8 Fascinating Megalithic Structures

Join us in the quest for some of the most fascinating megalithic structures! But first let’s clear out some stuff. The term megalith has two meanings. One refers to a large stone or group of stones representing a structure. No cement or mortar is used as an interlocking system. The second meaning refers to the prehistoric period when these constructions were erected. Let’s focus on ‘large stone’. In some cases, we are talking about stones weighing dozens of metric tones. When Ethiopia received the monolith Obelisk of Axum, a 79 feet and 160 tonnes, back from Italy in 2005, massive problems were encountered during transportation, which ended up costing $7.7 million.

So how did the prehistoric people assemble these massive structures? This is the question on the minds of researchers. As for why, many of them are considered to be ritualistic sites. However,  we still have no clear idea about how they managed to achieve impressive levels of precision in some complex cases.

1. Callanish Stones, Scotland

These stones are not quite in the way, as they are positioned in the northern part of Lewis and Harris Island in Northern Scotland. A rough estimation regarding the time of construction would be 2900 BC to 2600 BC.  Thirteen stones are positioned in a circle with a 13 meters diameter. The tallest stone is 5 m high, while the average height is 4 m.  One theory says that they constitute a lunar observatory.

Callanish Stones

2. Ale’s Stones, Sweden

Archeologists are still not sure when this boat-shaped megalith structure was created. Some samples were 5.500 years old, but most data suggests that it was erected around the year 600 AD. The 59 boulders, each up to 1.8 t shape a 67 m long structure right next to the sea, but 30 m above its level, offering a stunning view.

Ale's Stones, Sweden

3. Carnac Stones, France

With more than 3.000 standing stones, the site found in Brittany is the largest collection of its kind in the world. They were allegedly assembled between 3.300 BC and 4.500 BC. The local saying is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin.

Carnac stones, France

4. Atlit Yam, Israel

This site is so old that the sea level rose up due after it was constructed.  The ending of the Ice Age rose the sea level by 8 to 12 m in the area, but researchers believe that a 40 m high tsunami caused by Mount Etna’s volcanic event 8.500 years ago was the migration trigger. Besides the 7 megaliths pictured under, researchers have discovered numerous other rich details of how people lived at the time.

Atlit Yam, Israel

5. Göbekli Tepe, Turkey

Göbekli Tepe is located in the southern part of Anatolia, one of the richest archeological regions of the world, although this megalith structure is a staggering example. The earliest signs of usage date back to the 10th century BC, but the structure seemed to have been abandoned 2.000 years later. Six meters with heights up to 6 m and weights up to 20 t have been assembled in the pre-agricultural period. The site was first discovered in 1963, but only in the 1990s researchers understood the importance of the site. When excavations are over, history may have to be rewritten.

Göbekli Tepe, Turkey

6. Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, Indonesia.

South East Asia and Oceania are two other major areas containing megalithic sites, but Gunung Padang, located in West Java, is the largest site in the region. The deeper levels of the site were constructed around 4.500 BC, while other layers were added in 500 BC. The volcanic origin megaliths are spread over a hill and form terraces. The total surface? Around 25 hectares.

Gunung Padang, Indonesia

7. Almendres Cromlech, Portugal

The large megalithic complex is considered to be around 8.000 years old. The site contains cromlechs (old word for ‘dolmen’ – portal tomb), as well as menhir (large vertical stones). The discovery of this complex structure spanning an area of 2.800 sq m is quite recent – 1966. Probably the site had a dual function, ritualistic, as well as astronomical.

Prehistory

9. Stonehenge, England

Just a couple of days after President Obama visited Stonehenge, the 4-5.000 years old structure, archeologists announced they discovered “a completely theatrical arrangement” lying underground. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Joke aside, seventeen ritual monuments have been discovered after the widest and most complex geographic survey to date. Researchers are certain that soon enough, we will have access to all of Stonehenge secrets.

BRITAIN-US-OBAMA

11 Beautiful European Train Stations

We depart in our journey to the most beautiful European train stations from Strasbourg!

1. Gare de Strasbourg

Doesn’t Gare de Strasbourg look like a picture from the future where we have to protect ourselves from the poisonous atmosphere? Gare de Strasbourg was build in 1883, that is the stone building over there under the glass ceiling. The historicist style building was completely covered with a glass ceiling designed by architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul in 2007. Gare de Strasbourg

2. Nyugati Railway Terminal

Nyugati Railway Terminal was built by the Eiffel company – yes, that one – in 1877. Budapest’s municipality made inspired choices when it commissioned the central stations, as Keleti Train Station, the other main station from Budapest is equally beautiful. If you watched Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, you have seen Nyugati right in the first scenes.

