Videos uploaded by user “Pietro Pecco”
Aventador Chassis, Lamborghini Museum, Sant'Agata Bolognese, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe
Production of the Aventador was planned to be limited to 4,000 vehicles (4,099 Murciélagos were built); however, in 2016, it achieved the 5,000 unit milestone. The molds used to make the carbon-fibre monocoque are expected to last 500 molds each and only 8 have been made. The base price of the Aventador is US$393,695. The car's shape borrows heavily from Lamborghini's limited-edition Reventón and their Estoque concept car. The vehicle was unveiled at Lummus Park, Miami, followed by Miami International Airport, followed by Auto China 2014 (with Nazionale configuration via Lamborghini Ad Personam personalization program). The Lamborghini Aventador starred in Transformers: Age of Extinction as Lockdown, the film's main antagonist. The Aventador LP 700–4 uses Lamborghini's new 700 PS (510 kW; 690 bhp) 6.5 litre 60° V12 engine weighing 235 kg. Known internally as the L539, the new engine is Lamborghini's fourth in-house engine and second V12 design. It is the first all-new V12 since the 3.5 litre powerplant found in the 350GT. Its transmission, a single-clutch seven-speed semi-automatic, is built by Graziano Trasmissioni. Despite being single-clutch, gear-shifts are accomplished in 50 milliseconds. The new, electronically controlled, all-wheel drive system is developed and supplied by the Swedish company Haldex Traction, offering traction and handling capabilities based on their 4th generation technology. Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 has a power to weight ratio of 2.25 kg (4.96 lb) per horsepower.
Views: 43938 Pietro Pecco
Silvan Zingg Trio, Indemini, Ticino, Switzerland
Silvan Zingg (born 19 March 1973) is a Swiss boogie woogie, blues and Jazz pianist and founder in 2002 of the International Boogie Woogie festival in Lugano, Switzerland. Silvan Zingg is called the "Boogie Woogie Ambassador". He was born in Lugano to a musical family. Before he started school, he had learned to play the piano and was particularly inspired by the work of Afro-American blues pianists. After studies as a graphic designer he decided to become a professional musician. Zingg has since performed in more than 1,000 concerts in 30 countries: Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Greece, Monaco, Andorra, the Vatican, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, England, Ireland, the USA, Canada, India, Arab Emirates, China, Russia, Mexico. He gave his first overseas solo concert at 18 years of age. He was the youngest pianist and only European at the Masters Of Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Night in Charleston, South Carolina together with Jimmy Walker, Skeeter Brandon. He has performed in other American venues including the Cincinnati, Detroit, Newport Festivals. In November 2005 he performed with Chuck Berry in a sold out concert in Zurich. Silvan Zingg has played with such other Blues artists as Ray Charles, Memphis Slim, Sammy Price, Champion Jack Dupree, Katie Webster, Michel Petrucciani and Jimmy Walker. In 2011 Silvan Zingg was invited by festival promoter Claude Nobs to perform with B.B.King at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Among other on stage: Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Robert Randolph. His CD Boogie Woogie Triology won several awards, and was top selling CD on CDBaby for more than one year. In 2002, Zingg initiated the International Boogie Woogie Festival in Lugano. Since then it has been held annually in April and has attracted such entertainers as Little Willie Littlefield, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne, Carl Sonny Leyland, Mitch Woods, Axel Zwingenberger, Vince Weber, Joja Wendt, Jean Paul Amouroux, Michael Pewny and Chris Conz. In 2006, BBC World reported on the festival, which brought it world-wide attention. In November 2008, Silvan Zingg completed his first concert tour of China. In 2010, Zingg was invited to give a concert/lecture about the history of boogie woogie at the University of Texas in Brownsville.
Views: 37386 Pietro Pecco
Leonardo da Vinci tomb, Château d'Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, France, Europe
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 1452 -- 2 May 1519, Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time. Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, in Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I. Leonardo was, and is, renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings have survived, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo. Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, an armoured vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull, also outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science. From September 1513 to 1516, under Pope Leo X, Leonardo spent much of his time living in the Belvedere in the Vatican in Rome, where Raphael and Michelangelo were both active at the time. In October 1515, Francis I of France recaptured Milan. On December 19, Leonardo was present at the meeting of Francis I and Pope Leo X, which took place in Bologna. Leonardo was commissioned to make for Francis a mechanical lion which could walk forward, then open its chest to reveal a cluster of lilies. In 1516, he entered François' service, being given the use of the manor house Clos Lucé near the king's residence at the royal Château d'Amboise. It was here that he spent the last three years of his life, accompanied by his friend and apprentice, Count Francesco Melzi, and supported by a pension totalling 10,000 scudi. Photo of a large medieval house, built of brick with many windows and gables and a circular tower with a conical roof Clos Lucé in France, where Leonardo died in 1519 Leonardo died at Clos Lucé, on 2 May 1519. Leonardo da Vinci was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d'Amboise, in France. Some 20 years after Leonardo's death, Francis was reported by the goldsmith and sculptor Benevenuto Cellini as saying: "There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so much about painting, sculpture and architecture, as that he was a very great philosopher".
Views: 17708 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo Alfetta, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The Alfa Romeo Alfetta (Type 116) is an executive saloon car and fastback coupé produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1972 to 1987. It was popular due to its combination of a modest weight with powerful engines, selling over 400,000 units until the end of its production run. The Alfetta name (Little Alfa in Italian) came from the nickname of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 159 Alfetta, a successful Formula One car which in its latest 1951 iteration paired a transaxle layout to De Dion tube rear suspension, like the modern saloon. The Alfetta introduced a new drivetrain layout to the marque. Clutch and transmission were housed at the rear of the car, together with the differential for a more balanced weight distribution, as used on the Alfetta 158/159 Grand Prix cars. The suspension relied on double wishbones and torsion bars at the front and a De Dion tube at the rear. When leaving the factory all Alfettas originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 165HR14 tyres (CA67). The rear de Dion transaxle found on the Alfetta and derivatives- GTV, 90 and 75- provided these cars with excellent weight distribution. The advantages to handling were noticed in contemporary commentaries by motor testers such as Vicar. The transaxle design, in combination with a Watt's parallelogram linkage, inboard rear brakes and a well-located de Dion rear suspension, resulted in excellent traction and handling. The front suspension design was also unusual in that it incorporated independent longitudinal torsion bar springs acting directly onto the lower wishbones and with separate dampers. The Alfetta saloon was launched in 1972, equipped with a 1.8-litre four-cylinder. It was a three-box, four-door saloon (Berlina in Italian) with seating for five designed in-house by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo; the front end was characterised by twin equally sized headlamps connected to a central narrow Alfa Romeo shield by three chrome bars, while the tail lights were formed by three square elements. At the 1975 Brussels Motor Show Alfa Romeo introduced the 1,594 cc (97 cu in), 108 PS (DIN) Alfetta 1.6 base model, easily recognizable by its single, larger round front headlights. Meanwhile the 1.8-litre Alfetta was rebadged Alfetta 1.8 and a few months later mildly restyled, further set apart from the 1.6 by a new grille with a wider central shield and horizontal chrome bars. Engines in both models were Alfa Romeo Twin Cams, with two overhead camshafts, 8-valves and two double-barrel carburettors. Two years later the 1.6 was upgraded to the exterior and interior features of the 1.8. In 1977 a 2.0-litre model was added. Launched at the March Geneva Motor Show, the Alfetta 2000 replaced the outgoing Alfa Romeo 2000. This range-topping Alfetta was 10.5 cm (4.1 in) longer than the others, owing to a redesigned front end with square headlights and to larger bumpers with polyurethane inserts; the rectangular tail light clusters and C-pillar vents were also different. Inside there were a new dashboard, steering wheel and upholstery materials. Just a year later, in July 1978, the two-litre model was updated becoming the Alfetta 2000 L. Engine output rose from 122 PS to 130 PS (DIN); inside upholstery was changed again and dashboard trim went from brushed aluminium to simulated wood. The 2000 received fuel injection in 1979. A turbodiesel version was introduced in late 1979, the Alfetta Turbo D, whose engine was supplied by VM Motori. Apart from a boot lid badge, the Turbo D was equipped and finished like the top-of-the-line 2000 L both outside and inside. Therefore it received a tachometer—very unusual in diesels of this era, but no standard power steering, in spite of the additional 100 kg (220 lb) burden over the front axle. The turbodiesel, a first on an Alfa Romeo's passenger car, was of 2.0 litres and produced 82&bbsp;PS. The Alfetta Turbo D was sold mostly in Italy and in France, as well as a few other continental European markets where the tax structure suited this model. In 1981 Alfa Romeo developed in collaboration with the University of Genoa a semi-experimental Alfetta version, fitted with a modular variable displacement engine and an electronic engine control unit. Called Alfetta CEM (Controllo Elettronico del Motore, or Electronic Engine Management), it was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The 130 PS (96 kW; 128 bhp) 2.0-litre modular engine featured fuel injection and ignition systems governed by an engine control unit, which could shut off two of four cylinders as needed in order to reduce fuel consumption. An initial batch of 10 examples were assigned to taxi drivers in Milan, to verify operation and performance in real-world situations.
Views: 11809 Pietro Pecco
Panzer VI Tiger I, The Tank Museum, Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France, Europe
Tiger I About this sound listen is the common name of a German heavy tank developed in 1942 and used in World War II. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf.E, often shortened to Tiger. It was an answer to the unexpectedly impressive Soviet armour encountered in the initial months of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88 mm gun in its first armoured fighting vehicle-dedicated version: the KwK 36. During the course of the war, the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts. It was usually deployed in independent tank battalions, which proved to be quite formidable. While the Tiger I was feared by many of its opponents, it was over-engineered, using expensive materials and labour intensive production methods. Only 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and immobilizations, and limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable. It was also difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilization when mud, ice and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved road wheels in winter weather conditions, often jamming them solid. In 1944, production was phased out in favour of the Tiger II. The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H ('Panzer VI version H', abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H), with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182, but the tank was redesignated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181. Today, only a handful of Tigers survive in museums and exhibitions worldwide. The Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger 131 is currently the only one restored to running order. The Tiger differed from earlier German tanks principally in its design philosophy. Its predecessors balanced mobility, armour and firepower, and were sometimes outgunned by their opponents. The Tiger I represented a new approach that emphasised firepower and armour. While heavy, this tank was not slower than the best of its opponents. However, with over 50 metric tons dead weight, suspension, gearboxes, and other such items had clearly reached their design limits and breakdowns were frequent. Design studies for a new heavy tank had been started in 1937, without any production planning. Renewed impetus for the Tiger was provided by the quality of the Soviet T-34 encountered in 1941. Although the general design and layout were broadly similar to the previous medium tank, the Panzer IV, the Tiger weighed more than twice as much. This was due to its substantially thicker armour, the larger main gun, greater volume of fuel and ammunition storage, larger engine, and more solidly built transmission and suspension. The Tiger I had frontal hull armour 100 mm (3.9 in) thick and frontal turret armour of 120 mm (4.7 in) compared to the 80 mm (3.1 in) frontal hull and 50 mm (2 in) frontal turret armour of contemporary models of the Panzer IV. It also had 60 mm (2.4 in) thick hull side plates and 80 mm armour on the side superstructure and rear, turret sides and rear was 80 mm. The top and bottom armour was 25 mm (1 in) thick; from March 1944, the turret roof was thickened to 40 mm (1.6 in). Armour plates were mostly flat, with interlocking construction. The armour joints were of high quality, being stepped and welded rather than riveted and were made of maraging steel. This made the Tiger immune to the American Sherman tank's frontal attacks with its 75mm gun. The nominal armour thickness of the Tiger reached up to 200 mm at the mantlet. The gun's breech and firing mechanism were derived from the famous German "88" dual purpose flak gun. The 88 mm KwK 36 L/56 gun was the variant chosen for the Tiger and was, along with the Tiger II's 88 mm KwK 43 L/71, one of the most effective and feared tank guns of World War II. The Tiger's gun had a high muzzle velocity and extremely accurate Leitz Turmzielfernrohr TZF 9b sights (later replaced by the monocular TZF 9c). In British wartime firing trials, five successive hits were scored on a 410 by 460 mm (16 by 18 in) target at a range of 1,100 metres (3,600 ft). Tigers were reported to have knocked out enemy tanks at ranges greater than 4.0 kilometres (2.5 mi), although most World War II engagements were fought at much shorter ranges. The rear of the tank held an engine compartment flanked by two separate rear compartments each containing a fuel tank, radiator and fans. The Germans had not developed an adequate diesel engine, so a petrol (gasoline) powerplant had to be used instead.
Views: 21642 Pietro Pecco
McLaren MP4/8 test, Lamborghini Museum, Sant'Agata Bolognese, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe
The McLaren MP4/8 was a Formula One racing car which competed in the 1993 season. It raced in all sixteen Grands Prix, scoring five wins. The engine was a Ford HBD7 3.5 V8. Thanks to a watershed use of electronics technology that cars used in the 1993 season, the car was designed by Neil Oatley around advanced electronics technology, including a semi-automatic transmission, active suspension and traction control systems that was developed in conjunction with McLaren shareholder Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG). The car was driven by triple World Champion Ayrton Senna in his 6th season with McLaren and American CART driver Michael Andretti, the son of the 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti, who was entering into his first (and ultimately only) season in Formula One. Andretti was replaced after the Italian Grand Prix by the teams test driver Mika Häkkinen. Honda had supplied McLaren with engines from 1988–92, the first four years where the team had dominated the drivers' and Constructors' Championships. However, Honda departed F1 after 1992 due to the worldwide recession and team principal Ron Dennis was unable to get a supply of Renault engines as a replacement. With Honda pulling out of the sport, McLaren had to make do with customer Ford V8 engines which had inferior power compared to the V10 Renaults found in their chief rival Williams, and even the higher spec HBA8 Ford V8's used by Benetton. Because Benetton had a pre-existing contract as the Ford factory team, McLaren had to settle for a customer engine which lacked some of the technological advancements of Benetton's factory engine. McLaren did secure a supply of the higher spec Ford engines after the British Grand Prix. The customer spec Ford engine was only rated at around 680 bhp (507 kW; 689 PS) compared to the 700 bhp (522 kW; 710 PS) of the works Ford engine in the Benetton, and both were well down on the 760 bhp (567 kW; 771 PS) Renault used by Williams and the similarly powered V12 Ferraris. Initially, Ayrton Senna was impressed by the car's handling and nimbleness, but he knew the customer Ford-Cosworth V8 to be underpowered compared to the Renault V10-powered Williams and he demanded a race-by-race contract at $1 million per Grand Prix, though others suggested that this was a marketing ploy between Senna and Ron Dennis to keep sponsors on edge and interested. Although the Ford-Cosworth V8 was lighter than the Renault V10, the power-to weight ratio of the Renault was greater than the Ford. However, the MP4/8 was competitive enough to achieve some remarkable successes. Even though rival Alain Prost was in the superior Williams FW15C, Senna's skill enabled him to lead the championship until after Canada, by winning 3 of the first 6 races, which consisted of his 2nd victory in Brazil, his 6th Monaco Grand Prix victory and one of his greatest drives in the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park in England. The MP4/8 was known for having a considerably shorter wheelbase (length) than the FW15C and was a noticeably smaller car in length than Prost's Williams. Later in the season, the Frenchman asserted the dominance of his Williams to take the lead for good, while Senna fell off pace during the second half of the schedule and dropped to third place. While Prost clinched the championship with two races to spare, Senna went on to win the last two races in Japan and Australia. The Brazilian had five wins in total, and finished second in the Drivers' Championship to Alain Prost, whilst McLaren finished runners up to Williams in the Constructors' Championship. The car scored 84 points during the season, 73 of which came from Senna, for an average of 2.63 per start. While Senna took the championship battle to the last few rounds, Michael Andretti had only a few points scoring finishes, including one 3rd place in his final race at Monza.
Views: 6665 Pietro Pecco
Home Museum Luciano Pavarotti, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe
The residence of Master Pavarotti was finished in 2005; It is located in the area that he had acquired in the mid-eighties. In that same area Pavarotti has dedicated himself to his passion for horses, building and opening a riding school. Since 1991, for 11 years, the Master has hosted in his estate a prestigious show jumping competition (CSIO), attended by the most famous show-jumpers of the international horse riding circuit. The villa has been designed following the instructions and drawings that the tenor gave to the architects and engineers who have supervised the construction. Many artifacts have been made by blacksmiths, carpenters, carvers, decorators from all over Italy who have created unique products. Even today his home reflected in every detail the personality of the one who conceived it. The house keeps personal items that he loved and contains the memories of his days spent in the company of family, friends and young students. The visit to this house will will enable visitors to experience Pavarotti in the light of its most intimate and warm rooms, to approach gently to his memory knowing his daily habits, finding the man he was once behind the scenes. You will especially enjoy the costumes so dear to him, pictures and videos that have marked his great artistic career, the countless awards and awards in a career of over forty years in opera houses around the world.
