Search by Date
From
To
Search
The World Around Us

Ukraine’s Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans: An Architectural Masterpiece

17:27

Ukraine’s Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans: An Architectural Masterpiece

Constructed over a period of 18 years, from 1864 until 1882, the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatia Metropolitans is located in the city of Chernivtsi in southwestern Ukraine. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. The listing cites the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans as an outstanding scientific, cultural, and artistic achievement, and describing it as a “significant example of European ensemble architecture of the late 19th century,” a “genuine masterpiece of human culture,” and “an immense creation of human genius.” The remarkably well-preserved eight-hectare property of the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans includes its palace, seminary buildings, monastery, church, and residential buildings, as well as elaborate courtyards and manicured surrounding parklands. All were designed by the renowned 19th-century Czech architect and philanthropist Josef Hlávka, who had also created the famous Vienna State Opera, in Austria, amongst many other outstanding architectural achievements during the Austro-Hungarian era. Broadly speaking, the structural design of the residence primarily employs both Roman and Byzantine features while notably incorporating architecture from a number of European cultures, including Greek, Czech, Ukrainian, Romanian, Polish, German, and Spanish styles. Another remarkable aspect of the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans design is its inclusiveness. All three Abrahamic religions are evident in its use of Moorish Islamic themes, together with Christian and Hebrew architectural motifs. The intricate glazed tile roof patterns, with their bright varying colors and unique geometrical designs, reflect Medieval European culture, also inspired by Bukovina folk carpets. The vivid color schemes are particularly exquisite in fine and sunny weather. The characteristic elements of Byzantine architecture are a historical reflection of the Orthodox Church traditions. The choice of facade colors, for instance, hold Christian significance. Red bricks symbolize Christ’s suffering for the benefit of others, while the use of white, particularly in decorations, is a symbol of sanctity, such as the archangels carved from white stone.
The World Around Us
2022-05-09   225 Views
The World Around Us
2022-05-09

Ukrainian Baroque Glory: St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

16:23

Ukrainian Baroque Glory: St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

Located in Upper Kyiv, Ukraine, on the right bank of the Dnieper River and overlooking Podil, the Old Town quarter of the capital, a majestic monastery glistens across the horizon. This is St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, dedicated in name to the Archangel Michael, who is also the patron saint of Kyiv. St. Michael’s Golden Domed-Monastery is a fantastic sky blue, perfectly contrasting with its brightly gilded golden domes, each one crowned with the universal emblem of Lord Jesus Christ’s great sacrifice, the cross.As it is seen today, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery was fully completed on May 28, 2000. The side chapels, of Saint Barbara and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, were consecrated in 2001. The monastery became the headquarters of the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2018 and is a primary sanctuary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv patriarchate.Rebuilding and expansion of the main church of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery continued into the 18th century, primarily in the Baroque style, the most notable being six additional gilded cupolas. The reconstruction that occurred at the end of the 20th century retained the Baroque-style plan, and its Byzantine design aspects remain only in the interior.Initially invoking a feeling of power and awe, St. Michael’s is a gracious piece of architecture, with its Corinthian columns and pylons of sturdy beauty and the six magnificent octagonal drums with narrow arched windows supporting the monastery’s crowning glory, its namesake: the gilded gold domes. The inside walls and arched passageways are adorned with copies of original frescos depicting various Christian scenes. Numerous angels, saints, kings, and queens from Ukraine’s past occupy almost every part of the walls, ceilings, drum, and central dome at the cathedral of St. Michael’s. All are augmented by wooden baroque style icons and lavish gilding.St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery remains today a strong, beautiful, and enduring symbol for all Ukrainians, a people with both strong faith and determination.
The World Around Us
2022-03-30   494 Views
The World Around Us
2022-03-30

God Bless Ukraine: St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv

16:43

God Bless Ukraine: St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv

Today, we explore the unique beauty of the St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv, Ukraine, which is well-known the world over for its distinct Baroque-style architecture. Since 1987, St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv has been under the administrative umbrella of the National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv,” which also includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint-Sophia Cathedral and related 18th century monastic buildings. It is said that Saint Andrew spent a night upon Starokievska Hill, where the current church now stands. He then erected a cross there proclaiming that, in the future, the surrounding lands would host a great city that would be filled with many churches, all giving glory to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. In the mid-18th century, after summering in Kyiv, the reigning monarch, Her Majesty Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, was enthralled by the beautiful view of the Dnieper River, then known as Old Kyiv Mountain. Soon after, by imperial decree, the construction of present-day St. Andrew’s Church commenced, with the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna laying the first three foundation bricks herself on September 9, 1744. The imperial architect, Parisian-born Franceso Bartolomeo Rastrelli, was eventually appointed to design St. Andrew’s Church, and architect Ivan Michurin oversaw its construction. Thirty-nine of the 68 oil-painted canvases found in St. Andrew’s Church are on the iconostasis. These were created between 1751 and 1752 by a group of artists from St. Petersburg. The group included a notable artist of that era, Alexei Antropov, whose works here include “The Repose of the Virgin,” found on the iconostasis; “The Scene of the Annunciation,” upon the Holy Doors; and “The Last Supper,” upon the altar-piece. May the beautiful architecture and devotional origins of St. Andrew’s Church continue to serve as a reminder of Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings and fortify our faith in God. Our hearts go out to Ukraine people as we pray for God’s All-Merciful Love and Protection, and a swift return to peace.
The World Around Us
2022-03-23   538 Views
The World Around Us
2022-03-23

