Trefoil is a graphic form composed of the outline of three overlapping rings used in architecture and Christian symbolism. The term is applied to other symbols of three-fold shape. One of the earliest examples is in the tracery at Winchester. The fourfold version of an architectural trefoil is a quatrefoil, two forms of this are shown below, A dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, is sometimes depicted within the outlined form of the trefoil combined with a triangle. In architecture and archaeology, trefoil describes a layout or floorplan consisting of three apses in clover-leaf shape, as for example in the Megalithic temples of Malta, particularly in church architecture, such a layout may be called a triconchos. The heraldic trefoil is a stylized clover and it should not be confused with the figure named in French heraldry tiercefeuille, which is a stylized flower with three petals. It differs from the heraldic trefoil in being not slipped and it could be translated as threefoil. Symmetrical Trefoils are particularly popular as warning and informational symbols, easily stenciled symbols are favored.
While the green trefoil is considered by many to be the symbol of Ireland, shamrocks generally do not appear on Irish coins or postage stamps. A trefoil is part of the logo for Adidas Originals, a trefoil formation is a cross-sectional arrangement of electrical cables that minimises electrodynamic forces during fault conditions. Also, the field of each phase conductor in a 3-phase system is negated when the other two phase conductors are nearby to form a trefoil. Fleur-de-Lys Foil Trefoil domain Trefoil arch Trefoil knot Torus knot Quatrefoil Explanation of Christian symbolism of Trefoil
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city has a population of 1.26 million, while 1.68 million people live in its metropolitan area, the city is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country, within less than 50 kilometres drive from the Serbian border. Its location in the centre of the Balkan peninsula means that it is the midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, whereas the Aegean Sea is the closest to it, Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC. Being Bulgarias primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the local universities, cultural institutions. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for business in the world. Sofia is Europes most affordable capital to visit as of 2013, for the longest time the city possessed a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian, Celtic, or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin. It seems that the first written mention of Serdica was made during his reign, during the Romans civitas Serdenisium was mentioned the brightest city of the Serdi in official inscriptions.
The city was major throughout the past ever since Antiquity, when Roman emperor Constantine the Great referred to it as my Rome, other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis and Triaditza, were mentioned by Byzantine Greek sources or coins. The Slavic name Sredets, which is related to middle and to the citys earliest name, the city was called Atralissa by the Arab traveller Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders. The name Sofia comes from the Saint Sofia Church, as opposed to the prevailing Slavic etymology among Bulgarian cities and towns. It is ultimately derived from the Egyptian Kemetic word sbÅ, meaning star, door and wisdom and this was a tradition of collection of wise literature, shared between Mediterranean cultures, which was called sophia in Greek. In these documents the city is called Sofia, but at the time the region and the citys inhabitants are still called Sredecheski. The city became popular to the Ottomans by the name Sofya. In 1879 there was a dispute about what the name of the new Bulgarian capital should be, the citys name is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the o, in contrast with the tendency of foreigners to place the stress on i.
The female given name Sofia is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the i, Sofia has an area of 492 km2, while Sofia City Province has an area of 1344 km2. Sofias development as a significant settlement owes much to its position in the Balkans. It is situated in western Bulgaria, at the foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley that is surrounded by the Balkan mountains to the north. The valley has an altitude of 550 metres
Jihlava is a city in the Czech Republic. There is a Jewish cemetery, containing some remarkable monuments including the tombstone of the parents of Gustav Mahler, the citys German name, Iglau, is derived from the German word for hedgehog, hence the hedgehog on the coat of arms. According to legend, already in the year 799 silver was mined in Iglau, king Ottokar I established a mint, and Iglau was granted extensive privileges from early times onwards. An old Slavic settlement upon a ford was moved to a hill where the mining town was founded by king Václav I. Medieval mines surrounded by mining settlements were localized outside the walls of the medieval town, in the era of the Hussite Wars, Jihlava remained a Catholic stronghold and managed to resist a number of sieges. Later at Jihlava, on 5 July 1436, a treaty was made with the Hussites, a marble relief near the town marks the spot where Ferdinand I, in 1527, swore fidelity to the Bohemian estates. During the Thirty Years War Jihlava was twice captured by the Swedes, in 1742 it fell into the hands of the Prussians, and in December 1805 the Bavarians under Wrede were defeated near the town.
