Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna


Piazza Maggiore is a square in Bologna, Italy. It was created in 1200. It is one of the finest squares in all of Italy. The square is surrounded by the Palace of the Notories, the Palace of the Commune, the Palace of Podesta, and the San Petronio Basilica.

Bologna , from Latin Bononia, (Bulaggna in the local dialect) is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, in the Pianura Padana, between the Po River and the Apennines, exactly, between Reno River and Savena River.

Bologna was founded by the Etruscans with the name Felsina (ca. 534 BCE) in an area previously inhabited by the villanovians, a people of farmers and shepherds. The Etruscan city grew around a sanctuary built on a hill, and was surrounded by a necropolis.

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Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul


Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace) is a palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. It was the main and largest palace of the Joseon Dynasty and one of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty.

The palace was originally constructed in 1394 by Jeong Do-jeon, a Korean architect. Parts of the palace were burnt down during the Japanese invasion in 1592. After years of neglect and failure to restore it due to the sheer size of the logistics involved, it was reconstructed during 1860s as a massive 330 building complex with 5,792 rooms. Standing on 410,000 square meters of land, it was a symbol of majesty for the Korean people and the home of the royal family. Soon after the assassination of Empress Myeongsung by the Japanese agents in 1895, her husband, Gojong of Korea left the palace and the Imperial family would never return to the palace.

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New Webcams

Webcams of Panama Beach and Fort Lauderdale Beach, an outside view of the Nasdaq, New York and Lamai Beach, Thailand have all been added to the webcam map.

A daylight map has also been added so you can now check which cams are in daylight before visiting.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence


The Piazzale Michelanelo affords one of the best views in Florence. From here you can see the whole of Florence at a glance, from Forte Belvedere to Santa Croce, the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, the Uffizi, Palazzo della Signoria and the Bargello, etc. Higher up, on the other side of Florence, you can see the hills to the north, with Fiesole and the tall belltower of its Cathedral (1213) standing out in their midst.

The square takes its name from the great bronze group that that architect Giuseppe Poggi placed in its centre, a real "pastiche" of the work of Michelangelo, composed of copies of his David (now in the Academy Museum) and the four allegorical figures Pope Clement VII commissioned him to carry out for the Medici tombs in the New Sacristy in San Lorenzo (these were for the tombs of Lorenzo Duke of Urbino and Giuliano Duke of Nemours).

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St. John's Church Newham


Today's post is a little different in that the movie is an amazing 3D model of St John's Church in Stratford, East London (which also just happens to be where I live).

St John's Church was designed by Edward Blore, one of the leading architects of his day. It was built in the Early English style with a tall, ornate south western spire. Interesting architectural features are, externally, the lancets (like stone bridges) and internally the moulded piers (grooves in the pillars) and depressed arches (the tops of the arches are flatter than usual).

The 3D model in the movie was developed by the amazing folk at DigitalUrban. DigitalUrban are achieving amazing things with Google Earth. Serioulsy check out their website.

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Happy Xmas Cams

Today we have added a couple of more Xmas related webcams to the Webcam Map. Now as well as watching Santa live you can also view the Xmas tree at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York and watch the skaters at the San Jose Xmas ice rink.

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Wenceslas Square


Wenceslas Square (Czech: Vaclavskenamesti) is one of the main city squares and the centre of the business and cultural communities in the New Town of Prague, Czech Republic. It has been a place where many historical events occurred; it is also a traditional place for demonstrations, celebrations, and similar public gatherings. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.

Formerly named Konsky trh (English: Horse Market), because of periodical horse markets during the Middle Ages. Renamed in 1848 to Svatovaclavske namesti (English: Saint Wenceslas square) on the proposal from Karel Havlícek Borovsky.

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Schloss Moritzburg


Moritzburg is a village in the Friedewald area in Saxony, Germany, between Meissen as early centre of Saxony and the today's capital Dresden. It is most famous for its Baroque castle, Schloss Moritzburg.

The castle was built from 1542-1546 as a hunting lodge for Duke Moritz of Saxony. The chapel was added between 1661 and 1671 after designs by Wolf Caspar von Klengels and is a fine example of the early Baroque style. Between 1723 and 1733 the castle was remodelled as a pleasure seat with formal park for Friedrich August I (August the Strong), elector of Saxony and king of Poland by the architects Matthaus Daniel Poppelmann and Longeloune.

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Bratislava Castle


The Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on a quite isolated rocky hill of the Lesser Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava. It is an outstanding feature of the city.

It provides an excellent view of Bratislava, of Austria and, when there is good weather, of Vienna and Hungary. Many legends are connected with the history of the castle.

