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30/06/2011

Heather (Calluna vulgaris) Moorland, North Yorkshire Moors National Park, England


This photo was taken in the North Yorkshire Moors, a national park in North Yorkshire, England. The moors are one of the largest expanses of heather(Calluna vulgaris) moorland in the United Kingdom.

27/06/2011

Albemarle Catalysts Company B.V, Nieuwendammerkade 1-3, Amsterdam


This photo was taken from Java Island, in Amsterdam, and is showing a production site of Albemarle Catalysts Company B.V., located at the Nieuwendammerkade 1-3, on the north shore of the “IJ”.
The location started operations around 1900 under the name “Ketjen.” Since then the Ketjen factory has expanded to a large Catalysts production site.
The main activity of the site is production and research of Catalysts for the petro-chemical industry. These Catalysts are used for the production of high quality fuels such as gas, petrol, diesel and kerosene from crude oil. On the Amsterdam site, three plants are in operation; an FCC plant, producing Fluid Cracking Catalysts (since 1953), a HPC plant, producing Hydro Processing Catalysts (since 1956) and a multi-purpose plant, producing Isomerization, Methyl Chloride, Methyl Amine, Melamine and Oxychlorination Catalysts. A research center and several supporting departments are also located on the Amsterdam site.
Today, approximately 500 employees work on the Albemarle Catalysts site in Amsterdam North.

26/06/2011

South Gate, Angkor Thom (អង្គរធំ), Siem Reap, Cambodia


This photo was taken on the bridge at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia.
You can see more photos from Angkor and Cambodia on my Cambodia folder.

20/06/2011

Bibi-Khanym Mosque (مسجد بی بی خانم, Bibi-Xonum machiti), Samarkand, Uzbekistan (O‘zbekiston, Ўзбекистон)


This is a photo of the cupola of the main chamber of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, a famous historical mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, whose name comes from the wife of 14th-century ruler, Amir Timur. The cupola reaches a height of 40 metres.

18/06/2011

Himba Tribe, Kunene (Kaokoland), Namibia

These photos were taken in the north west part of Namibia, in the Kunene(Kaokoland) region. The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in this area; they are nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak the same language.
The Himba breed cattle and goats. The responsibility of milking the cows lies with the women. Women take care of the children, and one woman will take care of another woman's children. Women tend to perform more labor-intensive work than men do, such as carrying water to the village and building homes.
The Himba wear little clothing, but the women are famous for covering themselves with a mixture of butter fat, ochre, and herbs to protect themselves from the sun. The mixture gives their skins a reddish tinge. The mixture symbolizes earth's rich red color and the blood that symbolizes life. Women braid each others hair and cover it in their ochre mixture.

Because of the harsh desert climate in the region where they live and their seclusion from outside influences the Himba have managed to maintain much of their traditional lifestyle.
The Himba's history is wrought with disasters, including severe droughts and guerrilla warfare, especially during Namibia's quest for independence and as a result of the civil war in neighboring Angola. In 1904, they suffered from the same attempt at genocide by the German colonial power under Lothar von Trotha that decimated other groups in Namibia, notably the Herero and the
Nama (in older sources also called Namaqua). In the 1980's it appeared the Himba way of life was coming to a close. A severe drought killed ninety percent of their cattle and many gave up their herds and became refugees in the town of Opuwo living in slums on international relief.
But Since the 1990's, the Himba have been successful in maintaining control of their lands and have experienced a resurgence. Many Himba now live on nature conservancies that give them control of wildlife and tourism on their lands. They have worked with international activists to block a proposed hydro-electric dam along the Epupa Dam that would have flooded their ancestral lands.
The government of Namibia has provided mobile schools for Himba children. Their life is still the same, but the children can read and write.