Views: 10923 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo 33 Bertone Carabo, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The Alfa Romeo Bertone Carabo 33, also known as Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo or Carabo Bertone, is a concept car built by Bertone in 1968. The car is a coupe based on the chassis and mechanics of Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, its name comes from a type of beetle family of Carabidae, characterized by metallic colors and bright, and it is with colors (a luminescent green with orange detail) of this insect that the car is exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in October 1968. The line is characterized by a wedge-shaped profile, putting a greater emphasis reduced height of the car (only 99 cm). The doors open to cutting scissors; a solution that Marcello Gandini, the designer of the car body, later also adopted by the Lamborghini Countach but the doors are not the only points in common between the two cars. In truth the line of Carabo, first by Gandini (then thirty) to have achieved international success, the basis for two other cars to huge success, always drawn to him: the Stratos Zero and the Lamborghini Countach precisely. The engine, 8 cylinders arranged in a V from 1,995 cm³, capable of delivering 230cv power to 8,800 rpm, placed in a central position, is the same of the custom-Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. The concept car, according to data reported by Bertone, is able to reach a top speed of 250 km / h and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.5 seconds. Designed in just 10 weeks, the prototype "Carabo" was built in a single copy, now in the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese, without then having a productive result.
Views: 7719 Pietro Pecco
Douaumont Ossuary, Verdun, Lorraine, France, Europe
The Douaumont ossuary is a memorial containing the remains of soldiers who died on the battlefield during the Battle of Verdun in World War I. It is located in Douaumont, France, within the Verdun battlefield. It was built on the initiative of Charles Ginisty, Bishop of Verdun. It has been designated a "nécropole nationale", or "national cemetery". During the 300 days of the Battle of Verdun (21 February 1916 – 19 December 1916) approximately 230,000 men died out of a total of 700,000 casualties (dead, wounded and missing). The battle became known in German as Die Hölle von Verdun (English: The Hell of Verdun), or in French as L'Enfer de Verdun, and was conducted on a battlefield covering less than 20 square kilometers (7.7 sq mi). The ossuary is a memorial containing the remains of both French and German soldiers who died on the Verdun battlefield. Through small outside windows, the skeletal remains of at least 130,000 unidentified combatants of both nations can be seen filling up alcoves at the lower edge of the building. On the inside of the ossuary building, the ceiling and walls are partly covered by plaques bearing names of French soldiers who fell during the Battle of Verdun. A few of the names are from fighting that took place in the area during World War II, as well as for veterans of the Indochina and Algerian Wars. The families of the soldiers that are recognized here by name contributed for those individual plaques. In front of the monument, and sloping downhill, lies the largest single French military cemetery of the First World War with 16,142 graves. It was inaugurated in 1923 by Verdun veteran André Maginot, who would later design the Maginot Line. The ossuary was officially inaugurated on 7 August 1932 by French President Albert Lebrun. The architects of the ossuary were Léon Azéma, Max Edrei and Jacques Hardy; George Desvallières designed the stained glass windows. The tower is 46 meters (151 ft) high and has a panoramic view of the battlefields. The tower contains a bronze death-bell, weighing over 2 metric tons (2.0 long tons; 2.2 short tons), called Bourdon de la Victoire, which is sounded at official ceremonies. It was offered by an American benefactor, Anne Thornburn Van Buren, in 1927. At the top of the tower is a rotating red and white "lantern of the dead", which until recently shone on the battlefields at night. The cloister is 137 meters (449 ft) long and contains 42 interior alcoves.
Views: 9680 Pietro Pecco
German tanks WWII, The Tank Museum, Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France, Europe
Germany World War II: 28 well preserved German armored fighting vehicles are shown, including several Marder, Panzer II, Panzer III, Panzer IV, Tiger I, Tiger II, Jagdpanzer and Panther. The Musée des Blindés or Musée Général Estienne is a tank museum located in the Loire Valley of France, in the town of Saumur. It is now one of the world's largest tank museums. It began in 1977 under the leadership of Colonel Michel Aubry, who convinced both the French military hierarchy and the local political authorities. Started 35 years ago with only a few hundred tracked vehicles, it has become a world-class collection which attracts visitors interested in the history of multinational tank development as well as professional armor specialists. From the very beginning, Colonel Aubry had made it a key policy of the museum to restore to running condition as many historically or technically significant vehicles as was feasible. The museum has the world's largest collection of armoured fighting vehicles and contains well over 880 vehicles, although the British Bovington Tank Museum has a larger number of tanks. Because of shortage of space, less than a quarter can be exhibited, despite the move to a much larger building in 1993. Over 200 of the vehicles are fully functional, including the only surviving German Tiger II tank still in full working order. It often performs in the spectacular armor demonstration for the public, called the Carrousel, which takes place in the summer every year. Saumur was the traditional training center for cavalry for over a century but now holds the current Armoured Cavalry Branch Training School which is entirely dedicated to train armor specialists. The tank museum has its early origins in a study collection. It is still a State institution funded by the Army, but it is managed by the Association des Amis du Museé des Blindés which publishes a substantial yearly magazine and encourages membership from the public. There is also a separate traditional horse cavalry museum in the town of Saumur. Armoured vehicles are presented in 11 themed rooms. This section gives the highlights. All experimental French military vehicles where development has been abandoned are kept here. The vast storage rooms are only accessible to special guests. There is an enormous library, archiving the records of the history of French armour. The museum was renamed after General Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, the creator of the French tank arm. The previous name Musée des Blindés directly translates to "Museum of Armoured Vehicles".
Views: 18495 Pietro Pecco
Białystok, Podlaskie, Poland, Europe
Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Located in the Białystok Uplands (Polish: Wysoczyzna Białostocka) of the Podlaskie Plain (Polish: Nizina Północnopodlaska) on the banks of the Biała River, Białystok ranks second in terms of population density, eleventh in population, and thirteenth in area, of the cities of Poland. It has historically attracted migrants from elsewhere in Poland and beyond, particularly from Central and Eastern Europe. This is facilitated by the fact that the nearby border with Belarus is also the eastern border of the European Union, as well as the Schengen Area. The city and its adjacent municipalities constitute Metropolitan Białystok. The city has a Warm Summer Continental climate, characterized by warm summers and long frosty winters. Forests are an important part of Białystok's character, and occupy around 1,756 ha (4,340 acres) (17.2% of the administrative area of the city) which places it as the fifth most forested city in Poland. The first settlers arrived in the 14th century. A town grew up and received its municipal charter in 1692. Białystok has traditionally been one of the leading centers of academic, cultural, and artistic life in Podlaskie and the most important economic center in northeastern Poland. In the nineteenth century Białystok was an important center for light industry, which was the reason for the substantial growth of the city's population. But after the fall of communism in 1989 many of these factories faced severe problems and subsequently closed down. Through the infusion of EU investment funds, the city continues to work to reshape itself into a modern metropolis. Białystok in 2010, was on the short-list, but ultimately lost the competition to become a finalist for European Capital of Culture in 2016. Over the centuries Białystok has produced a number of people who have provided unique contributions to the fields of science, language, politics, religion, sports, visual arts and performing arts. This environment was created in the mid-eighteenth century by the patronage of Jan Klemens Branicki for the arts and sciences. These include Ryszard Kaczorowski, the last émigré President of the Republic of Poland; L. L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto; and Albert Sabin, the co-developer of the polio vaccine. Białystok is situated in the Białystok Uplands (Polish: Wysoczyzna Białostocka) of the Podlaskie Plain (Polish: Nizina Północnopodlaska), part of what is known collectively as the Green Lungs of Poland. The Biała River, a left tributary of the Supraśl River, passes through the city. The landscape of the Białystok Upland is diverse, with high moraine hills and kame in excess of 200 m (660 ft) above sea level. Vast areas of outwash, a glacial plain formed of sediments deposited by meltwater at the terminus of a glacier, are covered by forests. Forests are an important part of the city character, they currently occupy approximately 1,756 ha (4,340 acres) (17.2% of the administrative area of the city) which places it as the fifth most "wooded" city in Poland; behind Katowice (38%), Bydgoszcz (30%), Toruń (22.9%) and Gdańsk (17.6%). Part of Knyszyn Forest is preserved within the city limits by two nature reserves a total area of 105 ha (260 acres). The Zwierzyniecki Forest Nature Reserve (Polish: Rezerwat przyrody Las Zwierzyniecki), which is contained within the city limits, is a fragment, 33.48 ha (82.7 acres), of the riparian forest with a dominant assemblage of oak and hornbeam. The Antoniuk Nature Reserve (Polish: Rezerwat Przyrody Antoniuk) is a 70.07 ha (173.1 acres) park in the city that preserves the natural state of a forest fragment characteristic of the Białystok Upland, with a dominant mixed forest of hazel and spruce. The 40 ha (99 acres) of forests lying in the vicinity of the Dojlidy Ponds are administered by the Central Sports and Recreation Center in Białystok (Polish: Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji w Białymstoku MOSiR). The Dojlidy Ponds recreation area includes a public beach, walking trails, birdwatching and fishing. Historically, Białystok has been a destination for internal and foreign immigration, especially from Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to the Polish minority, there was a significant Jewish majority in Białystok. According to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 66,000, Jews constituted 41,900 (around 63% percent). Białystok's pre-World War II Jewish population constituted about 63 percent of the city's total population of 107,000. World War II changed all of this, in 1939, around 107,000 people lived in Białystok, but in 1946 -- only 56,759, and to this day there is much less ethnic diversity than in the previous 300 years of the city's history.
Views: 32054 Pietro Pecco
Ferrari Arno XI, Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe
The Arno XI is a hydroplane inspired by Achille Castoldi in the early 1950s and built by Timossi Azzano’s Cantieri boatyard located on Lake Como. Castoldi wanted to establish a world water speed record so he persuaded then Ferrari racing drivers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi to influence Enzo Ferrari to supply him with a 4.5-litre, V12 Ferrari engine; the same engine that gave Ferrari his first Grand Prix victory with the Ferrari 375 F1 at Silverstone Circuit in 1951. Castoldi managed to further increase horse power by attaching two superchargers. The result was a 502 bhp speedboat, which he used to hit a 150.19 mph top speed in October 1953 on Lake Iseo. That remains the world speed record for an 800 kg boat till today. Arno XI was later sold and raced in numerous competitions, finally retiring in 1960. It has since been restored and is expected to go for up for sale by RM Auctions for up to €1.5m.
Views: 5509 Pietro Pecco
Palmanova, Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, Europe
Palmanova is a town and comune in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia. It is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Udine, 28 kilometres (17 mi) from Gorizia and 55 kilometres (34 mi) from Trieste near the junction of the Autostrada Alpe-Adria (A23) and the Autostrada Venezia-Trieste (A4). The entire town of Palmanova is famous for its concentric citadel or fortress plan and structure, called a star fort, imitated in the Modern era by numerous military architects. It consists of three rings, which were built in stages. The first circle, with a circumference of 7 kilometres (4 mi), was built starting in 1593; its construction took 30 years. The second phase of construction took place between 1658 and 1690. Between 1806 and 1813 the last work was performed. The fortress consists of: 9 ravelins, 9 bastions, 9 lunettes, 18 cavaliers. On 7 October 1593, the superintendent of the Republic of Venice founded a revolutionary new kind of settlement: Palmanova. The city's founding date commemorated the victory of European forces (supplied primarily by the Italian States and the Spanish kingdom) over Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto, during the War of Cyprus. Also honored on 7 October was Saint Justina, chosen as the city's patron saint. Using all the latest military innovations of the 16th century, this small town was a fortress in the shape of a nine-pointed star, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi. In between the points of the star, ramparts protruded so that the points could defend each other. A moat surrounded the town, and three large, guarded gates allowed entry. Marcantonio Barbaro headed a group of Venetian noblemen in charge of building the town, Marcantonio Martinego was in charge of construction, and Giulio Savorgnan acted as an adviser. The outer line of fortifications was completed under the Napoleonic domination. From 1815 to 1866 the city was under Austria, when it was annexed to Italy together with Veneto and the western Friuli. In 1960 Palmanova was declared a national monument. American professor Edward Wallace Muir Jr. said on Palmanova: "The humanist theorists of the ideal city designed numerous planned cities that look intriguing on paper but were not especially successful as livable spaces. Along the northeastern frontier of their mainland empire, the Venetians began to build in 1593 the best example of a Renaissance planned town: Palmanova, a fortress city designed to defend against attacks from the Ottomans in Bosnia. Built ex nihilo according to humanist and military specifications, Palmanova was supposed to be inhabited by self-sustaining merchants, craftsmen, and farmers. However, despite the pristine conditions and elegant layout of the new city, no one chose to move there, and by 1622 Venice was forced to pardon criminals and offer them free building lots and materials if they would agree to settle the town. Thus began the forced settlement of this magnificent planned space, which remains lifeless to this day and is visited only by curious scholars of Renaissance cities and bored soldiers who are still posted there to guard the Italian frontier". Palmanova is a city in Italy constructed during the renaissance and it is a city built following the ideals of a utopia. It is a concentric city with the form of a star, with three nine sided ring roads intersecting in the main military radiating streets. It was built at the end of the 16th century by the Venetian Republic which was, at the time, a major center of trade. It is actually considered to be a fort, or citadel, because the military architect Giulio Savorgnano designed it to be a Venetian military station on the eastern frontier as protection from the Ottoman Empire. During the renaissance many ideas of a utopia, both as a society and as a city, surfaced. Utopia was considered to be a place where there was perfection in the whole of its society. This ideas started by Sir Thomas More, when he wrote the book Utopia. The book described the physical features of a city as well as the life of the people who lived in it. His book sparked a flame in literary circles. A great many other books of similar nature were written in short order. They all followed a major theme: equality. Everyone had the same amount of wealth, respect, and life experiences. The society had a calculated elimination of variety and a monotonous environment. The city where they lived was always geometric in shape, and was surrounded by a wall. These walls provided military strength, but also protected the city by preserving and passing on man's knowledge. The knowledge, learning and science gave form to the daily life of the people living inside the walls. The knowledge of each person was shared by the entire society, and there was no way to let any information either in or out. As Thomas More said in his book, "He that knows one knows them all, they are so alike one another".
Views: 26018 Pietro Pecco
Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain, Europe
The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. The Basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title Our Lady of the Pillar praised as "Mother of the Hispanic Peoples" by Pope John Paul II. It is reputed to be the first church dedicated to Mary in history. Local traditions take the history of this basilica to the dawn of Christianity in Spain attributing to an apparition to Saint James the Great, the apostle who is believed by tradition to have brought Christianity to the country. This is the only reported apparition of Mary to have occurred before her believed Assumption. Many of the kings of Spain, many other foreign rulers and saints have paid their devotion before this statue of Mary. Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Ávila, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade are among the foremost ones. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is one of two minor basilicas in the city of Zaragoza, and is co-cathedral of the city alongside the nearby La Seo Cathedral. The architecture is of Baroque style, and the present building was predominantly built between 1681 and 1872. The present spacious church in Baroque style was begun in 1681 by Charles II, King of Spain and completed in 1686. The early constructions were supervised by Felipe Sanchez and were later modified by Francisco Herrera the Younger under John of Austria the Younger. In 1725, the Cabildo of Zaragoza decided to change the aspect of the Holy Chapel and commissioned the architect Ventura Rodríguez, who transformed the building into its present dimensions of 130 meters long by 67 wide, with its eleven cupolas and four towers. The area most visited is the eastern part of the chapel, because this is where the Holy Chapel by Ventura Rodríguez (1754) is built, which houses the venerated image of the Virgin. Around the Holy Chapel are the vaults or domes painted with frescoes by Francisco Goya: The Queen of Martyrs and Adoration of the Name of God. By 1718 the church had been vaulted over. However, it was not until 1872 that the final touches were put to these vaults, when the main dome and the final spire were finished. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 three bombs were dropped on the church but none of them exploded. Two of them are still on show in the Basilica. Notable choirmasters include the Baroque composer Joseph Ruiz Samaniego. The statue is wooden and 39 cm tall and rests on a column of jasper. The tradition of the shrine of El Pilar, as given by Our Lady in an apparition to Sister Mary Agreda and written about in The Mystical City of God, is that Our Lady was carried on a cloud by the angels to Zaragoza during the night. While they were traveling, the angels built a pillar of marble, and a miniature image of Our Lady. Our Lady gave the message to St James and added that a church was to be built on the site where the apparition took place. The pillar and the image were to be part of the main altar. The image was crowned in 1905 with a crown designed by the Marquis of Griñi, and valued at 450,000 pesetas (£18,750, 1910).
