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    Cele mai fascinante castele ale lumii



    Arhitectura moderna, sticla, materiale de constructie performante, cladiri geometrice si tehnologizate… rasar in in fiecare zi in drumul nostru si ni se pare oarecum normal ca ele sa se afle acolo. Rolul lor este de a ne aminti zilnic in ce secol ne aflam, insa prea putine reprezinta un motiv de inspiratie pentru noi. Poate ca lucrurile vor sta diferit pentru generatiile urmatoare, asa cum si noi oftam in secret cateodata dupa grandioasele constructii stravechi care reflecta atat de bine cultura si cutumele epocilor in care au fost ridicate. Ne place sa le vedem, sa le admiram, sa le fotografiem, dar mai ales sa ne aflam in interiorul lor, intr-un exercitiu de imaginatie menit sa ne poarte catre dimensiuni pierdute ale timpului. Dincolo de frumusetea de netagaduit a unor castele autohtone des vizitate, precum Bran sau Peles, va propunem o lista cu doar cateva dintre cele mai spectaculoase castele ale lumii.

    Palatul Potala, Tibet

    Ridicat pe dealul Marpo Ri, la 130 de metri deasupra vaii Lhasa, Palatul Potala are o inaltime proprie de 170 de metri, devenind astfel cea mai spectaculoasa cladire a Tibetului . In 637, Imparatul Songtsen Gampo a decis construirea palatului pe acest deal, iar structura a ramas neschimbata pana in secolul XVII, cand a fost incorporata in fundatia grandioasei constructii pe care o admiram in prezent.



    Ridicarea actualului palat a inceput in 1645, in timpul domniei celui de-al cincelea Dalai Lama. Trei ani mai tarziu, Castelul Alb sau Potrang Karpo era deja finalizat. Intre 1690 si 1694 a fost adaugat si Castelul Rosu sau Potrang Marpo. Pentru a fi dus la bun sfarsit, acest proiect ambitios a necesitat munca a peste 7.000 de muncitori si a 1.500 de artisti si mesteri. Palatul Potala a fost usor afectat in timpul rezistentei tibetanilor impotriva ofensivei chinezesti din anul 1959. Spre deosebire de alte structuri religioase tibetane, palatul a scapat printr-o minune de politica distructiva a armatei chinezesti. Datorita acestei omisiuni sau indulgente, una dintre cele mai grandioase constructii ale omenirii troneaza inca de la inaltimea dealului Marpo Ri.

    Muntele Saint-Michel, Franta


    Mont Saint-Michel este, in fapt, un castel medieval construit pe o insula mica de pe coasta normanda, in apropierea Marii Britanii. Doar un dig ingust, ridicat in 1880, mai asigura legatura cu coasta. Turistii care vor sa ajunga pe insula trebuie sa se grabeasca sa traverseze drumul de legatura, intrucat nu putine au fost situatiile cand vizitatorii au fost maturati la propriu de valuri.



    Spre deosebire de alte castele din Franta care au debutat in “cariera” jucand rolul unei structuri defensive sau de locatii inchinate artei, Mont St. Michel a fost construit pentru a servi in scopuri religioase, mai exact drept manastire. In prezent, castelul atrage patru milioane de vizitatori pe an, cu mult mai mult decat majoritatea castelelor Frantei.

    Castelul Predjamski, Slovenia

    Desi fiecare castel din lume este unic in felul si nici unul nu seamana cu celalat, pe unele dintre ele, ursitoarele (a se citi constructorii) le-au harazit la “nastere” un destin cu totul special. Acesta este si cazul castelului Predjamski din Slovenia, care si-a castigat faima datorita faptului ca este integrat intr-o pestera, mai exact, in al doilea sistem de pesteri ca marime din Slovenia. Traducerea numelui sau este mai mult decat elocventa: Castelul din fata pesterii.



    A fost nevoie de aportul mai multor mesteri, muncitori si ingineri pentru ca elaborarea formei pe care castelul o are in prezent sa fie definitivata. Primele mentiuni cu privire la constructie dateaza din secolul XIII, desi se crede ca aripa stanga a fost construita candva in prima jumatate a secolului XII. Partea din mijloc a fost adaugata in perioada Renasterii, iar aripa dreapta a fost terminata in jurul anului 1570. Unele dependinte au fost adaugate ulterior sau schimbate mai tarziu, insa din 1990 a inceput un program intens de renovare care urmareste sa redea castelului imaginea pe care o avea in secolul XVI.

    Castelul Neuschwanstein, Germania

    Cel mai cunoscut dintre cele trei castele construite in cinstea lui Ludovic al II-lea de Bavaria, Neuschwanstein a fost ridicat in mijlocul Alpilor bavarezi de pe actualul teritoriu al Germaniei. Constructia a fost demarata in 1869, insa abandonata dupa moartea regelui din 1886. Intr-o imitatie fantastica a unui castel medieval, Neuschwanstein este mai degraba o intruchipare a romantismului de secol XIX.



    In acea epoca, orice constructie grandioasa presupunea o munca colosala, prin urmare nimic nu putea fi lasat la voia intamplarii. Castelul a fost ridicat pe baza unui plan elaborat, care includea si echiparea cu diverse utlitati revolutionare pentru acele timpuri: toalete dotate cu un sistem automat de tragere al apei pentru fiecare etaj sau un sistem de incalzire cu aer cald in toata cladirea. O asemenea arhitectura deosebita nu avea cum sa nu atraga atentia generatiilor urmatoare de artisti: castelul Frumoasei din Padurea Adormita din Disneyland-ul american este inspirat chiar de Neuschwanstein.

    Castelul Matsumoto, Japonia

    Cunoscut pe plan local si sub denumirea de Matsumotojo, constructia care reflecta atat de bine cultura locala, este in acelasi timp si unul dintre cele mai frumoase castele ale Japoniei. Matsumotojo ilustreaza cu succes ceea ce se numeste hirajiro, o constructie ridicata pe o campie, in loc de deal sau munte.



    Castelul si doua turnuri au fost ridicate intre 1592 si 1614, beneficiind de un sistem complex de aparare, mai ales ca vremurile pasnice erau inca departe in acea perioada. In 1635, cand amenintarea militara nu mai exista, a mai fost adaugat un al treilea turn, mai mic, utilizat in scopuri astronomice pentru observatiile lunare. Castelul si-a pastrat interioarele din lemn si lucrarile exterioare din piatra in forma lor originala din secolul XVI. In prezent, acesta face parte din patrimoniul tarii, fiind inclus pe lista Comorilor Nationale ale Japoniei.

