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Prozna Street
#About the Warsaw Ghetto's Memorial Street

About one year after taking control of Poland in a lightning war, the Nazis established the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw. Prozna Street (Próżna), where you are now, was part of the Warsaw Ghetto, also one of the few streets where Jews lived even before the war and the establishment of the Ghetto.

Prozna Street survived the destruction sown by the German planes on Warsaw towards the end of the war. Even today, the atmosphere of the old Jewish Warsaw has been preserved. On the street, a Jewish cultural festival called "Singer's Warsaw" takes place every summer, named after the Jewish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.

During the festival, aiming to restore the historical and cultural heritage of Warsaw Jewry, Jewish music and Klezmer music are played, theater plays are performed in Hebrew and Yiddish, alongside traditional dance performances, exhibitions, films and discussions on Jewish subjects. Kosher food stands offer much of the Jewish food that is identified with Polish Jewry to this day.

Particularly interesting is the annual performance of the festival, under the name "And I Still See Their Face." In the exhibition, scenes of Jewish life in Warsaw from the days before the war are projected on the facades of buildings on the street, especially on the facade of the house that was left as it was during the war. Here and there you can see on the street pictures on the buildings, which bring back the Jewish people of the past, to today's streets.

#The House on Prozna Street

One of the buildings that survived the pre-war period, has been left behind since World War II, without being renovated. The old brown building is located in Grzybowski Square, right at the exit from the Jewish area, to the Polish area of ​​Warsaw. The pictures hanging on the building belongs to families who lived there in the early 20th century, most of them, Jewish families.

A Closer Look at the Street - Then and Now:


A House from the Ghetto Days:

Chlodna Street
Chlodna Street
#About the Street that Separated the Two Ghettos

During World War II, Chlodna Street symbolized the separation between the "big" Ghetto and the "small" Ghetto. Here on Chlodna Street the Nazis built a wooden bridge above the street that connected the two Ghettos.

The Nazis kept Chlodna Street out of the Ghetto walls, to be used as a way to move around supplies, and better control the "city."

Today, in memory of the wooden bridge from the Holocaust, there is a site called "Memorial Bridge," that displays the tragic events that occurred here during the Holocaust with multimedia.

Here, on July 1942, one big tragedy happened among the many of the time. This happened when the Nazis announced the liquidation of the Ghetto, with residents being moved to a new settlement in Eastern Europe, which of course was a big lie, and the plan was to send the entire Jewish population to death camps. At a school at 20 Chlonda Street, Czerniaków, the leader of the Jewish community committed suicide. He did this after hearing the announcement, and refusing to agree to give the Nazis the names of those meant to be deported, as he was forced to do in the past.

The house was maintained in its original form, and oddly enough was not destroyed while the Nazis were burning down the whole Ghetto, when trying to stop the Ghetto Uprising.

A Closer Look at the Street:

A Section of the Ghetto Wall
A Section of the Ghetto Wall
#About the Surviving Jewish Ghetto Wall

When World War II was over, Warsaw was left in pieces, with ruins as symbols of the old Jewish Ghetto. The wall has remained the same up to today, on Zlota Street behind a house on 55 Sienna on Walicow Street, where remains of destroyed houses can be seen from the war, as evidence to the horrible historic atrocities to the Jewish community.

On the sidewalks, in many of the points where the Ghetto wall once stood, metal plates can be seen with historical explanations maps and photos.

A Closer Look at the Jewish Ghetto Wall Remains:

Mia 18
Miła 18
#About the Location of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Bunker

You are located at 18 Miła Street, near a hill marking the site where the underground bunker of the Jewish Ghetto was buried. From here the Jewish underground ran the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis, and here most of the fighters were killed.

The decision to rise up and fight against the Nazis was made after the great expulsion from the Ghetto, when the Jews in the ghetto reached the conclusion that the fate of all would be death. Only a few tens of thousands of Jews remained in the Ghetto. Some hid in hiding places and decided to fight the Nazis.

The underground soldiers waged a courageous and hopeless war, almost without weapons, against the Nazi army, which was full of well-equipped soldiers. On May 8, 1943, after the great fires that the Nazis had started in the ghetto and the destruction of the other rebel bases, members of the underground were discovered in a bunker that was here. When it became apparent that they had lost their chance to survive, the bunker being surrounded by soldiers (many of the rebels had been poisoned and died by German gas bombs), the rebels of the Jewish Fighting Organization put an end to their lives in the bunker on Mila Street. Only remnants of the bunker remained, and after the liberation of Warsaw from the time of the Nazis, a memorial was erected here.

#The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the largest uprising of Jews, mainly young people, against the Nazis. This is also the first Jewish revolt in the history of the Holocaust. The revolt broke out after news began to be received about the murders by the Nazis in the Chelmno extermination camp, and in the East in general. Then, the Jews first realized that the trains that the Germans were bringing to them led to extermination rather than to work camps.

Many young people in the Ghetto decided to preserve their dignity and die in the struggle and resistance of the Nazis and not in submission to them. The Nazis, who failed to overcome the rebels and capture them, decided to burn house after house in the Ghetto, until the rebels were subdued. The fires spread throughout the ghetto, and when the large area made it difficult to continue the fighting in the bunkers where the fighters were hiding, they began to go out and fight outside their hiding places and were killed or fell into the hands of the Nazis.

In the basement of the building on the corner of 18 Mila Street was where the main bunker of the rebels was located. Here was the headquarters of the Jewish resistance movement and it was sheltering more than 100 people. When the hiding place was discovered by the Germans, they began to throw in lethal gas bombs, most of the rebels in the bunker, commanded by Mordechai Anielewicz, decided to end their lives, just as the Masada fighters had done about 2,000 years before, in order not to fall into the hands of the Romans.

