The Vismarkt in Utrecht

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Vismarkt (Fishmarket) in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Vismarkt is the old fish market whose origins go back to the 12th century and which still took place up to the 2nd half of the 20th century. To keep the fish fresh, it was placed in large baskets which were immersed in the canal. The canal is now lined with numerous antique shops.

Utrecht is the capital and most populous city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation and is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of 330,772 in 2014.

Utrecht’s ancient city centre features many buildings and structures several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages. It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century. It lost the status of prince-bishopric but remains the main religious center in the country. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country’s cultural centre and most populous city.

The Dom tower and the remaining section of the Dom church have not been connected since the collapse of the nave in 1674.

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Old Riga

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Old Riga and St. Peter’s Chuch.

Vecriga (Latvian: Old Riga) is the historical center of Riga, Latvia, located on the east side of Daugava River. Vecriga is famous for its old churches and cathedrals, such as Riga Cathedral and St. Peter’s church.

Vecriga is the original area of Riga and consists of the historic city limits before the city was greatly expanded in the late 19th century. In the old days, Vecriga was protected by a surrounding wall except the side adjacent to the Daugava river bank. When the wall was torn down, the waters from Daugava filled the space creating Riga City Canal.

In the 1980s Vecriga’s streets were closed to traffic and only area residents and local delivery vehicles are allowed within Vecriga’s limits with special permits. Vecriga is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed as “Historic Centre of Riga”.

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One World Trade Center

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© RicardMN Photography

One World Trade Center (also known as 1 World Trade Center, One WTC and 1 WTC; the current building was dubbed the “Freedom Tower” during initial basework) refers to the main building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and the fourth-tallest in the world. The 104-story supertall structure shares a numeric name with the northern Twin Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. The building is bordered by West Street to the west, Vesey Street to the north, Fulton Street to the south, and Washington Street to the east.

Construction of below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the new building began on April 27, 2006. On March 30, 2009, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed that the building would be officially known by its legal name of “One World Trade Center”, rather than its colloquial name of “Freedom Tower”. The building is 104 standard floors high, but the tower has only 94 actual stories.

One World Trade Center became the tallest structure in New York City on April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building. The tower’s steel structure was topped out on August 30, 2012. On May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper’s spire was installed, making the building, including its spire, reach a total height of 1,776 feet (541 m). Its height in feet is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The building opened on November 3, 2014. The new World Trade Center complex will initially include three other high-rise office buildings, which will be built along Greenwich Street, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located just south of One World Trade Center, where the original Twin Towers stood. The construction of the new building is part of an effort to memorialize and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center complex.

The top floor of One World Trade Center is 1,368 feet (417 m) above ground level, along with a 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m) parapet; this is identical to the roof height of the original One World Trade Center. The tower’s antenna/spire brings it to a pinnacle height of 1,776 feet (541 m), a figure intended to symbolize the year 1776, when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. If the antenna is included in the building’s height, as stated by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), One World Trade Center surpasses the height of Taipei 101 (1,671-foot (509 m)), is the world’s tallest all-office building, and the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the world, behind the Burj Khalifa, Abraj Al Bait, and Shanghai Tower.

One World Trade Center is the second-tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere, as the CN Tower in Toronto exceeds 1 WTC’s pinnacle height by approximately 12 m (39.4 ft). The Chicago Spire, with a planned height of 2,000 feet (610 m), was expected to exceed the height of One World Trade Center, but its construction was canceled due to financial difficulties in 2009. (Description from Wikipedia)

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Alice

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

‘Alice’, a wall painting by Mick Minogue in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Dame Alice Kyteler (1280-1325), was a woman who was the earliest person accused and condemned for witchcraft in Ireland. Having being accused of attempted murder, her servant Petronella de Meath was arrested and tortured until she admitted that Alice used witch craft to gain wealth and power. Petronella became the first woman In Ireland to be flogged and burned at the stake on November 3rd, 1324. Any of Alices followers met the same faith soon after and a witch hunt began.
Dame Alice fled the country using a secret underground tunnel which some believe are still below the medieval city. ” (Mick Minogue’s web page).

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Cable car barn in San Francisco

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Sheaves and mechanism that actually run the cable system of Cable-Car under San Francisco streets. Cable Car Barn and Museum. San Francisco, California, USA. 

The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system. An icon of San Francisco, California, the cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or “Muni” as it is better known. Of the twenty-three lines established between 1873 and 1890,three remain (one of which combines parts of two earlier lines): two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, the vast majority of their 7 million annual passengers are tourists. They are among the most significant tourist attractions in the city, along with Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The cable cars are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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Big Pun

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© RicardMN Photography

Graffiti memorial to rapper Big Pun in The Bronx, New York, USA. 

Christopher Lee Rios (November 10, 1971 – February 7, 2000), better known by his stage name Big Pun (short for Big Punisher), was an American rapper and actor of Puerto Rican background. Big Pun emerged from the underground hip hop scene in The Bronx borough of New York City, in the late 1990s. He first appeared on albums from The Beatnuts, on the track “Off the Books” in 1997, and on Fat Joe’s second album Jealous One’s Envy in 1995, prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist. Pun’s lyrics are notable for technical efficiency, having minimal pauses to take a breath, heavy use of alliteration as well as internal and multi-syllabic rhyming schemes. 

About.com ranked him #25 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), while MTV2 ranked him #11 on its list of the “22 Greatest MCs.” In 2012, The Source ranked him #19 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. An article from The Rolling Stones Magazine states, “Pun embodied all of the traits of a master wordsmith: melody, a unique flow, an unforgettable voice, humor, and lyrics that made other MCs go back to their black and white composition notebooks.” 

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Saint Germain des Pres – Paris

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© RicardMN Photography

The Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, just beyond the outskirts of early medieval Paris, was the burial place of Merovingian kings of Neustria. At that time, the Left Bank of Paris was prone to flooding from the Seine, so much of the land could not be built upon and the Abbey stood in the middle of fields, or pres in French, thereby explaining its appellation.
The Abbey was founded in the 6th century by the son of Clovis I, Childebert I (ruled 511-558). Under royal patronage the Abbey became one of the richest in France; it housed an important scriptorium in the eleventh century and remained a center of intellectual life in the French Catholic church until it was disbanded during the French Revolution. An explosion of saltpetre in storage levelled the Abbey and its cloisters, the statues in the portal were removed and some destroyed, and in a fire in 1794 the library vanished in smoke. The abbey church remains as the Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Paris.

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