the statue required even more light, Bacon and French designed metal slats for the ceiling to conceal floodlights, which could be modulated to supplement the natural light; this modification was installed in 1929. The one major alteration since was the addition of a handicapped elevator in the 1970s. Statue Lying between the north and south chambers of the open-air Memorial is the central hall, which contains the large solitary figure of Abraham Lincoln sitting in contemplation. Its sculptor, Daniel Chester French, supervised the Piccirilli Brothers in its construction, and it took four years to complete. The 175 short tons (159 t) statue, carved from Georgia white marble, was shipped in twenty-eight pieces.[13] Originally intended to be only 10 feet (3.0 m) tall, on further consideration the sculpture was enlarged to 19 feet (5.8 m) from head to foot. If Lincoln were depicted standing he would be 28 feet (8.5 m) tall. The widest span of the statue corresponds to its height, and it rests upon an oblong pedestal of Tennessee marble 10 feet (3.0 m) high, 16 feet (4.9 m) wide, and 17 feet (5.2 m) deep. Directly beneath this lies a platform of Tennessee marble about 34.5 feet (10.5 m) long, 28 feet (8.5 m) wide, and 6.5 inches (0.17 m) high. Lincoln's arms rest on representations of Roman fasces, a subtle touch that associates the statue with the Augustan (and imperial) theme (obelisk and funerary monuments) of the Washington Mall. The statue is discretely bordered by two pilasters, one on each side. Between these pilasters, and above Lincoln's head, is engraved an epitaph of Lincoln by Royal Cortissoz. Feature of the Sculpture The sculpture has been at the center of two urban legends. Some have claimed that the face of General Robert E. Lee was carved onto the back of Lincoln's head, and looks back across the Potomac toward his former home, Arlington House, now within the bounds of Arlington National Cemetery. Another popular legend is that Lincoln is shown using sign language to represent his initials, with his left hand shaped to form an "A" and his right hand to form an "L", the president's initials. The National Park Service denies both legends. However, historian Gerald Prokopowicz writes that, while it is not clear that sculptor Daniel Chester French intended Lincoln's hands to be formed into sign language versions of his initials, it is possible that French did intend it, because he was familiar with American Sign Language, and he would have had a reason to do so, that is, to pay tribute to Lincoln for having signed the federal legislation giving Gallaudet University, a university for the deaf, the authority to grant college degrees. The National Geographic Society's publication "Pinpointing the Past in Washington, D.C." states that Daniel Chester French had a son who was deaf and that the sculptor was familiar with sign language. Historian James A. Percoco has observed that, although there are no extant documents showing that French had Lincoln's hands carved to represent the letters "A" and "L" in American Sign Language, "I think you can conclude that it's reasonable to have that kind of summation about the hands." Trend As one of the most prominent American monuments, the Lincoln Memorial is often featured in books, films, and television shows that take place in Washington; by 2003 it had appeared in over 60 films, and in 2009, Mark S. Reinhart compiled some short sketches of dozens of uses of the Memorial in film and television.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894. Tower Bridge is one of five London bridges owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. It is the only one of the trust's bridges not to connect the City of London directly to the Southwark bank, as its northern landfall is in Tower Hamlets. The bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal tension forces imposed by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical components of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. Before its restoration in the 2010s, the bridge's colour scheme dated from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. Its colours were subsequently restored to blue and white. The bridge deck is freely accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians, whereas the bridge's twin towers, high-level walkways and Victorian engine rooms form part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition, for which an admission charge is made. The nearest London Underground tube stations are Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines, London Bridge on the Jubilee and Northern lines and Bermondsey on the Jubilee line, and the nearest Docklands Light Railway station is Tower Gateway. The nearest National Rail stations are at Fenchurch Street and London Bridge. Construction Construction of the bridge started in 1886 and took eight years with five major contractors and employed 432 construction workers. Two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete, were sunk into the riverbed to support the construction. More than 11,000 tons of steel were used in the framework for the towers and walkways, which were then clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone, to protect the underlying steelwork. The total cost of construction was £1,184,000 (equivalent to £132 million in 2018). Design & Structure The iconic tower bridge is 800 feet (240 m) in length with two towers each 213 feet (65 m) high, built on piers. The central span of 200 feet (61 m) between the towers is split into two equal bascules or leaves, which can be raised to an angle of 86 degrees to allow river traffic to pass. The