On the fourth anniversary of starting my Challenge Ten project I reached the Australian city of Melbourne.
Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia and known as a leading financial centre. In 1835 Melbourne was founded, then known as the Colony of New South Wales, renamed after the British Prime Minister of the time. Today the city has the highest percentage of cafes and restaurants per capita than any other place in the world, and the only city with five international standard sporting facilities.
Melbourne is also a well-known international cultural centre with some of the world’s biggest festivals, a strong Australian film and television hub, and a a city-wide love of live performance. The city is also known for its street art, the presence of which in Melbourne is one of the country’s most popular cultural attractions.
Gyor, located halfway between Vienna and Budapest, is a historic city that dates back as far as 500 BCE. The city was originally inhabited by the Celts who called it Arrabona. Its ancient core can be found where the three main rivers upon which Gyor sits, Danube, Raba, and Rabca rivers, where one can see Kaptalandomb, a 13th century tower and 15th century cathedral, among other sights. The city has seen a great deal of turmoil in its history, including a Mongol occupation and attempted seizure by the Czechs, but today exists as one of the main regional centres of Hungary. Notable people from Gyor include composer Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, sculptor Tamas Bakocz, and painter Desiderius Orban.
Munich’s native name Munchen, is derived from Old High German, meaning “by the monk’s place”, as represented on the city’s coat of arms by a depiction of a monk. The city has an urban population of about 2.6 million, making it the largest city in the state Bavaria. One of the most famous spectacles that Munich has to offer is the traditional Oktoberfest, an important part of Bavarian culture, held each September. During the festival, the region showcases its finest beers, of which Munich is the third-largest producer, and local cuisine, including the Weißwurst (“white sausage”) and Schweinsbraten (pot roasted pork). As for sports, Munich is home to the football team FC Bayern Munchen, the most successful club in German football.
Located near the French border, Karlsruhe is a city rich in political history; the city is built around Karlsruhe Palace, built in 1715, which is now the seat of the two highest courts in Germany. The city, including the Palace, was reduced to rubble by Allied bombing in the Second World War, but was rebuilt after the war. Today Karlsruhe houses classic European architecture, including the Marktplatz, a stone pyramid marking the grave of the city’s founder Charles III William, the Durlacher Turmberg, a 13th century keep with a lookout tower over the city, and the St. Stephen parish church, considered to be a masterpiece of neoclassical architecture. Famous people who have come out of Karlsruhe include footballer Dennis Aogo, Helloween singer Andi Deris, and Nobel Prize recipient Richar Wallstatter.
Situated next to the French border, Saarbrucken is a metropolitan area that was founded in 1909 with the merger of the three small towns Saarbrucken, St. Johann, and Malstatt-Burbach. The city has seen many famous people, including film director Max Ophuls, singer Sandra Cretu and singer Nicole. There are also many popular landmarks in the city like St. Johanner Markt, a long, busy shopping street filled with life, Nauwieserviertel a historical neighbourhood in the city lush with interesting shops, cafes, and restaurants, and the river Saar and its stone bridges for which the city is named (brucken is the German word for “bridges”).
Luxembourg, with a population of just over 500,000 residents, is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historical importance dating back to the Roman era. Having three official languages in the heart of Western Europe, the city is also known as Stad Letzebuerg in Luxembourgish, Ville de Luxembourg in French, and Stadt Luxembourg in German.
Some of the most notable features in the city of Luxembourg include the gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Grand Ducal Palace, the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Mudam (abbreviated from the French Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean). Victor Hugo stayed in Luxembourg once, and the house in which he lived has now been turned into a popular museum for the area.
Brussels is the largest city and capital of Belgium, as well as the capital of the EU as a whole. Historically Dutch-speaking, the city underwent a major shift toward French in the late 19th century, and although it is officially bilingual today, the majority of the population in Brussels is French-speaking.
Belgium is known for its beer and offers over 1,000 different varieties form more than 150 acclaimed breweries; the Belgians themselves drink an average of 150 litres of beer per person each year. A city with about 1.8 million people, Brussels has been home of such celebrities as actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, the creator of The Adventures of Tintin, Hergé, and surrealist René Margritte.
Calais is the closest town to England, sitting along the Dover Strait. The port city has been integral to French transportation and trading throughout history, even being come to known as the “brightest jewel in the English crown” during medieval times as a result. It is now linked to Dover, England by underground rail and an estimated 24 million people pass through the city each year. The most notable landmarks in Calais include the Place d’Armes, one of the largest squares in the city which holds a market twice each week, the Hôtel de Ville, a Renaissance-style structure that was built almost one hundred years ago, and the Église Notre-Dame, a powerful 13th century cathedral which is known for its eclectic style of architecture and pieces of art within. The city itself has a population of about 4 million.
