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Statue of Carlos III
Statue of Carlos III
#About the Statue of the King who Reformed and Modernized Spain

At the center of Puerta del Sol, is the statue of King Carlos III (Equestrian Statue of Carlos III), who was the king of Spain in the 18th century, while also being the King of Naples, Sicily, and the Duke of Parma.

The statue of King Carlos III was placed here in 1997, right across the building with the white and red stones, Casa de Correos. It commemorates a smart and revolutionary king who did a lot for the advancement of the Spanish Kingdom and Empire, making it an educational place, modern and industrialized.



#About the King of Spain, Carlos III

The impressive statue of King Carlos III represents the king of Spain from the 18th century. As heir to the throne, young Carlos filled other roles as well. He had titles like the King of Naples, King of Sicily and Duke of Parma. All these were ruled by Spain. When he was crowned King of Spain, he passed the title of King of Naples and Sicily to his third son, Fernando.

And so, Carlos was crowned King of Spain in 1759, after the death of his half-brother, Fernando VI. This is when his name officially changed to Carlos III, and he ruled Spain until 1788.

As a king, Carlos III was very active in the political scene, and handled close international relations with France and England, especially during power battles over English colonies in the Americas. He supported France in the Seven Years War, and lost Florida to England. France then compensated Spain with French Louisiana. Carlos fought back against Britain, by giving support to the rebels in colonial lands in the New World. He knew that this support endangered his rule in the Spanish territories of America, but he took a calculated risk and won. Britain was defeated in the American Revolution and lost its colonies in favor of American independence.

The same Carlos continued to advance reforms in the kingdom, that began before his time, and were called The Bourbon Reforms. This was a line of reforms that were meant to place Spain and its Empire in a new era, in a time of enlightenment and education, that then began in Europe.

Carlos also improved the sewage system in Spain, and industrialized the Spanish Kingdom, even though he was not very successful. He promoted free trade in the Spanish Empire, and made many reforms for taxes. Many Spaniards see him as one of the more successful kings who came from the royal line in the history of Spain.



A Closer Look at the Statue:

https://youtu.be/vKWo6DDt8Rc
Puerta de Alcal
Puerta de Alcalá
#About the Gate that is a Neo-Classical Monument

Puerta de Alcalá in Plaza de la Independencia square, is the national Spanish monument in the shape of an impressive gate that is standing still in its place since the 19th century,

The gate, a monument in the neo-Classical style, was built in 1778, during the rule of the King of Spain, Carlos III. Its construction was meant to improve the main entrance to the city from the direction of the town of Alcalá de Henares

A quick look at the gate will reveal bullet holes from gun hits, which occurred in 1823. This happened when the gate was hit by shell fragments in the French battles in Spain.

With the years, the famous gate has entered Spain's personal musical Pantheon. In 1986 this happened with the composition of "La Puerta de Alcalá," a huge hit of the successful Spanish singer Ana Belen.




#History of the Gate

The idea for the gate started in 1764, when the Italian architect Sabatini received the task from King Carlos III - the building of an impressive gate that will replace the small gate built in the 16th century, in the time of King Philip III, towards the town of Alcalá de Henares, that stood on the way between Castile and Aragon.

Carlos III wanted to update the gate to the city, and to upgrade it in the Prado area. Then in the 18th century, that area is the eastern side and the start of the new Madrid. It took 9 years to build the gate, and in 1778 work was completed. Pretty soon it became one of the symbols of modern Madrid of the time.

Like many Spanish cities, the gate was damaged during different wars conducted in its lifetime, and since its construction, signs of damage can be seen to this day. The first damages occurred in battles conducted by the French in Spain in 1823. The gate was damaged again in the Spanish Civil War that occurred between the years 1936 to 1939.



#The Gate's Architecture

Puerta de Alcalá is made of stone granite. It is built in the neo-Classical style, the same style as many other buildings in Madrid. This is a clean look, that tends to return to traditional historic architecture and aesthetics of the ancient Greek and Roman art.

The gate was designed and planned by Sabatini, the 8th architect who was directed to plan the gate by the King of Spain, Carlos III.

The Puerta de Alcalá includes 5 arches. Three of the arches were meant for passing carriages and horses. The two smaller ones, with a square-like shape, were for pedestrians.

