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​50 interesting facts about Sri Lanka that you need to know

2 months ago
50-interesting-facts-about-sri-lanka-that-you-need-to-know

If you want to spend your time in Sri Lanka as fun, safe, and exciting as possible, you should get to know the locals better, the features of their way of life, and other things. It is also worthwhile before the trip to figure out what is accepted on the island and what is better not to do.

 

We invite you to discover 50 exciting facts noted by researchers and travelers who have repeatedly visited the tea island.

 

Top facts about Sri Lanka

 

1. Sri Lanka is a hot tropical country located in southern Asia.

 

More precisely, the country of Sri Lanka is located on the island of the same name in the Indian Ocean.

 

2. Previously, the European name of the island on which this state is located was used - Ceylon. This name of the country existed until 1972.

 

3. Sri Lanka is in many ways related to India, but at the same time quite noticeably different from it, this is especially striking if you spend at least a month there and there. There are plenty of similarities, though.

 

4. Translated from the ancient Sanskrit language, “Sri Lanka” means “Blessed Land”.

 

5. Sri Lankans - this is how the inhabitants of Sri Lanka are officially called.

 

Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

 

6. The actual, but not the official capital of the country is the city of Colombo. The official capital is the city of Sri Jayawardenepuru Kotte.

 

7. The name "Colombo" comes from the Sinhala "kola-amba-thota", which means "mango harbour".

 

8. Sri Lanka was a British colony until 1948. English is very popular on the island.

 

9. Sri Lanka will make anyone believe in heaven on earth. This is a real gem of South Asia. It is impossible not to admit that this tropical island is really beautiful.

 

Galle Lighthouse

 

10. As in all Asian countries, there is a high population density - 308 people per square kilometer. The population of Sri Lanka is approximately equal to the population of Beijing.

 

11. Two languages ​​​​here have the status of state - Tamil and Sinhalese. English, on the other hand, has a special status and serves for communication between representatives of different ethnic groups living in Sri Lanka.

 

12. The main religion of Sri Lanka is Buddhism, it is followed by 70% of the population here. The remaining 20% ​​are Hindus and 10% are Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

 

13. The Tooth of the Buddha - one of the most revered Buddhist shrines is located in the city of Kandy and is kept in the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

 

14. The leadership issued a wise law to avoid conflicts between believers. All religious holidays of all religions practiced by residents are days off for everyone. Therefore, there are more than half of the holidays in the year.

 

15. Alcohol is strictly prohibited on such days. On weekdays, alcoholic beverages can only be bought at specially designated places.

 

Sigirya Mountain

 

16. One of the most popular places for tourists here is Mount Sigiriya, on the way to the top of which you need to climb a staircase of 1001 steps.

 

17. The most popular dessert treat in Sri Lanka is ice cream. They are sold literally on every corner.

 

18. Buffalo milk is popular here along with cow milk. On the palate, if you are not a professional taster, there is no noticeable difference.

 

19. Smoking in public places in Sri Lanka is subject to a decent, and by local standards even a huge fine - about $ 37, or 5 thousand local rupees.

 

20. The national flower of Sri Lanka is the Star Lotus.

 

Fruits in Sri Lanka

 

21. Due to the warm and humid equatorial climate, Sri Lanka has an abundance of a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables. Bananas are harvested up to six times a year.

 

22. Bananas are not the same as on the shelves of our stores (large, feed varieties), and small bananas are baby. They have a thin skin, yellow flesh and are very sweet, with a high content of trace elements and vitamins.

 

23. Sri Lanka is thoroughly saturated with the smell of spices and incense. The main spice is cinnamon, and it is considered the highest quality in the world. Scientists believe that Sri Lanka is the birthplace of cinnamon.

 

24. There are also dangers awaiting tourists in Sri Lanka. These are monkeys. Among the inhabitants, they are considered a sacred animal, but they often behave very aggressively. It is better to keep the windows closed and things under supervision.