A Closer Look at the Site:


Former Prime Minister Rabin Visits 18 Mila Street:



Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
#About the Ghetto Where the Jews Were Concentrated During the Holocaust

The Warsaw Ghetto, or the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, was created by the Nazis, about one year after their occupation of Poland. The Germans decided to concentrate the entire Jewish population of Warsaw and the area, in a closed off and fenced area. The Nazis forced Jewish people to move into the Ghetto, and surrounded it with bricks to separate the Ghetto from the Polish side of the city.

The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest in the Jewish ghettos established during the Holocaust in Poland. At its peak, some 450,000 people lived here. It existed from the fall of 1940 until the spring of 1943.

Conditions in the Ghetto were harsh and threatening. Poverty, starvation and disease, terrible overcrowding in the small apartments where several families were crammed, the loss of privacy, more and more Jews were gradually taken to the death camps. The poverty and lack of everything brought young children between the ages of 7 and 13, who were small enough to go through holes and cracks, to sneak into Warsaw to smuggle food from the "Aryan" Warsaw in exchange for little trinkets or money, with the Gestapo soldiers following a brutal and cruel pursuit of the children.

In March 1941, the Germans decided to reduce the size of the Ghetto and closed the small Ghetto. Later they deported more and more Jews from the Ghetto to the camps. During the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that broke out in April 1943, most of the buildings in the Ghetto streets were destroyed by the German army. The German air force, the Luftwaffe, bombed the Ghetto and destroyed most of the buildings there. The Nazis continued to wreak havoc in the Ghetto, even after they had defeated the Jewish revolt, which lasted only a month.

A Closer Look at the Ghetto - Today and Then:


How the Ghetto Looked During the Terrible War:


Documentation of Many Places Around the Warsaw Ghetto:

Sirkeci Gari
Sirkeci Railway Station
#About Istanbul's Orient Express Station

If you find yourselves thinking about the time of Agatha Christy and wanting to get a peak of the Orient Express, then the closest place to see this legendary train is in Sirkeci Gari.

In the fancy station the Orient Express stopped during its height in the 19th century. Today it is back in business, but is a train only for the rich, who have a connection and longing to the romantic train of the past.

At this station, the past has never looked so clear. The station is very well kept, and looks almost exactly how it did in the past. It is located in a European style fancy building, in the 19th century style. On its walls and windows there are many Oriental decorations and paintings.

There are luxury restaurants here, with excellent expensive food. On the walls are photos and placards from the old world, the Victorian, or Colonialism era, which is no more.

The place is impressing and certainly interesting, and worth the trip for a visit.

#A Closer Look:


#A Visit:


#Today's Orient Express:

Big Ben
Big Ben
#Important - the Big Ben will be under construction until 2021

Many tend to think that Big Ben is the name of the clock you're facing. The truth is that the nickname "Big Ben" refers to the bell above the clock.

Can you see it at the top of the tower? The truth is that the name of the clock is The Great Bell, but even on Big Ben's official site they gave up the official name in favor of its more popular nickname- Big Ben.

The clock was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who was in charge of the bell’s installation in 1859. It is told that Benjamin was a large man, prodding his co-workers to call him Big Ben.

The project of raising the bell, which weighed about 12 tons of cast iron, to the top of the tower, was complex and required great effort. Due to its size, it took 30 hours to hoist it up. This was done while the giant bell was tilted parallel rather than perpendicular to the ground. When they finally managed to place the large bell at the top of the tower, they naturally called it Big Ben.

Who would have thought that the director’s name would become one of the most prominent symbols in the kingdom?!

#Is the Big Ben Collapsing?

A survey published in 2011 revealed that the clock tower of the British Parliament is leaning sideways. The tower is 98 meters high, has apparently shifted by 48 cm to the northwest, with a slant of 0.26 degrees (one-sixth of the Pisa tower’s slanting angle).

In the past, Big Ben's slant was only a rumor, and only engineers seemed to notice. Today, if you look well, you will see it with your own eyes: the tower seems to have "bent." It is widely believed that the gradual deflection was caused by intensive construction work around the base of the tower, construction of an underground parking lot for members of the parliament and the introduction of a sewer line laid in the 1960's and underground trains. These all affected the land on which the structure stands and caused its instability.

According to the engineers' measurements, since 2003 the tower is slowly leaning over at a rate of 0.9 millimeters a year. The report also revealed that a "mysterious" incident occurred between November 2002 and August 2003, which caused the tower to tilt sideways by 3.3 millimeters. But you can remain calm at the pace of the current shift, it will take Big Ben at least 4,000 years to fall!

A Closer Look:

Htel des Invalides
Hôtel des Invalides
#About The Compound

One of the most famous places in France is the Hôtel des Invalides. It was built at the initiative of King Louis the 14th as a hospital ("Utel des Invalides"), which was designed to provide shelter and care for his 7,000 soldiers who suffered from disabilities, old age or other defects. This was a rare and admirable act, given that at the same time governments didn't take responsibility for the damage caused to soldiers by the wars they were sent to fight in. At the time 6,000 soldiers who were wounded by the wars of France, lived here. Many don't know that to this day there are some discharged soldiers who stay at this compound and receive dedicated treatment and care. The compound is located in the 7th district of Paris, on the left bank of the city. Today this place is used as a national museum and sometimes it is used for military purposes. In 1789 weapons were stolen from the Invalides cellars and were used to liberate Bastille in the French revolution.

In the plaza of the Invalides, the ranks of Alfred Dreyfus were revoked after he was convicted of espionage, an act that is completely anti-Semitic.. A few years later, after he was exonerated, and his ranks were returned to him here.

The Saint Louis Chapel contains the tombs of Napoleon's brothers and of the French army ministers.


The construction of the Invalid complex was completed within five years from 1671-1676. The Golden Dome, which actually belongs to the Church of San Luis, is made of six kilograms of gold. The architect used a style considered in France to be a typical style of the Jesuits (the members of the Order of Jesus) and derived the the original idea from the first Jesuit church built in Rome. However, the architect also used classical elements which made his style identify with Paris. There are 6 tombs under the golden dome, containing the body of Napoleon which was returned to Paris from St. Helena in 1840. In the year 1861 at an official state funeral in the Dom Church, Napoleon was buried.

