Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part VII  

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Ludwig did not allow visitors to his castles, but after his death in 1886 the castle is open to the public (in part because of the need to pay the debts incurred Ludwig finance construction) (done). Since then, more than 50 million people have visited the Neuschwanstein Castle . About 1.3 million people visit each year, with a maximum of 6,000 per day in summer. The palace has appeared in several films and was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty both the castle and Disneyland Hong Kong Disneyland.

The castle is owned by the state of Bavaria, unlike nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, which is owned by the head of the house of Wittelsbach, currently Franz, Duke of Bavaria. The Free State of Bavaria has spent more than € 14.5 million on Neuschwanstein maintenance, renovation and services to visitors since 1990.

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Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part VI  

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Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle, lit. New Swan Stone palace pronounced [nɔʏʃva ː nʃtaɪ̯n]) is a 19th century palace of Bavaria rugged hill near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria and retired as a tribute to Richard Wagner, the King of the inspiring muse. Although public photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

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Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part V  

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Bedroom

Unlike other rooms, the room is richly carved in the neo-Gothic. 14 woodcarvers are said to have worked 4 1 / 2 years to create this piece. The bed of the monarch is crowned by the sculpture on wood and covered with rich draperies Broder.











The Paintings in the gallery:

Paintings illustrate the saga of Parsifal.

Parsifal meets a knight's family on a crusade on Good Friday. It was the king's wish that this painting be unveiled on Good Friday 1884. Gahmuret meets Queen Herzeloide who has proclaimed that a tournament be held, the prize for the winner being the crown and her hand in marriage. Gahmuret is victorious and marries Herzeloide. She is Parsifal's future mother.

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Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part IV  

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King Louis is a patron of the German composer Richard Wagner, and the third floor to reflect the love of Louis of the legend used by Wagner in his opera for Tannhuser, a winter garden and grotto of stalactites, Lohengrin, the great room and the room unfinished Byzantine throne, its vaulted ceiling supported by inlaid stone columns and decorated with stars. The Singers Hall on the fourth floor, with a coffered ceiling, is devoted to the life of Parsifal, the hero of another famous Wagner opera.

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Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part III  

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The Throne Room was established as the Holy Grail of Parsifal-Hall. It was designed in the development of Byzantine style. It was inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (now Istanbul), the throne room of 2 storeys with a series of pillars of imitation porphyry and lapis lazuli, was completed during the year of death of the Kings in 1886. The most important object of this room, the throne, is missing.

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Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part II  

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The entire facade of the castle was covered with slabs of limestone. This material was found in Alterschrofen near Swan Lake (Swansee). The supporting walls were built of brick



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Neuschwanstein Castle ,Part I  

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King Ludwig II said. "I intend to rebuild the old castle ruins of Hohenschwangau by the Pollat Gorge in the genuine style of the old German Knightly fortresses........the spot is one of the most beautiful that one could ever find. "

Neuschwanstein Castle, royal palace in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, the most famous of the three palaces built for Louis II of Bavaria, sometimes referred to as Mad King Ludwig, who grew up near the castle of Hohenschwangau

Neuschwanstein Castle

Begun in 1869 and left unfinished at the death of Louis in 1886, the castle is the embodiment of 19th century romanticism. In a fantastic imitation of a medieval castle, Neuschwanstein is set with towers and steeples and spectacular is located on a high point over the gorge of the river Pllat.

Neuschwanstein Castle

The construction of the castle was carried out according to a reflecting plane. The castle is equipped with all sorts of technical facilities, which are very modern, if not revolutionary at the time. The water on all floors. The source which supplied the castle with excellent drinking water is located 200 meters above the castle. There were toilets equipped with automatic flushing on every floor. A heating system for hot air throughout the building. A hot water system for kitchen and bathroom.