 

25. There is also an abundance of insects here, it is imperative to use special creams and ointments. And walking in the evening, you need to wear closed clothes and closed shoes from snakes.

 

Elephants in Sri Lanka

 

26. Here, the inhabitants treat elephants with love. The elephant is the symbol of the country. The punishment for killing an elephant is life imprisonment.

 

27. Divorces in Sri Lanka are very rare - 1%. Maybe the reason is that after the divorce, the husband is obliged to pay the ex-wife 50% of his salary throughout his life.

 

28. Here, when a daughter is married, she should be given a house and a car as a dowry. Therefore, as soon as a girl is born, parents begin to earn and save for a dowry.

 

29. The youth of Sri Lanka study at 11 universities, in terms of the quality of education they are not inferior to other universities in South Asia.

 

30. Here the literacy of the population is 92%. This is higher than in any other country in Southeast Asia, with the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

31. Schools in the country are free, however, for 300 rupees per month ($ 2.5) you can allow your child to study at an international school with the study of English.

 

Tangalla city beach

 

32. The beach in Tangalle, located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, is popular because you can watch both sunset and sunrise from it.

 

33. The biggest danger in this country is swimming in the waves of the ocean. The strength of the ocean surf and waves is significantly different from the sea. It can carry a person into the ocean like a grain of sand. Therefore, it is necessary to relax on the beaches here in places specially equipped for this. No need to try to conquer the waves on wild beaches.

 

34. All working women in the country are required to wear national clothes - saris. Many men here wear skirts.

 

35. Numbers 9 and 12 are considered the luckiest here.

 

36. Tea, which Sri Lanka is so famous for, was brought here by the British. Before that, there were no tea bushes here.

 

Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka

 

37. Now Sri Lanka ranks third in the world in tea production, second only to India and China. The famous Ceylon tea is grown here.

 

38. In total, about 10% of all tea in the world is produced here, which is more than 300 thousand tons annually.

 

39. One of the most visited places on the island by tourists is tea plantations. There you can see the process of making tea, as well as taste it.

 

Ramboda waterfall

 

40. Alut Avurudu - the Sri Lankan New Year, associated with the lunar cycles. It begins in accordance with the calculations of astrologers and is celebrated in April.

 

41. Sri Lankans do not use toilet paper, but it is sold for tourists and costs 2 times more than in India and 4 times more than in Russia.

 

42. Instead of toilet paper, Sri Lankans use a hygienic shower, or even a ladle and a bucket of water, just like in Thailand.

 

43. There are practically no fat people in this state.

 

Royal Botanical Garden

 

44. The Royal Botanical Garden with an orchid greenhouse in Sri Lanka is considered the largest in Southeast Asia.

 

45. The export of currency (Sri Lankan rupee) outside the country is strictly prohibited.

 

46. ​​Sri Lanka is a major exporter of precious stones. Sapphire, emerald or ruby ​​can be bought here inexpensively.

 

Sinhalite stone

 

47. The most expensive gem here is sinhalite(more expensive than a diamond). It got its name in honor of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka.

 

48. The inhabitants of this island-state are very respectful of the people of the white race. They are very hospitable and friendly to tourists. Instead of a handshake, it is better to use the greeting of the locals: - fold your palms on your chest with a “house” and bring them to your forehead. In return, you will receive a radiant smile!

 

Bentota beach

49. Among local residents, it is considered prestigious to know the Russian language. It brings in a good income from tourists.

 

50. Russian tourists are found in Sri Lanka, but not very often, while this country is not yet strongly covered by compatriots, although Sri Lanka is one of the best places for a winter holiday.

 

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50-interesting-facts-about-venezuela

The official name of this state is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The country is located in South America, its territory is 916,000 square kilometers, and its population is just over 30 million. Most live in the coastal area of the country. Europeans are believed to have first landed on the coast of modern Venezuela in 1499; they were members of a Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda. And Venezuela got its name thanks to the Italian Amerigo Vespucci; the Indian houses on stilts reminded him of his native Venice.

