Hafiz & Elmy Nahida

By: Hafiz Elmy

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Sunday, 3-Sep-2006 23:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Slovakia day 2

Jews muzium..
gambaq situasi jews di kawal oleh Hitler..
dan lagi...semua yg akan dibunuh..
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sambungan.....visit ke Nitra one of the region in Slovakia...cantik jugak viewnya...tak byk ambil gambaq sebab selalunya abang yang ambil...abang tak de so tak excited sgt nak amik gambaq...

History of Nitra

There are not so many towns endowed with such beautiful surroundings and such an ideal location as Nitra. They say that Nitra, like Rome, was founded on seven hills. Its name is connected with the beginnings of the history of Slovakia, with the names of Pribina, Svatopluk, Sts. Cyril and Methodius and even with the mention of the first Christian church on the territory of Slovakia and with the introduction of the old Slavonic alphabet.

The beginnings of its settlement go back as far as the earliest times, as has been documented by numerous archeological findings on the town's territory. This area was a densely populated region some 30 000 years ago. The first peasant settlements were on the territory of the town some 6 000 years ago.

In the fourth century B.C. the territory of Slovakia was inhabited by the Celts who remained here for a long period of time. They were skillful smelters and smiths whose huts and workshops were found at the foot od Martinsky vrch (Martin hull). Even the Dacians left some traces behind here.

The Slavic history of Nitra started near the end of the 5th century when the first Slavs arrived here. As early as the first half of the 7th century, some western sources mention a state formation of Slavs, the Samo Empire. The Samo Empire was a predecessor of the subsequent state formation - the Great Moravian Empire, one of whose centres was Nitra. Precisely during the time of the Great Moravian Empire, the foundations of the renowened fame of ancient Christian Nitra were laid, as was recorded in extremely precious documents from the 9th century. One of these fortified settlements may have been the residence of Prince Pribina under whose rule Nitra was an important political, military and economic centre. Pribina showed great wisdom as a statesman and had great insight into European politics, when in about 828 A.D.,he, being a heathen himself, allowed the first Christian church in Nitra to be consecrated. This act was performed by Adalram, the Archbishop of Salzburg. The Pribina church is the first historically documented witness to the Christianity of the Slavs on the territory of Slovakia. This great events is mentioned in a document "Conversione Bagoariorum et Carantanorum" dating back to 870-871. Unfortunately, the exact site of the shrine has not as yet been located, but it is probable that the church did not stand on today's castle hill.

In its later development, the Nitra principality was forcibly annexed by Mojmir to the Moravian principality in about 833, and a new state entity was formed which is mentioned in sources under the name Great Moravia. After the dethronement of Mojmir, Rastislav became the ruler of Great Moravia. His reign is connected with a very important event, namely the comming of the Byzantine missionaries, Constantine-Cyril and Methodius, in 863.
Constantine-Cyril developed the first Slavic alphabet, which was called "glagolitic", he also translated the first liturgical texts into Old Slavonic. Methodius, whom Pope Hadrian II had authorized to be consecrated as a bishop in 870 and later as archbishop, was named as a papal legate for Pannonia and for the Upper Danubian Slavs.
Nitra was at the height of its fame during the reign of King Svatopluk . In one of the most valuable written documents for Slovak history, in the letter from Pope John VIII to Svatopluk, dating back to 880, "Indistriae tuae", Svatopluk is addressed as king and the Pope informs him of the appointment of Viching as bishop of Nitra, by then, probably had a municipal character, and it consisted of five fortified settlements and twenty communities where skiled craftsmen plied their trade.

Until the beginnig of the 14th century Nitra remained the resedential town of the principality that bordered the newly formed Hungarian monarchy. Also, during the Middle Ages it was the site of important historical events, and it was often plundered by various armies. The Benedictines took up the organization of ecclesiastical life, their monastery of St. Hyppolite on the slope of Zobor hill was the oldest in Slovakia.