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Travel Trakai Island Castle,Part1  

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trakai castle
Trakai is a town situated between three lakes, 28 kilometres to the west of Vilnius. On your way there you travel through the historic lands of the former Duchy of Trakai, whose centre, Old Trakai, was the capital of Lithuania in the Middle Ages. Not tar away (3 km), in the midst of the lakes, an other settlement was founded which has grown into the present town of Trakai . This town did not grow much later on: therefore, Trakai today, together with its environs, is an area strongly representative of the history of the Lithuanian state. Its three castles point to the exceptional significance of its place in national life. Even after losing its military importance, the location long remained the residence of the rulers of Lithuania . The two castles which have survived to this day are the most famous works of defensive architectur e in Lithuania . The process of founding the town and its surrounding settlements in the 13th century went hand in hand with the process of the integration of the Lithuanian territo ries into a unif ied state. In those days the newly founded and yet pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania was attacked on a regular basis by the Teutonic Order, and for two centuries had to withstand invasions from Christian Europe. Fortresses were built in all the strategically important locati ons nationwide. Trakai was mentioned as on e of th e crucial political and defensive centres of th e state. Enemies on the Crusades to Vilnius would avoid these locations in ord er to avoid their garrisons. The most Fierc e bat tles took place at the Peninsula Castle . As early as 1377, however, the German chronicler Wigandus Marburgensis pointed out that the Crusades "in the land of Trakai " have besi eg ed "the new castle ". Thus Trakai was first recorded in history with this reference to the Island Cast le . Nowadays the restored Island Castle (late 14th and early 15th century) is the only one of its kind in Easte rn Europe . In 1991 the national and historic park status was granted to Trakai.

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Travel Prague Castle,Part 11  

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prague castle
(A cute story)........
1618, "After their departure Slavata and Semcansky first...were called the breakers of general peace and good and rebles against the Kingdon of Bohemia and general by Count of Thurn...And immediately afterwards a voice was heard from among the Estates that the scoundrels should be put into the Black Tower speedily. Others then called that the traitors should go out of the window...And thus, not being permitted any mercy, one after the other...with great shouts of "Oh,Oh,Woe!" and with hands clinging to the window frame, which they had to let loose in the end, having been beaten over them, they were thrown, head first, from that same window facing the rising sun, in mantles, with rapiers and other paraphernalia, as they were caught in their office, to the ditch below the palace, deeper than other ditches, separated from it with walls...Philip the secretary...was thrown out...through that same widow in their wake. When they all lay down there and were observed to be alive, some mercenary, on the order of Ernfrid of Berbisdorf, fired one or two shots from his gun from the palace window, but missed them. And thus it was a wonder that having been thrown head first from such a height, estimated at 27 ells by some, none of them remained on the spot, but all escaped there from". (Pavel Skala of Zhor, Bohemian History)

�1723, "The Chief Master of the Hunt, Count Clary-Adringen, provided for the coronation feast of Charles VI , 564 pheasants, 708 partridges, 60 cranes, 152 snipes, 110 quails, 108 hares, 400 fieldfares, the like number of other birds, 70 wild and 60 domestic ducks, 120 turkeys, 350 capons, 70 hens, 800 chickens, 560 pigeons, 50 geese, 30 calves, 46 lambs, 40 rams, 20 fawns and 20 roebucks". (Antonin Novotny, Prague of the Dark Age)

In the later half of the 18th century Empress Maria Theresa had the Castle buildings rebuilt in Baroque style, their current appearance.

1873, "After painstaking work and great endeavor the renovation of the St. Vitus' Cathedral has succeeded so far that on August 30, 1873, when the festival celebrating the 900th jubilee of Prague Bishopric began, the Cathedral was opened again by a festive public service...Not long after this the second festival, no less important, took place. On October 1, 1873 the foundation stone for the completion of the Cathedral was laid and consecrated, which ceremony was preformed personally by his Excellency the Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague. The splendor of the festival was contributed to by all three armed corps of the City of Prague, placed partly in the vicinity if the Cathedral, partly in the courtyards of the Imperial Castle. The foundation stone was placed in the pillar of the transept on the southeast side". (Annual Report of the Association for the Completion of the St. Vitus' Cathedral in Prague Castle)

Prague Castle became the official Presidential seat in 1918. It was not suited for this function, thus modifications began in the gardens, courtyards, and representatives rooms. Currently the Office of the President of the Republic coordinates all restoration work. It's goal is conserving the Castle's artistic and historical heritage while transforming it into a busy complex always open to visitors.

Information obtained from The Castle of Prague, The Pantheon of Czech History, and various other articles.


