Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris; the palace is now a Monument historique and UNESCO World Heritage site, notable for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera, the royal apartments. The Palace was stripped of all its furnishings after the French Revolution, but many pieces have been returned and many of the palace rooms have been restored. In 2017 the Palace of Versailles received 7,700,000 visitors, making it the second-most visited monument in the Île-de-France region, just behind the Louvre and ahead of the Eiffel Tower; the site of the Palace was first occupied by a small village and church, surrounded by forests filled with abundant game. It was owned by the priory of Saint Julian. King Henry IV went hunting there in 1589, returned in 1604 and 1609, staying in the village inn.
His son, the future Louis XIII, came on his own hunting trip there in 1607. After he became King in 1610, Louis XIII returned to the village, bought some land, in 1623-24 built a modest two-story hunting lodge on the site of the current marble courtyard, he was staying there in November 1630 during the event known as the Day of the Dupes, when the enemies of the King's chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, aided by the King's mother, Marie de' Medici, tried to take over the government. The King sent his mother into exile. After this event, Louis XIII decided to make his hunting lodge at Versailles into a château; the King purchased the surrounding territory from the Gondi family, in 1631–1634 had the architect Philibert Le Roy replace the hunting lodge with a château of brick and stone with classical pilasters in the doric style and high slate-covered roofs, surrounding the courtyard of the original hunting lodge. The gardens and park were enlarged, laid out by Jacques Boyceau and his nephew, Jacques de Menours, reached the size they have today.
Louis XIV first visited the château on a hunting trip in 1651 at the age of twelve, but returned only until his marriage to Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660 and the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, after which he acquired a passion for the site. He decided to rebuild and enlarge the château and to transform it into a setting for both rest and for elaborate entertainments on a grand scale; the first phase of the expansion was supervised by the architect Louis Le Vau. He added two wings to the forecourt, one for servants quarters and kitchens, the other for stables. In 1668 he added three new wings built of stone, known as the envelope, to the north and west of the original château; these buildings had nearly-flat roofs covered with lead. The king commissioned the landscape designer André Le Nôtre to create the most magnificent gardens in Europe, embellished with fountains, basins, geometric flower beds and groves of trees, he added two grottos in the Italian style and an immense orangerie to house fruit trees, as well as a zoo with a central pavilion for exotic animals.
After Le Vau's death in 1670, the work was taken over and completed by his assistant François d'Orbay. The main floor of the new palace contained two symmetrical sets of apartments, one for the king and the other for the queen, looking over the gardens; the two apartments were separated by a marble terrace, overlooking the garden, with a fountain in the center. Each set of apartments was connected to the ground floor with a ceremonial stairway, each had seven rooms, aligned in a row. On the ground floor under the King's apartment was another apartment, the same size, designed for his private life, decorated on the theme of Apollo, the Sun god, his personal emblem. Under the Queen's apartment was the apartment of the Grand Dauphin, the heir to the throne; the interior decoration was assigned to Charles Le Brun. Le Brun supervised the work of a large group of sculptors and painters, called the Petite Academie, who crafted and painted the ornate walls and ceilings. Le Brun supervised the design and installation of countless statues in the gardens.
The grand stairway to the King's apartment was soon redecorated as soon as it was completed with plaques of colored marble and trophies of arms and balconies, so the members of the court could observe the processions of the King. In 1670, Le Vau added a new pavilion northwest of the chateau, called the Trianon, for the King's relaxation in the hot summers, it was surrounded by flowerbeds and decorated with blue and white porcelain, in imitation of the Chinese style. The King spent his days in Versailles, the government and courtiers, numbering six to seven thousand persons, crowded into the buildings; the King ordered a further enlargement, which he entrusted to the young architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Hadouin-Mansart added two large new wings on either side of the original Cour Royale, he replaced Le Vau's large terrace, facing the garden on the west, with what bec
Expo 58 known as the Brussels World’s Fair, was held from 17 April to 19 October 1958. It was the first major World Expo registered under the Bureau International des Expositions after World War II. Nearly 15,000 workers spent three years building the 2 km2 site on the Heysel plateau, 7 kilometres northwest of central Brussels, Belgium. Many of the buildings were re-used from the Brussels International Exposition of 1935, held on the same site; every 25 years starting in 1855, Belgium had staged large national events to celebrate its national independence following the Belgian Revolution of 1830. However, the Belgian government under prime minister Achille Van Acker decided to forego celebrations in 1955 to have additional funding for the 1958 Expo. Expo 58 was the 11th World's Fair hosted by Belgium, the fifth in Brussels, following the fairs in 1888, 1897, 1910 and 1935. Since Expo 58, Belgium has not arranged any more world fairs; the site is best known for a giant model of a unit cell of an iron crystal.
