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Experience and impressions

Vienna, Austria
Imperial traditions and stunning modern architecture
Austria’s capital offers a unique blend of imperial traditions and stunning modern architecture for holidays in Vienna. Visit Vienna for its cultural events, imperial sights, coffee houses, cozy wine taverns, and that very special Viennese charm. Vienna’s history dates back to the first century AD when the Romans established their military camp, Vindobona. Today’s cityscape is characterized by the abundance of baroque buildings built during the time of Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz Joseph, who were largely responsible for the monumental architecture round the Ringstraße. Schloss Schönbrunn, the former imperial summer residence, is one of the most popular with visitors. The sumptuous palace with its beautifully tended formal gardens, the Gloriette monument, the Palm House and the zoo attract hordes of visitors every year. The huge Hofburg (Imperial Palace) was the base for the Habsburg dynasty for over six centuries, and is an impressive focus of Austrian culture and heritage. The splendid baroque Belvedere palace today houses the Österreichische Galerie (Austrian Gallery) displaying the largest collection of works by Klimt and Kokoschka as well as famous paintings by Schiele. Vienna’s prime landmarks are the Gothic Stephenson (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater, Vienna’s old recreational park, plus the renowned Spanish Riding School with its world-famous Lipizzan.

Kerkira, Greece
About Corfu
Corfu (Kérkyra), the most important and most northerly of the Ionian Islands, lies off the coasts of Albania and the Greek region of Epirus, at a distance ranging between two and 20km (one and 12.5mi). The beauty of its scenery, with gentle green hills in the south and rugged limestone hills in the north, rising to 906m/2,973ft in the bare double peak of Mt Pantokrátor, its mild climate and its luxuriant southern flora make Corfu a very popular holiday area. The island´s main source of revenue, in addition to the increasing tourist trade, is agriculture. Corfu (known to the ancient Greeks as Korkyra) is believed to be the Homeric island of Scheria, home of the Phaeacians and their king Alkinoos. The earliest traces of settlement point to the presence of farming peoples, perhaps incomers from Italy. Colonized by Corinth in 734 B.C., Korkyra developed into a considerable power which threatened Corinth itself. A Corinthian naval victory over Korkyra in 432 B.C. in the Sybota Islands (probably at the mouth, now silted up, of the river Kalamas) was a major factor in the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. In 229 B.C. it was occupied by the Romans, who called it Corcyra. In the division of the Roman Empire in A.D. 395 Corfu fell to the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire. The medieval name of Corfu appears to be derived from the Greek name Koryphoi ("Peaks"). From 1386 to 1797 Corfu was held by the Venetians; then, after a brief period of French occupation, it passed to Britain in 1815 along with the rest of the Ionian Islands. It was returned to Greece in 1864. In the course of its eventful history Corfu suffered frequent devastation, so that most of its ancient and medieval remains have been destroyed.

Baku, Azerbaijan
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
Baku, also known as Baky or Bakı, is the largest city in the Caucasus and the capital of Azerbaijan. Baku is located on the coast of the Caspian Sea on the southern tip of the Absheron Peninsula. There are three major divisions in Baku: İçəri Şəhər (the ancient city), the Soviet built city, and the newest part of the city. The population as of January, 2003 reached 2,074,300 people. A curious fact about Baku is that its average year-round temperature (14.2 Centigrade) matches the average temperature of the entire landmass of the earth to within a tenth of degree. Summers are hot and humid, winters cool, wet and breezy. However, seasonal temperature excursions are less than in many continental regions at this latitude (about 40 degrees north) owing to the presence of the Caspian Sea. One of Baku´s sister cities is Houston Texas, in the United States. Baku is currently bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics Cultural sites There are a