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Travel Prague Castle,Part 10  

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prague castleIn 1526, the Hapsburgs began to make changes to a Renaissance style, building the Summer House in the Royal Garden and the Ballgame Hall, which are two of the prettiest Renaissance buildings in the Castle.�

In 1541, "That famous Castle of St. Wenceslas was burnt down to the ground except for the Black Tower which is above the lower gate and in which debtors are usually imprisoned for their debts. The second tower, as is called Daliborka, in which more serious convicts are kept, also remained...The excellent chapel of All Saints in front of the Palace, once exquisitely erected at great cost under Emperor Charles and costly decorated with stone carvings and other stonemasons work and beautified with excellent glasses, burnt in and out ignominiously so that affored a horrible and sorry sight to every good man". (Vaclav Hajek of Libocany, On evil event...)

After the fire a major Renaissance renovation took place. Emperor Ruldoph II c. 1600 turned the Castle into a center for art and science and a gallery for his rich collections.

1603, "Inside the Castle there is a stable, one of the best equipped in Europe, as it has always some three hundred horses originating from all possible countries, which are most beautiful in the world. Then there is a bestiary with lions, leopards and civet-cats and a raven as white as snow, as well as a ballgame hall in the French manner. The great hall used to be the throne hall of Bohemian Kings. From its windows it is possible to overlook the whole city with the bridge. About nine or ten o'clock numerous gentlemen promenade in that hall and there are also innumerable merchants". (Pierre Bergeron, Report from a Journey)

1612, "...the above named Abbess had shown and proved before the Commissioners that the previous Abbesses of the same convent had premitted some persons, for a certain sum of money, to build tiny houses on that site which is called Goldsmiths Lane...However, some houses were built without permission directly in front of the windows of the convent and the smoke of their chimneys annoys the whole convent. Moreover, food is cooked and beer and wine are sold in several places which gives rise to much disorder and clamour and other improperieties". (Memorial of St. George's Convent)


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Travel Prague Castle,Part 9  

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prague castleBeautiful gardens surround the Castle. One of the prettiest is where you will find the singing fountain which is in the middle of the Royal Garden next to the Royal Gazebo. The Gazebo is a beautiful example of Italian Renaissance. The Royal Garden was designed in c.1500 as an Italian garden, over time plants and trees exotic to the area were planted. Cedar and Fig trees thrive and also tulips have grown here since 1554, when the Turkish Ambassador brought them to the Castle. Red, white and yellow tulips bloomed in the Castle's Royale Garden for the first time anywhere in Europe, long before spreading across the European continent, in particular Holland.

Only after the Hussite wars did new construction begin on the Castle; King Vladislav built the Festive Hall in a beautiful Gothic sytle. Now called Vladislav Hall, it is one to the most visited rooms in the old Castle.

In 1509 "At the cost of King Vladislav a big bell was cast for St. Wenceslas' in Prague Castle, weighing 200 hundredweights, on Wednesday before St. Lawrence (August 8th) in the New Town of Prague... And then it was brought to Prague Castle at great cost; because of its great size they broke several cart wheels and subsequently they brought it on a low cart with rollers, and before that arrived to the Castle with it they had to spend five nights in the street. And in the Castle, near the big tower, they had to break a piece of wall between the gates, because they could not pass through the gate for its size". (From ancient Bohemian annals)


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Travel Prague Castle,Part 8  

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prague castleThe chapel paintings express the medieval devotion to St. Wenceslas. The walls of St. Weneceslas Chapel are covered with more than 1,300 precious stones.

Charles IV left the insignia of the Crown of Bohemia under the symbolic protection of St. Wenceslas. He commissioned the crown as a symbol of the hereditariness and holiness of the states' highest office. The sarcophagus lids bear effigies of the Princes and Kings of the Premyslid�Dynasty.�

The Alley of Gold is a row of small houses glued literally to the walls of the Castle. This is where the Castle's fusiliers lived, and later goldsmiths, from whom the alleyway got it's name. King Vladislav had over 200 Alchemists working here at one time. In more recent times Czech writers, including Franz Kafka,�and poets moved into the houses finding inspiration in the alleyway. Today Gold Alley hosts craft and souvenir shops.