In 1248 the ruler Bela IV, in appreciation for protection from the Tartars, promoted Nitra to the status of free-royal town with privileges similar to those of Székesfehérvár.

The medieval Nitra was divided into the Upper Town and Lower Town, the latter being further divided into several separate parts, each with its own alderman and local seals. Four new independent parishes came into being in connection with the churches of St. Michael in the square Na vrsku, St. James in the central square, St.Stephen in Parovce, and Our Lady on the Calvary hill.

From the second half of the 18th century, Nitra escaped from military hardships, this made possible the renovation of the town and modifocations on the castle and especially on the Cathedral. Peaceful times made the construction of several buildings in the Upper Town possible. As a result of the town's development, the population grew beyond 10 000, in the 19th century. In 1873 Nitra became the town with its municipality presided over by a mayor and by numerous public councilmen.
The further development of the town was strongly influenced by two World Wars.

Saturday, 2-Sep-2006 22:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Slovakia Day 1

on the way to Podyklava, from Vienna Itl Aprt
cam mesia jer
still kat Austria, before tertidoq..
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Entry ni dedikasi buat suami tercinta kat Ghent, Belgium...miss you soooo much...so bila tgk gambaq at least dpt bayangkan suasana disini sikit. sedih sgt abang tak dapat datang.... nak buat macammana....program ni sangat-sangat padat..tak de masa even nak gi jenjalan sekitar hotel pun sejak sampai ahad lalu....

Slovakia (Slovak: Slovensko) is a landlocked republic in Central Europe with population of more than five million. It is a member of the European Union (since May 1, 2004) and borders Czech Republic and Austria in the west, Poland in the north, Ukraine in the east and Hungary in the south. Its capital is its largest city, Bratislava.
The long form of the name Slovakia is Slovak Republic (Slovak: Slovenská republika). The relation between those two name forms is exactly the same as with for example Germany vs. Federal Republic of Germany or France vs. French Republic.
The recent practice, often seen especially in economic texts, of using the name Slovak Republic instead of Slovakia, when the terms Hungary, Slovenia, etc. are used in the same text, is therefore awkward, arising in analogy to the use of the term Czech Republic, but that is (partly) another problem (see Czech Republic, Czech lands).
From around 450 BC, the territory of modern-day Slovakia was settled by Celts, who built powerful oppida in Bratislava and Liptov. Silver coins with the names of Celtic kings represent the first known use of writing in Slovakia. From 6 AD, the expanding Roman Empire established and maintained a chain of outposts around the Danube. The Kingdom of Vannius, a barbarian kingdom founded by the Germanic tribe of Quadi, existed in western and central Slovakia from 20 to 50 AD.
The Slavic population settled in the territory of Slovakia in the 5th century. Western Slovakia was the centre of Samo's Empire in the 7th century. A proto-Slovak state, known as the Principality of Nitra, arose in the 8th century and its ruler Pribina had the first Christian church in Slovakia consecrated by 828. Together with neighboring Moravia, the principality formed the core of the Great Moravian Empire from 833. The high point of this (Proto-)Slovak empire came with the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius during the reign of Prince Rastislav and the territorial expansion under King Svätopluk.

Tuesday, 15-Aug-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Sand Sculpture 2006 - Brugge, Belgium.

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Sand Sculpture Festival BRUGES 2006 acquaints the visitor with the magic of the temporary. Let the oldest inhabitant of the city, the Bruges Bear, guide through over a thousand years of history. Witness a technical masterpiece, constructed with the skilful hands of a team of artists from the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Bruges, a story of more than a thousand years” features the most important episodes in the history of Bruges. Let the oldest inhabitant of the city, the Bruges Bear, guide you through over a thousand years of architecture. Stroll along the “Ezelpoort” (the Donkey Gate), the “Smedenpoort” (the Blacksmith Gate), the Kruispoort” (the Cross Gate), and the “Gentpoort” (Ghent Gate), the centuries-old entrances to the walled city. Admire the “Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk” (Church of Our Lady) and the “Sint-Salvatorskathedraal” (St. Saviour’s Cathedral). Enjoy the historic palace of the Lords of Gruuthuse.

