Category: architecture

America’s Most Iconic Statue: Lady Liberty [55 PICS]

July 6th, 2013 Permalink

For 127 years, she’s watched over and welcomed people to the USA. Officially, her name is ‘Liberty Enlightening the World,’ but most call her the Statue of Liberty or Lady Liberty. She is surely America’s most iconic statue. Lady Liberty is made from 300 copper sheets, suspended from a steel framework, which have naturally oxidized over the years making her appear green. She is 151 feet tall, standing on a 65 foot concrete and granite pedestal upon a courtyard shaped like an 11-pointed star. Located on Liberty Island, Lady Liberty calls out, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” On July Fourth, America’s 237th birthday, Lady Liberty reopened to the public. Here are some rare and historic photos and fun facts, mixed in with stunning shots of the Statue of Liberty. [55 Photos]

Lady Liberty, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886

Countless millions have been awed by visiting America’s most iconic statue. Lady Liberty, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France. After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the Statue of Liberty “reopened” on July 4, 2013. Photo #1 by Mr. Nixter

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Fireworks: Celebrating Happy Independence Day America! [21 PICS]

July 4th, 2013 Permalink

July Fourth, the day Americans celebrate their independence from that place across the pond. God bless America. Happy Independence Day! [21 Photos]

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, America! “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!” ~ quote by Daniel Webster. Photo #1 by Jeff Krause

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World-Famous Dancing Fountains of Bellagio, Vegas Baby [35 PICS, 9 Vids]

June 15th, 2013 Permalink

People go to Las Vegas for all sorts of reasons, but everyone wants to see the beloved and world-famous Fountains of Bellagio, the most popular free attraction on the Vegas Strip. There’s a reason that crowds are dazzled by watching the water dance. Bellagio’s iconic fountains are an engineering marvel, 8 acres of water, nearly 5,000 lights, and a fog system to help set the mood, as 1,200 water-shooting nozzles create a magnificent ballet of dancing fountains choreographed to music. Whether it is your first visit or your thousandth time to watch the show, there’s something magical about the Fountains of Bellagio.
[35 Photos, 9 Videos]

Sunset Fountain Show, Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Fountains of Bellagio are on every tourist’s list of attractions to see. The show is set in an 8½-acre man-made lake that is about 1,000 feet (300 m) long and illuminated at night by nearly 5,000 lights. The center circle of nozzles, “extreme shooters,” are capable of shooting water almost 500 feet (460 feet) into the air. Photo #1 by Justin Brown

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Memorial Day: Weeping Angels at Eternally Eerie Graveyards

May 26th, 2013 Permalink

No matter your religious beliefs or cultural background, we all mourn our lost loved ones. When remembering the departed, we can all be ‘haunted’ by ghosts and specters of memories. Some people are so bereaved that they erect elaborate statues for tombstones. The details and symbolism on headstones are usually created by those still living, weeping and mourning; the monuments capture that sense of loss and pain to be remembered for all time. Graveyards are eerie enough, but other tombs are topped off with curiously spooky and complex reminders, making the cemetery seem like it was created to be a totally creepy and morbid place. Having lost a beloved grandmother and great-grandmother this year, we can feel the pain of loss and the love that went into these grieving angel statues. Angels monuments often offer comfort to those still living, but when they too have passed on and the graves are forgotten, time and weather may play havoc on the tombstones. For Memorial Day, here’s a trip through cemeteries that seem eternally eerie by being haunted by weeping angels and other ghoulish statues standing guard for an eternity. [45 Photos]

Mourning angel and golden leafs of fall, cemetery of Laeken, Brussels

Mourning angel and golden leaves of fall, cemetery of Laeken, Brussels. Stone sculptures as headstones lend a sense of permanence in being remembered. Photo #1 by Eddy Van 3000

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School’s Out for Summer! School’s Out Forever! Salute to Graduates! [46 PICS]

May 16th, 2013 Permalink

Summer is almost here. For those of you who are graduating, we salute you. Congratulations! For everyone else, school’s out for summer break. School is out forever for these abandoned schools, reform schools, boys’ schools, girls’ schools, vocational schools, college’s and universities. [46 Photos, 2 Videos]

