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This is a discussion on National within the Photos forums, part of the Fine Art category; Porlezza on Lake Lugano in Italy...

          
   
  1. #171
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    Porlezza on Lake Lugano in Italy

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  2. #172
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    Hiking Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu, Peru


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  3. #173
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    Crete, Greece


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  4. #174
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Charles bridge in Prague

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    Charles Bridge (Karlův most) is a 14th century stone bridge linking the two sides of Prague. This magnificent structure is one of the city's finest attractions, and is the main pedestrian route connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) and Prague Castle.

    From Charles Bridge visitors enjoy fairy-tale views of the Prague skyline. The wide expanse of the river flows beneath it, flanked on both sides by elegant buildings. Prague Castle towers above in its eminent position. Here you are truly in the centre of the city.

    Charles Bridge throngs with people during the day. Street artists sketch and musicians play; look out for the jazz band, who are particularly entertaining. But for a truly romantic and less crowded stroll, try early morning or any time in the evening.

    King Charles IV commissioned the bridge. The foundation stone was laid in 1357. Charles IV's favourite architect and builder, Peter Parler, oversaw the majority of the work. The initial idea was to build a functional construction for knight tournaments, and for many years the only decoration on the bridge was a simple crucifix. Later, the Catholic desire for ornamentation resulted in 30 statues being erected between 1600 and 1800.

    There are now 75 statues on Charles Bridge, but most are copies, as floods and catastrophes over the centuries damaged the originals. Perhaps the most interesting, as well as the oldest, is that of John of Nepomuk (8th from the right as you cross towards Prague Castle).

    The entrance to Charles Bridge is marked at both ends by towers: the Old Town Bridge Tower and the Malá Strana Bridge Tower.

  5. #175
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Schönbrunn Palace Vienna

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    Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial family, is one of Europe's most impressive Baroque palace complexes. The land had been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569, when the wife of Emperor Ferdinand II. had a summer residence built there in 1642, which she called "Schönbrunn". The palace and garden complex built here from 1696, after the Turkish occupation, was redesigned from the ground up by Maria Theresia after 1743. For most of the year, the Habsburgs resided in the countless chambers that a large imperial family needed in addition to the formal state rooms.

    Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Sisi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830. The monarch spent his last years entirely in the palace, which became the property of the new Republic of Austria only two years after his death. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO’s cultural heritage due to its historic importance, its unique grounds and its splendid furnishings.

    The rooms, shown to the public on guided tours, are mostly decorated in Rococo style. Most of the walls and ceilings are covered with white-lacquered surfaces with ornamentation covered with gold leaf.

    Bohemian crystal chandeliers and white porcelain tile stoves are also part of the harmonious design. The living quarters and offices used by Emperor Francis Joseph are simple and very unpretentious; by contrast, the state rooms and guestrooms are much more lavish. In 1772, six-year-old child prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a concert in the Hall of Mirrors.

    In the Round Chinese Room, Maria Theresa held secret conferences with her Chancellor, Prince Kaunitz. Napoleon met with his generals in the Vieux Laque Room. In the Blue Chinese Salon, Emperor Charles I signed his abdication of the crown in 1918, marking the end of 640 years of Habsburg dominion in Austria and the demise of the monarchy.

    The Room of Millions, paneled with rosewood and decorated from floor to ceiling with priceless Indian and Persian miniatures, is probably the most magnificent Rococo room anywhere in the world. The Congress of Vienna danced in the Grand Gallery in 1814-15; today, the Austrian government gives state receptions there when important heads of state come to Austria for official visits.

  6. #176
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    An incredible view of Cascais - a gorgeous little coastal town in Portugal


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  7. #177
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    Buddha Statue in Forest Pak Chong, Thailand


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  8. #178
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    Rheinfall Of Scaffhausen

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    The Rhine Falls is 23 meters high and 150 meters wide, the largest and most water waterfall in Europe. Just a few kilometers from Lake Constance, the Rhine Falls Schaffhausen is one of the major attractions of this area. It is located west of Lake Constance in Switzerland and attracts many travelers who have multiple platforms from a fascinating view of the water masses. Another viewpoint is the Wörth castle, situated on an island in the Rhine. Let the stunning natural phenomenon of the Rhine Falls not miss when you are on holiday at Lake Constance and the surrounding area.

  9. #179
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Langkawi Island : lake of the Pregnant Maiden

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    Dayang Bunting & Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

    Dayang Bunting is the second largest island in Langawi's cluster of 99 islands. It's located offshore and south of the main island, and can easily be reached by a boat. So why is this island so famous? The literal meaning of its name is 'Island of Pregnant Maiden'. And it has a wonderful large fresh water lake (known as Lake Guillemard) surrounded by hills having dense rain forests. The lake too is known as Lake of the Pregnant Maiden.

    The legend says that a man named Mat Teja met and fell in love with the princess Mambang Sari at the lake. They eventually married and the princess gave birth to a son. However their son did not live long and soon died. Having reconciled with their misfortune, they decided to lay their son in the water of the lake and allow him to rest in peace. The gracious princess also blessed all women having difficulty in conceiving a child. They would become fertile once they take a dip into the water of the lake.

    Although not proven scientifically, this remains as a strong belief within the locals. To add to the mystery that surrounds the island and the lake, if you take a look at the hills that forms the backdrop of the lake, from an angle it looks like as if a woman is lying on her back and the belly bulging out like that of a pregnant woman.

    An amazing thing about the lake is, although it lies very close to the sea and separated by only a thing strip of rocks, it is a fresh water lake. Once you reach the island, there is a narrow jetty and then a concrete narrow pathway that leads up to the hills through the forest. After about 10 minutes of climb along steps on the hill, there are some 100 steps that leads down to the beautiful lake on the other side of the hill. The lake has deep blue waters.

  10. #180
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    Krabi Beach, Thailand.

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