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Travel Prague Castle,Part 7  

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Travel Prague castle part1|part2|part3|part4|part5|part6|part7|part8

I
n 1344, "The Archbishop of Prague, King Charles IV, and his two sons, Charles and John, ceremoniously laid the first stone of the new Prague church beginning the way of the Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wencelsas and St. Adalbert." (Benes Krabice of Weitmile, Chronicle of Prague Church)

For more than 600 years, the roofs of the Castle have been overlooked by the towers of the Gothic Cathedral. The Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, was where the Coronations of the Kings of Bohemia were held until 1836. It is also where Saints, Kings, Princes and Emperors of Bohemia are buried. St. Wenceslas Chapel in the cathedral was built directly above the Saint's tomb by Peter Parler. "Charles IV donated many relics to the church all decorated with gold, silver and precious stones. No other King had enriched and honored the church so grandly and magnificently" (from the Chronicle of Frances of Prague, 2nd half of the 14th century)



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Travel Prague Castle ,Part 6  

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In 1333, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV stated, "We found this kingdom so devastated that we did not have a single castle that would not be pledged with all Royal Estate, so that we had no where to dwell but in the burghers' houses like other burghers. Prague Castle was so devastated, demolished and broken that since the time of King Otakar II it has fallen to the ground. On that site we had a big and beautiful palace built at great cost as can be perceived today by passers by." Charles IV, Autobiography (Vita Caroli)

During the 14th century, under Emperor Charles, Prague Castle under went it's maximum development. Mathieu d'Arras, a French architect, and Peter Parler, a German builder, started reconstruction in a mature Gothic style. The golden castle roofs date form this period, and were built as a symbol of wealth, power and fame of the Czech Kingdom.


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Travel Prague Castle ,Part 5  

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In 1255, "The Prince (later King Premysl Otakar II) and another rider were crossing the bridge leaving the castle when a sudden wind storm blew the accompanying rider off the bridge, killing the rider's horse. The timber Belfry of the church of the Holy Virgin was blown down and a lot of damage was done to the town and vllages" (Cosmas, The Bohemian Chronicle, Second Continuation). During the second half of the 13th century "King Otakar II fortified the castle taking particular care in building very strong walls, towers and ditches. He placed and covered walls so the passage from one tower to another along the whole periphery of the castle was roofed. He also fortified the lesser town of Prague by walls and ditches and adjoined it to the castle. In Prague Castle he had ten burgraves, very bold and famous men." (Chronicle of Francis of Prague)


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St. George's Basilica at Prague Castle  

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Prague castleSt. George's Basilica is the oldest church building within the Prague Castle complex. It is also the best-preserved Romanesque church in Prague.
St. George's Basilica was founded by Prince Vratislav (915-921). The basilica was then enlarged in 973 with the building of St. George's Benedictine Convent.

In 1142 it was rebuilt following a major fire, however the Baroque facade that we see today dates from 1671-1691. The altar painting and frescos in the dome are the work of V.V. Reiner.

In the Gothic Chapel of St. Ludmila lies the tomb of the famous saint, widow of the 9th century ruler Prince Borivoj. Also buried in the basilica are Prince Vratislav and Boleslav II.

St. George's Basilica now serves as a concert hall, a delightful and popular setting for early evening classical concerts.

During the winter the inside is heated, although it is still advisable to wear warmish clothing for the concerts.

For listings and to book tickets for classical concerts at St. George's Basilica: Prague concerts



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Travel Prague Castle,Part 4  

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Prague Castle
According to the historical records of Prague, in 1037, "After the funeral of his father Bretislav was led by hand to the Prince's throne by his uncle Jaromir. The custom during the election of the prince was the tossing of coins over the grills of the upper hall. Once the Prince was seated on the throne, there was a big lull, in the silence Jaromir holding his nephew's right hand said unto the people: 'Behold your Prince!'." (Comas, The Bohemian Chronicle) In 1060, Prince Spythnev II noticed on St. Wenceslas Day that St. Vitas church was not large enough to accommodate all the people who attended Holy Mass. St. Vitas had been built by St. Wenceslas himself in the shape of a Roman church, and St. Wenceslas was buried in the middle of the church. Standing nearby was a second church which was built over the grave of St. Adalbert. Prince Spytihnew II decided to tear down both churches and build one large church for both patron saints. The foundations for the new church were laid, walls were erected, but the building of the church was stopped after the Prince's death.