Historically, London has always been the core of the English capital with roughly the same boundaries as the Roman capital Londinium and medieval London. Today, London is home to about 9.7 million people including actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Emilia Clarke, and Carey Mulligan. A vast city filled with countless local attractions, some of the most popular London landmarks include the London Eye, a giant ferris wheel on the bank of the River Thames, the Natural History Museum, boasting one of the world’s finest collections of exhibits, and iconic Buckingham Palace, home of the Royal Family. In addition, the London Underground is the world’s oldest underground railway network, and one of the largest.
At 8pm on Sunday, 23rd February, join Breifne Earley as he attempts to raise awareness of suicide prevention by trying to break the current world record for cycling around the world. Raffle on the evening will include a pair of tickets to Garth Brooks in Croke Park in July 2014.
Musical entertainment on the night will include Verona Riots with more acts to be confirmed. Light refreshments will be served during the evening. Admission is free but donations will be greatly appreciated.
Ensure your place at the party by getting your tickets here. Tickets are strictly limited.
At 8pm on Friday, 21st February in the Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, join Breifne Earley as he attempts to raise awareness of suicide prevention by trying to break the current world record for cycling around the world. Raffle on the evening will include a pair of tickets to Garth Brooks in Croke Park and a signed Leitrim Football jersey.
Musical entertainment on the night will include Enda McDonagh & Aidan Ward. Light refreshments will be served during the evening. Admission is free but donations will be greatly appreciated.
Mount Rushmore is a famous American icon. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the remarkable landmark has the faces of American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The structure took 14 years to construct and cost almost one million dollars in total, completed in 1941.
Today the memorial is visited by nearly three million people every year who go to learn about the rich history with a number of different guided tours and enjoy special events such as an annual Independence Day celebration. Amazingly, the great carvings stand over 5,500 feet above sea level and each head is as tall as a six-storey building.
Located over 5,000 feet above sea level in the midst of the majestic Rocky Mountain, Denver has a population of about 2.8 million people. In 1858 Denver was founded as a mining town, and it played an important part of the great Gold Rush which buoyed the economy of western North America in its early days of settlement. Today, Denver is home to the second-largest performing arts complex, as well as a number of museums and art galleries. In fact, Denver has one of the largest arts economies per capita in the entire country. The city is also one of the sunniest places in the United States with roughly 300 days of sunshine every year—even more than in sunny places like San Diego and Miami Beach.
Las Vegas, U.S.A. is a city famous for its nightlife. The casino capital of the United States, the city is also home to many exciting bars, restaurants, and nightly renowned shows like Cirque de Soleil and the Blue Man Group. Las Vegas is home to a great number of talented people including singer Celine Dion, tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, and comedy icon Jerry Lewis.
In addition to its booming casino and nightclub life, Las Vegas has become more and more family-friendly over past years with landmarks such as old nuclear bomb testing facilities, amusement parks, and a historical sites that depict the stories of the original settlers to the area.
New Orleans, located in the southeast of the United States, was named after the Duke of Orleans in the 18th century. The city is world-famous for its cuisine which is an amalgamation of many different cultures including French, Cajun, an native American, with specialties such as pastries like beignets and Po’boys, and Creole dishes like gumbo and jambalaya. Considered to be the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans is also known for its music and being the home of the lively celebration Mardi Gras which dates back to French colonial times.
Home of many famous people, New Orleans is best known as the home of celebrities like comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, chef Emeril Lagasse, and American football stars Archie, Eli, and Peyton Manning.
Detroit, located on the Canada-United States border is known for its expansive contribution to the American automotive industry, which has given it the nicknames of “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city has seen much growth over the past several years and now has a population of about 5.2 million residents. Detroit is also well-known for its NHL hockey team the Detroit Red Wings, a hallmark of North American hockey.
Celebrities from Detroit include actor Tim Allen, musician Alice Cooper, and director Francis Ford Coppola. The city is also home to fine landmarks such as the Ste. Anne de Detroit which was founded in 1701 and is now the second-oldest operating Roman Catholic parish in the U.S.
Niagara Falls is a city in New York State that is named for the great waterfall on the Niagara River. It sits across the river from a Canadian city of the same name. Niagara Falls has a population of about 50,000 residents and is a popular tourist destination in the United States for its spectacular scenic views. Visitors enjoy such sights as the Cave of Winds located behind the Falls themselves, and the Maid of the Mist, a local ferry that runs along the Niagara river to give a close-up view of the majestic landmark.
Located in southeast Ireland, Wexford is a delightful little town with a population of just under 20,000 residents and a history dating back almost one thousand years. Today Wexford is a bustling centre of culture and local economy. The city has an abundance of historical landmarks, including the Kennedy Homestead which has housed five generations of the Kennedy dynasty, the Hook Lighthouse at the tip of the Hook Peninsula which is one of the top attractions in Ireland, and the Irish National Heritage Park which houses 35 acres of rich Irish landscape with an authentic recreation of Ireland’s heritage.
