Venice City in Italy

Although there are no historical records that deal directly with the founding of Venice,.tradition and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees from Roman cities near Venice such as Padua, Aquileia, Treviso, Altino and Concordia (modern Portogruaro) and from the undefended countryside, who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions.. Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen on the islands in the original marshy lagoons. They were referred to as incolae lacunae ("lagoon dwellers"). The traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo at the islet of Rialto (Rivoalto, "High Shore"), which is said to have been at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421....

Beginning in 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main center in the area, the current Oderzo. The Roman defences were again overthrown in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years later, by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula was that of the Lombards in 568, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire a small strip of coast in the current Veneto, including Venice. The Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy (the Exarch) appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople, but Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes and with the Venetians' isolated position came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. The tribuni maiores, the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the Lagoon, dated from c. 568......

The traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio Anafesto, was actually Exarch Paul, and his successor, Marcello Tegalliano, Paul's magister militum (General; literally, "Master of Soldiers.") In 726 the soldiers and citizens of the Exarchate rose in a rebellion over the iconoclastic controversy at the urging of Pope Gregory II. The Exarch was murdered and many officials put to flight in the chaos. At about this time, the people of the lagoon elected their own leader for the first time, although the relationship of this ascent to the uprisings is not clear. Ursus would become the first of 117 "doges" (doge is the Venetian dialect development of the Latin dux ("leader"); the corresponding word in English is duke, in standard Italian duce.) Whatever his original views, Ursus supported Emperor Leo's successful military expedition to recover Ravenna, sending both men and ships. In recognition, Venice was "granted numerous privileges and concessions" and Ursus, who had personally taken the field, was confirmed by Leo as dux.. and given the added title of hypatus (Greek for "Consul"....

In 751, the Lombard King Aistulf conquered most of the Exarchate of Ravenna, leaving Venice a lonely and increasingly autonomous Byzantine outpost. During this period, the seat of the local Byzantine governor (the "duke/dux", later "doge"), was situated in Malamocco. Settlement on the islands in the lagoon probably increased in correspondence with the Lombard conquest of other Byzantine territories as refugees sought asylum in the lagoon city. In 775/776, the episcopal seat of Olivolo (Helipolis) was created. During the reign of duke Agnello Particiaco (811–827), the ducal seat was moved from Malamocco to the highly protected Rialto, the current location of Venice. The monastery of St. Zachary and the first ducal palace and basilica of St. Mark, as well as a walled defense (civitatis murus) between Olivolo and Rialto, were subsequently built here. Winged lions, which may be seen throughout Venice, are a symbol for St. Mark.

Charlemagne sought to subdue the city to his own rule. He ordered the Pope to expel the Venetians from the Pentapolis along the Adriatic coast,.. and Charlemagne's own son Pepin of Italy, king of the Lombards under the authority of his father, embarked on a siege of Venice itself. This, however, proved a costly failure. The siege lasted six months, with Pepin's army ravaged by the diseases of the local swamps and eventually forced to withdraw. A few months later, Pepin himself died, apparently as a result of a disease contracted there. In the aftermath, an agreement between Charlemagne and Nicephorus in 814 recognized Venice as Byzantine territory and granted the city trading rights along the Adriatic coast.

In 828, the new city's prestige was raised by the acquisition of the claimed relics of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, which were placed in the new basilica. The patriarchal seat was also moved to Rialto. As the community continued to develop and as Byzantine power waned, it led to the growth of autonomy and eventual independence.........

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower (French: La tour Eiffel, [tuʁ ɛfɛl]) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011... The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010...........

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall.. about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast antennae, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory's upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground.. the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is generally only accessible by lift....



First drawing of the Eiffel Tower by Maurice Koechlin
The design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel, after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair which would celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. In May 1884 Koechlin, working at home, made an outline drawing of their scheme, described by him as "a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals..Initially Eiffel himself showed little enthusiasm, but he did sanction further study of the project, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company's architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments. This enhanced version gained Eiffel's support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885 Eiffel presented a paper on the project to the Société des Ingiénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying that the tower would symbolise

"not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France's gratitude."

Little happened until the beginning of 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as President and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as Minister for Trade. A budget for the Exposition was passed and on 1 May Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition which was being held for a centerpiece for the exposition, which effectively made the choice of Eiffel's design a foregone conclusion: all entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars.[4] On 12 May a commission was set up to examine Eiffel's scheme and its rivals and on 12 June it presented its decision, which was that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or insufficiently worked out. After some debate about the exact site for the tower, a contract was finally signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the following twenty years. Eiffel later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself..

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal (Russian: озеро Байкал, tr. Ozero Baykal, IPA: [ozʲɪrə bɐjkal], Buryat: Байгал нуур, Mongolian: Байгал нуур, Baygal nuur, meaning "nature lake a rift in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast. 

Lake Baikal is a freshwater lake with the greatest volume in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world's unfrozen surface fresh water. and at 1,642 m (5,387 ft). It is also among the deepest .. clearest.of all the lakes, and thought to be the world's oldest lake [8] at 25 million years..It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area. 

Like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape with a surface area of 31.722 km2 (12,248 sq mi). Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two-thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world .. and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 .. It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal,, rearing goats, camels, cattle, and sheep, where the regional mean .. Vary the average temperatures from a minimum of -19 ° C (-2 ° F) in winter to a maximum of 14 ° C (57 ° F) in summer .. However, as these are the mean temperatures, can be considerably colder winter nights and summer days can be considerably hotteren ..

Geography and hydrography..