#What's in the Compound?

The front of the compound is decorated with statues of the gods of war and wisdom - Mars and Minerva sculpted by Guillaume Coustou. On the gable (the triangle on the facade of the building), you can see another statue of Cousteau the 14th riding on his horse.

You can find 4 museums: the Museum of Contemporary History, Museum of Models, Military Museum (in which you can find the uniform, armour and other belongings of Napoleon) and the Museum of Order and Liberation. Furthermore, it contains two churches: the Church of Saint Louis des Invalides and the Church of the Dom. The compound also has some important national institutions of France: the National Assembly and government offices.

There is a promenade inside the compound, covered with lawns and trees.

#What Happened Here?

One of the events that took place here was in 1894, when the ranks of Alfred Dreyfus were revoked in a humiliating ceremony at the front of the main building. Dreyfus was charged with spying for Germany and after being convicted, without any connection to reality, a ceremony was held here to revoke his ranks.

Years later, after a public struggle for a retrial, after a subsequent conviction and then a pardon and an exoneration in 1906, a different ceremony was held here, in which Dreyfus's ranks were returned to him.

#About the Museums in the Compound

There are several important museums in the Invalides:

The Military Museum (Musée historique de l'Armée) - The museum that was founded in the mid 19th century began as an artillery museum. As the years past, it combined with the Military museum and today it displays historic weapons, uniforms, armors, decorations of the French army and more. The museum is spread over a huge area of about 12 thousand square meters and includes a large and impressive garden. The chronological order enables a comprehensive and profound view of the wars France took part in, using historical information, videos, pictures, paintings and hundreds of thousands of military exhibits that illustrate the nature of the period. The floors about the First and Second World Wars are fascinating and recommended.

The Museum of Models (Musée des Plans-Reliefs) - relief maps and 3D models of French cities, were designed to teach how to attack and defend cities if a war were to break. These models were built for the use of Louis the 14th so he could prepare attack and defence tactics for the army during combat. More than 100 models were built by the best engineers and architects of Paris and they were kept and preserved for hundreds of years. In the 18th century they wanted to get rid of them, but the models were preserved and moved to an area in which they are still kept today. During his reign, Napoleon ordered a few more models. The museum is open to the general public since 1943 and is a historical testimony to the appearance of France in the old days.

The Museum of Order and Liberation (Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération) - "The Order of Liberation" was founded by Charles de Gaulle in the 40's of the 20th century and he led "Free France" and the rebellion of the Nazi occupation. "The Order of Liberation" is the second most important order in France. The museum includes many exhibits from World War II, members of the Orders, weapons, and historic documentation of the actions of "The Order of Liberation."

A Closer Look:


Napoleon's Grave:


An Outside View:


Arco de Tito
Arch of Titus
#About the Ancient Arch that Depicts the Exile of Israel and Plunder of the Temple

The remains of the Roman Forum still stands in Rome, where the arch of victory can be seen today. The Arch of Titus (Arco de Tito) was dedicated by Emperor Domitian to his brother Titus who died in 81 AD. The arch was erected to commemorate Titus' successes in the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Titus' great honor is expressed in ancient inscriptions on the arch, in imprinted writing and sculptures, which document the entry of the convoy of captives and conductors at the arch of Rome. The inscriptions were designed under Greek influence, as did many of the Roman buildings.

The arch has been here for nearly 2,000 years, carefully rehabilitated and maintained since 1936. This occurred during the time of the Italian Fascists, under the dictator Mussolini. They tried to relive and revive the glory of the Roman Empire

It is hard to miss the inscription of time that can be seen in the crumbling limestone, the material of the arch.

Notice the crown of the arch. It contains a carving depicting the treasures from the looting of the Temple, including the seven-branched Menorah that was in the Temple and which, with the establishment of the State, became the official symbol of the State of Israel.

This impressive arch is one of Rome's most famous symbols today, notable for its beauty and spectacular design. Simultaneously, it’s hard to ignore that it depicts the downfall of the Jewish nation and the exile they suffered for nearly 2,000 years.

#What is Depicted on the Arch of Titus?

The Arch of Titus is a gateway built by Emperor Domitian, dedicated to his brother Titus in honor of his victory over the Jews and the suppression of the Great Revolt in the Land of Israel in 70 AD. When Titus destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, he exiled tens of thousands of Jews to Rome as captives and slaves.

The Arch of Titus, built as an arch of triumph and glorifying Titus' victory, presents, among other things, engravings which convey the story of the Roman victory. Among other things, it depicts the ravaging of Jerusalem after the destruction of the Second Temple and the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans. If anyone had any doubts, the Latin inscription reads: "Details from the Arch of Titus describing the plunder and the loot from Jerusalem."

However, a very special fact about the Arch of Titus is that it constitutes the only clue as to the fate of the menorah of the Jewish Temple. The pictures on the stone are of Jewish prisoners, led to Rome, carrying the Menorah of the Temple, the Golden Altar and even musical instruments - all from the Temple in Jerusalem.

For centuries, the Jews of Rome did not pass under this gate, a remnant of the shame of exile and the Jewish destruction. Only in the first half of the 20th century, in Italy's Fascist era, did Italian dictator Mussolini order it to be done. As someone who saw Titus' victory gate as part of the greatness of the Italian people and the glory of the Roman Empire that preceded him, he wanted the gate to glorify Fascist Rome and have the glory of the past project onto it.