At the head of the gate is the statue of Francisco Gutierrez, and at the head of each arch is a head of a lion, sculpted by the artist Roberto Michel.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/H-uKqxsUlAY



Singing by Ana Belen on the Puerta de Alcalá

https://youtu.be/6ppRs1mC4Sc



How the Name is Pronounced:

https://youtu.be/WsyFWFSswXw
Saigo Takamori Statue
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:

https://youtu.be/XW_yvy4an7c
Unknown Soldier Mausoleum
Unknown Soldier Mausoleum
#About the Monument to the Unknown Soldiers

If you have come here, you are inside Carol Park, named after the important Romanian king. Notice that above the park there is a tall monument on a hill. This is the mausoleum of the nation's heroes (Memorialul Eroilor Neamului), formerly the Communist Mausoleum. Behind the monumental monument, 48 meters high, are two buildings that form an arch.

Since the establishment of this monument in 1963, it has commemorated the "heroes of the struggle for freedom and socialism." It was used for this purpose until 1990. But shortly after the Romanian Revolution and after the overthrow of the Communist dictator Ceaușescu, the purpose of the monument and the mausoleum in which Dr. Petre Groza, the first Communist leader of Romania and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the dictator of Romania until 1965, it became, as noted, the commemoration of the simple soldiers.

This magnificent building is a monument to the soldiers who fell in wars. It is a monument to the "unknown heroes," the unknown soldiers that each army perpetuates, because they are soldiers who have never been buried because their remains were not found on the battlefield and in general.

The monument leads to a wide, high staircase. Pay attention to the eternal fire burning alongside the monument and the two sentries, who are soldiers standing by it at all hours of the day. The place was indeed kept by soldiers from the Romanian army, both for the honor of the fallen and to avoid vandalism.

Sometimes, there is a chance to see the nice ceremony of the changing of the guard.


A Closer Look at the Carol Park Monument:

https://youtu.be/vYgIQb4rHYE


Exchange of the Guard in the Mausoleum:

https://youtu.be/01hdo6GLDLo

Monuments

Cangrande II Statue
Cangrande II Statue
#About the Statue of the Historic Ruler of Verona

The original statue of the Cangrande II della Scala riding on his horse, is perhaps the most famous work in the Castelvecchio Museum.

The original statue was taken from the tomb of the Scaligeri tombs here, leaving behind the replica of the statue of Cangrande II della Scala - the one before you.

The Scaligeri family was the noble family that ruled the city of Verona in the Middle Ages. The Cangrande, which was immortalized in the statue, was one of the most prominent members of the family and the ruler of the city from which it emerged.

Cangranda II della Scala was also the builder of the Scaligerie Bridge, in Italian Ponte Scaligero, which runs over the Adige River and connects the fortress to the opposite bank of the river. This was a way out of Castelvecchio, in the event of a siege or danger.
Valle de Los Caidos
Valle de Los Caidos
#About the Megalomaniac Memorial Site for War Victims of the Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War took place between 1936-1939, and was a hard war with many victims. One of the sites to honor the victims, and the most impressive one, is the Valle de Los Caidos.

The large monument is impressive, and located next to Madrid, in the Guadarama Mountain range. It was built between 1940-1958.

The monument is made from a large wide space, that from the start was meant for a place for ceremonies to take place, in the memory of the fallen, and for the new government. However, these ceremonies never took place, and after the opening ceremony, the space has never been used again.

In the monument there is also the longest church in the world. This is a basilica whose length is 262 meters. It was cut through the stone at a depth of 250 meters, by prisoners of the Republic. The construction was difficult, and many workers died during this time. Above the door at the entrance to the church you can see the statue by Pietà of Juan de Avaros.

Above the church, you can see a huge cross, at the height of 150 meters above the tall mountain. This cross can be seen from far away. If you climb to the base of the cross, you will see a magnificent view of the entire area.

The idea to construct this monument came from General Francisco Franco, at the one-year anniversary of his victory and power over Spain. He announced his plans for this special site, where victims would be commemorated. His purpose was to try and heal the wounded nation, and bring it back to its feet. This is after the trauma of the Civil War, where many Spaniards were hurt, either in Franco's armies or on the other side. 40,000 soldiers that fought in that war, on either side, were buried here.

By the way, years later, Franco was also buried alongside these soldiers. Next to him is also buried his friend and Fascist political party organizer Primo de Rivera.






A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Hn9hTpbU5kE


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/XOY6ZjAm95s
Kilmetro Cero
Kilómetro Cero
#About the Square That Marks Point Zero

In the corner of Puerta del Sol Square, there is a point that measures distances (Kilómetro Cero). Right from here, all distances in Spain are calculated. This is point zero, the point where all the main ways around Spain are measured.