Lake Baikal is in a rift valley, created by the Baikal Rift Zone, where the Earth's crust pulls apart... At 636 km (395 mi) long and 79 km (49 mi) wide, Lake Baikal has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in Asia, at 31,722 km2 (12,248 sq mi), and is the deepest lake in the world at 1,642 m (5,387 ft). The bottom of the lake is 1,186.5 m (3,893 ft) below sea level, but below this lies some 7 km (4.3 mi) of sediment, placing the rift floor some 8–11 km (5.0–6.8 mi) below the surface: the deepest continental rift on Earth...In geological terms, the rift is young and active—it widens about two cm per year. The fault zone is also seismically active; there are hot springs in the area and notable earthquakes every few years. The lake is divided into three basins: North, Central, and South, with depths of about 900 m (3,000 ft), 1,600 m (5,200 ft), and 1,400 m (4,600 ft), respectively. Fault-controlled accommodation zones rising to depths of about 300 m (980 ft) separate the basins. The North and Central basins are separated by Academician Ridge while the area around the Selenga Delta and the Buguldeika Saddle separates the Central and South basins. The lake drains into the Angara tributary of the Yenisei. Notable landforms include Cape Ryty on Baikal's northwest coast.

Baikal's age is estimated at 25–30 million years, making it one of the most ancient lakes in geological history.[citation needed] It is unique among large, high-latitude lakes, in that its sediments have not been scoured by overriding continental ice sheets. U.S. and Russian studies of core sediment in the 1990s provide a detailed record of climatic variation over the past 250,000 years. Longer and deeper sediment cores are expected in the near future. Lake Baikal is furthermore the only confined freshwater lake in which direct and indirect evidence of gas hydrates exists...

The lake is completely surrounded by mountains. The Baikal Mountains on the north shore and the taiga are technically protected as a national park. It contains 27 islands; the largest, Olkhon, is 72 km (45 mi) long and is the third-largest lake-bound island in the world. The lake is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers.. The main ones draining directly into Baikal are the Selenga River, the Barguzin River, the Upper Angara River, the Turka River, the Sarma River, and the Snezhnaya River. It is drained through a single outlet, the Angara River.........


The Baikal area has a long history of human habitation. An early known tribe in the area was the Kurykans, forefathers of two ethnic groups: the Buryats and Yakuts.

Lake Baikal was situated in the northern territory of the Xiongnu confederation, and was a site of the Han–Xiongnu War, where the armies of the Han dynasty pursued and defeated the Xiongnu forces from the second century BC to the first century AD. They recorded that the lake was a "huge sea" (hanhai) and designated it the North Sea (Běihǎi) of the semi mythical Four Seas... The Kurykans, a Siberian tribe who inhabited the area in the sixth century, gave it a name that translates to "much water". Later on, it was called "natural lake" (Baygal nuur) by the Buryats and "rich lake" (Bay göl) by the Yakuts.[38] Little was known to Europeans about the lake until Russia expanded into the area in the 17th century. The first Russian explorer to reach Lake Baikal was Kurbat Ivanov in 1643...'

Russian expansion into the Buryat area around Lake Baikal[40] in 1628–1658 was part of the Russian conquest of Siberia. It was done first by following the Angara River upstream from Yeniseysk (founded 1619) and later by moving south from the Lena River. Russians first heard of the Buryats in 1609 at Tomsk. According to folktales related a century after the fact, in 1623, Demid Pyanda, who may have been the first Russian to reach the Lena, crossed from the upper Lena to the Angara and arrived at Yeniseysk.[41] Vikhor Savin (1624) and Maksim Perfilyev (1626 and 1627–1628) explored Tungus country on the lower Angara. To the west, Krasnoyarsk on the upper Yenisei was founded in 1627. There were a number of ill-documented expeditions eastward from Krasnoyarsk. In 1628, Pyotr Beketov first encountered a group of Buryats and collected yasak from them at the future site of Bratsk. In 1629, Yakov Khripunov set off from Tomsk to find a rumored silver mine. His men soon began plundering both Russians and natives. They were joined by another band of rioters from Krasnoyarsk, but left the Buryat country when they ran short of food. This made it difficult for other Russians to enter the area. In 1631, Maksim Perfilyev built an ostrog at Bratsk. The pacification was moderately successful, but in 1634, Bratsk was destroyed and its garrison killed. In 1635, Bratsk was restored by a punitive expedition under Radukovskii. In 1638, it was besieged unsuccessfully.

In 1638, Perfilyev crossed from the Angara over the Ilim portage to the Lena River and went downstream as far as Olyokminsk. Returning, he sailed up the Vitim River into the area east of Lake Baikal (1640) where he heard reports of the Amur country. In 1641, Verkholensk was founded on the upper Lena. In 1643, Kurbat Ivanov went further up the Lena and became the first Russian to see Lake Baikal and Olkhon Island. Half his party under Skorokhodov remained on the lake, reached the Upper Angara at its northern tip and wintered on the Barguzin River on the northeast side. In 1644, Ivan Pokhabov went up the Angara to Baikal, becoming perhaps the first Russian to use this route which is difficult because of the rapids. He crossed the lake and explored the lower Selenge River. About 1647, he repeated the trip, obtained guides and visited a 'Tsetsen Khan' near Ulan Bator. In 1648, Ivan Galkin built an ostrog on the Barguzin River which became a center for eastward expansion. In 1652, Vasily Kolesnikov reported from Barguzin that one could reach the Amur country by following the Selenga, Uda, and Khilok Rivers to the future sites of Chita and Nerchinsk. In 1653, Pyotr Beketov took Kolesnikov's route to Lake Irgen west of Chita, and that winter his man Urasov founded Nerchinsk. Next spring, he tried to occupy Nerchensk, but was forced by his men to join Stephanov on the Amur. Nerchinsk was destroyed by the local Tungus, but restored in 1658.
The Trans-Siberian Railway was built between 1896 and 1902. Construction of the scenic railway around the southwestern end of Lake Baikal required 200 bridges and 33 tunnels. Until its completion, a train ferry transported railcars across the lake from Port Baikal to Mysovaya for a number of years. At times during winter freezes, the lake could be crossed on foot—though at risk of frostbite and deadly hypothermia from the cold wind moving unobstructed across flat expanses of ice. In the winter of 1920, the Great Siberian Ice March occurred, when the retreating White Russian Army crossed frozen Lake Baikal. The wind on the exposed lake was so cold, many people died, freezing in place until spring thaw. Beginning in 1956, the impounding of the Irkutsk Dam on the Angara River raised the level of the lake by 1.4 m (4.6 ft)..

Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Angel Falls (Spanish: Salto Ángel; Pemon language: Kerepakupai Vená, meaning "waterfall of the deepest place", or Parakupá Vená, meaning "the fall from the highest point") is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 m (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft). The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Canaima), a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State. The height figure 979 m (3,212 ft) mostly consists of the main plunge but also includes about 400 m (0.25 mi) of sloped cascades and rapids below the drop and a 30-metre (98 ft) high plunge downstream of the talus rapids.

The falls are on the Gauja River (alternatively known as the Kerep River or Kerepakupai), which flows into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


The waterfall has been known as the "Angel Falls" since the mid twentieth century; they are named after Jimmie Angel, a US aviator, who was the first person to fly over the falls. Angel's ashes were scattered over the falls on July 2, 1960.

The common Spanish name "Salto Ángel" derives from his surname. In 2009, President Hugo Chávez announced his intention to change the name to the purported original indigenous Pemon term ("Kerepakupai Vená", meaning "waterfall of the deepest place"), on the grounds that the nation's most famous landmark should bear an indigenous name.[4] Explaining the name change, Chávez was reported to have said, "This is ours, long before Angel ever arrived there… this is indigenous property."However, he later said that he would not decree the change of name, but only was defending the use of Kerepakupai Vená........


Sir Walter Raleigh described what was possibly a tepuy (table top mountain), and he is said to have been the first European to view Angel Falls, but these claims are considered far-fetched...Some historians state that the first European to visit the waterfall was Fernando de Berrío, a Spanish explorer and governor from the 16th and 17th centuries....

According to accounts of Venezuelan explorer Ernesto Sánchez La Cruz, he spotted the falls in 1912, but he did not publicize his discovery. It is possible that Cruz saw the Montoya Falls in the Sierra Pacaraima region,.... which are more than 500 m tall.... were not known to the outside world until American aviator Jimmie Angel flew over them on 16 November 1933 on a flight while he was searching for a valuable ore bed.
Returning on 9 October 1937, Angel tried to land his Flamingo monoplane El Río Caroní atop Auyantepui, but the plane was damaged when the wheels sank into the marshy ground. Angel and his three companions, including his wife Marie, were forced to descend the tepui on foot. It took them 11 days to make their way back to civilization via the gradually sloping back side but news of their adventure spread and the waterfall was named Angel Falls in his honor. The name of the waterfall - "Salto Angel" - was first published on a Venezuelan government map in December 1939...
Angel's plane remained on top of the tepui for 33 years before being lifted out by helicopter... It was restored at the Aviation Museum in Maracay and now sits outdoors on the front of the airport at Ciudad Bolívar.
The first recorded person of European descent to reach the base of the falls was Latvian explorer Aleksandrs Laime, also known as Alejandro Laime to the native Pemon tribe. He reached the falls alone in 1946... He was the first to reach the upper side of falls in the late 1950s, by climbing on the back side where the slope is not vertical.//He also reached Angel's plane 18 years after the crash landing. On 18 November 1955, Latvian independence day, he announced to Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional that this stream without any known local name should be called after a Latvian river, Gauja. The same year, this name was registered in the National Cartographic Institution of Venezuela (Dirección de Cartografía Nacional). There are no convincing proofs that indigenous Pemon people had named the local streams, as Auyán-tepui was considered to be a dangerous place and was not visited by the indigenous people...However, lately the Pemon name Kerep is used as well.
Laime was also the first to clear a trail that leads from the Churun River to the base of the falls. On the way, there is a viewpoint commonly used to capture the falls in photographs. It is named Mirador Laime ("Laime's Viewpoint" in Spanish) in his honor. This trail is used now mostly for tourists, to lead them from the Isla Ratón camp to the small clearing.
The official height of the falls was determined by a survey carried out by an expedition organized and financed by American journalist Ruth Robertson on 13 May 1949...The first known attempt to climb the face of the cliff was made in 1968 during the wet season. It failed because of slippery rock. In 1969 a second attempt was made during the dry season. This attempt was thwarted by lack of water and an overhang 120 metres (400 ft) from the top. The first climb to the top of the cliff was completed on January 13, 1971. The climbers required nine and a half days to ascend and one and a half days to rappel down..............


Angel Falls is one of Venezuela's top tourist attractions, though a trip to the falls is a complicated affair. The falls are located in an isolated jungle. A flight from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar is required to reach Canaima camp, the starting point for river trips to the base of the falls. River trips generally take place from June to December, when the rivers are deep enough for the wooden curiaras used by the Pemon guides. During the dry season (December to March) there is less water seen than in the other months (This can be clearly seen in the photos of the falls above,,,

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal (/ˈtɑːdʒ məˈhɑːl/ often /ˈtɑːʒ/;, from Persian and Arabic, "crown of palaces", pronounced [ˈt̪aːdʒ mɛˈɦɛl]; also "the Taj"s a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage"

Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer...

Origin and inspiration..