Letterkenny, located on the River Swilly, has a population of about 20,000 residents and started out as a small market town at the start of the 17th century. The town houses such monumental structures as St. Eunan’s Cathedral and St. Columbia with one of the tallest steeples in Ireland, the Rockhill House, an 18th-century classical house, and the An Grianan Theatre with the largest stage in all of Ireland.
Other local attractions include Mount Errigal, the tallest of the mountain chain known as the “Seven Sisters” and considered Ireland’s most iconic mountain, and the historic Glenveagh Castle with many beautiful gardens and walks.
Shannon, or Shannon Town, located on the river for which it was named, is a new place that was only built in the ‘60s and declared town status in 1982. Since its inception, the town has flourished faster than had been expected and now has a population of over 10,000 residents.
The beautiful countryside boasts many local sites such as the Cliffs of Moher rising 120 metres out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Burren, one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe, and the Banratty Castle, a 15th-century structure that sits today as a major tourist attraction famous for its medieval banquets.
Leitrim Village, a small village on the beginning of the Shannon-Erne Waterway canal is a lively centre lush with green forest and local pubs, restaurants, and attractions. Some of the most notable attractions in Leitrim include Parke’s Castle, a grand 17th-century structure that once housed the family of Robert Parke, and the Glencar waterfall, an impressive waterfall situated amid a peaceful glen.
Leitrim Village has been the home of such famous people as poets William Henry Drummond and Susan Mitchell, and politicians John Willoughby Crawford and Patrick Duigenan. The village also houses the popular indoor Leitrim Shooting Gallery and the Leitrim Inn.
The second largest city on the island of Ireland, Belfast has a population of about 580,000 residents. Historically, the city is famous for being the place where the iconic ship RMS Titanic was built on what is now the world’s most productive shipyard. Today the city is an industrial hub in Ireland and has seen a great deal of growth in recent years.
Some of the most notable attractions in Belfast include the Albert Clock, an 1865 Gothic-style clock tower standing over 34 metres high, and the Alexandra Graving Dock and HMS Caroline, the historic shipyard. Celebrities from Belfast include actors Jamie Dornan and Kenneth Branagh.
Dublin, derived from the Irish name Dubhlinn meaning “black pool”, is the capital city of Ireland as well as the most populous. A common tourist destination, Dublin has many attractions and landmarks including the world-famous Guinness Storehouse where you can tour the old brewing facilities and then have a pint while overlooking a 360-degree view of the city at the Gravity Bar. There is also the Dublin Castle, a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture with historic museums and gardens as well as luxurious State Apartments.
Some notable faces who call Dublin home include actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Colin Farrell, as well as a number of talented musicians including the band U2, Sinead O’Connor, and Van Morrison.
Dover is known across the world for its iconic White Cliffs of Dover, whose brilliance can be seen all the way from France. These cliffs are what gave Britain its nickname “Albion”, meaning “white”. The city is also well-known for its Dover Castle, a medieval castle that has served on England’s line of defense throughout history. The city has a population of about 34,000 people, and is the main linking port to continental Europe because of its close proximity to the French town of Calais, just 34 km away. Singer/songwriter Joss Stone calls Dover home, as did record-breaking cricketer Wally Hammond.
Known as “the Temple City of India”, Bhubaneswar has a vast history reaching back over 3,000 years. Today, the city is a centre of economic and religious importance in Eastern India with about 800,000 residents in the greater metropolitan area. The city itself is loosely divided into two areas: the urban development area, which was one of the first planned cities in India, and the old town, or “Temple Town”, characterized by a legendary estimated 1,000 ancient temples including the Lingaraj, Rajarini, and Muktesvara temples. Bhubaneswar is also famous for being the origin of the Indian sweet rasgulla, enjoyed today all across the world.
Gunter, with a population of just over one million people, is an Indian centre of learning and commerce known for its exports of chillies, cotton, and tobacco. Like the rest of India, Guntur has a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant city life. Just 22 km away are the Undavalli caves, which were carved out of a hill embedded in rolling green countryside in the 4th century AD. Also nearby is the Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, which sees about 7,000 different species of birds each year.
Guntur itself can be seen as a mixture of both urban and rural lifestyles, known for its amalgamation of traditional Indian and western cultures in dress and cuisine. In addition, though the majority of residents of Guntur are Hindu, the city has a place for all religions, with a strong Muslim, Christian, and Jewish presence.
Chennai, known as the “Gateway to South India”, is one of the most important metropolises in India, and is famous for its classical dance, music, architecture, and art. In sports, cricket is well-loved in Chennai, having been introduced in 1864 by the British.
