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Uzbekistan

Land of architectural glory, heart of Asia and Persia, golden road of silk, the only name of the three World Heritage cities, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva are full enough for a dreamlike journey. Sunrises and sunsets give the magnificent light to embellish the architectural treasures of those powerful towns of beauty, history and culture.
(48 Pictures)

The Glasshouses in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris - Re-openning to the public in June 2010

"As soon as I entered the glasshouses in the Jardin des Plantes and saw the strange plants from exotic countries, I felt as if I had walked into a dream" Le Douanier Rousseau. The Glasshouses in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris which have been under restoration for over six years, will re-open to the public in June 2010. An Art Deco gem, The Tropical Rainforest Glasshouse, formerly known as the Winter Gardens, was built in 1936 by the architect Rene Berger and is to be found in all its splendour at the far North West of the Jardin des Plantes. Behind it the twin sisters, The New Caledonia and the Plant History Glasshouses, previously known as the Mexican Hothouse and the Australian Glasshouse, are the oldest Glasshouses in the world of such large proportions. Built in 1834 by Charles Rohault de Fleury, pioneer in the use of metal in architecture, even earlier than Gustave Eiffel, they are true prototypes for the design of modern glasshouses. A historic centre of research into biodiversity, the glasshouses were also the inspiration for the famous "Jungles" paintings of Le Douanier Rousseau.
(64 Pictures)

Agrigento

The magic and incomparable spectacle presented by the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento has been especially evoked by the American Art Historian Bernard Berenson with the following words : " when we were in sight of Akragas, the sun was setting, transfiguring the columns of these simple but harmoniously proportionned structures, as if a whole luminosity of stone were being emitted from them. Nowhere in Greece proper, with the exception of the Parthenon, does one succeed in having such an evocation of the Hellenic world."
(16 Pictures)

Siracusa, Sicilia, Sept 09

Siracusa was founded by Greek colonies in 734 B.C. In 485 B.C. Gerone, the first tyrant of Siracusa came to power. The Siracusa people rebelled & drove out Gerone and set up a democracy (466 B.C.). After fighting & beating the Athens fleet (413 B.C.)Siracusa had to defend itself against Carthage by placing the city under the protection of the tyrant Dionysius. Siracusa succeed in fortifying the city. Under the reign of Ierone II (269-215 B.C.) Siracusa was conquered by the Roman Empire and fell under Roman rule in 212 B.C. Thereafter the city begins to decline.
(16 Pictures)

Essaouira, Morocco, May 2009

Essaouira, on the windswept Atlantic coast of Morocco, was re-built in the 18th century by French architect Theodore Cornut to the orders of Sultan Ben Abdullah. Surrounded by ramparts it is a charming small town now becoming more popular with tourists. To the West of the town is the Port Skala, a fortified area with wonderful views of the sea and the Island of Mogador.
(16 Pictures / 100 available )

Chouara Tannery, Fez, Morocco

Back to Middle Ages ! Views of the traditional work of the tanners, whose practices have remained unchanged since the 14th century, at the Chouara tannery. It is the largest of the four ancient tanneries still in existence in the medina of Fez and is composed of numerous dried-earth pits where raw skins are treated, pounded, scraped and dyed. Tanners work in vats filled with various coloured liquid dyes derived from plant sources. Colours change every two weeks, poppy flower for red, mint for green, indigo for blue, chedar tree for brown and saffron for yellow.
(31 Pictures)

Bruges, Western Flanders, Belgium

Views of the city along a short winter day and lonely walk of the photographer, with evening urban lights enchanting the fantasy of the medieval city… It was founded in the 9th century by a group of Vikings. The name 'Bruges' probably comes from the old-Norse word 'Bryggia', which means "landing stage or mooring place'.
(16 Pictures / 46 available )