#How the Design of the Menorah from the Arch of Titus Became an Inspiration to the Jews

With the establishment of the State of Israel, the Chief Rabbi of Israel of that time decided to adopt the Menorah from the Arch of Titus as the symbol for the State, a national symbol for all of Israel. Over the years there has been much criticism over this decision. Many scholars argued that although the Menorah in the painting has seven branches, and its base is reminiscent of ascending stairs, which, according to Jewish belief were used by the high priest to light the candles. However, they maintain that the Menorah in the Roman Arch contains problematic details that cannot possibly be identified as the Jewish Menorah. For example, the octagonal base of the Menorah that was probably designed by a Roman or Greek artist. In short, the design does not uphold the style of the Menorah that is described in Jewish law. Another source of criticism on the authenticity of the Menorah in the Arch is the decoration of the animals which appear on it. It is impossible, researchers say, that animals such as lions, dragons, and sea animals, which are illuminated by the menorah, are of Jewish origin. According to Jewish law, such paintings are idol worshipping, and their placement on the Temple Menorah is unfathomable.

A Closer Look:

The British Library
#About the Library

The National Library of London is one of the world's largest research and study institutions. You will find 150 million items, while approximately 3 million books and other historical items are added every year. The oldest historical item found here is from the 3rd century BC.

The library was established in 1973, but already operated as a library in 1753, even when it was located in the British Museum building. The reason for the expansion was the necessity for a larger and more respectable reading space.

The library has more than 13 million books, 60,000 journals, 9 million articles, 860,000 newspapers, 1.5 million printed music, 57 million patents and trademarks, and 3 million voice recordings. In addition, this huge space hosts large and interesting exhibitions.

The library is defined as a deposit library (a library that is legally required to transfer copies of various publications) and, by law, receives a copy of any book published in the UK and even tries to purchase books printed outside the UK.

In the library you will find some particularly exciting works and documents: the Magna Carta, the first copy of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll's manuscripts (Alice in Wonderland), lyrics of the Beatles written by John Lennon, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and the Codex Sinaiticus (A manuscript from the fourth century).

A Closer Look at the Library:

#About the Place - The Ancient Prison of Paris

On the banks of the Seine, as part of the justice complex, on the Ile de la Cité, you will find the Conciergerie, the oldest remnant of the Sitta Palace, the first palace built in Paris in the 10th century.

At various other times a chilling prison stood here, where some of the greatest criminals in French history were imprisoned.

The word concierge means the place where the doorman lives, in the broader context - the prison where the prisoners are held. This is also the reason why the place is called like this. The doorman was in charge of the royal palace and its candles. Even today, many apartment buildings have a concierge who is responsible for maintaining the place.

The place is now used as a museum and a historic tourist site. Although you can visit only some of the areas within the historical building, you can touch and feel the history of the city of Paris. The building is maintained and preserved by the National Center for Monuments.

#About its History
In the past, where the Conciergerie stands, stood the Palais de la Cité. The palace was the seat of the French throne from the 10th century to the 14th century.

During the French Revolution, part of the palace became a prison on the ground floor of the building. During the reign of terror, the Conciergerie prison was considered a waiting place until the expected execution. Only a few managed to get released. Queen Marie Antoinette (known to you for her famous "If there is no bread - eat cake") was arrested in 1793 before being executed. Remember the guillotine we mentioned in the Place de la Concorde? To this day you can see tens of thousands of French people coming to honor the Queen's memory.

After the palace was destroyed, the Paris Hall of Justice was built in its place

#What to See During Your Visit
There are two fascinating places to visit:

The first one is the view of the remains of the ancient Cité Palace. The entrance hall to this day remains one of Europe's largest surviving medieval halls. Its area is about 70 by 27.5 meters. Pay particular attention to the Gothic style and stone arches supporting the ceiling. Some of the great stories about the knights, kings and courtiers of those years took place in this hall. The entrance is via a small gate on the northern side of the Hall of Justice.

The second place is the prison of the sentenced to death, which also allows you to touch Paris after the French Revolution. At that time, when terror was in control and the famous decapitation guillotine was established at the Place de la Concorde, this was a place where you waited for the execution that is yet to come. Take note of the women's courtyard, Marie Antoinette's cell and the other death row cells.

Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from November to end of March.

Free for Under 18 and under 26 from the European Union.

A Closer Look at the Concierge:

#About the Pantheon

The Pantheon in Paris is a burial site and an official monument of the distinguished French people, the people who took a significant part in the history of this important country and of Paris in particular. Pantheon means "all gods." But what does that have to do with the people immortalize in it? - great question... It was originally built in the 18th century as a church. But at the time when France tried to avoid religious symbols and sought more national symbols, so it became the national Pantheon.

In 1744, King Louis the 15th, who was seriously ill, vowed that if he recovered, he would replace the ruins of the holy church of Saint Genevieve with a luxurious building worthy of the patron saint of Paris. The foundations of the building that was soon to be built in a neoclassical style were dug in 1758 and Louis himself laid the first stone in 1764. The construction was delayed due to financial difficulties. Later, in light of the death of the architect Soufflot (in 1780), it was completed, but it happened a few years later, in 1790, after the outbreak of the French Revolution. It was completed it by two of Soufflots students.

Although in a later period, the building returned to its first purpose as a church, not long afterwards it returned to serve as a burial site. The changing purpose of the building and the decorations on it, the dedications engraved on its walls and symbols, allow us to examine the construction of the French nation because of the great writers, philosophers, and intellectuals buried here, which were worthy of recognition by the French nation.


The length of the impressive cross structure stands at 110 meters long and is 84 meters wide. It was designed by the architect Jacques Germain Soufflot and its construction took 26 years. Soufflot planned to combine Classical elements with Gothic motifs in the design of the building, but because he died before he completed construction, he did not fully implement the plan. The plan included a church with a Greek cross-shaped dome, with four short sides of equal length and width. The building is 83 meters tall. This building is mainly built in a Gothic style - a central ship with arches above the side passageways. There are also references to other architectural styles. Byzantine architecture - because of the use of the cover domes. Classical architecture seen in the drum dome and the gallery of the outer pillars. Ancient Greek architecture through the six-pillar gallery. Lastly, the triangular gable (an architectural element in front of the building) that we mentioned earlier and the corinthian pillars (pillars whose upper part is made of leaves). Despite the combination of all styles, the Pantheon is classified as a neoclassical structure, mainly because of the period in which it was built.