At the end of the 10th century the�Benedictine�Convent was founded at the Basilica of St. George. The female members of the Royal�family were raised and educated in this convent, many became Abbess who held the right to crown the�Bohemian Kings. During the middle ages many books of literary and artistic value were written in the convent's famous Scriptorium.

By the 11th century�Prague Castle was a massive fort with a perfected defense system, with churches, a Bishop's palace, and two monasteries.

During the first half of the 12th century the Castle was rebuilt into a real Medieval Castle with stone palaces, churches and houses. The Romanesque fortified stone wall with towers protected the castle for several centuries.


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Prague Castle,Part 3  

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Prague castle
The original Castle was built of timber and was fortified with a soil rampart. The castle grounds were as large then as�they are�today and consisted of many small timber houses. This was found quite by accident, Third Square, the oldest part of the castle was being rebuilt in 1920, when the walls of older buildings were uncovered. Archaeological excavation uncovered many important finds concerning Prague Castles' history. This area originally was kept partially open to the public, but today the excavation area has been walled, and it is probably the most extensive researched archaeological site in central Europe.

The first stone buildings were built much later. The oldest church, the Basilica of St. George, is one of the few Roman churches that still has remains of the previous�stone building inside. The church has contained the relics
of the Premyslid Princes and family members, along with relics of St. Ludmilla, the first saint and national patron, since it was built.

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Travel Prague Castle ,Part 2  

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Prague castlePrague Castle was built around 850�AD by the Premyslid family. Its history has been long and rich, from its very origin to�present day it has�been the seat of administration of the country. "This tradition of eleven centuries standing probably has no parallel in Europe". They moved to this strategic location, a rocky ridge above the Moldava River, and the future city of Prague grew on the mountain below the castle. The first Princes, the Premyslid family, were the founders of the Royal Dynasty.











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Travel Prague Castle ,Part 1  

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Prague CastlePrague castle,At the end of the 9th century a castle site originated which was to become the center of the power and ideology of the country in the following centuries. Throughout the whole Middle Ages the seat of the monarchal power, the spiritual center of the country and the scene of the negotiations of the estates fathers were the symbol and expression of the unity of the Czech state. Prague castle was enlarged and renewed on a grand scale by the Premyslids in the 13th century and in the following two centuries by Charles IV and King Vladislav Jagiello. In the late 16th century the Emperor Rudolph II also realized his aims here. Prague Castle underwent its last wide-scale architectural transformation in the 18th century. The biggest residential area in the country can boast with numerous works of architecture and art. In spite of all the political turns, accompanied in the past also by military events, having. moreover, preserved its polish and glitter continuously throughout a whole millennium up to the present





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Travel, Tajmahal (Panorama)  

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tajmahalIn 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was griefstricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum.In her dying breath, Mumtaz Mahal urged Shah Jahan to build a mausoleum for her that the world has never seen before. Shah Jahan granted his wife's wish, and construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632, one year after her death. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrates the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal.The construction of Taj Mahal begun soon after Mumtaz's death with the principal mausoleum completed in 1648. The surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:
Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.
The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on design traditions of Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from successful Timurid and Mughal buildings including the Gur-e Amir (the tomb of Timur, progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand),[9] Humayun's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (sometimes called the Baby Taj), and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi. While earlier Mughal buildings were primarily constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, and buildings under his patronage reached new levels of refinement.

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Travel to Tajmahal: Monument of love  

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Tajmahal
The Taj Mahal (pronounced /tɑdʒ mə'hɑl/ ---- Hindi: ताज महल; Persian/Urdu: تاج محل) is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The Taj Mahal (also "the Taj") is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."

While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The Persian architect, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer of the Taj Mahal.

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Petra , The High place  

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Petra
The High Place is located at the very top of a mountain. If you want to see it, you will have to climb up there.



Petra





Left: Obelisk near the mountain top.

As you reach the top of the mountain you will come to what is known as Attuf Ridge. On this ridge are two obelisks, such as are found in India.