More than 41 million visitors visited the site, opened with a call for world peace and social and economic progress, issued by King Baudouin I. Notable exhibitions include the Philips Pavilion, where "Poème électronique", commissioned for the location, was played back from 425 loudspeakers, placed at specific points as designed by Iannis Xenakis, Le Corbusier. Another exhibition at the Belgian pavilion was the Congolese village that some have branded a human zoo; the Ministry of Colonies built the Congolese exhibit, intending to demonstrate their claim to have "civilized" the "primitive Africans." Native Congolese art was rejected for display, as the Ministry claimed it was "insufficiently Congolese." Instead, nearly all of the art on display was created by Europeans in a purposefully primitive and imitative style, the entrance of the exhibit featured a bust of King Leopold II, under whose colonial rule millions of Congolese died. The 700 Congolese chosen to be exhibited by the Ministry were referred to by Belgians as évolués, meaning "evolved," but were made to dress in "primitive" clothing, an armed guard blocked them from communicating with white Belgians who came to observe them.
The exotic nature of the exhibit was lauded by visitors and international press, the Belgian socialist newspaper Le Peuple praised the portrayal of Africans, saying it was "in complete agreement with historical truth." However, in mid-July the Congolese protested the condescending treatment they were receiving from spectators and demanded to be sent home, abruptly ending the exhibit and eliciting some sympathy from European newspapers. The Austrian pavilion was designed by Austrian architect Karl Schwanzer in modernist style, it was transferred to Vienna to host the museum of the 20th century. In 2011 it was reopened under the new name 21er Haus, it included a model Austrian Kindergarten, which doubled as a day care facility for the employees, the Vienna Philharmonic playing behind glass, a model nuclear fusion reactor that fired every 5 minutes. The exposition "One Day in Czechoslovakia" was designed by Jindřich Santar who cooperated with artists Jiří Trnka, Antonín Kybal, Stanislav Libenský and Jan Kotík.
Architects of the simple, but modern and graceful construction were František Cubr, Josef Hrubý and Zdeněk Pokorný. The team's artistic freedom, so rare in the hard-line communist regime of the 1950s, was ensured by the government committee for exhibitions chairman František Kahuda, he supported the famous Laterna Magika show, as well as Josef Svoboda's technically unique Polyekran. The Czechoslovak pavilion was visited by 6 million people and was awarded the best pavilion of the Expo 58; this was designed by the architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez. It was awarded the exposition's star of gold; the city of Paris had separate from the French one. This was produced by architect Howard Lobb & engineer Felix Samuely; the on-site British architect was Brussels born and bilingual. The Soviet pavilion was a large impressive building which they folded up and took back to Russia when Expo 58 ended, they had a facsimile of Sputnik which mysteriously disappeared, they accused the US of stealing it. They had a bookstore selling science and technology books in English and other languages published by the Moscow Press.
On the exposition there was a model of Lenin the first nuclear icebreaker, cars: GAZ-21 Volga, GAZ-13 Chaika, ZIL-111, Moskvitch 407 and 423, trucks GAZ-53 and MAZ-525. The Soviet exposition was awarded with a Grand Prix; the US pavilion was quite spacious and included a fashion show with models walking down a large spiral staircase, an electronic computer that demonstrated a knowledge of history, a color television studio behind glass. It served as the concert venue for performance by the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Edward Lee Alley, it was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone. The West German pavilion was designed by the architects Egon Sep Ruf; the world press called it the most sophisticated pavilion of the exhibition. The pavilion of Yugoslavia was designed by the architect Vjenceslav Richter, who proposed to suspend the whole structure from a giant cable-stayed mast; when that proved too complicated, Richter devised a tension column consisting of six steel arches supported by a pre-stressed cable, which stood in front of the pavilion as a visual marker and symbolized Yugoslavia's six constituent republics.
Filled with modernist art, the pavilion was praised for its elegance an
Reverse glass painting
Reverse painting on glass is an art form consisting of applying paint to a piece of glass and viewing the image by turning the glass over and looking through the glass at the image. Another term used to refer to the art of cold painting and gilding on the back of glass is verre églomisé, named after the French decorator Jean-Baptiste Glomy, who framed prints using glass, reverse-painted. In German it is known as Hinterglasmalerei; this art form has been around for many years. It was used for sacral paintings since the Middle Ages; the most famous was the art of icons in the Byzantine Empire. The painting on glass spread to Italy, where in Venice it influenced its Renaissance art. Since the middle of the 18th century, painting on glass became favored by the Church and the nobility throughout Central Europe. A number of clock faces were created using this technique in the early-to-mid-19th century. Throughout the 19th century painting on glass was popular as folk art in Austria, Moravia and Slovakia.