The city is situated along the Bay of Bengal which can be seen from the famous Marina Beach, the longest natural beach in India. Other points of interest in Chennai include Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a 7th century temple that holds daily rituals as well as four festivals each year, and the first English fortress in India, Fort St. George. The city has a population of about 9 million, making it the 6th largest city in India.
Mangalore, in the state of Karnataka, derives its name from the Hindu goddess Mangaladevi. It has a population of over 500,000 and several main languages including Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, and Beary bashe. Some of Mangalore’s most notable features include Kudroli Gokarnath Temple, Kadri Manjunath Temple, and St. Aloysius Chapel, as well as a number of beautiful sprawling beaches including Panambur, Mangalore and Surathkal Beaches. The city has been known as a commercial centre for trade since a significant period of growth and industry development during India’s British rule in the 19th century that continues to thrive today. As for culture, the city celebrates its classic heritage, including traditional folk dances such as the Yakshagana and Pilivesha, festivals including Dasara and Diwali, and cuisine which is largely influenced by South Indian cuisine.
Located near the Gulf of Thailand, Surat Thani is a city of about 128,000 residents. The city’s name, given by King Vajiravudh in 1915, means “City of Good People” because of the people’s intense devotion to Buddhism. Surat Thani is surrounded by green landscapes and lush rainforest, and the Khao Sok National Park is one of the most popular attractions, characterized by its rainforests and limestone mountains.
Another important landmark is the Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine, a beautiful shrine that reflects the historical background of Surat Thani. The tropical savannah climate of the city enjoys an average temperature of about 25 degrees C throughout the year.
Coming from the Latin nullus “no”, and arbor “tree”, the Nullarbor Plain is the world’s largest exposure of limestone bedrock, covering about 200,000 square kilometres between Perth and Adelaide, Australia. Historically, the area was deemed uninhabitable, but used by the Aborigines, for thousands of years. “Crossing the Nullarbor” is a decidedly quintessential experience for many Australians and different types of vehicles can be seen navigating the over-300-kilometre highway. The first Europeans to cross the harbour were Edward John Eyre, John Baxter, and a group of three Aborigine men in which the group lost three horses, took two attempts, and made the journey in a total of four months from Fowler’s Bay to Rossiter Bay.
One of the largest cities in New Zealand with about 360,000 residents, Christchurch was established in 1856, also making it the oldest city in the country. Many are familiar with Christchurch from the earthquakes that have devastated the area in recent years from which the city has been rapidly recovering. Christchurch has seen several notable residents as well, including world champion and Olympic rower Nathan Cohen, singer/songwriter Max Merritt, and former All Blacks rugby coach Graham Henry. The city has a rich culture including arts centres like the Christchurch Art Gallery, museums like the Canterbury Museum, and gardens and parks including the famous Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park, and Mona Vale.
Blenheim, known to the Maori as Waiharakeke, has one of the sunniest climates in New Zealand and has a population of about 30,000 residents, mostly of European descent. The area is also a well-known place for local wine and food culture; there are more than 20 wineries around the town and the sauvignon blanc made in the area is world-renowned. More than that, Blenheim is also home to the characteristic New Zealand scenery and outdoor sports, and residents and visitors to the area alike enjoy activities like swimming with the dolphins, whale watching, mountain hiking, and kayaking, to name a few.
Wellington is a gem of New Zealand, praised for its art and culture, and has a reputation for making such Hollywood movies as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong, and Avatar. The capital city’s metropolitan area has almost 480,000 residents, many of whom amicably refer to their home as “Windy Wellington” for its notoriously strong winds.
Wellington is also home to celebrities like actor Russell Crowe, director Peter Jackson, and political activist Kate Sheppard who made leaps for women’s suffrage in New Zealand in the 19th century. The city has a proud history of rugby, known for its local team The Hurricanes, as well as cricket, one of the area’s most popular spectator sports.
Located on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton, New Zealand, is one of the country’s largest cities with a population of about 129,000 residents. Popular attractions in Hamilton include many parks, gardens, historic houses, and museums including the Hamilton Gardens, the area’s most popular visitor attraction with 600,000 people visiting each year; the Hamilton Zoo, the first zoo in New Zealand; and the world-famous limestone Waitomo Caves. Hamilton is also considered New Zealand’s events capital, hosting sporting events like rowing and rugby, a yearly Garden Arts Festival, and a yearly International Film Festival. Historically, Hamilton was a group of Maori villages, including Pukete, Miropiko, and Kirikiriroa.
Auckland is the largest metropolitan in the New Zealand, with over 1.5 million residents, as well as the largest Polynesian city in the world. Interestingly, some call Auckland the “City of Sails” because one in three Aucklanders has a boat, the most boats per capita in the world. The Sky Tower in Auckland is one of the most popular attractions; looming at 328 it’s the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, and an iconic structure on the Auckland skyline. Also well-known from Auckland include musician Lorde, actor Lucy Lawless, and soprano singer Patricia Wright.
