Istanbul: A brief History (The Early Years)

Istanbul has a rich history with multiple dynasties and kingdoms taking charge at some point. The city, as such, has had human settlements for over three thousand years. The earliest known name of Istanbul is Lygos, founded by Thracian tribes. It was first colonised by the Greeks in the 7th Century BCE and then by the Romans around 200 ACE. We then had the Byzantine empire and the Ottoman empire take over over time. The ‘city’ of Byzantium was then located at the same place as Lygos. On the European side there were two settlements: Lygos and Semistra .On the … Continue reading Istanbul: A brief History (The Early Years)

Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens

The Erechtheion or Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the Acropolis of Athens which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. The temple was built between 421 and 406 BC. Its architect may have been Mnesicles, and it derived its name from a shrine dedicated to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius. Some have suggested that it may have been built in honor of the legendary king Erechtheus, who is said to have been buried nearby. Erechtheus was mentioned in Homer’s Iliad as a great king and ruler of Athens during the Archaic Period. The classical building has suffered its … Continue reading Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens

Theatre of Dionysus

The theatre of Dionysos Eleuthereus was built in the 6th century BCE and is seen on the hill of the Acropolis in Athens. Modified and expanded over the centuries, it is the oldest Greek theatre and is the site where some of the most famous Greek plays from antiquity were first performed. In the 4th century BCE, the theatre reached its full extent, holding upto 17,000 people. It continued to flourish in the Roman era but fell into decline in the Byzantine era and thereafter. It was excavated and then resorted to its current condition in the 19th century. The … Continue reading Theatre of Dionysus

Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador

On the Ecuadoran Andes, you can find the Quilotoa crater lake. As the name suggests, it is a water filled caldera and about 3km wide. It wsa formed by the collapse of the volcano following a catastrophic eruption about 600 years ago. The eruption is estimated to have followed after a dormant period of 14,000 years and is known as the 1280 Plinian eruption.. The fourth (of seven) eruptive phase was phreatomagmatic, indicating that a Crater lake was already present at that time. The lake is about 250m deep and is green in colour due to the dissolved minerals. Sources … Continue reading Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador

Ring Tail Lemur, Madagascar

Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighboring islands. The Ring tail Lemur, is found in southern and southwestern Madagascar. It inhabits deciduous forests, dry scrub, montane humid forests, and gallery forests (forests along riverbanks). Ring-tailed lemurs also spend a lot of time on the ground, which is unusual among lemur species. They forage for fruit, which makes up the greater part of their diet, but also eat leaves, flowers, tree bark, and sap. They live in groups known as troops. These groups may include 6 to 30 animals, but average about 17. … Continue reading Ring Tail Lemur, Madagascar

Palanque, Mexico

Palenque is an ancient Mayan city of the Late Classic Period (c. 600–900 CE) and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The Temple of the Inscriptions is best preserved and is also noted for its hieroglyphic inscriptions. In 1952 a crypt was discovered under the temple. Inside the crypt, jade ornamented remains of a likely ruler-priest was discovered. Another important site is the Temple of the Sun which is noted for large stucco bas-relief throne and figures. The famous structures possibly represent a rebuilding effort in response to the attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states … Continue reading Palanque, Mexico