Main article: Origins and architecture of the Taj Mahal

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal.The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words

Shah Jahan, who commissioned the Taj Mahal -"Shah jahan on a globe" from the Smithsonian Institution

Artistic depiction of Mumtaz Mahal

Taj Mahal site plan.
The Moonlight Garden to the north of the Yamuna.
Terrace area: Tomb, Mosque and Jawab.
Charbagh (gardens).
Gateway, attendant accommodations, and other tombs.
Taj Ganji (bazaar)
Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.

The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on design traditions of Persian architecture and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from successful Timurid and Mughal buildings including; the Gur-e Amir (the tomb of Timur, progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand), Humayun's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (sometimes called the Baby Taj), and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi. While earlier Mughal buildings were primarily constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, and buildings under his patronage reached new levels of refinement.


The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal. This large, white marble structure stands on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin.

The base structure is essentially a large, multi-chambered cube with chamfered corners, forming an unequal octagon that is approximately 55 metres (180 ft) on each of the four long sides. On each of these sides, a huge pishtaq, or vaulted archway, frames the iwan with two similarly shaped, arched balconies stacked on either side. This motif of stacked pishtaqs is replicated on the chamfered corner areas, making the design completely symmetrical on all sides of the building. Four minarets frame the tomb, one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners. The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan; the actual graves are at a lower level.

The marble dome that surmounts the tomb is the most spectacular feature. Its height of around 35 metres (115 ft) is about the same as the length of the base, and is accentuated as it sits on a cylindrical "drum" which is roughly 7 metres (23 ft) high. Because of its shape, the dome is often called an onion dome or amrud (guava dome). The top is decorated with a lotus design, which also serves to accentuate its height. The shape of the dome is emphasised by four smaller domed chattris (kiosks) placed at its corners, which replicate the onion shape of the main dome. Their columned bases open through the roof of the tomb and provide light to the interior. Tall decorative spires (guldastas) extend from edges of base walls, and provide visual emphasis to the height of the dome. The lotus motif is repeated on both the chattris and guldastas. The dome and chattris are topped by a gilded finial, which mixes traditional Persian and Hindustani decorative elements.

View from Mosque
The main finial was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded bronze in the early 19th century. This feature provides a clear example of integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The finial is topped by a moon, a typical Islamic motif whose horns point heavenward. Because of its placement on the main spire, the horns of the moon and the finial point combine to create a trident shape, reminiscent of traditional Hindu symbols of Shiva.

The minarets, which are each more than 40 metres (130 ft) tall, display the designer's penchant for symmetry. They were designed as working minarets—a traditional element of mosques, used by the muezzin to call the Islamic faithful to prayer. Each minaret is effectively divided into three equal parts by two working balconies that ring the tower. At the top of the tower is a final balcony surmounted by a chattri that mirrors the design of those on the tomb. The chattris all share the same decorative elements of a lotus design topped by a gilded finial. The minarets were constructed slightly outside of the plinth so that, in the event of collapse, (a typical occurrence with many tall constructions of the period) the material from the towers would tend to fall away from the tomb.

Liberty, New York

Liberty, New York


The town of Liberty was created from the Town of Lumberland in 1807 and became the fourth town in the county. The town of Callicoon was taken off, and a part of the Town of Thompson added in 1842, and a part of the Town of Rockland added in 1849. The first permanent white settlement was made by Eleazer Larabee from Stonington, CT, who came to Liberty from the Town of Neversink in 1794. Larabee constructed the first sawmill in the town, located at the outlet of Brodhead Pond (now Revonah Lake), where the initial settlement, known as the Blue Mountain Settlement, in the town was located. Subsequent settlements were in the present Village of Liberty, in Liberty Falls (now the hamlet of Ferndale), the hamlet of Parksville, the hamlet of Stevensville (now Swan Lake) and the hamlet of Robersonville (now White Sulphur Springs). The Town of Liberty furnished 303 men for the army during the Civil War. Liberty was amongst the many towns to benefit from the boom in Sullivan County hotels during the 1950s. After many of the hotels left, the town was left without a stable economic footing, and has since suffered from lack of jobs.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 80.7 square miles (209.0 km²), of which, 79.6 square miles (206.2 km²) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²) of it (1.36%) is water.........


As of the census of 2000, there were 9,632 people, 3,711 households, and 2,263 families residing in the town. The population density was 121.0 people per square mile (46.7/km²). There were 5,350 housing units at an average density of 67.2 per square mile (25.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.70% White, 9.19% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.76% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.90% of the population.

There were 3,711 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,022, and the median income for a family was $37,689. Males had a median income of $31,088 versus $24,655 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,565. About 12.1% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.......

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The tower's tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical....


 There has been controversy about the real identity of the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. For many years, the design was attributed to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano,a well-known 12th-century resident artist of Pisa, famous for his bronze casting, particularly in the Pisa Duomo. Bonanno Pisano left Pisa in 1185 for Monreale, Sicily, only to come back and die in his home town. A piece of cast with his name was discovered at the foot of the tower in 1820, but this may be related to the bronze door in the façade of the cathedral that was destroyed in 1595. However, recent studies[8] seem to indicate Diotisalvi as the original architect due to the time of construction and affinity with other Diotisalvi works, notably the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistery, both in Pisa. However, he usually signed his works and there is no signature by him in the bell tower which leads to further speculation


 Construction of the tower occurred in three stages across 199 years. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 14, 1173, during a period of military success and prosperity. This ground floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals.

The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled.[citation needed] In 1198 clocks were temporarily installed on the third floor of the unfinished construction.

In 1272 construction resumed under Giovanni di Simone, architect of the Camposanto. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is actually curved.Construction was halted again in 1284, when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans in the Battle of Meloria.

The seventh floor was completed in 1319. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the bell-chamber with the Romanesque style of the tower. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372.

After a phase (1990–2001) of structural strengthening, the tower is currently undergoing gradual surface restoration, in order to repair visible damage, mostly corrosion and blackening. These are particularly pronounced due to the tower's age and its exposure to wind and rain.