bascules, weighing over 1,000 tons each, are counterbalanced to minimize the force required and allow raising in five minutes. The two side-spans are suspension bridges, each 270 feet (82 m) long, with the suspension rods anchored both at the abutments and through rods contained within the bridge's upper walkways. The pedestrian walkways are 143 feet (44 m) above the river at high tide, and accessed by lifts. The main bridge deck carries two lanes of road traffic between two low-level pedestrian walkways across both suspension spans and the opening bascule section of the bridge, with the walkways separated from the roadway by fences. The roadway passes through each of the two towers, whereas the low-level walkways pass around the outside of the towers. Hydraulic System The original raising mechanism was powered by pressurised water stored in several hydraulic accumulators. Water, at a pressure of 750 psi (5.2 MPa), was pumped into the accumulators by two 360 hp (270 kW) horizontal twin-tandem compound stationary steam engines, fitted with Meyer expansion slide valves. Each engine drove a force pump from its piston tail rod. The accumulators each comprise a 20-inch (51 cm) ram on which sits a very heavy weight to maintain the desired pressure. In 1974, the original operating mechanism was largely replaced by a new electro-hydraulic drive system. The only components of the original system still in use are the final pinions, which engage with the racks fitted to the bascules. These are driven by modern hydraulic motors and gearing, using oil rather than water as the hydraulic fluid. Some of the original hydraulic machinery has been retained, although it is no longer in use. It is open to the public and forms the basis for the bridge's museum, which resides in the old engine rooms on the south side of the bridge. The museum includes the steam engines, two of the accumulators and one of the hydraulic engines that moved the bascules, along with other related artefacts. Signalling and Controls To control the passage of river traffic through the bridge, a number of different rules and signals were employed. Daytime control was provided by red semaphore signals, mounted on small control cabins on either end of both bridge piers. At night, coloured lights were used, in either direction, on both piers: two red lights to show that the bridge was closed, and two green to show that it was open. In foggy weather, a gong was sounded as well. Vessels passing through the bridge had to display signals too: by day, a black ball at least 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter was to be mounted high up where it could be seen; by night, two red lights in the same position. Foggy weather required repeated blasts from the ship's steam whistle. Trends The Tower Bridge Exhibition is a display housed in the bridge's twin towers, the high-level walkways and the Victorian engine rooms. It uses films, photos and interactive displays to explain why and how Tower Bridge was built. Visitors can access the original steam engines that once powered the bridge bascules, housed in a building close to the south end of the bridge. The exhibition charges an admission fee. Entrance is from the west side of the bridge deck to the northern tower, from where visitors ascend to level 4 by lift before crossing the high-level walkways to the southern tower. In the towers and walkways is an exhibition on the history of the bridge. The walkways also provide views over the city, the Tower of London and the Pool of London, and include a glass-floored section. From the south tower, visitors can visit the engine rooms, with the original steam engines, which are situated in a separate building beside the southern approach to the bridge.
Art
Description : An Overview The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is the premier art gallery under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The main museum at Jaipur House in New Delhi was established on 29 March 1954 by the Government of India, with subsequent branches at Mumbai and Bangalore. Its collection of more than 1700 works by 2000 plus artists includes artists such as Thomas Daniell, Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil as well as foreign artists. Some of the oldest works preserved here date back to 1857. With 12,000 square meters of exhibition space, the Delhi branch is one of the world's largest modern art museums. Collections The comprehensive collection of NGMA and its regional centers comprise around 17,000 art objects - paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and installations, essentially by Indian artists, built over the years through gifts, purchases, and permanent loans. It currently represents the works of about 2000 artists from India and abroad, and as in all dynamic institutions, the collection would continue to grow meaningfully. Collection of Modern Art The National Gallery of Modern Art began its systematic acquisition of modern arts by purchasing Amrita Sher- Gil’s paintings. Among the 161 paintings handed over to the National Gallery of Modern Art, Sher-Gil and Tagore’s paintings comprised more than half of the Museum’s collection. An exemplary part of the Museum’s collection constitute the 33 paintings purchased by the government from Egan alongwith the 33 paintings donated by Sher- Gil’s father Umrao Singh. The year between 1950 and 1954 saw the acquisition of the same number of works by the artist Abanindranath Tagore. Furthermore, Abdur Rahman Chughtai was represented by ten paintings while Jamini Roy and Nandalal Bose by eight paintings each. Paintings The strength of the NGMA collection is its impressive representation of the evolution of modern Indian art. The gallery has paintings by artists including Thomas Daniell, Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil and various other artists. The earliest are the indigenous schools of great Indian Miniatures; the vibrant Company, Kalighat and Tanjore schools of paintings. Portrait of a Lady by Raja Ravi Varma The NGMA has major collections of these artists oeuvre. 