Schools out for summer, schools out forever, Abandoned School Classroom

Schools out for summer, schools out forever! Photo #1 by Brook Ward

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US Government Top Secret Town: Manhattan Project ‘Atomic City’ aka Oak Ridge TN

April 14th, 2013 Permalink

In 1942, as part of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government created a top ‘Secret Town’ aka ”The Atomic City’ now called Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The government bought up about 68,000 acres of land and about 1,000 Tennessee families were given two weeks or less to vacate. All the while, other secret towns were created elsewhere in the US as part of the race to create an atomic weapon. These photos are a flashback into World War II and a treasure trove of Oak Ridge period history. Through these pictures we can peer into the past, previously shrouded in secrecy, into the atomic city where the Little Boy bomb was created before the Enola Gay dropped it on Hiroshima. It’s a story that involves Soviet atomic spies, espionage, compartmentalization to guard secrets, and government billboards encouraging secrecy among Oak Ridge workers. [60 Photos]

Atoms For Peace Traveling Exhibit in Oak Ridge 1957

Atoms For Peace Traveling Exhibit in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1957. But once upon a time, for years, both the atomic research and the facility in Oak Ridge were shrouded in secrecy. The government created this ‘Secret Town’ aka ‘The Atomic City’ as part of the Manhattan Project. In fact, Oak Ridge was the Manhattan District Headquarters. Oak Ridge National Lab, which is now home to ultra-fast and powerful supercomputer Titan, has digitized photo archives, making this photo essay possible. DOE Photo #1 by Ed Westcott

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Holy Land: Christian Tour of Israel [49 Divine Pics]

March 8th, 2013 Permalink

It is the desire of many people to visit the Holy Land, but different people want to see different things, different sacred places. Many Christians would like to visit places featured in the Bible, and many others would like to walk where Jesus walked, taught, preformed miracles, was born, was crucified, temporarily entombed, and rose again. Google Street View lets you tour parts of Israel, but for those of you who can’t currently afford a trip to see more sacred destinations, here are 49 divine pictures to make up a virtual tour of the Holy Land. [49 Photos]

Mount of Beatitudes view at the Sea of Galilee with the Golan heights at the background

Mount of Beatitudes view at the Sea of Galilee with the Golan heights at the background. The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes.”Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Photo #1 by gugganij

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Carved by Dynamite, Massive Founding Fathers at Mt. Rushmore [34 PICS]

February 16th, 2013 Permalink

President’s Day is always celebrated on the third Monday of February and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a sculpture carved into the granite near Keystone, South Dakota, seemed most appropriate to celebrate it. Each of the 60 foot sculpted heads were carved into the granite, mostly by blasting with dynamite, to depict U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Together, these Founding Fathers represent the first 130 years of American history. [34 Photos]

Mount Rushmore during sunset

Mount Rushmore during sunset, a shot of the great monument with fading sunlight behind the Black Hills. The 60-foot (18 m) sculpted heads are of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Photo #1 by Chaitanya Polumetla

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6 Marvelously Modern Libraries

February 9th, 2013 Permalink

In America, February 9 is National Libraries Day. Worldwide, public libraries can be found in almost every tiny town and massive metropolis. To celebrate National Libraries Day, we wanted to salute a few modern city libraries, not just in America, that definitely breakout of the stereotypes of being musty places with shushing librarians. [12 Photos]

Stuttgart city library in Stuttgart, Germany

Architecturally, the Stuttgart City Library in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of the most modern libraries in the world. Books are the main focus here and stand out in the otherwise almost sterile-white surroundings. There are eight floors, each devoted to a specific subjects. 1st floor is devoted to music. 2nd floor is the children’s section. 3rd floor is the life section. 4th floor is the knowledge section. 5th floor is the world section. Of the 6th floor, the library said “Literature Section 6th Floor and Gallery 4th Floor, 6th Floor and 7th Floor.” The 8th floor is the art section. The ground floor is “a meeting place for authors, artists and academics from all over the world.” It also has computer showroom: “Computers and all digital technologies are alphabet-based, just like the library.” The showroom, “with its top-spec computers is a room for discourse, a laboratory, creative world and digital architecture.” Photo #1 by Axel Brunst