    Castelul Huniazilor, Romania

    Prima atestare a castelului dateaza din anul 1443 si apare intr-un document semnat chiar de Iancu de Hunedoara, care a fost pastrat pana in prezent. Primul mostenitor al castelului, Iancu de Hunedoara, incepe in jurul anului 1440 lucrarile de modernizare si de extindere ale fortaretei, daruindu-i pentru prima data infatisarea unui impresionante locuinte medievale. De-a lungul istoriei sale, castelul avea sa aiba mai multi proprietari, dintre care unii au incercat sa-si puna amprenta personala asupra stilului. Castelul si-a pastrat intotdeauna numele primilor proprietari, ramanand cunoscut peste veacuri drept castelul Huniazilor sau al Corvinestilor.

    Forma actuala a fost dobandita in timp, majoritatea proprietarilor intervenind, intr-un fel sau altul, asupra planului. Constructia a fost facuta in etape, fiecare dintre ele surprinzand stilurile arhitecturale ale perioadei respective. Elementele rafinate de arhitectura civila sunt foarte bine reprezentate in palatul propriu-zis, unde se remarca Sala Cavalerilor, care servea drept sala de mese in ocaziile festive sau Sala Dietei, locul in care se desfasurau festivitatile. In ceea ce priveste stilul, se resimt atat influentele de origine germanica, franceza, cat si cele de origine militara, cele mai reprezentative fiind galeria si turnul Nje Boisia ("nu te teme"), denumire cu tenta parodica impusa oarecum de mercenarii care pazeau castelul.



    Castelul trece si printr-o a doua faza de constructie, care inceteaza o data cu moartea lui Iancu de Hunedoara. In perioada urmatoare nu aveau sa se mai opereze modificari semnificative, pana la principele Gabriel Bethlen, care incepe o noua serie de schimbari impuse de ratiuni militare si civile.

    In aceasta perioada se adauga constructiei initiale un alt corp, denumit Palatul mare dinspre oras, format din doua niveluri. Arhitectura gotica din piatra este inlaturata din Sala Dietei, care a suferit in aceasta perioada o transformare radicala. Principele Gabriel Bethlen indeparteaza, in mare parte, elementele de arhitectura gotica, inlocuindu-le cu cele ale arhitecturii frantuzesti, aflata la mare cautare in acea perioada.
    Din pure ratiuni militare, sunt construite acum inca doua anexe. Turnul alb indeplinea rolul de gardian al castelului, dar era in acelasi timp si un punct strategic de aparare. Terasa de artilerie era folosita pentru armele grele de foc. In secolul XIX, castelul trece printr-o a treia perioada de transformari, in principal, lucrari de restaurare si de imbunatatire.

    Castelul Malbork, Polonia

    Castelul Malbork a fost construit in Prusia de catre Ordinul Teutonilor. Numele initial dat de Ordin a fost Marienburg, mai exact, Castelul Mariei. Orasul care s-a dezvoltat in jurul constructiei a primit aceeasi denumire, insa din anul 1945, revenind in posesia Poloniei, a primit denumirea de Malbork.



    Castelul este un exemplu clasic al unei fortarete medievale, fiind in acelasi timp cel mai mare castel gotic din caramida din lume. In anul 1997 a fost adaugat pe lista Patrimoniului mondial UNESCO.

    Palacio da Pena, Portugalia


    Una dintre cele mai vechi constructii inspirate de romantismul european, Palatul National Pena a fost ridicat pe varful unui deal aflat in apropierea orasului Sintra. In zilele senine poate fi vazut chiar si din Lisabona. Construit in secolul XV pentru a indeplini rolul unei resedinte, castelul a fost reconstruit mai tarziu si donat bisericii pentru a servi drept manastire.



    Un cutremur puternic l-a devastat aproape total in 1755. Palatul avea sa isi redobandeasca grandoarea abia in 1838, dupa ce a intrat in posesia printului Fernando, sub a carui protectie au fost demarate lucrarile de renovare. Arhitectura este o imbinare ecletica intre un stil original si altele adiacente, cu influente ale romatismului, ale stilului bavarez, plus o gradina englezeasca.
    Last edited by Dytzu; 06-24-2009 at 10:29 PM.


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    Castelul Lowenburg, Germania

    In apropierea orasului Kassel se inalta semet unul dintre cele mai frumoase castele cu aspect medieval. Cu toate acestea, Lowenburg sau Castelul Leului a fost construit din ordinul lui Landgrave Wilhelm IX (1743-1821), un soi de Walt Disney al epocii lui, care a intentionat ca noua constructie sa arate inca de la inceput ca o ruina romantica.



    Pentru a reusi sa imprime praful timpului pe o constructie inca inexistenta, constructorul a trebuit sa faca un drum pana in Anglia pentru a studia ruinele englezesti in stil romantic si pentru a stabili un model al viitorei gradini. In prezent, "ruinele" castelului Lowenburg sunt privite ca una dintre primele constructii semnificative in stilul neo-Gothic din Germania.

    Castelul Praga, Cehia

    Unul dintre cele mai mari castele din lume ( are 570 de metri lungime si 130 de metri latime), si, conform Cartii Recordurilor, cel mai mare castel dintre cele vechi care au mai ramas in picioare, Castelul Praga adaposteste intre zidurile sale o istorie lunga de multe veacuri. Bijuteriile coroanei cehe sunt depozitate chiar in aceasta locatie si tot aici s-au tinut majoritatea ceremoniilor oficiale din istoria locului. De la imparatii romani, la regii cehi, toti au ales aceasta locatie grandioasa pentru desfasurarea evenimentelor majore.



    Povestea castelului, desigur nu in forma sa actuala, a debutat undeva in secolul IX, in jurul anului 870. De-a lungul existentei sale, numerosii proprietari, dar si vremurile cu modele lor, si-au pus amprenta asupra “chipului” constructiei. Tocmao aceasta existenta indelungata a facut posibila intalnirea intr-un singur loc a mai multor stiluri arhitecturale. Mai exact, toate stilurile care au fost la moda in arhitectura in ultimul mileniu.

    Castelul Praga nu reprezinta un complex in sine, ci include catedrala St. Vitus, Biserica Sf. Gheorghe, o manastire si alte cateva palate mai mici, gradini si turnuri de paza. Majoritatea castelelor din zona sunt deschise vizitelor turistice, iar multe dintre ele s-au transformat in muzee, gazduind periodic expozitii unice.


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    Macar jumatate din aceste castele sa le vizitezi si tot este ceva incredibil.
    Fii un domn şi împarte educaţia!