1940's onward saw the emergence of different artists groups in major cities. The Progressive Artists Group in Mumbai with MF Husain, FN Souza, KH Ara, SH Raza, the Calcutta group with Gopal Ghose, Paritosh Sen and Prodosh Das Gupta were significant in livening up the art scene of the period. Woman Holding a Fruit by Raja Ravi Varma Following the spirit of group activity, K. C. S. Panicker along with S. G. Vasudev and K. Ramanujan set up the idyllic artists commune in Cholamandal, near Chennai. The Taj Mahal by William Hodges The art of1950’s and the 1960's saw the rise of Indian abstract art and a pendulum swing between international modernism and traditional roots. Aurangzeb's Mosque by Thomas Daniell There is also a representative collection of artists who explored expressionism, surrealism, fantasies as well as pop art, during the 60’s and the 70'S. Young Girls by Amrita Sher-Gil Sculpture The NGMA has a collection of modern sculptures by famous sculptors like D. P. Roy Choudhury, Chintamoni Kar and Ramkinkar Baij. The NGMA holds a rich and varied collection of works of the major sculptors of the country. Steel tree - with utensils Painters, who have made significant contributions in sculpture, have been collected by NGMA. They are Prof. K.G. Subramanyan, Satish Gujral, amongst others. Printmaking has been a strong current in modern Indian art. The innovative experiments from 19th century onwards have been recorded with an exemplary collection of graphic prints of artists such as Jyoti Bhatt, Somnath Hore, Krishna Reddy, Anupam Sud, and Laxma Goud. Modern art withutensils Photography The NGMA has a large collection of photographs by Lala Deen Dayal, one of the pioneers of photography in India. The NGMA began collecting photographs as an art form during the late 70 's. The collection is small, yet distinguished. Raja Deen Dayal's photographs of the regal life of early - 20th - century Hyderabad area treasure. so are the photographs of contemporary India by Raghu Rai, and modern cinema by Nemai Ghosh and Dayanita Singh. The collection also includes sculptures, graphics and paintings by international modern artists such as Jacob Epstein, Giorgio de chiricio, Sonia Delaunay, A. Tapies, Robert Rauschenberg, Se Duk Lee, D. C. Daja, Peter lubarda, Kozo Mio, George Keyt and Fred Thieler. Building Situated at the end of Rajpath, in the Central Hexagon around the India Gate, the building was a former residential palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur, hence known as Jaipur House. The butterfly-shaped building with a central dome and built in 1936, and designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, after the construction of Lutyens' Delhi. The Central Hexagon around the India Gate, where the buildings of leading princely states were situated, was itself designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Though the idea of the National Gallery was floated in 1949, it was formally inaugurated by Vice-president Dr S.Radhakrishnan in 1954, in the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Hermann Goetz (1898–1976), a noted German art historian became its first curator and in time it added new facilities such as Art restoration services, an Art reference Library and a Documentation Centre. Opening Ceremony The gallery at Jaipur house opened with an exhibition of Indian sculptures, showcasing myriad of 65 Indian sculptures, displayed in five rooms of the Jaipur house, by 31 artists like Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury, Ram Kinkar Baij, Sankho Chaudhuri, Dhanraj Bhagat and Sarbari Roy Chowdhury. This event was even curated by Hermann Goetz. The startup aim of the museum was the acquisition and preservation of art works from 1850 to till date, mainly paintings, sculptures and graphics and later also photographs.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview Hampi, popularly known as temple complex of India. It became the centre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire capital in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, state Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins. Architectures of Hampi Virupaksha temple and market complex The Virupaksha temple is the oldest shrine, the principal destination for pilgrims and tourists, and remains an active Hindu worship site. Parts of the Shiva, Pampa and Durga temples existed in the 11th-century; it was extended during the Vijayanagara era. The temple is a collection of smaller temples, a regularly repainted, 50-metre (160 ft) high gopuram, a Hindu monastery dedicated to Vidyaranya of Advaita Vedanta tradition, a water tank (Manmatha), a community kitchen, other monuments and a 750 metres (2,460 ft)-long ruined stone market with a monolithic Nandi shrine on the east end. The temple faces eastwards, aligning the sanctums of the Shiva and Pampa Devi temples to the sunrise; a large gopuram marks its entrance. The superstructure is a pyramidal tower with pilastered storeys on each of which is artwork including erotic sculptures. The gopuram leads into a rectangular court that ends in another, smaller gopuram dated to 1510 CE. To its south side is a 100-column hall with Hindu-related reliefs on all