Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary was a 1st-century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; the miraculous conception took place when she was betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem; the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was raised directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion, she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God.
There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the relative brevity of biblical references. Mary has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam; the English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. In Christianity, Mary is referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, although the title "Queen of Heaven" was a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime.
Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants and other Christians. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Panagia. Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions. For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelo's Pietà; the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix, although the phrase is more loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei, with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church. However, this same phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication attached to her image in Byzantine icons; the Council stated that the Church Fathers "did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God". Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis.
For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. Other titles have arisen from special appeals, or occasions for calling on Mary. To give a few examples, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators, Our Lady Undoer of Knots fit this description. In Islam, she is known as mother of Isa, she is referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna, meaning "our lady". A related term of endearment is Siddiqah, meaning "she who confirms the truth" and "she who believes sincerely completely". Another title for Mary is Qānitah, which signifies both constant submission to God and absorption in prayer and invocation in Islam, she is called "Tahira", meaning "one, purified" and representing her status as one of two humans in creation to not be touched by Satan at any point. The Gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narrative.
The Gospel of Matthew mentions her by name six times, five of these in the infancy narrative and only once outside the infancy narrative. The Gospel of Mark names her once and mentions her as Jesus' mother without naming her in 3:31 and 3:32; the Gospel of John never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she makes two appearances, she is first seen at the wedding at Cana. The second reference, listed only in this gospel, has her standing near the cross of Jesus together with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleophas
Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits; as of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera. Located on the Gulf of Genoa in the Ligurian Sea, Genoa has been one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean: it is the busiest in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea and twelfth-busiest in the European Union. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba due to its glorious impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006 as Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli; the city's rich cultural history in art and cuisine allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Andrea Doria, Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Mazzini, Renzo Piano and Grimaldo Canella, founder of the House of Grimaldi, among others.
Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of Northwest Italy, is one of the country's major economic centers. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages; the Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the city's prosperity since the middle of the 15th century. Today a number of leading Italian companies are based in the city, including Fincantieri, Selex ES, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo STS, Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone, Piaggio Aerospace, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Costa Cruises; the flag of Genoa is a red cross on a white field. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege." The patron saint of Genoa was Saint Lawrence until at least 958, but the Genoese transferred their allegiance to Saint George at some point during the 11th or 12th century, most with the rising popularity of the military saint during the Crusades.
Genoa had a banner displaying a cross since at latest 1218 as early as 1113. But the cross banner was not associated with the saint. A depiction of this flag is shown in the Genoese annals under the year 1227; the Genoese flag with the red cross was used alongside this "Saint George's flag", from at least 1218, known as the insignia cruxata comunis Janue. The saint's flag was the city's main war flag, but the cross flag was used alongside it in the 1240s; the Saint George's flag remained the main flag of Genoa at least until the 1280s. The flag now known as the "St. George's Cross" seems to have replaced it as Genoa's main flag at some point during the 14th century; the Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms shows it, inscribed with the word iustiçia, described as: And the lord of this place has as his ensign a white pennant with a red cross. At the top it is inscribed in this manner; the city of Genoa covers an area of 243 square kilometres between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains. The city stretches along the coast for about 30 kilometres from the neighbourhood of Voltri to Nervi, for 10 kilometres from the coast to the north along the valleys Polcevera and Bisagno.
The territory of Genoa is popularly divided into 5 main zones: the centre, the west, the east, the Polcevera and the Bisagno Valley. Genoa is adjacent to two popular Ligurian vacation spots: Portofino. In the metropolitan area of Genoa lies Aveto Natural Regional Park. Genoa has a humid subtropical climate in the Köppen climate classification, since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as oceanic or Mediterranean; the average yearly temperature is around 19 °C during 13 °C at night. In the coldest months: December and February, the average temperature is 12 °C during the day and 6 °C at night. In the warmest months – July and August – the average temperature is 27.5 °C during the day and 21 °C at night. The daily temperature range is limited, with an average range of about 6 °C between high and low temperatures. Genoa sees significant moderation from the sea, in stark contrast to areas behind the Ligurian mountains such as Parma, where summers are hotter and winters are quite cold.
