Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Several destructive wars and fires (and the subsequent renovations), along with differing political forces have combined to create an intriguing mix of palaces, churches and fortifications.
The Prague Castle complex consists of Saint Vitus Cathedral (the most recognisable landmark in the city), viewing towers, museums and art galleries, a monastery, Golden Lane, several palaces, including Lobkowicz Palace, and St. George's Basilica; the latter being a popular venue for early evening classical concerts.
The first known building on the site of Prague Castle was erected in the 9th century. In the 12th century it was replaced by a Romanesque palace. In the 14th century it was rebuilt in the Gothic style, under the reign of Charles IV.
A further reconstruction of the Royal Palace then took place under the Jagellons at the end of the 15th century.
Following a fire in 1541, Prague Castle underwent further works. The Spanish Hall was added during the reign of Rudolf II. And final alterations were made by Empress Maria Theresa, under the direction of the celebrated architect M. Pacassi.
After World War I, renovations to the castle buildings and to the Prague Castle Gardens were undertaken by the architect J. Plecnik.
Today, Prague Castle is the seat of the President of the Czech Republic and serves as the historical and political centre for both city and state.
The Changing of the Guard at the front gates takes place every hour. At noon the ceremony includes a fanfare.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Sport activities are a national movement with half of the population actively participating, much thanks to the heavy government subsidies of sport associations (föreningsstöd). The two main spectator sports are football and ice hockey (several famous Swede ice hockey players include Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Markus Näslund, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidström). Second to football, horse sports have the highest number of practitioners, mostly women. Thereafter follow golf, athletics, and the team sports of handball, floorball, basketball and bandy.
Sweden has been a very successful sport nation throughout the years, and has a row of sportsmen that are considered to be the best in history in their type of sport. Björn Borg is considered not only to be the most successful player in his genre of sport, tennis, but also to be one of the most successful players in the history of sports. Jan-Ove Waldner the table tennis player known as 'the Mozart of table tennis' is a legend in both his native Sweden as well as in China. Gunnar Nordahl (football player) is still the best goalscorer of all time with 225 goals in 291 matches, and remains record holder for the most goals in a season in Italy, with 35 goals 1949–1950. Skier Ingemar Stenmark is considered to be one of the greatest alpine skiers of all time with 86 World Cup Victories. The greatest female Golf player of all time is Annika Sörenstam; her 90 international tournament wins as a professional make her the female golf player with the most wins to her name. She also tops the LPGA's career money list.
Åre ski resort
The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor is regarded as one of the very best in the world and has won the World Championships eight times, which makes them third in the medal count. They won Olympic gold medals in 1994 and 2006. In 2006, as the first nation in history, they won both the Olympic and world championships in the same year. The Swedish national football team has seen some success at the World Cup in the past, finishing second when they hosted the tournament in 1958, and third twice, in 1950 and 1994.
Ullevi is a stadium in Gothenburg. The stadium is also the biggest in Scandinavia.
Athletics has enjoyed a surge in popularity due to several successful athletes in recent years, such as: Carolina Klüft, Stefan Holm, Christian Olsson, Patrik Sjöberg, Johan Wissman, Kajsa Bergqvist.
Sweden is also the eighth most successful country in the Olympic games in history.
In schools, on meadows and in parks, the game brännboll, a sport similar to baseball, is commonly played for fun. Other leisure sports are the historical game of kubb, and boules among the older generation.
Sweden hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 1958. Other big sports events held here include 1992 UEFA European Football Championship, FIFA Women's World Cup 1995, and several championships of ice hockey, curling, athletics, skiing, bandy, figure skating and swimming.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Gotland has more to offer than limestone stacks safari and lazy days on the beach! Amongst the activities you´ll find everything from diving, cave exploring, golf, wind surfing, shooting and ocean kayak to horseback riding and kite-flying. Other attractions are the steam train railway and the Christmas market in Visby. Gotland offers almost unlimited resources of leisure and recreation for you to discover!
Every week, there are always events going on on Gotland. From variety shows and the kite festival to big events like Round Gotland Race, organized by The Royal Swedish Yacht Club and the Medieval Week. Gotland Organ Week in the Cathedral St Mary of Visby is a week of organ music with concerts in the Cathedral and in the parish churches in the countryside. Other musical events are the Vadstuck Rock festival, the Gotland Chamber Music Festival with many international artists and the international Gotland Country and Folk Dancing Festival.There are many motor sports and racing events on Gotland. Gotland Grand National dirt bike competition in Tofta is Sweden’s biggest motorcycle competition. Gotland Ring is a multifunctional state-of-the-art motor facility. Many other events are organized every year on the island of Gotland.
Adventure and Sports
Horseback riding, nature trails, boat hire, ocean fishing, hiking areas and trail biking. The list of adventure activities on Gotland is very long! Stångaspelen, Gotland’s very own “Olympic Games”, is a competition in Gotlandic sports with activities including tossing the caber and the Gotland pentathlon. Also, golfers have many courses to choose from.
