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Siena Cathedral

Siena Cathedral is a medieval church in Siena, dedicated from its earliest days as a Roman Catholic Marian church, now dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. It was the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Siena, from the 15th century that of the Archdiocese of Siena, it is now the seat of the Archdiocese of Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa-Montalcino. The cathedral was completed between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure, it has the form of a Latin cross with a projecting transept, a dome and a bell tower. The dome rises from a hexagonal base with supporting columns; the dome was completed in 1264. The lantern atop the dome was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; the bell tower has six bells, where the oldest one was cast in 1149. The nave is separated from the two aisles by semicircular arches; the exterior and interior are constructed of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, with addition of red marble on the façade. Black and white are the symbolic colors of Siena, etiologically linked to black and white horses of the legendary city's founders and Aschius.

There are thirty-five statues of patriarchs grouped around the virgin. The finest Italy artists, during that time, completed works in the Cathedral; these artists were Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Pinturicchio, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Bernini. The origins of the first structure shrouded in legend. There was a 9th-century church with bishop's palace at the present location. In December 1058 a synod was held in this church resulting in the election of pope Nicholas II and the deposition of the antipope Benedict X. In 1196, the cathedral masons’ guild, the Opera di Santa Maria, was put in charge of the construction of a new cathedral. Works were started with the north - south transept and it was planned to add the main, larger body of the cathedral but this enlargement was never accomplished. By 1215 there were daily masses said in the new church. There are records from 1226 on wards of the transport of black and white marble for the construction of the façade and the bell tower; the vaults and the transept were constructed in 1259-1260.

In 1259 Manuello di Ranieri and his son Parri carved some wooden choir stalls, which were replaced about 100 years and have now disappeared. In 1264, Rosso Padellaio was paid for the copper sphere on top of the dome. A second massive addition of the main body of the cathedral was planned in 1339, it would have more than doubled the size of the structure by means of an new nave and two aisles ranged perpendicular to the existing nave and centered on the high altar. The construction was begun under the direction of Giovanni di Agostino, better known as a sculptor. Construction was halted by the Black Death in 1348. Basic errors in the construction were evident by however, the work was never resumed; the outer walls, remains of this extension, can now be seen to the south of the Duomo. The floor of the uncompleted nave now serves as a parking lot and museum, though unfinished, the remains are testament to Sienese power and artistic achievement. One of the walls can be climbed by narrow stairs for a high view of the city.

Underneath the choir of the Duomo, a narthex containing important late 13th-century frescoes was found and excavated in 1999-2003. The frescoes depict scenes from the life of Christ; this was part of the entrance of an earlier church. But when the baptistry was built, this under-church was filled with rubble; the narthex is now open to the public. The belltower has six bells, the oldest one was cast in 1149; the façade of Siena Cathedral is one of the most fascinating in all of Italy and one of the most impressive features in Siena. Each of the cardinal points has their own distinct work. Acting as the main entryway to the Duomo proper, it boasts three portals. Built in two stages and combining elements of French Gothic, Tuscan Romanesque architecture, Classical architecture, the west façade is a beautiful example of Sienese workmanship. Work began on the lower part around 1284. Built using polychrome marble, the work was overseen by Giovanni Pisano whose work on the Duomo’s façade and pulpit was influenced by his father Nicola Pisano.

The lower portion of the façade is designed from Giovanni's original plans. Built in Tuscan Romanesque style it emphasizes a horizontal unity of the area around the portals at the expense of the vertical bay divisions; the three portals, surmounted by lunettes, are based on Giovanni Pisano’s original designs, as are much of the sculpture and orientation surrounding the entrances. The areas around and above the doors, as well as the columns between the portals, are richly decorated with acanthus scrolls, allegorical figures and biblical scenes. Giovanni Pisano was able to oversee his work until about 1296 when he abruptly left Siena over creative differences with the Opera del Duomo, the group that oversaw the construction and maintenance of the Siena cathedrals. Pisano's work on the lower façade was continued under the direction of Camaino di Crescentino, but a number of changes were made to the original plan; these included raising the façade due to the raising of the nave of the church and the instillation of a larger rose window based on designs by Duccio di Buoninsegna and commissioned by the city of Siena.