L’viv: Ukrainian Beauty in a Historic City

15:57

L’viv: Ukrainian Beauty in a Historic City

L’viv city is the largest city in western Ukraine and the sixth largest city of the country. Situated around 70 kilometers (40 miles) from the border of Poland, the city is made up of two parts. First, there is the castle, its surrounding area, and city center; and second, a smaller area which sits on St. Yuri’s Hill. In the late Middle Ages around 1256, King Daniel of Galicia founded L’viv and named it in honor of his son Lev.L’viv was very cosmopolitan even in medieval times, as the city was positioned on a key route where merchants from other parts of Europe gathered, met, and traded. The political and commercial role of L’viv attracted a number of ethnic groups with different cultural and religious traditions. Ukrainians, Poles, Armenians, Jews, and Germans have harmoniously lived together in L’viv for hundreds of years, together creating a flourishing administrative, religious, and commercial center over many centuries.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed L’viv on its World Heritage list in 1998. L’viv’s medieval urban topography has been preserved to reflect the synthesis of eastern European traditions and architecture, and the influences from Italy and Germany.L’viv is a city renowned for classical arts. The works of one of the most distinguished sculptors in Europe, Johann Georg Pinsel, can be seen on the façade of St. George’s Cathedral. What’s more, L’viv holds the third-largest theater in central Europe, the Skarbek Theatre, which was opened in 1842. Some of the most prominent music academies and music colleges of Ukraine are also in L’viv, along with a factory that specifically makes stringed musical instruments.As for tourism, L’viv is understandably one of Ukraine’s major tourist destinations. L’viv has nationally been designated as a historical and architectural treasure and was preserved on June 12, 1975, under the Law on Monuments of History and Culture. The council of ministers has listed 209 historic monuments as national landmarks. We pray such historic and cultural treasures such as those found in L’viv may long be enjoyed by the heroic people of Ukraine and their global family.
The World Around Us
2022-03-19   542 Views
The World Around Us
2022-03-19

Memoirs of Goryeo: Historic Monuments in Kaesong, Part 2 of 2

15:00

Memoirs of Goryeo: Historic Monuments in Kaesong, Part 2 of 2

Kaesong prospered for 500 years as the capital of Goryeo, the unified Korean Peninsula of 918, named after the founding Goryeo Dynasty. The city sits in a basin enclosed by four mountains, including Songaksan in the north. Two rivers, the Yesung River and the Imjin River, surround Kaesong and serve as a transportation hub. In 2013, the “Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong” were listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Site encompasses the palace, the tomb complex, defensive walls, gates, astronomical and meteorological observatory, two schools (including one dedicated to educating national officials) and the commemorative steles.UNESCO announced that the 12 Kaesong sites embodied “the political, cultural, philosophical and spiritual values of a crucial era in the region’s history.” Goryeo made Buddhism the state religion and cultivated spirituality, but politically adopted Confucianism as the principle of governing the country. In this way, Buddhism and Confucianism developed together, and this integration is evident in Kaesong’s historic monuments.Kaesong Namdaemun is a famous landmark, and the structure features a stone base topped by a wooden pavilion. Aside from its role as a gateway, controlling the movements of people in and out of Kaesong, it also served as a clock. Manwoldae was built at the birthplace of Taejo Wang Geon, the first king of Goryeo. Hoegyeongjeon Hall, the central building of Manwoldae, was a two-story building measuring 43 meters (141 feet) wide and 23 meters (75 feet) long.Situated west of Manwoldae is the Kaesong Chomsongdae Observatory. It served as an astronomy observatory in the Goryeo era. Goryeo Songgyungwan Confucian Academy was a highly regarded educational institution, established during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. There, they trained government officials in Confucian literacy. The Sonjuk Bridge, Sungyang Academy, and Phyochung Monuments are sites historically related to Jeong Mong-ju, a respected Confucian scholar of Goryeo. The remaining historical relics are the ancient tombs.May the glory of the Golden Age return to this historic city as we follow the wise teachings of the enlightened Masters, and may peace prevail on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the world.
The World Around Us
2022-03-18   312 Views
The World Around Us
2022-03-18