Most certainly they came from the Attuf Ridge where the Nabataeans carved away the
mountain side to make the Obelisks. But one does wonder what the Nabataeans used the stones for. What temple or structure stood on this site, and afforded the crusaders so many wonderful stones to build their fortress with?




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Petra, The Theatre  

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PetraPetra's theater was built in the 1st century AD. It is quite large, with a seating capacity of over 6,000 people. The theater's 45 rows of seats are divided horizontally by two diazomata . Its cavea faces north and east, to keep the sun out of the spectators' eyes. Above the cavea are numerous tomb fronts, which were destroyed to make way for the theater's upper tiers of seating.

Petra


Petra's theater is cut out of solid rock, and badly deteriorated. The front of the theater, including most of the stage was badly damaged by floods.

While some people have assumed that this was built by the Romans, the theater is actually Nabataean and was constructed long before the Romans entered Petra.

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Urn-Tomb: The Royal Tombs in Petra  

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The first of the so called Royal Tombs is the Urn Tomb. This tomb is built high on the mountain side, and requires climbing up a number of flights of stairs. Abbe' Starcky has suggested that this is the tomb of Nabataean King Malchus II who died in 70 AD. Dr. Schmidt-Colinet on the other hand has proposed that this is the tomb of Aretas IV.

It had two layers of vaults and is thought to be the tomb of the Nabatean king, Malchus II. It was converted into a church by the Byzantines. They flattened the floor of the tomb and put in an altar


The Urn Tomb is a well-preserved monument facing an open terrace fronted by a double row of vaults. A colonnaded cloister runs along the northern side of the terrace. Behind the facade is a single, unadorned room measuring 60 feet on each side..


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The Monastery at Petra  

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The Monastery, Petra's largest monument, dates from the first century BC. It was dedicated to Obodas I and is believed to be the symposium of Obodas the god. This information is inscribed on the ruins of the Monastery (the name is the translation of the Arabic "Ad-Deir").

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Petra, the fabled "rose red city"  

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Petra "petra-πέτρα", cleft in the rock in Greek; Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ) is an archaeological site in the Arabah, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan, lying on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is renowned for its rock-cut architecture. Petra is also one of the new wonders of the world. The Nabateans constructed it as their capital city around 100 BCE.

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced to the West by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was famously described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate prize-winning sonnet by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site.


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Petra, the fabled "rose red city" Map  

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Prasat Muang Tam  

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Prasat Muang Tam
It is just 8 km away from Prasat Phanom Rung, by a concrete road through paddy fields.

The temple is surrounded by a community called Ban Cho-ra-ke Mak. In front of the car park there is a small shop cum museum displaying books and photos of Khmer architecture. The entrance gate opposite the museum charges entrance fees (10 Baht for Thai and 30 Baht for a foreigner).

There are local houses, a Thai temple and a school nearby the Khmer sanctuary.

In the low tourist season the site looks solitary and magical. The complex is surrounded by two walls. The inner wall is made of sandstone while the outer one is made of laterite. Sandstone archways at opposite points perforate the perimeter on all four sides. The lintel, pediment, and side columns of each archway are carved into scenes from Hindu myth.

There are four L-shaped ponds located between the outer and inner walls. At the center of the compound there are 5 Chedis all made of brick and built on a single laterite foundation.

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Prasat Phanom Rung  

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From Korat take the highway no. 224 to the south to Chok Chai district (about 30 km). Then take to the left turn and continue on the road no. 24. It is approximately 77 km from Chok Chai to the intersection (in Nang Rong district) with signed road to Prasat Phanom Rung. Follow the concrete road for 12 km to get to the ancient hill top Khmer temple. The temple on the hill could be seen from a distance.

It is comprised of 13 main parts. Part one is the stairway starting near the car parking. From this point you could not see any buildings until you walk to the end of the stairway. Then there is a pavilion setting on the right side, at the end of the stairway.

The third section is the flat pathway with columns on both sides. It leads to "Naga bridge", the section four. Next, there are 52 steps leading to the top of the hill. This construction connects to part six, the bridge linking to principal tower.