Annually, the average 2.9 of nights recorded temperatures of ≤0 °C. The coldest temperature recorded was −8 °C on the night of February 2012. Average annual number of days with temperatures of ≥30 °C is about 8, average four days in July and August. Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C, from 13 °C in the period January–March to 25 °C in August. In the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds
John of Austria
John of Austria was an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, King Philip II of Spain, is best known for his role as the admiral of the Holy Alliance fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. Born in the Free imperial city of Regensburg, Upper Palatinate, John of Austria was the product of a brief liaison between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Barbara Blomberg, a burgher's daughter and singer. In the summer of 1554, the boy was taken to the castle of Luis de Quijada in Villagarcía de Campos, Valladolid, his wife, Magdalena de Ulloa, took charge of his education, assisted by the Latin teacher Guillén Prieto, the chaplain García de Morales and the squire Juan Galarza. Charles V wrote a codicil, dated 6 June 1554, in which he recognized: "For since I was in Germany, after being widowed, I had a natural child of one unmarried woman, named Geronimo". In the summer of 1558, Charles V had ordered Luis de Quijada, his wife Magdalena de Ulloa, Jeromín to relocate to the village of Cuacos de Yuste.
The Emperor was residing nearby at the Monastery of Yuste. From that time forward, until his own death in September of that year, Charles V saw his son several times. In his last will of 1558, the Emperor recognized Jeromín as his son, had requested that the child would be renamed John, honoring his late mother Queen Joanna I of Castile, Charles made the provision that John should enter the clergy and pursue an ecclesiastical career. Charles V's only surviving legitimate son and heir, now King Philip II after his father's abdication, was outside of Spain. Rumors had spread about the paternity of the child, which de Quijada had denied, he wrote to the Emperor asking for instructions. Charles V replied with a note written by his personal secretary Eraso, in whose erasures and amendments were expressed the Emperor's thoughts about how best to deal with such a delicate matter, it was recommended to wait for Philip II's return to Spain. Joanna, Dowager Princess of Portugal and Regent of the Kingdom during the absence of her brother Philip II, asked to see the child, which she did in Valladolid in May 1559, coinciding with an Auto-da-fé taking place.
Philip II returned from Brussels in 1559, aware of his father's will. Once he had settled in Valladolid, he had summoned de Quijada to bring along Jeromín to a hunt; the first meeting between the two of them took place on 28 September in the Monastery of Santa María de La Santa Espina. When the King appeared, Luis de Quijada told Jeromín to dismount and make proper obeisance to his master; when Jeromín did so, Philip II asked him. When the boy did not know, the King embraced him and explained that they had the same father and thus were brothers. Philip II, was strict regarding protocol: although Jeromín was a member of the House of Habsburg, he was not to be addressed as "Your Highness", the form reserved for royals and sovereign princes. In formal style he was "Your Excellency", the address used for a Spanish grandee, known as Don Juan de Austria. John did not live in a royal palace, but rather maintained a separate household with Luis de Quijada as the head. King Philip II had allowed John the incomes allocated to him by Charles V, so that he might maintain the status proper to a son of an emperor and brother to the king.
In public ceremonies, John walked or rode behind the royal family, but ahead of the grandees. John de Austria completed his education at the University of Alcalá de Henares, where he attended with his two young nephews, who were about his same age: Prince Carlos and Alessandro Farnese, Prince of Parma, they all had Honorato Hugo as a teacher. In 1562, the "House of Don John of Austria" appears in the budget of the Royal House, assigning to him 15,000 ducats, the same amount allocated to his half-sister Joanna, Dowager Princess of Portugal, with whom John had a close relationship. At the University of Alcalá de Henares, John began his preparation for his future ecclesiastical career, it was there in 1562, that Prince Carlos had suffered a fractured skull which had a deleterious effect on his personality. In 1565, Alessandro Farnese left Alcalá de Henares to reside in Brussels, where his mother Margaret of Parma was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Alessandro had married Maria of Portugal while in Brussels.
It was said. In time, John would acknowledge one in Spain, the other in Naples. In addition, John of Austria participated in court ceremonies: at the baptisms of his nieces, Philip II's daughters, Isabella Clara Eugenia and Catherine Michelle. John would be the one assigned to carry the infantas to the baptismal font. In 1565, the Ottoman Empire had attacked the island of Malta. To defend itself, a fleet was gathered at the port of Barcelona. John had asked Philip II for permission to join the navy. In spite of this, John had left the court and travelled to Barcelona, but was not able to reach the fleet in time. Only a letter from his brother King Philip II made John give up his efforts to continue to rendezvous with the fleet of García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo located in Italy. Prince Carlos because of his uncle's position, due to the friendship they had for years, confided to John of Austria his plans to flee Spain and to travel towards the Spanish Netherla
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
History of Gibraltar
The history of Gibraltar, a small peninsula on the southern Iberian coast near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, spans over 2,900 years. The peninsula has evolved from a place of reverence in ancient times into "one of the most densely fortified and fought-over places in Europe", as one historian has put it. Gibraltar's location has given it an outsized significance in the history of Europe and its fortified town, established in medieval times, has hosted garrisons that sustained numerous sieges and battles over the centuries. Gibraltar was first inhabited over 50,000 years ago by Neanderthals and may have been one of their last places of habitation before they died out around 24,000 years ago. Gibraltar's recorded history began around 950 BC with the Phoenicians; the Carthaginians and Romans worshipped Hercules in shrines said to have been built on the Rock of Gibraltar, which they called Mons Calpe, the "Hollow Mountain", which they regarded as one of the twin Pillars of Hercules. Gibraltar became part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania following the collapse of the Roman Empire and came under Muslim Moorish rule in 711 AD.