number of interesting sites within Baku´s walled fortress, the Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage site), which can all be seen on foot in one day: The Palace of the Shirvan Shahs, the medieval palace of the Shirvan Shahs is the highlight of the Old City and a must see for any tourist in Baku. Maiden´s Tower (Guz Qalasi), this mysterious and eccentric tower was built somewhere between the 7th and 12th centuries and may have served as a fire beacon, defensive fortification, astronomical observatory, or Zoroastrian temple. Outside the city, on the Absheron Peninsula, there are several interesting sites that are easy to reach via taxi or public transportation. Moreover, the scenery along your route is itself a fascinatingly ugly site to be seen, a desert wasteland with white salt flats and natural oil pools seeping up to the surface. Atashgah Fire Temple. Yanar Dagh, is a mountain that has been continuously on fire for one thousand years. The natural gas vents ensure that hot flames roar out of the sides of this hill even when it rains. There is a small cafe next to the natural wonder that serves tea and snacks. It is best to take a cab as Yanar Dagh is remote and difficult to find. Museums and Galleries The Azeri National Costume Museum (Doll Museum) Taghiyev History Museum Latif Karimov Carpet and Applied Arts Museum< Miscellaneous Dendro Park Oil Rocks, Tourist wanting to see the oil rock complex need to get previous authorization from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Ancient Market in Old City (Icheri Sheher)

Iceland, Iceland
The "Cool" Iceland
Iceland is not only closer than you think, but far different than you ever imagined. Where else can you witness such marvels of Mother Nature as a tremendous icecap and several glaciers, spouting geysers and steaming solfataras, volcanoes (hopefully dormant), raging rivers and magnificent waterfalls, a multitude of birds, cavorting whales just offshore and many other surprises. Summers are surprisingly warm and winters not as cold as you might expect. Regardless of when you visit, be assured that the warmth shown by Icelanders, their desire to share their culture and the efforts made to make your stay as pleasant as possible will, like the spectacular landscape, never be forgotten. Looking for a holiday or vacation in Europe? - Visit Iceland. Iceland Discoveries Iceland means new and different things for you to see and do, whatever the season. Every part of the year has its own special attractions, character and charm. And don´t let the name deceive you - Iceland can be very warm in summer when the sun shines virtually round the clock, while January temperatures are around 0°C. Facts about Iceland Country is an island of 103.000 km2 (39,756 sq.miles), with an average height of 500 m above sea level. Natural Wonders Much of Iceland is still taking shape before your very eyes — raw, dramatic landscapes born from volcanic eruptions and carved out by glaciers. Culture and Heritage Icelanders are proud that they still speak the ancient language of the vikings, but they certainly don´t just live in the past. On your own Travellers visit Iceland today for exactly the same reasons that motivated the Vikings who discovered the place in the ninth century - the love of freedom. The "Cool" Iceland Iceland is so close to Europe that you can just go there on whim for a quick change of scene and scenery. With regular flights from many European gateways, you can be there in less than three hours for a long weekend or even for a long day trip. Björk Mention Iceland to most people these days and the first thought that springs to mind is surely the haunting, beautiful and original voice of singer, songwriter and artist Björk. Quality food With its pristine nature, clean water and pollution-free atmosphere, Iceland in not just a place to feast your eyes on. This fresh and refreshing environment also produces quality food that is the ultimate in good taste. Smart shopping Shopping is something af a national pastime in Iceland and eagerly shared with its visitors. While the general price level is similar to the other Nordic countries, "smart" cosmopolitan buyers will love Iceland for its particularly competitive fashionwear and designer labels. Regular events Whatever time of year you’re in Iceland, there’ll be something going on that will take your fancy.

Sicily, Italy
Sicily...
