Category Archives: History

Kuwait

Just two decades after the war, Kuwait is rebuilt–and continues to build. You find construction going on everywhere. Skyscrapers and malls alongside souks and mosques. The modern along with the traditional. Kuwait’s most distinctive landmark is likely Kuwait Towers, the … Continue reading

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Kandy: Temple of the Tooth

Kandy is a beautiful lake city in central Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings from 1469 to 1815. Today, Kandy is perhaps best known for the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka’s main Buddhist … Continue reading

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Sigiriya: The Rock Fortress

Sigiriya, in the center of Sri Lanka, is known for its rock fortress with fresco paintings. It was built by King Kashyapa in the 5th century, but left to monks to be used as a Buddhist monastery for 900 years … Continue reading

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Polonnarawa: The Second Capital

Polonnarawa was the second capital of Sri Lanka from 1070 to 1310. Foreign trade was important, Hindu temples emerged, and irrigation systems were further developed. Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wniwm5jdmlbnkz6/-WUJsCrrE0

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Anuradhapura: The First Capital

Anuradhapura, in the north central part of the country, was the first capital of Sri Lanka from 377 BC to 1017 AD. Buddhism was important, agriculture was the foundation, and irrigation systems were created to support the crops, especially rice. … Continue reading

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Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, a collection of red sandstone palaces, was the capital city of the Mughals during Akbar’s reign. Akbar was the third Mughal emperor and known for his religious tolerance. He had three wives—a Muslim, a Hindu, and a Christian—and … Continue reading

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The Azores

The Azores, a group of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic, are an autonomous region of Portugal about 950 miles west of its coastline. The islands are divided into three groups: The Western group: Corvo and Flores; the Eastern group: … Continue reading

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African-Influenced Winter Holidays

Kwanzaa (Dec. 26­–Jan. 1) Beginnings Kwanzaa is a U.S. celebration honoring African-American heritage and culture. The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” meaning first fruits of the harvest. The holiday was started in 1966 by Maulana … Continue reading

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Timbuktu: History, Myth, and Culture

Continuing with last week’s desert theme, this week we’re in Timbuktu. Does it really exist? Can you really go there? The answer to both of these questions is yes. Known mostly in the West as a metaphor for a distant … Continue reading

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