#Interesting Facts

The issue of burial in the Pantheon was the source of many debates and sometimes even extreme acts such as the removal of people who had already been buried there, such as Mara (a French revolutionary) and Mirabeau (a French statesman). At the time of the Third Republic, the ministers were the ones who proposed candidates for burial and transfer of several personalities from other cemeteries. There were proposals that provoked violent arguments such as the proposal to transfer Emil Zola in 1908. In 2007, the government decided on 76 people to be buried in the Pantheon, including Victor Hugo, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, Emil Zola, Louis Pasteur, Louis Braille and Marie Curie. Beyond the physical burial, the French nation respects its sons through the etching of names on the walls of the Republican temple, which has already been engraved over 1,000 names. Today the president of the republic has the choice and there is no law or document that defines the criteria for election.

In January 2007, French President Jacques Chirac unveiled a plaque in honor of 2,600 people who were recognized by Yad Vashem in Israel as Righteous Among the Nations thanks to their contribution to saving Jews from deportation to concentration camps.

#What Can You See in the Pantheon?

The beautiful Pantheon was built in spirit of the classic Pantheon in Rome and its dome was inspired by St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Throughout the lower part of the Pantheon you can visit the graves of distinguished French people - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emil Zola, Walter, Marie Curie and many others.

Inside the building you can see wall paintings depicting the life of Saint Geneviève. In the center of the building are four ships that together form a Greek cross (which reminds us of the original purpose of the building as a church). Above them is the dome of the Pantheon - decorated with an iron frame. In the gallery surrounding the Pantheon’s Dome you can enjoy a panoramic view over Paris.

Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from November to end of March.

Free for Under 18 and under 26 from the European Union.

A Closer Look at the Pantheon of Paris:

Saigo Takamori Statue
#About the Statue of the Last Samurai

The Saigo Takamori Statue is located near the southern entrance to Ueno Park, features one of the most courageous and mythological samurai in the history of Japan.

Saigo Takamori, a 19th-century samurai, led a huge rebellion against the powerful and ruling Meiji regime, which introduced a "new order" and modernized Japan, hurting the traditional Samurai elite. After a relentless rebellion he was defeated with his samurai followers, and they all committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of the Emperor's soldiers. The defeat of Takamori and his men meant the end of the Samurai era in Japan. Sympathy earned him the pardon granted by the Meiji government and the preservation of his memory as the most important and historic Japanese hero and symbol of the last samurai struggle against the modern world.

Takamori is still an admired figure in Japan. Based on the events of the Satsuma rebellion Takamori led, the movie "The Last Samurai" was based about. The movie is about the rebellion that Takamori led, showing his last days and his greatness, a mythological warrior in the history of Japan.

#Takamori's Story

Saigo Takamori lived in the 19th century, and belonged to the samurai elite, which for centuries had unlimited power. However under the rule of the Meiji Regime the samurai class went and faded. In the 1870's, the new regime enacted laws that deprived the samurai of their power. The powerful and dominant Meiji rule led a group of wealthy citizens to accumulated power and instituted a new order in Japan, in the name of the emperor. "The Cultural Revolution" they called this new order, and it exacted a heavy price from the samurai. The same privileged group that had ruled Japan for hundreds of years was disappearing, crushed, and weakened.

Because he and his samurai brothers were hurt, Takamori rebelled against Meiji. Modernization, he thought, should not harm tradition and its samurai representatives.

Thus Saigo Takamori started a huge rebellion and fought the harsh punishments and economic sanctions imposed on the Japanese. The samurai under his leadership destroyed an imperial force sent to their palace, and the imperial army went to war against the samurai. Unlike the samurai who fought with swords, the Imperial Army used firearms and modern tactics of military warfare. In September 1877, after more than a month of fighting, the Emperor's army attacked Takamori and his men, in the last battle of Shiroyama.

Takamori fought a hopeless battle against them, which ended in a heroic defeat, but left a legacy of sacrifice, resistance to tyranny and a fight for the rights of a ruler, no matter how powerful. Together with Takamori, all loyal to him were killed, and other opposers to innovation and modernization.

According to the myth, when Saigo Takamori was injured during the fighting from a bullet, he ordered one of his followers to cut his head off. So did the other leaders of the rebellion- in order not to fall into enemy hands, they killed each other with swords.

The government's attempt to declare him rebellious and traitor was unsuccessful. After his death, Saigo Takamori became a symbol of heroism and sacrifice for samurai values. It aroused waves of popular admiration. In the end, the Meiji government surrendered to the public sympathy. The powerful rebel became a national hero.

A Closer Look:

Černín Palace
#About the Palace Where the Communists Closed the Accounts

150 meters long, Černín Palace (Černínský Palác) is the largest palace in Prague. In the 17th century it was built by a rich Earl named Chernin. But as happens often in life, the huge and not entirely calculated financial investment of the rich Earl brought financial ruin upon him and his family almost reached the brim.

This building was used for various tings in the past, until the start of the 20th century when the building became the Foreign Ministry of the new Republic of Czechoslovakia, which was created. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to dwell in it later, and this, incidentally, is the role of the palace to this day.

#The Mysterious Death of Jan Masaryk

This was 1948, a little after the fall of Czechoslovakia to communism. In the Palace's garden, used by the Foreign Ministry, a body was found.

It was soon understood that the body was none other than the Foreign Minister himself, Jan Masaryk. the same Foreign Minister was not merely a politician. He was the son of the founder of the republic, Thomas Masaryk, and a politician beloved by the Czech people.