Views: 5880 Pietro Pecco
Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France, Europe
Amboise is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies on the banks of the Loire River, 17 miles (27 km) east of Tours. Today a small market town, it was once home of the French royal court. The town of Amboise is also only about 11 miles (18 km) away from the historic Château de Chenonceau, situated on the Cher River near the small village of Chenonceaux. Its former name was Ambacia, from the old name of the river and marsh Amasse. The city is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France, whose Château d'Amboise, which dominates the town, is located just 500 metres away. The narrow streets contain some good examples of timbered housing. Just outside of the city is the Pagode de Chanteloup, a 44 metre tall Chinese Pagoda built in 1775 by the Duke of Choiseul. The Pagoda is seven levels high, with each level slightly smaller than the last one. An interior staircase to reach all levels is open to the public. The Musée de la Poste (in the Hôtel Joyeuse) is a museum tracing the history of the postal delivery service. A 19th-century fountain by John Oswald of a turtle topped by a teddy bear figure, standing in front of the spot where the markets are held. Clovis I (c. 466--511) and the Visigoths signed a peace treaty of alliance with the Arvernians in 503, which assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom in the Battle of Vouillé in 507. Joan of Arc passed through in 1429 on her way to Orleans to the Battle of Patay. The Amboise conspiracy was the conspiracy of Condé and the Huguenots in 1560 against Francis II, Catherine de' Medici, and the Guises. The Edict of Amboise (1563) conceded the free exercise of worship to the Protestants. The chateau at Amboise was home to Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, for much of her early life, being raised there at the French court of Henry II. She arrived in France from Scotland in 1548, aged six, via the French king's favourite palace at Saint Germain en Laye near Paris, and remained in France until 1561, when she returned to her homeland - sailing up the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh on 15 August that year. Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life in Amboise. Some of his inventions are still there and have not been removed. The house has lost some of its original parts, but it still stands today and has a beautiful overlook of the Loire River. Here was born in 1743 -- Louis Claude de Saint-Martin French philosopher, known as Le Philosophe Inconnu. (d. 1803). Abd el Kader Ibn Mouhi Ad-Din (c. 1807--83) was imprisoned at the Château d'Amboise.
Views: 2825 Pietro Pecco
Żubroń, Białowieża National Park, Białowieża, Podlaskie, Poland, Europe
Żubroń is a hybrid of domestic cattle and wisent. The wisent is the European bison; hence, the żubroń is analogous to the American beefalo. The name żubroń was officially chosen from hundreds of proposals sent to the Polish weekly magazine Przekrój during a contest organised in 1969. The żubroń was first created by Leopold Walicki in 1847, although the hybrid may also have appeared at an earlier time. After World War I, various scientists considered żubroń a possible replacement for domestic cattle. Żubroń turned out to be more durable and less susceptible to disease. In addition, the animal could be bred on marginal grazing land with no farm infrastructure and with minimal husbandry in huge state agricultural farms (SAFs). From 1958, the work on żubroń herds was continued by the Polish Academy of Sciences in various laboratories, most notably in Białowieża and Młodzikowo. During the first 16 years of experiments, a total of 71 animals were born, including Filon, the first żubroń born to a żubroń mother (August 6, 1960). The animal was intended to become a hardy and cheap alternative to cattle. The experiment was continued until the late 1980s, when the results of the breeding programmes were deemed unsatisfactory. Various factors contributed to this decision, including the severe economic difficulties of the Polish socialist economy in the 1980s, a lack of interest from the notoriously ineffective SAFs, and fears that żubroń would crossbreed with the endangered wild wisent, contaminating their gene pool. The two notable centres for experiments on the species were Łękno (391 animals altogether) and Popielno (121 animals), while limited experiments were also held in the reserve of Askania Nova in the USSR. This was discontinued, and the sole surviving herd consists of several animals only, kept at Bialowieski National Park. As of 2007, however, there are press releases suggesting the breeding and experiments are continuing in Karolewo in Greater Poland. Żubroń are heavy animals, with males weighing up to 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb) and females up to 810 kilograms (1,790 lb). They are strong, resistant to disease and tolerant of harsh weather conditions. The first-cross calves have to be born by caesarean section, because although they may be carried successfully to full term, parturition never occurs. Males are infertile in the first generation. Females are fertile and can be crossbred with either parent species, i.e. with cattle or wisent, and males from these backcrosses are fertile.
Views: 7905 Pietro Pecco
Château de Chenonceau, Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France, Europe
The Château de Chenonceau is a French château spanning the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. It is one of the most well-known châteaux of the Loire valley. The estate of Chenonceau is first mentioned in writing in the 11th century. The current château was built in 1514--1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. The bridge over the river was built (1556-1559) to designs by the French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme, and the gallery on the bridge (1570--1576) to designs by Jean Bullant. An architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance, Château de Chenonceau and its gardens are open to the public. Other than the Royal Palace of Versailles, it is the most visited château in France. The château is classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. Today, Chenonceau is a major tourist attraction and in 2007 received around 800,000 visitors. In the 13th century, the fief of Chenonceau belonged to the Marques family. The original château was torched in 1412 to punish owner Jean Marques for an act of sedition. He rebuilt a château and fortified mill on the site in the 1430s. Jean Marques's indebted heir Pierre Marques found it necessary to sell. Thomas Bohier (fr) Chamberlain for King Charles VIII of France purchased the castle from Pierre Marques in 1513 (this leads to 2013 being considered the 500th anniversary of the castle: MDXIII--MMXIII.) Bohier demolished the castle, though its 15th-century keep was left standing, and built an entirely new residence between 1515 and 1521. The work was sometimes overseen by his wife Katherine Briçonnet, who delighted in hosting French nobility, including King Francis I on two occasions. In 1535 the château was seized from Bohier's son by King Francis I of France for unpaid debts to the Crown; after Francis' death in 1547, Henry II offered the château as a gift to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who became fervently attached to the château along the river. In 1555 she commissioned Philibert de l'Orme to build the arched bridge joining the château to its opposite bank. Diane then oversaw the planting of extensive flower and vegetable gardens along with a variety of fruit trees. Set along the banks of the river, but buttressed from flooding by stone terraces, the exquisite gardens were laid out in four triangles. Diane de Poitiers was the unquestioned mistress of the castle, but ownership remained with the crown until 1555, when years of delicate legal maneuvers finally yielded possession to her. After King Henry II died in 1559, his strong-willed widow and regent Catherine de' Medici forced Diane to exchange it for the Château Chaumont. Queen Catherine then made Chenonceau her own favorite residence, adding a new series of gardens. As Regent of France, Catherine would spend a fortune on the château and on spectacular nighttime parties. In 1560, the first ever fireworks display seen in France took place during the celebrations marking the ascension to the throne of Catherine's son Francis II. The grand gallery, which extended along the existing bridge to cross the entire river, was dedicated in 1577. She also added rooms between the chapel and the library on the east side of the corps de logis, as well as a service wing on the west side of the entry courtyard. Catherine considered an even greater expansion of the château, shown in an engraving published by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau in the second (1579) volume of his book Les plus excellents bastiments de France. If this project had been executed, the current château would have been only a small portion of an enormous manor laid out "like pincers around the existing buildings". On Catherine's death in 1589 the château went to her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, wife of King Henry III. At Chenonceau Louise was told of her husband's assassination in 1589 and she fell into a state of depression, spending the remainder of her days wandering aimlessly along the château's corridors dressed in mourning clothes amidst somber black tapestries stitched with skulls and crossbones. Henri IV obtained Chenonceau for his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrées by paying the debts of Catherine de' Medici, which had been inherited by Louise and were threatening to ruin her. In return Louise left the château to her niece Françoise de Lorraine, at that time six years old and betrothed to the four-year-old César de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, the natural son of Gabrielle d'Estrées and Henri IV.
Views: 24243 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
Museo Storico Alfa Romeo is Alfa Romeo's official museum, located in Arese (Milan), and displaying a permanent collection of Alfa Romeo cars and engines. After being closed down in 2011, the museum reopened in June 2015. The museum was officially inaugurated on 18 December 1976, and is located in the former Alfa Romeo Arese factory area. At the beginning of 2009 the museum was closed down a first time for renovations and opened in the end of the year, to celebrate Alfa Romeo’s 100th birthday in 2010. It was closed once more in February 2011, reportedly for renovation work again. The renovation project was laid down at the end of 2013, and restoration work only started in Summer 2014. Centerpiece of the renewed structure are Alfa red projecting roofs added to the original 1970s structure. After four years the Museum officially reopened on 24 June 2015, when it hosted the press unveiling of the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia and Alfa Romeo logo, both key steps in the relaunch of the brand. On 30 June 2015 the museum reopened to the public. The museum is dedicated to over 100 years of history of the Alfa Romeo marque, which production included automobiles, commercial vehicles, railway locomotives, tractors, buses, trams, marine and aircraft engines. The museum spreads over 4,800 square metres (52,000 sq ft). Its six floors are divided into four theme areas, including a historical review of all Alfa Romeo road cars produced since 1910, prototypes and dream cars, aircraft and aeronautical projects, and scale models and awards. The museum collection numbers over 250 cars and 150 engines, of which approximately half were on display. These included at least one example of each model produced, plus prototypes and racing cars. Some of the museum cars are regularly on loan for festivals and historical events, like Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Mille Miglia. The renewed 2015 exhibit includes 69 cars. Scuderia del Portello is an Italian sports association dedicated to the activities of Alfa Romeo cars and historic models in motorsport and rallies; the official club is located at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese. On February 3, 1982, the journalist Luca Grandori, together with Edilberto Mandelli, Pietro Rondo, Giorgio Schoen, Stefano Senin and Renato Ughi, founded the Scuderia in Arese as part of the Centro Direzionale Alfa Romeo with the patronage of the mother company. The name recalled the suburbs of Milan where the company’s first factories were built. The Scuderia was conceived as a structure for giving support and technical assistance to drivers racing Alfa Romeo cars which were no longer in production, but the articles of association stated that its aim was also to promote the brand, as well as to safeguard its historical and technological heritage, as a contribution to the history of car racing. It immediately became the official Alfa Romeo team for historical car races. In 1990 Scuderia del Portello changed its statute and broadened its activity to also include modern racing cars, becoming an official club of the communication of the brand management. On that occasion the logo was changed as well, taking on its present appearance which recalls the form of the Alfa Romeo 1900 radiator. The current president and team principal is Marco Cajani.
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Massimo Ferrero, Genoa - Sampdoria 0-1, Genoa, Italy, Europe
The derby of Genoa, but universally known as Derby della Lanterna, is a football match between the two most important football teams in Genoa, Genoa (Griffins) and Sampdoria (Sampdoria). To date, the derby contrasts these two teams, but he has proposed in the first half of the twentieth century, as well as Genoa, although other configurations such as Andrea Doria, Sampierdarenese (in the thirties, when Sampierdarena had already become part of the Municipality of Genoa) Liguria and the dominant, though the latter only in friendly matches because the regulation of the time prevented the inclusion of teams from the same city in the same group stage. Also of note, between 1919 and 1923, the participation of other teams in the qualifying rounds of Genoa Ligurian valid for the ultimate football league, with its exponential increase in the number of derby. For the record it is, in order of appearance, Young Player of Grifone (club disbanded at the end of the 1919-20 season), and Young Player Spes Genoa Genoa (club disbanded at the end of the 1921-22 season FIGC). The derby has lived in Genoa with great passion by fans, who are preparing for the event weeks before and remember it for weeks after. The spectacle of colors and sounds usually proposed by the two tiers of opposing fans (Stairways Stairways South and North Genoa Sampdoria) gives a contribution to the atmosphere of the game rarely faked. The derby between Genoa and Sampdoria at the top of the league derby of the warmest in the world and is the first Italian derby that has been played in series A, series B (similarly to the derby of Verona) and also in Italian Cup. The first derby between Genoa and Sampdoria: November 3, 1946, Sampdoria - Genoa 3-0. The last derby played so far: February 3, 2014, Genoa-Sampdoria 0-1. The next derby is in the program (except for advances or delays) September 28, 2014, for the fifth day of the Serie A 2014-2015 with Genoa host formation. The derby return home of Sampdoria, is scheduled for February 22, 2015. The derby has been held since 1902, the year of foundation of the football section of the Andrea Doria, but the culmination of visibility at the national level there was in the late eighties and early nineties, when the two teams were to top of Italian football due to the Presidents Paolo Mantovani and Aldo Spinelli. The first challenges actually date back to 1898 (friendly with the Pro Liguria Genoa Sampierdarena, won by Genoa 4-2) and 1900 (preliminary rounds of the championship with the Gymnastics Sampierdarenese 7-0 defeat of Genoa Sampierdarena). The season 1957-58 and the calendar year 1958 were the only years where they were played derby 4 (2 of 2 league and Italian Cup). Since the founding of Sampdoria in 1946 from the merger of the Andrea Doria Sampierdarenese with the derby has always been played at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Marassi neighborhood. In the 1994-1995 season, there was a strong risk of dispute for the first time the derby back in a neutral venue, view the disqualification of the field of Genoa landlord. He had been designated the Renato Curi Stadium in Perugia as the venue of the meeting, but the CAF quashed the disqualification as a result of the action of Genoa, and the challenge could contend regularly to Ferraris. Overall, the Genoa derby has competed in 195 (against other teams) and won 85; Genoa played his first derby in 1902, winning it. Sampdoria have competed in 103 (only against Genoa) derby, winning 36 while Genoa has won 28 and ties were 43; since the merger Sampdoria played the first derby in 1946, winning it. Worth noting that Andrea Doria and Sampierdarenese competed in four derby nationals in seasons 1926-27 and 1945-46, with three wins and a draw the circles. The two teams also met in Serie C in 1931-32.
Views: 70190 Pietro Pecco
Joy Division, Closer album front cover, Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy, Europe
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion). Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences to develop a sound and style that pioneered the post-punk movement of the late 1970s. According to music critic Jon Savage, the band "were not punk but were directly inspired by its energy". Their self-released 1978 debut EP, An Ideal for Living, drew the attention of the Manchester television personality Tony Wilson. Joy Division's debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was released in 1979 on Wilson's independent record label, Factory Records, and drew critical acclaim from the British press. Despite the band's growing success, vocalist Ian Curtis was beset with depression and personal difficulties, including a dissolving marriage and his diagnosis of epilepsy. Curtis found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, and often had seizures during performances. On the eve of the band's first American tour in May 1980, Curtis committed suicide. Joy Division's posthumously released second album, Closer (1980), and the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" became the band's highest charting releases. After the death of Curtis, the remaining members continued as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success. On 20 July 1976, Sumner and Hook (who had been friends since the age of eleven) separately attended the second Sex Pistols show at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall. The following day Hook borrowed £35 from his mother to buy his first bass guitar. Sumner later said that he felt that the Pistols "destroyed the myth of being a pop star, of a musician being some kind of god that you had to worship". Inspired by the performance, Sumner and Hook formed a band with their friend Terry Mason, who had also attended the show. Sumner bought a guitar, and Mason a drum kit. They invited schoolfriend Martin Gresty to join as vocalist, but he turned them down after getting a job at a local factory. An advertisement was placed in the Virgin Records store in Manchester for a vocalist. Tony Tabac played drums that night after joining the band two days earlier. Deborah Curtis, Ian's wife, stated that Morris "fitted perfectly" with the other men, and that with his addition Warsaw became a "complete 'family'". In order to avoid confusion with the London punk band Warsaw Pakt, the band renamed themselves Joy Division in early 1978, borrowing their new name from the prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel The House of Dolls. In December, the group recorded what became their debut EP, An Ideal for Living at Pennine Sound Studio and played their final gig as Warsaw on New Year's Eve at The Swinging Apple in Liverpool. Billed as Warsaw to ensure an audience, the band played their first gig as Joy Division on 25 January 1978 at Pip's Disco in Manchester. In January 1980, Joy Division set out on a European tour. While the tour was difficult, Curtis experienced only two grand mal seizures in the two months preceding the tour's final date. With Martin Hannett again producing, the band recorded their second album, Closer, in March at London's Britannia Row Studios. March also saw the release of the Licht und Blindheit single (featuring the songs "Dead Souls" and "Atmosphere") on the small French label Sordide Sentimental. Lack of sleep and long hours destabilised Curtis's epilepsy and his seizures became almost uncontrollable. Curtis would often have seizures during shows, which left him feeling ashamed and depressed. While the band was concerned about their singer, audience members on occasion thought his behaviour was part of the show. On 7 April, Curtis attempted suicide by overdosing on phenobarbitone. The next evening, Joy Division was set to play a gig at the Derby Hall in Bury. With Curtis recovering, it was decided that the band would play a combined set with Alan Hempstall of Crispy Ambulance and Simon Topping of A Certain Ratio filling in on vocals for the first few songs. Curtis came onstage to perform for part of the set. When Topping came back out to finish the set for Curtis, some in the audience started throwing bottles at the stage. Gretton leapt into the crowd and a riot ensued.
Views: 9084 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Freccia d'Oro, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The Alfa Romeo 6C name was used on road, race, and sports cars produced between 1927 and 1954 by Alfa Romeo; the "6C" name refers to six cylinders of the car's straight-six engine. Bodies for these cars were made by coachbuilders such as James Young, Zagato, Touring, Castagna, and Pininfarina. Starting from 1933 there was also a 6C version with a factory Alfa body, built in Portello. In the early 1920s Vittorio Jano got a task to create a lightweight, high performance vehicle to replace the Giuseppe Merosi designed RL and RM models. The car was introduced in April 1925 at the Salone dell’ Automobile di Milano as the 6C 1500. It was based on the P2 racing car, using single overhead cam 1,487 cc inline six-cylinder motor producing 44 horsepower, in the 1928 was presented the 1500 Sport which was the first Alfa Romeo road car with double overhead camshafts. The 6C 2500 Freccia d'Oro (Golden Arrow) was the first postwar Alfa Romeo. 680 were built until 1951, with bodies by Alfa. The car was a Berlina bodystyle with 5-6 seats based on the 2500 Sport. It has a wheelbase of 3,000 millimetres (120 in) and it weights 1,550 kilograms (3,420 lb).[42] With a 4-speed manual gearbox this 90 bhp (67 kW) car could achieve a top speed of 155 kilometres per hour (96 mph).