In 1860 it became the home of Bohemian-Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. Until World War I the town was an important Austro-Hungarian Army military centre, in 1914 the I, II and III. Battalion of the Moravian Infantry Regiment No.81 and the Second Battalion of the Landwehr infantry regiment number 14 were the garrison troops, after World War I the town constituted a German language island within Slavic speaking Moravia. This affected local politics as it remained the centre of the second largest German-speaking enclave in the republic of Czechoslovakia. The Volksdeutsche of Iglau / Jihlava relied on peaceful opposition to the Czech military occupation of their region, unsuccessful in getting their right to self-determination recognized and incorporated into the new Czechoslovakian state instead, many of the indigenous Germans took to more nationalistic politics. Thereafter extremist political figures like Hans Krebs, editor of the Iglauer Volkswehr newspaper, became prominent with the rise of Nazism, the area remained, until the end of World War II, a distinctive regional folk culture reflecting hundreds of years of local customs.
The local dialect of German was a branch of Mitteldeutsch. Musicians often used homemade instruments and original groups of four fiddles, typical folk dances were the Hatschou and Radln. Peasant women like wearing old pairische Scharkaröckchen costumes with shiny dark skirts, after the end of World War II, and following the Beneš decrees, these German speakers were evicted, it is estimated that hundreds died on the arduous trek to Austria. The town was repopulated with Czech and Moravian settlers favoured by the new Communist regime, after 1951, the town was the site of several Communist show trials, which were directed against the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on the rural population. In the processes eleven death sentences were passed and 111 years of prison sentences imposed, all the convicted persons were rehabilitated after the Velvet Revolution
Moravia is a historical country in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. Moravia has an area of over 22,348.87 km2 and about 3 million inhabitants, the statistics from 1921 states, that the whole area of Moravia including the enclaves in Silesia covers 22,623.41 km2. The people are historically named Moravians, a subgroup of Czechs, the land takes its name from the Morava river, which rises in the northern tip of the region and flows southward to the opposite end, being its major stream. Moravias largest city and historical capital is Brno, however before being sacked by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War, though officially abolished by an administrative reform in 1949, Moravia is still commonly acknowledged as a specific land in the Czech Republic. Moravian people are aware of their Moravian identity and there is some rivalry between them and the Czechs from Bohemia. Moravia occupies most of the part of the Czech Republic.
Moravian territory is naturally strongly determined, in fact, as the Morava river basin, with effect of mountains in the west and partly in the east. Moravia occupies a position in Central Europe. All the highlands in the west and east of part of Europe run west-east. Moravia borders Bohemia in the west, Lower Austria in the south, Slovakia in the southeast, Poland very shortly in the north and its natural boundary is formed by the Sudetes mountains in the north, the Carpathians in the east and the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in the west. The Thaya river meanders along the border with Austria and the tripoint of Moravia and Slovakia is at the confluence of the Thaya, the northeast border with Silesia runs partly along the Moravice and Ostravice rivers. Between 1782–1850, Moravia included a portion of the former province of Silesia – the Austrian Silesia. Geologically, Moravia covers an area between the Bohemian Massif and the Carpathians, and between the Danube basin and the North European Plain.
Its core geomorphological features are three wide vales, namely the Dyje-Svratka Vale, the Upper Morava Vale and the Lower Morava Vale, the former two form the westernmost part of the Subcarpathia, the latter one is the northernmost part of the Vienna Basin. The vales surround the low range of Central Moravian Carpathians, the highest mountains of Moravia are situated on its northern border in Hrubý Jeseník, the highest peak is Praděd. Second highest are the Moravian-Silesian Beskids at the very east, with Smrk, the White Carpathians along the southeastern border rise up to 970 m at Velká Javořina. The spacious, but moderate Bohemian-Moravian Highlands on the west reach 837 m at Devět skal. The fluvial system of Moravia is very cohesive, as the border is similar to the watershed of the Morava river
The style began around 1600 in Rome and Italy, and spread to most of Europe. The aristocracy viewed the dramatic style of Baroque art and architecture as a means of impressing visitors by projecting triumph, Baroque palaces are built around an entrance of courts, grand staircases, and reception rooms of sequentially increasing opulence. However, baroque has a resonance and application that extend beyond a reduction to either a style or period. It is yields the Italian barocco and modern Spanish barroco, German Barock, Dutch Barok, others derive it from the mnemonic term Baroco, a supposedly laboured form of syllogism in logical Scholastica. The Latin root can be found in bis-roca, in informal usage, the word baroque can simply mean that something is elaborate, with many details, without reference to the Baroque styles of the 17th and 18th centuries. The word Baroque, like most periodic or stylistic designations, was invented by critics rather than practitioners of the arts in the 17th, the term Baroque was initially used in a derogatory sense, to underline the excesses of its emphasis.
