torsdag den 9. april 2015

Belarus - Struve Geodetic Arc

The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.

onsdag den 8. april 2015

Korea - Namhansanseong

Namhansanseong was designed as an emergency capital for the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), in a mountainous site 25 km south-east of Seoul. Built and defended by Buddhist monk-soldiers, it could accommodate 4,000 people and fulfilled important administrative and military functions. Its earliest remains date from the 7th century, but it was rebuilt several times, notably in the early 17th century in anticipation of an attack from the Sino-Manchu Qing dynasty. The city embodies a synthesis of the defensive military engineering concepts of the period, based on Chinese and Japanese influences, and changes in the art of fortification following the introduction from the West of weapons using gunpowder. A city that has always been inhabited, and which was the provincial capital over a long period, it contains evidence of a variety of military, civil and religious buildings and has become a symbol of Korean sovereignty.

UNESCO Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity - Colombia

Every year during the four days before Lent, the Carnival de Barranquilla offers a repertory of dances and musical expressions originating from different Colombian sub-cultures. Because of its geographical location situated on the Caribbean coast and the commercial development during the colonial period, the city of Barranquilla became one of the country’s busiest trading centres and a place where European, African, and indigenous peoples and cultures converged.
The blending of various local traditions permeates numerous aspects of the carnival, particularly dances (as exemplified by the mico y micas from the Americas, the African congo and the paloteo of Spanish origin), musical genres (the predominant cumbia and variants such as the puya and porro) and folk instruments (tambora and allegre drums, maraca, claves, etc.). Carnival music is generally performed by drum ensembles or by groups playing a variety of wind instruments. The profuse material culture of handcrafted objects includes floats, costumes, head ornaments and animal masks. Groups of masqueraded dancers, actors, singers and instrumentalists delight crowds with theatrical and musical performances based on historical as well as current events. Contemporary political life and figures are satirized through mocking speeches and song lyrics that lend a burlesque atmosphere to the carnival.
With its growing success in the twentieth century, Barranquilla’s carnival took on the trappings of a professional event, receiving wide media coverage. This development generates economic benefits for many low-income families, but the growing commercialisation may at the same time constitute a threat to the many traditional expressions.