 

Top facts about Venezuela

 

The capital of Venezuela is the city of Caracas, home to over 2 million people. In the old days, Indians of the Karaka tribe lived in this place, hence the name of the city. It was founded on July 25, 1567, on the day of St. Iago Leonski. The full name of the capital of Venezuela is Santiago de Leon de Caracas. The crime rate in the capital of Venezuela is very high.

 

 

 

1. Venezuela is a country located in the very north of South America.

 

2. The full name and official country are the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

 

3. The name of this state means "little Venice."

 

4. Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the territory of modern Venezuela.

 

5. Venezuela gained independence from Great Britain in 1830.

 

6. More than 28 million people live in this South American country.

 

CITY OF CARACAS - THE CAPITAL OF VENEZUELA

 

7. In the capital of Venezuela, the city of Caracas, there are a lot of cars, and there are even more traffic jams than in Moscow.

 

8. Venezuela, like many other Latin American countries, has a high percentage of poverty, a huge external debt and a terrible record of corruption. All these social problems are exacerbated by a number of natural disasters, in particular floods.

 

9. The population of this state mainly consists of four groups: mestizos (mixed Europeans and Indians), they account for about 67% of the population; whites (citizens of European origin, mainly Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese) - about 21%; blacks (persons of African and Caribbean origin) - about 10%; Indians (these are Native Americans) - 2%.

 

RESIDENTS OF VENEZUELA

 

10. These groups are mostly localized: mestizos and whites mostly live in cities; the Indians live in the hinterland of the Guianan and Amazonas; blacks live along the Caribbean coast.

 

11. All whites in Venezuela are a priori considered Americans. And most Venezuelans do not like Americans.

 

12. The official language in the country is Spanish. It appeared on the territory of Venezuela in the 16th century.

 

13. In addition to Spanish, there are 25 other indigenous languages ​​spoken in Venezuela that belong to three language families: Caribbean, Arawakan and Chibcha.

 

14. Venezuelans consider it important to learn English, as it opens up new perspectives for them.

 

15. The vast majority of Venezuelans (about 90%) are Catholics. There are also significant Jewish communities in Caracas and Maracaibo. The country also has a small number of Muslims.

 

GENERAL SIMON BOLIVAR

 

16. The main national symbol in this state is the image of the famous fighter for the independence of Venezuela, General Simon Bolivar. He led the movement that liberated Venezuela and the neighboring countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia from Spanish rule.

 

17. The walls of almost all houses in Venezuelan cities are painted with graffiti, and most of these graffiti are drawn very professionally.

 

18. In general, the climate in Venezuela is hot, but at an altitude of one and a half kilometers above sea level it can be called moderate. That is why most of the major cities here were built on high ground.

 

19. Thermometers in this country show the temperature in degrees Celsius, and air conditioners in degrees Fahrenheit.

 

20. Venezuela is dominated by a patriarchal society. Men always hold important political positions and are more successful at work, while women are more housewives.

 

21. Patriarchy is more pronounced in the city, while in the countryside it is not so pronounced. Although, based on the constitution, men and women have equal rights.

 

22. The country has the largest oil reserves on the planet. Now they are more than 48 billion tons.

 

23. The Venezuelan economy is 95% based on the production and export of petroleum products.

 

24. Petrol is very cheap in Venezuela. It's practically free.

 

25. Thanks to subsidized policies, gasoline costs only $0.01 per liter (64 kopecks per liter). This is incredibly cheap, given the average cost of gasoline in the world - 0.97.

 

NATURE OF VENEZUELA

 

26. The country has many beautiful landscapes, there is magnificent tropical weather.

 

27. The government takes care of the preservation of flora and fauna. Venezuela occupies a leading position in the world in terms of environmental protection. More than 53.9% of its territories are under state protection.