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    Am fost unul din fericitii care a avut posibilitatea de a vizita Castelul Neuschwanstein findca locuiesc in Bayern!
    Constructia castelului din interior si exterior este o capodopera de arta!
    Am fost asa de fascinat va spun sincer m-am simtit ca intr-o poveste... nu se poate descrie in cuvinte...

    Dar ce ma impresionat cel mai mult a fost "Alhambra"
    Este considerata a fi una din cele opt minuni ale lumii! Mi-a trebuit doua zile ca sa vizitez in intregime Alhambra. Ma simteam ca si in povestile din 1001 de nopti. Frumusetea gradinilor fosta resedinta de vara a sultanilor Granadei este mult mai fascinanta ca cea a palatului. A fost magnific....

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    Eu stiam de 7 minuni ale lumii: Piramida lui Keops; Gradinile Suspendate; Statuia lui Zeus; Templul lui Artemis; Colosul din Rodos; Farul din Alexandria; Mausoleul din Halicarnassus

    S-ar putea sa ma insel...

    L.E.: ai dreptate, cred ca ziceai de cele 8 minuni declarate ale lumii, aflate sub protectia UNESCO.

    On: interesant articol, as vrea sa am si eu posibilitatea sa vad asa ceva, vreodata
    Last edited by jacuzzi; 06-24-2009 at 12:27 PM.

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    Ar fi frumos daca as vizita macar unul dintre aceste castele.
    Oricum mersi Dytzu pentru informatii.
    |Member of Encide family|

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacuzzi View Post
    Eu stiam de 7 minuni ale lumii: Piramida lui Keops; Gradinile Suspendate; Statuia lui Zeus; Templul lui Artemis; Colosul din Rodos; Farul din Alexandria; Mausoleul din Halicarnassus

    S-ar putea sa ma insel...

    Si eu stiam de sapte dar cica Alhambra este considerata a fi "poate inoficial" a 8a in orice caz pentru mine neinteresant, una este sa povestesti si sa spui ceace ai vazut si una sa fi la fata locului deci sa nu mai lungim vorba asa ne-a povestit gidul spaniol! Si daca vreodata o sa ai posibilitatea sa faci un concediu in Spania dai o fuga de vreo doua zile prin orasul maur si viziteaza in special Alhambra! Lasa-ti timp!
    No sa-ti para rau... Si nu uita sa-ti iei un gid povestirile lui sau ale ei sint foarte fascinante nu le vei gasi in nici o carte!

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    Palatul Potala din Tibet este senzational... Sper sa am candva posibilitatea sa il vad
    Oricum, toate sunt foarte frumoase... Multumim pentru articolo/poze

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    ce mi-ar placea si mie sa-mi petrec cateva zile (de vacanta) intr-un castel ca cele din pozele postate de nenea Dytzu

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    10 Fascinating Elevators


    Santa Justa Lift (Portugal)



    The Santa Justa Lift ( Elevador de Santa Justa or do Carmo), is a lift in the city of Lisbon at Santa Justa Street. It connects downtown streets with the uphill Carmo Square.

    The Santa Justa Lift was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard. Construction began in 1900 and was finished in 1902; originally powered by steam, it was converted to electrical operation in 1907.
    The iron lift is 45 metres tall and is decorated in neogothic style, with a different pattern on each storey. The top storey is reached by helicoidal staircases and has a terrace that offers views ofLisbon Castle, the Rossio Square and the Baixa neighbourhood. There are two elevator booths. Each booth has a wooden interior and accommodates 24 people. The lift has become a tourist attraction in Lisbon as, among the urban lifts in Lisbon, Santa Justa is the only vertical one.


    The Gateway Arch (Missouri)



    One of the "must sees" of St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Arch. To go to the top of the Arch, passengers in groups of five enter an egg-shaped compartment containing five seats and a flat floor. Eight compartments are linked to form a train. These compartments individually retain an appropriate level by periodically rotating every 5 degrees, which allows them to maintain the correct orientation while the entire train follows curved tracks up one leg of the arch. The trip to the top of the Arch takes four minutes, and the trip back down takes three minutes. The car doors have narrow glass panes, allowing passengers to see the interior stairways and structure of the Arch during the trip.


    Hammetschwand Elevator (Switzerland)




    Europe's highest exterior elevator is the Hammetschwand Lift located in Switzerland. It connects a spectacular rock path with the lookout point Hammetschwand on the Burgenstock plateau overlooking Lake Lucerne. It whisks passengers 153 meters up to the summit of the Hammetschwand in less than one minute. At its time it had a speed of one meter per second and one could enjoy nearly three minutes of travel. Its cab consisted of wood fitted with a zinc sheet and could carry 8 passengers. During the upgrade of 1935 the speed was increased to 2.7 meters per second and the cab was replaced with one of a light metal construction. It was not only the highest public external elevator of Europe, but also the fastest elevator of the world.


    Lacerda Elevator (Brazil)



    Connecting the old and the new part of Salvador, and allowing access to more than 30,000 people a day at a cost of r$0.05 per 38 second ride; this elevator reaches a height of 72 meters. Like the elevator in Lisbon, this striking construction transports the public from one level of the town to the next, at the same time providing a perfect view of the bay coastline below.


    Taipei 101 (Taiwan)



    The world's fastest elevator is installed at Taipei 101. The Taipei 101 is 1667-ft., 101-storey building and has 67 elevator units, including two that service the 89th-floor observation deck and qualify as the world's fastest. These rockets skyward at a peak speed of 3,314 ft. per minute (fpm), more than 800 fpm faster than the previous record holder in Japan's Yokohama Landmark Tower. By comparison, an airline pilot normally maintains a climb, or descent rate, of no more than 1000 fpm


    Bailong Elevator (China)



    This controversial 326 metre high elevator takes you up the side of one of the many enormous cliffs in Zhangjiajie, China. It is claimed to be the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. The Bailong Elevator has set three Guinness world Records - World's tallest full-exposure outdoor elevator, world's tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator and world's fastest passenger traffic elevator with biggest carrying capacity. However, the future of this elevator is uncertain as officials claim that the elevator is causing environmental issues.


    Louvre Elevator (France)



    At the push of a button, the elevator inside the Louvre, Paris rises to the occasion. Sometimes sticking with technology like hydraulics is better, and this lift proves it. That's not all, a slide-out walkway appears once the circular platform comes to a rest for guests to board/disembark


    Eiffel Tower (France)



    Due to the shape of the Eiffel tower's curved legs the addition of elevators was at first seen as too difficult a job by many engineers. Nothing like it had been attempted. These days there are duo-lift elevators running up and down each of the four legs, one of those legs selfishly reserved for customers of the restaurant at the top of the tower


    Luxor Inclinator Elevator (Nevada)



    In Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Luxor Hotel, is the Inclinator. The shape of this casino is a pyramid. Therefore, the elevator travels up the side of the pyramid at a 39 degree angle. Although people refer to this "inclined elevator" as an inclinator, this is incorrect. An inclinator is a stairlift developed by Inclinator Company of America many years ago. Therefore the Luxor installation is just Otis Elevator's version of a generic "Inclined Elevator".