If you come here during the day, you will most likely see many tourists surrounding the spot and taking pictures on the point.

In cinema, this point has also been shown, in the Spanish movie "Kilometer 0," from the year 2000, where the main characters meet at this point.

The point here is a symbol, since from Puerta del Sol, nicknamed Sol, many walking tours leave to central places in the city of Madrid.




A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/ab4OQoSrnjg
El Oso y el Madroo
El Oso y el Madroño
#About the Statue of the Bear Eating from the Mulberry Tree

El Oso y el Madroño, the statue of the bear and the mulberry tree in Puerta del Sol, has long been one of the symbols of the city of Madrid. The bear statue eating from the tree weighs about 20 tons. It also can be found on the flag of the city, as the main symbol.

There are those who say that this bear is actually a female bear, symbolizing the connection between the fertile earth of Madrid to the Spanish royal family and the aristocracy.

The truth is actually a little different. In the time that Madrid became the capital of the kingdom, bears were very popular in the area. These bears loved the mulberry trees that also used to be all around the region. These trees were called Madroño, and many are certain that the name of the city, Madrid, originates from this name.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/0yLm9ars1YE


Casa de Correos
Casa de Correos
#About the Ancient Post Office that Became a Police Station.

Real Casa de Correos is a building with red bricks that was established in 1768, as Madrid's main post office. It was planned by French architect Jacques Marquet, and right here the first Spanish stamp was printed.

This building was not always so innocent. It became the threatening police station, and imprisoned political opponents to the government.

During the 19th century, the Casa de Correos was used as the office of the Spanish Ministry of Interior. After the Spanish Civil War, and the follow up Fascist revolution by Franco, the purpose of the building was changed and became the central police station. Casa de Correos became a place that the Madrid residents feared. Here were imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured political leaders of the Spanish dictator, and the building became a place that placed fear in the hearts of locals.

Today, many years after Spain became a democracy and the residents of Madrid got used to the fact that there are no threats, the building became the fancy home of the local Madrid community council, a body whose only threatening attribute might be how boring it is...


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Kr0W0hS_5eQ
Statue of Philip IV
#About the statue of Philip IV

In the center of Plaza de Oriente stands the statue of King Philip IV, who was king of Spain in the 17th century. The statue of Philip IV on his horse is the work of sculptor Pietro Taca. He was inspired by a painting by the famous painter Diego Velásquez.

The square is surrounded by statues of the Visigothic kings, who ruled Spain before the Arab conquest. Before they were moved to the square, the plan was that they would be placed in the royal palace. Changing times, and rising and falling prestige led the statues to find themselves transferred honorably to the Plaza de Oriente.


#About the King of Spain, Philip IV

The period of the reign of Philip IV of Spain between 1621 and 1665 does not qualify as a particularly glamorous period for the kingdom. In fact, it was a time of military and political deterioration and many residents blamed the king for the decline of Spain. There is no doubt that the king was crowned when he was probably too young, at the age of 16. Despite the fleet of advisers who stood beside him, the young king brought the kingdom into a situation that can be delicately defined as "not good." His defenders say that because of his young age, it were the advisers who ruled the kingdom at the time and were responsible for the real deterioration of Spain during his reign.

In any case, the young king's political views were adopted by his father and grandfather. He believed that he should protect the Habsburgs, support the Catholic Church, and try as much as possible to expand the territory of his family. As a result, the Spanish kingdom was weakened by a series of difficult wars waged by Spain, Holland, France, Portugal, Britain, and Protestant forces in the Holy Roman Empire.


A Closer Look at the statue:

https://youtu.be/HHypMemmQZk
Saint Stephen Statue
#About the Large Statue of the Kings of Hungary

The Saint Stephen Statue, located between the Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church, is an impressive bronze statue, placed on a multi-level stone base, with four marble lions carved at each edge.

In the statue, Stephen (István), the first king of Hungary, is seen riding on a horse and carrying a royal wand in his right hand. St. Stephen, the first Hungarian Christian king, was crowned in 1001. He was born a pagan, but was baptized at the age of ten, as part of an alliance his father had made with the neighboring Christian states.

Stephen was the first Christian king of Hungary. When he received the monarchy, he was fought by pagan nobles, including his uncle, who was supposed to take power and felt deceived. But Stephen succeeded in uniting all the Midian tribes and was assisted by the Christian nobles of Slovakia.