Work on the west façade came to an abrupt end in 1317 when the Opera del Duomo redirected all efforts to the east façade. There is debate as to. Most scholars agree that it was finished

Rivière-à-Pierre

Rivière-à-Pierre is a municipality of the Portneuf Regional County Municipality, in the administrative region of the Capitale-Nationale. This area of the Laurentian Mountains has more than 200 lakes; the village of Rivière-à-Pierre was developed on each side of the river. Rivière-à-Pierre is the second largest municipality in the Portneuf RCM in terms of area. Rivière-à-Pierre is recognized as the gateway to the Portneuf Wildlife Reserve, bringing many visitors, hikers and fishermen into this wilderness; until 1968, many private clubs were active in this area. Its territory dotted with many lakes; the Rivière-à-Pierre railway station, located in the village is served by Via Rail. Many retirees and cottagers move to the areas around the lakes of the municipality during the summer; the resorts contribute to the local economy. Rivière-à-Pierre is recognized as the most important extraction center of architectural stones in Quebec. In Rivière-à-Pierre, many homes and public buildings include granite in their architecture: exterior walls, sidewalks, driveway pavers, stairs, etc.

Stonemasons and stone engravers use their talents to produce various accessories in granite: picnic tables, poles, street numbers of houses, benches, ornaments, etc. In a village tour, visitors are impressed by the architectural presence of granite; the village is located at 15 km by the river up to the mouth of the "rivière-à-Pierre". The Church of St. Bernardin de Rivière-à-Pierre is located by road at 23.6 km from the church of Notre-Dame-de-Montauban. Through a forestry road, the distance between the church Rivière-à-Pierre and "Lac Édouard" is 111 km. Route 367 passes through the southern part of the village of Riviere-à-Pierre. Route 367 linked Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Rivière-à-Pierre, via Saint-Raymond. During the 1990s, the road was extended to Lac-aux-Sables through Notre-Dame-de-Montauban; the watershed of Rivière-à-Pierre is the seventh largest pool of Batiscanie. If we include the watershed of White River, a tributary of Rivière-à-Pierre, this new global watershed is the third largest in Batiscanie.

The territory of the municipality of Rivière-à-Pierre is located in Batiscanie, in the sub-basin of "rivière-à-Pierre" that empties into the Batiscan River. The mouth of the "rivière Blanche" empties into the rivière-à-Pierre at the level of village of Rivière-à-Pierre, about 300 metres upstream from the church; the surroundings of the village The village is surrounded by several small lakes. Upstream of the village, lakes Morasse, "lac du milieu" and "lac de la ferme", known as "lac du dépôt", are formed by a bulge in the "rivière-à-Pierre", which takes its source in Lake Crystal. While "lac Vert" is located near of the "lac de la ferme". On the southern of the village, the lake Beaupré is set between the "rivière-à-Pierre" and "Main Street". At about 450 metres to the east, there is the "Lac de la Montagne". Rivière-à-Pierre Upstream of "Lac de la ferme", the "rivière-à-Pierre" has two major tributaries, namely the "ruisseau Gervais" and "Petite Rivière Batiscan"; the "rivière-à-Pierre" flows from North-East to South-West and comprises several groups of water bodies in his head, including: Lake Cristal which receives the discharge of Lake Vautri.