    Oregon City Municipal Elevator (Oregon)




    This one is unique because it's the only outdoor municipal elevator in the United States. What's more, there are only four in the whole world. The elevator connects two neighborhoods in Oregon City; people used to rely on stairways built into the cliffs until the first elevator was made in 1915. That one was water-powered and it took three minutes for a one-way ride. The new (and current) elevator was dedicated in 1955. The observation deck at the top lets viewers check out views of Willamette Falls, the Oregon City Bridge and the Abernethy Bridge.


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    10 Breathtaking Viewing Platforms around the World


    Dachstein Sky Walk (Austria)



    Nicknamed the "balcony of the alps," the Dachstein Sky Walk is formally enthroned at 2,700 m above sea-level, high up on the 250 m vertical rock face of the Hunerkogel. A 360 degree panorama allows the visitor a view of Slovenia in the south to the Czech Republic in the north. The Sky Walk is distinctly higher than the platforms of the Niagara Falls or even the one at the Iguazu waterfalls in Brazil.


    Aurland Lookout (Norway)



    Architects Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen were commissioned to design a scenic rest-stop 2'000ft above Aurland fjord in Norway and came up with this beauty wining the first prize in Norwegian tourist routes competition. The outermost end of the horizontal platform - which curves to form the structure's support - is closed off by a sheet of glass, offering an incredible view towards the ground for all those with the guts to make the trip to the end.


    Grand Canyon Skywalk (Arizona - USA)




    This horseshoe-shaped pant-filler hangs approximately 4000ft above the floor and extends 65ft beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon. The Horseshoe shaped skywalk is constructed of glass walls 4 inches thick and visitors must don special scratch-proof socks as they partake in the view. The work is a true engineering feat that can hold up to 70 tons (roughly 14 African Elephants) and withstands winds of 100mph.


    Suspended platform at Iguazu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)



    While the falls themselves are magnificent, their setting in a huge subtropical nature reserve makes visiting even more enjoyable.

    To fully appreciate their size and splendor it's worthwhile viewing the falls from the skywalk. The viewing platform is so close you are instantly drenched by spray and deafened by the roar of water plunging over an 80 metre cliff.


    Auckland's Sky Tower (New Zealand)



    Auckland's 328m Sky Tower is the southern hemisphere's tallest structure. It took 2000 tonnes of reinforcing steel, 660 tonnes of structural steel and 15,000 cubic metres of concrete to erect it. It can withstand 200km/h winds, earthquakes up to eight on the Richter scale and on a clear day, visibility is around 82km. The highest indoor point is Sky Deck, which has seamless glass giving unimpeded 360º views.


    Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk (Australia)



    This walk opened recently after five months of construction. Located at Knights Hill up high on the escarpment near Robertson in the Southern Highlands, the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk allows visitors to walk among the rainforest canopy 25 metres above the ground on a steel platform. The 500m elevated walkway features cantilever arms that take visitors to the edge of the escarpment and offer inspiring views of the coastline from Kiama through to Shellharbour.


    Landscape Promontory (Switzerland)



    The landscape promontory is a suspended viewing platform designed by Paolo Bürgi as part of the Cardada project, a revitalization of the Cardada mountain that is expected to finish in 2010. The passageway is made of steel and titanium leads to the lookout platform with a view of Lago Maggiore. The landscape panorama is not the only thing that visitors are meant to appreciate. Symbols in the paving with accompanying texts in the railing provide references to history and literature.



    Infinity Room at House on the Rock (Wisconsin - USA)



    The House on the Rock, originally opened in 1959, is a complex of architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens and shops designed by Alex Jordan, Jr. It is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin and is a regional tourist attraction. The Infinity Room at the House extends several hundred feet over the valley, without supports underneath, and is lined with over 3000 handmade windows.


    Il binocolo (Italy)



    Within the gardens of Trauttmansdorff castle in Italy you'll find this charming steel platform poking out through the trees, its name (meaning 'the binoculars') coming from the shape of the platform's small roof and the view of the surrounding landscape. Designed by architect Matteo Thun.


    Top of Tyrol (Austria)



    Top of Tyrol by Astearchitecture is a viewing platform located 3,000 m above sea level at the Stubai Glacier in Tyrol, Austria. Weathering steel was used in the construction of this structure to account for the extreme weather conditions so you can stand 9 metres away from the mountain with a perfect view of Stubai glacier.[COLOR="Silver"]
    Last edited by Dytzu; 06-24-2009 at 09:57 PM.


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    12 of the World's Most Fascinating Ruins


    Machu Picchu (Peru)



    The most famous of all the Inca ruins, Machu Picchu appears to be suspended between two mountains and is often enshrouded in mist. It can't be seen from the Urubamba Valley below and is an enchanting place, especially considering that the Incas didn't even have the use of the wheel when they built it.

    Machu Picchu was built in the mid 15th century, but since it's existence was not recorded by the Spanish Conquistadors who ramsacked the region in the 1530s, we don't really known what it's purpose was. Many of the ruins incorporate ceremonial features, so it could possibly have been a religious sanctuary. It's likely that the place was already deserted by the time of the Spanish invasion, as otherwise it would have been mentioned in their reports of the Inca civilization.

    The Inca had no system of writing and left no written records, and archaeologists have been left to piece together bits of evidence as to why Machu Picchu was built, what purpose it served, and why it was so quickly vacated.


    Babylon (Iraq)



    Some 90 kilometres south of modern Bagdhad lies the ruins of ancient Babylon, the original name of which, "bab-ili", may be translated as "the Gate of the Gods". For the world at large, Babylon ranks as one of the most famous cities of antiquity, renowned alike for its refinement, beauty and magnificence. In classical times, the city walls of Babylon were spoken of with admiration and astonishment, while her "Hanging Gardens" were accounted one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

    As a centre of culture and government, it flourished for about fifteen centuries, from the arrival of the Amorites ca. 1850 B.C. down to Alexander the Great, who died there in 322 B.C. One of the best known of the city's early rulers was the great law-giver, Hammurabi (1792-1750 B.C.).