Beautiful Coastline and Silky Sand Beaches
Beaches lie within cycling distance and the ride along the cliffs is easily worth the negligible cost of renting a bike. If you get really tired, you can even take your bike on the bus. Gotland has many sandy beaches but also stony coastlines. Relax by taking long walks along the beaches. By the way - Gotland has Sweden’s sunshine record.
Arts, Museums and Theatre
During the summer the Roma Theatre ensemble performs Shakespeare’s plays in the monastery ruins of Roma. For more theatrical performances - visit the Gotland County Theatre. Other places to visit are the Gotland Museum of Fine Arts, the Muramaris artist villa and Bottarvegården, a cultural centre in the south of Gotland. Close to Visby are two car museums and in Havdhem there is a museum with vintage Farming vehicles.
Discover Our History
Gotland has many historic monuments, museums and ruins of churches and abbeys. More buried treasures have been found here in modern times than anywhere else in the world. The Historical Museum of Gotland shows treasures from the Viking era. Here you will meet the island´s 8000 years of very rich history with stories of brave medieval knights and Gotland’s last pirate. Another very special museum is the stone quarry museum in Bläse. All museums have guided tours.You can also learn about the history of the Vikings at the Viking Village, one of many exciting historical activities in the Gotlandic countryside. Also, the island has almost one hundred medieval churches, one in every parish. Take a guided walk through enchanting Visby and hear the city's tales and legends. The Visby Tourist Information Center sells tickets to sightseeings.
by Vineeta :))
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Alfred Bernhard Nobel (help·info) (Stockholm, Sweden, 21 October 1833 – Sanremo, Italy, 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite. He owned Bofors, a major armaments manufacturer, which he had redirected from its previous role as an iron and steel mill. In his last will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him.
The foundations of the Nobel Prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth for its establishment. Since 1901, the prize has honored men and women for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace.
Friday, August 14, 2009
ABBA gained international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of ardent fans, notably in Australia. Touring became a contentious issue, being particularly unpopular with Fältskog, but they continued to release studio albums to great commercial success. At the height of their popularity, however, both marriages of the band members failed, and the relationship changes were reflected in their music, as they produced more thoughtful lyrics with different compositions.
They remain a fixture of radio playlists and are one of the world's best selling bands, having sold near 400 million records world wide; they still sell two to four million records a year. ABBA was also the first pop group from mainland Europe to enjoy consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand. Their enormous popularity subsequently opened the doors for other Continental European acts.
The music of ABBA has been re-arranged into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that has toured worldwide and had a movie version released in July 2008. All four of the former members of ABBA were present at the Stockholm premieres of both the musical (2005) and the film (2008). The film première took place at the Benny Andersson-owned Rival Theatre at Mariatorget, Stockholm on 4 July 2008. A new museum devoted entirely to the pop supergroup was scheduled to open in Stockholm in 2009, but the project was postponed as of September 2008.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty; at seventeen he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. Visiting Vienna in 1781 he was dismissed from his Salzburg position and chose to stay in the capital, where over the rest of his life he achieved fame but little financial security. The final years in Vienna yielded many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and the Requiem. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.
Mozart always learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate—the whole informed by a vision of humanity "redeemed through art, forgiven, and reconciled with nature and the absolute". His influence on all subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years".
The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor and chandeliers.
All sculptures are marked with a logo. The original Swarovski logo was an edelweiss flower, which was replaced by a "S.A.L." logo which was finally replaced with the current swan logo in 1988.
In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or "AB", is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance. Other coatings include Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.
In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a new copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (crystal components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).
The Swarovski Group also includes Tyrolit (makers of abrasive and cutting tools); Swareflex (reflective and luminous road markings); Signity (synthetic and natural gemstones); and Swarovski Optik (optical instruments such as binoculars and rifle scopes).
The company runs a crystal-themed indoor theme park, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site (near Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria). The Crystal Worlds centre is fronted by a grass-covered head, the mouth of which is a fountain. The grass-covered Crystal Worlds houses exhibitions related to, or inspired by, the crystals - but not an show of how the famous designs are made, produced or finished.
Due to deep foundation, the building resembled a “sunken crate”. Such criticisms finally made Eduard van der Nüll commit suicide and two months after August von Siccardsburge died of a heart attack. Unfortunately they did not live to see the big opening with “Don Giovanni” in 1869. The imposing building is characterized through its “Renaissance elbow style”.
A central tract with a huge loggia leading to the “Ringstraße”, a transversing set of wings, a domed roof over the stairs, an auditorium and a stage. After the war the Opera House was rebuilt with many additions and reopened to “Fidelio”. The new auditorium accommodates 2,200 seats and standing places. Significant details of the building are the loggia, with its allegories in the arcades, the wall paintings, and the imposing staircase with the statues of the seven Free arts, made out of marble. The Schwind Foyer, the Gobelin Hall and the Marble Hall among other things make the Opera House very unique. In addition, the stage area covers a gigantic 1.500 m².
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Its first president was Gustav Klimt whose Art Nouveau paintings came out of the Symbolists Movement of painters in France. His subjects were usually women and often erotic. He used a flattened sense of space that focused on the decorative aspects of painting. He is very famous for his use of gold leaf in his paintings – a feature that can also been seen in the architecture of the Vienna Secession Building.