History following construction...

 Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass. However, this is considered an apocryphal tale, its only source being Galileo's secretary.

During World War II, the Allies discovered that the Germans were using the tower as an observation post. A U.S. Army sergeant sent to confirm the presence of German troops in the tower was impressed by the beauty of the cathedral and its campanile, and thus refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction.
Lead counterweights

On February 27, 1964, the government of Italy requested aid in preventing the tower from toppling. It was, however, considered important to retain the current tilt, due to the role that this element played in promoting the tourism industry of Pisa.

A multinational task force of engineers, mathematicians, and historians gathered on the Azores islands to discuss stabilisation methods. It was found that the tilt was increasing in combination with the softer foundations on the lower side. Many methods were proposed to stabilise the tower, including the addition of 800 tonnes of lead counterweights to the raised end of the base.

In 1987 the tower was declared as part of the Piazza del Duomo UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the neighbouring cathedral, baptistery and cemetery.

On January 7, 1990, after over two decades of stabilisation studies, and spurred by the abrupt collapse of the Civic Tower of Pavia in 1989, the tower was closed to the public. The bells were removed to relieve some weight, and cables were cinched around the third level and anchored several hundred meters away. Apartments and houses in the path of the tower were vacated for safety. The final solution to prevent the collapse of the tower was to slightly straighten the tower to a safer angle, by removing 38 cubic metres (1,342 cubic feet) of soil from underneath the raised end. The tower was straightened by 45 centimetres (17.7 inches), returning to its 1838 position. After a decade of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the tower was reopened to the public on December 15, 2001, and was declared stable for at least another 300 years.

In May 2008, after the removal of another 70 metric tons (77 short tons) of ground, engineers announced that the Tower had been stabilized such that it had stopped moving for the first time in its history. They stated it would be stable for at least 200 years.Construction of the tower occurred in three stages across 199 years. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 14, 1173, during a period of military success and prosperity. This ground floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals.

The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled.[citation needed] In 1198 clocks were temporarily installed on the third floor of the unfinished construction.

In 1272 construction resumed under Giovanni di Simone, architect of the Camposanto. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is actually curved.Construction was halted again in 1284, when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans in the Battle of Meloria.

The seventh floor was completed in 1319. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the bell-chamber with the Romanesque style of the tower. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372.

After a phase (1990–2001) of structural strengthening, the tower is currently undergoing gradual surface restoration, in order to repair visible damage, mostly corrosion and blackening. These are particularly pronounced due to the tower's age and its exposure to wind and rain.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC;these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty.

Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.

The main Great Wall line stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi)...


The collection of walls known today as the Great Wall of China was referred by a number of different names. The current English name evolved from enthusiastic accounts of "the Chinese wall" from early European travelers; by the end of the 19th century "the Great Wall of China" became the name of the walls. In Chinese, they are most commonly known as changcheng (長城), meaning "long wall". The term can be found in the Records of the Grand Historian (1st century BC), where it referred to the walls built by the Warring States, and most particularly, the walls of Qin Shi Huang.[8] The notion of it being "ten thousand li" long (figuratively meaning "endless"), as reflected in the full Chinese name of the Great Wall in modern times (萬里長城 Wanli Changcheng), also comes from the Records, though the words "Wanli Changcheng" were rarely used together in pre-modern times—a rare example being the Book of Song written in 493, where it quotes the frontier general Tan Daoji.

Historically, the dynasties after Qin avoided using the term changcheng to refer to their own "Great Walls", as the term was said to evoke imagery of Qin's tyranny.Instead, historical records indicate the use of various terms such as "frontier" (塞 sai), "rampart" (垣 yuan), "barrier" (障 zhang), "outer fortresses" (外堡 waibao),and "border wall" (邊牆 bianqiang),[10] in addition to poetic and folk names like "purple frontier" (紫塞 zisai)[13] and "earth dragon" (土龍 tulong). Only in modern times did changcheng become the catch-all term to refer to the long border walls regardless of location or dynastic origin, equivalent to the Western term "Great Wall"............


Early walls

The Chinese were already familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn period between the 8th and 5th centuries BC. During this time and the subsequent Warring States period, the states of Qin, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Yan and Zhongshan all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames.

Qin Shi Huang conquered all opposing states and unified China in 221 BC, establishing the Qin Dynasty. Intending to impose centralized rule and prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he ordered the destruction of the wall sections that divided his empire along the former state borders. To position the empire against the Xiongnu people from the north, he ordered the building of new walls to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire's northern frontier. Transporting the large quantity of materials required for construction was difficult, so builders always tried to use local resources. Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains. There are no surviving historical records indicating the exact length and course of the Qin Dynasty walls. Most of the ancient walls have eroded away over the centuries, and very few sections remain today. The human cost of the construction is unknown, but it has been estimated by some authors that hundreds of thousands, if not up to a million, workers died building the Qin wall. Later, the Han,Sui, and the Northern dynasties all repaired, rebuilt, or expanded sections of the Great Wall at great cost to defend themselves against northern invaders.The Tang and Song Dynasties did not build any walls in the region substantially. The Liao, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, who ruled Northern China throughout most of the 10th–13th centuries, constructed defensive walls in the 12th century, but those were located much to the north of the Great Wall as we know it, within today's Inner and Outer Mongolia.

Ming era

The extent of the Ming Dynasty and its walls
Main article: Ming Great Wall
The Great Wall concept was revived again during the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century,]and following the Ming army's defeat by the Oirats in the Battle of Tumu. The Ming had failed to gain a clear upper hand over the Mongolian tribes after successive battles, and the long-drawn conflict was taking a toll on the empire. The Ming adopted a new strategy to keep the nomadic tribes out by constructing walls along the northern border of China. Acknowledging the Mongol control established in the Ordos Desert, the wall followed the desert's southern edge instead of incorporating the bend of the Yellow River.