four sides of each pillar. Connected to this public hall is a community kitchen, a feature found in other major Hampi temples. A channel is cut into the rock to deliver water to the kitchen and the feeding hall. The courtyard after the small gopuram has dipa-stambha (lamp pillar) and Nandi. Krishna temple, market, Narasimha and linga The Krishna temple on the other side of Hemakuta hill, is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south of Virupaksha temple. In front of the ruined temple is a long market street, also referred to locally as the bazaar. Between the colonnaded stone shop ruins is a broad road that allowed chariots to transport goods to and from the market, and hosted ceremonial functions and festive celebrations. To the north of this road and middle of the market is a large Pushkarani—a public utility-stepped water tank with an artistic pavilion in its centre. Next to the tank is a public hall (mandapa) for people to sit. Achyutaraya temple and market complex The Achyutaraya temple is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) east of Virupaksha temple and a part of its sacred centre is close to the Tungabhadra River. It is one of the four largest complexes in Hampi. The temple is unusual because it faced north. It is dedicated to Vishnu. The temple had an outer gopuram leading into a courtyard with a 100-column hall and an inner gopuram leading to the Vishnu temple. On each side of each pillar in the 100-column hall are reliefs of avatars of Vishnu; other deities such as Shiva, Surya, Durga; scenes of daily life—rishi, amorous couples, jokers; people in yoga asanas; people in namaste poses; and Vijayanagara emblems. Hemakuta hill monuments The Hemakuta hill lies between the Virupaksha temple complex to the north and the Krishna temple to the south. It is a collection of modestly sized monuments that are the best-preserved examples of pre-Vijayanagara and early-Vijayanagara temples and construction. The site has several important inscriptions, is easily accessible and provides views of the some parts of Hampi and the fertile, agricultural valley that separates the sacred centre from the urban core with its royal centre. Hazara Rama temple The Hazara Rama temple, referred to as the Ramachandra temple in inscriptions, occupied the western part of the urban core in the royal centre section of Hampi. This temple was dedicated to Rama of the Ramayana fame, and an avatar of Vishnu. It was the ceremonial temple for the royal family. The temple is dated to the early 15th century and is attributed to Devaraya I. The temple's outer walls portray the Hindu Mahanavami (Dasara) and the spring Holi festival procession and celebrations in parallel bands of artwork. The lowest band shows marching elephants, above it are horses led by horsemen, then soldiers celebrated by the public, then dancers and musicians, with a top layer depicting a boisterous procession of the general public. The depiction mirrors the description of festivals and processions in surviving memoirs of Persians and Portuguese who visited the Vijayanagara capital. Water infrastructure The Square Water Pavilion, also called the Queen's Bath, is in the south-east of the royal centre. It has a pavilion, a water basin and a method of moving fresh water to it and taking away wash water and overflows. The basin is enclosed within an ornate, pillared, vaulted bay. Nearby are ruins of the aqueduct. The modern name of this building, the Queen's bath, is probably a misnomer because this was a public bath for men and travellers. The building's interior arches show influence of the Indo-Islamic style, reflecting an era in which Hindu and Muslim arts influenced each other in India. Archaeological excavations in 1990 revealed twenty-three wells and cisterns in the Hampi-Vijayanagara metropolis. Of these, thirteen were found outside the city walls in the suburbs, and ten inside. Of these were twelve at roadsides, eight near temples, ten in residential areas and two were used for irrigation within the urban core. More water structures were found in Daroji valley for agriculture. According to archaeologists Kathleen Morrison and Carla Sinopoli, the Hampi water infrastructure was for the use of travellers, rituals, domestic use and irrigation. Texts and History According to mythology, the maiden Parvati resolves to marry the loner ascetic Shiva. Her parents learn of her desire and discourage her, but she pursues her desire. Shiva is lost in yogic meditation, oblivious to the world; Parvati appeals to the gods for help to awaken him and gain his attention. Indra sends the god Kama—the Hindu god of desire, erotic love, attraction, and affection—to awake Shiva from meditation. Kama reaches Shiva and shoots an arrow of desire. Shiva opens his third eye in his forehead and burns Kama to ashes. Parvati does not lose her hope or her resolve to win over Shiva; she begins to live like him and engage in the same activities—asceticism, yogin and tapasya—awakening him and attracting his interest. Shiva meets Parvati in disguised form and tries to discourage her, telling her Shiva's weaknesses and personality problems. Parvati refuses to listen and insists in her resolve. Shiva finally accepts her and they get married. According to Sthala Purana, Parvati (Pampa) pursued her ascetic, yogini lifestyle on Hemakuta Hill, now a part of Hampi, to win and bring ascetic Shiva back into householder life. Shiva is also called Pampapati. The river near the Hemakuta Hill came to be known as Pampa river. The Sanskrit word Pampa morphed into the Kannada word Hampa and the place Parvati pursued Shiva came to be known as Hampe or Hampi.