Nyugati Railway Station, Budapest

3. Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins

Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins is the main train station of Limoges. Its name comes after the Benedictine monk order as a monastery closed during the French Revolution lied in the area. The present building was finished in 1929. While most train stations are symmetrically designed, Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins is an exquisite example of architectural boldness.

Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins

4. Liège-Guillemins railway station

Liège-Guillemins railway station cost the city of Liege around $400 million. Architect Santiago Calatrava went futuristic all the way with this 100 ft high building. Most train stations were built to last from the start, as well as to serve impressive numbers of people. Thus, you don’t get to see new train stations every day, especially this impressive.

Liège-Guillemins, Liege

5. Antwerpen-Centraal railway station

It is difficult to do justice with just one picture to this Belgium jewel completed in 1905. This voluminous four level structure (607 ft long per 144 ft high) is considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. A 1998 reconstruction project turned it from a terminal to a through station. The massive project included complicated underground tunnels, so its no wonder that the final cost was a little more than $2 billion.

Antwerp Central Railway Station

6. Berlin Hauptbahnhof

The largest Berlinese train station serves 300.000 passengers daily. The previous historic French Neo-Renaissance station suffered heavy damages during the WWII and was demolished in 1957.  The reunification of Germany turned out to be an adequate moment, so the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof was opened in 2006.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

7. St Pancras railway station

St Pancras railway station is the pride of England. Built in 1868, the red brick structure became international in 2007, when it got connected to Paris’ Gare de Nord through the Eurotunel. St Pancras was close to being demolished in the 1960s, but just before the first French train stopped at St Pancras, the train station went through a $1.3 billion renovation. Talk about a change of plans!

St Pancras railway station

8. Madrid Puerta de Atocha

Madrid Atocha is the largest Spanish train station. Actually, it is called a railway complex, as it houses two ground train stations along with an underground one. The present building was opened in 1892 and is the result of a collaboration between Alberto de Palacio Ellissagne, Gustave Eiffel and Henry Saint James. The main building was converted into a museum in 1992 and it now houses a 43.000 sq ft tropical garden among cafes. Neat!

Madrid Atocha railway station

9. Gare de Nord, Paris

This is the busiest European train station, with 190 million passengers served each year. Japan is the only other country in the world with busier train stations. The construction opened in 1864 is featured in numerous French and international films, making it a popular culture icon.

Gare du Nord, Paris

10. Helsinki Central railway station

The present building was inaugurated in 1919, but the station was opened in 1862. By serving 200.000 daily passengers, Helsinki Central is the most visited Finnish building. The clock tower and the main building are covered in Finnish granite, and are some of the most exquisite examples of early modernist style.

Helsinki Central railway station

11. Haydarpa?a Terminal

Haydarpa?a Terminal is one of the busiest rail terminal in Asia and definitely the busiest one in Turkey. The main building was opened in 1908. The terminal connects Asia and Europe with the help of a train ferry which carries the trains over Bosphorus.

Haydarpasa Terminal, Istanbul

8 Minimalist Pedestrian Bridges

The utilitarian character of infrastructure most of the time renders it invisible to the naked eye. However, because they are placed in open spaces that ensure visibility, bridges attract some of the most creative forces from the world of architecture. A bridge’s design stems from from a combination of construction materials, understandings of geographical, as well as social contexts, and the designer’s creativity and intellectual influences. Before any kind of computer simulations were available, architects and engineers took extra measures to ensure structural resistance, sometimes ending up producing bulky structures. The advent of computers combined with the availability of new materials helped architects produce these wonderful minimalistic designs. So check out these ten cool minimalist pedestrian bridges!

1. Melkwegbridge, The Netherlands.

Melkwegbridge (2012) is located in Purmerend and was designed by architects from NEXT, who wanted to offer access to pedestrians, bicycles and wheelchairs. People in wheelchairs would not have been able to cross a very steep bridge, while bigger bots could not have passed through. The solution came to satisfy all three categories, while allowing boats to cross the area, as the lower deck swings open to allow access for bigger boats. Plus, pedestrians can enjoy the wonderful panorama from the top of the bridge, which peaks at almost 40 feet.

Melkweg Bridge, The Netherlands

2. Hovenring, The Netherlands

Eindhoven’s municipality commissioned Hovenring (2012) – ring connecting Eindhoven, Veldhoven and Meerhoven) because cycling is one of the main forms of transportation in the Netherlands and needs adequate infrastructure. The pylon is 230 feet high, becoming a ‘new landmark in the city’. The functionality seems pretty obvious. One solution to reduce the steepness for cyclists was the reduction of road level by 5 feet.

Hovenring, The Netherlands

3. High Trestle Trail Bridge, U.S

High Trestle Trail is 25 miles long was opened in 2011 in Iowa. The 1970s bridge initially served the rail traffic, but now is used by pedestrians and cyclists alone. In fact, the only structural part from those years is represented by the 130 feet high piers, which at one point remained unconnected, forcing the locals nickname it ‘Stonehenge’ for the transition period.