In particular, the term was used to describe its eccentric redundancy and noisy abundance of details, although it was long thought that the word as a critical term was first applied to architecture, in fact it appears earlier in reference to music. Another hypothesis says that the word comes from precursors of the style, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola and he did not make the distinctions between Mannerism and Baroque that modern writers do, and he ignored the phase, the academic Baroque that lasted into the 18th century. Long despised, Baroque art and architecture became fashionable between the two World Wars, and has remained in critical favour. In painting the gradual rise in popular esteem of Caravaggio has been the best barometer of modern taste, William Watson describes a late phase of Shang-dynasty Chinese ritual bronzes of the 11th century BC as baroque. The term Baroque may still be used, usually pejoratively, describing works of art, the appeal of Baroque style turned consciously from the witty, intellectual qualities of 16th-century Mannerist art to a visceral appeal aimed at the senses.
It employed an iconography that was direct, obvious, germinal ideas of the Baroque can be found in the work of Michelangelo. Even more generalised parallels perceived by some experts in philosophy, prose style, see the Neapolitan palace of Caserta, a Baroque palace whose construction began in 1752. In paintings Baroque gestures are broader than Mannerist gestures, less ambiguous, less arcane and mysterious, more like the stage gestures of opera, Baroque poses depend on contrapposto, the tension within the figures that move the planes of shoulders and hips in counterdirections. Baroque is a style of unity imposed upon rich, heavy detail, Baroque style featured exaggerated lighting, intense emotions, release from restraint, and even a kind of artistic sensationalism. There were highly diverse strands of Italian baroque painting, from Caravaggio to Cortona, the most prominent Spanish painter of the Baroque was Diego Velázquez. The Baroque style gradually gave way to a more decorative Rococo, while the Baroque nature of Rembrandts art is clear, the label is less often used for Vermeer and many other Dutch artists.
Flemish Baroque painting shared a part in this trend, while continuing to produce the traditional categories
Matthias Corvinus, called Matthias I, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458 to 1490. After conducting several military campaigns, he was elected King of Bohemia in 1469 and he was the son of John Hunyadi, Regent of Hungary, who died in 1456. In 1457, Matthias was imprisoned along with his brother, Ladislaus Hunyadi. Ladislaus Hunyadi was executed, causing a rebellion that forced King Ladislaus to flee Hungary, after the King died unexpectedly, Matthiass uncle Michael Szilágyi persuaded the Estates to unanimously proclaim Matthias king on 24 January 1458. He began his rule under his uncles guardianship, but he took control of government within two weeks. As king, Matthias waged wars against the Czech mercenaries who dominated Upper Hungary and against Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, in this period, the Ottoman Empire conquered Serbia and Bosnia, terminating the zone of buffer states along the southern frontiers of the Kingdom of Hungary. Matthias signed a treaty with Frederick III in 1463, acknowledging the Emperors right to style himself King of Hungary.
The Emperor returned the Holy Crown of Hungary with which Matthias was crowned on 29 April 1464, in this year, Matthias invaded the territories that had recently been occupied by the Ottomans and seized fortresses in Bosnia. He soon realized he could expect no aid from the Christian powers. Matthias introduced new taxes and regularly collected extraordinary taxes and these measures caused a rebellion in Transylvania in 1467, but he subdued the rebels. The next year, Matthias declared war on George of Poděbrady, the Hussite King of Bohemia, and conquered Moravia and Lausitz, but he could not occupy Bohemia proper. The Catholic Estates proclaimed him King of Bohemia on 3 May 1469, they elected Vladislaus Jagiellon, the eldest son of Casimir IV of Poland. A group of Hungarian prelates and lords offered the throne to Vladislauss younger brother Casimir, having routed the united troops of Casimir IV and Vladislaus at Breslau in Silesia in late 1474, Matthias turned against the Ottomans, who had devastated the eastern parts of Hungary.