Views: 2018 Pietro Pecco
Barolo, Cuneo, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy, Europe
Barolo is an Italian town of 739 inhabitants of the province of Cuneo, in Piedmont. The country is located on a small plateau, in the form of spur, protected by the surrounding mountains, an amphitheater. It is hitting the town the different positioning of its urban core compared to neighboring countries, placed around the top of a hill or along a ridge. There is no precise information on the birth of Barolo, though the area was inhabited in prehistoric times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes, the first actual settlement on the territory of barbarian origin and dating back to the Middle Ages. During the rule Longobardo depended Gastaldo of Diano, step 'then under the County of Alba and later under the March of Turin. The original core of the castle was built in that period by Berenger I, as a defense against Saracen raids. In 1200 the village is mentioned in Rigestum Comunis Albe with the name of Villa Barogly. In 1250 the family Falletti, acquired all the possessions of Barolo by the city of Alba. The Falletti were a powerful family of bankers, representatives of the new bourgeoisie, which marked the fate of Barolo and the surrounding areas. Around 1300 they came to control up to fifty Piedmontese feuds. In 1486 Barolo became part of the State Monferrino, then moved in 1631 to the Savoy the Treaty of Cherasco. Barolo became Marquis in 1730, the first Marquis was Gerolamo IV. After Gerolamo IV, there were only two other Marchesi: Ottavio Alessandro Falletti and Carlo Tancredi, the latter's death ruled his wife the Marquise Juliette Colbert, who was known for his brilliance and for his actions in favor of the weakest. When he died in 1864 in his will there was the establishment of the Opera Pia Barolo which left the entire family fortune. The charming and imposing structure tells a thousand years of history, full of suggestions and tips. Inside the impressive halls, you can visit the Historical Library ordered by Silvio Pellico and the Country Museum. Frequently they are held important art exhibitions. In the ancient cellars hosts the prestigious Enoteca Regionale del Barolo. Since 2007 he is part of the circuit of 8 castles Castelli Doc. The network of castles include the castles of Grinzane Cavour, Barolo, Serralunga d'Alba, Govone, Magliano Alfieri, Roddi, Mango and Benevello. It is also inserted in the circuit of "Open Castles" Southern Piedmont. The history of the castle is believed to have begun, given the lack of historical documents about his birth, in the tenth century, when Berengar I allowed the local feudal lord to erect an effective defense against the frequent raids of the Hungarians and the Saracens. Of the original structure remains very little: the keep, still visible today, is part of it. The first written record dates back to the '200 in a deed of transfer of property by the Lords of Marcenasco in favor of the town of Alba, who, a few years later, he sold it to the Falletti who renovated it significantly and made it permanent residence of a branch of the house. In 1544, however, it was made by the French governor of plunder neighboring Cherasco, during the long wars of the time. He fell later to Giacomo and Manfredo repair the considerable damage, bringing further modification and improvement. The new, the result of sixteenth-century restorations, remained substantially unchanged until 1864, the year of the death of Juliette Colbert, last Marchioness Falletti. Meanwhile, the castle had become a country residence due to the transfer of the principal residence of the Falletti, which occurred in 1814, at Palazzo Barolo in Turin. Among its illustrious guests during the last era of the Falletti stands undoubtedly Silvio Pellico, presented the Marchioness Cesare Balbo after decades of imprisonment of Spielberg, who later became over the years a close friend, trusted adviser and director of the library Falletti. Pellico and the Marchesa used to spend long days together between the Falletti castle and the castle of Volta, dedicated to reading and conversation. The visit to the Castle Falletti focuses on the first floor, the so-called noble floor, the first room you come across going up the stairs is the Hall of the Four Seasons, spacious and bright room with fine furnishings empire building that owes its name to four paintings surmount many doors and each dedicated to a season of the year. From this room has access to the Hall of coats of arms, whose ceiling is decorated with the emblems of the Falletti is that of the families with whom they are related. Besides the monumental fireplace and its century stucco decoration, this room houses a number of years the meetings of the council.
Views: 3117 Pietro Pecco
Alfa 40/60 HP Aerodinamica, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The ALFA 40/60 HP is a road car and race car made by Italian car manufacturer ALFA (later to become Alfa Romeo). This model was made between 1913 and 1922 and was designed by Giuseppe Merosi, as were all other Alfas at that time. The 40/60 HP has a 6082 cc straight-4 engine with overhead valves, which produced 70 bhp (52 kW) and its top speed was 125 km/h (78 mph). The race model 40-60 HP Corsa had 73 bhp (54 kW) and a top speed of 137 km/h (85 mph), and it also won its own category in the Parma-Berceto race. In 1914 the milanese count Marco Ricotti commissioned to Carrozzeria Castagna the ALFA 40/60 HP Aerodinamica (also known as Siluro Ricotti), a prototype model which could reach 139 km/h (86 mph) top speed. A replica of that car was created in the 1970s, and now it is shown in the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum. 40/60 HP production and development was interrupted by the First World War, but resumed briefly afterwards. 40-60 HP Corsa had now 82 bhp (61 kW) and a top speed of around 150 km/h (93 mph). Giuseppe Campari won the 1920 and 1921 races at Mugello with this car. The 40-60 HP was based on a ladder chassis of C-shaped stamped steel rails. Its engine was a 6,082 cc or 371 cu in (bore and stroke 100 x 160 mm, compression ratio 4.35:1) overhead valve inline-four cylinder, fed by a single vertical carburettor. The en bloc cylinder block and cylinder head were split in two groups of two cylinders, and made of cast iron; the crankcase was cast aluminium, incorporating the four engine mountings. The two in-block camshafts were driven by a gear train located at the front of the engine. The driveline comprised a dry multi-plate clutch, a four-speed gearbox and an one-piece propeller shaft, spinning inside a tube attached to the rear differential housing. At its open end, towards the gearbox, this tube forked out into two ends which, linked to the chassis, located the rear axle. The gearbox was positioned towards the middle of the chassis, almost underneath the driver, rather than in block with the engine to which it was connected by a short propshaft. Front and rear solid axles were sprung on longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf springs. Brakes were drums on the rear wheels, with both pedal and hand controls. The wheels were 5.5x19" Sankey-type pressed steel. The tipo corsa sat on a shortened wheelbase of 2,950 mm (116.1 in), instead of the road car's 3,200 mm (126.0 in). Kerb weight was 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) versus 1,250 kg (2,756 lb). The racing-prepared engine was fitted with two carburettors and had a 5.50:1 compression ratio. It produced 73 bhp (54 kW) at 2,000 rpm; after the war, for the 1920–22 races, it was brought to 82 bhp (61 kW) at 2,400 rpm. Top speed was 150 km/h (93 mph). The final drive ratio was 18/49 instead of the standard 17/49. The Sankey steel wheels were replaced by 6.0x20" knock-off wire wheels. Fuel tank capacity was expanded fom the standard 70 l (15 imp gal; 18 US gal) to 120 l (26 imp gal; 32 US gal).
Views: 1901 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
There was a prototype by Bertone of a replacement for Giulietta SS, named Giulia SS Bertone Prototipo, but the new shape did not enter production and the next generation Giulia SS carried over an unchanged Giulietta SS body. The bigger engine 1.6 L Giulia series replaced the Giulietta and was introduced at the March 1963 Geneva Motor Show. As Giulietta is the diminutive for Giulia in Italian, the new Giulia name was a wordplay hinting that the new car was a grown-up version of the Giulietta. In spite of a Giulia SS prototype, Alfa Romeo decided to retain the Giulietta-shaped SS in production. The 1,570cc engine made up to 200 km/h (120 mph) possible. The 1,570cc engine with Weber 40 DCOE2 carburetors was taken from Giulia Sprint Veloce and delivered 112 hp (84 kW) of power. Most Giulia SS had disc brakes at front wheels. An easy way to distinguish the Giulia SS from the Giulietta SS is by the dashboard. The Giulia has a leather underside with the glovebox at a different angle than the main fascia. The dashboard in the Giulietta is sloping and painted in one colour without a leather underside. Side badges carried "Giulia SS" scripts. Production ended in 1965, with a last single Sprint Speciale completed in 1966. 1,366 Giulietta Sprint Speciale and 1,400 Giulia Sprint Speciale were produced. 25 cars were converted to right hand drive by RuddSpeed.
Views: 1341 Pietro Pecco
Aachen Cathedral, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe
Aachen Cathedral, frequently referred to as the "Imperial Cathedral", is a Roman Catholic church in Aachen, Germany. The church is the oldest cathedral in northern Europe and was known as the "Royal Church of St. Mary at Aachen" during the Middle Ages. For 595 years, from 936 to 1531, the Aachen chapel was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and 12 queens. The church is the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Aachen. Charles the Great (Charlemagne) began the construction of the Palatine Chapel around 796, along with the building of the rest of the palace structures. The construction is credited to Odo of Metz. It suffered a large amount of damage around 881, by the Northmen and was restored in 983. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Gothic additions were added, including the choir in 1355. It was restored again in 1881. The core of the cathedral is the Carolingian Palatine Chapel, which is notably small in comparison to the later additions. In order to sustain the enormous flow of pilgrims in the Gothic period a choir hall was built: a two-part Capella vitrea (glass chapel) which was consecrated on the 600th anniversary of Charlemagne's death. A cupola, several other chapels and a steeple were also constructed at later dates. In 1978, it was one of the first 12 items to make the entry into the UNESCO list of world heritage sites, as the first German and one of the first three European historical ensembles. The cathedral uses two distinct architectural styles. First, the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne, modeled after San Vitale at Ravenna and considered to be Carolingian-Romanesque. Secondly, the choir in the Gothic style. In the western gallery on the lower floor, opposite the choir, the Throne of Charlemagne is to be found, which has been the object of new investigations in the past decades. The original Carolingian throne came from the spolia of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The appearance of the throne and its location in the Palatine Chapel did not change with the passage of centuries. Between 936 and 1531, thirty one German kings ascended to this throne after their anointment and coronation at the Altar of Mary. The Westwork (western facade) of the cathedral is of Carolingian origin, flanked by two stair-towers. It is a two-story building, completed by a porch from the 18th century at the west end. The bronze leaves attached to this porch, the Wolfstür (Wolf's Door) weigh 43 hundredweight altogether (cf. with this the Lousberg saga). The main entrance to the Cathedral, the door was cast in Aachen around 800 and was located between the westwork and the octogon in the so-called hexadecagon up to 1788. The portal was restored in 1924. Each leaf is divided into eight rectangles - a number which had religious symbolism in Christianity, as a symbol of Sunday, the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and also of perfection (as did twelve, also) and can be found in the measurements of the Palatine Chapel over and over again. These boxes were framed by decorative strips, which are made of egg-shaped decorations. The egg was considered a symbol of life and fertility from antiquity. In Christian belief it was embued with the even wider symbolism of Eternal Life. The door-rings in the shape of lions' heads are wreathed by 24 (i.e. two time twelve or three times eight) acanthus scrolls again to be understood at the deepest level through numerology. The Wolfstür's imitation of the shape of the ancient Roman temple door signifies Charlemagne's claim, to have established a New Rome in Aachen with the Palatine Chapel as the distinctive monumental building. In the forehall, there is a bronze sculpture of a bear, which was probably made in the tenth century, i.e. in Ottonian times. Opposite it is a bronze pine cone with 129 perforated scales, which stands 91 cm high (including its base); its date is controversial and ranges from the 3rd to the tenth century. Its base is clearly Ottonian and includes an inscription written in Leonine hexameter, which refers to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of Mesopotamia. According to one view, the pine cone would originally have served as a waterspout on a fountain and would been placed in the atrium of the Palatine chapel in Carolingian times. The upper level is characterised by an exceptionally fine brick western wall. Inside, it bulges outward, while the outside bulges inwards, so that the Carolingian west wall can be seen as a convex- concave bulge.
Views: 10157 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Lungo, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The Alfa Romeo 8C name was used on road, race and sports cars of the 1930s. The 8C means 8 cylinders, and originally referred to a straight 8-cylinder engine. The Vittorio Jano designed 8C was Alfa Romeo's primary racing engine from its introduction in 1931 to its retirement in 1939. In addition to the two-seater sports cars it was used in the world's first genuine single-seat Grand Prix racing car, the Monoposto 'Tipo B' - P3 from 1932 onwards. In its later development it powered such vehicles as the twin-engined 1935 6.3-litre Bimotore, the 1935 3.8-litre Monoposto 8C 35 Type C, and the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia Roadster. It also powered top-of-the-range coach-built production models. In 2004 Alfa Romeo revived the 8C name for a V8-engined concept car which has made it into production for 2007, the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. The 8C 2900 was designed to compete in sports car races in general and the Mille Miglia in particular. It used the 2.9 L version of the 8C engine and was based on the 8C 35 Grand Prix racing chassis. As such, it had an inline 8-cylinder 2.9-litre engine using two Roots type superchargers fed by two updraught Weber carburettors and fully independent suspension with Dubonnet-type trailing arm suspension with coil springs and hydraulic dampers at front and swing axles with a transverse leaf spring at the rear. The 8C 2900A was shown to the public at the 1935 London Motor Show and was advertised for sale there. The engine, with a compression ratio of 6.5:1 and a stated power output of 220 bhp (160 kW) at 5300 rpm, was detuned from the Grand Prix racing version. Ten 2900As were built, five in 1935 and five in 1936. Scuderia Ferrari entered three 8C 2900As in the 1936 Mille Miglia and again in the 1937 Mille Miglia. In 1936 they finished in the top three positions, with Marquis Antonio Brivio winning, Giuseppe Farina finishing second, and Carlo Pintacuda finishing third. In 1937 they finished in the top two positions, with Pintacuda winning and Farina finishing second; the third 2900A, driven by Clemente Biondetti, did not finish.[20] The 8C 2900A also won the 1936 Spa 24 Hours with Raymond Sommer and Francesco Severi. The 8C 2900B began production in 1937. The 2900B design made some concessions to comfort and reliability. The engine was detuned further, having a compression ratio of 5.75:1 and a stated power output of 180 bhp (130 kW) at 5200 rpm. The 2900B chassis was available in two wheelbases: the Corto (short) at 2,799 mm (110.2 in), which was longer than the 2900A's 2,718 mm (107.0 in) wheelbase, and the Lungo (long) at 3,000 mm (118.1 in). The wheels of the 2900B had 19-inch rims[18] fitted with 17-inch (432 mm) hydraulic drum brakes. Thirty-two 2900Bs were built in regular production, ten in 1937, and twenty-two in 1938. Another 2900B was assembled from parts in 1941. Most of these cars were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring, although a few were bodied by Pininfarina. An 8C 2900 with Pininfarina cabriolet bodywork was auctioned for US$4,072,000 by Christie's at Pebble Beach, California. This was the tenth highest price ever paid for a car at auction at the time.
Views: 6083 Pietro Pecco
Ponte Vecchio, Old Bridge, Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Europe
The Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio's two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie. The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333 save two of its central piers, as noted by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345, Giorgio Vasari recorded the tradition in his day, that attributed its design to Taddeo Gaddi, besides Giotto one of the few artistic names of the trecento still recalled two hundred years later. Modern historians present Neri di Fioravanti as a possible candidate. Sheltered in a little loggia at the central opening of the bridge is a weathered dedication stone, which once read Nel trentatrè dopo il mille-trecento, il ponte cadde, per diluvio dell' acque: poi dieci anni, come al Comun piacque, rifatto fu con questo adornamento. The Torre dei Mannelli was built at the southeast corner of the bridge to defend it. The bridge consists of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters (98 feet) the two side arches each span 27 meters (89 feet). The rise of the arches is between 3.5 and 4.4 meters (11½ to 14½ feet), and the span-to-rise ratio 5:1. It has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables before their premises, after authorization of the Bargello (a sort of a lord mayor, a magistrate and a police authority). The back shops (retrobotteghe) that may be seen from upriver, were added in the seventeenth century. It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a money-changer could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the "banco") was physically broken ("rotto") by soldiers, and this practice was called "bancorotto" (broken table; possibly it can come from "banca rotta" which means "broken bank"). Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything. During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat of August 4, 1944, unlike all other bridges in Florence. This was allegedly, according to many locals and tour guides, because of an express order by Hitler. Access to Ponte Vecchio was, however, obstructed by the destruction of the buildings at both ends, which have since been rebuilt using a combination of original and modern design. In order to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence's town hall) with the Palazzo Pitti, in 1565 Cosimo I de' Medici had Giorgio Vasari build the Vasari Corridor above it. To enforce the prestige of the bridge, in 1593 the Medici Grand Dukes prohibited butchers from selling there; their place was immediately taken by several gold merchants. The corporative association of butchers had monopolised the shops on the bridge since 1442. A stone with an inscription from Dante (Paradiso xvi. 140-7) records the spot at the entrance to the bridge where Buondelmonte de' Buondelmonti was murdered on behalf of the Amidei, in 1215, initiating the urban fighting of the Guelfs and Ghibellines. Along the Ponte Vecchio, there can be seen many padlocks affixed in various places, especially to the railing around the statue of Benvenuto Cellini. This is a recent tradition for the Ponte Vecchio, although it has been practiced in Russia and in Asia before. It was perhaps introduced by the padlock shop owner at the end of the bridge. It is popularly connected to idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river, the lovers became eternally bonded. This is an example of the negative impact of mass tourism: thousands of padlocks needed to be removed frequently, spoiling or damaging the structure of the centuries-old bridge; however, it seems to have decreased after the city administration put a sign on the bridge mentioning a €160 penalty for those caught locking something to the fence. There is a similar ongoing padlock phaenomena at Ponte Milvio, due to one of Federico Moccia's books. The bridge was severely damaged in the 1966 flood of the Arno. The bridge is mentioned in the aria "O mio babbino caro" by Giacomo Puccini.
