Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Los Caidos Valle, Spain


The Monumento Nacional de Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos ("National Monument of the Holy Cross of the Valley of the Fallen") is a monumental memorial site erected at Cuelgamuros in the Guadarrama Valley near Madrid, Spain, as conceived by Generalisimo Francisco Franco, to honour those who fell during the Spanish Civil War and as a national act of atonement. Underneath the monument lie the remains of 40,000 whose names are accounted for in the monument registrar.

Those buried in the Valley of the Fallen, however, are thousands of Nationalist soldiers; the few former Republicans buried there were added among the collection of unknown soldiers assembled from temporary graves at the end of the war.

In the building of the monument, Republican political prisoners were forced to participate in a brutal regime of forced exploitation, and thus "redeemed" part of the sentence imposed on them for defending their political ideas. Many of these prisoners never enjoyed freedom, since there were no safety procedures, so accidents were a daily occurrence and often fatal.

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Burj Dubai Tower


The Burj Dubai is a skyscraper currently under construction, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The lead architect is Adrian Smith of the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Its final height is officially being kept a secret due to competition; however, figures released by a contractor on the project have suggested a height of around 808 metres. Based on this height, the total number of habitable floors is expected to be around 162. However, on the project's official website, an interior graphic of an elevator panel shows floor numbers up to 195. A more recent article by building subcontractor Persian Gulf Extrusions and dated September 20, 2006, states a final height "over 940 metres" or at least 3084 feet but this has not yet been confirmed.

As of January 2, 2007, the Burj Dubai was at 101 stories (about 372.42 m) tall, and is now the tallest building in the Middle East, and the eleventh tallest building in the world."

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Jaisalmer, India


Jaisalmer is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert and has a population of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District.

The fort was built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, it is situated on Trikuta Hill and had been the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. This is a living fort and about a quarter of the city's population still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace), Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.

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Radhuspladsen, Copenhagen


A new panorama has been added to the Quicktime Panorama Map. The Radhus is the city hall in Copenhagen. The building was first used as a city hall in 1901. The famous world clock was added in 1955. The Radhuspladsen is an important social meeting-point, and a place for magnificent views of the Tivoli fireworks. Around the square you can find the Town Hall (the Radhus), the house of Politiken, where neon signs provide the passers-by with news from all over the world, the Palace Hotel, the Bus Terminal, outdoor restaurants, newspaper stands and the famous Danish polsevogne (hot-dog stands).

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Cahokia Mounds, Illinois


The Cahokia Mounds are the site of an ancient Native American city near Collinsville, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri in the American Bottom floodplain. The site is composed of a series of man-made earthen mounds.

Cahokia is the largest archaeological site related to the Mississippian culture, and the term "Cahokian" is sometimes used to describe that culture. The Mississippians developed advanced societies in eastern North America before the arrival of Europeans.

Cahokia Mounds was designated a National Historic Landmark on July 19, 1964, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site was designated a World Heritage Site in 1982. The park protects 2200 acres (8.9 km²), and is the focus of ongoing archaeological research.

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Delos, Greece


The island of Delos, isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.

Inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, between 900 BC and AD 100, sacred Delos was a major cult centre, where Dionysus is as much in evidence as Leto, Apollo and Artemis. The island was a natural meeting-ground for the Delian League, which was first founded in 478 BC, and a separate quarter was reserved for foreigners and the sanctuaries of foreign deities. During the 3rd century BC, Hellenistic monarchs competed to honor Delos with civic monuments, both with stoas and with statues whose countless pedestals still line the Sacred Way. In 166 BC Delos was given by the Romans to the Athenian city-state, but in modern times it has become uninhabited. It is currently only used for archeology and tourism.

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Burg Hohenzollern, Germany


Burg Hohenzollern is a castle, about 50km south of Stuttgart, Germany, considered home to the Hohenzollern family that came to power during the Middle Ages and ruled Prussia and Brandenburg until the end of World War I.

The castle was originally constructed in the first part of the 11th century. It was completely destroyed after a 10-month siege in 1423. A second, larger and sturdier castle was constructed from 1454 to 1461. At the end of the 18th century, the castle was thought to have lost its strategic importance and gradually fell into disrepair leading to the demolition of several dilapidated buildings.

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Quicktime Panoramas



A number of new stunning Quicktime Panoramas have been added to the Quicktime Panoramas Map. Following on from yeaterday's movie of Huangguoshu Waterfall we have added a Quicktime panorama of the same location to the Quicktime Panoramas Map. Other panoramas that have been added include The Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House, the Giza Pyramids and Postcard Row in San Francisco.

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Huangguoshu Waterfall, China


Huangguoshu Waterfall (literally "Yellow-Fruit Tree Falls") is the biggest waterfall in China. It is located located on the Baihe River in Anshun, in the Guizhou Province of China.

The waterfall is 74 m (243 feet) high and 81 m (266 feet) wide. The Waterfall is part of the Huangguoshu National Park. The waters flowing at a capacity of 737 cubic meters per second, come from an area of 770 square kilometers.