 

28. In this regard, other countries are far behind Venezuela. For example, in the UK, only 28.4% of the territories are protected, while the global average is 14.8%.

 

29.Venezuela belongs to a small list of countries with a huge number of endemic animals.

 

30. About 23% of reptiles and 50% of amphibian species living in the territory of this country are endemic to it.

 

ANGEL WATERFALL

 

31. On the territory of this country is the highest waterfall on the planet. It's called Angel. Its height is 979 meters (and according to some sources 1054 meters). The height of continuous free fall is 807 meters.

 

32. This waterfall is located in the tropical forests of the Venezuelan state of Bolivar, in the Canaim National Park. Canaim Park was included in the list of UNESCO national heritage sites in 1994.

 

33. The Venezuelan health care system includes a large number of public and private hospitals and clinics. However, despite the fact that medical care in this state is better than in other South American countries, it is far from ideal.

 

34. There are still long queues of patients in public hospitals, there is a shortage of qualified personnel, who, by the way, have rather low wages.

 

35. This state has rather low defense spending, approximately 1.5% of the country's GDP. The Venezuelan army has about 80,000 soldiers who serve in the navy, ground forces and aviation.

 

LAKE MARACAIBO

 

36. Local Lake Maracaibo is the largest in South America.

 

37. In every city here you can see the square of Simon Bolivar - the man thanks to whom Venezuela gained independence.

 

38. The Venezuelan currency, the sovereign bolivar, was named after Bolivar.

 

39.Also, the airport in Venezuela is named after Simon Bolivar.

 

40. Statues of Simon Bolivar are found in almost all cities of the country.

 

41.The State provides every citizen of the country with free primary education. As for higher education, only 20-30% of the population study at universities. Higher education takes four to five years, after which you can get the degree of licenciado (Licentiate).

 

 

42. Venezuelans are famous for their sociable and cheerful nature. This is noticeable in their behavior. When meeting even strangers, Venezuelans will kiss him twice, on the right and left cheeks. Women greet both men and women in this way, while men only kiss women. A firm handshake is accepted between men, the same as we have in Russia.

 

43. Printed newspapers are still very popular among the citizens of Venezuela.

 

44. The Internet sector in Venezuela is underdeveloped. Only large companies have their own websites. Home internet here is expensive and very slow.

 

45. Asteroid 9357 is named after Venezuela.

 

46. ​​The most popular sport in Venezuela is baseball, not football, as in all other Latin American countries.

 

47. At night, the movement on the streets of the cities of this country becomes extremely dangerous due to the high level of crime. In all of Venezuela, it is unlikely that you will be able to find at least one person who has never been robbed.

 

48. In provincial towns and villages, local residents usually deal with criminals on their own, rarely resorting to the help of the police.

 

49. Venezuelan girls have won more beauty pageants than girls from any other country.

 

50. The nature of Venezuela is amazingly beautiful, but the lack of a normal service in the European sense and the dangers that await tourists scare away most fans of eco-tourism.

 

 

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top-20-white-sand-beaches-in-greece-for-summer-2022

All sandy beaches are beautiful, but tourists especially invariably love the white sandy beaches of Greece. The gentle sand seems to be created for the relaxation of tourists on it and the long walks along the coast. Here's all the information on white-sand beaches in Greece to choose the right option for you.

 

Top beaches in Greece

 

Greece - is a country with a long length from north to south, so the recommendations will vary depending on where you go. The holiday season begins in May and peaks in July-August: there are too many tourists, and the temperature on the southern island reaches 40 degrees, which may not yet play a role on the beach, but it is certainly not suitable for sightseeing. So the best time to relax in Greece is late spring-early summer or September-October.

 

20. Myrtos beach

To get from Agios Nikolaos, you have to cross the highway in a southerly direction (buses run to Ierapetra) and from Heraklion to the southeast (Shuttle bus to Ierapetra stops in Mirtos). You can quickly get there by car. The beach is located in an open bay. That's why it's windy.