Views: 17635 Pietro Pecco
Kpz Keiler Leopard, The Tank Museum, Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France, Europe
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the early 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and twelve other European countries, as well as several non-European nations. More than 3,480 Leopard 2s have been manufactured. The Leopard 2 first saw combat in Kosovo with the German Army and has also seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian contributions to the International Security Assistance Force. There are two main development batches of the tank, the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armour, and the "improved" batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armour together with other improvements. All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilized main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on). The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain. The baseline Leopard 2, sometimes informally called the "A0" to differentiate it from later versions, was the first series manufactured version. The vehicles were manufactured from October 1979 until March 1982, altogether 380 vehicles. 209 were built by Krauss Maffei and 171 by MaK. The basic equipment consisted of electrical-hydraulic WNA-H22, a fire control computer, a laser rangefinder, a wind sensor, a general purpose telescope EMES 15, a panorama periscope PERI R17, the tower sight FERO Z18, on the tower roof as well as a computer controlled tank testing set RPP 1--8. 200 of the vehicles had a low-light enhancer (PZB 200) instead of a thermal imaging. Two chassis served as driver training vehicles. Even as the Leopard 1 was entering service in 1965, an up-gunned version with the new Rheinmetall L44 120 mm gun was being considered to keep pace with newer Soviet designs, but this was cancelled in favour of the MBT-70 "super-tank" project developed jointly with the United States. The MBT-70 was a revolutionary design, but after large cost overruns, Germany withdrew from the project in 1969. Work on a national development was started in 1970 by Krauss-Maffei. A year later, a choice was made for it to be based on the earlier Experimentalentwicklung (later named Keiler) project of the late sixties (itself derived from the vergoldeter Leopard or "gilded Leopard"), instead of being a modified MBT-70 or Eber. The name of the design was determined in 1971 as "Leopard 2" with the original Leopard retroactively becoming the Leopard 1. Seventeen prototypes were ordered that year (only sixteen hulls were built). They had to have a maximum weight of fifty metric tons. On 11 December 1974 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the USA for the possible joint production of a new MBT, after the Americans had bought and investigated prototype hull number seven in 1973. In view of the experiences in the Yom Kippur War a much higher level of protection was demanded than was implemented in the prototypes, that used heavily sloped spaced armour. The weight class was increased to sixty tons. Prototype turret number fourteen was changed to test a new armour configuration, and was turned into a blockier looking turret as a result of using vertical steel perforated armour; it already had been much more voluminous than the turret of a Leopard 1 because of a large internal ammunition storage locker in the rear bustle. The Leopard 2 thus initially used perforated armour, and not Chobham armour as is sometimes claimed. PT-14 used the 120 mm Rheinmetall gun (as eventually did the U.S. M1 Abrams). After this, two new prototype hulls and three turrets were ordered, one (PT-20) mounting the original L7A3 105 mm gun and a Hughes fire control system, a second (PT-19) with the same fire control system but able to "swap out" the gun for the 120 mm Rheinmetall design (it was indeed so changed by the Americans), and one more (PT-21) mounting the Hughes-Krupp Atlas Elektronik EMES 13 fire control system, with the 120 mm gun. In mid-1976 prototype 19 was assembled and shipped to the USA, together with hull number twenty and a special target vehicle to test the armour. The prototype was called Leopard 2AV (Austere Version) because it had a simplified fire control system. It arrived in the US by the end of August 1976, and comparative tests between the Leopard 2 and the XM1 (the prototype name for the M1 Abrams) prototypes were held from 1 September at Aberdeen Proving Ground, lasting until December 1976.
Views: 1818 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo GP Tipo 159 "Alfetta", Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The Alfa Romeo 159, also known as the Alfetta (Little Alfa in Italian), is one of the most successful racing cars ever produced. The 158 and its derivative, the 159, took 47 wins from 54 Grands Prix entered. It was originally developed for the pre-World War II voiturette formula (1937) and has a 1.5 litre straight-8 supercharged engine. Following World War II, the car was eligible for the new Formula One introduced in 1947. In the hands of drivers such as Nino Farina, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli, it dominated the first two seasons of the World Championship of Drivers. At the end of the 1950 season, a further updated version known as the 159 was produced, which was used for the 1951 season. This version had reworked rear suspension, the old swing axle was replaced with a De-Dion axle and the engine produced around 420 bhp (313 kW) at 9600 rpm. But this amount of power out of a small engine with a big supercharger came at a price- it had horrendous fuel consumption. It did 1 1/2 miles to the gallon- compared to the Talbot-Lagos of the time which did 10 miles to the gallon. The reason for this was because the simplistically designed engine had been virtually unmodified, while bigger superchargers had been added over time. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first Formula One Grand Prix not won by an Alfa primarily because Fangio and Farina both had to stop twice simply to re-fuel their cars- and the Ferrari of José Froilán González did better on fuel and would go on to win the race, with Fangio second. Still, the Alfa had the edge on performance and with wins in Switzerland, France and Spain, Fangio won his first of five championships that year. For their second-to-last World Championship race (until 1979), the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Alfa Romeo introduced a new evolution version known as the 159M, the "M" standing for Maggiorata ("enlarged"). After an unsuccessful bid by Alfa Romeo to obtain government assistance to meet development costs, the team announced their retirement from Grand Prix racing at the end of 1951 (leaving the development of the 2.5 litre Alfa Romeo 160). This, combined with problems for other Formula One teams lead to a decree by the FIA that all Grand Prix races counting towards the World Championship of Drivers in 1952 and 1953 would be for cars complying with Formula Two rather than Formula One. The car's last Grand Prix win came in 1953 at Merano Grand Prix, Italy.
Views: 1319 Pietro Pecco
Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Europe
The Palazzo Medici, also called the Palazzo Medici Riccardi after the later family that acquired and expanded it, is a Renaissance palace located in Florence, Italy. The palace was designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo for Cosimo de' Medici, head of the Medici banking family, and was built between 1444 and 1484. It was well known for its stone masonry includes rustication and ashlar. The tripartite elevation used here expresses the Renaissance spirit of rationality, order, and classicism on human scale. This tripartite division is emphasized by horizontal stringcourses that divide the building into stories of decreasing height. The transition from the rusticated masonry of the ground floor to the more delicately refined stonework of the third floor makes the building seem lighter and taller as the eye moves upward to the massive cornice that caps and clearly defines the building's outline. Michelozzo di Bartolomeo was influenced in his building of this palace by both classical Roman and Brunelleschian principles. During the Renaissance revival of classical culture, ancient Roman elements were often replicated in architecture, both built and imagined in paintings. In the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the rusticated masonry and the cornice had precedents in Roman practice, yet in totality it looks distinctly Florentine, unlike any known Roman building. Similarly, the early Renaissance architect Brunelleschi used Roman techniques and influenced Michelozzo. The open colonnaded court that is the center of the palazzo plan has roots in the cloisters that developed from Roman peristyles. The once open corner loggia and shop fronts facing the street were walled in during the 16th century. They were replaced by Michelangelo's unusual ground-floor "kneeling windows" (finestre inginocchiate) with exaggerated scrolling consoles appearing to support the sill and framed in a pedimented aedicule a motif repeated in his new main doorway. The new windows are set into what appears to be a walled infill of the original arched opening, a Mannerist expression Michelangelo and others used repeatedly. The building reflects the accumulated wealth of the Medici family. Cosimo received the young Sforza in the chapel "not less ornate and handsome than the rest of the house". The building still includes, as its only 15th century interior that is largely intact, the Magi Chapel, frescoed by Benozzo Gozzoli, who completed it in 1459 with a wealth of anecdotal detail of character types traditionally held to be portraits of members of the Medici family, along with the emperors John VIII Palaiologos and the Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg, parading through Tuscany in the guise of the Three Wise Men. Other decorations included two lunettes by Filippo Lippi, depicting Seven Saints and the Annunciation, now at the National Gallery, London. When the Medici family returned to Florence after their short-lived exile in the early 15th century, they kept a low profile and executed their power behind the scenes. This is reflected in the plain exterior of this building, and is said to be the reason why Cosimo de' Medici rejected Brunelleschi's earlier proposal. The palace was the site of the wedding reception between Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany and Violante Beatrice of Bavaria in 1689.
Views: 21837 Pietro Pecco
St. Mary Caravel, Palos de la Frontera, Huelva, Spain, Europe
La Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción, or La Santa María, was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa. The Santa María was built in Pontevedra, Galicia, in Spain's north-west region. The Santa María was probably a medium-sized nau (carrack), about 58 ft (17.7 m) long on deck, and according to Juan Escalante de Mendoza in 1575, the Santa Maria was "very little larger than 100 toneladas" (about 100 tons, or tuns) burthen, or burden, and was used as the flagship for the expedition. The Santa María had a single deck and three masts. The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the smaller caravel-type ships Santa Clara, remembered as La Niña ("The Girl"), and La Pinta ("The Painted"). All these ships were second-hand (if not third- or more) and were not intended for exploration. The Niña, Pinta, and the Santa María were modest-sized merchant vessels comparable in size to a modern cruising yacht. The exact measurements of length and width of the three ships have not survived, but good estimates of their burden capacity can be judged from contemporary anecdotes written down by one or more of Columbus' crew members, and contemporary Spanish and Portuguese shipwrecks from the late 15th and early 16th centuries which are comparable in size to that of the Santa Maria. These include the ballast piles and keel lengths of the Molasses Reef Wreck and Highborn Cay Wreck in the Bahamas. Both were caravel vessels 19 m (62 ft) in length overall, 12.6 m (41 ft) keel length and 5 to 5.7 m (16 to 19 ft) in width, and rated between 100 and 150 tons burden. The Santa María, being Columbus' largest ship, was only about this size, and the Niña and Pinta were smaller, at only 50 to 75 tons burden and perhaps 15 to 18 meters (50 to 60 feet) on deck (updated dimensional estimates are discussed below in the section entitled Replicas). A Spanish vessel in those days was given an official religious name, but was generally known by a nickname, oftentimes a feminine form of either her master's patronymic, or of her home port. Bartolomé de Las Casas, a priest and historian who extensively chronicled Columbus' expeditions, never used the name Santa María in his writings, and instead called the ship La Capitana ("flagship") or La Nao. Indeed, Columbus himself, in his detailed logs, only called it La Capitana. Some claim that the ship was known to her sailors as Marigalante ("Gallant Maria"), but that nickname was in fact given to the Santa María‍ '​s namesake replacement, used on Columbus's second voyage. With three masts, she was the slowest of Columbus' vessels but performed well in the Atlantic crossing. Then on the return trip, on 24 December (1492), not having slept for two days, Columbus decided at 11:00 p.m. to lie down to sleep. The night being calm, the steersman also decided to sleep, leaving only a cabin boy to steer the ship, a practice which the admiral had always strictly forbidden. With the boy at the helm, the currents carried the ship onto a sandbank, running her aground off the present-day site of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. It sank the next day. Realizing that the ship was beyond repair, Columbus ordered his men to strip the timbers from the ship. The timbers were later used to build a fort which Columbus called La Navidad (Christmas) because the wreck occurred on Christmas Day, north from the modern town of Limonade (see map, and the photograph). The anchor of the Santa María now rests in the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien (MUPANAH), in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. On 13 May 2014, underwater archaeological explorer Barry Clifford announced that his team may have found the wreck of the Santa María. In the following October UNESCO's expert team published their final report, concluding that the wreck could not be Columbus's vessel. Fastenings used in the hull, and possible copper sheathing dated it to the 17th or even 18th century. Columbus' crew was not composed of criminals as is widely believed. Many were experienced seamen from the port of Palos in Andalusia and its surrounding countryside, as well as from the region of Galicia in northwest Spain. It is true, however, that the Spanish sovereigns offered an amnesty to convicts who signed up for the voyage; still, only four men took up the offer: one who had killed a man in a fight, and three friends of his who had then helped him escape from jail. Despite the romantic legend that the Queen of Spain had used a necklace that she had received from her husband the King as collateral for a loan, the voyage was principally financed by a syndicate of seven noble Genovese bankers resident in Seville (the group was linked to Amerigo Vespucci and funds belonging to Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de Medici).
Views: 7801 Pietro Pecco
Costa Concordia, Savona, Liguria, Italy, Europe
MS Costa Concordia is a Concordia-class cruise ship built in 2004 by the Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente yards in Italy and operated from 2005 by Costa Crociere (a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation). The name Concordia was intended to express the wish for "continuing harmony, unity, and peace between European nations". Costa Concordia was the first of the Concordia-class cruise ships, followed by sister ships Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, and Carnival Splendor built for Carnival Cruise Lines. When the 114,137 GT Costa Concordia and her sisters entered service, they were among the largest ships built in Italy until the construction of the 130,000 GT Dream-class cruise ships. On 13 January 2012 at about 9:45 pm, in calm seas and overcast weather, under command of Captain Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio, off the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome. This tore a 50 m (160 ft) gash on the port (left) side of her hull, which almost immediately flooded parts of the engine room and caused loss of power to her propulsion and electrical systems. With water flooding in and listing, the ship drifted back to Giglio Island, where she grounded just 500 m (550 yd) north of the village of Giglio Porto, lying on her starboard (right) side in shallow water with most of her starboard side under water. Despite the gradual sinking of the ship, its complete loss of power, and its proximity to shore in calm seas, an order to abandon ship was not issued until over an hour after the initial impact. Although international maritime law requires all passengers to be evacuated within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship, the evacuation of Costa Concordia took over six hours and not all passengers were evacuated. Of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew known to have been aboard, 30 people died, and two more passengers are missing and presumed dead. The largest Italian cruise ship ever conceived, Costa Concordia was ordered on 19 January 2004 by Carnival Corporation in Fincantieri and built in the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa, as yard number 6122. At the vessel's launch at Sestri Ponente on 2 September 2005, the champagne bottle, released by model Eva Herzigová, failed to break, an inauspicious omen in maritime superstition. The ship was delivered to Costa on 30 June 2006. She cost €450 million (£372 million, US$570 million) to build. Costa Concordia is 290.20 metres (952 ft 1 in) long, with a beam of 35.50 metres (116 ft 6 in) and a draught of 8.20 metres (26 ft 11 in). She has a diesel-electric power plant consisting of six 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 12V46C four-stroke medium-speed diesel generating sets with a combined output of 75.6 megawatts (101,400 hp). These main generators provided power for all shipboard consumers from propulsion motors to hotel functions like lighting and air conditioning. The ship was propelled by two 21-megawatt electric motors coupled to fixed-pitch propellers. Her service speed was 19.6 knots (36 km/h; 23 mph), but during sea trials, she achieved a speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph). Costa Concordia has approximately 1,500 cabins; 505 have private balconies and 55 have direct access to Samsara Spa and are considered Spa staterooms; 58 suites have private balconies and 12 have direct access to the spa. Costa Concordia has one of the world's largest exercise facility areas at sea, the Samsara Spa, a two-level, 6,000 m2 (64,600 sq ft) fitness center, with gym, a thalassotherapy pool, sauna, Turkish bath and a solarium. The ship has four swimming pools, two with retractable roofs, five jacuzzis, five spas, and a poolside movie theatre on the main pool deck. There are five on-board restaurants, with Club Concordia and Samsara taking reservations-only dining. There are thirteen bars, including a cigar and cognac bar and a coffee and chocolate bar. Entertainment options include a three-level theatre, casino, and a futuristic disco. There is a children's area equipped with video game products. The ship has a Grand Prix motor racing simulator and an internet café. On 22 November 2008, Costa Concordia suffered damage to her bow when high winds over the Sicilian city of Palermo pushed the ship against its dock. There were no injuries and repairs started soon after. On 13 January 2012, at 21:45 local time (UTC+1), Costa Concordia hit a rock off Isola del Giglio (42°21′55″N 10°55′17″E). A 53-metre (174 ft) long gash was made in the hull, along 3 compartments of the engine room (deck 0); power to the engines and ship services was cut off. Taking on water, the vessel started to list to port. Without power, the ship drifted astern but was now listing heavily to starboard. The ship, pushed by winds laterally, drifted back and grounded near shore, then partly capsized onto her starboard side, in an unsteady position on a rocky underwater ledge.