Unlike the earlier fortifications, the Ming construction was stronger and more elaborate due to the use of bricks and stone instead of rammed earth. Up to 25,000 watchtowers are estimated to have been constructed on the wall. As Mongol raids continued periodically over the years, the Ming devoted considerable resources to repair and reinforce the walls. Sections near the Ming capital of Beijing were especially strong.Qi Jiguang between 1567 and 1570 also repaired and reinforced the wall, faced sections of the ram-earth wall with bricks and constructed 1,200 watchtowers from Shanhaiguan Pass to Changping to warn of approaching Mongol raiders. During the 1440s–1460s, the Ming also built a so-called "Liaodong Wall". Similar in function to the Great Wall (whose extension, in a sense, it was), but more basic in construction, the Liaodong Wall enclosed the agricultural heartland of the Liaodong province, protecting it against potential incursions by Jurched-Mongol Oriyanghan from the northwest and the Jianzhou Jurchens from the north. While stones and tiles were used in some parts of the Liaodong Wall, most of it was in fact simply an earth dike with moats on both sides.

Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall helped defend the empire against the Manchu invasions that began around 1600. Even after the loss of all of Liaodong, the Ming army held the heavily fortified Shanhaiguan pass, preventing the Manchus from conquering the Chinese heartland. The Manchus were finally able to cross the Great Wall in 1644, after Beijing had already fallen to Li Zicheng's rebels. Before this time, the Manchus had crossed the Great Wall multiple times to raid, but this time it was for conquest. The gates at Shanhaiguan were opened by the commanding Ming general Wu Sangui on May 25 who formed an alliance with the Manchus, hoping to use the Manchus to expel the rebels from Beijing. The Manchus quickly seized Beijing, and defeated both the rebel-founded Shun Dynasty and the remaining Ming resistance, establishing the Qing Dynasty rule over all of China.

Under Qing rule, China's borders extended beyond the walls and Mongolia was annexed into the empire, so constructions on the Great Wall were discontinued. On the other hand, the so-called Willow Palisade, following a line similar to that of the Ming Liaodong Wall, was constructed by the Qing rulers in Manchuria. Its purpose, however, was not defense but rather migration control.

Foreign appreciation of the Wall

The Great Wall in 1907
Early Arabs had heard about China's Great Wall during earlier periods of China's history as early as the 14th century. They associated it with Dhul-Qarnayn's Gog and Magog wall of the Qur'an, as the North African traveler Ibn Battuta heard from the local Muslim communities in Guangzhou around 1346.

Soon after Europeans reached the Ming China in the early 16th century, accounts of the Great Wall started to circulate in Europe, even though no European was to see it with his own eyes for another century. Possibly one of the earliest descriptions of the wall, and its significance for the defense of the country against the "Tartars" (i.e. Mongols), may be the one contained in the Third Década of João de Barros' Asia (published 1563).Other early accounts in Western sources include those of Gaspar da Cruz, Bento de Goes, Matteo Ricci, and Bishop Juan González de Mendoza. In 1559, in his work "A Treatise of China and the Adjoyning Regions," Gaspar da Cruz offers an early discussion of the Great Wall. Perhaps the first recorded instance of a European actually entering China via the Great Wall came in 1605, when the Portuguese Jesuit brother Bento de Góis reached the northwestern Jiayu Pass from India. Early European accounts were mostly modest and empirical, closely mirroring contemporary Chinese understanding of the Wall; although later they slid into hyperbole,including the erroneous but ubiquitous claim that the Ming Walls were the same ones that were built by Qin Shi Huang in the 3rd century BC.

When China opened its borders to foreign merchants and visitors after its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, the Great Wall became a main attraction for tourists. The travelogues of the later 19th century further enhanced the reputation and the mythology of the Great Wall,such that in the 20th century, a persistent misconception exists about the Great Wall of China being visible from the Moon or even Mars........


The main Great Wall line that are still standing today

An area of the sections of the Great Wall at Jinshanling
Although a formal definition of what constitutes a "Great Wall" has not been agreed upon, making the full course of the Great Wall difficult to describe in its entirety. the course of the main Great Wall line following Ming constructions can be charted.

The Jiayu Pass, located in Gansu province, is the western terminus of the Ming Great Wall. Although Han fortifications such as Yumen Pass and the Yangguan exist further west, the extant walls leading to those passes are difficult to trace. From Jiayu Pass the wall travels discontinuously down the Gansu Corridor and into the deserts of Ningxia, where it enters the western edge of the Yellow River loop at Yinchuan. Here the first major walls erected during the Ming dynasty cuts through the Ordos Desert to the eastern edge of the Yellow River loop. There at Piantou Pass (偏頭關) in Xinzhou city, Shanxi province, the Great Wall splits in two with the "Outer Great Wall" (外長城) extending along the Inner Mongolia border with Shanxi into Hebei province, and the "inner Great Wall" (內長城) running southeast from Piantou Pass for some 400 kilometres (250 mi), passing through important passes like the Pingxing Pass and Yanmen Pass before joining the Outer Great Wall at Sihaiye (四海冶), in Yanqing County, Beijing.

The sections of the Great Wall around Beijing municipality are especially famous: they were frequently renovated and are regularly visited by tourists today. The Badaling Great Wall near Zhangjiakou is the most famous stretch of the Wall, for this was the first section to be opened to the public in the People's Republic of China, as well as the showpiece stretch for foreign dignitaries.South of Badaling is the Juyong Pass, when used by the Chinese to protect their land, this section of the wall had many guards to defend China’s capital Beijing. Made of stone and bricks from the hills, this portion of the Great Wall is 7.8 meters (26 ft) high and 5 meters (16 ft) wide.