Memoirs of Goryeo: Historic Monuments in Kaesong, Part 1 of 2

17:08

Memoirs of Goryeo: Historic Monuments in Kaesong, Part 1 of 2

The country’s name “Korea” originates from Goryeo, a Korean dynasty which unified the Korean Peninsula in 918 and ruled until 1392. The capital of Goryeo was Kaesong, which was also the hometown of Taejo Wang Geon, the founder of the Goryeo Dynasty. Located 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Seoul, Kaesong became the capital and center of Korean culture for 500 years and remained famous for trading and commerce for a thousand years. According to records, Kaesong was a metropolis with a population of 100,000 households and over 300 temples, and one-third of Goryeo’s total population were monks. Many nobles and princes became monks. In addition, a greatly respected, virtuous, and enlightened monk, called a “National Preceptor,” served as the king’s advisor.Under the influence of benevolent Buddhism, the kings of Goryeo issued several bans on the slaughter of cattle-people, and those who violated the bans were strictly admonished with punishment for murder. Goryeo people did not like meat. Their plant-based dishes were highly developed and kept evolving. Moreover, when ancestral rites were held, they did not place offerings of fish-people or animal-people, but instead served cookies with fried flour.The historical value of the Tripiṭaka Koreana is described by UNESCO as “one of the most important and most complete corpus of Buddhist doctrinal texts in the world.” “Jikji” was written by the monk Baegun and was inscribed on the Memory of the World Register by UNESCO, with World Heritage status in 2001. The key surviving historical record of the Goryeo dynasty is “The History of Goryeo” or “Goryeosa.” It was composed during the reign of His Majesty King Sejong the Great, who was a vegetarian.During the Goryeo Dynasty, Kaesong was an international trading city, trading with the Arabian, Persian, Indian, Thai, Aulacese, also known as Vietnamese, and the Chinese Song dynasties. Even with the change of dynasties, Kaesong maintained its position as a center of domestic and foreign commerce. Kaesong’s long and historical reputation in the commercial and financial sector brought the Kaesong Industrial Complex to fruition in 2003. The construction of the Kaesong Industrial Complex was started jointly by the southern and northern parts of Korea.
The World Around Us
2022-03-12   375 Views
The World Around Us
2022-03-12

Dayak Losarang Community - Living in Harmony with Our Co-inhabitants, Part 2 of 2

19:41

Dayak Losarang Community - Living in Harmony with Our Co-inhabitants, Part 2 of 2

Living in harmony with other beings, their beliefs center around the idea that nature is the best teacher for humans. This spiritual community follows a vegan diet, shows compassion to all beings, and takes part in certain practices to purify themselves and realize their inner nature. The spokesman for the group, the honorable Mr. Wardi, continues to share with us about the Dayak Losarang Community who live in harmony with nature and also within the family.The pepe and kungkum rituals are a large part of the spiritual practices the community engages in and each part has significance. Mr. Wardi shared with us the purpose of the ritual what they want to achieve with these rituals. The Dayak Losarang Community uses the example of the model of the Five Pandavas with Semar as the wise Guru. Mr. Wardi explains the values taken from the Pandavas and Semar as the wise teacher.The Dayak Losarang community teaches the followers not to try to comprehend others, but to firstly learn for ourselves about what is right and wrong. Mr. Wardi shared with our viewers how to learn about ourselves and how it can be done. The Dayak Losarang teachings also aim to achieve self-purification.As Mr Wardi explains, the practitioners of Dayak Losarang Community have strong family ties and make sure their wives and families are provided for during the time of year when they focus on their spiritual practice. The Dayak Losarang people dress very simply, wearing only knee-length trousers, are bare-chested, without footwear and wear bamboo accessories. Mr. Wardi explains the philosophies that underly this simple way of dressing.The Community has hope that the future will bring peace to the world. When asked if there were any messages they would like to convey to our viewers regarding the huge problem of global warming facing the world today, the Community believes that learning to be in balance with nature is a good place to start. When asked about their reasons for being vegan, the Community agreed that it was the best option for the planet.
The World Around Us
2022-03-06   396 Views
The World Around Us
2022-03-06

Dayak Losarang Community - Living in Harmony with Our Co-inhabitants, Part 1 of 2

18:02

Dayak Losarang Community - Living in Harmony with Our Co-inhabitants, Part 1 of 2