High Trestle Bridge, U.S

4. Sundial Bridge, U.S.

Sundial Bridge (2004) is located in Redding, California. The 700 ft ‘cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge’ is used just by pedestrians and cyclists as well. The total cost… a whopping $23.5 million. That is one expensive watch, because the bridge actually works as a sundial. In fact it is credited as the largest sundial in the world.

Sundial Bridge, U.S.

5. Infinity Bridge, Uk

Infinity Bridge (2008) is 787 ft long and spans River Tees in Stockton-on-Tees, north-east England. It has an ‘asymmetric double tied-arch and suspended deck’ design and a ‘design life’ of 120 years. For $24 million, it’d better! As you can see, the bridge and its reflection form the infinity symbol, thus its name. A much more inspired choice than the initially proposed North Shore Footbridge.

Infinity Bridge, UK

6. Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia

Langkawi Sky Bridge (2005) is a 410 ft long pedestrian bridge placed at 2.300 feet above sea level. The only non-urban pedestrian bridge in the list is unfortunately closed for renovations and no reopening date has been set yet. The bridge has its own cable car that carries passengers for a length of 1.4 miles, from the beach to the top of the mountain.

 

Langkawi sky bridge, Malaysia

7. Festina Lente Bridge, Sarajevo

Also called The Loop, the Sarajevo bridge Festina Lente (Latin for ‘make haste slowly’) was opened in 2012. No, it’s not possible to do a full loop because, unfortunately, the conservative administration decided to place barriers against human freedom. You can have a seat though.

 

Looping Bridge, Bosnia and Herzegovina

8. Gateshead Millenium Bridge, Uk

This marvelous structure was finished in 2001, hence the name, in Newcastle upon Tyne upon Tyne. The funky shape is nonetheless as functionalist as possible, because this is a tilt bridge. The ‘Winking Eye Bridge’ can rotate in just 4.5 minutes and allow ships up to 82 ft tall pass by. Among all the minimalist pedestrian bridges this is an award winner.

 

Millenium Bridge, Uk

 

20 Most Touristic European Sites

We know that a trip to Europe is something you’re planning on taking at one point. To maintain your enthusiasm level, we are offering you a selection of the most touristic European sites, according to Trip Advisor.

Austria, Viena. Schonbrunn Palace.

You may be impressed when you check out the picture, but what really sets Schonbrunn Palace apart are its vast exquisite gardens. Like any other monarchs with a healthy level of self-respect, the Habsburgs added an impressive French garden in 1695 to the 1,441-room Rococo summer residence.

Austria - Vienna. Schönbrunn Palace

Belgium, Brussels. Grand Place

The Grand Place is by far the most memorable place from Belgium. The 223 by 361 ft area is cataloged as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The earliest constructions in the area are from the 10th century. The Town Hall’s construction (left) began in 1402.

 

Belgium Brussels. Grand Place

Croatia, Dubrovnik. Ancient city walls.

This site should seem familiar, as this was chosen by the Game of Throne’s producers as the best site to shoot scenes from Westeros’ capital ‘King’s Landing’.

Croatia Dubrovnik. Ancient City Walls

Czech Republic, Prague. Charles Bridge.

Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava river in Prague. The beautiful stone construction from 1357 was the only connection between Prague Castle and the Old City until 1841.

 

Czech Republic Prague. Charles Bridge

Denmark, Copenhagen. Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest amusement park in the world, dating back to 1843. The oldest amusement park in the world, Dyrehavsbakken (1583), is just a couple of miles away.

 

Denmark Copenhagen. Tivoli Gardens

Estonia, Tallin. Tallin Old Town.

Tallin was an important trading point between Scandinavia and Russia. The first fortress was built here in the 10th century.

Estonia Tallinn.Tallinn Old Town

France, Paris. The Eiffel Tower.

Should we say more about it? Yes, this is the most visited French site by tourists.

France Paris. The Eiffel Tower

Germany, Munich. Marienplatz.

Marienplatz is the central square of Munich since 1158. Tournaments were being held here in the Middle Ages. The current name was awarded after the Germans finally got rid of the Swedish occupation in 1638.

 

Germany Munich. Marienplatz

Hungary, Budapest. The Fisherman’s Bastion.

The neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque terrace built in 1902 is the most famous tourist destination in Budapest because it offers an exciting panorama over the Danube and Pest.

Hungary Budapest. Fisherman's Bastion

Iceland, Reykjavik. Gullfoss.

The most attractive Icelandic site for tourist is Gullfoss (Golden Falls), the scenic two-stages 105 ft tall waterfall.

Iceland Reykjavik. Gullfoss

Italy, Rome. Colloseum.