With a total surface area of 25.460 sq. km, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean basin. Around it lies a number of smaller islands: to the north the Aeolian islands and Ustica, to the West the Egadi, and to the south the Pelagie islands and Pantelleria, making a total surface area of 25.708 sq. km. Sicily boasts around 1.000 Km of coastline, mostly rocky in the north and sandy in the south. The landscape is varied, prevalently mountains and hilly, but with an expanse of plains around Catania. In the eastern part of the island Mount Etna (about 3.330 m) is Sicily´s highest mountain, the whole of which is a protected area within a national park. Still active, it is the biggest Volcano in Europe. Sicily´s principal cities include the regional capital Palermo, together with the other provincial capitals Catania, Messina, Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), Trapani, Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Ragusa. Other famous Sicilian towns include Cefalù, Taormina, Bronte, Marsala, Corleone, Castellammare del Golfo and Francavilla di Sicilia. Sicily is considered to be highly rich in its own unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, cuisine, architecture and language. The Sicilian economy is largely based on agriculture (mainly orange and lemon orchards); this same rural countryside has attracted significant tourism in the modern age as its natural beauty is highly regarded.[3] Sicily also holds importance for archeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica and the Valley of the Temples.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik - la perla de Mediterraneo
En el sur profundo de la costa croata está la región de Dubrovnik cuyo centro, la ciudad de Dubrovnik, porta el título de “La Perla del Adriático” en Croacia y en todo el mundo. La harmonía de los centenarios edificios y las murallas encorsetando la ciudad son como una aparición de cuento de hadas creada para el disfrute. ¿Por qué visitar esta parte de Croacia? Porque cualquiera que no lo haga se priva de visitar un trozo del cielo en la Tierra y “el segundo mejor lugar del mundo”, ya que el primero es siempre el lugar de donde provienes. Es difícil decir qué hace que la zona de Dubrovnik sea fascinante: su historia marcada por los siglos en los que la ciudad ha desplegado una bandera en la que se lee la palabra “Libertas” (libertad) o su papel actual de Meca turística que consiste en una serie de lugares pintorescos en la costa y las islas que te pasean por muchos siglos en sólo unos pasos. La historia en esta zona vive hasta hoy en día en la belleza de los edificios y las magníficas obras de arte legadas para la posteridad por famosos escultores, pintores y constructores, tanto en lugares tan pequeños como Ston en la península de Pelješac, Korčula, Župa dubrovačka, Konavle o Trsteno como en el mismo Dubrovnik. Al construir las residencias de verano y las villas parece que la mano del hombre y la naturaleza hayan ido de la mano para combinar las bellezas naturales con la arquitectura y la horticultura. El resultado final es uno de los lugares más impresionantes del Mediterráneo.

Delphi, Greece
Delfos, uno de los más famosos lugares de culto de Grecia
Delfos, situada en las laderas del Monte Parnaso, por encima del Golfo de Corinto, es uno de los más famosos lugares de culto de Grecia, famoso en todo el mundo de la Grecia Antigua y más allá por su santuario de Apolo y el santuario de su oráculo. EL sitio está en las listas junto con la Acrópolis de Atenas, Olympia y la isla de Delos como uno de los sitios más importantes del periodo clásico de Grecia; y la riqueza de sus restos antiguos combina su magnífica ubicación en la montaña hacen de Delfos uno de los puntos álgidos de una visita a Grecia. Las dos peñas conocidas como Phaidriades (Las Resplandecientes), Phlemboúkos (Flameante) y Rodiní (la Roja), encierran un barranco rocoso que contiene la fuente Castalia, en tiempos antiguos había un santuario a la Madre Tierra, Gea, guardada por un gran dragón llamado Pitón. El mito relata que el dios del Sol, Apolo, mató a Pitón y tras un tiempo de expiación en el valle de Tempe en Tesalia, se convirtió en el señor del santuario como Apolo Pitio. El momento en el que ocurrió este cambio está indicado por el hecho de que los ídolos femeninos que se entregaban como ofrenda en el santuario comenzaron a dar paso a los ídolos masculinos en el siglo IX A.C. Pero aunque la deidad masculina había así desplazado a la diosa anterior, una mujer todavía jugaba el papel central en el culto del oráculo de Delfos, que estaba a la altura de Olympia como santuario pan helénico. Esta era la Pitía, quien se sentaba en un trípode en el santuario más profundo del templo y cuyas tartamudeantes palabras “oraculares” eran transmitidas por sacerdotes y profetas a aquellos que buscaban el consejo