The thunderous roars of the waterfall can be heard within a distance of 5 kilometers. During the flood season, the torrential waters cascade down some thousand feet from the cliff tops to the Pool of Xiniu encircled on three sides by the mountains, dashing against rocks with deafening noises and throwing up turbulent waves

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Peterhof, St Petersburg


Peterhof is a series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great, and sometimes called the "Russian Versailles". It is located about twenty kilometers west and six kilometers south of St. Petersburg, overlooking the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the adjacent town of 82,000 people. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The dominant natural feature of Peterhof is a sixteen-metre-high bluff lying less than a hundred metres from the shore. The so-called Lower Gardens (Nizhny Sad), at 1.02 sq km comprising the better part of Peterhof's land area, are confined between this bluff and the shore, stretching east and west for roughly 200 metres. The majority of Peterhof's fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings. East of the Lower Gardens lies the Alexandria Park with 19th-century Gothic Revival structures such as the Kapella.

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Tiwanaku, Bolivia


Tiwanaku (Spanish spellings: Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu) is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Bolivia. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five hundred years. The ruins of the ancient city state are near the south-eastern shore of Lake Titicaca, about 72 km (44 miles) west of La Paz, Bolivia.

Some have hypothesized that Tiwanaku's modern name is related to the Aymara term "taypikala", meaning "stone in the center". However, the name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants has been lost, as the people of Tiwanaku had no written language.

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Xochicalco, Mexico


Xochicalco is a Pre-Columbian archeological site in the western part of the Morelos, Mexico. The name "Xochicalco" means "In the house of Flowers" in the Nahuatl language. The site is located 38 km southwest of Cuernavaca, about 76 miles by road from Mexico City. The site is open to visitors all week, from 10am to 5pm, although access to the observatory is only allowed after noon.

The apogee of Xochicalco came after the fall of Teotihuacán and it has been speculated that Xochicalco played a part in the fall of the Teotihuacano empire. The architecture and iconography shows affinities with both Teotihuacan and the Maya area and it is probable that the city of Teotihuacan was a multicultural city, although it also does seem to have had a connection to the Tlahuica culture. Today the villages closest to the ruins of Xochicalco such as Cuentepec and Tetlama in eastern Morelos speak Nahuatl.

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Amber Fort, Jaipur


Amber Fort, located in Amber 11 km from Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India, is an example of Rajput architecture. Built over the remnants of an earlier structure, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh, Commander in Chief of Akbar’s army and a member of the Emperor's inner circle of nine courtiers in 1592. Amber was modified by successive rulers over the next 150 years, until the Kachwahas shifted their capital to Jaipur during the time of Sawai Jai Singh II.

The structure which is today known as Amber fort was initially a palace complex within the original fort of Amber which is today known as Jaigarh Fort. Connected with Amber through fortified passages Jaigarh fort is located on a hill above the Amber complex, and is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It overlooks Maotha lake, and was reputed to be the treasure vault of the Kacchwaha rulers. Today, tourist can ride up to the fort from the base of the hill on an Elephant. On the ride, you can see the beautiful sights of Jaipur, a great view of Maotha lake, and the original city walls.

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Golconda Fort, India


Golkonda (or Golconda) is a ruined city and fortress 11 km west of the city of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh state, India . The city and fortress are built on a granite hill that is 120 meters high and is surrounded by massive crenellated ramparts. The beginnings of the fort date to the 1143, when the Hindu Kakatiya dynasty ruled the area.

The Kakatiya dynasty were followed by the state of Warangal, which was later conquered by the Islamic Bahmani Sultanate. The fort became the capital of a major province in the Sultanate and after its collapse the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. The fort finally fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb.

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Agra Fort

Agra Fort is located in Agra, India. The fort is also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge and Red Fort of Agra. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city.

By most estimates, the fort was taken over from the Lodis by the Mughals in the late 16th century, by Akbar the Great. During his reign, he shifted the government of his empire from Delhi to Agra. Because of this, much of Agra flourished and the site of the old Lodis fort began changing into more of a royal estate. Akbar tended to build from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble and intricate decorations.

It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site finally took on its current state. The legend is that Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal for his wife. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems. He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort in order to make his own.

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Lodhi Gardens, Delhi


Lodhi Gardens is a park in Delhi, India. It contains architectural works of the Lodhis, a Muslim dynasty which ruled much of Northern India during the 16th century. The gardens are situated between Khan Market and Safdarjang's Tomb on Lodhi Road.

Lodhi Gardens was originally a village surrounding monuments surviving from the Sayyid and Lodhi dynasties, but the villagers were relocated in 1936 in order to create the gardens. As there is little architecture from these two periods remaining in India, Lodhi Gardens is an important place of preservation. The tomb of Mohammed Shah is visible from the road, and is the earliest structure in the gardens. The architecture is characterised by the octagonal chamber, with stone chhajjas on the roof and guldastas on the corners.