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Heart Shapes From Above: 48 Giant Hearts on Earth

February 3rd, 2013 Permalink

In part one, 38 Great Hearts in Nature, we saw that there are heart shapes all around us if only we take the time to notice. There are also hundreds of giant hearts all over the Earth’s surface, but you must be looking down from above to see the heart shapes. This is a collection of giant heart-shaped nature-made and man-made lakes, woods, ponds as well as aerial and Bird’s eye map views hovering over the Earth’s hearts. [48 Photos]

Saxifrage Peak, Valentine Lake

Created by nature: Saxifrage Peak, BC. The photographer added, “The heart shaped ‘Valentine Lake’ in the foreground.” Photo #1 by Tim Gage

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Abandoned Hashima City: Island Inspiration for James Bond Movie ‘Skyfall’

January 14th, 2013 Permalink

This abandoned island with crumbling concrete buildings was the inspiration for the evil dude’s hacking headquarters in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall. Yes, hacking, cyberwar and an abandoned island city are all parts of ‘Skyfall. It was too dangerous here to truly film the secret lair of a 007 villain, so it was reproduced to “make everything real.” Hashima Island, also called Gunkanjima meaning Battleship Island, is Japan’s ultimate industrial ruins ghost town. The island was bought by Mitsubishi in 1890 to mine undersea coal. It was the first place that Japan built large concrete buildings up to 9 stories high, and was constructed to withstand the destructive forces of a typhoon. The island at one point had a population of 5,259, but that did not last. 39 years after it was abandoned virtually overnight, time and nature are winning the battle. Considered creepy by some with all the trappings of home but no people, some folks started to call the abandoned island, ‘Ghost Island.’ Folks interested in history or legal urbex are pleased that portions of Hashima reopened to tourists in 2009. This is the first ‘lost city’ in modern times and with the James Bond movie Skyfall, the infamous island has become even more famous. [35 Photos, 3 Videos]

Stairway To Hell, Gunkanjima, James Bond Skyfall villain hacking headquarters

This Stairway To Hell on abandoned Hashima led to a temple. The climb was reportedly “hellishly” steep. Hacking, cyberwar and an abandoned island city are all featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall. There is a hacking hideout for the villain Raoul Silva and that crumbling city in the film was based on abandoned Hashima off the coast of Japan. Photo #1 by Jordy Theiller

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7 Sea Temples of Beautiful Bali: The Island Paradise Of 1,000 Temples [51 PICS]

November 30th, 2012 Permalink

Beautiful Bali has been called the famed island of the Gods. With its varied landscape of sandy beaches, hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and cliffs, gorgeous waterfalls, as well as lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides, some people claim that Bali is a paradise on earth. But Bali also has a colorful and deeply spiritual culture, which is why it is known as the “island of a thousand temples.” There are sea temples, directional temples and so many others so that 1,000 is an understatement. In fact, everywhere you go, you see a temple. “There are so many temples that the Government does not bother to count them.” There are also monkeys guarding the temples, monkeys in the rain forest, and even bats in a cave temple. Here’s a look at the sea temples, some wonderfully cute wildlife like monkeys, and some other stunning temples on the paradise on earth known as beautiful Bali. [51 Photos]

A Bali sunset and Tanah Lot Temple, one of seven sea temples

After being inspired by a gorgeous photo of Tanah Lot, a sea temple in Bali, we looked up more information. There are seven sea temples, but in trying to find them all, we kept bumping into images of directional temples. Then even more temples, until we found out that beautiful Bali is known as the “island of a thousand temples.” According to the CIA World Fact Book, Indonesia is “slightly less than three times the size of Texas.” Bali is the largest tourist destination in the whole country . . . and everywhere you go there is a temple. “A Bali sunset and Tanah Lot Temple,” one of seven sea temples. Photo #1 by Fabio Gismondi

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