The name Auckland itself is known as Tamaki Makau Rau to the Maori, which means in English “a maiden with 100 lovers”. The city is also known for its parks and outdoor sports, with 23 regional parks in the area and a reputation for being a “mecca” both for culture and water sports.
Dunedin is the southernmost city in the world, also known as the “Scottish City” because of its heritage, as well as a street plan which is based on Edinburgh, Scotland’s. The Scottish heritage can also be seen in the hallmark architecture such as the legendary St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Town Hall, Dunedin Railway Station, and Larnach Castle.
With vast shorelines and tall mountainscapes in Dunedin, it is one of the few places in the world where one can actually go skiing and surfing in the same day. Sports are very popular in Dunedin, as they are in much of New Zealand, home to the Highlanders Super Rugby union team, Otago United football team, and Dunedin Thunder New Zealand ice hockey team. Also known for its cricket, the city has seen many famous cricket stars such as Clarrie Grimmett, Warren Lees, and Ken Rutherford.
Cherbourg, located on the coast of Normandy, has a population of just under 50,000 people. It is famous for being the first stop for the legendary ship Titanic; 272 people boarded from the port city April 10, 1912, but only 24 would make it back home. There are a number of sea passages and ferries that run in and out of Cherbourg on a regular basis, and hundreds of thousands of tourists go through the city each year. Popular landmarks include La Cité de la Mer, a maritime museum featuring man’s life under the sea; the Château des Ravalet, a 16th century Renaissance castle; and the Parc Emmanuel-Liais, a botanical garden featuring exotic plants and animals.
The small city of La Rochelle is a western France seaport rife with history and war. The city itself has been under English rule twice in its history, once under Henry II and once during the Hundred Years’ War. Today you can see landmarks like the majestic Vaunclair castle at the Place de Verdun and the Cour de Commanderie, an ancient headquarters of the Knights Templar. In more recent history, La Rochelle had a strong German hold during the French Occupation, and was the very last French city to be liberated at the end of the war. Today the city houses about 75,000 residents and has seen such celebrities as astronaut Jean-Loup Chrétien, fashion designer Guy Laroche, and painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
Portsmouth, nicknamed by locals “Pompey”, is the UK’s only island city, located mainly on Portsea Island, just 100 km south west of London. Notable points of attraction in the city include the Historic Naval Dockyard including the Royal Naval Museum and home to some of the nation’s most famous ships including H.M.S. Victory, the flagship of the Battle of Trafalger, and H.M.S. Warrior, the world’s first ironclad steam-powered warship; and Spinnaker Tower, a 170-metre centrepiece in the shape of a sail to model after the city’s rich maritime heritage. Portsmouth is also famous for being the birthplace of author Charles Dickens, director John Madden, and actor Stephen Marcus.
Once the world’s largest city with about one million residents, Cordoba is now home to about 320,000 people and some of the world’s largest olive plantations. It was founded more than 2,000 years ago in 169 B.C and such architectural masterpieces as the Mezquita, the world’s largest mosque and temple, Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (English, Palace of the Christian Monarchs), and the historic Roman Bridge. Its rich heritage brought Cordoba the title of World Heritage site in 1994 for both the Mezquita and the majestic streets and building that surround it.
Pamplona is world-famous for its over-420-year tradition of the Running of the Bulls, part of the week-long San Fermín festival. Every summer, people from Spain and across the world alike gather in Pamplona to experience the lively festival, even Ernest Hemingway loved the it and wrote about it in his 1962 book The Sun Also Rises. The city also features historic architecture and landscape; its gothic cathedral is known as one of the most important historic buildings in Spain, and the monumental Tejera Park, sitting along the river Ebro, features several towers of the town walls, fountains, and the square of Plaza de Santa María.
Madrid, the capital city of Spain, is the third largest city in the EU with a city population of about 3.3 million, and a metropolitan area population of about 6.5 million. It is home to the world-class football team Real Madrid which FIFA named the best team of the 20th century, and home to some of the top footballers, including Emilio Butragueño, Pepe Reina, and Fernando Torres. Culturally, Madrid is a landmark city, housing the famous Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado, which comprises of the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía National Art Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, encompassing art as far back as the 12th century.
Portland, U.S.A., situated near the West Coast of the country, is a city of almost three million residents. Interestingly, in the foundation of the city, the name was decided by the flip of a coin; had luck gone the other way, Portland would have been known as Boston.
The city is also home to many American musicians and bands such as The Kingsmen, The Decemberists, the Shins, and Elliot Smith, and also has more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the United States. Portland houses one of the most famous zoos in the country, the Oregon Zoo; it sees an average of 1.6 million visitors each year. Another notable attraction includes the Portland Japanese Garden, occupying over 2.2 hectares and instilling a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility to those who visit.