In the Krimun village of western Java, Indonesia, a vegan spiritual group lives side by side with the surrounding community and is known to be honest, pure, friendly, and helpful. Founded in 1970, the formal name of this group is the Suku Dayak Adat Jawa Petani Bumi Segandu Dermayu Indramayu but they are known as the Dayak Losarang Community. The Reverend Master Eran Takmad Diningrat Gusti Alam is the founder of Dayak Losarang Community.The members of the group are known for their distinctive attire of black and white pants, with necklaces and bracelets on their hands and feet and no clothing on their upper bodies.The community believes that returning to nature is useful for teaching humans and that getting closer to nature is the essence of human life. Mr. Wardi shares with us the philosophy of “getting closer to nature” being the essence of human life. “In this universe, there are many life forms. One of them is invisible creatures. How do we also embrace the non-visible and, love them? There are also creatures that animate, such as fish, chickens, and others. We do not eat any animals because animals are fellow human beings, the creatures of God. Finally, there is another creature that breathes, the plant. They are not lifeless but breathing. Humans have blood, they have sap. We respect those three creatures: the unseen/invisible, animal and plant. As we respect humans, we also respect these three creatures.”The Segandu Indramayu community follows an annual ritual. During the space of a year, they use four months for spiritual practice or rituals and eight months for work. The ritual or spiritual practice is called “kungkum” and “pepe.” Before performing the “kungkum” and “pepe” rituals, practitioners will say some prayers, including “Praise of Nature,” “Chant of Alas Turi” and “pewayangan.”
The World Around Us
2022-02-27   448 Views
The World Around Us
2022-02-27

The Mystery of Ancient Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres, Part 2 of 2

13:02

The Mystery of Ancient Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres, Part 2 of 2

Today, we are again honored to have Dr. Francisco Corrales Ulloa, an archaeologist from the Anthropology and History Department of the National Museum of Costa Rica, to share with us his studies of the stone spheres. “So, it’s evident that they had the capacity to make these kind of works, enough technology, and that they were associated with their cosmovision, with their religious conceptions, even though we do not know many of them, but in the contexts in which we found them, they evidently had a social function and also a symbolic one.” “Animals had a very important role in religion or worldview, so we see a great representation of animals such as felines, jaguars, or other smaller ones, saurians, reptiles, lizards, crocodiles, and also of other animals. Animals that sometimes they had and respected, they were incorporated into the belief system. This same society that made the stone spheres were those that made the gold objects, which is so remarkable in Costa Rican archeology.” Along with the stone spheres, archaeologists have found settlements of ancient societies related to Central America. “This group of settlements represented a society that had a particular development, and in trying to understand the development of humanity as a whole, it was necessary to investigate and make the sites available to visitors or the nation.” In 2014, the “Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís” were collectively listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Dr. Corrales Ulloa reiterates why it is so important to protect the sites. “It forces us to take measures to conserve what are called the ‘outstanding values’ conserved in those sites. And one of them is integrity. As the zone is in such a low-lying area, at 10 meters above sea level, it is subject to the danger of flooding, and so it is threatened by climate change. And considering the impacts these floods have on this archaeological resource, this will obviously have to be taken into account in the management of these sites from now on.” All information concerning the scientific evidence of climate change and its solution is in Supreme Master Ching Hai’s Book, “From Crisis to Peace.” Free for download at: Crisis2Peace.org
The World Around Us
2022-01-14   371 Views
The World Around Us
2022-01-14

The Mystery of Ancient Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres, Part 1 of 2

11:21

The Mystery of Ancient Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres, Part 1 of 2

Across the Diquís Delta and on Isla del Caño of Costa Rica, one may find more than 300 stone balls of various sizes. These fascinating stone spheres, or “bolas de piedra” in Spanish, are commonly attributed to the extinct Diquís culture and are also sometimes referred to as the Diquís Spheres. However, their exact purpose and construction remain largely a mystery. In 2014, they were listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List as the “Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís.” To learn more about these remarkable stone spheres, we are honored to introduce Dr. Francisco Corrales Ulloa, an archaeologist from the History Anthropology Department of the National Museum of Costa Rica. Dr. Corrales Ulloa tells how the stone spheres were shaped. “These spheres of stone are very, very particular artifacts that break away a bit from the logic of other artifacts. They are very clearly inspired by elements of nature in animals or in humans. This concept of the sphericity is new, or is different, and becomes a characteristic of its groups. There are various explanations that have been proposed for its meaning; however, the evidence is very limited. The stone spheres stand out in that region in several factors. One, the period in which they were made – that is more than 1,000 years ago. Another is the quantity. They were also made in different sizes.” “And the other important element that we have with the spheres is the diversity of contexts. There are spheres in other parts of the world – no, it was not exclusive. But no other society produced them in such a large number, in such contexts, and in such materials.” Some of the spheres were arranged to form lines, circles, or triangles. Researchers ask themselves why the people would go through all the effort to create such elaborate and unique stonework. There are many theories: some people believe they came from Atlantis or were created by visiting extraterrestrials. Local legends hold that the rock was softened by the powerful magic of the ancient natives. “One of the most frequent questions is: How did they make them?”
The World Around Us
2022-01-07   646 Views
The World Around Us
2022-01-07