Art
Description : An Overview The Doria Pamphilj Gallery is a large art collection housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome, Italy, between Via del Corso and Via della Gatta. The principal entrance is on the Via del Corso (until recently, the entrance to the gallery was from the Piazza del Collegio Romano). The palace façade on Via del Corso is adjacent to a church, Santa Maria in Via Lata. Like the palace, it is still privately owned by the princely Roman family Doria Pamphili. Tours of the state rooms often culminate in concerts of Baroque and Renaissance music, paying tribute to the setting and the masterpieces it contains. Collections The large collection of paintings, furniture and statuary has been assembled since the 16th century by the Doria, Pamphilj, Landi and Aldobrandini families now united through marriage and descent under the simplified surname Doria Pamphilj. The collection includes paintings and furnishings from Innocent X's Palazzo Pamphilj (in Piazza Navona), who bequeathed them to his nephew Camillo Pamphilj. The Palazzo has grown over the centuries; it is likely the largest in Rome still in private ownership. The main collection is displayed in state rooms, including the chapel, complete with the mummified corpse of the family saint. However, the bulk is displayed in a series of four gilded and painted galleries surrounding a courtyard. An extensive suite of further rooms have now been converted to permanent well-lit galleries, containing the more medieval and Byzantine art in the collection. Titian Judith. 90 x 72 cm. Diego Velazquez Portrait of Innocent X. 141 x 119 cm. José de Ribera St. Jerome. 128.5 x 102 cm. Parmigianino Madonna and Child. 59 x 34 cm. Caravaggio Rest on Flight to Egypt. 133.5 x 166.5 cm. Caravaggio Penitent Magdalen. 122.5 x 98.5 cm. Filippo Lippi Annunciation. 117 x 173 cm. Hans Memling Lamentation. 68 x 53 cm. Pieter Bruegel the Elder Naval Battle in Gulf of Naples. 42 x 71 cm. Jan Gossart The Doria-Pamphilj Diptych. 40 x 22 cm. Raphael Double Portrait. 77 x 111 cm. The collection was first opened to the public by the three-quarters English Princess Orietta Pogson Doria Pamphilj, whose English husband Commander Frank Pogson added her name to his. Her own father, Prince Filippo Andrea VI, was half English. Princess Orietta and Commander Frank did much to restore the collection and the Palazzo; following her death in 2000 the guardianship of the collection was taken over by her adopted, English-born children, Jonathan Doria Pamphilj and Gesine Pogson Doria Pamphilj, who still live in the palazzo. Along with the possessions of the Colonna and Pallavicini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview The ancient Native American village of Mesa Verde, Colorado, features numerous ruins built by ancient Pueblo people known as the Anasazi. The Anasazi made this stone dwelling, Cliff Palace, their home in the 1200s. Architecture Cliff Palace was constructed primarily out of sandstone, mortar and wooden beams. The sandstone was shaped using harder stones, and a mortar of soil, water and ash was used to hold everything together. "Chinking" stones were placed within the mortar to fill gaps and provide stability. Many of the walls were decorated with colored earthen plasters, which were the first to erode over time. Many visitors wonder about the relatively small size of the doorways at Cliff Palace; the explanation being that at the time the average man was under 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m), while the average woman was closer to 5 feet (1.5 m) Cliff Palace contains 23 kivas (round sunken rooms of ceremonial importance) and 150 rooms and had a population of approximately 100 people. One kiva, in the center of the ruin, is at a point where the entire structure is partitioned by a series of walls with no doorways or other access portals. The walls of this kiva were plastered with one color on one side and a different color on the opposing side. "It is thought that Cliff Palace was a social, administrative site with high ceremonial usage." Archaeologists believe that Cliff Palace contained more clans than the surrounding Mesa Verde communities. This belief stems from the higher ratio of rooms to kivas. Cliff Palace has a room-to-kiva ratio of 9 to 1. The average room-to-kiva ratio for a Mesa Verde community is 12 to 1. This ratio of kivas to rooms may suggest that Cliff Palace might have been the center of a large polity that included surrounding small communities. A large square tower is to the right and almost reaches the cave "roof". It was in ruins by the 1800s. The National Park Service carefully restored it to its approximate height and stature, making it one of the most memorable buildings in Cliff Palace. It is the tallest structure at Mesa Verde standing at 26 feet (7.9 m) tall, with four levels. Slightly differently colored materials were used to show that it was a restoration. History Tree-ring dating indicates that construction and refurbishing of Cliff Palace was continuous approximately from 1190 CE through 1260 CE, although the major portion of the building was done within a 20-year time span. The Ancestral Puebloans who constructed this cliff dwelling and the others like it at Mesa Verde were driven to these defensible positions by "increasing competition amidst changing climatic conditions". Cliff Palace was abandoned by 1300, and while debate remains as to the causes of this, some believe that a series of megadroughts interrupting food production systems is the main cause. Cliff Palace was rediscovered in 1888 by Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason while out looking for stray cattle. Certitude Ancestral Puebloans entered their cliff-dwelling apartments through wooden ladders. (The ladders in this beautiful photograph were reconstructed by the National Park Service.) Rooms in Cliff Palace were about 2 by 2.5 meters (6 by 8 feet). Families lived together, and historians say that two or three people often shared a room. Many rooms were originally plastered in bright colors—usually pink, brown, red, yellow, or white. Smaller rooms near the back of the cliff were used for storing crops, such as beans, corn, and squash. The unusual large, round rooms in Cliff Palace are called kivas. Kivas were used for rituals and ceremonies, although archaeologists and anthropologists are not sure how. Each clan or family probably had their own kiva in front of their dwelling and storage space.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview Namdroling Monasteryis the largest teaching centre of the school of Tibetan Buddhism known as Nyingmapa. Popularly known as the 'Golden Temple', the Namdroling Monastery holds some excellent examples of Tibetan architecture and artwork, as seen with the elaborately decorated temple tower and ornate outer walls, intricately adorned with beautiful murals. It is spread over an area of 80 square feet and was built from Bamboo which was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetans in exile. Today, it houses many auxiliary structures like educational institutions and a hospital, in addition to being home to about 5,000 members of the Sangha community. Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Daryeling is the full name of the Namdroling Monastery. The foundation for this majestic monastery was laid down in 1963 by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche, the 11th throne-holder of the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, following his exit from Tibet. The initial structure was made of bamboo and covered an area of 80 sq feet. The current 80 sqm area that the temple holds is thanks to the generosity of the Indian government, who donated the land to the Tibetan refugees who settled in the area. Inside, one has the privilege of witnessing the enormous 40 feet high golden statues of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Sakyamuni and Amityaus, surrounded by lovely paintings of various aspects of Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The prayer rituals conducted by the monks are a unique sight that must not be missed. The serene vibe of the place is amplified by the well-manicured gardens that surround the area. Architecture Although the monastery seems not so vast from outside, it is huge inside. There are three 40 feet high statues of Lord Buddha called Padmasambhava, Buddha & Amitayus. The floor is made of marble but is always covered with a carpet. People can burn incense sticks and sit on the carpet which contributes to the spiritual environment in the temple. The walls have paintings depicting phases of Buddha's life. Some even display Tibetan gods and demons. The Namdroling Monastery also has sacred texts, horns, trumpets, incense sticks, bells, prayer beads, prayer wheels, prayer flags, drums, etc. Those who visit the monastery need to maintain silence in order to help out the ones who meditate. Due to the presence of the gold statues, it is also known as the golden temple. Lord Buddha's statue is 60 feet in height and those of Guru Padmasambhava and Amitayur are 58 feet high. Placards are present near the entrance which contain that there are sacred scriptures in the form of statues along with small clay tupas which are symbols of the body, mind, and speech of the Buddhas. Their followers believe that if one worships these symbols and makes offerings then his/her faith will get restored and will help achieve peace, compassion, and wisdom. History The monastery was established by the 11th throneholder of the Palyul lineage, His Holiness Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche in 1963, following his 1959 exit from Tibet as the second seat of the Palyul Monastery, one of the six great Nyingmapa Mother monasteries of Tibet prior to annexation. The monastery's full name is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling, called "Namdrolling or Namdroling" for short. Its initial structure was a temple constructed from bamboo, covering an area of approximately 80 square feet (7.4 m2). Carved from the jungle that the India government generously granted to Tibetan exiles, initial challenges included rampaging elephants and other tropical dangers.
Art
Description : An Overview The Sistine Chapel is situated in Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City, widely known as the Cappella Magna , the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.The fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel ever since they were revealed five hundred years ago. Architecture The chapel is a high rectangular building, for which absolute measurements are hard to ascertain, as available measurements are for the interior: 40.9 metres (134 ft) long by 13.4 metres (44 ft) wide, the dimensions of the Temple of Solomon, as given in the Old Testament. Its exterior is unadorned by architectural or decorative details, as is common in many Italian churches of the Medieval and Renaissance eras. It has no exterior façade or exterior processional doorways, as the ingress has always been from internal rooms within the Apostolic Palace and the exterior can be seen only from nearby windows and light-wells in the palace. The building is divided into three stories of which the lowest is a very tall basement level with several utilitarian windows and a doorway giving onto the exterior court. Internally, the basement is robustly vaulted to support the chapel. Above is the main space, the Sistine Chapel, the vaulted ceiling rising to 20.7 metres (68 ft). The building had six tall arched windows down each side and two at either end, several of which have been blocked. Above the vault is a third story with wardrooms for guards. At this level, an open projecting gangway was constructed, which encircled the building supported on an arcade springing from the walls. Interior The general proportions of the chapel use the length as the unit of measurement. This has been divided by three to get the width and by two to get the height. Maintaining the ratio, there were six windows down each side and two at either end. Defined proportions were a feature of Renaissance architecture and reflected the growing interest in the Classical heritage of Rome. The ceiling of the chapel is a flattened barrel vault springing from a course that encircles the walls at the level of the springing of the window arches. This barrel vault is cut transversely by smaller vaults over each window, which divide the barrel vault at its lowest level into a series of large pendentives rising from shallow pilasters between each window. The barrel vault was originally painted brilliant-blue and dotted with gold stars, to the design of Piermatteo Lauro de' Manfredi da Amelia. The pavement is in opus alexandrinum, a decorative style using marble and coloured stone in a pattern that reflects the earlier proportion in the division of the interior and also marks the processional way from the main door, used by the Pope on important occasions such as Palm Sunday. A screen or transenna in marble by Mino da Fiesole, Andrea Bregno, and Giovanni Dalmata divides the chapel into two parts. Originally these made equal space for the members of the Papal Chapel within the sanctuary near the altar and the pilgrims and townsfolk without. However, with growth in the number of those attending the Pope, the screen was moved giving a reduced area for the faithful laity. The transenna is surmounted by a row of ornate candlesticks, once gilt, and has a wooden door, where once there was an ornate door of gilded wrought iron. The sculptors of the transenna also provided the cantoria or projecting choir gallery. History While known as the location of Papal conclaves, the primary function of the Sistine Chapel is as the chapel of the Papal Chapel (Cappella Pontificia), one of the two