Seattle is a major seaport for the United States and, with a metropolitan area population of about 4 million residents, the largest city in the region . The most famous landmark in Seattle is the iconic Space Needle, a hallmark on the city’s skyline. Seattle also has a bustling entertainment community with the second highest number shows per capita in the country, after New York City. Musicians who came out of the city include Heart, Dave Mattews, and Kurt Cobain.
Seattle is also known for their renowned American football team, Seattle Seahawks, and baseball team, Seattle Mariners. Today Seattle is known as the “Emerald City”, in reference to the lush landscapes that the city has to offer, and the “Rain City”, for its reputation of having cloudy and rainy weather. Seattle is also the home of the first ever Starbucks coffee house.
Philadelphia is renowned in the United States for its historical significance of revolution and the Declaration of Independence, it was even once the temporary capital of the country. Today, the city is home to some of the country’s most famous historical attractions including Independence National Park, a centre of historical landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
It also has a rich arts culture with famous art museums such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Rodin Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in the United States. Philadelphia is also birthplace to classic American cuisine like hoagies, soft pretzels, and the notorious cheesesteak sandwich. Interestingly, the city is also considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the country.
Washington, D.C., commonly known simply as Washington, “the District”, or D.C., is the iconic capital city of the United States and its centre of politics. After having land donated by neighbouring states, D.C. was named a capital district independent of any U.S. states under exclusive jurisdiction.
The city is home to some of the most important American landmarks, including the White House which houses the country’s president and his family, the U.S. Capitol in which the country’s government proceedings take place, the Washington Monument, a great obelisk built in honour of the country’s first president, and the Lincoln Memorial, built for the 16th president who was known for emancipating the slaves in the mid-20th century.
New York City, or the “Big Apple” as it is amicably named, is one of the most populous cities in the world with almost 20 million residents in its greater metropolitan area. It is a world-renowned arts and fashion epicentre, described as being the cultural capital of the world. Considered to be the “Capital of Baseball”, New York has seen 35 Major League Baseball World Series, and it has four of the ten most expensive stadiums ever built. The city is also known for its famous Wall Street with about 48.1 million square metres of office space and the world’s largest stock exchanges. A global power city, New York has a significant impact on much of the world’s industry and is also home to the United Nations Headquarters.
Boston is a major city in the U.S.A., and one of the oldest, having been founded in 1630. It is known as being one of the most important cities in American history with such events as the Boston Tea Party, in which a resistance movement dumped an entire supply of tea into the Atlantic Ocean in protest of tax laws, and the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which began the American Revolutionary War. Some of the most notable landmarks in the city include the Freedom Trail, a brick-lined route that explores American history; the Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States; and Faneuil Hall, a historic marketplace and meeting hall built in 1742. Celebrities who come from Boston include actor Mark Wahlberg, actor Matt Damon, and renowned children’s book author Dr. Seuss.
Los Angeles, the second-largest metropolis in the United States with a population of about 21 million residents, is also known as “the City of Angels”. The city is a hub of commerce, international trade, and culture. Los Angeles is best-known for its production in the creative industry with one-sixth of the population working in the creative industry, and home to Hollywood, the globally recognized epicentre of the movie industry.
Many people describe the climate of Los Angeles as “perfect” because most days in the city are sunny and warm, with very little rainfall throughout the year. The city is also well-known for its coastline which spans over 120 km.
San Francisco, established in 1776 by Spanish colonists, is a lively city on the west coast of the U.S.A. known for its arts and culture. Notable San Francisco landmarks include Union Square, a public plaza covering over a hectare of the city, Fisherman’s Wharf, a waterfront marketplace which is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in the western United States, and the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the world’s largest, and arguably most beautiful, suspension bridges. The city is famous for being the birthplace of denim jeans when Gold Rush miners needed tough pants to protect their skin, and the fortune cookie created first at the Golden Gate Park’s Tea Garden as a novelty that spread around the world. Celebrities who call San Francisco home include actors Clint Eastwood, Josh Hartnett, and Leslie Mann.
Vancouver, Canada, is the third-largest city in the country and famous for its mixture of lush greenery, ocean front locale, and bright cityscape. The city has a population of about 2.4 million residents in the Greater Vancouver area, and is one of the most diverse cities in Canada. Vancouver is also considered to be the world’s third-best city to live in for quality of life, as well as the world’s 10th cleanest city, tied with Montreal.
Sports are very popular in Vancouver with the Vancouver Canucks national hockey team, the B.C. Lions American football team, and the Vancouver Whitecaps football team. Famous people who come from Vancouver include environmentalist David Suzuki, actor Michael J. Fox, and singer Sarah McLachlan.