 

The tourist infrastructure is well developed. There are umbrellas and sunbeds here. The line of taverns and mini-hotels goes almost to the water itself. There is a rental of sports equipment. There is a shower and a dressing room. The cover is with small gray pebbles, rarely sand. The descent into the water is gradual, uniform, and without borders. The bottom is secure, with no holes or sharp depth changes. The resort is ideal for children and guests with reduced mobility, thanks to the accessible beach, the nearby accommodation, and the convenient transfer.

 

Among the nearest attractions is only the Venetian fortress of Ierapetra. The walls of the defense and the surrounding palms - a good places for selfies. It doesn't make sense to go there just for the city's sake, but you can go on the road or take the time to visit the town completely.

 

19. Vroulidia

Vroulidia Beach is located in a secluded spot on the southernmost tip of Chios, just 9 km from the beautiful Greek village of Pyrgi. Although the coast is only 100 m, the beach gives the impression of an exotic place due to the unusual combination of colors and landscape. Tall white cliffs surround the quiet, deserted beach of Wroulidia.

 

18. Skoutaros

Skoutari is a beach located between Kontron and Gifio resorts. It is characterized by perfect cleanliness, many attractions, and a shallow and hot sea. There is a cozy tavern on-site where the best Greek cuisine is prepared and tourists are treated to young wine.

 

17. Faros

The largest and most beautiful beach on the island of Ikaria is Faros. Its turquoise waves and white sand can often be seen on postcards with typical Greek landscapes. But seeing is one thing, and feeling on your body - every grain of sand and a ray of fragrant sun and the aroma of needles and olives - is entirely different.

 

16. Gialos

Gialos is a harbor beach with modern infrastructure and lots of fun. It is famous for its white sand, clear water, and good order. There are monuments of Greek architecture, luxury and affordable hotels, churches, and ancient monasteries.

 

15. Kampos

The beach is located on the north coast of Icaria, next to a small village of the same name. The island's capital, Agios Kirikos, is about 40 miles away and can be reached by car or bus. A few kilometers west is the port of Evdilos, the second largest on the island. Ships depart from it to mainland Piraeus and the islands of Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros. Evdilos is connected to Campos by a road along which you can see the many ruins of ancient buildings and walls.

 

14. Myrodato

Microdata is one of the best beaches in northern Greece. This comfortable and well-equipped Blue Flag Beach is located near Skala Avdiron, 26 km from Xanthi. The peculiarity of Mirodato is its white sand that shines in the sun, on which it is pleasant to walk and run barefoot. The beach will be an excellent option for relaxing on the sea.

 

13. Kedrodasos

Another wild beach in western Crete. It is located 20 kilometers west of Palaiochora. You can drive to Elafonisi, where there is tourist infrastructure and parking, and from there, you can walk along the path (a few kilometers to the southeast).

 

12. Castro

The first beach welcomes guests to the island of Lefkada and its northern part. The most convenient way to get to the recreation area is to rent a car, as a paved road leads directly to the beach. There is also free parking and a bus stop, which budget lovers may not need, as the beach is only 15 minutes away from the city.

 

11. Kavourotrypes

Kavurotripes (also known as Orange Beach) is a picturesque beach located 5 km from Sarti. It is famous for its orange cliffs, bright blue water, and soft and pleasant sand.

 

Read here about The top 21 beach towns in America for the 2022 summer vacation.

 

10. Voidokilia

They are located in the Messina prefecture on the west coast of the Peloponnese. With a bizarrely curved amphitheater, it crowns the picturesque Yalova Lagoon, which is connected to a narrow sandy spit. The local landscapes admire their beauty, and their photographs adorn all the tourist brochures in Greece. Next to the beach is the fresh Lake Divariou, where about three hundred different birds migrate from Europe to Africa. Therefore, the local area is a conservation area under the control of the environmental organization Natura 2000.