17/06/2011

Standing Buddha, Wat Xieng Thong temple, Luang Prabang, Laos


This photo was taken in Wat Xieng Thong temple, in Luang Prabang, Laos. At the 'tip' of town, where the Khan flows into the Mekong, is one of the city's oldest and most important temples, Wat Xieng Thong ('Golden Tree'). It was built in 1560 by King Setthathirath and was under royal patronage during the Kingdom of Laos. Like the royal palace, the wat was placed near the mekong. In 1880, the Tripitaka library was added and then the drum tower in 1961. This temple, along with Wat Suwannaphumaham, was spared by any damage during the sacking of the city in 1887. This was because the Black Flag Haw leader, Deo Van Tri, had studied here as a monk in his early life, and used it as his headquarters during the sacking of Luang Phrabang.
On one side of the sim, there are several small halls and stupas that contain Buddha images of the period. There is a reclining Buddha sanctuary, which contains a especially rare reclining Buddha that dates from the construction of the temple. In 1931, the image was taken to Paris and displayed at the Paris Exhibition and was kept in Vientiane until 1964, where it returned to Luang Phrabang. In the near compound's eastern gate stands the royal funerary carriage house, where it houses the funeral carriage, which stands 12 metres high and there are various urns for the members of the royal family.

14/06/2011

Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom), Buda's Castle District, Budapest, Hungary


This is a photo of Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom), a church located in Budapest, Hungary, at the heart of Buda's Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. It was the second largest church of medieval Buda and the seventh largest church of medieval Hungarian Kingdom.

12/06/2011

Checkpoint Charlie ("Checkpoint C"), Cold War, Berlin, Germany

These are a few photos taken in Berlin, at Checkpoint Charlie (or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. The Soviet Union prompted the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stop Eastern Bloc emigration westward through the Soviet border system, preventing escape across the city sector border from East Berlin to West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of east and west. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction. It is now located in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood of Berlin.

Below are photos of the replica of the famous sign at the former East-West Berlin border.

11/06/2011

Western Sahara between Foum Zguid and Mahmid : Iriki, Chigaga Erg, Chebbi Erg, Morocco


This photo was taken between Foum Zguid and Mahmid in Morocco : Iriki, Chigaga Erg, Chebbi Erg. You can also see more photos from the area in my entire Morocco Flickr folder.

09/06/2011

Begijnhof, Amsterdam


This is a photo of the Begijnhof, one of the oldest inner courts in the city of Amsterdam. A group of historic buildings, mostly private dwellings, centre on it. As the name suggests, it was originally a béguinage, a collection of small buildings used by Beguines. These were various lay sisterhoods of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in the 13th century in the Low Countries, comprising religious women who sought to serve God without retiring from the world.

07/06/2011

York Minster (Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter), York, England

These are two photos of York Minster, a Gothic cathedral in York, England, one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster has a very wide decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic choir and east end and early English north and south transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window, (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 16 metres high. The south transept contains a famous rose window.

05/06/2011

Jasper Ward House, 45 Peck Slip, Manhattan, New York City


This is a photo of the historic Jasper Ward House at 45 Peck Slip, the current home of Dodo's, an organic health foodstore, constructed in 1808 and rennovated by 3-D Laboratory Inc. from a deteroriated shell in 2004. This structure was the only one spared by Con Edison when they built the South Street Substation in the 1970s and then donated it to the South Street Seaport Museum. This handsome nearly 200 year old counting house was erected on land Jasper purchased speculatively when it was still under water two centuries ago.

03/06/2011

Gare Montparnasse, Paris, France


This photo was taken from the top of the Tour Maine-Montparnasse (Maine-Montparnasse Tower), also commonly named Tour Montparnasse, a 210-metre (689 ft) tall office skyscraper located in Paris, France.

02/06/2011

Kalyan Mosque (Maedjid-i kalyan), Po-i-Kalyan (Poi Kalyan), Bukhara (Buxoro, Бухоро, بُخارا), Uzbekistan (O‘zbekiston, Ўзбекистон)


This photo was taken at Po-i-Kalyan (also Poi Kalyan), which means "The foot of the Great", and which belongs to the architectural complex located at the foot of the great Kalyan minaret in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The complex is located at historic part of a town. Since 713 several ensembles of main cathedral mosques were built at this area to the south of the Ark citadel. One of these complexes, burnt out by Genghis Khan during the siege of Bukhara, was built in 1121 by the Karakhanid ruler Arslan-khan. The Minaret Kalyan is the only of structures of Arslan-han complex, which was kept safe during that siege.
You can see much more photos from Uzbekistan in my dedicated Flickr portfolio.