del oráculo, Durante los tres meses de invierno Apolo viajaba al norte a la tierra de los Hiperbóreos y era reemplazado por Dionisio. Las profecías del oráculo continuaban durante este periodo. Muchas de las profecías del oráculo son conocidas, datan de los tiempos micénicos (segundo milenio A.C.). En esos primeros tiempos el oráculo le dijo a Orestes que podía expiar el asesinato de su madre yendo a buscar la imagen de culto de Artemisa del Tauro en Escita. En tiempos histórico tres de las profecías de oráculo fueron particularmente notables. Sobre el 680 A.C. dirigió a los habitantes de Megara para fundar la ciudad de Bizancio en el Bósforo (la futura Constantinopla). En el 547 A.C. le dijo a Creso, rey de Lydia en Asia Menor, que si cruzaba cierto río destruiría un gran reino: después de lo cual Creso cruzó el río Halys y fue derrotado por los persas, destruyendo así su propio reino. En el 480 A.C. el oráculo declaró que Atenas, por entonces amenazada por los persas, sería invencible tras una muralla de madera; y así fue cuando la flota construida por Temístocles (la “muralla de madera”) derrotó a los persas en la batalla de Salamina. Tal y como muestran estos ejemplos, el oráculo de Delfos, que llegó a la cima de su influencia en los siglos séptimo y sexto A.C. jugaron un papel en el establecimiento de colonias griegas y en llegar a decisiones políticas; y no menos significativa fue la influencia de Apolo, el díos que garantizaba la expiación y que hacía las leyes, en el desarrollo de la ética y la ley griega. Los receptores de los consejos del oráculo expresaban su gratitud con ofrendas votivas, que trajeron gran riqueza a Delfos, muchas de ellas guardadas en tesorerías construidas en las ciudades individuales. Mucho de esto se ha perdido, pero algunos objetos importantes todavía se pueden ver en el museo de Delfos; y la columna Serpentina de bronce erigida en Delfos en el 479 A.C. tras la victoria de Atenas sobre Persia en Plataitai todavía se puede ver en el hipódromo de Estambul. Delfos disfrutó de un periodo final de prosperidad en el reinado de Adriano (segundo siglo A.D.), pero terminó sus días dañada por un terremoto y el edicto de Teodosio I en el 392 A.D. cerrando todos los santuarios paganos. Después el pequeño y modesto pueblo de Kastrí creció entre las ruinas del templo. El sitio fue redescubierto por el arqueólogo alemán Ulrichs, y excavado por arqueólogos franceses desde 1892 en adelante. Una visita a Delfos consta de tres partes: el templo de Apolo, con el estadio; la fuente Castalia y el templo de Atenea en Marmariá, y el Museo.

Jerusalem, Israel
Historia de Jerusalem
En el 688 A.C., el Templo fue limpiado, las murallas se construyeron alrededor de la ciudad y se excavó un túnel para asegurarse el abastecimiento de agua. En el 628 A.C. Josías convirtió a Jerusalén en el único lugar legítimo de culto judío (2 Reyes 22f). En el 587 la ciudad fue capturada por Nabucodonosor y muchos de sus habitantes fueron llevados a Babilonia. Después del final de los babilonios. Cautividad, en el 520 A.C., se construyó el segundo Templo. En 445 A.C. Nehemías construyó una nueva muralla. En el 332 A.C. Jerusalén cayó bajo dominio griego y fue cada vez más helenizada. La profanación del Templo por Antíoco IV desató el levantamiento de los macabeos del 167 A.C. Bajo los macabeos y los asmoneos la ciudad creció hacia el oeste sobre el monte Zion. En el 63 A.C. pasó a control romano, y en el 37 A.C. Herodes, un idumeo, se convirtió en rey de los judíos. Reconstruyó y embelleció el la plataforma del Templo y equipó a la ciudad con palacios, una ciudadela, un teatro, un hipódromo, un ágora y otros edificios según el modelo helénico y romano. Tras su muerte en el 4 A.C. Jerusalén se convirtió en la ciudad de los altos sacerdotes, bajo los procuradores romanos. Desde el 41 al 44 fue gobernada por Agripa I, quien extendió la ciudad hacia el norte, construyendo la Tercera Muralla (Norte). En el 70 A.D. Jerusalén fue destruida por Tito, para ser reconstruida por Adriano desde el 135 en adelante bajo el nombre de Aelia Capitolina. Jerusalén se convirtió en una ciudad Cristiana en 326, cuando el emperador Constantino y su madre, Helena, construyeron numerosas iglesias. La emperatriz Eudoxia, esposa de Teodosio II, que vivió en Jerusalén desde el 444 hasta el 460, y el emperador Justiniano (527-565) también construyeron iglesias en la ciudad. Esta era finalizó cuando Jerusalén fue capturada por los persas en el 614. Fue recuperada por los bizantinos en el 627, pero en el 638 fur conquistada por los ejércitos del Islam. De ahí en adelanta los califas Omeyas construyeron la Cúpula de la Roca y la Mezquita El-Aqsa. Un periodo posterior de dominio cristiano comenzó en 1099 con la conquista de la ciudad por los Cruzados, quienes construyeron numerosas iglesias, palacios y hospicios. El Islam volvió a Jerusalén, sin