Judean Desert Caves: Safekeepers of Rare Biblical Treasures, Part 2 of 2

14:15

Judean Desert Caves: Safekeepers of Rare Biblical Treasures, Part 2 of 2

Dr. Oren Ableman, a researcher at the Israeli Antiquities Authority, spoke of how the scriptures were of immeasurable worth for humanity: “For the first time in over 60 years, we have fragments of a biblical book that were discovered in an archaeological excavation. It is important also because this is the first time when such fragments, found in an excavation, have been brought straight here to our laboratory. This means we have better documentation of their condition than any other previous discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”Astonishingly, some copies of the ancient manuscripts found in the Judean Desert caves are identical to the traditional text of the Hebrew Bible. Another small scroll records an early copy of the Ten Commandments, the grand description of their Divine revelation at Mount Sinai. One of the best preserved biblical manuscripts is the Book of Psalms, which contains 48 psalms. They include a prose passage that provides a reference to King David as the composer of the Book of Psalms, reading: “and David, the son of Jesse, was wise, and a light like the light of the Sun. And he wrote 3,600 psalms.”Among the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered were also non-biblical texts, which provide an additional glimpse into life during the Second Temple period, and an opportunity to understand the attitudes and aspirations of the people of that time. Some texts reflect the philosophy and life and of a distinguishing group called “Yahad,” meaning “community.”During a lecture in 2007, Supreme Master Ching Hai expounded on the Essenes. “According to this research, this book, to study and to practice the teachings of the Essenes is to re-awaken within ourselves an intuitive knowledge that can solve our problems and the problems of the world. Wow! Isn’t that great! I wish everybody practiced the teachings of the Essenes. We are, but not everybody else does, and that’s a pity because it’s such a treasure. Traces of the teachings have appeared in almost every country and religions. Its fundamental principles were taught in ancient Persia, Egypt, India, Tibet, China, Palestine, Greece, and many other countries.”
The World Around Us
2021-11-12   567 Views
The World Around Us
2021-11-12

Judean Desert Caves: Safekeepers of Rare Biblical Treasures, Part 1 of 2

14:05

Judean Desert Caves: Safekeepers of Rare Biblical Treasures, Part 1 of 2

Around year 132, conflict broke out in Judea. To defend the Jews of the Roman province, Simon bar Kokhba and his men created large numbers of underground hideout caves in towns and villages. In 1960, archaeologist Yigael Yadin excavated fragments of letters, writings, coins, and an ancient Greek copy of the biblical Book of The Twelve. During an operation to protect the Judean caves, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority announced in March 2021 that dozens of Dead Sea Scrolls fragments and other relics had been found. They were found between 1946 and 1956 by a team of archaeologists and three Bedouin shepherds, Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum'a Muhammed, and Khalil Musa. Upon entering the cave, the first Bedouin found a collection of large clay jars with lids and their contents intact. A closer look revealed old scrolls, some wrapped in linen and blackened with age. Amid regional turmoil in 1949, Syrian Archbishop Samuel secretly brought his precious four scrolls out of the country to the United States. Later in 1954, he placed them up for sale in a Wall Street Journal advertisement. Yigael Yadin, son of Professor Sukenik, bought these on behalf of the State of Israel. Yadin then united them with the three already at the Hebrew University. The Shrine of the Book was built to house these seven scrolls in 1965. In 1993, Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned the Dead Sea Scrolls during a lecture in Honolulu, USA. “The Christ’s teachings in His time and the Christian teachings at this time are all right. Both are all right. Maybe the present teaching of Christianity is missing, has been censored in some part, but this I dare not say, in case I’ll be in trouble. And the other teachings of Jesus while He was alive may be more and recorded, you see. According to the Dead Sea Scrolls that I have read, supposed to be very ancient. Even while Jesus was alive, it was recorded. There are many things - some things are missing in the Bible.”
The World Around Us
2021-11-08   518 Views
The World Around Us
2021-11-08

Palace of Fontainebleau: The Home of Kings

14:32

Palace of Fontainebleau: The Home of Kings

The Palace of Fontainebleau, or Château de Fontainebleau, is a majestic palace situated approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the southeast of Paris, France. With its 1,530 rooms, four courtyards and 130 hectares of luscious green surroundings, the Palace of Fontainebleau is one of the vastest palaces in the whole of Europe. Over the past 800 years, it has housed some 34 French monarchs, from Louis VII in the 12th century to Napoleon III in the 19th century. But the château was not always as magnificent as it is today. The charismatic and humble King Francis I was a well-loved leader, and is also remembered for the cultural rebirth and awakening that took place in France during his reign. The Renaissance had begun in Florence, Italy, and was characterized by a surge of interest in the classical arts and writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and the founding of a new way of thinking, awakening humans to greater possibilities. This new humanist vision is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such renowned polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. During this period, many beautiful buildings, magnificent statues, and glorious paintings were produced. Nothing paid a more perfect tribute to this revolution than the transformation of the medieval Fontainebleau Castle into the sumptuous Palace of Fontainebleau under the reign of King Francis I. Glorious representations of this new Renaissance-style can be seen in three historic rooms: the Francis I Gallery, the Duchess of Étampes’ chamber, and the ballroom. The gracefully decorated Palace of Fontainebleau was King Francis I’s largest building project and quickly became his favorite place of residence. He liked it so much that when he spoke of visiting Fontainebleau, he referred to it as “going home.”
The World Around Us
2021-10-28   627 Views
The World Around Us
2021-10-28