The castle building includes 4 towers (one on each corner) and a courtyard with an 80m deep water well. The biggest tower is the Crown Tower in the south-west from the 13th century, which housed the crown jewels. The outside walls and inside corridors contain fragments of old Gothic and Renaissance construction elements. To the east of the main entrance, one can see the walled up entrance gate from the 16th century. Behind the entrance, there is an arcade corridor and then the big Baroque staircase, which leads to the expositions of the Slovak National Museum

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Loch Ness Monster Live


A live webcam of Loch Ness has been added to the Webcam Map so you can watch for Nessie around the clock. Unfortunately the days in Scotland are rather short at the moment, if the screen looks black then it is night time in Scotland.

A webcam of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and a webcam of the seafront in Exmouth, England have also been added.

Alternatively if Scotland feels a bit too chilly for you we have also added two webcams from Florida in the US.

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Badshahi Mosque, Lahore


The Badshahi Mosque or the 'Emperor's Mosque', was built in 1673 by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Lahore, Pakistan. It is one of the city's best known landmarks, and a major tourist attraction epitomising the beauty and grandeur of the Mughal era.

Capable of accommodating over 55,000 worshippers, it is the second largest mosque in Pakistan, after the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. The architecture and design of the Badshahi Masjid is closely related to the Jama Masjid in Delhi, India, which was built in 1648 by Aurangzeb's father and predecessor, emperor Shah Jahan.

Badshahi Masjid is one of the famous locations where Qari Basit recited the Quran.

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Ostankino Tower, Moscow


The Ostankino Tower is a free-standing television and radio tower in Moscow, Russia. Standing 540 metres (1772 feet) in height. Ostankino was designed by Nikolai Nikitin. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. As of 2005, it remains the highest freestanding structure in Eurasia.

The tower's construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. It held the record for the tallest free-standing structure in the world for one decade, until the CN Tower was built in Toronto, Canada (1976). In 2003, media reports claimed a new antenna had been installed, increasing the tower's height to 577 metres (1893 feet). However, the new antenna is the same height as the old. Plans for a newer, higher antenna have been considered, but funding has not yet been secured.

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Tazumal, El Salvador


Tazumal is a Pre-Columbian Maya archeological site in Chalchuapa, El Salvador.

Tazumal means, "place where the victims were burned," in Quiche. The structures date from the year 900. The ruins of Tazumal are considered the most important and best preserved in the country. The artifacts found at Tazumal provide evidence of ancient and active trade between Tazumal and places as far away as Panama and Mexico.

The excavated ruins are part of an area covering 10 sq km (4 sq mi), much of it buried under the town. Archaeologists estimate that the first settlements in the area were around 5000 BC.

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Merida Amphitheatre, Spain


Merida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It was founded in the year 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta (the name Merida is an evolution of this) by order of Emperor Augustus, to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river.

Merida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain (including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan); because of this, the "Archaeological Ensemble of Merida" is a World Heritage site.

The Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre host an annual summer festival of Classical theatre.

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Santa Claus Live


As a special Christmas present we have decided to allow you to view Santa's Home in Lapland. If you click on the link below or on the picture of Santa you can view a satellite image of Santa's home and even watch Santa live via his office webcam.

There are two webcams on the map, an inside and an outside view of Santa's office. If you view Santa's office cam you can see him entertain his many visitors. As you can imagine Santa is very busy at this time of year and he has many, many visitors.

If you view the outside view of Santa's office you might just be lucky enough to spot Rudolf or one of Santa's other reindeer. However do remember the nights are very long in Lapland at this time of year so expect a night view.

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Marksburg, Germany


The Marksburg is a castle above the town of Braubach in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the only medieval castle of the Middle Rhine that has never been destroyed. It is one of the principal sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge.

The castle was built to protect the town of Braubach and to reinforce the customs facilities. It was built about 1117 and explicitly first mentioned in 1231.

Braubach is a town and a municipality in the Rhein-Lahn-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Rhine, approx. 10 km southeast of Koblenz. Braubach has assorted medieval architecture intact, including portions of the town wall, half-timbered buildings, and castle Marksburg on the hill above.

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Palazzo Madama, Torino


The Palazzo Madama (also called the "Palazzo Madama and Castle of the Acaja", is a palace in the Via Garibaldi, facing the Piazza Castello of central Turin. The imposing baroque facade designed in 1718 by the architect, Filippo Juvarra, mainly encloses a grandiose staircase, while behind stands a medieval (XIVth century) castle-like square block with four cylindrical end towers. The towers apparently once formed part of a gate for the Roman town of Augusta Taurinorum. With the passing of the Acaja family, the palace becomes property of the ruling Savoy family.

The main attraction of the palace remains the vigorous and symmetric facade and its massive double staircase. The castle is now the Turin civic museum of art, and contains both paintings and archeologic pieces.