    Palenque (Mexico)



    The ruins of Palenque are among the most important Mayan archaeological sites in all of Mexico and Central America. Set on a ledge overlooking the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, Palenque recedes into the dense tropical forest of the foothills of the Tumbala mountains of Chiapas, Mexico.

    Although analysis of pottery shards demonstrates that the area was occupied by 100 B.C., most of the buildings we see today were constructed between the 6th to 10th centuries A.D.

    The greatest ruler of this city-state was Pacal, who took power in 603 A.D. and commenced a construction boom of architecturally innovative buildings that lasted through and beyond his 68-year reign. One of the most impressive projects was the Palace. Its walls and roofs are covered with stucco carvings depicting the ceremonies and activities of rulers and gods, giving modern observers insight into the lives and beliefs of the Mayans. Another magnificent structure, the Temple of the Inscriptions, contains tablets of glyphs recounting the ancestral history of long ago rulers.

    The true reward of a trip to Palenque is to revel in the mystery of the unanswerable questions that arise as he meanders through the ruins in morning mists that swirl around the ancient structures. Only 34 of perhaps 500 buildings have been excavated.


    Ruins of Ayutthaya (Thailand)



    Ayutthaya, whose name means “undefeatable” in Sanskrit, may not be as popular as Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket but it's one of the many places in Thailand that's frequented by tourists who want to see its world-renowned ruins.

    In its heyday, Ayutthaya was a bustling metropolis of international repute, whose progress, according to historians, rivaled even Europe's capitals at the time. So prosperous was the kingdom that her neighbor Burma (now Myanmar) coveted her, so the Burmese army succeeded burned and sacked the city. Today, only the debris of the empire's glory remains, forming part of what is now known as the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


    The Colosseum (Italy)



    One of the greatest works of Roman architecture and perhaps the most recognized ruin in the world, the Colosseum or Roman Coliseum --originally the Flavian Amphitheatre-- is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.

    Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. About 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games.

    Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined due to damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and its breakthrough achievements in earthquake engineering. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession around the various levels of the amphitheatre.


    Tikal Ruins (Guatemala)




    Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in northern Guatemala. This amazing site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park and in 1979 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 A.D., during which time the site dominated the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica, such as central Mexican center of Teotihuacan. There is also evidence that Tikal was even conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century.

    Following the end of the Late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned. These events were coupled with a gradual population decline, culminating with the site's abandonment by the end of the 10th century.


    Chichén Itzá Ruin (Mexico)



    A large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilization, Chichen Itza is located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the Yucatán state, Mexico.

    It was a major regional focal point in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, from what is called “Mexicanized” and reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico to the Puuc style found among the Puuc Maya of the northern lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.


    The Parthenon (Greece)



    Greek goddess Athena's temple, The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BC on the Athenian Acropolis. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered one of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of ancient Greece and Athenian democracy, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a program of restoration and reconstruction.


    Jesuitical Ruins of Trinidad (Paraguay)




    Located about 25 km away from Encarnacion, on the route to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, is one of the most interesting and suggestive ruins of the 8 missions in Paraguay.

    Trinidad was founded by natives that came from the mission of San Carlos. Its main architects were fathers Juan Bautista Prímoli of Milan and the Catalan Jose Grimau. Uncompleted, this mission had one of the larges and prettiest churches of all missions, according to descriptions by travelers of that period.

    After crossing the nave of the old church, you can see an impressive view of the frieze high on the altar wall, entirely decorated on the very stone, with a sequence of angels in baroque postures and their instruments. The two doors giving access to the sacristies are worth mentioning: the columns with disproportionate capitals and a triple row of leaves supporting the frieze with two lateral pillars and a sculptural motif in the center.

    On the west side are the ruins of the tower and a long chapel. The tower, with a square base, reminds us of a fort tower and it is not known whether it was a belfry, an observation tower, or both at the same time. The chapel was probably used while the main church was being built. One of the sacristies also holds a small museum with local items (in original colors) and a scale model of the mission. Declared Patrimony of Humanity in 1993 by UNESCO.


    Copan Ruins (Honduras)



    A Maya capital from the 400s to the 800s, Copan is one of the largest and most impressive of all the Maya centers discovered so far. It consists of pyramids, temples and 21 stone pillars, or stelae, with exquisite carved likenesses of ancient Copan kings. Although Tikal in Guatemala is the largest known Maya site and is easier to get to, Copan shouldn't be missed by anyone interested in the Mayan civilization.


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    Palmyra Ruins (Syria)



    In the heart of Syrian Desert it is hidden Palmyra, often described as the bride of the desert. Its magnificent remains tell of a heroic history during the reign of Queen Zenobia. The Oasis, as it is sometimes called, is located near a hot-water spring called Afqa, which make it an ideal halt for caravans moving between Iraq and Al-Sham (present day Syria, Lebanon, Holy Land and Jordan), trading in silk from China to the Mediterranean.

    Palmyra's strategic location and prosperity attracted the interest of the Romans, who took control of the city in the first century A.D. The destiny of the great kingdom of Palmyra was no better than that of its queen: Zenobia was defeated and taken captive to Rome, fettered in chains of gold where she poisoned herself, while the city fell prey to looting and destruction. Archaeologists are still working on excavations there in order to uncover queen's palace, which was destroyed by Romans and replaced by a military camp.


    Talisay City (Philippines)



    Talisay City in the Philippines features a mansion built by a sugar magnate at the turn of the last century that not once, but twice, was destroyed in the Second World War in order to prevent Japanese forces from using it. Once on their way out of the Philippines, the USAAF bombed and strafed the home, and Philippines rebels burned it down to keep it from falling into Japanese hands.[COLOR="Silver"]
    Last edited by Dytzu; 06-25-2009 at 10:35 AM.


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    Ce poti sa zici decat fascinant, multumesc Dytzu
    Vreau ban

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    15 of the World's Greatest Living Rocks


    Great Sphinx of Giza (Egypt)



    A reclining lion with a human head that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile, near modern-day Cairo, is the largest monolith statue in the world. Standing 73.5 m (241 ft) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and 20 m (65 ft) high, the Great Sphinx of Giza is also the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the third millennium BCE. The Great Sphinx faces due east and houses a small temple between its paws.



    Petra (Jordan)



    Famously described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" by John William Burgon, UNESCO has described Petra as one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage. In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site, and recently designated as one of the “new wonders” of the world.

    Located in Arabah, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan, lying on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains, the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba is renowned for its rock-cut architecture. The Nabateans constructed it as their capital city around 100 BCE, after their decline, the site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced to the West by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

    The picturesque site was featured in various films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.



