Well I'm not going to lie, I had no clue what significance these monuments had; until I looked them up. If that doesn't make me feel a bit ignorant towards world history I don't know what doesn't.I decided to focus on the Placio Real, Madrid. After researching this historical landmark. I've concluded the Placio Real, Madrid is the largest building in Madrid,and it's the largest royal palace in all of western Europe.However, I was most surprised this building was originally constructed by the Moors. I was surprised because I thought the Moors only had control of southern Spain and all along the Mediterranean. Source:http://www.gomadrid.com/sights/royal-palace.html
The two historical sites I saw over break were Altare de la Patria and the Ponte Vecchio. The Altare was in Rome and it is a monument that was constructed in honor of the first King of unified Italy. It was started in 1911 and completed in 1935, so it was being worked on all throughout the time period we have been studying. Interestingly, we talked with an Italian while we were in front of the Altare and he said that most Italians are don't like the monument because they feel like it is completely unnecessary and overdone. The Ponte Vecchio, which is in Florence, has more of a direct relationship with WWII. This is the only bridge in Florence that wasn't bombed and destroyed by the Germans. All the other bridges were destroyed by the Germans during their retreat, but this one was left intact because of an express order by Hitler to leave it intact.
The postcard I collected on the Camino had a map of the different pilgrammage routes to Santiago. One of them at the very north of Spain went through Oveido. Oveido is the city the miners took over as a base during the strike of Asturias in October 1934. This strike turned into a violent vy for dominance over the north and took place during the second of the two terms during the Second Republic. It was during this that the Anarchists and Socialists formed the Workers Alliance which strengthened their protest significantly.The second picture I took was of the Canalejas statue in Alicante (by the beach). Canalejas was an important socialist leader at the beginning of the 20th century during the period of the Restoration. He spent one or two terms as the President of the Council of Ministers then.
One of the historical places I visited was also the Palacio Real in Madrid, which was the residence of the royal families. It was absolutely beautiful! Like Katie said, I found it interesting that it is the largest royal palace in Europe. I took the tour, but you are only allowed to about 50 rooms out of the thousands that are in there. I thought it was so crazy that there were so many different extravagant rooms for simple activities. For example, there were about 100 "sitting" rooms all amazingly decorated, but more interesting were the blue porcelain room, the green porcelain room, and the red reception room. I also visited the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I know this site isn't directly tied in to what we have been studying but I think it represents religion and the church. Also, I believe that when the construction began, and for the majority of the time it was initially being built, represents Spain's increasingly revolutionary ideas and change. The temple was so amazing and breathtaking! I was there for nearly 4 hours. La Sagrada Familia is a temple in which Gaudi began building and never finished. After he passed away, construction was stopped until the 1950s. Ever since then it still continues to be worked on. All profits from the entrance fee and elevator charge goes to constructing the temple.
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostella at the end of the Camino was absolutely beautiful. After walking from Sarria, about 115 km from Santiago, it was so great to finally reach our goal. Different parts of the cathedral were built at very different times. The Platerias was built in the 12th century and the Obradoiro facade was built between the 17th and 18th centuries. The Obradoiro facade was built to protect the Portico de la Gloria which is the cathedral's main claim to fame. Pilgrims have been visiting the cathedral in Santiago de Compostella for centuries. Apart from being a pilgrimage route for catholics, the camino also used to be a form of penance for those who had sinned against the church. It is amazing to think about the fact that the cathedral was built for pilgrims, many centuries ago, and has now become one of the most visited locations in Spain.
I took the picture of the Unknown Soldier flame. It was located at the Arc de Triophe. It is a monument in Paris that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Arc de Triomphe, honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Underneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.Charles Godefroy made the first flight through the Arc de Triomphe, on 7 August 1919. Following its construction, the Arc de Triomphe became the rallying point of French troops parading after successful military campaigns and for the annual Bastille Day Military Parade. Famous victory marches around or under the Arc have included the Germans in 1871, the French in 1919, the Germans in 1940, and the French and Allies in 1944 and 1945. A United States postage stamp from 1945 shows the Arc de Triomphe in the background as victorious American troops march down the Champs-Élysées and U.S. airplanes fly overhead on 29 August 1944.The Unknown Soldier's flame is always lit, all day, every day.I was surprised to find out that a plane had flown through the Arc, and that the Arc was famous for many events. I never would have guessed it was that important, aside from the fact the Unknown Soldier is laid there.Source- http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/Paris/Monuments-Paris/Arc-CDG.shtml
Like Dan, I also took a picture of the Altare de Patria in Rome. We we're all sitting on the lower steps of this monument not even realizing what it really was until we asked someone. This monument is absolutely beautiful, however we did not get to see it because it is gated off and they have guards all around it. Like Dan said, it is a monument is in honor of Victor Emmanuel. And it is true, many of the Italians view it as unnecessary and too large.The other picture I took was of the oldest gambling and first opened casino, in Venice. This casino was opened in 1638. It became a main attraction and very important to the culture in Venice. During the 19th and 20th centuries, all of the wealthy and important people would go there. This also doesn't really tie into what we have been discussing in class , however it shows the start of new ideas and changes in Italy. It is extremely beautiful and very important to Italy.
I also saw the Arc de Triomphe. I had no idea what the historical significance was until I went and saw it. This monument honors all of those that died during the French Revolution and Napoleonic War. Also, underneath it is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI. The Arc de Triomphe was designed in 1806. All of the streets surrounding the Arc are named after French military leaders.I was also surprised to learn that a biplane was once flown through it in celebration of the end of hostilities in WWI. I also saw the John Lennon wall in Prague. I actually didn't know the wall represented anything more than the life and death of John Lennon.The wall also represents the time of "Lennonism" where students were lashing out against the communist regime. John Lennon's songs praised freedom and peace and so in honor the wall was painted. The communist police consistently tried to cover up the wall but students would just paint right back over it. The wall represents free speech and the nonviolent rebellion against the Czech regime.
Over break I saw the Altare de la Patria in Rome and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The Altare de la Patria is also known as the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II. It was built in 1935 and its made up of white marble. Over all the building is very impressive, you can easily spot it from anywhere in the city. When I first saw it I thought it was a lot older because it is near the Colosseum and other major Roman ruins. The monument also holds the tomb of the unknown soldier with an eternal flame built after World War I. Like Dan said we spoke with an Italian about it because we were unsure of what it was when we first saw it. He said that many Italians dont really like it because its way too much in their opinion. The Anne Frank House is a museum dedicated to Anne Frank who wrote a diary which later became a book about her experiences while hiding from the Nazis. Anne Frank along with four other people hid in secret rooms in the rear of the house. The museum itself has exhibits that highlight persecution and discrimination.
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