One of the most striking sections of the Ming Great Wall is where it climbs extremely steep slopes. It runs 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) long, ranges from 5 to 8 meters (16 to 26 ft) in height, and 6 meters (20 ft) across the bottom, narrowing up to 5 meters (16 ft) across the top. Wangjinglou (望京樓) is one of Jinshanling's 67 watchtowers, 980 meters (3,220 ft) above sea level. Southeast of Jinshanling, is the Mutianyu Great Wall which winds along lofty, cragged mountains from the southeast to the northwest for approximately 2.25 kilometers (about 1.3 miles). It is connected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east. This section was one of the first to be renovated following the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.

At the edge of the Bohai Gulf is the Shanhai Pass, the traditional end of the Great Wall known as the "Number One Pass Under Heaven" (天下第一關). The part of the wall that meets the sea is named the "Old Dragon Head" (老龍頭), within the Shanhai Pass complex. 3 km north of Shanhaiguan is Jiaoshan Great Wall (焦山長城), the site of the first mountain of the Great Wall.15 km northeast from Shanhaiguan, is Jiumenkou (九門口), which is the only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge.........


Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from rammed earth, stones, and wood. During the Ming Dynasty, however, bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall, as were materials such as tiles, lime, and stone. The size and weight of the bricks made them easier to work with than earth and stone, so construction quickened. Additionally, bricks could bear more weight and endure better than rammed earth. Stone can hold under its own weight better than brick, but is more difficult to use. Consequently, stones cut in rectangular shapes were used for the foundation, inner and outer brims, and gateways of the wall. Battlements line the uppermost portion of the vast majority of the wall, with defensive gaps a little over 30 cm (12 in) tall, and about 23 cm (9.1 in) wide. From the parapets, guards could survey the surrounding land.Communication between the army units along the length of the Great Wall, including the ability to call reinforcements and warn garrisons of enemy movements, was of high importance. Signal towers were built upon hill tops or other high points along the wall for their visibility. Wooden gates could be used as a trap against those going through. Barracks, stables, and armories were built near the wall's inner surface.........

Havasupai Falls

The Havasupai people (Havasupai: Havsuw’ Baaja) are an American Indian tribe who has lived in the Grand Canyon for at least the past 800 years.

Located primarily in an area known as Cataract Canyon, this Yuman-speaking population once laid claim to an area the size of Delaware. In 1882, however, the tribe was forced by the federal government to abandon all but 518 acres of its land. The Havasupai witnessed a silver rush and the Santa Fe Railroad in effect destroyed what was fertile land. Furthermore, the inception of the Grand Canyon as a National Park in 1919 pushed the Havasupai to the brink, as their land was consistently being used by the National Park Service. Throughout the 20th century, the tribe used the US judicial system to fight for the restoration of the land. In 1975, the tribe succeeded in regaining approximately 185,000 acres of their ancestral land with the passage of the Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act............


Relation with Hualapai

Ethnically, the Havasupai and the Hualapai are one people, although today, they are politically separate groups as the result of U.S. government policy. The Hualapai (Pa'a or Pai) had three subtribes - the Plateau People, Middle Mountain People and Yavapai Fighter. The subtribes were divided into seven bands, which themselves were broken up into thirteen regional bands or local groups. The local groups were composed of several extended family groups, living in small villages: The Havasupai were just the Havasooa Pa'a regional band (or local group) of the Nyav-kapai (“Eastern People”) of the Plateau People subtribe.

The tribe had traditionally relied heavily on agriculture, hunting and gathering as their means of survival. Although living primarily above and inside the Grand Canyon, which consists mostly of harsh terrain, the tribe’s reservation was also home to some lush vegetation and beautiful waters. Their name, meaning “the-people-of-the-blue-green-waters,” reflects this.

The Havasupai are said to have existed within and around the Grand Canyon for over eight centuries. Little is known about the tribe prior to their first recorded European encounter in 1776 with Spanish priest Francisco Garces. Garces reported seeing roughly 320 individuals in his time with the Havasupai, a number that would diminish over the centuries as westward expansion and natural catastrophes significantly decreased the population size,[8] before rising to approximately 650 in the current era.

In the first half of the 19th Century, with exception to the introduction of horses by the Spanish, U.S. westward expansion affected the Havasupai less than it did other indigenous populations of the west. Even as interaction with settlers slowly increased, day-to-day life did not change much for the tribe until silver was discovered in 1870 by Cataract Creek.[9] The migration of prospectors to the area was unwelcome. The Havasupai sought protection from the intrusion of western pioneers on their land and sought out assistance, but to little avail. An executive order by President Rutherford Hayes in 1880 established a small federally protected reservation for the tribe, yet it did not include the mining areas along the Creek (Hirst, 1985).

During this era, Havasupai relations with other Native American tribes were generally mixed. Bonds and interactions with the Hopi tribe, whose reservation was in close proximity, were strong, as the two peoples did a great deal of trading with each other.The Hopi introduced crops such as the gourd and sunflower that would eventually become a staple of the Havasupai diet. Still, the Havasupai were not without enemies as they were consistently at odds with the Yavapai and the Southern Paiute, who would steal and destroy crops planted by the Havasupai.

Two Havasupai Indian women in front of a native dwelling, Havasu Canyon, ca.1899
In 1882 President Chester A. Arthur issued an executive order that all land on the plateau of the canyon, which was traditionally used for winter homes for the tribe, was to become public property of the United States.[9] The order in effect relegated the Havasupai to a 518-acre (2.10 km2) plot of land in Cataract Canyon, taking almost all of their aboriginal land for American public use. According to reports, the Havasupai were completely unaware of the act for several years........