    Mount Rushmore (USA)



    A famous monumental granite sculpture created by Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore is located within the United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (left to right): George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. The memorial attracts approximately two million people annually.


    Leshan Giant Buddha (China)



    Built during the Tang Dynasty, the Leshan Giant Buddha is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The sculpture, which is seventy one meters (about 230 hundred feet) tall dwarfs the tourists that flock to see it. It is positioned so that it faces Mount Emei and stands at the meeting place of three rivers. Although the Government of China has promised a restoration program, the statue has suffered from the effects of pollution, particularly over the last twenty years. Fortunately, the statue was not damaged in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008.



    Mahabalipuram Shore Temple (India)



    Built on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram (India) in the early 8th century by the Pallava King Rajasimha. The shore temple actually consists of 2 back to back shrines, one facing the east (the Bay), and the smaller one facing west.

    It stands on the edge of the Bay of Bengal. At high tide, the waves sweep into its compounds. The walls and their sculptures have been battered and eroded by the winds and waves for thirteen hundred years. Yet they stand intact.

    Mahabalipuram was a flourishing sea port in the times of Periplus and Ptolemy (140 AD). There is an old legend here that originally there were seven temples; of these, six have been swallowed by the sea and only one temple -the Shore Temple- remained. There are evidences of submerged structures under the waves and sporadic excavations are going on, but it is too early to say whether there really was a glorious city and six more temples which now lie submerged under the waves off the coast off Mahabalipuram.


    Abu Simbel (Egypt)



    A set of two temples near the border of Egypt with Sudan, Abu Simbel was constructed for the pharaoh Ramesses II who reigned for 67 years during the 13th century BC (19th Dynasty). The temples were cut from the rock and shifted to higher ground in the 1960s as the waters of Lake Nasser began to rise following completion of the Aswan High Dam.

    The Great Temple is dedicated to Ramesses II and a statue of him is seated with three other gods within the innermost part of the rock-cut temple (the sanctuary). The temple's facade is dominated by four enormous seated statues of the Pharaoh (each over 20 metres or 67 feet high), although one has been damaged since ancient times. The Small Temple was probably completed ahead of the Great Temple and is dedicated to Ramesses' favorite wife, Nefertari. At the entrance stand six 10-metre-high (33 feet) rock-cut statues - two of Ramesses and one of Nefertari on either side of the doorway.


    Dazu Rock Carvings (China)



    The Dazu rock carvings in Chongqing, China are hewn from the cliffside, featuring more than 5,000 statues and over 100,000 Chinese characters of inscriptions or epigraphs. It is reputed as 'the county of rock carving' and it’s located at the southeast of Sichuan province. The Dazu Rock Carvings was built from 650 in the Tang Dynasty and continued to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). Among the rock carvings, there are more than 5,000 statues and over 100,000 Chinese characters of inscriptions and epigraphs.


    Church of St. George (Ethiopia)



    The Church of St. George is a monolithic church in Lalibela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. It is the most well known and last built (early thirteenth century) of the eleven churches in the Lalibela area, and has been referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The dimensions of the complex are 25 meters by 25 meters by 30 meters, and there is a small baptismal pool outside the church, which stands in an artificial trench. According to Ethiopian cultural history, Bete Giyorgis was built after King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty had a vision in which he was instructed to construct the church; Saint George and God have both been referred to as the one who gave him the instructions.

    As of 2006, Lalibela is still a pilgrimage site for members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church; the church itself is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela".


    Borobudor (Indonesia)



    Officially, Borobudur is a ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Actually, it is much older than that. The monument complex comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 statues of Rama citizens. Each wall has a story that relates to the stories of the birth of Buddha and other Buddha figures. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Rama citizens seated inside perforated stupa.


    Cappadocia (Turkey)



    Cappadocia lies in the mid-western part of Turkey. An extraordinary landscape formed millions of years ago by the combined work of lava spitting volcanoes, wind and water, there is culture too: the inhabitants of the area hew rooms, chapels, even whole villages out of the rocks. Religious Byzantine paintings can be found on the walls of the churches and monasteries.


    Bingling Temple (China)



    The Bingling Temple is a series of grottoes filled with Buddhist sculpture carved into natural caves and caverns in a canyon along the Yellow River. It lies just north of where the Yellow River empties into the Liujiaxia Reservoir created by the Liujiaxia Dam at Yongjing, about 80km from Lanzhou. The caves were a work in progress for more than a millennium. The first grotto was begun around 420 CE at the end of the Western Jin Dynasty. Work continued and more grottoes were added during several dynasties. The style of each grottoe can easily be connected to the typical artwork from its corresponding dynasty. The Bingling Temple is both stylistically and geographically a midpoint between the monumental Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan and the Buddhist Grottoes of central China, Yungang Grottoes near Datong and Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang.

    Over the centuries, earthquakes, erosion, and looters have damaged or destroyed many of the caves and the artistic treasures within. Altogether there are 183 caves, 694 stone statues, and 82 clay sculptures that remain. Each cave is like a miniature temple filled with Buddhist imagery.

    The sculptures, carvings, and frescoes that remain are outstanding examples of Buddhist artwork and draw visitors from around the world.


    Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni (Malta)



    The Hypogeum in Hal-Saflieni, Paola, Malta, is a subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase in Maltese prehistory. Thought to be originally a sanctuary, it became a necropolis in prehistoric times. It is the only prehistoric underground temple in the world. The Hypogeum was depicted on a 2 cents 5 mils stamp issued in the Maltese Islands in 1980 to commemorate the acceptance by UNESCO of this unique structure in the World Heritage Site list. It was closed to visitors between 1992 and 1996 for restoration works; since it reopened only 80 people per day are allowed entry and there can be a 2-3 weeks wait to get a ticket.

    It was discovered by accident in 1902 when workers cutting cisterns for a new housing development broke through its roof. The workers tried to hide the temple at first, but eventually it was found. The study of the structure was first entrusted to Father Manuel Magri of the Society of Jesus, who directed the excavations on behalf of the Museums Committee.


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    Buddhas of Bamiyan (Afghanistan)



    The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two monumental statues of standing Buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamiyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, situated 230 km (143 miles) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2500 meters (8,202 ft). Built during the sixth century, the statues represented the classic blended style of Indo-Greek art.

    The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco.

    They were intentionally dynamited and destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were "idols" (which are forbidden under Sharia law). International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which was viewed as an example of the intolerance of the Taliban and of fundamentalist Islam. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.