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The British Museum, London


The British Museum in London is one of the world's largest and greatest museums of human history and culture. Its collections, which number more than 13 million objects from all continents, illustrate and document the story of human culture from its beginning to the present.

The central quadrangle of the British Museum in London was redeveloped to become the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, commonly referred to simply as the Great Court, during the late 1990s. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. The court has a tessellated glass roof by Foster and Partners (Architects) and Buro Happold (Engineers) covering the entire court and surrounds the original circular British Museum Reading Room in the centre, now a museum. It is the largest covered square in Europe. The glass and steel roof is made up of 1,656 pairs of glass windowpanes; each of a unique shape because of the undulating nature of the roof.

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Fort Boyard


Fort Boyard is a fort located between the Ile-d'Aix and the Ile d'Oleron in the Pertuis d'Antioche straits, on the west coast of France.

The construction of the fort had been considered after the completion of the arsenal in 1666, but Vauban famously advised Louis XIV against it saying "Sir, it would be easier to catch the moon with the teeth than take on such an endeavour in such a location".

The fort was actually started under Napoleon in 1801, in order to protect the coast (and especially the arsenal of Rochefort) from possible incursions by foreign (and especially British) navies. At that time, cannons only had a limited range, and the distance between the two islands of Aix and Oleron was too large to block the passage.

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Newsmap

Today Virtual Tourism has added another new Google Maps mashup called Newsmap.

Newsmap brings you live streaming news from around the world from television comapnies such as the BBC, NBC & ABC.

Webcam Map

Two new webcams have been added to the webcam map. You have a choice today between the cold and snow of Reykjavik, Iceland or the sun, sea and palm trees of Dahab, Egypt. Enjoy!

Royal Palace, Oslo


The Royal Palace (Slottet) in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of Norwegian and Swedish king Charles III (Carl Johan, Charles XIV of Sweden) and is used as the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch. The crown princely couple resides at Skaugum Manor in Asker Municipality outside of Oslo, while the three princesses of Norway live on estates in Oslo, Fredrikstad and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Until the completion of the Palace, members of the Bernadotte dynasty resided in the Paleet, a magnificent town house in Christiania bequeathed to the State in 1805 to be used as a royal residence. King Charles III of the United Kingdoms never saw his Palace completed, but his successors Oscar I, Charles IV and Oscar II used it regularly during their stays in Christiania (now Oslo).

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Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco


The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California is a building originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. It was designed by Bernard Maybeck, who took his inspiration from Roman and Greek architecture. It was the only building from the exposition not to be demolished, and in the 1960s it was entirely rebuilt to ensure its longevity.

The exhibition hall, which originally housed Impressionist paintings during the exposition, is now home to the Exploratorium, a state of the art interactive science museum. There is also a replica of the Palace of Fine Arts in Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim.

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Kehlsteinhaus, Austria


The Kehlsteinhaus is a chalet-style building, which used to be an extension of the Obersalzberg complex built by the Nazis in the German Alps near Berchtesgaden.

The Kehlsteinhaus, also known as "Hitler's Tea House" or the Eagle's Nest, was built as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler. The Eagle's Nest was meant to be a retreat for Hitler and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries (which he almost never did here). It was commissioned by Martin Bormann, with construction proceeding over a 13-month period prior to its formal presentation to Hitler in 1939. It is situated on a ridge at the top of the Kehlstein mountain (1835 m), reached by a spectacular 6.5 km (3.9 mile) road which cost 30 million Reichsmark to build (~ 150 million euros). The last 124 metres up to the Kehlsteinhaus are served by an elevator bored inside the mountain, reached via a granite tunnel; the elevator itself is surfaced with polished brass. The surprisingly plain main reception room is dominated by a fireplace of red Italian marble, presented by Mussolini. Much of the furniture (used without the designer's consent) was designed by Paul Laszlo, who had to flee the Holocaust.

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Baelo Claudia, Spain


Baelo Claudia is the name of an ancient Roman town, located 15 km outside of Tarifa, near the village of Bolonia, in southern Spain. Lying on the Straits of Gibraltar, the town was originally a fishing village and trade link when it was settled some 2,000 years ago. Although prosperous at the time of Emperor Claudius, it went into a decline hastened by earthquakes, and was abandoned by the 6th century.

The town was born in the end of the 2nd century BC as a result of trade with North Africa (it was a major port for Tangiers, in Morocco, for example). It is possible that Baelo Claudia had some functions of governmental administration, but fishing, pickling, and the production of garum were the primary sources of wealth. The city was eventually successful enough to be granted the title of municipium by Emperor Claudius.

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Galeria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan


The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered double arcade (two arcades intersecting in an octagon) sited on the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, connecting to the Piazza della Scala. Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy, it was built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1878.

The street is covered over by an arching glass and steel roof, a popular design for nineteenth-century shopping malls (e.g., the Passazh in St Petersburg, opened in 1848). The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern shopping mall. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls.

The Galleria connects two of Milan's most famous landmarks: The Duomo and the Teatro Alla Scala.

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