Views: 194310 Pietro Pecco
Château d'Amboise, Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France, Europe
The royal Château at Amboise is a château located in Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. Confiscated by the monarchy in the 15th century, it became a favoured royal residence and was extensively rebuilt. King Charles VIII died at the château in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel. The château fell into decline from the second half of the 16th century and the majority of the interior buildings were later demolished, but some survived and have been restored, along with the outer defensive circuit of towers and walls. It has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1840. Château d'Amboise was built on a spur above the River Loire. The strategic qualities of the site were recognised before the medieval construction of the castle, and a Gallic oppidum was built there. In the late 9th century Ingelgarius was made viscount of Orléans and through his mother was related to Hugh the Abbot, tutors to the French kings. Ingelgarius married Adelais, a member of a prominent family (a bishop and archbishop were her uncles) who controlled Château d'Amboise. He was later made Count of the Angevins and his rise can be attributed to his political connections and reputation as a soldier. Château d'Amboise would pass through Ingelgarius and Adelais' heirs, and he was succeeded by their son, Fulk the Red. As Fulk the Red expanded his territory, Amboise, Loches, and Villentrois formed the core of his possessions. Amboise lay on the eastern frontier of the Angevins holdings. Amboise and its castle descended through the family to Fulke Nerra in 987. Fulk had to contend with the ambitions of Odo I, Count of Blois who wanted to expand his own territory into Anjou. Odo I could call on the support of many followers and instructed Conan, Count of Rennes, Gelduin of Saumr, and Abbot Robert of Saint-Florent de Saumur to harass Fulk's properties. While Conan was busy on Anjou's western border, Gelduin and Robert attempted to isolate the easternmost castles of Amboise and Loches by raiding the Saumurois and disrupting communications. To further threaten Amboise, fortifications were erected at Chaumont and Montsoreau, while Saint-Aignan was garrisoned. Expanded and improved over time, on 4 September 1434 it was seized by Charles VII of France, after its owner, Louis d'Amboise, was convicted of plotting against Louis XI and condemned to be executed in 1431. However, the king pardoned him but took his château at Amboise (from brochure at Chateau Royale d' Amboise, 2007). Once in royal hands, the château became a favourite of French kings, from Louis XI to Francis I. Charles VIII decided to rebuild it extensively, beginning in 1492 at first in the French late Gothic Flamboyant style and then after 1495 employing two Italian mason-builders, Domenico da Cortona and Fra Giocondo, who provided at Amboise some of the first Renaissance decorative motifs seen in French architecture. The names of three French builders are preserved in the documents: Colin Biart, Guillaume Senault and Louis Armangeart. Following the Italian War of 1494--1495, Charles brought Italian architects and artisans to France to work on the château, and turn it into "the first Italianate palace in France". Among the people Charles brought from Italy was Pacello da Mercogliano who designed the gardens at the châteaux of Ambois and Blois; his work was highly influential amongst French landscape designers. Charles died at Château d'Amboise in 1498 after he hit his head on a door lintel. Before his death he had the upper terrace widened to hold a larger parterre and enclosed with latticework and pavilions; his successor, Louis XII, built a gallery round the terrace which can be seen in the 1576 engraving by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, in Les plus excellens bastimens de France. The parterres have been recreated in the twentieth century as rectangles of lawns set in gravel and a formal bosquet of trees. King Francis I was raised at Amboise, which belonged to his mother, Louise of Savoy, and during the first few years of his reign the château reached the pinnacle of its glory. As a guest of the King, Leonardo da Vinci came to Château Amboise in December 1515 and lived and worked in the nearby Clos Lucé, connected to the château by an underground passage. Tourists are told that he is buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, adjoining the Château, which had been built in 1491--96. Henry II and his wife, Catherine de' Medici, raised their children in Château Amboise along with Mary Stuart, the child Queen of Scotland who had been promised in marriage to the future French Francis II.
Views: 7371 Pietro Pecco
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, France, Europe
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a minor basilica in Lyon. It was built with private funds between 1872 and 1884 in a dominating position in the city. The site it occupies was once the Roman forum of Trajan, the forum vetus (old forum), thus its name. The design of the basilica, by Pierre Bossan, draws from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, two non-Gothic models that were unusual choices at the time. It has four main towers, and a belltower topped with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary. It features fine mosaics, superb stained glass, and a crypt of Saint Joseph. Fourvière actually contains two churches, one on top of the other. The upper sanctuary is very ornate, while the lower is a much simpler design. Work on the triumphant basilica was begun in 1872 and finished in 1884. Finishing touches in the interior were not completed until 1964. Bossan's first sketches for the basilica seem to date from 1846. At the time he was in Palermo. The basilica has the local nickname of "the upside-down elephant", because the building looks like the body of an elephant and the four towers look like its legs. Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc, The Children Choir of Saint Mark, is the official choir of the Basilica. This choir is well known after the release of the film Les Choristes. Director of this choir is Monsieur Nicolas Porte. Fourvière is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who saved the city of Lyon from the bubonic plague, the Black Death, that was sweeping Europe in 1643. Each year in early December (December 8, day of the Immaculate Conception), Lyon thanks the Virgin for saving the city by lighting candles throughout the city, in what is called the Fête des Lumières or the Festival of Lights. The Virgin is also credited with saving the city a number of other times, such as from a Cholera epidemic in 1832, and a Prussian invasion in 1870. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1), Prussian forces, having taken Paris, were progressing south towards Lyon. Their halt and retreat were, once again, attributed by the Church to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Speculating on the reasons for the construction of such an elaborate and expensive building, one author makes the statement that: "The reaction to the communes of Paris and Lyon were triumphalist monuments, the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre and the basilica of Fourvière, dominating both cities. These buildings were erected using private funds, as gigantic ex-votos, thanking God for the victory over the socialists and in expiation of the sins of modern France". Perched on top of the Fourvière hill, the basilica looms impressively over the city of Lyon, from where it can be seen from many vantage points; not unintentionally, the basilica of Fourvière has become a symbol of the city. The basilica, which offers guided tours and contains a Museum of Sacred Art, receives 2 million visitors annually. At certain times, members of the public may access the basilica's north tower for a spectacular 180-degree view of Lyon and its suburbs. On a clear day, Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe, can be seen in the distance. Fourviere has always been a popular place of pilgrimage. There has been a shrine at Fourviere dedicated to Our Lady since 1170. The chapel and parts of the building have been rebuilt at different times over the centuries, the most recent major works being in 1852 when the former steeple was replaced by a tower surmounted by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary sculpted by Joseph-Hugues Fabisch (1812-1886). On 23 July 1816 twelve Marist aspirants, priests and seminarians, climbed the hill to the shrine of Our Lady of Fourviere and placed their promise to found the Society of Mary (Marists) under the corporal on the altar while Jean-Claude Courveille celebrated Mass. On 21 January 1851, Peter Julian Eymard prayed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fourvière and was inspired to found the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. When the city of Lyon was spared in the Franco-Prussian War (1870), the community committed to build the present Basilica alongside the ancient chapel. Since 1982 the antennas of Radio Fourvière, the predecessor of Radios chrétiennes francophones, have been located in the tower.
Views: 2830 Pietro Pecco
K-9 Dog, Police Dog, George Bush Airport, Houston, Texas, United States, North America
A police dog, often referred to as a "K-9" (which is a homophone of canine), is a dog that is trained specifically to assist police and other law-enforcement personnel in their work. The most commonly used breed is the German Shepherd, although Belgian Malinois are also used. In many jurisdictions, the intentional injuring or killing of a police dog is a felony, subjecting the perpetrator to harsher penalties than those in the statutes embodied in local animal cruelty laws, just as an assault on a human police officer is often a more serious offense than a similar assault on a civilian. A growing number of law-enforcement organizations outfit dogs with ballistic vests, and some even designate dogs as sworn officers, with their own police badges and IDs. Furthermore, a police dog killed in the line of duty is often given a full police funeral. Some breeds are used to enforce public order by chasing and holding suspects, or detaining suspects by the threat of being released, either by direct apprehension or a method known as Bark and Hold. German Shepherd Dogs and Belgian Malinois are most commonly used because of their availability; however other dog breeds have also contributed, such as Dutch Shepherds, Rottweilers, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Giant Schnauzers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers. Police dogs are retired if they become injured to an extent where they will not recover completely, pregnant, are raising puppies, or are too old or sick to continue working. Since many dogs are raised in working environments for the first year of their life and retired before they become unable to perform, the working life of a dog is 6--9 years. If these dogs are killed in the line of duty they get the same honors as their human partners. The handler makes all the decisions regarding their partner. The Belgian Canine Support Group is part of the country's federal police. It has 35 dog teams. Some dogs are trained to detect drugs, human remains, hormones or fire accelerants. About a third are tracker dogs trained to find or identify living people. These teams are often deployed to earthquake areas to locate people trapped in collapsed buildings. The federal police's explosive detector dogs are attached to the Federal Police Special Units. Police dogs are in widespread use across the United States. K-9 units are operated on the federal, state, county, and local level and are utilized for a wide variety of duties, similar to those of other nations. Although most Americans perceive these animals as attack dogs, their duties generally include drug, bomb, and weapon detection and cadaver searches. The most common police dogs used for everyday duties are German Shepherds, though other breeds may be used to perform specific tasks. On the federal level, police dogs are rarely seen by the general public, though they may be viewed in some airports assisting Transportation Security Administration officials search for explosives and weapons or by Customs and Border Protection searching for concealed narcotics and people. Some dogs may also be used by tactical components of such agencies as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Marshals Service. Most police agencies in the United States - whether state, county, or local - use K-9s as a means of law enforcement. Often, even the smallest of departments operates a K-9 team of at least one dog, while the officers of more metropolitan cities can be more used to working with dozens. In the former case, police dogs usually serve all purposes deemed necessary, most commonly suspect apprehension and narcotics detection, and teams are often on call; in the latter case, however, individual dogs usually serve individual purposes in which each particular animal is specialized, and teams usually serve scheduled shifts. In both cases, police dogs are almost always cared for by their specific handlers. K-9s are not often seen by the public, though specialized police vehicles used for carrying dogs may be seen from time to time. In most states, a police dog is considered a full-fledged police officer, sometimes even given a badge. As such, most laws find assaulting a police dog to be equal or very similar to assaulting a human officer, and as a result some agencies will deem it acceptable for officers to open fire on a person who is intentionally hurting a police dog, with apparent attempt to kill it. Police dogs also play a major role in American penal systems. Many jails and prisons will use special dog teams as a means of intervening in large-scale fights or riots by inmates. Also, many penal systems will employ dogs - usually bloodhounds - in searching for escaped prisoners. Dogs have been used for law enforcement since at least the Middle Ages.
Views: 6727 Pietro Pecco
Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, Maya Island Air, Caye Caulker Airport, Belize, North America
Maya Island Air (also known as Maya Airways) is an airline with its head office on the second floor of Building #1 of Belize City Municipal Airport in Belize City, Belize. It operates regular scheduled services to 12 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Its main base is Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport. The airline was formed and started operations in 1962 as Maya Airways. It was established to succeed the government-owned British Honduras Airways, a BWIA subsidiary, which had ceased operations in 1961. In December 1997 Maya Airways and Island Air merged to form Maya Island Air. In November 2007 all airlines from Belize lost their permission to land in Guatemala due to Guatemala's upgrade to category 1. Later on, Maya Island Air flew Guatemala again. From July 8, 2009 to May 2011, it also flew Belize City-Cancun. December 4, 2007, a Maya Island Air Cessna 208B Caravan V3-HFS was taking off from Corozal Airport for a flight to San Pedro Airport. When the pilots aborted takeoff but was not able to stop the airplane on the remaining runway. The Grand Caravan struck a barbed wire fence and ran into several oranges trees before coming to a halt some 520 feet beyond the runway. The undercarriage was sheared off and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the belly. None of the 12 passengers and crew were killed or injured in the accident. The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander is a 1960s British light utility aircraft, regional airliner and cargo aircraft designed and originally manufactured by Britten-Norman of the United Kingdom. The Islander is one of the best-selling commercial aircraft types produced in Europe. Although designed in the 1960s, over 750 are still in service with commercial operators around the world. The aircraft is also used by the British Army and Police forces in the United Kingdom and is a light transport with over 30 military aviation operators around the world. After Fairey Aviation acquired the Britten-Norman company, their Islanders and Trislander aircraft were built in Romania, then shipped to Avions Fairey for finishing and then flown to the UK for flight certification. The Islander is also known for servicing the two airports joined by the shortest scheduled flight in the world, a leg of Loganair's inter-island service, Loganair Flight 353, from Papa Westray Airport to Westray Airport. The distance is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) and the scheduled flight time including taxiing is two minutes. Companies in addition to Britten-Norman have manufactured the Islander. Intreprinderea de Reparatii Material Aeronautic (IRMA) from Romania has been building the aircraft since 1969, as have SONACA (Avions Fairey), in Gosselies, Belgium. 35 have also been assembled by the National Aero Manufacturing Corporation in the Philippines. A design project to develop an Islander with a larger capacity resulted in the BN-2A Mk III Trislander. This aircraft has a stretched fuselage, modified landing gear and a third (tail-mounted) engine. The prototype was constructed from the original second BN-2 prototype and flew on 11 September 1970.
Views: 7625 Pietro Pecco
Cabin 12223, Balcony, deck 12,  MSC Splendida, MSC Cruises, Genoa, Italy, Europe
MSC Splendida is Fantasia-class cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. She entered service in March 2009, as a sister ship to MSC Fantasia. She was to be named MSC Serenata, but the name was changed in May 2007 to MSC Splendida "to reflect the ship's beauty and elegance". MSC Splendida's itineraries cover Mediterranean ports including Marseille; Heraklion; Katakolon; Piraeus; Civitavecchia; Genoa; Messina; Naples; Palermo; Valletta; Barcelona; Malaga; Gibraltar; Palma De Mallorca; Valencia; La Goulette; Izmir and Marmaris and Atlantic Ocean ports including Casablanca; Santa Cruz De Tenerife and Funchal. MSC Splendida was delivered to MSC Cruises on July 4, 2009. She embarked on her maiden voyage on July 4, 2009, to the Mediterranean and returned July 11, to be officially named on July 12, 2009, in Barcelona by Sophia Loren.
Views: 71554 Pietro Pecco
Boarding the MSC Splendida, Port of Genoa, Genoa, Liguria, Italy, Europe
MSC Splendida is Fantasia-class cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. She entered service in March 2009, as a sister ship to MSC Fantasia. She was to be named MSC Serenata, but the name was changed in May 2007 to MSC Splendida "to reflect the ship's beauty and elegance". MSC Splendida's itineraries cover Mediterranean ports including Marseille; Heraklion; Katakolon; Piraeus; Civitavecchia; Genoa; Messina; Naples; Palermo; Valletta; Barcelona; Malaga; Gibraltar; Palma De Mallorca; Valencia; La Goulette; Izmir and Marmaris and Atlantic Ocean ports including Casablanca; Santa Cruz De Tenerife and Funchal. MSC Splendida was delivered to MSC Cruises on July 4, 2009. She embarked on her maiden voyage on July 4, 2009, to the Mediterranean and returned July 11, to be officially named on July 12, 2009, in Barcelona by Sophia Loren. MSC Splendida appeared on Indian Tamil Film Manmadan Ambu.
Views: 24240 Pietro Pecco
Castellers de Vilafranca, Concurs de Castells, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain, Europe
The Castellers de Vilafranca is a cultural and sporting association whose main objective is to build castells (human towers). It has the status of a public-interest association. The group was founded in 1948 in response to the increased interest in human tower building in Vilafranca del Penedès, a Catalan tradition that has evolved since the 18th century Ball de Valencians, a dance from Valencia. Nowadays, the Castellers de Vilafranca have about 400 active human tower building members of all ages, with no discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sex or social status. They share the common goal of building human towers, democratic values, cooperation and teamwork, a constant desire to surpass themselves, and a will to maintain a lead over a select and competitive group of rival human tower associations. The group’s headquarters is Cal Figarot, Casa Via Raventós, a house located in downtown Vilafranca del Penedès and specially adapted for human tower building activity (for example, high, indoor ceilings for winter use and an open-air courtyard for spring, summer and fall). The group is one of the most important organizations in Vilafranca del Penedès and has represented Catalan culture abroad numerous times. The association has more than five hundred official supporters, and has the support of several public and private institutions. In addition to hosting and participating in human tower exhibitions, it also organizes other cultural activities, such as small-scale concerts, a poetry contest, a massive bicycle event, a dominoes tournament, food events and a human tower school for kids. The Castellers de Vilafranca’s efforts to preserve and promote popular Catalan culture have been recognized by the town of Vilafranca del Penedès, which awarded the group with the Medalla de la Vila (the town medal), and by the Generalitat de Catalunya (the Catalan Government) with the Creu de Sant Jordi (Cross of Saint George). The Castellers de Vilafranca cultural association was founded in September 1948 by Oriol Rossell, who became the first cap de colla (Leader/Technical Manager of the group). The group successfully started with seven-level towers, and also forged close relationships with casteller groups in other towns. The first caps de colla were Oriol Rossell (1948–1952) and Ramon Sala (1953–1955). The group originally wore rose-coloured shirts, and subsequently, red ones. In 1956, the group became almost inactive due to internal disagreements and disputes. In 1957, it reorganized and elected to wear green shirts, which is still the distinctive colour used by the group today. From 1957 to 1968, seven-level towers were the norm, and the cinc de set was the highest tower achieved. From 1969 to 1974, the group improved considerably, building the first towers in the eight-level category: the torre de Set, quatre de vuit, tres de vuit, pilar de sis, and the torre de vuit amb folre. In 1972, the group won the Concurs de castells de Tarragona, the Human Towers Competition held biennially in Tarragona city in the south of Catalonia. During those years, the caps de colla were Josep Pedrol (1957–1959), Carles Domènech (1960–1961), Joan Bolet (1962–1963), Gabi Martínez (1964–1969), Lluís Giménez (1970–1973) and Gabi Martínez, again (1974). In 1975, the group went through major internal restructuring, shifting from the very personal and almost-exclusive leadership of the cap de colla to management of the technical side of tower-building by a consensual team. 1981 brought with it more internal changes, and it was decided that team members would no longer be individually paid. This provoked a division in the group. From 1975 to 1982, eight-level towers were performed frequently but with difficulties. In 1983 and 1984, the group regained its strength in this category and, in 1985, it built the first cinc de vuit. This landmark achievement proved merely to be a milestone on the way to even more impressive nine-level towers. In 1987, the first tres and quatre de nou amb folre (carregat) arrived, and in 1989 the first completely successful tres de nou amb folre (descarregat) was achieved. Similar success came in 1990 with the first quatre de nou amb folre (descarregat). There were other successes, too. As for towers that were “only” carregats (reached the top but collapsed afterwards): the torre de vuit (the first one in the 20th century); quatre de nou, and the tres de deu amb folre i manilles (the first one in human towers history). The group also won the Tarragona Human Towers Competition in 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2006. In 2005 Castellers de Vilafranca achieved the torre de nou amb folre, which is considered the most difficult tower ever done by any group to date. Francesc Moreno "Melilla" was the cap de colla between 1995 and 2003, and Lluís Esclassans from 2004 to 2007. David Miret was elected the new cap de colla in December 2007.