During the inter-war period this traditional "naive" technique fell nearly to a complete oblivion and its methods of paint composition and structural layout had to be re-invented by combining acrylic and oil paints. A new method of reverse painting emerged using polymer glazing methods that permitted the artworks to be painted direct to an acrylic UV coating on the glass; the unique under glass effect retains a curious depth though the layered painting on the glass was bonded to a final linen support and now stretcher bar mounted after being removed from the original'glass easel'. Current glass painting may disappear with the advent of using aerospace mylar as a preliminary support; this style of painting is found in traditional Romanian icons originating from Transylvania
The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The second-largest art museum in the world, it was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky; the museum celebrates the anniversary of its founding each year on 7 December, Saint Catherine's Day. It has been open to the public since 1852, its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya, the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are part of the museum; the museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property.
Since July 1992, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky. Of the six buildings in the main museum complex, five—namely the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre—are open to the public; the entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs more than the fee paid by citizens of Russia and Belarus. However, entrance is free of charge the third Thursday of every month for all visitors, free daily for students and children; the museum is closed on Mondays. The entrance for individual visitors is located in the Winter Palace, accessible from the Courtyard. A hermitage is the dwelling of a recluse; the word derives from Old French hermit, ermit "hermit, recluse", from Late Latin eremita, from Greek eremites "people who live alone", in turn derived from ἐρημός, "desert". The building was given this name because of its exclusivity - in its early days, only few people were allowed to visit; the only building housing the collection was the "Small Hermitage".
Today, the Hermitage Museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. Apart from the Small Hermitage, the museum now includes the "Old Hermitage", the "New Hermitage", the "Hermitage Theatre", the "Winter Palace", the former main residence of the Russian tsars. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded to the General Staff Building on the Palace Square facing the Winter Palace, the Menshikov Palace; the Western European Art collection includes European paintings and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is displayed, on the first and second floor of the four main buildings. Drawings and prints are displayed in temporary exhibitions. Since 1940, the Egyptian collection, dating back to 1852 and including the former Castiglione Collection, has occupied a large hall on the ground floor in the eastern part of the Winter Palace, it serves as a passage to the exhibition of Classical Antiquities. A modest collection of the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia, including a number of Assyrian reliefs from Babylon, Dur-Sharrukin and Nimrud, is located in the same part of the building.
The collection of classical antiquities occupies most of the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings. The interiors of the ground floor were designed by German architect Leo von Klenze in the Greek revival style in the early 1850s, using painted polished stucco and columns of natural marble and granite. One of the largest and most notable interiors of the first floor is the Hall of Twenty Columns, divided into three parts by two rows of grey monolithic columns of Serdobol granite, intended for the display of Graeco-Etruscan vases, its floor is made of a modern marble mosaic imitating ancient tradition, while the stucco walls and ceiling are covered in painting. The Room of the Great Vase in the western wing features the 2.57 m high Kolyvan Vase, weighing 19 t, made of jasper in 1843 and installed before the walls were erected. While the western wing was designed for exhibitions, the rooms on the ground floor in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage, now hosting exhibitions, were intended for libraries.
The floor of the Athena Room in the south-eastern corner of the building, one of the original libraries, is decorated with an authentic 4th-century mosaic excavated in an early Christian basilica in Chersonesos in 1854. The collection of classical antiquities features Greek artifacts from the third millennium – fifth century BC, ancient Greek pottery, items from the Greek cities of the North Pontic Greek colonies, Hellenistic sculpture and jewellery, including engraved gems and cameos, such as the famous Gonzaga Cameo, Italic art from the 9th to second century BC, Roman marble and bronze sculpture and applied art from the first century BC - fourth century AD, including copies of Classical and Hellenistic Greek sculptures. One of the highlights of the collection is the Tauride Venus, according to latest research, is an original Hellenistic Greek sculpture rather than a Roman copy as it was thought before. There are, only a few pieces of authentic Classical Greek sculpture and sepulchral monuments.
On the ground floor in the western wing of the Winter Palace the collections of prehistoric artifacts and the culture and art of the Caucasus are located, as well as the second treasure gallery. The prehistoric artifacts date from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age and were excavated all over Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. Among them is a renowned collection of the art and culture
Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad is a spa town situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá 130 km west of Prague. It is named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, who founded the city in 1370, it is the site of numerous hot springs, is the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic. An ancient late Bronze Age fortified. A Slavic settlement on the site of Karlovy Vary is documented by findings in Sedlec. People lived in close proximity to the site as far back as the 13th century and they must have been aware of the curative effects of thermal springs. Around 1350, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor organized an expedition into the forests surrounding modern-day Karlovy Vary during a stay in Loket. On the site of a spring, he established; the location was subsequently named "Carlsbad" in German after the emperor, who extolled the healing powers of the hot springs, at least according to legend. Charles IV granted the town privileges on 14 August 1370.