You probably know this image far too well. This is the most visited site in Rome.

Italy Rome. Colosseum

Latvia, Riga. Old City Riga.

The Baltic capital was founded in 1201 and was a part of the Hanseatic League. The old town, which is cataloged as a world heritage site is famous for its Art Nouveau / Jugendstil presence.

Latvia Riga. Old City Riga

Poland, Krakow. Main Market Square.

This 13th century main square is the largest one in Europe (430.000 square feet). Some of the buildings surrounding it are exquisite examples of Gothic architecture.

Poland Krakow. Main Market Square

Romania, Bucharest. The Palace of Parliament.

You may have heard about Ceausescu. This is his most well-known legacy. The construction of the House of People, now housing the Parliament, began in the 1980s. After intense debates, the post-socialist administration decided to finish what is the world’s second largest administrative building after the Pentagon.

Romania Bucharest. Palace of Parliament

Russia, Moscow. The Red Square.

Moscow’s Red Square is the central hub of the city. Kremlin, the Presidential Palace and Kitai-gorod, a historic merchant quarter, are found in the vicinity.

Russia Moscow. Red Square

Spain, Madrid. Prado Museum.

The main Spanish national museum houses art pieces by Goya, Velazquez, Titian, Rubens and Bosch. No wander this is the most visited Spanish site by tourists.

Spain Madrid. Prado Museum

Switzerland, Zermatt. Gornergrat Bahn.

Gornergrat mountain rack railway was opened in 1898. The line connects Zermatt village (5.262 ft) with Gornergrat (10.135 ft). It offers one of the most scenic landscapes you can possibly admire from inside the comfort of a train.

Switzerland Zermatt. Gornergrat Bahn

Turkey, Istanbul. Hagia Sophia Museum

Hagia Sophia bears the architectural legacies of two of the world’s most common religions, Christianity and Islam. Since 1935, when it was secularized, it houses a museum.

Turkey Istanbul. Hagia Sophia Museum

United Kingdom, London. British Museum.

The British Museum was established in 1753. Now it houses around 8 million works and is one of the most visited museum in the world. Art pieces from all over the world can be admired without paying any fee.

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United Kingdom, Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is the second UK mention in this top. The first royal castle build on this rock dates back to the 12th century. However, the present appearance was established in the 16th century.

United Kingdom Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

Applying for a new job is a serious business, right? After all, your entire ongoing wealth and future happiness could depend on getting this right. You don’t want to go and ruin your chances by doing something silly now, do you?

The Chocolate Bribe?

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

Sadly, we don’t get to see the original job application in this case. However, I feel that the company’s reply gives us a decent idea of the quality of this application. Attaching a small bribe probably seemed like a good idea at the time but I can’t help thinking that adding a sketch of an everlasting chocolate bar probably wasn’t this guy’s best ever idea. I liked the bit about secret spy work that he couldn’t go into details about but trying to use eBay feedback as a reference wasn’t very smart. He appears not to have got the job for some reason.

The Fair and Just Ruler with Cat-like Reflexes

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

Eric has a lot of qualities that many companies would pay handsomely for. Sadly, the ability to moonwalk, lance acne and eat a lot aren’t as much in demand as he seems to think. The story about him getting thrown of a horse was pretty neat, though.

The Nefarious Dude

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

In my hopeless naiveté I had always assumed that the years of being a nefarious dude was probably a part of your life you would try and avoid mentioning to prospective employers. However, this job seeker is proud of the high levels of customer satisfaction that he achieved as a marijuana dealer.

The Easy Questions Aren’t That Easy

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

If you look at this questionnaire in the right way the questions are pretty easy to answer. Sadly, this luckless job applicant got completely the wrong end of the stick on every single one. However, it’s nice to know that he rates the Farmer’s Almanac almost a highly as Wikipedia as a source of information about the world.

The Not Entirely Believable Application

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

Is it just me or is there something vaguely unbelievable about this job application? It starts off well enough and at first seems to be from exactly the kind of person of that any firm would be happy to hire, even if it meant printing commemorative coins on their behalf. Then things go downhill with the interests section, before we are finally asked to believe all of their references got “burned up in a fire”.

The Professional Application Letter

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

I really like this person’s style. As you can no doubt see, they’ve gone for the classic formal approach to a job application letter. It seems a shame that both of their previous places of employment were shut down but I’m almost certain that it had nothing to do with their approach to the job.

The Think Outside the Bun Application

The Best and Worst Job Applications Ever Made

I can’t make up my mind is that is one of the best job applications I’ve ever seen or one of the worst. To start with, I think that when they ask you how you found out about the company they want to establish the effectiveness of their branding and advertising campaigns. Telling a story about getting lost and seeing the company’s logo in the distance is just a bit, well, weird.