Views: 15620 Pietro Pecco
Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, Europe
Oviedo is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain and the administrative and commercial centre of the region. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city. Oviedo is located approximately 20 km (12 mi) to 25 km (16 mi) south of neighbouring cities Gijón and Avilés, which lie on the shoreline of the Bay of Biscay. Its proximity to the ocean causes Oviedo to have a maritime climate, in spite of it not being located on the shoreline itself. Oviedo is located in the centre of Asturias between the Nalón River and Nora River. To the north lie Las Regueras and Llanera, to the south Mieres and Ribera de Arriba, to the east Siero and Langreo, and to the east Grado and Santo Adriano. The altitude of Oviedo is between 80 and 709 metres above sea level. The city is protected against strong winds by Monte Naranco in the north and the Sierra del Aramo in the south. The city centre is rather hilly. Oviedo contains a very rich architectural history, with many buildings dating back to the early medieval period. Many of the building projects were undertaken during Alfonso II's (791-842) reign and Ramiro I's (842-850) reign. Alfonso III's contributions are not as well documented. Alfonso II is said to have built four churches, one dedicated to Christ the Saviour, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Tyrsus, and SS Julian and Basilissa. There are few traces of the churches dedicated to the Saviour, the Virgin Mary, and St. Tyrsus. The San Salvadore church, which was dedicated to the Saviour, is likely beneath the Cathedral of Oviedo. The church of Santa Maria de la Corte, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was demolished in 1702. As for St. Tyrsus, the church dedicated to him exists today as the church of San Tirso. Only a wall and a three light window are believed to have been built by Alfonso II, the majority of the rest of the church is dated to the 14th century. The best preserved church constructed during Alfonso II's time was San Julian de los Prados. Two buildings are said to have been built during Ramiro I's reign, one was a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the other construction was a palace. These were built just outside Oviedo, on Monte Lignum. The church Santa Maria de Naranco seems to originally have been a palace, but later repurposed into a church. The church has an atypical plan from other churches at its time, possibly because it was supposed to contain a throne room for the king. The other church built during Ramiro I's time was San Miguel de Lillo. The Chronicle of Albelda, one of the primary sources used to discern which King commissioned which building, only extends to 883. Because of this, constructions undertaken during Alfonso III's time as king were not documented.
Views: 6300 Pietro Pecco
Maserati A6G/54, Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe
The A6G 54 was a sports car built by Maserati 1954-1957 who also participated, in its racing version, in many races. Heir to the A6G 2000 was the updated review of the model it replaced. Officially, the name was Maserati A6 G 2000 Gran Turismo, but to distinguish it from the previous model is known to the public as "A6G 54", that is, with the internal code used by Maserati. It was not a particularly powerful, and from what obtained a limited production. The engine, a six-cylinder in-line with short stroke, derived solely from the one mounted on the A6 GCS and from that of the A6 GCM. However, allowed the model to reach 210 km / h, speed remarkable for its time, thanks to the long final drive ratio. It was offered in four versions: the coupe and spyder Frua, coupe and Allemano Coupe Zagato racing. In total 60 units were built, of which 20 of the last version. The first models were mainly sold in the world, while from 1956 version of Zagato was bought mainly by private pilots Italians who used it for time trials, races and long distance races on the track. It was the last competition berlinetta fifties, well that figured in many editions of the Italian GT Championship 2 liters (especially in 1956), and won several time trials until the early sixties. The ignition was single at first, then double Marelli distributor of brand and model ST111DTEM. The distribution was secured by a double overhead camshaft driven by chains, with two valves per cylinder. The power was aspirated, that is not supercharged, with three carburetors Weber brand and model 40DCO3 (38 DCO3 - 36 DCO4). The lubrication was forced with the sole delivery pump. The cooling system was water circulation with centrifugal pump. The six-cylinder engine was a vertical line. The bore and stroke were respectively 76.5 mm and 72 mm, while the compression ratio was 8: 1. The displacement was 1985.63 cc. The power output was 150 hp at 6000 rpm, 1956 increased to 160 hp with dual ignition. The traction was back, while the transmission was formed by a synchronized transmission, four-speed plus reverse, with the ratios of the gears that were 2.21 (for the first gear), 1.4 (for the second), 1.18 (for the third), 1 (for the fourth) and 3.25 (for reverse). The clutch was single dry, while the brakes were drum with hydraulic control. The front brakes had a diameter of 328 mm, the rear ones of 290 mm. The steering was worm and sector gear. The frame was tubular and was formed by four longitudinal and transverse members, in addition to steel sheets or aluminum depending on the type of bodywork. The latter was coupe or spyder, with 2 doors and 2 + 2-seater. The body of the racing version was light alloy built by Zagato. The front suspensions were formed by an articulated quadrilateral, and by helical springs, while the rear by a rigid bridge quarter elliptic springs and held in place by reaction arms. Both rode Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. The model had a top speed of between 195 km/h and 210 km/h.
Views: 1293 Pietro Pecco
Border Poland-Belarus, Grudki, Bialowieza, Podlaskie, Poland, Europe
Polish-Belarusian border is the state border between Poland and the Republic of Belarus. It has a total length of 398.6 km (247.7 mi), 418 km (260 mi) or 416 km (258 mi) It starts from the triple junction of the borders with Lithuania in the north and stretches to the triple junction borders with Ukraine to the south. Is also part of the EU border with Belarus. After September 1939 the BSSR were included in Western Belarus. Have established five new areas: Baranavichy, Belostokskaya, Brest, Pinsk and Vialejka. In accordance with the treaty signed August 16, 1945 between the USSR and Poland on the state border of Poland passed 17 districts Bialystok Region BSSR with 3 Bialystok and Brest region, where a significant amount of Poles lived. In 1946, during the refinement of the state border of the USSR and Poland from the Grodno Region in favor of the NDP were transferred to the village Klimovka, Minkovtsy, Nomiki, Taki, crush, Šimák Members of Sapotskinsky area - the village and Todorkavtsy Hvorostyan. Thereafter, and until now the border between Poland and Belarus has not changed. River borders (from north to south) are Black Gancia, Volkushanka, Svislach Narew and Western Bug. The Border Agreement between Poland and the USSR of 16 August 1945 established the borders between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the Republic of Poland. It was signed by the Provisional Government of National Unity (Tymczasowy Rząd Jedności Narodowej) formed by the Polish communists. According to the treaty, Poland officially accepted the ceding its pre-war Eastern territory to the USSR (Kresy) which was decided earlier in Yalta already. Some of the territory along the Curzon line, established by Stalin during the course of the war, was returned to Poland. The treaty also recognised the division of the former German East Prussia and ultimately approved the finalised delimitation line between the Soviet Union and Poland: from the Baltic sea, to the border tripoint with Czechoslovakia in the Carpathians. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 provided for the partition of the Second Polish Republic between the USSR and Nazi Germany. Following the corresponding invasions, a new border was drawn up, though based on the Curzon Line, deviated west of it in several regions. Most notably, was the Belastok Voblast, that was added to the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, although most of the region was populated by Poles. After Germany's invasion of the USSR, the territory in question was also re-partitioned by the Nazis. Ukraine and Belarus were administered by the occupation Ostland and Reichskommissariat Ukraine Reichskommissariats. Galician territory east of the 1939 border and the Belastok Voblast plus adjacent territory to the east of this were transformed respectively into the Distrikt Galizien and Bezirk Bialystok, and subjugated directly to the Reich. Following the Soviet Union's liberation of Ukraine and Belarus, in 1943/1944 the Tehran and Yalta discussed upon the future of the Polish-Soviet borders, and the Allied leaders recognised the Soviet right to the territory east of the 1939 border. However, after the liberation of Western Ukraine and Belarus in summer of 1944, a Polish committee formed in the town of Sapotskin sent a letter to Moscow asking that they remain part of Poland. Stalin agreed, and on 29th of September, administration of 17 (of the 23) districts of Belastok Voblast (including the city of Białystok) and an additional three (Siemiatycze, Hajnówka and Kleszczele) of the Brest Voblast was passed to the Polish Committee of National Liberation from the BSSR. In October 1944 these were joined by a further transfer of Lubaczów, Horyniec, Laszki, Uhnów and Sieniawa raions of the Lviv Oblast from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In March 1945, an additional batch of land, the Bieszczady, Lesko, and most of Przemyśl raions(including Przemyśl city) were transferred to Poland from the Drohobych Oblast of Ukraine to the now Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland. Soon afterwards World War II finished, and as the Provisional Government continued to transfer administration from military to civil bodies, it also finalised its new borders with its neighbours, and in particular, the Soviet Union. On 16th of August 1945, the border agreement was officially signed by Edward Osóbka-Morawski, on behalf of the Provisional Government of National Unity and Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet Minister of Foreign affairs. The exchange of ratified documents occurred on 5 February 1946 in Warsaw, and from that date the agreement was in force.
Views: 14650 Pietro Pecco
Alfa Romeo GP Tipo 512, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 512 was intended for replacement for Alfa Romeo 158 Voiturette racing car. Designed by Wifredo Ricart as his second car for Alfa Romeo after V16-engined Alfa Romeo Tipo 162. The car was first mid-engined Alfa Romeo model. This racing car has flat 12 engine (technically speaking it is 180 degree V12) using mid-engine layout. With two Roots type superchargers, the engine could produce up to 225 bhp (168 kW) per litre. The engine had very short stroke compared to other Grands Prix cars at that time, only 54.2 millimetres (2.13 in). The potential of this machine is not so clear, since it is a prototype. The power of the engine measured at the bench was of 335 bhp (250 kW) at 8600 rpm. In the Alfa Romeo museum in Arese, alongside the 512 exposed is the following data:the maximum power (estimated) 500 hp (373 kW) at 11,000 rpm and maximum speed over 350 km/h (217 mph). The car development was finished in 1940 and stopped during World War II, another chassis was built also but this car never raced. The Tipo 512 was first tested on September 12, 1940 by Alfa Romeo chief test driver Consalvo Sanesi, despite being very powerful its handling was not good enough. June 19, 1940 Alfa Romeo's test driver Attilio Marinoni was killed while testing 512 suspension fitted to an Alfetta 158. Alfa Romeo won the Formula 1 World Championship with the Alfetta 158 in 1950, taking the place for which 512 was originally designed. Only 2 prototypes were created. One complete car is owned by the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum in Arese, Italy. The other one is owned by the National Museum of Science and Technology "Leonardo da Vinci" in Milan, Italy.
Views: 1003 Pietro Pecco
Lamborghini F1, Lamborghini Museum, Sant'Agata Bolognese, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe
Modena Team SpA was a Formula One team from Italy that contested a single season in 1991. The team had a rather confused history, and is often referred to as the "Lambo" or Lamborghini team because of its connections to the Italian automotive manufacturer. It competed in 16 World Championship Grands Prix (6 starts) but scored no Championship points. Its best result was seventh in the 1991 United States Grand Prix. The team first emerged as GLAS in early 1990. It was to be financed by wealthy Mexican businessman Fernando Gonzalez Luna, who was reported to be investing around $20 million in the team, and it was to be run by former Italian journalist Leopoldo Canettoli. The young team had approached Italian sportscar manufacturer Lamborghini, to not only supply them with their latest V12 Formula One engines, but to also design and build the chassis. Lamborghini had established a Formula One specific division in 1988, — Lamborghini Engineering — to oversee their burgeoning Formula One programme and they entered the sport in 1989 as an engine supplier. 1991 would be the firm's first attempt at designing and building a Formula One car. Former Alfa Romeo and Spirit driver Mauro Baldi was proposed as a part-backer and driver for the team. Lamborghini Engineering had tasked Mauro Forghieri, with the assistance of Mario Tolentino, to design and build a Formula One car. By the summer of 1990 they had completed the process and had a rolling chassis ready for testing, only for Luna to disappear, taking all his money with him. This left a huge hole in the team's finances and effectively put its future in doubt. However, Lamborghini were determined to keep the project going as they already had the engines and now they had a Formula One car. So, the Italian firm injected a sum of money into the team to keep it running, they relocated it to Modena in Italy, which resulted in a subsequent name change taken from the team's new home, installed Italian industrialist and former Fila boss Carlo Patrucco as Team Principal, and entered the 1991 Formula One season. Lamborghini were reluctant to have the team viewed as a "works" team though, as this might reflect badly on the marque, so it was entered as Modena Team SpA. Most media sources and fans ignored this, referring to the team as Lamborghini, or more colloquially as, "Lambo". However, it was noted that after an initial lump sum from Lamborghini, Modena Team were an entirely independent business entity and received no further investment or financial assistance from Lamborghini. The change of name would cause confusion throughout the season. It was essentially a Lamborghini Engineering team, as they had designed and built the chassis, the chassis carried the firm's name and it was powered by a Lamborghini engine, but they were adamant on having it named differently and went about registering it under a different name, resulting in the team known as Modena but the cars as Lambo 291's on the official entry list. "Modena" was also the surname of Stefano Modena, a driver who would be contesting the 1991 season for Tyrrell.
Views: 3783 Pietro Pecco
European bison, Białowieża National Park, Białowieża, Podlaskie, Poland, Europe
The European bison, also known as wisent or the European wood bison, is a Eurasian species of bison. It is one of two extant species of bison, alongside the American bison. European bison were hunted to extinction in the wild, with the last wild animals being shot in the Białowieża Forest (on the Poland-Belarus border) in 1919 and in the north-western Caucasus in 1927. They have since been reintroduced from captivity into several countries in Europe, all descendants of the Białowieża or lowland European bison. They are now forest-dwelling. They have few predators (besides humans), with only scattered reports from the 19th century of wolf and bear predation. European bison were first scientifically described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. Some later descriptions treat the European bison as conspecific with the American bison. It is not to be confused with the aurochs, the extinct ancestor of domestic cattle. In 1996, the IUCN classified the European bison as an endangered species. It has since been downgraded to a vulnerable species. In the past, especially during the Middle Ages, it was commonly killed for its hide, and to produce drinking horns. The European bison is the heaviest surviving wild land animal in Europe; a typical European bison is about 2.1 to 3.5 m (7 to 10 ft) long, not counting a tail of 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in) long, and 1.6 to 2 m (5 to 7 ft) tall. At birth, calves are quite small, weighing between 15 and 35 kg (33 and 77 lb). In the free-ranging population of the Białowieża Forest of Belarus and Poland, body masses among adults (aged 6 and over) are 634 kg (1,398 lb) on average in the cases of males, with a range of 436 to 840 kg (961 to 1,852 lb), and of 424 kg (935 lb) among females, with a range of 340 to 540 kg (750 to 1,190 lb). An occasional big bull European bison can weigh up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) or more. On average, it is slightly lighter in body mass and yet taller at the shoulder than the American bison (Bison bison). Compared to the American species, the wisent has shorter hair on the neck, head, and forequarters, but longer tail and horns. The modern English word 'wisent' was borrowed in the 19th century from modern German Wisent, itself from Old High German wisunt, wisant, related to Old English wesend, weosend, and Old Norse vísundr. The Old English cognate disappeared as the bison's range shrank away from English-speaking areas by the late Middle Ages. The English word 'bison' was borrowed around 1611 from Latin bisōn (pl. bisontes), itself from Germanic. The root *wis-, also found in weasel, originally referred to the animal's musk. Historically, the lowland European bison's range encompassed all lowlands of Europe, extending from the Massif Central to the Volga River and the Caucasus. It may have once lived in the Asiatic part of what is now the Russian Federation. Its range decreased as human populations expanded cutting down forests. The first population to be extirpated was that of Gaul in the eighth century AD. The European bison became extinct in southern Sweden in the 11th century, and southern England in the 12th. The species survived in the Ardennes and the Vosges Mountains until the 15th century. In the early Middle Ages, the wisent apparently still occurred in the forest steppes east of the Ural, in the Altay Mountains, and seems to have reached Lake Baikal in the east. The northern boundary in the Holocene was probably around 60°N in Finland. European bison survived in a few natural forests in Europe, but its numbers dwindled. The last European bison in Transylvania died in 1790. In Poland, European bison in the Białowieża Forest were legally the property of the Polish kings until the Third partition of Poland. Wild European bison herds also existed in the forest until the mid-17th century. Polish kings took measures to protect the bison. King Sigismund II Augustus instituted the death penalty for poaching a European bison in Białowieża in the mid-16th century. In the early 19th century, Russian czars retained old Polish laws protecting the European bison herd in Białowieża. Despite these measures and others, the European bison population continued to decline over the following century, with only Białowieża and Northern Caucasus populations surviving into the 20th century. During World War I, occupying German troops killed 600 of the European bison in the Białowieża Forest for sport, meat, hides, and horns. A German scientist informed army officers that the European bison were facing imminent extinction, but at the very end of the war, retreating German soldiers shot all but nine animals.