Brisbane, named after the river on which it sits, is the third most populous city in Australia with about 2.2 million. The largest event in Brisbane is the Ekka, an agricultural show which attracts an average of 400,000 people each year and started in 1876 in the local Bowen Park. Brisbane has a significant popular music scene, and musicians like the Bee Gees, the Go-Betweeners, and the Pogues Instumental have all come from the proud city.
A large part of Brisbane’s economy is tourism, as the third-most popular tourist destination in Australia. Tourists enjoy the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s first of its kind, the Brisbane Forest Park, known for its rich forest landscape, and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
Sydney is a world favourite destination with over 10 million international and domestic visitors each year. It is known for its hallmark uniquely shaped Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, and the Sydney Tower, the second-tallest freestanding structure in the world. Sydney is a city was a very diverse population, with several main languages such as English, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, and Vietnamese.
Sydney citizens love their cricket, and the city looks forward to hosting the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Rugby is also a very popular sport, with a League having begun in 1908. In fact, nine of the sixteen teams in the League come from Sydney.
Originally inhabited by the Kaurna aboriginal peoples, Adelaide was officially founded in 1836 under a gumtree in what is now a suburb west of the city. It has been called the “City of Churches” because of its numerous fine structures found throughout the city. The oldest of which is the Holy Trinity Anglican Church which was built in 1838. Adelaide today is known for its festivals and sporting events, such as the Adelaide festival which features various events for people of diverse interests, and a long-standing tradition of Australian rules football and association football. Some of the most famous people from Adelaide include actor Mel Gibson, world-famous cricketer Sir Donald Bradman, and news tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
Perth, Australia, is considered to be the sunniest city in the world, and is also known as the “City of Light”. Historically, the city was inhabited by the Whadjuk Noongar people, who knew it as Boorloo. Notable city features include Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner-city parks, Peth Zoo, which holds a number of difference Australian and exotic animals from around the world, and the Sunset Coast, part of the country’s coastline which itself holds a diverse wildlife population. The city itself has an estimated population of about 1.9 million residents, making it the fourth most populated city in Australia.
Kuala Lumpar, the capital of Malaysia, is also known as the Klang Valley and is the parliamentary and administrative centre of the country. It is considered to be one of the most progressive metropolises in the world, as well as a well sought-after tourist destination. A retail and fashion hub of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpar features about 66 shopping malls.
Some of the most notable attractions in the city include the Petronas Twin Towers, two twin skyscrapers, the world’s tallest buildings until 2004 with the building of Tapei 101 in Taiwan, and the Kuala Lumpar Tower, another iconic feature accenting the city’s skyline.
Singapore is an island city-state, also known by its Malay name Singapura which literally means “Lion City”. It has been independent from the United Kingdom since 1963 which had obtained sovereignty 80 years earlier. Singapore is noted for its tropical rainforest climate, with no distinctive seasons and temperatures ranging from 22 to 35 degrees C year-round.
Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil with English being the most common. Foreigners make up a significant 42% of the population of the city-state, giving it a diverse and varied culture. This diversity also lends to the country being well-known for its cuisine, considered to be the national pastime, and an important reason that foodies from around the globe love to visit.
Calcutta, also known as Kolkata, is the metropolis capital of West Bengal, India, home to 14.1 million residents. The city is home to Asia’s oldest medical school, the Calcutta Medical College as well as the country’s second oldest modern university. Calcutta was once the capital of India, and as such is considered to be the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Calcutta is also well known for its distinctive rich cuisine, including machher jhol, a fish curry, deserts such as roshogolla and sandesh, and a favourite fish among Calcuttans, ilish.
The most popular sports in Calcutta are football and cricket, with clubs and unions through the city, including the Calcutta Football League, started in 1898, the oldest football league in Asia.
Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha, Bangkok is the most populous city in Thailand, making up 12.6% of the country’s population. The city is considered a top world travel destination, and a lively and busy city full of rich life and culture. Bangkok is a city with numerous canals and is sometimes called the “Venice of the East”.
Bangkok also features some incredible local features, including Wat Pho, a beautiful Buddhist temple known as the birthplace of Thai massage, Wat Phra Kaew, or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, and the Grand Palace on the Chao Phraya River, the official residence of the Kings of Thailand.
Mumbai, once known as Bombay, is the most populous city in India, and the fifth most in the world with about 20.5 million residents. The city houses India’s Hindi and Marathi film and television industry, otherwise known as “Bollywood”, which attracts people from all over India. The city also hosts several large festivals each year, including Diwali, or the “festival of lights”, Holi, a festival of colours, and Navrati, a festival for the worship of the Hindu deity Durga.
The city itself is built on what was once a group of seven islands, which may have been inhabited as early as the Stone Age and had since been home to a small fishing community.