embargo, cuando Saladino capturó la ciudad en 1187, y permaneció en manos musulmanas bajo los mamelucos (1291-1517) y los otomanos (1519-1917), quienes construyeron las actuales murallas de la ciudad (1537). En el siglo XIX los poderes cristianos de Europa, que habían apoyado al sultán turco en contra del soberano egipcio Ibrahim Bajá, ganaron una creciente influencia desde 1840 en adelante, y se construyeron en este momento numerosas iglesias, colegios, hospitales y orfanatos. El Papa reestableció el Patriarcado Latino, que había sido fundado originalmente en 1099 pero luego disuelto en 1291. En 1845 se estableció una sede episcopal conjunta anglo-prusiana. La Sociedad Alemana del Templo fundó un asentamiento en Jerusalén (cerca de la estación) en 1873, y en 1881 los miembros de un grupo sueco-americano establecieron la Colonia Americana (al norte de la Puerta de Damasco). En diciembre de 1917 las fuerzas británicas bajo el General Allenby entraron en la ciudad, y el 1 de julio de 1920 se convirtió en el asiento de Alto Comisionado Británico en el mandato del territorio de Palestina. En 1925 se estableció la Universidad Hebrea. Las Naciones Unidas resolvieron en 1947 que Palestina debía ser dividida entre árabes y judíos y que Jerusalén debía ser internacionalizada. Tras el fin del Mandato Británico en 1948 las fuerzas israelíes y jordanas lucharon para controlar la ciudad, y bajo un acuerdo de alto el fuego en 1949 fue divida. En 1950 los israelíes hicieron a la parte occidental de Jerusalén la capital de su estado, después tras la Guerra de los Seis días de 1967 se anexaron Jerusalén oriental. Hubo más problemas en 1980, cuando los israelíes declararon a Jerusalén, incluyendo la Cuidad Vieja árabe, como la “capital eterna de Israel”

Greenland, Greenland
What to do in Greenland
You´ll experience icebergs almost everywhere in Greenland. In the Disko Bay, icebergs often rise up to 100 meters above the waterline - keep in mind that 90 percent of an iceberg is hidden below the surface of the sea. The world´s most active glacier at Ilulissat moves 25-30 meters a day and calves across a front 10 kilometers in width. Visiting the ice cap is possible from most towns in Greenland, although it usually takes a helicopter flight or a boat trip to reach the edge of the inland ice. In Kangerlussuaq the ice cap is only 20 kilometers away and you can hike, drive, fly or mountain bike to there - and stay overnight if you bring a tent. Springtime is the best season for dog-sledge tours and skiing although Greenland also offers first class summer skiing, even heli-skiing, on glaciers, and dog-sledge tours in the summer. Greenland hosts several international events related to ice & snow; such as the Arctic Circle Race regarded as the toughest ski race in the world, the Ice Golf World Championships, and the Nuuk Snow Sculpture Festival. As a neighbour to the North Pole, Greenland has an Arctic climate, although there are great differences from north to south, and from coast to inland. Generally speaking, the climate is very dry, and as a result, temperatures feel quite different from most other places in the world. 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit) feels very warm, while minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) is equivalent to a comfortable temperature. The breathtaking Arctic scenery is almost endless on the world´s largest island, and with a total population of only 55,000 you are truly on your own as soon as you leave one of the small towns and settlements. Human civilisation is the exception in this country. The mountains, valleys, rivers and gigantic ice cap are practically virgin land. Hikers will experience unspoiled scenery no matter where and how. You can walk from hut to hut or - in South Greenland - from sheep croft to sheep croft. Experienced mountain hikers will find challenges with unique awards of beauty in every part of Greenland. Several travel agencies offer hiking tours to Greenland. Alternatively you can plan your own trip. Check out the detailed hiking maps! Greenland is a paradise for anglers. The Arctic char is common in most rivers and if you fish from a boat at sea or on a fjord, you may be able to hook a halibut several meters long or a record-size catfish. In the early spring it´s possible to angle the Greenlandic shark through a hole in the ice. The shark may be up to 6.5 meters long. It is also possible to join a Greenlandic fisherman to the Ilulissat ice fjord for two days to fish with long lines through holes in the ice. The kayak was originally developed by hunters in Greenland, and today kayaking is experiencing a renaissance. The fjords, straits and archipelagos are ideal waters, and several local tourist offices have sea kayaks for rental - from just a few hours to several weeks. Your experience will most likely include icebergs, seals and whales.