Earlier settlements can be found on the outskirts of today's town. An important political event took place in the town in 1819, with the issuing of the Carlsbad Decrees following a conference there. Initiated by the Austrian Minister of State Klemens von Metternich, the decrees were intended to implement anti-liberal censorship within the German Confederation. Due to publications produced by physicians such as David Becher and Josef von Löschner, the town developed into a famous spa resort in the 19th century and was visited by many members of European aristocracy as well as celebrities from many fields of endeavour, it became more popular after railway lines were completed from Prague to Cheb in 1870. The number of visitors rose from 134 families in the 1756 season to 26,000 guests annually at the end of the 19th century. By 1911, that figure had reached 71,000, but the outbreak of World War I in 1914 disrupted the tourism on which the town depended. At the end of World War I in 1918, the large German-speaking population of Bohemia was incorporated into the new state of Czechoslovakia in accordance with the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
As a result, the German-speaking majority of Karlovy Vary protested. A demonstration on 4 March 1919 passed peacefully, but that month, six demonstrators were killed by Czech troops after a demonstration became unruly. In 1938, the majority German-speaking areas of Czechoslovakia, known as the Sudetenland, became part of Nazi Germany according to the terms of the Munich Agreement; the areas included Karlovy Vary. After World War II, in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the vast majority of the people of the town were forcibly expelled because of their German ethnicity. In accordance with the Beneš decrees, their property was confiscated without compensation, the town was renamed again Karlovy Vary. Since the end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the presence of Russian businesses in Karlovy Vary has increased. In 2012, non-Czech residents were around 7% of the population of the Karlovy Vary region. After Prague, this is the highest proportion in the Czech Republic.
The largest group of foreigners were Vietnamese, followed by Germans and Ukrainians. Local buses and cable cars take passengers to most areas of the city; the Imperial funicular is the oldest in Europe and the Diana funicular was the longest during the reign of Franz Joseph I. in Austria-Hungary. The city is accessible via the expressway R6 and inter-city public transport options include inter-city buses, Czech Railways, Deutsche Bahn via the Karlovy Vary–Johanngeorgenstadt railway. Karlovy Vary Airport is an international airport located 4.5 kilometres south-east from the city, at the nearby village of Olšová Vrata. As of August, 2018 the airport is only serviced by scheduled flights to Moscow. Catholic Church of St. Mary Magdalene – built by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer in 1737 Orthodox Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral – 1898 Protestant Church of Saints Peter and Paul – 1856 Church of St. Anne – 1745 Greek Catholic St. Andrew Cemetery Church – 1500 Methodist Church of Saint Luke – 1877 St. Linharta ruins from 13th century Synagogue In the 19th century, Karlovy Vary became a popular tourist destination known for international celebrities who visited for spa treatment.
The city is known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one of the oldest in the world and one of Europe's major film events. It is known for the popular Czech liqueur Becherovka and the production of the famous glass manufacturer Moser Glass, located in Karlovy Vary; the famous Karlovarské oplatky originated in the city in 1867. It has lent its name to "Carlsbad plums", candied stuffed zwetschgen; the city has been used as the location for a number of film-shoots, including the 2006 films Last Holiday and box-office hit Casino Royale, both of which used the city's Grandhotel Pupp in different guises. Moreover, the Palace Bristol Hotel in Karlovy Vary had been used as a model for The Grand Budapest Hotel movie. Karlovy Vary is home to ice hockey club HC Karlovy Vary and its junior branch HC Energie Karlovy Vary. Walter Becher Stanislav Birner Tomáš Borek Zbyněk Brynych Karel Dobrý Tomáš Došek Karl Hermann Frank, Nazi official Princess Michael of Kent Petr Kopfstein, aerobatics pilot Rudolf Křesťan Rick Lanz Johann Josef Loschmidt, Aus
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Caspar Lehmann was a German gem cutter and glass engraver. In the first decade of the 17th century, Lehmann adapted the techniques of using copper and bronze wheels to engrave gems to engrave glass. Though both intaglio and high relief engraving on glass had been practiced since ancient times, Lehmann was the earliest modern glass engraver to develop an advanced technique and a personal style, his earliest dated work is a glass beaker, dated 1605. In 1609, he received an exclusive privilege from Emperor Rudolf II in Prague for engraving glass, his pupil Georg Schwanhardt went on to found the Nürnberg school of engravers