It was permanently settled for the first time by the Moors and was renamed Jebel Tariq – the Mount of Tariq corrupted into Gibraltar. The Christian Crown of Castile annexed it in 1309, lost it again to the Moors in 1333 and regained it in 1462. Gibraltar became part of the unified Kingdom of Spain and remained under Spanish rule until 1704, it was captured during the War of the Spanish Succession by an Anglo-Dutch fleet in the name of Charles VI of Austria, the Habsburg contender to the Spanish throne. At the war's end, Spain ceded the territory to Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. Spain tried to regain control of Gibraltar, which Britain had declared a Crown colony, through military and economic pressure. Gibraltar was besieged and bombarded during three wars between Britain and Spain but the attacks were repulsed on each occasion. By the end of the last siege, in the late 18th century, Gibraltar had faced fourteen sieges in 500 years. In the years after Trafalgar, Gibraltar became a major base in the Peninsular War.
The colony grew during the 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming a key British possession in the Mediterranean. It was a key stopping point for vessels en route to India via the Suez Canal. A large British naval base was constructed there at great expense at the end of the 19th century and became the backbone of Gibraltar's economy. British control of Gibraltar enabled the Allies to control the entrance to the Mediterranean during the Second World War, it was attacked on several occasions by German and Vichy French forces, though without causing much damage. The Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco declined to join a Nazi plan to occupy Gibraltar but revived Spain's claim to the territory after the war; as the territorial dispute intensified, Spain closed its border with Gibraltar between 1969 and 1985 and communications links were severed. Spain's position was supported by Latin American countries but was rejected by Britain and the Gibraltarians themselves, who vigorously asserted their right to self-determination.
Discussions of Gibraltar's status have continued between Britain and Spain but have not reached any conclusion. Since 1985, Gibraltar has undergone major changes as a result of reductions in Britain's overseas defence commitments. Most British forces have left the territory, no longer seen as a place of major military importance, its economy is now based on tourism, financial services and Internet gambling. Gibraltar is self-governed, with its own parliament and government, though the UK maintains responsibility for defence and foreign policy, its economic success has made it one of the wealthiest areas of the European Union. The history of Gibraltar has been driven by its strategic position near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, it is a narrow peninsula at the eastern side of the Bay of Gibraltar, 6 kilometres from the city of Algeciras. Gibraltar is on the far south coast of Spain at one of the narrowest points in the Mediterranean, only 24 kilometres from the coast of Morocco in North Africa.
Its position on the bay makes it an advantageous natural anchorage for ships. As one writer has put it, "whoever controls Gibraltar controls the movement of ships into and out of the Mediterranean. In terms of military and naval power, few places have a more strategic location than Gibraltar."The territory's area measures only 6.7 square kilometres. Most of the land area is occupied by the steeply sloping Rock of Gibraltar which reaches a height of 426 metres; the town of Gibraltar lies at the base of the Rock on the west side of the peninsula. A narrow, low-lying isthmus connects the peninsula to the Spanish mainland; the North Face of the Rock is a nearly vertical cliff 396 metres high overlooking the isthmus. Gibraltar's geography has thus given it considerable natural defensive advantages, it is impossible to scale the eastern or northern sides of the Rock, which are either vertical or nearly so. To the south, the flat area around Europa Point is surrounded by cliffs which are up to 30 metres high.
The western side is the only practicable area for a landing, but here the steep slopes on which the town is built work to the advantage of a defender. These factors have given it an enormous military significance over the centuries. Gibraltar's appearance in prehistory was different. Whereas today it is surrounded by sea, th
Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned
The Cathedral of Saint Mary the Crowned is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Gibraltar. It is the primary centre of Catholic worship in the Diocese of Gibraltar; the original building of the current cathedral was built during the Spanish period. Just after the reconquest of the city to the Moors, the main mosque was decreed to be stripped of its Islamic past and consecrated as the parish church. However, under the rule of the Catholic Monarchs, the old building was demolished and a new church was erected, in Gothic style; the cathedral's small courtyard is the remnant of the larger Moorish court of the mosque. The Catholic Monarchs' coat of arms was placed in the courtyard; the cathedral extended to the opposite side of. The church of St. Mary the Crowned was the only Catholic church or institution, not ransacked by the troops that took over the city in 1704, it was protected by its staunch pastor, Juan Romero, his curate, his bell-ringer. Thus, it is the only place where Catholic worship has been taken place uninterruptedly from the definite Christian re-conquest of the town.
