Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Category Archive: Countries and cities

Cuba – Country of Sugarcane and Politics

Cuba – Country of Sugarcane and Politics

Cuba – Country of Sugarcane and Politics

Cuba is made up of one main island and about 1,600 smaller islands. Cuba lies in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometers south of Florida. Its official name is Republic of Cuba. Its area is 110,860 square kilometers.
Havana, on the northwestern coast of the main island, is the capital of the country.
Cuba is warm year-round. Hurricanes sometimes hit the country in the summer and fall, during the rainy season.
Many Cubans are farmers. Sugarcane has been the most valuable crop for a long time. Cuba also produces tobacco, and Cuban cigars are famous worldwide. They also grow coffee, rice, and tropical fruits.
Cuba is rich with mineral resources including cobalt, nickel, iron ore, copper, manganese, salt, silica, and petroleum.
Tourism is now the largest source of income for Cuba.
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Kul Sharif Mosque – the main shrine of Tatarstan

Kul Sharif Mosque - the main shrine of Tatarstan

Kul Sharif Mosque – the main shrine of Tatarstan

The construction of this magnificent mosque with four minarets began in 1996 on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin, and ended in 2005, just in time for Kazan Millennium celebration. Today, Kul Sharif Mosque (Qolsharif Mosque, Qolşärif Mosque) is considered the highest and most beautiful in Europe. It is a cultural, educational and scientific object.
Tatar architects wanted to build a traditional structure of Islamic sample and at the same time tried to show connection with an ancient history, the purity of the Islamic religion and its peaceful character. It is no coincidence the mosque is next to the Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation.
According to ancient Tatar chronicles, four centuries ago on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin, on the left bank of the Volga, there was a mosque with many minarets. It was elegant with strict architectural forms. There was a great domed hall and a rich library. The mosque was the center of religious education and science of the Middle Volga region of the XVI century. The last Imam, the head priest of the Kazan Khanate was Kul Sharif, known as a poet. In the last period of the Kazan Khanate he negotiated between Kazan and Moscow.
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Yakutia – Russian Easter Island

Yakutia – Russian Easter Island

Yakutia – Russian Easter Island

The majority of the ancient scriptures say that a mysterious ancestral home of mankind – Hyperborea, was in Russia. Today, many researchers are looking for the actual proof of its real existence. And some of them are considered mysterious stone giants, located in Yakutia, and on a number of islands of the Arctic Ocean.
In a number of interviews famous Russian traveler Valentine Efremov has repeatedly pointed out that during the expedition to the North he had seen stone statues that might be man-made. If the tradition of the existence of Hyperborea, marked on the map of Gerard Mercator, is true, so, only this civilization in ancient times could erect such giants. Strong winds, heavy rainfalls and constant temperature changes turned monuments of antiquity into the cracked stone pillars.
Hyperborean continent consisted of four islands, separated by the Straits. According to one version, after the disaster that destroyed their world Hyperboreans moved to the continent. Their way, according to Valentine Efremov, passed through the islands of Anjou, named in honor of the famous polar explorer P.F. Anjou. During one of the expeditions Efremov managed to take photos of the stone figures on Kigilyakh peninsula.
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Issyk-Kul Lake – pearl of Kyrgyzstan

Issyk-Kul Lake – pearl of Kyrgyzstan

Issyk-Kul Lake – pearl of Kyrgyzstan

Issyk-Kul Lake for many years attracts romantics and treasure hunters. According to some reports, there might be up to 200 treasures at the bottom of the lake. In addition, there are many legends about sunken cities and about burial place of Genghis Khan in the waters of this wonderful lake.
Issyk-Kul is one of the largest lakes in the world and more than 50 rivers fall into it. It is situated in the northern Tien Shan and its area is 6236 square meters. The lake is 182 km long and 700 m deep. It is surrounded by ridges, that’s why there is no exhausting heat and severe frost here, and the water in the lake does not freeze even in winter.
There are many legends about how the lake was formed, but here is the most beautiful of them, about the girl who gave her life for the sake of love. Once there was a city where the castle of the powerful and cruel khan towered. Khan learned that the poor nomad had a beautiful daughter and decided to possess the girl. But the heart of the beauty belonged to another man. One day a handsome man appeared in front of her on a white horse. They walked all day long and in the evening he took off his ring and put on her finger.
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Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

I wonder why the country, where there are eucalyptus trees and kangaroos, which has never been famous for outstanding singers and composers, has the odd-shaped building of the Sydney Opera House. Why do Australians become interested in classical music? The explanation is simple – an exotic continent has long yearned for the best examples of traditional European culture.
Since the late 50-ies of the XX century, European musicians and singers who came on tour to Australia noted that there was an interest in classical music and singing in Sydney, but there was no real concert hall.
In 1954, a competition was announced. More than 200 architects from 30 countries worldwide took part in it. There were a lot of projects of the opera house, mainly tall buildings with columns. But Australians wanted something unusual, they needed the original design. Everyone liked the project of an unknown Dane named Jorn Utzon. He had never been to Australia and had seen Sydney only in photos, but inspired by a picture of a sailboat in the sea, he suggested a certain structure, resembling regatta. The project was approved and Jorn Utzon won the competition.
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Potala Palace – residence of the Dalai Lama

Potala Palace - residence of the Dalai Lama

Potala Palace – residence of the Dalai Lama

The ancient city of Lhasa, which in Tibetan means “Land of the Gods”, is located 3700 meters above sea level. It is also called the “City of the Sun”, which shines all year round in the mountainous Tibet. The residence of the Dalai Lama – the Potala Palace is at the top of Red Mountain. “Dalai” means “sea of wisdom” in Mongolian, “Lama” means “Principal Monk” in Tibetan, and “Potala” is “the place of Buddha’s habitat.”
In 1950 Lhasa became a part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. According to some scientists it was founded 1400 years ago on the caravan trade routes from China to India and Nepal. The climate here is milder than in other parts of Tibet. In the fertile valley between the mountains, farmers grew wheat, beans, vegetables, raised mountain yaks, sheep and goats.
The founder of the Tibetan Empire king Songtsen Gampo ordered to build the first Potala Palace in the 630s. Local farmers and wage workers had to cut down trees and deliver them to the top of a steep mountain. The palace was built of wood, and according to religious tradition it had 999 rooms (only the supreme deity could have 1000 rooms). In the VIII century the lightning hit the first palace and it was burned down. It could be restored, but internecine war completed the destruction.
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Angkor Wat – the biggest temple

Angkor Wat – the biggest temple

Angkor Wat – the biggest temple

Angkor Wat is a large temple in Cambodia. Its outer walls and a moat are around the area of almost two square kilometers. This area is surrounded by dense forests. Here is a temple complex dedicated to Vishnu, the amazing construction of Hindu architecture.
The discoverer of this abandoned in the deep jungle surprising sanctuary was a French naturalist and geographer Henri Mouhot. During his travels in the countries of the Indian Peninsula, he was in Cambodia, where he heard stories of the lost forest city with temple buildings and stone images of gods. He learned about beautiful and extraordinary architecture of the temple, murals, which depicted gods, mythical figures, military scenes and stages of construction.
The Frenchman did not believe it. Similar stories he had heard during his travels in South India, but did not find anything. He heard the similar stories again and again. So, Henry decided to go into the jungle with several native people to check the information. They traveled by horses, elephants, and then on foot. It was an exhausting trip.
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