Views: 9612 Pietro Pecco
A.L.F.A. 24 HP 1910, Alfa Romeo Museum, Arese, Lombardy, Italy, Europe
The ALFA 24 HP is 4.1-litre four-cylinder passenger car, the first model produced by Italian car manufacturer ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili), which in 1919 would become Alfa Romeo. It was introduced in 1910, the year ALFA was founded, and produced until 1914 in ALFA's Portello factory near Milan. The model's name comes from its tax horsepower rating, then frequently used as vehicle designation. The 24 HP was commercially successful and continued to be developed fora decade. In 1914 some updates transformed the 24 HP into the ALFA 20-30 HP, produced in 1914 and 1915—with some hundred cars assembled after the war in 1920. In turn the 20-30 HP evolved into the 1921–22 Alfa Romeo 20-30 ES Sport, the first car to be badged Alfa Romeo from its introduction. In total the 24 HP and 20-30 HP were produced in 680 examples. ALFA was born from Società Italiana Automobili Darracq—Milano (SIAD), an unlucky attempt by French manufacturer Darracq and some Italian investors of creating an Italian branch to locally build and sell Darracq cars under license. In Autumn 1909 SIAD managing director Cavalier Ugo Stella tasked technical director Giuseppe Merosi with developing from a blank sheet a new model, designed from the outset for the Italian market—unlike the unsuccessful small Darracqs. Merosi worked on what would become the 24 HP before ALFA was even established: in January the foreign management of the Portello factory was replaced by Italians, and only in June 1910 SIAD changed its denomination to ALFA. Before the Fall of 1910 the first prototype of the 24 HP was completed and tested. Alongside the 24 HP in 1911 Alfa introduced the 12 HP, somewhat simpler in its construction and equipped with a smaller 2,413 cc engine, later evolved into the 15 HP and then into the 15-20 HP. On 14 May 1911 the 24 HP made its racing debut at the 6th Targa Florio. A pair of special 24 HP tipo corsa (racing type) were built for the occasion, with 2-seat baquet bodywork, an additional 30-litre fuel tank behind the seats, two spare tyres, and an engine tuned to 45 bhp (34 kW) at 2,400 rpm. Weighing 870 kg (1,918 lb) (as opposed to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) for a torpedo-bodied standard 24 HP), the car had a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph). Both drivers (Nino Franchini and Ugo Ronzoni) had to retire on the third and last lap of the course—the first because of an accident, the second because of physical exhaustion. The 24 HP was sold solely as bare chassis. It was made in five series, named with letters from A to E. The series E introduced in 1914 showed the most significant revisions, so much that the model was renamed ALFA 20-30 HP. Series A and B, produced in 1910–11 and 1912 respectively, were of 50 cars each. The engine produced 42 bhp (31 kW) at 2,200 rpm, and these cars could reach 100 km/h (62 mph). Series C and D, produced in 1913 and 1914 respectively, were roughly of 100 cars each. These adopted the more powerful engine of the 1911 tipo corsa; output was now 45 bhp (34 kW) at 2,400 rpm and top speed 105 km/h (65 mph). The axle tracks were also widened front and rear—1.45 m (57 in) instead of the previous 1.35 m (53 in). The ALFA 20-30 HP of 1914 and 1915, or ALFA 24 HP series E, was an update of the earlier 24 HP. The in-block camshaft was now chain- instead of gear-driven, the engine produced 49 bhp (37 kW) at 2,400 rpm, and top speed was 115 km/h (71 mph). Although Italy initially remained neutral until 1915, with the outbreak of First World War in 1914 international demand for motor cars declined sharply. As Alfa Romeo turned to wartime production, in 1915 frames and parts for almost 100 20-30 HP cars were set aside unused. They were assembled five years later when the company, which by then had been taken over by Nicola Romeo and renamed Alfa Romeo, restarted automobile production after the war. 95 examples were built in 1920, becoming the first cars badged Alfa Romeo, together with the ALFA 15-20 HP assembled the same year, which had followed a similar fate. During 1920 the 20-30 HP was developed into the larger displacement, shorter wheelbase Alfa Romeo 20-30 ES Sport, the first car to be badged Alfa Romeo from its introduction. The 20-30 ES was produced in 1921 and 1922 in 124 examples. The 24 HP and its derivatives were based on a ladder chassis of C-shaped stamped steel rails. Its engine was a 4,084 cc or 249.2 cu in (bore and stroke 100 x 130 mm, compression ratio 4.15:1) sidevalve inline-four cylinder, fed by a single vertical carburettor. Cylinder block and cylinder head were en bloc, and made of cast iron; the crankcase was cast aluminium, incorporating the four engine mountings. The single in-block camshaft was driven by a gear train on the original 24 HP, and by a more silent chain on its evolution, the 20-30 HP.
Views: 1332 Pietro Pecco
Metz Cathedral, Metz, Lorraine, France, Europe
Saint-Étienne de Metz (French for "Saint-Stephen of Metz"), also known as Metz Cathedral, is a historic Roman Catholic cathedral in Metz, capital of Lorraine, France. Saint-Étienne de Metz is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz and the seat of the Bishop of Metz, currently Pierre Raffin. The cathedral treasury exhibits the millennium rich collection of the Bishopric of Metz, including paraments and items used for the Eucharist. Saint-Stephen of Metz has one of the highest naves in the world. The cathedral is nicknamed the Good Lord's Lantern, displaying the largest expanse of stained glass in the world with 6,496 m2 (69,920 sq ft). Those stained glass windows include works by Gothic and Renaissance master glass makers Hermann von Münster, Theobald of Lixheim, and Valentin Bousch and romantic Charles-Laurent Maréchal, tachist Roger Bissière, cubist Jacques Villon, and modernist Marc Chagall. Saint-Stephen Cathedral is a Rayonnant Gothic edifice built with the local yellow Jaumont limestone. Like in French Gothic architecture, the building is compact, with slight projection of the transepts and subsidiary chapels. However, it displays singular, distinctive characteristics in both its ground plan and architecture compared to most of the other cathedrals. Because of topography of Moselle valley in Metz, the common west-east axis of the ground plan could not be applied and the church is oriented north-northeast. Moreover, unlike the French and German Gothic cathedrals having three portals surmounted by a rose window and two large towers, Saint-Stephen of Metz has a single porch at its western facade. One enters laterally in the edifice by another portal placed at the south-western side of the narthex, declining the usual alignment of the entrance with the choir. The nave is supported by flying buttresses and culminates at 41.41 metres (135.9 ft) high, making one of the highest naves in the world. The height of the nave is contrasted by the relatively low height of the aisles with 14.3 metres (47 ft) high, reinforcing the sensation of tallness of the nave. This feature permitted the architects to create large, tall expanses of stained glass. Through its history, Saint-Stephen Cathedral was subjected to architectural and ornamental modifications with successive additions of Neoclassical and Neogothic elements. The edification of Saint-Stephen of Metz took place on an Ancient site from the 5th century consecrated to Saint Stephen protomartyr. According to Gregory of Tours, the shrine of Saint Stephen was the sole structure spared during the sack of 451 by Attila's Huns. The construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1220 within the walls of an Ottonian basilica dating from the 10th century. The integration into the cathedral's ground plan of a Gothic chapel from the 12th century at the western end resulted in the absence of a main western portal; the south-western porch of the cathedral being the entrance of the former chapel. The work was completed around 1520 and the new cathedral was consecrated on 11 April 1552. In 1755, French architect Jacques-François Blondel was awarded by the Royal Academy of Architecture to built a Neoclassical portal at the West end of the cathedral. He disengaged the cathedral's facade by razing an adjacent cloister and three attached churches and achieved the westwork in 1764. In 1877, the Saint-Stephen of Metz was heavily damaged after a conflagration due to fireworks. After this incident, it was decided the refurbishment of the cathedral and its adornments within a Neogothic style. The western facade was completely rebuilt between 1898 and 1903; the Blondel's portal was demolished and a new Neogothic portal was added.
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Citadelle de Québec, Québec , Canada, North America
Fort George is the fortified summit of Citadel Hill, a National Historic Site of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. First established in 1749, during Father Le Loutre's War to protect the protestant settlers against raids by the French, Acadians, and Wabanaki Confederacy (primarily the Mi'kmaq), it was successively rebuilt to defend the town from various enemies. A series of four different defensive fortifications have occupied the summit of Citadel Hill since this time, with the construction and levelling resulting in the summit of the hill being dropped by ten to twelve metres. Whilst never attacked, the Citadel was long the keystone to the defence of the strategically important Halifax Harbour and its Royal Navy Dockyard. Today the fort is operated by Parks Canada and is restored to the Victorian period. There are re-enactors of the famed 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot and the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band who were stationed at Halifax for almost three years (1869-1871). The first major permanent fortification appeared on Citadel Hill in the American Revolution. The possibility of attack during the Revolution required a larger fortification to protect the city from an American or French attack. Built in 1776, the new fort on Citadel Hill was composed of multiple lines of overlapping earthen redans backing a large outer palisade wall. At the center was a three-story octagonal blockhouse mounting a fourteen-gun battery and accommodating 100 troops. The entire fortress mounted 72 guns. Citadel Hill and the associated harbour defence fortifications afforded the Royal Navy the most secure and strategic base in eastern North America from its Halifax Dockyard commanding the Great Circle Route to western Europe and gave Halifax the nickname "Warden of The North". The massive British military presence in Halifax focused through Citadel Hill and the Royal Navy's dockyard is thought to be one of the main reasons that Nova Scotia the fourteenth British colony remained loyal to the Crown throughout and after the American Revolutionary War. Neither French nor American forces attacked Citadel Hill during the American Revolution. However, the garrison remained on guard because there were numerous American privateer raids on villages around the province, as well as naval battles just off shore, such as the Naval battle off Halifax. The French Revolutionary Wars that began in 1793 raised a new threat to Halifax. A new citadel was designed in 1794 and was completed by 1800. The top of the hill was leveled and lowered to accommodate a larger fortress on the summit. It resembled the outline of the final Citadel, comprising four bastions surrounding a central barracks and magazine, but used mainly earthwork walls. One bastion was constructed with labour from Jamaican Maroons. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent commissioned a clock tower in 1800 prior to his return to England. The Town Clock opened on October 20, 1803 at a location on the east slope of Citadel Hill on Barrack (now Brunswick) Street and has kept time for the community ever since. The Third citadel received hasty repairs and a new magazine during the War of 1812 in case of an American raid but a new fortification was not constructed as naval superiority provided by the British Royal Navy precluded any chance of an American siege. The current star-shaped fortress, or citadel, is formally known as Fort George and was completed in 1856, during the Victorian Era, following twenty-eight years of construction. This massive masonry-construction fort was designed to repel a land-based attack by United States forces and was inspired by the designs of Louis XIV's commissary of fortifications Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban a star-shaped hillock citadel with internal courtyard and clear harbour view from armoured ramparts. Between 1820 and 1831 the British had constructed a similar albeit larger citadel in Quebec City known as the Citadel of Quebec. Fort George was constructed to defend against smoothbore weaponry; it became obsolete following the introduction of more powerful rifled guns in the 1860s. British forces upgraded Fort George's armaments to permit it to defend the harbour as well as land approaches, using heavier and more accurate long-range artillery. Fort George's two large ammunition magazine's also served as the central explosive store for Halifax defences making Citadel Hill, according to the historian and novelist Thomas Head Raddall, "like Vesuvius over Pompeii, a smiling monster with havoc in its belly". By the end of the 19th century, the role of Fort George in the defense of Halifax Harbour evolved to become a command centre for other, more distant harbour defensive works, as well as providing barrack accommodations.
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Toulon, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, Europe
Toulon is a city in southern France and a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence. The Commune of Toulon has a population of 165,514 people (2009), making it the fifteenth-largest city in France. It is the centre of an urban area with 559,421 inhabitants (2008), the ninth largest in France. Toulon is the fourth-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille, Nice and Montpellier. Toulon is an important centre for naval construction, fishing, wine making, and the manufacture of aeronautical equipment, armaments, maps, paper, tobacco, printing, shoes, and electronic equipment. The military port of Toulon is the major naval centre on France's Mediterranean coast, home of the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle and her battle group. The French Mediterranean Fleet is based in Toulon. During World War II, after the Allied landings in North Africa (Operation Torch) the German Army occupied southern France (Case Anton), leading to the scuttling of the French Fleet at Toulon (27 November 1942). The city was bombed by the Allies in November of the following year, with much of the port destroyed and five hundred residents killed. Toulon was captured by the Free French Forces of General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny on 28 August 1944. In 1974 Toulon became again the préfecture, or administrative centre, of the Var. Five years later the University of Toulon opened. Toulon was one of four French cities where the extreme-right Front National won the local elections in 1995. The Front National was voted out of power in 2001. The old town of Toulon, the historic centre located between the port, the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the Cours Lafayette, is a pedestrian area with narrow streets, small squares and many fountains. Toulon Cathedral is located here. The area is also home of the celebrated Provençal market which takes place every morning on the Cours Lafayette, which features local products. The old town had decayed in the 1980s and 1990s, but recently many of the fountains and squares have been restored, and many new shops have opened. The Old Town of Toulon is known for its fountains, found in many of the small squares, each with a different character. The original system of fountains was built in the late 17th century; most were rebuilt in the eighteenth or early 19th century, and have recently been restored. Mount Faron (584 metres) dominates the city of Toulon. The top can be reached either by a cable car from Toulon, or by a narrow and terrifying road which ascends from the west side and descends on the east side. The road is one of the most challenging stages of the annual Paris–Nice and Tour Méditerranéen bicycle races. At the top of Mount Faron is a memorial dedicated to the 1944 Allied landings in Provence (Operation Dragoon), and to the liberation of Toulon. Toulon harbour is one of the best natural anchorages on the Mediterranean, and one of the largest harbours in Europe. A naval arsenal and shipyard was built in 1599, and small sheltered harbour, the Veille Darse, was built in 1604–1610 to protect ships from the wind and sea. The shipyard was greatly enlarged by Cardinal Richelieu, who wished to make France into a Mediterranean naval power. Further additions were made by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Vauban. The upper town, between the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the railway station, was built in the mid-19th century under Louis Napoleon. The project was begun by Baron Haussmann, who was prefect of the Var in 1849. Improvements to the neighbourhood included the Toulon Opera, the Place de la Liberté, the Grand Hôtel, the Gardens of Alexander I, the Chalucet Hospital, the palais de Justice, the train station, and the building now occupied by Galeries Lafayette, among others. Haussmann went on to use the same style on a much grander scale in the rebuilding of central Paris. Le Mourillon is a small seaside neighbourhood to the east of Toulon, near the entrance of the harbour. It was once a fishing village, and then became the home of many of the officers of the French fleet. Mourillon has a small fishing port, next to a 16th-century fort, Fort Saint Louis, which was reconstructed by Vauban. In the 1970s the city of Toulon built a series of sheltered sandy beaches in Mourillon, which today are very popular with the Toulonais and with naval families. The Museum of Asian Art is located in a house on the waterfront near Fort St. Louis.
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Palio di Siena 2018, Siena, Tuscany, Italy, Europe
The Palio di Siena is a horse race that is held twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. The Palio held on 2 July is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia. The Palio held on 16 August is named Palio dell'Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary. Sometimes, in case of exceptional events or local or national anniversaries deemed relevant and pertinent ones, the city community may decide for an extraordinary Palio, run between May and September. The last one was in year 2000, to celebrate the entering of the city in the new century. A pageant, the Corteo Storico, precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world. The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid. The race is run for three laps of the piazza and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. It is common for a few of the jockeys to be thrown off their horses while making the treacherous turns in the piazza, and indeed, it is not unusual to see unmounted horses finishing the race without their jockeys.
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