The Blue Mosque – Tomb of the Exalted

14:35

The Blue Mosque – Tomb of the Exalted

Situated near Afghanistan’s northern borders is Mazar-i-Sharif, which is the fourth-largest city of Afghanistan. Mazar-i-Sharif means “Noble Shrine” or “Tomb of the Exalted,” and its origins are enshrined in several centuries of local legend and religious traditions. The name is a reference to the city’s majestic center piece, a beautiful mausoleum of Islamic inspired architecture, “The Shrine of Ali” or “The Blue Mosque.” Its incredible edifices of shimmering lapis lazuli, silver, and gold, are truly spectacular to behold. For centuries, the site of the Blue Mosque has been an important pilgrimage destination of Shia, Sunni, and Sufi Muslims, Zoroastrians, as well as a place where celebrants of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, would gather annually. The Holy Shrine of Ali has a reputation of emanating an aura of peace and wellbeing, greatly benefiting those who visit to pay their respects.Beneath the largest cupola, or dome, measuring 15 meters (49 feet) in width, lies the main tomb chamber, built hundreds of years earlier. A marble slab near the tomb is inscribed, “Ali, Lion of God.” It was, and still is, a characteristic of Islamic culture to perform burials at existing tomb sites. The biggest day of the year for the Blue Mosque is Nowruz, the Persian New Year, a date that has been celebrated in the region for about 3,000 years. With roots in Zoroastrian culture, the day marks the northern hemisphere’s spring equinox. Expressions of spiritual renewal, love, peace, and goodwill are exchanged by a broad cross-section of the community. It is a special day filled with many expressions of unity. The current situation in Afghanistan has dominated world news mid-2021 and caused deep concern across the globe. Our hearts go out to the citizens of Afghanistan. We pray that all people may live in peace, freedom, and dignity under wise and compassionate leadership, in Almighty Allah’s Merciful Blessings.
The World Around Us
2021-09-17   546 Views
The World Around Us
2021-09-17

Kvarner Gulf: Picture Perfect Croatian Jewel

15:55

Kvarner Gulf: Picture Perfect Croatian Jewel

A land of unique physical beauty, Croatia boasts rolling inland hills, fertile plains, and gorgeous coastal shores, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Off Croatia’s northern coastline is the Kvarner Gulf, a haven with picture-perfect scenery. The vivid hues of holiday villas contrast with the stony inlets, and many intriguing islands of ancient limestone karst are set like immortal gems in a bed of dazzling turquoise that is the Adriatic Sea. Situated at the central crest of the Kvarner Gulf is Croatia’s third-largest city and main seaport, Rijeka. Rijeka holds the honorable title of “European Capital of Culture,” given by the European Union in 2020. Of the islands and islets of the Kvarner Gulf, perhaps the most famous is Rab. Rab is one of Croatia’s largest satellite isles and the southernmost island in the Kvarner Gulf. Legend has it that the island of Rab is protected by the gods. Indeed, Mount Kamenjak serves to protect the town of Rab from the icy blasts of the north in winter. The largest of all islands in the Adriatic Sea is also found in the Kvarner Gulf. At just over 400 square kilometers (154 square miles) in size, Krk also has the largest permanent population of the islands, with approximately 20,000 inhabitants. The island of Cres, the second largest of the Adriatic islands, is home to only about 3,000 people. At the center of the island is the unique Lake Vrana. One of the purest fresh water sources in all of Europe, its impressive depth of 74 meters (243 feet) reaches below sea level. The town of Beli is a sanctuary for wildlife, and the nearby cliff faces are home to a thriving population of Griffon vultures, which the local community actively protect. In the 19th century Austro-Hungarian Empire, Losinj was known as the “healing island” with the healthiest climate. Losinj is characterized by rolling tree-covered hills, and today it is a haven for pleasure boaters who anchor in its numerous natural harbors. The Kvarner Gulf certainly offers spectacular sights with a rich cultural history. Let us strive to be gentler stewards of our planet, so that such pristine beauties may continue to flourish for many generations to come.
The World Around Us
2021-08-21   616 Views
The World Around Us
2021-08-21

Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 3 of 3

17:36

Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 3 of 3

In 1999, Dr. Ernst Muldashev, a Russian ophthalmologist, went on an expedition to uncover the mysteries surrounding Mount Kailash, bringing a team of expert geologists, physicians, and historians. Dr. Muldashev and his team spent a few months camping around the foot of the sacred mountain and came to the conclusion that Mount Kailash is human-made and was built in ancient times. They connected Mount Kailash with the Giza and Teotihuacan pyramids, and considered the idea that they may all be centers for the supernatural. “What did we see? We saw the City of the Pyramids. It was around 50 kilometers (31 miles) in diameter. It was in the shape of a square rather than a circle, and it was located on a flat area in the Tibetan mountains. The average height of the mountains was almost 6 kilometers (8 miles). We saw lots and lots of different pyramids, monuments, and some unusual structures. It was a kind of temple with no windows or doors. It was really something!” Professor Muldashev declared, “This is the largest megalithic complex on Earth built by any kind of civilization.” He also said that there are more than 100 pyramids of different shapes and sizes in its surroundings. Dr. Ernst Muldashev published the extraordinary findings of his Himalayan expedition in a book entitled “Where Do We Come From?” He included reports of several Tibetan lamas telling how there are many mysterious hidden paths to cities inside the Hollow Earth. Under Mount Kailash are two Hollow Earth cities, Shambhala and Agartha. In 2014, Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned the gentle people living inside the Earth. “Master, will the people living underground ever come up to the surface to live, or will it never be safe enough for them?” “Well, it depends on humanity, the humans on this planet, on the surface. Okay? If we become more kind, more generous, more peaceful, then maybe they’ll just come up. But there are many of them who come up and down already. Just, they come up and down, but not many of them want to come and stay with us. Our world is too polluted for them, and too unkind. They are completely vegan. They don’t like war. They love animals. They love each other.”
The World Around Us
2021-07-12   1447 Views
The World Around Us
2021-07-12

Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 2 of 3

18:18

Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 2 of 3

At the heart of Himalayan Tibet, Mount Kailash is widely considered to be one of the most sacred sites on Earth. According to the Tibetan religion Bon, transcendental Lord Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, the founder of Bon, entered western Tibet between 18,000 to 16,000 years ago. After defeating him, Tonpa Shenrab renounced His royal status to focus on meditation. Lord Tonpa Shenrab also stopped the practice of animal sacrifice performed by locals and suggested using wheat and grain effigies as a substitute in ceremonies. In the Bon religion, Mount Kailash is referred to as Yungdrung Gu Tse, the Nine-Story Swastika Mountain. The right-turning swastika signifies the sun, and left-turning swastika signifies the night. Mount Kailash is also referred to as Khang Rinpoche by Tibetan Buddhists. Guru Rinpoche is said to be the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, whose incarnation Shakyamuni Buddha had prophesized. He established the “School of Secrets,” initiated many disciples, and authored many texts while in Tibet, including the “Tibetan Book of the Dead.” Guru Rinpoche left His body to dwell in the pure Buddhafield, Akanishta, the highest conceivable realm on Mount Meru. Although Holy Mount Kailash is known as unclimbable, according to the most famous legends, one Master successfully made the ascent: Milarepa, the famous 12th century enlightened Master. As is mentioned in Sutras, Milarepa was instructed by His great Master, His Holiness Marpa the Translator, to go to the sacred Mount Kailash to meditate on the knowledge He possessed. It is said that the couloir in the south face of Mount Kailash was made by Naro Bon-Chung's drum. Milarepa then tossed a handful of snow, creating a miniature Mount Kailash for Naro Bon-Chung. The legend of Milarepa’s ascent of Mount Kailash contributed to the establishment of Buddhism in the region, although many practitioners incorporate aspects of Bonpo teachings with those of the Buddha and Tibetan Buddhism. In 1967, Robert Coon published a book entitled “Earth Chakras.” The chakras are believed to be the energy centers in our body. Similarly, the seven planetary chakras are the energy centers of the Earth. Considered by many the most sacred of all mountains and located in the Himalayas, Mount Kailash represents the crown chakra.
The World Around Us
2021-07-09   1644 Views
The World Around Us
2021-07-09

Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 1 of 3

17:09

Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 1 of 3

At the heart of Himalayan Tibet, standing 6,638 meters (21,778 feet) high in the Kailash Range, Mount Kailash is widely considered to be one of the most sacred sites on Earth. Its name is derived from the word “kelāsa” in Sanskrit, meaning “crystal.” The Tibetan name for the mountain is Gang Rinpoche, which can be translated as “precious jewel of snows.” The Kailash Mansarovar area has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its outstanding natural beauty and also its cultural heritage. Each day, pilgrims join processions around the base of Mount Kailash, a ritual that can take anywhere from three days to several weeks to complete. The 52-kilometer (32-mile) circumambulation is known as “Kora” in Tibetan. In her book “Magic and Mystery in Tibet,” Belgian-French explorer Alexandra David-Néel described witnessing a monk practicing lung-gum-pa: “The man didn’t run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps.” According to Hindu scripture, the seven immortal Saptarishis work for the evolution of humanity, uplifting Planet Earth by enabling the will of the Divine Lord Shiva, who dwells within Mount Kaeilash with his heavenly consort Shakti, who is also known as Parvati. In 1993, Supreme Master Ching Hai also mentioned this legendary story. “Shiva was one of the past Masters. He was supposed to be the god of destruction. He meditated all the time in the Himalayas, deep in the meditation, never stirred. So they sent out a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful fairy. Her name was Parvati. But she couldn't stir him. So, she went to Mount Kailash, which is the most famous and holy mountain according to Indian belief. And after some time, she attained the blissful state.” Near the northern face of Mount Kailash, seven stupas can be found. They symbolize the axis mundi representation of the holy mountain as the legendary Mount Meru, the center of all universes. In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology, Mount Meru is the axis mundi, the central point, of all physical, metaphysical, and spiritual universes. The lapis-blue color on the side of Mount Meru, facing Earth, makes Mount Meru invisible to us; however, Mount Kailash is believed to be its Earthly manifestation.
The World Around Us
2021-07-02   1734 Views
The World Around Us
2021-07-02