Experience the myths of Bruges’ haunted house and the ghostly pastor of Madeleine, from the Male dragon to the secret halls leading to the Chapel of the Holy Blood. Investigate the legendary Bruges lace and the Bruges swans. Discover the mystique behind the skull of the “Smedenpoort” (Blacksmith Gate) and learn how the lions of Bruges came to be here. Meet the brilliant masters from the Bruges painting school (the Flemish masters), Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. Introduce yourself to the master poet Guido Gezelle and the master scholar Simon Stevin. Go in search of knights’ coats of arms and compose your own genealogy of the sovereigns. Discover the patron saints of the Church and the names of the merchants’ guilds.

Wednesday, 19-Jul-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Day 4 - Rome, Italy

Roma - Piazza San Pietro
Roma - Vatican City
Roma - Vatican City
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Roma – San Pietro
The colonnade is by Bernini. Between the colonnades and the obelisk, there are round stones set in the pavement. If you stand on one of these, you can appreciate the perfection of the structures. The four rows of columns create three galleries. The middle one is wider than the side galleries, and has at times been used for Corpus Christi procession.
The water in the fountains is from Lake Bracciano, brought here by the aqueduct built by Pope Paul V (1605-1621). The one on the right is the original designed by Maderno. Later, the colonnades made it necessary to make a copy to balance it. You can see the the older (1612) has the arms of Pope Paul V, while the copy (1675) has the arms of Pope Clement X.
The obelisk was brought from Egypt by Emperor Caligula. It is said to be the only obelisk in Rome that did not fall during the Middle Ages. It was placed in the Circus of Caligula and Nero, at a spot marked by a bronze plaque in the Piazza of the Roman Protomartyrs just outside the sacristy of the basilica. This spot is inside the Vatican City, so unless you can get permission to enter, you won't be able to see it up close. If you want to see the approximate location anyway, look through the entrance to the Vatican City on the left side of the basilica, just past the bookshop. You'll then see the piazza and the sacristy. When the new basilica was built and the Piazza San Pietro laid out, the obelisk was moved to its present location. It was re-erected by Domenico Fontana on 10th September 1586. 900 men and 50 horses where used to raise the obelisk, which is more than 37 metres high, to its upright position. To ensure that no one lost their consentration, Pope Sixtus V had ordered complete silence during the operation. However, a sailor who was watching noticed that the cables were heating up under the enourmous strain, and cried out: "Water on the ropes!". By daring to break the Pope's order, he saved the obelisk, and he was rewarded with a choice of some privilege. He chose that the palm leaves used in the basilica in papal ceremonies on Palm Sunday should be supplied from his farm for as long as it was in his family's ownership. The reliquary on top of the obelisk contains a piece of the True Cross.

Tuesday, 18-Jul-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Day 3 - Florence, Italy

View from train..on the way to Florence. Day trip...
View from train.
At last, we are in Florence....
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Florence – Duomo
The Florence Duomo is dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and is typical of Italian Gothic architecture. The present building was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio (c. 1245-1302), one of the greatest architect- sculptors of his age, who considerably enlarged the existing structure. This was finished in around 1367 and was completely covered with coloured marbles like the earlier Baptistery, although the uncompleted facade was given its covering in the nineteenth century. The Cupola remained unfinished, and in 1421 the polygonal base was erected. Two architects won the competition to design the dome, Lorenzo Ghiberti (1368-1445) and Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446), but it was Brunelleschi who actually built it using remarkable technical knowledge to achieve the uniquely beautiful results we see today. Completed in 1436, the Cupola is the most characteristic feature of the Florentine skyline, symbolising a great cultural tradition and the city's civic awareness. One of the most notable features of the exterior apart from the apses is the beautiful Porta della Mandorla on the north facade, so-called from the large aureole around the Assumption of the Virgin (mandorla = almond) sculptured by Nanni di Banco (1380/90-1421). Inside are several important works of art, offset by the architecture's taut Gothic forms, completely different from medieval buildings north of the Alps. Of primary importance are the two frescoes on the right-hand wall showing the equestrian monuments of the "condottieri" John Hawkwood and Niccolò da Tolentino by Paolo Uccello (1436) and Andrea del Castagno (1456). The fresco decoration of the clock on the inside wall, showing four vigorous heads of male saints, are by Paolo Uccello. Many of the sculptures from the Duomo are now kept in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo (see separate entry) but others are still in place, such as the lunettes by Luca della Robbia above the doors of the Sacristy or the bronze door of the Mass Sacristy. The great Pietà by Michelangelo (c. 1553) has been temporarily removed.