The suspicion that the circumstances of his death were very large. Jan Masaryk was the only minister in the Czechoslovak government who was not a Communist. His opposition of communism and the methods of assassinations of opponents of the Communist parties were widely known around the world.

The mystery remains to this day. There were never any signs of whether the beloved foreign minister had committed suicide because of his depression from the new regime, or was thrown out of the window to his death by those Communist dissidents whom he did not like so much.

In any event, if he was murdered, the murderers of the minister and the legendary son of Masaryk, the founder of the Czech Republic and his democratic political vision that was completely opposed to the Communists, were now the new rulers of the state at the time.
United Nations headquarters
#About the Complex

The large complex of buildings located in New York is used as the headquarters of the United Nations since the buildings were built in 1952. The United Nations is an international organization whose goal is to create collaborations in the themes of law, security, financial development, and human rights between nations, and achieving world peace. Because the territory of the headquarters is international, the United State's laws do not rule here.

The land for the headquarters was purchased for the good of the organization by a donation from John D. Rockefeller Jr. On the land, the complex was built with several buildings. The Secretariat Building, the main building of the complex, and is identified by its impressive facade, made of greenish glass. It is 156 meters tall and has 39 floors.

Another building in the complex is that of the General Assembly Building of the United Nations. The purpose of this body is to serve as a forum for discussion and planning of peace, economic and human rights programs. The third building you'll see here is the Dag Hammarskjöld Building, the UN Library Building.

Outside the buildings, in the open space, you can see gardens and statues. The big square constitutes an inseparable view for many visitors who arrive here.

The complex was designed by 11 international architects, headed by Wallace K. Harrison. In the halls and spaces inside building you can see a variety of art pieces, mosaics, frescoes, and unique carpets that have been collected from around the world.


A Closer Look at the UN Headquarters:

Széchenyi Chain Bridge
#About the Suspension Bridge in Budapest

The bridges that connect the parts of Budapest, above the romantic Danube River, turn the river into a jaw-dropping shining pearl. Without a doubt, the prettiest of these is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) a suspension bridge, that was built as the first permanent bridge that connects Buda and Pest. This bridge begins in Clark Adam Square, across the river, towards the inner city of Pest. There it connects to Roosevelt Square, near Gresham Palace and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The length of the Széchenyi is 350 meters. This was a project by two 'Clarks." In 1839 the engineer William Clark designed the bridge, but he had to pack up and leave Hungary quickly due to prior commitments. So finishing the bridge in 1849 was the architect Adam Clark.

The bridge quickened the union of Buda and Pest, that were becoming one city thanks to the large growth in the 19th century.

In 1945, with the Nazis surrender from the Red Army, the German army bombed the bridge. It was restored in 1949. So it became a monumental attraction in itself. For its nice structure, especially at night when it is reflected on the Danube River. The bridge is surrounded by statues of handsome lions, that have become the commercial symbol of the bridge.

On summer weekends, the bridge becomes a wide boulevard and different performances and attractions for tourists take place.

#The Tragic Story of the Lions on the Bridge

The Suspension Bridge, established in 1849, is considered the prettiest bridge in Budapest. Among other things, it is known for the nice lion statues on its sides. Local legends says that after finishing the statues of the lions, the artist noticed that he forgot to add a tongue to one of them. And out of desperation and sadness, he committed suicide and jumped off the bridge.

However, all the lions on the bridge have their tongues! So is the legend true? Walk around the bridge and see if you can find a lion without his tongue...

A Closer Look:

Palace of Westminster
#About the House of Parliament

One of the most famous symbols of London is the Palace of Westminster, commonly known as the House of Parliament. It consists of two houses: the House of Lords and the House of Representatives, also called the "house of commons". These bodies deal with legislation and have authority in the United Kingdom.

The Gothic-style palace is located on the banks of the River Thames in Westminster.

The Parliament House was built in the 19th century and includes the famous clock structure, the Big Ben. The House of Parliament has a distinguished history and represents values ​​are a cornerstone of British leadership - political honor. In its early days, the palace served as the residence of the king's legislative advisers. The changes made over the years were caused by unification and disconnection of the countries which make up the United Kingdom: Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

The palace is one of the largest buildings in the world. It features about 1,200 rooms and more than 3 kilometers of corridors. Although it has an especially ancient wing from the 11th century, most of the present building was built in the second half of the 19th century. This was after a great fire destroyed the palace in 1834.

On days when the parliament is active, visitors can even go inside and watch the discussions.

#Prohibition of Death in Parliament

It’s interesting to learn about some strange laws upheld in different countries. In London, we have come across one of the strangest ones yet; it is prohibited to die in Parliament. It may sound funny, but it is not a joke and the law actually exists. The law prohibits dying in any royal palace in Britain, claiming that anyone who dies in it will technically have to receive a state funeral, even if they are not part of the royal family. If you had any such plans, sorry to put a damper on them…

#About the Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot was an attempt to assassinate King James I and all his men. It was a conspiracy in 1605, in which a group of Catholic extremists attempted to murder King James I of England, his family, and the proletarian nobility by blowing up the British Parliament building in Westminster Abbey.
The gunpowder plot was a scheme led by Catholics in England. They hoped to seize the monarchy in the kingdom and return it to Catholicism, so that England would return to the control of the Pope. The plot was foiled after a Catholic MP received a warning from one of the conspirators not to attend the opening ceremony of the parliament. He preferred to report it and searched the entire parliament building.

A guy named Guy Fawkes was caught in the search holding a lamp and a watch. In the basement of the parliament there were also 36 barrels of gunpowder. After research and modern experiments, it was discovered that had the barrels exploded, the king and everyone else in the building would have died immediately. Guy Fawkes betrayed the rest of the conspirators after severe torture. After a show trial all the conspirators were executed in a particularly cruel manner, treated as traitors of the worst kind.