A Thousand Years’ Faith-Keeping: Pechersk Lavra and Saint Sophia Cathedral

15:44

A Thousand Years’ Faith-Keeping: Pechersk Lavra and Saint Sophia Cathedral

The Pechersk Lavra of Kiev Ukraine is a 1,000-year-old Christian sanctuary that still functions as a monastery and is the official residence of the head of the Church of Ukraine. This famous religious site was voted by the citizens of its great country to be one of the seven wonders of the Ukraine. It is also one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for Eastern Orthodox Christians. Pechersk Lavra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, together with another famous religious building, the Saint Sophia Cathedral of Kiev. The unique subterranean cave monastery of Pechersk Lavra is made up of more than 600 meters (0.37 miles) of underground passageways that reach depths of up to 15 meters (49 feet). The site began as a humble place of retreat for a monk, the Venerable Saint Anthony, who dug the first cave in the 11th century. The essence of the founding saints of Pechersk Lavra are said to be reflected in its two wells, one dug by the founder, the Venerable Saint Anthony, and the other by his successor, Saint Theodosius. One water is said to reflect kindness, and the other a more strict and disciplinary nature. The first aboveground center of prayer for the monks of Pechersk Lavra was the Dormition, or Assumption Cathedral, that was constructed in the latter part of the 11th century. The legend also maintains that the Holy Mother also showed the chosen architects a vision of the “temple in the sky,” upon which the cathedral was inspired. It was in the early 11th century, 1037, that Saint Sophia Cathedral was inaugurated in dedication to the ideal of wisdom by Prince Yaroslav the Wise. Known as the Church of Holy, or Divine, Wisdom, the cathedral was the social and political hub of Kievan Rus' culture for hundreds of years. Saint Sophia of Kiev is one of the oldest cathedrals in Eastern Europe and the oldest cathedral in the city. During the Renaissance in the 17th century, renovations in the Ukrainian Baroque style was carried out by Italian architect Octaviano Mancini. These renovations give Saint Sophia Cathedral the distinction of one of the most attractive churches in the world.
The World Around Us
2021-04-30   828 Views
The World Around Us
2021-04-30

The Fascinating Mystery of the United Kingdom’s Underground Tunnels

16:52

The Fascinating Mystery of the United Kingdom’s Underground Tunnels

For decades, Great Britain’s mysterious tunnel systems have been a source of fascination, and authorities have been conspicuously secretive about them until recently. New documents released by the British Land Registry in 2017 revealed the existence of a network of tunnels under the streets of Britain, with details on 3.5 million land and property titles under the ownership of councils, housing associations, companies, and corporations such as the Post Office, British Telecom, and the Ministry of Defense. Private photographs and documents of the Cabinet’s rooms, built in 1939 and used by His Excellency Sir Winston Churchill, were also released for the first time in 2016. The protected military accommodation is linked by tunnels and elevator shafts. West of London is another covert underground Ministry of Defense site called MoD Corsham, formerly known as Basil Hill Barracks, located between the towns of Corsham and Box, near Bristol. Commissioned in 1955, the enormous 35-acre complex measures more than a kilometer (0.62 miles) long and is 37 meters (121 feet) underground. The underground city housed hospitals, kitchens, launderettes, canteens, and accommodation. An underground lake provided drinking water and an underground power station had enough fuel in store to keep the generators running for up to three months. Heading northeast of London, another famous set of underground tunnels known as the Victoria Tunnel is in Newcastle. Measuring about 3.6 kilometers (2.25 miles) long, its construction took 200 men two years and 10 months to complete. Between 1842 and the 1860s, the Victoria Tunnel was used to transport coal from Spital Tongues Colliery to the banks of the River Tyne for loading onto ships. In 1939, the tunnel was reopened to house 9,000 residents as a shelter from air conflict. Britain’s fascinating underground tunnels are not only historically revealing but also inspirational, telling stories of mystery and times long passed, sparking the imagination and also informing our future.
The World Around Us
2021-03-26   1674 Views
The World Around Us
2021-03-26
Go to page
App
Scan the QR code,
or choose the right phone system to download
iPhone
Android
Subtitles