Pictures of The Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Pictures of The Plitvice Lakes, Croatia.

pictures, images & photos of Plitvice Lakes National Park ( Nacionalni park Plitvička jezera ), Croatia. Situated in the Dinaric mountain range of Croatia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Plitvice lakes are a series of 16 lakes that descend from 2078 to 1650ft down a deep mountain valley and a canyon, which continues as river Korana.. The highly mineralised water contains calcium carbonate which has formed by a process of rapid precipitation semi circular travertine dams behind which lakes and ponds have formed.

The colour of the water changes from blue through to turquoise depending upon the mineral content at different times of the year. The upper lakes are surrounded by forest with walk ways for visitors. The paths weave their way around the travertine lakes and eventually reveal high waterfalls and cascades. From the Upper lakes and electric ferry teas visitors to the lower gorge where lakes decent through a narrow canyon to high waterfalls at the end.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Images of the Roman Ruins of Perge, Turkey

Pictures of Perge Archaeological Site, Turkey.

Pictures, images and photos of the archaeological site of Perge ( Perga ), Turkey. Perge dates back to the Bronze Age and during the Greek Hellenistic period was one of the richest and most beautiful cities of the ancient world. In the 1400's B.C the Ancient World civilisations of the Mediterranean apart from Egypt suddenly collapsed. Egyptian hieroglyphics talk of a sea people who destroyed all the ancient cities along the coast and as far inland as Hattusa the Hittite capital. By 1000 B.C the Hellenistic period of rebuilding was beginning and Perge, 20 km from the sea was seen to be in a defensive position that would keep it safe from sea people attacks and the nearby Aksu River was used to move goods to the sea. It became an important trading and cultural city and was the home of the great mathematician Apollonius.

Apart from the remains of two Hellenistic towers the archaeological site of Perga today is from the Roman period from 146 B.C. The city is an exemplary example of Hellenistic & Roman gridiron planning with defensive walls. By the the 3rd cent. BC when Alexander re-conquered Anatolia from the Persians, grid plans were the norm for Hellenistic cities. The Romans adopted the idea from the Greek settlements of southern Italy and carried on the design in Perga. From the Acropolis the Nymphaeum fountain fed running water into a canal which ran down the middle of a 300 mt. long colonnaded street that ran from the Acropolis to the Agora. The southern baths and gymnasium is a fine Roman brick building complex. In 46 A.D., according to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul and St. Barnabas journeyed to Perga, from there continued on to Antiocheia in Pisidia, then returned to Perga where he delivered a sermon.

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Pictures of The Norman Abbey of Monreale, Palermo Sicily

Pictures, Images & Photos of the Spectacular Byzantine Mosaics of The Palatine Chapel, Palermo.

Photos, pictures of the Palatine Chapel, Palermo. The chapel was commissioned buy Roger II of Sicily in 1132 and was dedicated to St. Peter. The new chapel was built over an older chapel, now the crypt, that was built in 1080. The design of the chapel follows traditional Byzantine rules. At one end it has 3 apses which are semicircular recesses covered with semicircular domes. The central Aspe is higher than the 2 side apses and all 3 house the chapels altars. At the end of the apses the transept runs the width of the chapel. above the centre of the transept is a high dome. From the transept run a central naive which has 6 arabic pointed arches, 3 on each side, supported by older classical columns. On each side of the central naive are 2 smaller aisles. At the end of the central naive is a raised platform which is where the Frankish Carolingian throne was placed for the king to sit on.

What makes the Palatine chapel one of Europe's great art treasures is its mosaic decorations. Every part of the interior of the chapel is covered with mosaics. The background color of the mosaics is gold which reflects the candles in such a way as to create a magic and mystical atmosphere that is almost overwhelming. Because the chapel is quite an intimate space the intricate flowing figures and patterns of the mosaic design crowd in on the senses and are almost overpowering. Each scene is surrounded by its own decorative border as can be seen in orthodox icon mosaics.

The oldest mosaics are probably in the transept and date from about 1140. These magnificently crafted mosaics depict the Acts of the Apostles. These mosaics almost certainly made by the finest Byzantine craftsmen probably from Constantinople. The style of the design is heavily influenced by orthodox iconography and the inscriptions are in Greek.

The other mosaics depict scenes for the old testament and scenes from the lives of apostles and probably date from the 1160's. They are not as fine as the transept mosaics and were probably made by local craftsmen as a lot of the inscriptions are in Latin rather than Greek.

The Palatine chapel is a political statement from the 11th and 12th century. It is designed to appeal to Roman & Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. Its mosaics depict biblical scenes as well as very rare secular mosaics and paintings on the ceiling depicting everyday life, animals and flowers. The Arabic style multifaceted ceiling, made from now rare Nebrodi pine, is influenced by Iraqi 'Abbasid art. Lions & eagles are depicted and these paintings in tempera, part of what is widely considered the largest single Fatimid work of art of its day, seems to reflect the relaxed norms of a tolerant society. The scenes would have been frowned upon by Muslims of the time yet they would have been painted by Muslim artists. In the Palatine Chapel the Normans are sending out a secular message of tolerance to dogmatic Muslims?

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