Delphi, Greece
Delfi
Delphi, lying on the slopes of Mt Parnassus high above the Gulf of Corinth, is one of the most famous cult sites in Greece, famed throughout the ancient Greek world and beyond as the sanctuary of Apollo and the shrine of his oracle. The site ranks with the Acropolis in Athens, Olympia and the island of Delos as one of the most important sites of the classical period of Greece; and the wealth of ancient remains combines with its magnificent mountain setting to make Delphi one of the high points of a visit to Greece. The two crags known as the Phaidriades ("Resplendent Ones"), Phlemboúkos ("Flaming") and Rodiní ("Roseate"), enclose a rocky gorge containing the Castalian Spring, from which the ravine of the river Plistos, densely planted with olive-trees, descends to Itéa Bay. At the foot of the Phaidriades, close to the Castalian spring, there was in early times a shrine of the Earth Mother, Ge, guarded by a dragon known as Python. The myth relates that the sun god Apollo killed Python and, after an act of expiation in the vale of Tempe in Thessaly, became lord of the sanctuary as Apollo Pythios. The time when this take-over occurred is indicated by the fact that the female idols previously offered at the shrine began to give place to male idols in the ninth century B.C. But although a male deity had thus displaced the earlier goddess, a woman still played a central role in the cult of the oracle of Delphi, which ranked with Olympia as the principal pan-Hellenic shrine. This was the Pythia, who sat on a tripod in the innermost sanctuary of the temple and whose stammered oracular utterances were conveyed by priests and prophets to those seeking the oracle´s advice. During the three winter months Apollo travelled north to the land of the Hyperboreans and was replaced by Dionysos. The oracle´s utterances continued during this period.

Crete, Greece
Hystory and some more info about Crete
The climate is Mediterranean, with relatively mild and wet winters and completely dry summers of subtropical heat (six to seven summer months). The island´s main sources of revenue are agriculture and, increasingly, the tourist trade. The earliest traces of human settlement, by incomers from North Africa, date back to the seventh millennium B.C. From the third millennium B.C. there developed a pre-Greek Bronze Age culture which reached its apogee between 2000 and 1600 B.C. and is known as the Minoan culture, after the legendary King Minos. The cultural and economic influence of Minoan Crete, and also the political authority of this first maritime power in the Mediterranean, were felt as far afield as the Iberian peninsula. Then, around 1400 B.C., for reasons that are not clear, Minoan power collapsed. It may have been a catastrophic earthquake, perhaps following the volcanic explosion on the island of Santorin, which destroyed the Cretan cities; or the island may have been ravaged by invaders. Whatever the cause, Crete never recovered its former importance. Towards the end of the 12th century B.C. Dorian Greeks conquered most of the island. In 66 B.C. Crete - an important base in the Mediterranean - was occupied by Rome. When the Roman Empire was divided in A.D. 395 Crete fell to the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire. In 824 it was occupied by the Saracens, but was recovered by the Empire in 961. From 1204 to 1669 it was ruled by Venice, when the people of Crete fought a long and bitter struggle for independence. Nevertheless the period of Venetian rule saw a considerable cultural flowering on Crete. Among the artists of this period was Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco, who was born in Fódele, near Iráklion, in 1541 (d. Toledo 1614). In 1669 Crete was captured by the Turks, who did not relinquish it until 1898. After a period of independence the reunion of Crete with Greece was finally proclaimed on October fifth, 1912 on the initiative of Elefthérios Venizélos (b. 1864 in Mourniés, near Khaniá), a lawyer and liberal politician who later became prime minister of Greece. In the spring of 1941 German airborne forces occupied Crete, which, lying between southern Europe and Africa, was of great strategic importance, and remained in occupation until May 1945. Iráklion airport, 5km/3mi east; Khaniá airport, 12km/7.5mi northeast, at Stérnes on Akrotíri peninsula; Sitía airfield, 5km/3mi north. Scheduled flights Athens-Iráklion several times daily; Rhodes or Salonica to Iráklion, several flights weekly; Athens-Khaniá, several flights daily; Rhodes-Sitía via Kárpathos and Kásos, several flights weekly.Boat services from Athens (Piraeus)-Iráklion and Athens (Piraeus)-Khaniá, twice daily (10-14 hours; cars carried); sailings, several times weekly, to Cyclades and to Rhodes via Kásos and Kárpathos.