Prasat Phnom Rung temple The second level Naga bridge, the boundary gallery, and the third level Naga bridge are located before the main building. The main square based tower is made of pink sandstone, which is 9.2 meters width and 23 meters tall.

At the center of the building there is the "Shiva Lingam ", the most sacred religious object. There are two stone building and one minor building to the northeast and the southwest of the main building. In front of the tower, to the northeast and the southeast, are two laterite buildings used as libraries.

Normally visitors would walk up the ladder from the bottom. However you can drive up to the summit and park just behind the compound for a fee of 50 Thai Baht for a van. Entrance fee for visitors is 40 Thai Baht each for foreigners, and 20 Thai Baht each for Thais.

Every year in April there is a cerebration. Many tourists come to celebrate and worship at this ruin. There are display of beautiful parades, north eastern style dinner, traditional shows, sound and light show. In 2003 the cerebration takes place on 5 and 6 April.

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Thailand Travel Transport  

Posted by Pocketeer in ,

Main cities and touristic places are well connected by land (bus and train), and airlines. Here are some websites to check out the airlines schedules and other land transport within Thailand.

Airport Authority of Thailand.

Thai Airways
Bangkok Airways (Regional Airlines)
PB Air (Thailand domestic lines)
Air Asia (Budget airlines)
Nok Air (Budget airlines)
Laos Airlines
Myanmar Airways International

Transport Co., Ltd. (Thailand inter city bus lines)
Their English language pages

Railways of Thailand
Train schedules in .pdf (08 Mar 2006):
Eastern lines : Northern lines : North-eastern lines : Sourthern lines

Sea and river travel
There are no regular long distance boat and passenger ships services in Thailand. Many of Thai rivers are blocked by dams so effectively making such transport impossible. However there are many ferry boat including speed boat services linking the piers on islands and main land throughout the country.

When planning a trip to remote places in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar some people, especially the first timers, tend to under estimate the time required to travel. There are logistical matters to research and make details out of all available information.

FMM (Frequently made mistakes)
  • Whenever your flight arrives Bangkok (or any other city), you can always go to the bus station and take the bus to your destination wasting almost no time
    - Regular, every hour or every few hours, bus services exist between some crowded tourists places. But it is not true for many other destinations.
  • All roads you find on a map in Thailand are passable the whole year
    - There are some roads that are never finished but are shown on some maps (don't know why). Also there are some roads, especially those in the rugged lands, that can not be used during bad weather (rainy and flood/land slide seasons).
  • Every tourists destination can be reached from Bangkok or Chiang Mai almost straight, meaning without necessary to make hundreds of kilometers long detour.
    - There are many mountain, forest, national park, and wildlife sanctuary lands in Thailand. Roads passing these areas are mostly seasonal or are just foot paths. That makes it necessary to go a very long way around to get to certain destination.
  • Assume that there are no "gates" operating on opening and closing time.
    - When driving on the roads passing certain areas (for example, a national park) there are opening and closing time. As well when going across a river where there is no bridge you need to know the operating time of ferry boat service. Border gates here don't open 24 hours a day!
  • It is 160 km so the driving time should be 2 hours.
    - You need to check with good topographic map. If it is a mountain road going up and down and turning hundreds of curves then it could take 4 hours.
Therefore when you send us inquiry to arrange your trip please consider these transport logistics. If you have doubts let us help you plan your entire trip logistics. Even if you need our services for only some parts of the whole travel it will make sure you make a possible itinerary that you will enjoy without serious problems.

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Buri Ram location on Thailand map  

Posted by Pocketeer in ,

1 = Chiang Rai (northernmost province)
2 = Mae Song Son
3 = Chiang Mai
4 = Sukothai
5 = Tak
6 = Kanchanaburi
7 = Bangkok (capital)
8 = Nong Khai (bridge across Mekong river to Vientiane)
9 = Khon Kaen
10 = Ubon Ratchathani

11 = Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)
12 = Buri Ram
13 = SaKaeo
14 = Rayong
15 = Koh Chang island (in Trat province)
16 = Chumphon
17 = Ranong (across river/sea to Kaw Thaung)
18 = Koh Samui island (in Surat Thani province)
19 = Surat Thani
20 = Phuket island