When Stephen asked Pope Sylvester II to recognize him as a Christian king and allow him to appoint bishops, the latter refused. But one night later, in the dream of the Pope, the angel Gabriel appeared and ordered him to agree to the request of the Hungarian king. This dream, by the way, is commemorated in the statue of the Archangel Gabriel, which was placed on a post at the Heroes' Square in Budapest. The Pope fulfilled the angel's decree and sent a golden crown to Stephen, which had since become the symbol of Hungary. The crown was attached to an apostolic cross and a letter that recognized him as a Christian king.

From here, St. Stephen divided Hungary into districts and duchies, and ordered every ten villages to build a church and appoint a priest. He himself used to visit secretly and in disguise, the churches and cities, and donated money to the needy and the people he met. Legend has it that even when he was robbed by a bunch of beggars, he was exposed as the king, but spared their lives.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/xMa0k7MKSM0
Statue of Andreas Hadik
#About the Statue of the Horse with the Shiny Balls

The statue of Andras Hadik is a nice statue placed on a small street on Buda Hill. You can see an important man riding a horse, not an unusual sight in European cities like Budapest. But look closely, this statue has something interesting about it.

Notice the contrast of the color of the horse, to the horses' balls, on Castle Hill in Buda. For whoever saw the statue of Juliet in the city of Verona, Italy, knows that the shiny part of a statue is the one that is usually touched by endless amounts of people. While the one who touches for Juliet are by tourists, the ones to touch the balls of the horse are...students!

Every year, in May, when the students in Budapest begin finals, students come to shine the balls of the horse, as a good luck charm on their exams.

If you thought that maybe these actions are embarrassing, think again. This is a real ceremony - the Ceremony of Shining of the Balls.
Monument to the Ghetto Heroes
#About the Monument in Memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes (Pomnik Bohaterow Getta) is the main memorial monument in the city, that was dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In the uprising were young Jews, who were using guerrilla warfare against the Nazis, against all odds. The Nazi oppressor, shocked by their daring and actions, burned and destroyed the Ghetto in order to subdue them, and knocked down whole buildings on the heads of the last rebels who had barricaded themselves in the basements and swore not to surrender.

The monument was presented to the public in 1948, on the fifth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It was sculpted by the artist Natan Rapaport, who was assisted by its founder, architect Suzanne. Rapaport was a Jewish sculptor, painter and photographer who was born in Warsaw and lost all his family in the Holocaust. Throughout his life, after the war, he devoted his most important and best-known works to commemorating those who perished and fought the Nazis.

Next to the monument, the German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt down in 1970 to commemorate the victims and begged forgiveness for the German crimes against the Jewish people. The Poles thanked him by naming the square in front of the monument after him.

A replica of the monument is also in the Warsaw Ghetto Square, on the Yad Vashem plaza in Jerusalem. Many see it as one of the most important symbols of the Holocaust and heroism heritage.



#What To See at the Monument?

The monument manages to present the amazing contrast between heroism and the inconceivable walk, like sheep to the slaughter, to a fate of unparalleled cruelty.

On one side of the monument, statues of heroic soldiers are displayed against the backdrop of the Ghetto in flames and Jews being sent to extermination. They hold hand grenades, rifles and Molotov cocktails, as symbols of their heroism. This side is called "The Struggle."

On the other side of the monument is the "March to Death," where you can learn about the suffering, torture and killing of the victims, by a group of religious Jews walking head down to their deaths.

The monument is made of blocks of stone that were brought by the Germans from Sweden and originally designated for the establishment of the memorial monuments of Hitler and the Germans.



#Jewish Heroism in the Holocaust

From the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes begins a tour in the wake of the Ghetto rebels. The trail, called "The Path of Heroism," was inaugurated in 1988 on the 45th anniversary of the uprising.

The trail, which begins here on Zamenhof Street, has 16 memorial stones of granite - each dedicated to the memory of a character from the Jewish past of the city.



A Closer Look at the Monument:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dySZgs-ttXo
Warsaw Uprising Monument
#About the Monument in Memory of the Polish Uprising Against the Nazis

The Warsaw Uprising Monument is placed in front of the Polish Supreme Court, take a few minutes to pay respects to this place, the impressive monument is in memory of the Polish underground movement against the Nazis during World War II. In the uprising conducted by the underground movement, about 200,000 Polish citizens were killed.