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Speyer Dom, Germany


The Speyer Cathedral in Speyer, Germany is a very large and imposing basilica of red sandstone, and one of the noblest examples of Romanesque architecture now extant. Alongside the nearby Romanesque cathedrals of Mainz and Worms, it is one of the so-called Kaiserdome (Imperial cathedrals) of the Rhineland. A distinctive feature is the colonnaded gallery that goes around the entire building, just below the roofline.

Built in 1030-1061 by Conrad II and his successor, this church has had a checkered history, its disasters culminating in 1689, when the soldiers of Louis XIV burned it to the bare walls and scattered the ashes of the eight German emperors who had been interred in the kings choir. Restored in 1772-1784 and provided with a vestibule and facade, it was again desecrated by the French in 1794; but in 1846-1853 it was once more thoroughly restored and adorned in the interior with gorgeous frescoes at the expense of king Ludwig I of Bavaria.

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Zwinger Palace, Dresden


The Zwinger Palace in Dresden, is a major German landmark.
The location was formerly part of the Dresden fortress of which the outer wall is conserved. The name derives from the German word Zwinger (kennel) and was not meant for animals but for the cannons that were placed between outer wall and the major wall. The Zwinger has not been closed until the neoclassical building by Gottfried Semper called the Semper-Wing was build to host the Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister.

The Zwinger was designed by Matthaus Daniel Poppelmann and constructed in stages from 1710 to 1728. Sculpture was provided by Balthasar Permoser. The Zwinger was formally inaugurated in 1719, on the occasion of the electoral prince Frederick August's marriage to the daughter of the Hapsburg emperor, the Archduchess Maria Josepha.

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Neue Schloss, Bayreuth


The Neue Schloss in Bayreuth in Germany was designed and built by the French architect Joseph Saint Pierre for Markgraf Friedrich von Brandenburg and his wife Wilhelmine. It was built in only two years in 1753-1754.

Friederike Sophie Wilhelmine, Princess of Prussia was the daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia and his Queen consort Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. The baroque buildings and parks built during her reign constitute much of the present appearance of the town of Bayreuth, Germany.

Wilhelmine with her husband set about creating a miniture Versailles in Bayreuth. Their building operations included the rebuilding of their summer residence, the Ermitage, the great Bayreuth opera-house, the building of a theatre and the reconstruction of the Bayreuth palace and of the new opera house.

Wilhelmine made Bayreuth one of the intellectual centres of the Holy Roman Empire, surrounding herself with a little court of wits and artists which gained added prestige from the occasional visits of Voltaire and Frederick the Great

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Hampton Court Palace, London


Hampton Court Palace is a former royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, south west London, England.

The Knights Hospitaller operated a farm on the site from 1236. In 1505, the Lord Chamberlain, Sir Giles Daubeney, leased the property and used it to entertain Henry VII.

Thomas Wolsey, then Archbishop of York and Chief Minister to the King, took over the lease in 1514 and rebuilt the 14th-century manor house over the next seven years (1515-1521) to form the nucleus of the present palace.Thomas Wolsey was a big spender and built the finest palace in England at Hampton court. It made Henry so jealous that Wolsey 'gave' the palace to him.

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Palais Royal, Paris


The Palais-Royal is a palace and garden north of the Louvre in the Ier arrondissement of Paris. Opposite the north wing of the Louvre, its famous forecourt (cour d'honneur) screened with columns (since 1986 containing Daniel Buren's site-specific artpiece) faces the Place du Palais-Royal, which was much enlarged by Baron Haussmann after the Rue de Rivoli was built for Napoleon.

Never for long a royal palace, despite the misleading name, it was the home of Richelieu, begun in 1629 (its architect, Jacques Lemercier) and known as Palais Cardinal. Richelieu bequeathed it to the French Crown. After Louis XIII died, it housed the Queen-Mother Anne of Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin and the young Louis XIV. Later the Palais-Royal became the Paris seat of the dukes of Orleans, the cadet branch of the ruling House of Bourbon, beginning with Louis XIV's brother Philippe.

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George Washington Bridge, New York


The George Washington Bridge (known informally as the GW Bridge, the GWB, or the GW) is a toll suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City to Fort Lee in New Jersey by means of Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, U.S. Route 9. U.S. Route 46, which is entirely in New Jersey, ends halfway across the bridge at the state border. The GW is considered one of the world's busiest bridges in terms of vehicle traffic; In 2004, the bridge carried 108,404,000 vehicles, with current AADT estimates of nearly 300,000 vehicles daily. This number is similar to that of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The GW span is the fourth largest suspension bridge in the U.S as of 2006.

The bridge contains two levels, an upper level with four lanes in each direction and a lower level with three lanes in each direction, for a total of 14 lanes of travel. Additionally, the bridge houses two paths on either side of the bridge for pedestrian traffic. The speed limit on the bridge is 45 mph (70 km/h), though heavy traffic is common and frequently makes it difficult to reach such speeds.

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