    Mada'in Saleh (Saudi Arabia)



    Located in northern Hejaz (modern day Saudi Arabia), Mada'in Saleh --also called Al-Hijr ("rocky place")-- is an ancient city that was inhabited by Thamudis and Nabateans and was then known as Hegra. Some of the inscriptions found in the area date back to the 2nd millennium BC. However, all the remaining architectural elements are dated to the period of the Thamudi, Lihyan and Nabatean civilizations, between the 1st millennium BC and the second century AD. Mada'in Saleh is not only Saudi Arabia's most spectacular touristic site; it is also one of the greatest historic sites in the world. The rock tombs in this early morning light are of such an extraordinary beauty, consisting of different shapes and sizes, that gives Mada'in Salih a truly charming feeling. This historic sister city, Petra the former capital of Nabataean Kingdom, is located only 150 miles away to the north across the border with Jordan.


    Naqsh-e Rustam (Iran)



    Naqsh-e Rostam is a site believed by archaeologists to have been a cemetery for Persepolis, where Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid royalty were laid to rest. Located about 3-4 kilometers northwest of Persepolis in Iran's Fars province, the site contains funerary related works belonging to the Elamite (second millennium BCE), Achaemenid (550-330 BCE) and Sassanid (226-651 CE) eras.

    The only surviving monument from the pre-Achaemenid period is a relief which was almost completely obliterated when the court scene of Bahram II (276-293 CE) was carved over it. The Naqsh-e Rostam structures have been built from white and grey Limestone without the use of mortar.

    It is believed that Persians were the first to use colors to decorate stone carvings. A particularly striking feature of Naqsh-e Rostam stone carvings is the use of color; many of the site's inscriptions and carvings are covered with Lapis lazuli. Evidence shows that the carving of Darius had a lazuline beard and mustache, black hair and eyeliner, red eyes, lips and shoes as well as colorful robes, although the passage of time has left the colors at Naqsh-e Rostam unstable.


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    10 of the World's Most Dangerous Roads


    The Death Road (Bolivia)



    The North Yungas Road, also known as The Death Road, is a 61 to 69 km road leading from La Paz to Coroico (Bolivia's capital, to the Amazon region) in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It is legendary for its extreme danger: in 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the "world's most dangerous road. " One estimate is that 200-300 travelers were killed yearly along the road. The road includes crosses marking many of the spots where such vehicles have fallen.

    At the end of 2006, after 20 years of construction, a new road (a by-pass) from La Paz to Coroico was opened to public. This new route features modern construction (bridges, drainage, etc.), multiple lanes, pavement, guardrails and many other elements that make it considerably safer than the original route. As a result, the original North Yungas Road is currently much less used by traffic, although an increasing number of adventure travelers bike it for the thrills.


    Guoliang Tunnel Road (China)



    The road in Taihang mountains was built by local villagers: it took five years to finish the 1,200 metre long tunnel which is about 5 meters high and 4 meters wide. Some of the villagers died in accidents during construction; undaunted, the others continued. On May 1, 1977, the tunnel was opened to traffic. It is located in the Taihang Mountains, in the Hunan Province of China.


    Ruta 5: Arica to Iquique Road (Chile)



    The road from Arica to Iquique is renowned for being dangerous; you drive past very deep valleys and wind your way through, spotting ever so often tell-tale vehicle skeletons at the bottom. The few times you can see cars and buses passing by, they were doing so at such a speed that you may think they are either tempting fate very foolishly or perhaps they are just ghosts whizzing past. The mono-hued and isolated scenery is well capable of endowing you with the capacity to have such visions, so concentrating and avoiding the use of any form of hallucinatory substance is essential here.


    Siberian Road to Yakutsk (Russia)



    The Russian Federal Highway connects Moscow to Yakutsk, where the coldest temperature ever recorded outside Antarctica was recorded. Yakutsk is also the largest city built on continuous permafrost. Most houses are built on concrete piles because of the frozen ground.

    What does all this have to do with being one of the world's most dangerous roads? Well, during the winter, which is approximately ten months long, driving in and out of Yakutsk is subject to heavy snow, ice, and reduced visibility. However, winter road conditions are a picnic compared to trying to navigate the Russian Federal Highway on July and August. Though many Siberian residents will tell you the highway is not paved to keep the Germans out (a tired World War II era joke), the truth is because of the permafrost there is no asphalt, creating a mud induced traffic jam every time the summer rains swing Yakutsk's way. Near thousand car traffic jams are not unheard of and during these back ups and travelers might pass the time while stuck in Siberian traffic by looting, beating, and kidnapping other travelers. Siberian mud pirates.


    Sichuan-Tibet Highway (China)



    In China, the number of deaths caused by car accidents has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, climbing from 3.9 to 7.6 per 100,000 of the population between 1985 and 2005. The Sichuan-Tibet Highway, a high-elevation road between Chengdu and Tibet where landslides and rock avalanches are common, is undoubtedly part of the problem.

    The 2,412km long Sichuan-Tibet Highway starts from Chengdu of Sichuan on the east and ends at Lhasa of Tibet on the west. The road stretches into Lhasa passing Ya’an, Garze and Chamdo. Sichuan-Tibet highway traverses 14 high mountains which average 4,000-5000m, spans dozens of famous rivers (Dadu River, Jinsha River, Lantsang River, Nujiang), crosses primeval forest and numerous dangerous sections. It has spectacular views along the line, with unique ethnic customs.


    James Dalton Highway (Alaska)



    The James Dalton Highway is a 414-mile gravel road. It heads straight north from the Livengood turnoff of the Elliott Highway, through arctic tundra to the farthest north reaches of Alaska. Alyeska built the 360-mile haul road, now known as the Dalton Highway, from the Yukon River to Prudhoe Bay, for $150 million to supply the oil facilities on the North Slope. The pipeline bridge across the 1,875 mile Yukon River is the only span across that river in Alaska.

    But this is not a road for the faint of heart, or those with a brand-new vehicle! It is still the main supply route for the Prudhoe Bay oilfields, and you will be sharing the road with large tractor-trailers. Windshields and headlights are easy targets of flying rocks. Most rental companies will not allow you to drive their cars on the Dalton. Trucks speeding along the slippery gravel track kick up thick clouds of dust or mud, reducing visibility to absolute zero; potholes take a heavy toll on cars and services, gas, and repairs are practically nonexistent. Don't even consider driving the Dalton unless you have 4-wheel drive, a CB radio, extra fuel, food, tires, and a trunk filled with supplies.


    Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road (Greece)



    This is a narrow busy dirt track that stretches from Patiopoulo to Perdikaki in Greece. This road is a steep climb or decent, it is dangerous because it has huge pot holes and very little grip for the vehicles that travel on it. It is a narrow road with a sheer drop on either side of its slope with no guard rails or an prevention to stop a vehicle from going over. Many people die on his road every year, it is used by pedestrians, livestock and trucks, buses and cars. A very dangerous road that has gravel for grip in most places and there are no lines to determine where the edge is, this is especially dangerous at night, most of the accidents happen at night on this road.