The plot may have failed, but it was the anonymous Guy Fawkes who left a real mark in English history. As a general term for man, the word "guy" in English comes from his name. England also has a day called “Guy Fawkes Day” on November 5th, when bonfires are held with fireworks, it is a kind of celebration of the failure of the plot throughout the commonwealth: from England to Australia.

Today, masks of the "Anonymous" group – a group of permanent conspirators that are currently working against many regimes - were also designed according to Guy Fawkes' face.

The night of the thwarted conspiracy is mentioned in a ceremonial practice held in English Parliament before every opening ceremony of the Parliament. In this occasion, the members of the Parliament Guard search all the rooms in the building for bombs.

Tower of London
#About the Tower

The Tower of London is a majestic castle, located on the north bank of the Thames in central London. It was established in 1066 as part of the conquest of England by the Normans. The fortress is a complex of several buildings surrounded by two ring-shaped defensive walls.

The innermost ward contains the White Tower and is the earliest phase of the castle, and gave the castle its name “Tower of London". It was built by William the Conqueror around 1078. Inside the tower you will find St. John's Chapel, a collection of weapons and medieval armor, and a reminder of a terrorist attack that took place here in 1974. At the entrance of the citadel courtyard you can see the "Bloody Tower”, where it is presumed that King Edward V and his brother Duke of York were murdered.

Next to the "Bloody Tower" is the Wakefield Tower where the crown jewels were kept. In the Jewel House building you will find the Crown Jewels exhibition and on the ground floor you will see the Armor garments, noble and gallantry symbols, jewelry and crowns.

In the Middle Ages the Tower of London served as a prison. In this prison those opposed to the crown were arrested and beheaded. Over time, the Tower of London gained a reputation for the torture and death that took place within its walls. Seven people were executed at the Tower, and for 400 years there were more than 100 executions. Among the prisoners was Queen Elizabeth I, who managed to escape the execution.

The tower served as the residence of the British monarchs. The truth is that the control of the fortress in that era was critical for anyone who had aspirations of ruling the country. However, it was much more than a house, for it had many uses-starting from a gun warehouse, a treasure house, a zoo, through the residence of the Royal Coin, a public documents office and the home of the crown jewels of the United Kingdom.

Today, the Tower of London is a popular tourist attraction. It is crowded by visitors who come to watch the towers, the guards with the red uniforms and the crowns.

Every evening at 9:00 pm, you can watch the "ceremony of the keys," performed by the guards. During the ceremony the gates of the fortress are locked. This ceremony has been done for 700 years!

#Terror in the Tower

There are some chilling stories to tell about the Tower of London. The truth is, however, that it is not surprising considering what went on inside these walls. For hundreds of years, torture, murders, executions, suicides, and mourning have taken place here. To this day, it seems like a soft sobbing resonates throughout this vast structure, probably to remind us that the past is still a part of our present.

Ghost stories are an inseparable part of life for anyone who grew up in England. 40% of the city's inhabitants believe in ghosts and one in seven people can swear they saw one. Historically, the Tower London is one of the most prominent places for such stories.

For the record, 2,900 prisoners were held here over the years serving as a prison. These people were from all ranks and social classes. If you look in the direction of the White Tower where the torture chamber was built, know that quite a few people have died there in agony. The guards of the fortress, who used to patrol around, once testified to shouts being heard piercing the from the door of the White Tower. They assumed it was Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. Queen Anne Boleyn’s fate was sealed when she was executed on the grounds of adultery and treason against the king.

A Closer Look at the Tower:

#About the Square Where Books Were Burnt

This public square, located in the center of Berlin, was once called the ‘Opera Square’. The current name, Bebelplatz, was renamed after World War II, after the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the 19th century, August Babel.

At the square you can see some important buildings such as the Opera House, the Humboldt University buildings, and St. Hedwig Cathedral (an ancient Roman Catholic Church).

#About the Burning of the Books

One of the most prominent events to happen in this square is known as the burning of the books. The event took place at the square on May 10th, 1933, the Nazis burned the books of the Prussian library. About 5,000 students and faculty members from the University of Berlin burned more than 20,000 books of various authors: Communists, Jews, and everyone who wrote things that did not fit into the Nazi ideology.

This event severely damaged freedom of expression, and led to the oppression of Nazi ideology in an extreme and unbearable manner. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, was in charge of this whole event. That same day, Goebbels gave a speech about ‘Un-German Literature.’ In the wake of this incident, students throughout Germany burned more books.

It is interesting to note that in 1820, a few decades earlier, the sentence was written: "Where books are burned, people will be burned," by the German poet and philosopher Heinrich Heine, who foresaw the future of many of his books being burnt.

#About the Empty Library Monument

The Israeli sculptor and recipient of the Israel Prize, Micha Ullman, established a monument in 1994 to commemorate the terrible book-burning event that took place at the square. The sculptor, who participated in an international competition in which 30 sculptors from around the world competed, won the competition to create this commemorative monument. This monument, by the way, is now considered to be his most important and familiar work.

The monument is a transparent square (armored in glass) located in the ground, embedded in the square itself. It is not possible to enter the pit, but it is recommended to look through at the underground library with 14 empty shelves. The emptiness of the shelves symbolizes the enormous cultural space left behind by the burned books, which were burned by the Nazis.

Two of the shelves by the way are hidden and out of site, and out of the 14, one can observe the only 12 shelves, symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve months of the year. The dimensions of the room are not random either, they were calculated according to Ullman's body size multiplied by four, indicating the humanism that was buried in that shocking event. In the library room, a closed door facing the local university, from which the students who burnt the books existed the university.

Ullman said about the monument: "The image that stood before me at all stages of the work was the cry of Edvard Munch: a relatively small opening in a large picture, a small black pit, an element of shouting, a cry without a sound."