bodies of the Papal household, called until 1968 the Papal Court (Pontificalis Aula). At the time of Pope Sixtus IV in the late 15th century, the Papal Chapel comprised about 200 people, including clerics, officials of the Vatican and distinguished laity. There were 50 occasions during the year on which it was prescribed by the Papal Calendar that the whole Papal Chapel should meet. Of these 50 occasions, 35 were masses, of which 8 were held in Basilicas, in general St. Peter's, and were attended by large congregations. These included the Christmas Day and Easter masses, at which the Pope himself was the celebrant. The other 27 masses could be held in a smaller, less public space, for which the Cappella Maggiore was used before it was rebuilt on the same site as the Sistine Chapel. The Cappella Maggiore derived its name, the Greater Chapel, from the fact that there was another chapel also in use by the Pope and his retinue for daily worship. At the time of Pope Sixtus IV, this was the Chapel of Pope Nicholas V, which had been decorated by Fra Angelico. The Cappella Maggiore is recorded as existing in 1368. According to a communication from Andreas of Trebizond to Pope Sixtus IV, by the time of its demolition to make way for the present chapel, the Cappella Maggiore was in a ruinous state with its walls leaning. Decoration History The first stage in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel was the painting of the ceiling in blue, studded with gilt stars, and with decorative borders around the architectural details of the pendentives. This was entirely replaced when Michelangelo came to work on the ceiling in 1508. The project was perhaps supervised by Perugino, who arrived at the chapel prior to the Florentines. It is probable that the commission of Ghirlandaio, Botticelli and Roselli was part of a reconciliation project between Lorenzo de' Medici, the de facto ruler of Florence, and Pope Sixtus IV. The Florentines started to work in the Sistine Chapel in the spring of 1481. Beneath the cycles of The Life of Moses and The Life of Christ, the lower level of the walls is decorated with frescoed hangings in silver and gold. Above the narrative frescos, the upper tier is divided into two zones. At the lower level of the windows is a Gallery of Popes painted at the same time as the Lives. Around the arched tops of the windows are areas known as the lunettes which contain the Ancestors of Christ, painted by Michelangelo as part of the scheme for the ceiling.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview The Leaning Tower of Pisa situated behind the Pisa cathedral which is the third oldest structure in the city’s cathedral square, is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The height of the tower is 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side and 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight, and it worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990 the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees. Architecture There has been controversy about the real identity of the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. For many years, the design was attributed to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano, a well-known 12th-century resident artist of Pisa, known for his bronze casting, particularly in the Pisa Duomo. Pisano left Pisa in 1185 for Monreale, Sicily, only to come back and die in his home town. A piece of cast bearing his name was discovered at the foot of the tower in 1820, but this may be related to the bronze door in the facade of the cathedral that was destroyed in 1595. A 2001 study seems to indicate Diotisalvi was the original architect, due to the time of construction and affinity with other Diotisalvi works, notably the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistery, both in Pisa. Construction Construction of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. On 5 January 1172, Donna Berta di Bernardo, a widow and resident of the house of dell'Opera di Santa Maria, bequeathed sixty soldi to the Opera Campanilis petrarum Sancte Marie. The sum was then used toward the purchase of a few stones which still form the base of the bell tower. On 9 August 1173, the foundations of the tower were laid. On 23 February 1260, Guido Speziale, son of Giovanni Pisano, was elected to oversee the building of the tower. On 12 April 1264, the master builder Giovanni di Simone, architect of the Camposanto, and 23 workers went to the mountains close to Pisa to cut marble. The cut stones were given to Rainaldo Speziale, worker of St. Francesco. In 1272, construction resumed under Di Simone. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is curved. Construction was halted again in 1284 when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans in the Battle of Meloria. The seventh floor was completed in 1319. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the belfry with the Romanesque style of the tower. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655. History Between 1589 and 1592, Galileo Galilei, who lived in Pisa at the time, is said to have dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass. The tower was closed to the public on 7 January 1990, after more than two decades of stabilisation studies and spurred by the abrupt collapse of the Civic Tower of Pavia in 1989. The bells were removed to relieve some weight and cables were cinched around the third level and anchored several hundred meters away. Apartments and houses in the path of a potential fall of the tower were vacated for safety. The selected method for preventing the collapse of the tower was to slightly reduce its tilt to a safer angle by soil removal 38 cubic metres (1,342 cubic feet) from underneath the raised end. The tower's tilt was reduced by 45 centimetres (17.7 inches), returning to its 1838 position. After a decade of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the tower was reopened to the public on 15 December 2001, and was declared stable for at least another 300 years. In total, 70 metric tons (77 short tons) of soil were removed. After a phase (1990–2001) of structural strengthening, the tower has been undergoing gradual surface restoration to repair visible damage, mostly corrosion and blackening. These are particularly pronounced due to the tower's age and its exposure to wind and rain. In May 2008, engineers announced that the tower had been stabilized such that it had stopped moving for the first time in its history. They stated that it would be stable for at least 200 years. A Short Story Behind During World War II, the Allies suspected that the Germans were using the tower as an observation post. A U.S. Army sergeant sent to confirm the presence of German troops in the tower was impressed by the beauty of the cathedral and its campanile, and thus refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction.