The splendid stained glass windows should not be forgotten, mainly executed from 1434-1445 to the designs of such important artists as Donatello, Andrea del Castagno and Paolo Uccello. Also notable are the wooden inlays of the Sacristy cupboards to the designs of Brunelleschi, Antonio Del Pollaiolo and others.

The Cupola's interior remained undecorated until Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) and Federico Zuccari (c. 1540-1609) painted a huge and not entirely satisfactory Last Judgement there. The "Cupolone" or huge dome remains, with the cathedral bell-tower known as the "Campanile di Giotto", the most striking feature of any view of the city. Giotto, the famous painter and architect designed the tower, although at his death in 1337 only the lowest part was complete. Work was continued under Andrea Pisano (c. 1290-1349) and Francesco Talenti (active 1325-1369) who completed the structure repeating the decoration of marble relieved by windows; the traditional pointed finial was never added. The sculptured marble panels illustrate a cycle centred around the theme of the order of the universe.

Florence – “Ponte Vecchio”
Built in ancient times by the Etruscans, the bridge has weathered many storms - and storming by invading legions. Because of its location over the widest part of the Arno River, the bridge has been rebuilt and restored many times throughout its long history. And it has changed with the times.

Originally the bridge was built to allow access over the Arno. Slowly, with so much traffic going over it, a few enterprising parties decided to set up shop on the bridge itself. As that early traffic consisted primarily of traveling soldiers, it isn't surprising that the first merchants to set up shop were blacksmiths, butchers, and tanners.

During the Middle Ages, Florence was hit hard by the Plague. Half of Florence was wiped out the by the Black Death, and the remaining populace became suspicious of their old ways of living.

It was also around this time that the powerful Medici family moved into Florence. They brought with them vast wealth and an appreciation for the finer things in life. Seeing those older merchants using the Arno River as their own personal sewer system didn't exactly fit in with their ideas for the beautification of Florence. Soon the blacksmiths, butchers, and tanners were replaced with goldsmiths and artists, and the number of shops increased tremendously.

Between 1565 and 1800, an upper level was added, as was a back row of shops. All this increased trade not only helped Florence grow, but the new shops also gave the bridge structure and strength.

The Ponte Vecchio is the only of Florence's bridges to have survived WWII, and in 1966, when a massive flood wiped out the shops on the bridge, the bridge itself was strong enough to withstand the roaring waters.

The Ponte Vecchio embodies the progress of humanity because it has come from carrying soldiers to battle, to open commerce, to a vast gathering place for peoples from all walks of life.

2) There has been a bridge over the narrowest part of the Arno since Roman times. The current “old bridge” has survived for more than 750 years. Shops and stalls have clung to its sides since the 13th century. The most malodorous trades from the city - butchers, tanners, and fishmongers - were drawn to the river and a convenient means of waste disposal. The prominent first story of the Ponte Vecchio is part of Vasari's corridor, an enclosed passageway built by the architect Giorgio Vasari to provide a secure route for Grand Duke Cosimo I to commute across the river from his home at the Pitti Palace, to his offices at the Uffizi.

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