Jerusalem, Israel
History of Jerusalem
In 688 B.C, the Temple was cleansed, walls were built round the town and a tunnel dug to secure its water supply. In 628 B.C. Josiah made Jerusalem the only legitimate Jewish place of worship (2 Kings 22f.). In 587 the town was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and many of the inhabitants were carried off to Babylon. After the end of the Babylonian ... More Captivity, in 520 B.C., the Second Temple was built. In 445 B.C. Nehemiah built a new town wall. In 332 B.C. Jerusalem came under Greek rule and was increasingly Hellenised. The desecration of the Temple by Antiochus IV sparked off the Maccabean rising of 167 B.C. Under the Maccabees and the Hasmoneans the town expanded westward on to Mount Zion. In 63 B.C. it passed into Roman control, and in 37 B.C. Herod, an Idumaean, became king of the Jews. He rebuilt and embellished the Temple platform and equipped the city with palaces, a citadel, a theater, a hippodrome, an agora and other buildings on the Hellenistic and Roman model. After his death in 4 B.C. Jerusalem became the city of the high priests, under Roman procurators. From 41 to 44 it was ruled by Agrippa I, who extended the city northward, building the Third (North) Wall. In A.D. 70 Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus, to be rebuilt by Hadrian from 135 onwards under the name of Aelia Capitolina. Jerusalem became a Christian city in 326, when the Emperor Constantine and his mother Helen built a number of churches. The Empress Eudoxia, wife of Theodosius II, who lived in Jerusalem from 444 to 460, and the Emperor Justinian (527-565) also built churches in the city. This era came to an end when Jerusalem was captured by the Persians in 614. It was recovered by the Byzantines in 627, but in 638 it was conquered by the armies of Islam. Thereafter the Omayyad Caliphs built the Dome of the Rock and the El-Aqsa Mosque. A further period of Christian rule began in 1099 with the conquest of the city by the Crusaders, who built many churches, palaces and hospices. Islam returned to Jerusalem, however, when Saladin captured the city in 1187, and it remained in Muslim hands under the Mamelukes (1291- 1517) and the Ottomans (1519-1917), who built the present town walls (1537). In the 19th century the Christian powers of Europe, which had supported the Turkish Sultan against the Egyptian ruler Ibrahim Pasha, gained increasing influence from 1840 onwards, and numbers of churches, schools, hospitals and orphanages were now built. The Pope re-established the Latin Patriarchate, which had originally been founded in 1099 but was dissolved in 1291. In 1845 a joint Anglo-Prussian episcopal see was established. The German Society of the Temple founded a settlement in Jerusalem (near the station) in 1873, and in 1881 members of an American-Swedish group established the American Colony (north of the Damascus Gate). After being banned for many centuries from living in Jerusalem, Jews began to return to the city in the 13th century. In 1267 Rabbi Moshe Ben Nahman Ramban (Nachmanides) founded a synagogue. In 1488 Jews from Egypt settled in Jerusalem, and they were followed from 1492 onwards by Sephardic Jews from Spain. The first Ashkenazis (500 Polish Jews led by Rabbi Hanassi) came in 1701. In the 18th century there were 1,000 Sephardis (the Jewish elite) and 700 Ashkenazis in the city. The pace of immigration increased in the 19th century. The first Jewish hospital was established in 1854; in 1855 Sir Moses Montefiore founded the first Jewish settlement outside the Old City, still identifiable by its windmill; in 1868 Jews from North Africa built Mahane Israel (at the corner of King David and Agron Streets); and the settlement of Mea Shearim