He sent reinforcements to Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia, in 1476, Matthias besieged and seized Šabac, an important Ottoman border fort. He concluded a treaty with Vladislaus Jagiellon in 1478, confirming the division of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown between them. Matthias waged a war against Emperor Frederick and occupied Lower Austria between 1482 and 1487, Matthias patronized art and science, his royal library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was one of the largest collections of books in Europe. With his patronage, Hungary became the first country to embrace the Renaissance from Italy, as Matthias the Just, the monarch who wandered among his subjects in disguise, he remains a popular hero of Hungarian folk tales. Matthias was born in Kolozsvár on 23 February 1443 and he was the second son of John Hunyadi and his wife, Elisabeth Szilágyi
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district. The city is a significant administrative centre and it is the seat of a number of state authorities, including the Ombudsman, and the Office for the Protection of Competition. Brno is an important centre of education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning. Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe, the complex opened in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno. Brno hosts motorbike and other races on the Masaryk Circuit, an established in 1930. Another cultural tradition is a fireworks competition, Ignis Brunensis. The other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by the Brno Dam Lake and this castle is the site of a number of legends, as are many other places in Brno.
Another architectural monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, one of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst. The etymology of the name Brno is disputed and it perhaps comes from Old Czech brnie muddy, swampy. Alternative derivations are from a Slavic verb brniti or a Celtic language spoken in the area before it was overrun by Germanic peoples, throughout its history, Brnos locals referred to the town in other languages, including Brünn in German, ברין in Yiddish and Bruna in Latin. The city was referred to as Brunn in English. The Asteroid 2889 Brno was named after the city, as well as the Bren light machine gun, one of the most famous weapons of World War II. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of a prince from the House of Přemyslid. Brno was first mentioned in Cosmas Chronica Boëmorum dated to year 1091, seats of these rulers and thus capitals of these territories were castles and towns of Brno and Znojmo.
In the late 12th century, Moravia began to reunify, forming the Margraviate of Moravia, since then, until the mid of the 17th century, it was not clear which town should be the capital of Moravia. Political power was therefore divided between Brno and Olomouc, but Znojmo played an important role. The Moravian Diet, the Moravian Land Tables, and the Moravian Land Court were all seated in both cities at once, Brno was the official seat of the Moravian Margraves, and its geographical position closer to Vienna became important
World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and 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. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even 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 simultaneously and 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 forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work influenced the cultural development of all Slavs. They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic, after their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of equal-to-apostles, in 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, the two brothers were born in Thessalonica, in present-day Greece – Cyril in about 827–828 and Methodius about 815–820. Cyril was reputedly the youngest of seven brothers, he was born Constantine, Methodius was born Michael and took the name Methodius upon becoming a monk at Mysian Olympus, in northwest Turkey. Their father was Leo, a droungarios of the Byzantine theme of Thessalonica, the exact ethnic origins of the brothers are unknown, there is controversy as to whether Cyril and Methodius were of Slavic or Byzantine Greek origin, or both.
The two brothers lost their father when Cyril was fourteen, and the powerful minister Theoktistos, who was logothetes tou dromou, one of the ministers of the Empire. Cyril was ordained as priest some time after his education, while his brother Methodius remained only a deacon until 867/868, Cyrils mastery of theology and command of both Arabic and Hebrew made him eligible for his first state mission. He was sent to the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil to discuss the principle of the Holy Trinity with the Arab theologians and this mission was unsuccessful, as the Khagan imposed Judaism on his people as the national religion. It has been claimed that Methodius accompanied Cyril on the mission to the Khazars, the account of his life presented in the Latin Legenda claims that he learned the Khazar language while in Chersonesos, in Taurica. In 862, the brothers began the work which would give them their historical importance and that year Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia requested that Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch Photius send missionaries to evangelize his Slavic subjects.
His motives in doing so were more political than religious. Rastislav had become king with the support of the Frankish ruler Louis the German, Rastislav is said to have expelled missionaries of the Roman Church and instead turned to Constantinople for ecclesiastical assistance and, presumably, a degree of political support. The Emperor quickly chose to send Cyril, accompanied by his brother Methodius, the request provided a convenient opportunity to expand Byzantine influence. Their first work seems to have been the training of assistants, in 863, they began the task of translating the Bible into the language now known as Old Church Slavonic and travelled to Great Moravia to promote it. They enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour, they came into conflict with German ecclesiastics who opposed their efforts to create a specifically Slavic liturgy. For the purpose of mission, they devised the Glagolitic alphabet