Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jerusalem Mountains, Israel

Photo: The Central Judean Hills, commonly known in Israel as Jerusalem Mountains.

Photo: The urban landscape area around Jerusalem, view from Jerusalem's entrance.

The Jerusalem Mountains is a mountain range spread across Israel and the West Bank. It is also known by names such as Judean Mountains, Judean Hills, Hebron Hills and Jibal al-Khalil. The mountain range has several religious and historical places which are sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Some of the holiest places of Judaism, such as the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, are located in this mountain range. Also, Jerusalem and several other cities such as Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah are located here.

The Judean Mountains is a natural division between the Shephelah coastal plains in the west and the Jordan Rift Valley to the east, and rain shadow region responsible for the formation of the Judean desert is because of this mountain range.

The mountain range spans from north to south, and extends to west and east of Jerusalem and at the southern end is Mount Hebron. In prehistoric times, Judean Mountains was home to animals such as elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes and Wild Asian Water Buffalo, which were not found in the Levant region. The range has Karst topography, typified by landscape shaped by the dissolution of layers of soluble bedrock, including a stalactite cave in Nahal Sorek National Park between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh and the area surrounding Ofra, where fossils of prehistoric flora and fauna were excavated.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Statue of Samson and Dalila in Agen

Photo: Statue of Samson and Dalila (1919) in Agen by French sculptor Henri Lombard (1855-1929). Agen, a commune in the Lot-et-Garonne department in Aquitaine in south-western France, lies on the river Garonne 84 miles (135 km) southeast of Bordeaux.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Parthenon dominates the skyline of Athens

The Parthenon's position on the Acropolis allows it to dominate the city skyline of Athens, the city whose name is evolved from the Greek Goddess Athena.

The Parthenon in Nashville, USA: a replica of Greek Parthenon

Ruins of the Temple of Hera at Agrigento, Magna Graecia

In classical Greek Mythology Hera, the wife of Zeus (Jupiter), was as the goddess of women and marriage, Juno being the equivalent in Roman mythology. Hera was worshipped at her sanctuary that stood between the ancient city states of Argos and Mycenae, where festivals in her honor were celebrated, and her other main center of cult was at Samos. There were also temples dedicated to Hera in Olympia, Corinth, Tiryns, Perachora and the sacred island of Delos. In Magna Graecia, in present day Italy, two Doric temples dedicated to Hera were constructed at Paestum in the period between 550 BC and 450 BC, according to historians.