Edirne, formerly Adrianopolis, was once the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1413 to 1453 before Constantinople’s ruling. The city is speckled with fine mosques, many of which date as far back as the Ottoman Empire, and also features a yearly oil-wrestling festival called Kirkpinar in June. Other points of interests include the Sokullu Turkish Bath, constructed in the 16th century with separate baths for both men and women, and Macedonian Tower, built during Roman rule, which includes an archaeology park and other ruins that can be found in the area. The city’s population is about 138,000 residents.
The largest city in Bulgaria, Sofia is known for its research facilities with many major universities and cultural institutions being centred there. Sofia is home to a large football community, with footballers Hristo Stoichkov and Dimitar Berbatov originating there. The Hungarian team has also reached as high at fourth in rankings in the World Cup Series.
Sofia also boasts some beautiful architecture and points of interest, including the Saint Sofia Church, the second oldest church in the capital city, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in lavish Neo-Byzantine style, and the Sofia Zoo, the country’s oldest and largest zoological centre, and the city’s major symbol, the Saint Sofia Basilica.
Subotica is the fifth-largest city in Serbia with a population of about 141,000 residents over 17 small villages that make up the metropolitan area. Like much of Serbia, Subotica is a diverse area, with only 30% of people in the city being Serbs; the rest of the population is composed of Hungarians, Croats, Bunjevci, Yugoslavs, and others.
Subotica is the Roman Catholic centre of the region, and cathedrals and churches may be found throughout the city, such as the 18th century structures, the Catholic Cathedral of Avila and the Franciscan Monastary. The city also has a strong Jewish presence with the third-largest community in Serbia who worship at the Subotica Synagogue.
Salzberg, Austria, literally “Salt Fortress” in Bavarian, is renowned as being the birthplace of 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in addition to composer Johann Michael Haydn, and Christian Doppler, discoverer of the Doppler Effect. The city is also famous for its yearly Salzburg Festival, a summer event that attracts thousands of visitors to the area.
In popular culture, many know the city as having had 1960 film The Sound of Music filmed in locations throughout, and while the film isn’t particularly popular among Austrians, but visitors are drawn to the filming locations each year to see where the famous film was made. The city itself was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 for its historic baroque architecture seen throughout the city.
Bratislava is the political, economic, and cultural centre of Slovakia, holding the parliament, many of the country’s largest businesses and financial institutions, and several museums, galleries, and universities. It has a beautiful cityscape with medieval towers embedded in rolling green countryside. Best known are Bratislava Castle, constructed in the 10th century in gothic style, Devin Castle, an important symbol of Slavic history, as well as a number of majestic parks and lakes covering 46.8 square kilometres of land.
The city has seen many different names in its history, including the German Pressburg, Hungarian Pozsony, Slovakian Presporok, and finally the Greek Istropolis before coming to its present name Bratislava.
Historically famous for its strategic position along the “Silk Road”, Istanbul is a city with a rich and colourful history dating back to around 660 BC. The city is decorated in many beautiful mosques and palaces, an iconic feature of the Turkish capital, including the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Hagia Sophia, now a museum, and the Topkapi Palace, the original residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years. Another point of interest in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world which has been in operation since 1461, and today is visited by 250,000 to 400,000 people each day.
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, has an important prehistoric culture in Europe with artifacts found from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras, as well as tools from the Mousterian industry associated with the Neanderthals. Today, Belgrade is a financial and cultural centre in Serbia, with the Belgrade Stock Exchange and almost 7,000 companies, as well as many annual international cultural events such as the Film Festival, Music Festival, and the Beer Fest.
Famous people from Belgrade include writer Ivo Andric, inventor Nikola Tesla, and tennis player Novak Djokovic. Belgrade sees a lot of tourism with its many local attractions, including many weekend visitors from neighbouring countries who go to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.
Both the capital and largest city in Austria, Vienna is known to many as the “City of Music” because of its long-standing legacy of music with influences form composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, and Brahms. It has also been called the “City of Dreams”, in honour of the birthplace of the world’s first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud. Balls are still very popular in Vienna, and over 200 take place in the city each year which feature classical music and waltzes. The city also has a long tradition of opera, theatre, and fine arts featured in such majestic venues as the Volkstheater Wien, the Staatsoper theatre, and the Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic.
Vienna is well known for its specialty foods such as Wiener Schnitzel (a cutlet of veal or pork), Tafelspitz (very lean boiled beef), and Geroestete Erdapfel (fried mashed potatoes).
Originally inhabited by the Chickasaw Indian tribe, Memphis was first settled in the 16th century by French and Spanish explorers. Today, the city has a population of about 1.3 million residents and, some say, the home of modern-day Rock n’ Roll with such superstars as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee, and Johnny Cash having come from the Memphis. According to the Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum, there have also been over 1000 commercially recorded songs about the city alone—more than any other city in the world.
Memphis’ location on the Mississippi River has given it the nickname “The River City”, as well as the “Bluff City” for its five miles of bluffs overlooking the iconic river.
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