The monument recognizes the Warsaw uprising, in 1944. It shows two groups of Polish rebels. The first going down into the sewer system, while the second climbs into barricade protection. You can see the entrance to the canal by marking a black and white table on the pavement on Miodova Street.

The monument was made in 1989. Five years later in 1994 a ceremony took place here, where the German Chancellor, Roman Herzog, apologized in the face of the Polish people and the families of the victims of the uprising from the Polish underground - about the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II.


A Closer Look at the Monument:

https://youtu.be/Q0ze328yzag
Chopin Monument
#About the Monument for the Great Polish Composer

The Chopin Monument (Pomnik Fryderyka Chopina), in Lazienki Park, is in the Art Deco style, commemorating the great composer, the Polish genius, Frederic Chopin.

The monument is surrounded by many benches, where you can hear Chopin's music with the click of a button.

Warsaw locals love to come here and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere, it gets a little more crowded during the Sunday concerts that happen here twice a day. The Sunday concerts are free on Sunday afternoons. Classical piano music is played, presenting the genius's compositions.

The monument itself was created in 1926, and notice that the shape of the statue changes as you look from different angles.



#Tips

Every Sunday afternoon there is a free concert here with Chopin played on piano, by great artists from Warsaw. This is a great experience, especially with nice weather!

The concerts here are on Sundays, at 12:00 pm and again at 4:00 pm.




Concert at the Park - Chopin's Music Near the Monument:

https://youtu.be/0Sqz7oW9JRw
Ground Zero
#About Ground Zero

Not many know this, but the term Ground Zero does not refer to the place where the Twin Towers stood, but describes a point on the ground where there is an explosion. Mostly it is referred to in the case of atomic or other large bombs and was first used in a New York newspaper 'The Times' when describing "Ground Zero" in Japan.

In recent years, not surprisingly, the term has been coined for the destruction area after the 9/11 terror attack in New York in 2001. Two kidnapped planes crashed into the Twin Towers, known as the World Trade Center, and the towers collapsed and thousands of people were killed.

Since the cornerstone was laid until it was opened to visitors 11 years later, there was great fear of additional terrorist attacks. Only in 2006 was a plan approved for a new building designed by an architectural team led by David Childs. In the complex you can find the memorial for the events of September 11th, the museum that memorializes the events, and a white oak tree, a survivor of the disaster, that is nicknamed the 'Survival Tree."

Many of the city's tourists come here to pay respect to the 3,000 victims who lost their lives here. Every year, on September 11th, a memorial ceremony takes place here, called "Tribute in Light." During the ceremony, two vertical beams of light are projected, resembling the towers that stood here.
Soviet War Memorial Tiergarten
#About the Soviet Monument Erected After Their Victory

In Tiergarten Park at the center of Berlin, in 1945, a Soviet monument was erected, shortly after the Russian army takeover of Berlin. This is not the only monument that was built to remember the 80,000 Soviet soldiers that died in the battle over Berlin during April and May of 1945. But it is the most impressive of them all.

Photos from that time show the monument surrounded by open space. Following the bombings over Berlin, many of the park’s trees were burnt. The rest of the trees were cut down and burned for heating in the final months of the war.

An interesting fact – during the Cold War, the Soviet soldiers were permitted to maintain an honor guard at the monument, event though the monument was located in British held territory. Soviet soldiers were even permitted to cross over onto the British territory to the monument and pay their respects to the fallen soldiers.

The architect Mikhail Gurevich is the designer of the monument, and nearby are sculptures by artists Vladimir Chigal and Lev Karbel.



A Closer Look at the Museum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NRbuUtMnys


Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
#About the Memorial in Memory of the Many Jewish People Murdered by the Nazis

The Holocaust Memorial (Denkmal Für Die Ermordeten Juden Europas) was built exactly where the office of the Nazi oppressor Hitler was once located. The monument is the main memorial in Germany for the commemoration of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and for the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis.

The monument purposefully reminds us of a massive grave site, a sort of huge collection of graves and dark headstones, all different sizes, as if its designers wanted to say that everyone was murdered – men, women, and children.

The location of the memorial site, right at the center of Belin and near the Reichstag Gate, makes sure that no one can ignore it. Many people are not aware that under the memorial is an information center underground dedicated to conserving the Holocaust victims, with multimedia presentation about the subject.

The designer of the Holocaust Memorial, the official name being “The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,” and spans over 19,000 square meters, is the Jewish American architect Peter Eisenman. He designed it as a field, with 2,711 horizontal headstones, an older style of headstones, in columns and rows, creating mazes between the spaces, where one can stay and contemplate. Eisenman refused to explain the odd number of headstones, and said the number had no meaning.



