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Dalian

Dalian is a major sub-provincial port city in Liaoning province, People's Republic of China, is Liaoning's second largest city and the fourth most populous city of Northeast China. Located on the southern tip of Liaodong peninsula, it is the southernmost city in both Liaoning and the entire Northeast. Dalian borders the prefectural cities of Yingkou and Anshan to the north and Dandong to the northeast, shares maritime boundaries with Qinhuangdao and Huludao across the Liaodong Bay to west and northwest and Weihai on the Shandong peninsula across the Bohai Strait to the south, North Korea across the Korea Bay to the east. Today a financial and logistics centre for Northeast Asia, Dalian has a significant history of being used by foreign powers for its ports. Dalian was known as both "Dalniy" and "Dairen". However, the city was better known as "Port Arthur" and "Ryojun" from the original Port Arthur, now the city's Lüshunkou district. In 2016, Dalian ranked 48th in the Global Financial Centres Index, the other Chinese cities on the list being Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Qingdao.

In 2012, Dalian ranked 82nd in the Global City Competitiveness Index. In 2006, Dalian was named China's most livable city by China Daily. Modern Dalian originated from a small fishing village. Russia built a commercial town for the Kwantung Leased Territory after assuming control in 1898 and called it "Dalniy" from 1898–1905. After the Russo-Japanese War, Japan occupied the Kwantung Leased Territory and renamed the city Dairen after the Chinese name for Dalian Bay. English sources called the city "Dairen" from the Japanese. In 1950, Dalian merged with nearby town called Lüshun to form the city of Lüda, a name formed from the first syllable of each constituent's name, rendered as Luta in English during that era. In 1981, the State Council again renamed the city, from Lüda to "Dalian", effective 5 March 1981. In the Qin and Han periods, Chinese expanded their territories into northern Korea through the Dalian region under the jurisdiction of Liaodong county. During the Sixteen Kingdoms era, the kingdom of Goguryeo controlled this region.

In the early Tang Dynasty, the Dalian region was part of Andong Prefecture in Jili state. Dalian was named Sanshan in the period of Wei Jin, San Shanpu in the Tang Dynasty, Sanshan Seaport in the Ming Dynasty, Qingniwakou during the Qing Dynasty. In the 1880s, the north of downtown within Dalian, now Jinzhou District, was a walled town and centre for political intrigue and economic activity; the Qing government built bridges and fortified the peninsula. Mining camps on the northern coast of Dalian Bay became the small town of Qingniwa or Qingniwaqiao, near what became downtown Dalian; the British occupied Qingniwa in 1858, but it returned to Chinese control in the 1860. Port Arthur at the peninsula's tip took its English name from Royal Navy Lieutenant William C. Arthur, but the Chinese called it Lüshun. Although China fortified the area, in which it allowed trade with foreigners, Japan swiftly overcame those defenses in the First Sino-Japanese War, committing the Port Arthur massacre during the war in November 1894.

In April 1895, China conceded defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War, ceding Liaodong Peninsula and Penghu, making many other concessions in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. The Triple Intervention by Russia and Germany forced Japan to return the Liaodong Peninsula to China, despite the treaty's terms. For Russia the region of the peninsula was of particular interest as one of the few areas in the region that had the potential to develop ice-free ports; the Russians built a modern commercial port city, which they wanted to become the Paris of the Far East, called it Dal'niy. Linked to the Trans-Siberian Railway's branch line from Harbin, Dalniy became Russia's primary port-city in Asia, served other western traders. Russia signed the Pavlov Agreement with China, which granted Russia a 25-year lease on Dalian and Lüshun and exclusive right to lay a branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway—what would become the South Manchurian Railway. Russia spent more than 10 million golden rubles building the new ice-free port city.

Russia fortified both Dalniy and the Port Arthur naval base before and after the Boxer Rebellion. Missionaries and converts were killed in the peninsula during the insurrection, although the massive massacres of ethnic Chinese Christians including Metrophanes, Chi Sung occurred at Harbin. Western expeditionary forces suppressed the Boxers across the Yellow Sea in Shandong. During the Russo-Japanese War, the peninsula became a major battleground. Major-General Baron Anatoly Stoes

Olavinlinna

Olavinlinna is a 15th-century three-tower castle located in Savonlinna, Finland. It is the northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing; the castle is built on an island in the Kyrönsalmi strait that connects the lakes Haukivesi and Pihlajavesi. The fortress was founded by Erik Axelsson Tott in 1475 under the name Sankt Olofsborg in an effort to profit from the political turmoil following Ivan III's conquest of the Novgorod Republic, it was sited in Savonia so as to lay claim to the Russian side of the border established by the Treaty of Nöteborg. One of Tott's letters from 1477 includes a passing mention of foreign builders invited to Olofsborg from Reval, where the city fortifications were being extended, it was the first Swedish castle provided with a set of thickset circular towers that could withstand cannon fire. It is not by accident that a network of lakes and waterways forms the setting for the castle, for these would impede a prospective Russian offensive; the three-towered keep was completed in 1485, the construction of the outer curtain walls with two towers was initiated immediately.

They were completed in 1495. The castle is a truncated rhomboid with keep on the western side of the island and the curtain walls and outer bailey to east. One of the towers of the keep, St. Erik's Tower, has since collapsed. One of the towers of Bailey, the Thick Tower, exploded in the 18th century. A bastion has been built on its place; the castle was converted into a Vaubanesque fort in the late 18th century with bastions. Keep Outer Bailey Bell Tower Church Tower Kijl's Tower Thick Bastion Ruins of the collapsed St Erik's Tower Bell Bastion Gateway Curtain Watergate Curtain Curtain wall Smallgate Bastion Suvorov's Bailey Olofsborg withstood several sieges by the Russians during the First and Second Russian-Swedish wars. A brisk trade developed under the umbrella of the castle towards the end of the 16th century, giving birth to the town of Savonlinna, chartered in 1639. While the castle was never captured by force, its garrison agreed to terms of surrender twice. Several devastating fires destroyed much of the castle's decor in the 19th century, all of its original furnishings were destroyed.

The castle hosts several small exhibitions, including the Castle Museum which displays artifacts found in the castle or related to it, the Orthodox Museum which displays icons and other religious artifacts both from Finland and Russia. The castle forms a spectacular stage for the Savonlinna Opera Festival, held annually in the summer since 1912. Olavinlinna is the initial model for Kropow Castle in the bande dessinée King Ottokar's Sceptre, an album in the series of Adventures of Tintin created by Hergé. St. Olaf's Castle at the Finnish National Board of Antiquities Savonlinna Opera Festival – Official website Medieval castles in Finland The Association of Castles and Museums around the Baltic Sea

Västermalmsgallerian

Västermalmsgallerian is a shopping centre in Kungsholmen, Sweden, inaugurated on 23 August 2002. The shopping centre is located in a renovated building dating from the 1970s in the city block "Trossen" near the Fridhemsplan metro station at the intersection of the Sankt Eriksgatan and Fleminggatan streets; the name Västermalmsgallerian comes from Västermalm, an alternative name for the district of Kungsholmen. The shopping centre is the first shopping centre in Kungsholmen, including shops for fashion, interior decoration and food, it has a total area of 10'000 m², includes 45 shops of various sizes and international retail chains. The shopping centre was owned by Centrumkompaniet, a daughter company of the municipal Familjebostäder, until 2007. In 2007 the city of Stockholm decided to sell the whole shopping centre to the British housing company Boultbee. In December 2011 AMF Fastigheter bought the shopping centre. List of shopping centres in Sweden