Monument
Description : An Overview The site where the colonial Stamp Act Congress met to draft its message to King George III claiming entitlement to the same rights as the residents of Britain and protesting "taxation without representation". Federal Hall is the name given to the first of two historic buildings located at 26 Wall Street in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The original, a Federal style structure completed in 1703, served as New York's first City Hall. The current structure, completed in 1842 and one of the best surviving examples of Greek Revival in New York, was built as the U.S. Custom House for the Port of New York. After the American Revolution, in 1785, the building served as meeting place for the Congress of the Confederation, the nation's first central government under the Articles of Confederation. With the establishment of the United States federal government in 1789, it was renamed Federal Hall, as it hosted the 1st Congress and was the place where George Washington was sworn in as the nation’s first president. It was demolished in 1812. Federal Hall National Memorial The building was designated as Federal Hall Memorial National Historic Site on May 26, 1939, and redesignated a national memorial on August 11, 1955. Administered by the National Park Service, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Federal Hall was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on December 21, 1965. On September 6, 2002, approximately 300 members of the United States Congress traveled from Washington, D.C. to New York to convene in Federal Hall National Memorial as a symbolic show of support for the city, still recovering from the September 11, 2001 attacks. Held just four blocks from the former World Trade Center's Twin Towers, the meeting was the first by Congress in New York since 1790. The site closed on December 3, 2004, for an extensive $16 million renovation, mostly to its foundation, after cracks threatening the structure were greatly aggravated by the collapse of the World Trade Center. In 2006, Federal Hall National Memorial reopened. It was reported on June 8, 2008, that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News invited 2008 United States presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to a town hall forum at Federal Hall. Both candidates declined the offer "because they do not want it limited to one television network." The National Park Service operates Federal Hall as a national memorial. As a national memorial, the site is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It has tourist information about the New York Harbor area's federal monuments and parks, and a New York City tourism information center. The gift shop has colonial and early American items for sale. Normally its exhibit galleries are open free to the public daily, except national holidays, and guided tours of the site are offered throughout the day. Exhibits include George Washington’s Inauguration Gallery, including the Bible used to swear his oath of office; Freedom of the Press, the imprisonment and trial of John Peter Zenger; and New York: An American Capital, preview exhibit created by the National Archives and Records Administration. Architecture Two prominent American ideals are reflected in the current building's Greek Revival architecture: The Doric columns of the facade, designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis, resemble those of the Parthenon and serve as a tribute to the democracy of the Greeks; the domed ceiling inside, designed by John Frazee, echoes the Pantheon and is evocative of the republican ideals of the ancient Romans. The current structure is often overshadowed among downtown landmarks by the New York Stock Exchange, which is located diagonally across Wall and Broad Streets, but the site is one of the most important in the history of the United States and, particularly, the foundation of the United States government and its democratic institutions.
Miscellaneous
Description : An Overview The Tear Drop memorial is a 10-story sculpture by Zurab Tsereteli, which is an official gift of Russian to United States as a memorial to the victims of the September 11(09/11) attack in 2001. To the struggle against World Terrorism also known as the Tear of Grief and the Tear Drop Memorial. 26 of whom were Russian, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. It stands at the end of the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey. Ceremonial groundbreaking occurred on September 16, 2005, in a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The monument was dedicated on September 11, 2006, in a ceremony attended by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Architecture The sculpture comprises a 100-foot (30 m) bronze-clad tower split with a jagged opening in the middle, in which hangs a 40-foot (12 m)-tall nickel-surfaced teardrop. The eleven sides of the monument's base bear granite name plates, on which are etched the names of those who died in the September 11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Granite plate consisting names of those who died in 09/11 attack However, like some other 9/11 memorials, the dedication was based on an outdated compilation and contains about forty people who were removed from later victim listings. Tsereteli did not disclose the cost of the sculpture except to say that he paid for labor and materials. A lawyer for the sculptor released the cost at about $12 million. Tsereteli said metals for the sculpture were obtained "From a military factory that did airplanes. In Dzerzhinsk. A secret city." Modern Era The monument was initially given to the local government of Jersey City, but was rejected. It was then relocated to its present placement in Bayonne. In August 2010 the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced it had plans to build a container facility on the location and the monument would most likely have to be moved. However, Robert "Captain Bob" Terzi, a Bayonne taxi driver started an online petition to prevent the relocation. Back Wall of Tear Drop Memorial In September 2011, a 4-foot (1.2 m) section of steel from the World Trade Center was placed adjacent to the sculpture.
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