21 = Narathiwat
22 = Satun

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Phnom rung castle plan view  

Posted by Pocketeer in ,


Plan view of Prasat Phnom Rung temple (Buri Ram)

1 = Stairway
2 = Pavilion
3 = Pathway (flat)
4 = Naga bridge
5 = Stairway leading to the main tower
6 = bridge to the main tower
7 = Second level Naga bridge
8 = Boundary gallery
9 = Third level Naga bridge
10 = Main tower
11 = Minor tower
12 = Brick tower
13 = Library

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Third Naga Bridge, Phnom Rung  

Posted by Pocketeer in ,

Naga Issuing From Makara,
Unusually, this balustrade (in front of the mandapa) shows the naga issuing forth from the mouth of a makara. There is a modern example located near Kamphaeng Yai.

Makara,A chimera that is part water-snake and part crocodile or fish, usually with an elephant snout. It is a frequent decoration on balustrades, arches, waterspouts, and offering overflow spouts

Naga,The water-snake, whose cultural iconography and mythology was inherited from India via Southeast Asia. In temple decoration, both the balustrade and the framing arches of niches and doorways are often carved in the shape of nagas (usually, in those cases, a snake's body with a makara head.)

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How to get in to Petra the fabled "rose red city"  

Posted by Pocketeer in ,,

By bus

JETT buses, both ordinary and all-inclusive guided tour, connect to Amman and Aqaba. Other tourists come with organized groups, including daily trips from Eilatm. Tours to Petra from Taba, Sinai and Sharm el Sheikh are also gaining popularity with charter tourism.

By minibus

The minibus from Wadi Rum costs 3 Jordanian Dinars (JD) each. It takes 1.5 hours to get to Petra. Have the Rum Guesthouse or your tour operator call the bus owner the day before to arrange an exact time for pick up. The bus usually leaves from Wadi Rum at 8:30 in the morning, but may be delayed due to weather or tour groups coming the other way.

There are also minibuses from Amman departing from the Wadabat bus station - these leave when full, and tourists are almost always charged 3 JD to get on. DO NOT allow the drivers to charge you for your luggage, as they might sometimes try to do, considering you're already paying more than the locals (who pay 2-2.5JD).

By taxi

Taxi is also a viable option. For 75 JD or less (depending on how much you haggle) you may be able to get a private taxi from Amman to Petra and back, including the driver waiting around for 6 hours. It would cost 24 JD for two persons to travel by JETT bus, and allow you to see almost the entire site in an (exhausting) day trip.

If you get there renting a minibus with a driver in the hotel at the Dead Sea, the one-way price would be 140 JD.


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Phnom Rung Castle  

Posted by Pocketeer in

Phnom Rung, on the royal road between Angkor and Phimai, was built early in the reign of Suryavarman II (1112-1152) by Narendraditya, a local ruler and kinsman of the king. The east-facing axial temple is built upon a hill ("phnom" means "hill" in the Khmer language). The temple is approached by a long east-west causeway (160m, or 530') that is lined with lotus-bud posts. The west end of the causeway is seen in this photo, where it abuts a naga-bridge like the one at Phimai. Crossing over the platform, one climbs the stairs to reach the temple enclosure.

Phnom Rung was built after Phimai and before Angkor Wat. It has several design features in common with both, particularly the use of naga bridges and the Khmer-type tower pioneered at Phimai. Yet, there is not a sense of progressive development in these three temples; Phnom Rung goes its own way, with a distinct triangular shape to its tower and an antarala (antechamber) between the entrance hall and sanctuary.


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Petra, the fabled "rose red city"  

Posted by Pocketeer in ,,

Petra was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom from around the 6th century BC. The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city. An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until a catastrophic earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled vital water management systems around AD 663. After Saladin's conquest of the Middle East in 1189, Petra was abandoned and the memory of it was lost to the West.

The ruins remained hidden to most of the world until the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab scholar, infiltrated the Bedouin-occupied city in 1812. Burckhardt's accounts of his travels inspired other Western explorers and historians to discover the ancient city further. The most famous of these was David Roberts, a Scottish artist who created a number of accurate and detailed illustrations of the city in 1839.


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Hotels booking service  

Posted by Pocketeer in


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Group hotel rates for your religious group travel.






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