Lake Gervais discharges into "Gervais stream", which joins 2 km further south "Little Lake Scott". The "Gervais stream" continues 2 km south to empty into Lake Landry. At 4.8 km to the south of the discharge of Gervais stream, "rivière-à-Pierre" joins the "Lac à l'orignal". Ten kilometres lower, after getting few small tributaries, the "rivière-à-Pierre" flows into the "lac de la ferme", at northeast of the village of Rivière-à-Pierre; the docking station of the "rivière-à-Pierre" the Portneuf Wildlife Reserve is located at the "Chute of Marmite", 4.4 km from the village of Rivière-à-Pierre or 2.2 kilometres northeast of the "Lake of the farm". Rivière-à-Pierre defines the eastern part of the territory of the Portneuf Wildlife Reserve from the docking station and back to the northeast to Lake Crystal. However, the boundary of the reserve has an exception for about 3.5 km, where it encroaches further east on the territory of the Zec Batiscan-Neilson, to a depth of 2.8 km to 4.0 km, to integrate lakes Parke, Cord and "local".

White River The White River watershed covers a considerable, taking its source at Lake Blanc for which a dam is built at its mouth. Over a dozen small lakes surrounding flow into White Lake. Down, the waters of the White River flow into a series of lakes to the village of Rivière-à-Pierre: Lupe lakes, Ralph Gilles, Tony lietto and Lorenzo; the Portneuf Wildlife Reserve includes the middle portion of the watershed of the White River. Going North on the White River, we reached the southern boundary of the reserve is located 6.3 km from the village of Rivière-à-Pierr

Cullman County, Alabama

Cullman County is a county located in the north central portion of the U. S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 80,406, its county seat and largest city is Cullman. Its name is in honor of Colonel John G. Cullmann, it is a "moist" county in terms of availability of alcoholic beverages. Cullman County comprises the Cullman, AL Micropolitan Statistical Area, a component of the Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL Combined Statistical Area. Cullman is served by FM radio stations from both Huntsville and Birmingham. Cullman County is a part of the designated market area, or "DMA," of Birmingham. Electricity in Cullman County is provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority and by the Alabama Power Company. For a long time, telephone service in this county was provided by the Southern Bell Company. There is no commercial air transportation service in Cullman County, this county is no longer served by intercity commercial buses; this area was inhabited for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples.

The historic Cherokee and Choctaw lived here at the time of European encounter, with the Cherokee moving in after the American Revolutionary War and in response to pressures from northern area. Their settlements in Alabama were known as the Lower Towns. People claiming descent from Cherokee who remained in the county after Indian Removal in the 1830s, organized as the "Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama" in the 1980s; the tribe is not federally recognized. It claims 22,000 members in the state in northern Alabama. Cullman County was organized in 1877 by German American immigrants who had moved down from Cincinnati, Ohio, they founded an agricultural community and sought to create an agricultural revolution in what had been a frontier area, in the best traditions of innovation in the New South. However, hard geographical and social realities clashed with the impractical vision of colonizer John G. Cullmann, his Germans, with their traditional work ethic and willingness to experiment with such new products as wine and strawberries, tried to make practical changes in southern farming.

The Germans were outnumbered by more traditional families from neighboring regions, who replicated the traditional southern cotton culture. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 755 square miles, of which 735 square miles is land and 20 square miles is water. Morgan County Marshall County Blount County Walker County Winston County Lawrence County CSX Transportation As of the census of 2000, there were 77,483 people, 30,706 households, 22,476 families living in the county; the population density was 105 people per square mile. There were 35,233 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 96.81% White, 0.96% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, 1.03% from two or more races. 2.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 30,706 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.80% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.80% were non-families.

24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.94. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,256, the median income for a family was $39,341. Males had a median income of $30,444 versus $20,436 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,922. About 9.50% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.50% of those under age 18 and 16.80% of those age 65 or over. As of the census of 2010, there were 80,406 people, 31,864 households, 22,487 families living in the county; the population density was 109 people per square mile.

There were 37,054 housing units at an average density of 49 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 94.7% White, 1.1% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 2.2% from other races, 1.1% from two or more races. 4.3 % of the population were Latino of any race. There were 31,864 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.4% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98. In the county, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.9 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,567, the median income for a family was $47,771. Males had a median income of $36,952 versus $27,979 for females; the per capita income for the county was