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Posts Tagged ‘history’

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These pictures were taken in the cemetery of a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) of Prague. The Jewish quarter is an interesting area to visit, there are 6 synagogues that you can visit, and a Jewish Museum. The area has a really interesting history too; it was sort of the center of Jewish living in Prague, starting around the 13th century. The area has a really mixed history, in my mind this district stands as a testament to the survival of the Jewish culture in the face of adversity. I really like that this area has maintained its cultural identity through time as well, and you can really see the layers of different eras here. The graveyard is really cool, but if you are visiting this area (as with any other place you visit) remember to be respectful of the rules here: make sure if you are visiting synagogues that you cover your shoulders, and yarmulkes are provided for men to cover their heads while visiting the religious sites. Also, just a heads up, if you want to take pictures in this cemetery you have to pay, but it’s not expensive at all, and i’m pretty sure the proceeds go towards maintaining this historical site. Also when you are here, if you can, try to find a good restaurant! The place we went to was overpriced (we didn’t have a lot of options, most places were closed on the day we went) but you can get a killer bowl of matzo ball soup here!

Also, in case anyone was curious, placing stones on the headstone is a Jewish tradition. Apparently the exact origin of this tradition isn’t know but it’s thought that the act is symbolic to show the presence of a loved one visiting the grave site, and that the deceased individual has not been forgotten. And I think the candle is a Yahrzeit Candle, which is burned in memory of a deceased person.

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This is the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. While it was in use it would have been able to hold up to 50,000 spectators who would have been watching the games that were held here. The colosseum is most well known for housing gladiator games, the flat space in the center of the Colosseum would have had a stage covered in sand. Now there is only a small section that has a stage, even without it though, you can totally picture what the Colosseo must have looked like when it was in use. It’s a little expensive to visit, (discounts are available, especially if you are a student from the EU, but you need proof of this with ID) but it’s totally worth it! It’s a really cool site and a fantastically preserved piece of the Roman Empire that really allows the visitor a glimpse of the past, and all of the history that has built up to the current city of Rome.

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This was taken in the National Archeological Museum in Athens, Greece. The museum has a lot of really cool artifacts, and is home to many really impressively carved pieces like this one. The museum is a really great place to spend a morning, or early afternoon when you’re in Athens. Its pretty easily accessible, we walked there from the hostel we stayed at. In the event that you’re looking for a hostel, the place is called Zorbas Hostel, and it’s pretty nice. They even had air conditioning, and its located right next to a metro, so you can get pretty much anywhere from there. The museum is really awesome, and it’s absolutely worth a visit.

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This is a picture from the Shipwreck exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, in Greece. This exhibit is absolutely amazing, not only is it really well set up, the content is just incredible. I’ve mentioned on here previously that i’m a total archaeology geek, and I have to say, I flipped out a little when I saw this exhibit. I was so impressed by the statues, and their ability to have, at least partially, withstood both time and nature. The craftsmanship is beautiful, but there is another sort of beauty that these statues display, you can really see the effects of the passage of time on them, and despite this they are still magnificent. I also learned a lot from this exhibit, i’m not particularly knowledgeable in the arena of underwater archaeology, so I really enjoyed the amount of information that was provided along with the statues. The exhibit also contains several other marble statues, a large, complete bronze statue of a man, an incomplete bronze statue, amphorae, glass vessels, and some other really cool smaller artifacts that were found along with these larger treasures. The rest of the museum is really great too, I was just particularly struck by the awesomeness of this exhibit.

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These pictures show the Basilica Cistern (the Turkish name is Yerebatan Sarayı) in Istanbul, Turkey. This beautiful underground structure was built by Justinian in 532 C.E., and it’s a really interesting place to visit. Not only is it pretty, but it’s really an amazing architectural feat when you think about how long it’s been standing and how good it looks despite its age. This is a great place to escape the heat on a summer day, and it’s just a really neat place to hang out for a little bit. Not pictured here (but i’ll put it up soon) are some very cool pillars with statues of Medusa’s head supporting them. This is one of the main attractions in Istanbul, and it’s within walking distance of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Just a heads up, it is a bit dark in here and it tends to be damp, so if you’re planning on visiting have appropriate footwear and be sure to watch your step.

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This photograph was taken at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. The museum has a lot of really cool stuff, and this part of the exhibits was particularly cool, and really well set up. The museum is seriously busy though, so get there EARLY! We ran to get our place in line, and we probably waited 20 minutes at least. Plus, when you beat the crowds a bit you have more time to look at the exhibits for as long as you like. Another suggestion, eat before you go! We ate there, but the food was kinda pricey (as per usual with museum shops and restaurants)

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One of the MANY famous pieces housed by the Louvre Museum. This absolutely fantastic museum has SO MUCH to see, enough, in fact, that if you spent only 9 seconds at every piece in the museum you would be in the museum for about 2 1/2 months (that’s without stopping to eat or sleep).  This is a statue of the Goddess Nike, this is also the home of two other incredibly famous ladies; the Mona Lisa and the Venus De Milo. If you are visiting the museum go to the Lion’s Gate entrance; its a MUCH shorter line, trust me, it’s worth the time it takes to find it. It took us less than 10 minutes to purchase our tickets and get into the museum.

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