Due to the building being damaged during the 1779–1783 Great Siege, in 1790 the Governor of Gibraltar Sir Robert Boyd offered to rebuild the cathedral in return for part of the land on which the building stood in order to re-route Main Street. The route was re-modelled in 1801; the reconstruction took place in 1810 and the opportunity was taken to widen Main Street. The clock tower was added in 1820 and in 1931 restoration work was carried out on the cathedral and the current west façade erected to replace the poorer one built in 1810. In 1881 the Church of St Mary's was the site of nearly fifty arrests as the Governor of Gibraltar sent police and reassigned soldiers to support Bishop Canilla as he attempted to enter his own church. A self-appointed "Committee of Elders" had said that they intended to take possession of the church and install their own "chief priest" against the will of the Governor and the Catholic church. Camilla was sent to his church on 2 March 1881 with police protection to install him in his church.
When the new force came to the church they found it was occupied by 200 men and the police had to make four dozen arrests to establish order. Not only did Camilla now have possession of his church but he was the owner as the governor arranged for the title deeds to be given to the new titular Bishop; until the 19th century, anyone who died in Gibraltar had the right to be buried under the cathedral floor. Bishops are buried in a crypt beneath the statue of Our Lady of Europe. In 1943, Władysław Sikorski's coffin lay in state here, after his plane crashed into the sea just off Gibraltar. San Roque, Cádiz Cathedral information and photos of interior Illustrated article
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most calcite or dolomite. Marble is not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is used for sculpture and as a building material; the word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek μάρμαρον, from μάρμαρος, "crystalline rock, shining stone" from the verb μαρμαίρω, "to flash, gleam". This stem is the ancestor of the English word "marmoreal", meaning "marble-like." While the English term "marble" resembles the French marbre, most other European languages, more resemble the original Ancient Greek. Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains; the resulting marble rock is composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals.
Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock have been modified or destroyed. Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a pure limestone or dolomite protolith; the characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are due to various mineral impurities such as clay, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is due to serpentine resulting from magnesium-rich limestone or dolostone with silica impurities; these various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism. Examples of notable marble varieties and locations: White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures since classical times; this preference has to do with its softness, which made it easier to carve, relative isotropy and homogeneity, a relative resistance to shattering. The low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of any kind, why many sculptors preferred and still prefer marble for sculpting.
Construction marble is a stone, composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine, capable of taking a polish. More in construction the dimension stone trade, the term "marble" is used for any crystalline calcitic rock useful as building stone. For example, Tennessee marble is a dense granular fossiliferous gray to pink to maroon Ordovician limestone, that geologists call the Holston Formation. Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, was recorded in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records as having the world's highest concentration of white marble buildings. According to the United States Geological Survey, U. S. domestic marble production in 2006 was 46,400 tons valued at about $18.1 million, compared to 72,300 tons valued at $18.9 million in 2005. Crushed marble production in 2006 was 11.8 million tons valued at $116 million, of which 6.5 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. For comparison, 2005 crushed marble production was 7.76 million tons valued at $58.7 million, of which 4.8 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate.
U. S. dimension marble demand is about 1.3 million tons. The DSAN World Demand for Marble Index has shown a growth of 12% annually for the 2000–2006 period, compared to 10.5% annually for the 2000–2005 period. The largest dimension marble application is tile. In 1998, marble production was dominated by 4 countries that accounted for half of world production of marble and decorative stone. Italy and China were the world leaders, each representing 16% of world production, while Spain and India produced 9% and 8%, respectively. Italy is the world leader in marble export, with 20% share in global marble production, followed by China with 16%, India with 10%, Spain with 6%, Portugal with 5%. Dust produced by cutting marble could cause lung disease but more research needs to be carried out on whether dust filters and other safety products reduce this risk; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the legal limit for marble exposure in the workplace as 15 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a recommended exposure limit of 10 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday. Acids damage marble, because the calcium carbonate in marble reacts with them, releasing carbon dioxide: CaCO3 + 2H+ → Ca2+ + CO2 + H2O Thus, vinegar or other acidic solutions should never be used on marble. Outdoor marble statues, gravestones, or other marble structures are damaged by acid rain; the haloalkaliphilic methylotrophic bacterium Methylophaga murata was isolated from deteriorating marble in the Kremlin. Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; as the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects, marble has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. Its varied and colorful patterns make i