#About the Scandal Around the Holocaust Memorial

Before the memorial site was finished being built, a few scandals arose regarding it. This started criticism for its simple design, others complained about the absurd amount of space it would take up, some said that children run around and play at the site like a park, and there were groups who complained that the memorial needs to be in the memory of other groups also murdered by the Nazis.

But the most embarrassing moment brought up was that that the company for the coating of the pillars, Degusa, was found to have held a subsidiary company during World War II that produced that same Zyklon B type gas, used for the mass murders of Jews. The executives of this company were even tried for their part in the war.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPRX_cr1s0k
Arcul de Triumf
#About the Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest

Like many good places, Bucharest also has its own victory gate. It is located in the north area of the city and is considered a popular tourist attraction. It is 85 meters tall, and visitors can climb to a viewpoint that is 27 meters high.


#History of the Romanian Victory Gate

The victory gate is a minimalist building in the shape of a rainbow, and its purpose throughout history has been to commemorate victories in battles or wars. The custom of building a victory gate originated from the Roman Empire.

The Arcul de Triumf was made as an exact replica of the Arc de Triumph in Paris. It is located between the 3 main avenues of the city, and the entrance to King Michael I Park.

The Bucharest victory gate was established in 1879. Its purpose was to commemorate Romanian independence, and it was made of wood. During damages from different wars, the new gate was built in 1922, this time for the Romanian soldiers that fought in World War I. However this gate also did not survive, and only in 1935 was a gate finally built that stood the test of time - this is the grandeur gate you see today, made of stone and marble.

Each year on December 1st, there is an independence day parade in the victory gate area. At night lights light up the gate with the flags of the 40 regions in Romania.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/IKssousMzQE
El Cap de Barcelona
#About the Statue by an American Pop Art Artist

The Surrealist statue of the feminine head by the famous American artist Roy Lichtenstein, was created for the Summer Olympics that were held in Barcelona in 1992. Lichtenstein was the leader of the Pop Art movement, and a large part of the art he created was inspired by comics. It is therefore not surprising that the statue is in the comic's style, and colorful.

The statue of the head was the first work of art by Lichtenstein that was created with ceramic tiles, as a dedication to Antoni Gaudi, and to his technique of such broken tiles. Until the end of the 1970's, Lichtenstein focused mostly on multi-dimensional pop art, mainly on large fabrics. Next to the typical figures and comic storylines, he used daring colors, dark and thick lines, thought bubbles, sound effects and dots to create shade.

The height of the statue is 64 meters. It stands tall on the beach at the heart of the city. The statue of the head is made of cement and ceramics. Even though the statue is simplified, it is easy to relate the statue to the head of a woman. The eyes look like long blue and black brush strikes



A Closer Look at the Statue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yTrIU8t3pA
Dona i Ocell
#About the Famous Statue of Joan Mirò

The height of the statue by the famous sculptor Joan Mirò is 22 meters tall. It is located in the Joan Mirò Park in Barcelona. The statue is part of a trilogy of art creations that were ordered from Mirò to welcome visitors to Barcelona. When visitors arrive in Barcelona by car, they can recognize the strong colors of the tiles, which characterize Mirò's style. The first creation was placed in 1968 at the airport, and the second was a large mosaic place in La Rambla. And in front of you is the third statue of the series.

The statue was created in 1983 (there are those who say it was created prior to that) and is one of the largest, and last, statues by Joan Mirò. The artist himself was not at the unveiling ceremony, since he was very ill. He passed away less than a year after that. The statue was covered with the tiles by Mirò's colleague, the artist Joan Gardy Artigas.

The work itself deals with a few repeating topics from Mirò's works - women and birds. For its phallic shape, it can be understood that the statue symbolizes the male organ, and the round hole represents the female organ. Artists working with the motifs of sexuality was not new at the time. These such statues were created from prehistoric ages, and in primitive colonies from around the world.

The statue is located at the hear of the popular and picturesque park. Joan Mirò Park is divided into two separate sections: the bottom area with vegetation, where you can see eucalyptus trees, and pine and palm trees. In the higher area there is a man-made lake, where the statue is located in its full glory.



A Closer Look at the Statue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LSHz4pMc38
Arc de Triomf
Columbus Monument
Statue Of Liberty
World War II Memorial
Grand Army Plaza


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