The Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD) and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft).It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda.”The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.
Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I the city had 2 million inhabitants.Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city lies in the east of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rodna Mountains are a subdivision of the Eastern Carpathians in Northern Romania. The name comes from the nearby Rodna Veche village.The Rodna Mountains have one of the longest continuous ridges in Romania, with over 50 km from west to east. The two highest points are Pietrosul Rodnei and Ineu peaks, with 2,303 and 2,279 meters respectively. The mountains are most suited for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, and are especially famous for having snow late into the summer months (skiing is possible well into June, sometimes even July).While the ridge itself poses no difficulties, the challenge is the massive length of it, and the absence of drinkable water (except for a few puddles that are usually dry). A complete hike on the Rodnei main ridge takes between 3 and 5 days, depending on the weather and the endurance of the hiker.
Photo by Ovidiu Lazar.
Vestmannaeyjar (“Westman Islands”) is a town and archipelago off the south coast of Iceland.The largest island, Heimaey, has a population of 4,135. The other islands are uninhabited, though six have single hunting cabins. Vestmannaeyjar came to international attention in 1973 with the eruption of Eldfell volcano, which destroyed many buildings, and forced a months-long evacuation of the entire population to mainland Iceland. Approximately one fifth of the town was destroyed before the lava flow was halted by application of 6.8 billion litres of cold sea water.
The New Palace is a palace situated on the western side of the Sanssouci royal park in Potsdam, Germany. The building was begun in 1763, after the end of the Seven Years’ War, under Frederick the Great and was completed in 1769. It is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace.The building of the palace commenced at the end of the Seven Years’ War, to celebrate Prussia’s success. The war is also variably referred to as the Third Silesian War, owing to the dispute over Silesia. In an architectural form, Frederick the Great sought to demonstrate the power and glories of Prussia attributing it as fanfaronade, an excess of splendor in marble, stone and gilt.