A Closer Look:

Berlin Wall Memorial
#About the Death Belt Around the Berlin Wall

In Bernauer Street in North Berlin, there is the official memorial site for the Berlin Wall (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer). Here you can see a section of the original Berlin Wall, along the length of the historic "death belt" section, the area where East German soldiers guarded, equipped with watchtowers and lighting equipment, shooting anyone trying to move towards to West Berlin side of freedom. From a nearby watchtower, you can watch the death belt. There is also a documentation center for the history of the wall and along the street are explanatory signs displayed in a kind of open museum, which deals with the Berlin Wall and the escapes from it, and displays with arrows the escape tunnels dug underneath.

#About the Wall that Divided Europe and the Whole World

The Berlin Wall was a very long fence, about 155 kilometers long, that served as a buffer between West Germany and East Germany in the period after the end of World War II. East Germany was a communist state, which was ruled after the war by the Soviet Union and did not allow its inhabitants free movement to Western Berlin and the rest of the free world.

From the famous wall that surrounded the city of Berlin and divided it, only a few fragments remain, which are evidence of the period in which it divided the two areas, the eastern and the western parts of the city.

Throughout Berlin you can follow the outline of the Berlin Wall with a brick track that runs across the city and marks the places where it once passed.

#About the History of the Construction of the Berlin Wall

It all began in August 1961, when the Russians, who then ruled East Germany and East Berlin, began to build a barrier between the part controlled by them and the one controlled by the West. Thus Berlin was divided into two parts: East Berlin and West Berlin.

Initially the Berlin Wall was only a fence, but soon the forces of East Germany began to replace it with a wall. Many watchtowers were erected along the wall and eight border crossings were set up, which did not allow the residents of East Germany to move to the west.

Thus the Berlin Wall was built, which was about 155 kilometers long. It divided the city between east and west and became the unofficial symbol of the Cold War. Its presence created a split among the city's residents and many tried to escape over the years. Most of these escape attempts ended with death.

In 1989, about 28 years after its establishment, the wall was toppled, and Germany was reunited into one state.

To this day, small sections of the wall remain, as evidence of the folly of its construction, and the route of the wall is marked all through Berlin, with metal plates posted throughout the city, with the German inscription "Berliner Mauer.”

#How was the Berlin Wall Taken Down?

The 1980's were marked by years of crisis among the Warsaw Pact countries, the Soviet-controlled states. It all began with the economic crisis itself. When the pact countries weakened they were opened freely, under the policy of its leader, Gorbachev, the Communist-inspired regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed. One of them was the communist regime of East Germany.

The toppling of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989, about 28 years after its establishment, marked the fall of the Communist regime in East Germany and was the signal for the reunification of divided Germany. It was also one of the most significant symbols for the collapse of the Communist bloc, and the victory of the west in the so-called Cold War.

At the same time period, the German reunification, bringing about the fall of the wall caused considerable concern for the future. In particular, the world worried about a situation in which Germany might again become a superpower that would threaten the free world. In the meantime, Germany has become one of the leaders of the free and democratic world, and learned the lessons of the past all too well.

A Closer Look:

Brandenburg Gate
#About the Iconic Berlin Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) has already known 800 historic years of fame, and has become one of the most important symbols for Germany and Berlin in particular. The Gate is located at Paris Square, not far from the Reichstag Gate, and is the last gate left from a series of gates that were used as entryways into the city. This gate also stands in the spot where the Berlin Wall once divided West and East Berlin.

The gate is styled after the Propylaea style (a monumental gate building that was used as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens, Greece). Just like the use of Propylaea to lead into the temple of the ancient world, is the same use of the Brandenburg Gate to lead into the most important city of the Kingdom of Prussia. Talking about architecture, the gate completely announced the entrance into the classical Berlin architecture age.

The gate was built between 1788 – 1791. Its height is 15 meters tall, 65.6 meters wide, and 11 meters longs. It contains 12 columns each 15 meters tall, with a meter and a half diameter. Through here are five separate passageways, though only two were originally opened. Today the gate is for pedestrian use only.

The gate and fence symbolize freedom and unification, and today it is one of the most important locations in the city.

#About the History of the Brandenburg Gate

The gate was especially ordered by Frederick Wilhelm II, who was the King of Prussia and his mission was to symbolize peace. You can see his portrait on the German Euro coins.

In 1806, after the conquering of Berlin, Napoleon walked through the gate into Berlin and took with him the statue above the gate, the Quadriga,
as a war prize. Napoleon transferred the statue to Paris.

In 1914 the war celebrations were celebrated around this gate.

In 1933 the Nazi’s walked through the gate in a march that symbolized the beginning of the darkest time in the history of Germany, what would lead to the destruction of the city and its division.

With the end of World War II the gate was badly damaged by bombings.

In 1987 the President of the United States Reagan visited Berlin, and gave a speech in front of the gate where he called the President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, “if you are a man of peace, take down this wall.” After a wave of applause, in 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, and the gate became a symbol for the reunited Berlin. At the same time the gate also became a main location for different celebrations: New Year’s Eve, the Berlin Marathon, street markets and the Pride and Love Parade.

Between the years 2000 and 2002 the gate went through extensive renovations, to the price of about 3 million dollars.

After the war the gate became a part of the wall dividing East and West Berlin, and also symbolized the city’s division.

#What Do You See in the Statue Above the Gate?

The statue that is above the Brandenburg Gate is the Quadriga, it is a horse carriage lead by four horses. On the carriage is the figure of the goddess of victory (Victoria), carrying an olive branch and riding to bring peace into the city. At the base of the statue you can see symbols of war and of the renovations that came after. The carriage was used in the ancient Olympic games in Greece and in carriage races in ancient Rome.

In 1806, after the conquering of Berlin, the status was stolen by Napoleon and taken to Paris. It was returned to its rightful place only 8 years later, in 1814, with the olive branch having been replaced by a cross. This was also the reason for the difference in the statue’s symbol – from a bringer of peace to a goddess of victory.

A Closer Look:

The Queen Mary
Maritime Museum
Old Town Market Place
Grzybowski Square

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.