was established in 1874. The officially recognized representative of the Jews - divided as they were into different sects - was the Sephardic Chief Rabbi. In December 1917 British forces under General Allenby entered the city, and on July first 1920 it became the seat of the British High Commissioner in the mandated territory of Palestine. In 1925 the Hebrew University was established. The United Nations resolved in 1947 that Palestine should be divided between the Arabs and the Jews and that Jerusalem should be internationalized. After the end of the British Mandate in 1948 Israeli and Jordanian forces fought for control of the city, and under a cease-fire agreement in 1949 it was partitioned. In 1950 the Israelis made West Jerusalem capital of their state; then after the Six Day War of 1967 they annexd East Jerusalem. There was further trouble in 1980, when the Israelis declared Jerusalem, including the Arab Old City, to be the "eternal capital of Israel".

Dublin, Ireland
History of Dublin
The oldest Irish name of the city and the one still generally used, Baile Atha Cliath, refers to the ancient ford which crossed the Liffey here. The place is mentioned by the classical geographer Ptolemy in A.D. 140 under the name of Eblana. St Patrick is believed to have visited Dublin in 448 and converted many of the inhabitants. Subsequently a Christian community grew up around the ford; then in 840 a first party of Danes occupied the town and established a fortified base for their raiding and trading activities. In 988 the Irish king Mael Sechnaill II captured the town and in 1014 the High King Brian Boru broke the power of the Danes by his victory at nearby Clontarf (now a suburb of the city). It was not until 1170 however that the Danes were finally driven out by the Anglo-Normans. Two years later Henry II came to Dublin to receive the homage of the Irish chieftains. The town now became the capital of the area under English control, the Pale (from ´palisade´), which was defended by the castles of Anglo-Norman knights. During the conflicts of the 15th and 16th century the Dubliners usually supported the opponents of the English king. In the 17th century, however, they sided with the Royalists against Cromwell - who captured the town in 1649 - and later with James II against William of Orange. In 1697 public street lighting was introduced. In the 18th century Dublin prospered, and the population rose from 65,000 to 200,000. A Wide Street Commission and a Paving Board were established to promote the development and improvement of the city, and there was a great boom in building both by public authorities and by Dublin´s prosperous citizens. At the beginning of the 19th century a brief period of independence was brought to an end by the political union with Great Britain. There followed a time of repression and resistance: in 1844 the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daniel O´Connell, was imprisoned for "incitement to discontent", and a few years later the leaders of the Land League movement, among them Charles Stewart Parnell, were thrown into Kilmainham Jail. Political assassinations were carried out by a secret society, and separatist agitation grew. In 1916 the Easter Rising took place in Dublin, and the General Post Office and other public buildings were occupied by the rebels. In 1919, on the initiative of the Sinn Féin (We Ourselves) movement, an independent parliament met in the Mansion House, presided over by Eamon de Valera. On May 25, 1921, during the Civil War, the Custom House was set on fire. In spite of the ratification of the treaty of January 1922, which established the Irish Free State, domestic conflict continued in Dublin until 1927. It was not until 1931 that most of the public buildings were restored. During the Second World War Ireland remained neutral. In 1941, however, some German bombs were dropped in error on Dublin. Tourist Trails: A number of Tourist Trails are signposted in the city center; a brochure about them can be obtained from Tourist Information Offices. Street names are shown in both English and Irish. In many of the older streets the houses are still numbered in a continuous sequence, up one side and down the other.

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