Two Havasupai Indian women with "Kathaks" on their backs, ca.1900
The loss of almost all of their land was not the only issue that the Havasupai were contending with: the increase in the number of settlers in the local region had depleted game used for hunting, and soil erosion (a result of poor irrigation techniques) touched off a series of food shortages. Furthermore, interaction with the settlers sparked deadly disease outbreaks amongst tribe members, who were ravaged by smallpox, influenza, and measles.By 1906 only 166 tribal members remained – half the number Garces saw when he first came across the tribe in 1776.

In the 1800s the continental railway system was greatly expanded. In 1897 construction opened on a spur line of the Santa Fe Railroad, which was to lead directly to the Grand Canyon; by 1901 the line was open. During his visit to the Grand Canyon in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt met two Havasupais at Indian Garden. Roosevelt told them about the park that was being created, and that they would have to leave the area.[10] In 1908 the Grand Canyon was declared a national monument, and by 1919 it had received National Park status. However, it was not until 1928 that the Havasupai finally left Indian Garden, forced out by the National Park Service.[7]

Issues regarding health within the Havasupai population reduced its growth to the point where almost an entire generation was lost due to infant and child mortality. Low morale spread throughout the tribe, leading to an increase in gambling, alcoholism, and violence. As the years progressed the Havasupai came to realize that they could not hope to survive in their American social situation without embracing at least some aspects of it. Breaking horses, working on farms, or even serving as employees of the Grand Canyon National Park were all options for tribal members. The Havasupai fought to keep their methods and traditions alive, but the federal government and the National Park Service generally held a dismissive attitude toward these efforts and accelerated the pace of actions such as razing residents' traditional homes and replacing them with cabins. As similar instances transpired throughout the years, the methods of the Park became clear: they wanted the final 518 acres (2.10 km2).[citation needed]

In this period the tribe continually fought with the government to have the land that had been taken returned to them. In 1968 the tribe won their Indian Claim Commission case against the United States. The court findings stated that the Havasupai had portions of their land taken from them illegally in 1882 and that the tribe was entitled to recover the land from the US at fair market value (ICC 210). That value ended up being 55 cents an acre, totaling just over one million dollars. Although the case was a landmark for the Havasupai in the sense that it was proven in a court of law that the federal government had inappropriately taken their land, it had still not been properly returned to the tribe.

However, the momentum that the Havasupai gained from the ICC case followed them into the 1970s as the tribe continued to fight to have their traditional territory returned to them. In 1974, garnering support from the Nixon administration as well as influential newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle, the tribe made their push to have the congressional bill S. 1296, which would actually return their land, passed through Congress.[10] Months of deliberation and stalling on the part of some congressmen[citation needed] almost led to the demise of the bill, but days before Congress went on fall break the bill was finally passed by both Houses and made its way to the President’s desk. Similarly, the bill sat on President Gerald Ford’s desk until the final possible moments before it was signed and passed into law on January 4, 1975.[10] S. 1296 granted the Havasupai a trust title to approximately 185,000 acres (750 km2); another 95,300 acres (386 km2) were designated as "Havasupai Use Lands," to be overseen by the National Park Service, but available for traditional use by the Havasupai.

Pipe Ladder
Mining interests also had a presence in the canyon in this period. Tunnels are a familiar sight in the campground area with the deepest of them around 300 feet (91 m). The largest of the mines is in Carbonate Canyon, adjacent to Havasu Falls, where rails and timbers still can be found descending three levels. Lead was mined here for the last time during WWII. Ranger Gale Burak, who worked at the Grand Canyon for several years, spoke of her experiences as a cook for the Havasu Lead and Zinc Company hard rock mining camp,where the campground now resides. Below Mooney Falls, the famous pipe "ladder" ascended to a vanadium deposit.

1976 – Present

Mooney Falls
Following the return of a large share of their land, the Havasupai as a tribe have once again begun to flourish. Although many of the day-to-day customs that existed prior to 1882 are not well established today, the Havasupai have continued to respect and preserve the traditions of their ancestors. As of today the tribe consists of about 650 members, and around 200 others claim Havasupai heritage.

Presently the tribe has begun to take advantage of the beauty of its land by turning it into a tourist destination for visitors to the Grand Canyon. Tribal members often work as packers and/or workers for tourist ventures, or work at the lodge, tourist offices, the café, etc...............

Traditional culture...


Prior to modern times agriculture was the essential means of progress and survival for the Havasupai. While in the winter the tribe members stationed themselves on the plateau of the canyon, in the summer irrigation gardening of the crop fields brought the members back inside the canyon walls. As vast and uneven as the Grand Canyon is, it is somewhat of an anomaly that the Havasupai were able to agriculturally sustain and thrive in such a voluminous landscape. Because of a lack of available soil rich in nutrients, it has been suggested that the tribe cultivated only 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land on the canyon floor. Although lacking space, the tribe’s irrigation technology was far more advanced than others in the Southwest which allowed them to be agriculturally intensive. However, being located at the bottom of a canyon left the fields vulnerable to flooding as a result of rain and the overflowing of Cataract Creek, as was the case in 1911 when almost an entire crop yield was destroyed.In 1920 to combat the issue the federal government assisted the tribe in constructing a new irrigation system which was generally effective in ceasing soil erosion from water overflows.

Historically the main crops for the Havasupai were corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, gourds, and some cotton. Corn, the tribe’s main crop, was generally harvested in the later summer months. While growing, a farming technique called cepukaka was used to protect the corn from being blown over when it got to a certain height. In this technique, a farmer loosened the soil around the corn and then pulled it into a hill around the stalk base. Along with their traditional crops, the Havasupai were introduced to melons, watermelons, and orchard trees with the arrival of the Spanish. By the 1940s these crops had become staples of the Havasupai diet.........