    Trollstigen (Norway)



    Trollstigen (The Troll Ladder) is a mountain road in Rauma, Norway, part of Norwegian National Road 63 connecting Åndalsnes in Rauma and Valldal in Norddal. A popular tourist attraction due to its steep incline of 9% and eleven hairpin bends up a steep mountain side, the road up is narrow with many sharp bends, and although it has been widened in recent years, vehicles over 12.4 meters long are prohibited from driving the road. At the top there is large parking place which allows visitors to leave their cars and walk for about ten minutes to a viewing balcony which overlooks the road with its bends and the Stigfossen waterfall. Stigfossen is a beautiful waterfall which falls 320 meters down the mountain side.


    The A682 Road (England)



    The A682 between junction 13 of the M65 and Long Preston is the worst road in England as it has claimed almost 100 fatalities over the last ten years. The 14 mile single lane A682 between junction 13 of the M65 near Nelson, Lancs, and Long Preston in North Yorkshire, had 22 serious accidents in the past three years - two of them fatal. Experts say it has an average of 0.5 deaths per 10 miles annually. It is a favorite for motorcyclists, especially early on a Sunday morning.


    Stelvio Pass Road Trollstigen(Italy)



    The highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps --and the second highest in the Alps, after the Col de l'Iseran (2770 m)--, the Stelvio Pass Road connects the Valtellina with the upper Adige valley and Merano. It is located in the Italian Alps, near Bormio and Sulden, 75 km from Bolzano, close to Swiss border.

    While it might not be as risky as other deadly routes, it's certainly breathtaking. The tour books advise that the toughest and most spectacular climbing is from the Prato side, Bormio side approach is more tame. With 48 hairpins, this road is regarded as one of the finest continuous hairpin routes in the Alps.


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    10 Alien-Looking Places on Earth


    Dry Valleys (Antartica)



    Antarctica's Dry Valleys, with their barren gravel-strewn floors, are said to be the most similar place on Earth to Mars. Its fascinating landscape, located within Victoria Land west of McMurdo Sound, get almost no snowfall, and except for a few steep rocks they are the only continental part of Antarctica devoid of ice. The terrain looks like something not of this Earth; the valley’s floor occasionally contains a perennially frozen lake with ice several meters thick. Under the ice, in the extremely salty water, live mysterious simple organisms, a subject of on-going research.


    Socotra Island (Indian Ocean)



    This island simply blows away any notion about what is considered “normal” for a landscape on Earth, you’d be inclined to think you were transported to another planet - or traveled to another era of Earth’s history. Socotra Island, which is part of a group of four islands, has been geographically isolated from mainland Africa for the last 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, the island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic.

    The climate is harsh, hot and dry, and yet - the most amazing plant life thrives there. Situated in the Indian Ocean 250 km from Somalia and 340 km from Yemen, the wide sandy beaches rise to limestone plateaus full of caves (some 7 kilometers in length) and mountains up to 1525 meters high. The trees and plants of this island were preserved thru the long geological isolation, some varieties being 20 million years old.


    Rio Tinto (Spain)



    The giant opencast mines of Rio Tinto create a surreal, almost lunar landscape. Its growth has consumed not only mountains and valleys but even entire villages, whose populations had to be resettled in specially built towns nearby. Named after the river which flows through the region-itself named for the reddish streaks that colour its water-Rio Tinto has become a landscape within a landscape. The river red water is highly acidic (pH 1.7—2.5) and rich in heavy metals.


    Kliluk, the Spotted Lake (Canada)



    In the hot sun of summer, the water of Spotted Lake, located in British Columbia and Washington, evaporates and crystallizes the minerals, forming many white-rimmed circles: shallow pools that reflect the mineral content of the water in shades of blues and greens. It contains one of the worlds highest concentrations of minerals: magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts), calcium and sodium sulphates, plus eight other minerals and traces of four more, including silver and titanium.

    The Indians soaked away aches and ailments in the healing mud and waters. One story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the Spotted Lake, "Kliluk".


    Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia)



    Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni is perhaps one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. A magnificent area with an impressive salt desert (the world's largest), active volcanoes, tall cacti islands and geyser flats, it exists like an alien mirage, something completely out-of-this-world. Oddee's crew went there in July 2008, be sure to check it out.


    Vale da Lua (Brazil)



    Vale da Lua (Moon Valley) is a water eroded rock formation with natural swimming pools, placed on a river in the brazilian cerrado forest. Located at Chapada, 38 km from Alto Paraíso de Goiás, it’s rock formations are one of the oldest on the planet, made of quartz with outcrops of crystals.


    Blood Pond Hot Spring (Japan)



    Blood Pond Hot Spring is one of the "hells" (jigoku) of Beppu, Japan, nine spectacular natural hot springs that are more for viewing rather than bathing. The “blood pond hell” features a pond of hot, red water, colored as such by iron in the waters. It’s allegedly the most photogenic of the nine hells.


    The Stone Forest (China)



    The Shilin (Chinese for stone forest) is an impressive example of karst topography. Its rocks are made of limestone and are formed by water percolating the ground’s surface and eroding away everything but the pillars. It’s known since the Ming Dynasty as the 'First Wonder of the World.'


    The Richat Structure (Mauritania)



    This spectacular landform in Mauritania in the southwestern part of the Sahara desert, called the Richat Structure, is so huge with a diameter of 30 miles that it is visible from space. The formation was originally thought to be caused by a meteorite impact but now geologists believe it is a product of uplift and erosion. The cause of its circular shape is still a mystery.


    Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves (Austria)



    Ice caves are very different from normal caves. They have a strange feeling about them, as though they are not from this planet, and one has just temporarily stepped into their world when spelunking their depths.

    There are many ice caves throughout the world, but the Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves in Austria are some of the largest known to man. They are located within the Tennengebirge Mountains near Salzburg and stretch for a remarkable 40 kilometers. Only a portion of the labyrinth is open to tourists but it's enough to get a taste of what the remaining network is like: a truly mesmerizing palate of Mother Nature's handicraft.


  26. #19

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    ioi doamne ce de minunatii...

  27. #20
    VW Golf 5 Dytzu's Avatar
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    Cum o fi sa mergi pe drumul ala,Trollstigen ?

    Btw,va continua...
    Last edited by Dytzu; 06-24-2009 at 11:51 PM.


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