среда, 22 июля 2009 г.

TAIWAN / Kaohsiung City

Nightscape of Love River 
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Kaohsiung is a city located in southwestern Taiwan. Kaohsiung faces the Taiwan Strait on the west. Kaohsiung, officially named Kaohsiung City, is divided into thirty-eight districts. The city is one of five special municipalities in Taiwan. Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan. Kaohsiung is known for its harbor, although more for commercial than tourism reasons. Hence it is also known as the Harbor Capital of Taiwan.

BELGIUM / Belgian Chocolate

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среда, 8 июля 2009 г.

JAPAN / Horyuji Temple in Nara

A scene of Horyuji Temple in Spring
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Horyuji (Flourishing Law Temple) is an important Buddhist temple in Ikaruga near Nara. Horyuji is of great historical importance: it was from here that Buddhism blossomed and spread throughout Japan. Today about 45 buildings remain, some of them dating from the end of the 7th century and including the oldest wooden structures in the world. The atmosphere at Horyuji is serene and authentically ancient.
The temple was founded in 607 AD by the much-revered Prince Shotoku, who is credited with first promoting Buddhism in Japan. Buddhism had arrived in Japan only 50 years before the temple was built. The main purpose of the temple (which was then named Ikarugadera) was to properly house a statue of the Medicine Buddha.
The original temple burned down in 670, but was gradually rebuilt until the early 8th century. Several buildings still survive from this early rebuilding period, making Horyuji the oldest surviving Buddhist temple in Japan.
In 1993, Horyuji was the first site in Japan to be added to UNESCO's Cultural World Heritage List. The Japanese government lists a number of buildings and artifacts of Horyuji as National Treasures.

понедельник, 6 июля 2009 г.

BRAZIL / São Paulo

São Paulo, Catedral Metropolitana de Se.
The São Paulo See Metropolitan Cathedral.
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The São Paulo See Metropolitan Cathedral --"See" and "cathedra" mean "seat" and therefore the ecclesiastical authority of a bishop or archbishop (Portuguese: --Catedral Metropolitana, or Catedral da Sé de São Paulo) is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo, Brazil. The current Metropolitan Archbishop of the archdiocese is His Eminence, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer. Its construction, in Neo-Gothic style, began in 1913 and ended four decades later. It was ready for its dedication on the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the then humble villa of São Paulo by Chief or Cacique Tibirica' and the Jesuit priests Manuel da Nobrega and Jose' de Anchieta. Despite having a Renaissance-styled dome, the São Paulo Metropolitan Cathedral is considered by some to be the 4th largest neo-gothic cathedral in the world.