 

9. Navagio

Navagio (or Shipwreck Beach) is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Zakynthos and the whole of Greece. The picturesque bay with a rusty ship on its shore has long been the primary illustration of guides on this Greek island paradise. The name of this attraction is due to the beach. Initially, it was named after Saint George and later renamed "Shipwreck," and the coast itself is often called Smugglers' Beach.

 

8. Kathisma

Kathisma is one of the most beautiful beaches in Lefkada, which ideally combines scenic landscapes with a highly developed infrastructure. It enjoys the fame of being the most visited on the island. It is located about 15 km southeast of the capital, near the village of Agios Nikitas (just 3.5 km from it). This is one of the longest white sand beaches on Lefkada. There are always a lot of tourists, and the Kathisma coast is considered a natural paradise for a beach holiday for young people.

 

7. Kriopigi

Kriopigi Beach > Cheie-tur

Kriopigi Beach is one of the most beautiful and unusual beaches on the Halkidiki Peninsula. Its name translates to "cold key," which is due to the numerous sources of ice water in the vicinity. Even swimming in the sea, you can feel the cold courses. It is believed that the waters here are saturated with functional trace elements, and swimming on this beach improves health. There are always a lot of people who want to experience this.

 

6. Sani

Sani is a snow-white beach in the Kassandra Peninsula. There are two swimming pools at guests' disposal, a photo area, sports fields, and park areas. The beach is popular with newlyweds. Greek celebrities and athletes often relax here.

 

5. Agios Prokopios

Agios Prokopios is one of the most beautiful beaches in Naxos, most often included in the first lists of picturesque coasts in Greece and throughout Europe. The Greeks constantly claim to keep the charm of this coast clean, preventing its development with modern buildings and entertainment centers. This beach is located about 5.5 km southwest of the island's capital, near Agios Georgios, from where many people go here.

 

4. Voulisma

It is located on the coast of Crete, near Istro, 12 km from the big city and the port of Agios Nikolaos. There are buses to Istro (the journey takes 15-20 minutes). The beach is located in one of the many bays in the depths of Mirabello Bay and is the largest and most beautiful in the area and the most popular. Mountains and low pilgrims surround the sandy beach. The water is clear, turquoise, slightly sloping bottom with standard depth, no depths, and potholes. The water is usually clean, but storms sometimes bring garbage.

 

 

3. Simos

It is located in the southern part of the Peloponnese, on the island of Elafonisos, part of the prefecture of Laconia. The island was part of the mainland, but a strong earthquake that took place centuries ago took it off the land. Despite its convenient location, Elafonisos is one of the best resorts in Greece, and Simos is considered its pearl. The beach is on the Natura 2000 list of nature reserves and is a conservation area in the EU.

 

2. Egremni

Egremni is a picturesque wild beach on the very southwestern edge of Lefkada, about 40 km from Lefkada. It is considered one of the most beautiful on the island and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the long coastline gives glory to the longest on the Lefkada. Therefore, impressive landscapes can be enjoyed here in relative isolation than on other beautiful but very crowded beaches of the island.

 

1. Balos

It is located 55 kilometers from Chania, near the Gypsy Cape, on the Korikos Peninsula, at the northwestern tip of Crete. There are waters from the three seas that wash the island converge.

 

Read here Top 25 Most Beautiful Tourist Attractions in the United States for Summer 2022.

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top-65-facts-about-lisbon

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world and at least the most senior in Western Europe. The first mention of it dates back to the 3rd century BC. Despite this, practically no evidence of this antiquity remains in the city. It's all to blame - the fact below.

 

Lisbon is the westernmost capital of mainland Europe. Near the city is the famous Cape Roca, from which only the boundless Atlantic Ocean extends.

 

Facts about Lisbon

 

1. The city of Lisbon is the capital of Portugal.

 

2. He is respected in Europe because he is one of the oldest.

 

3. The first settlements on the site of the modern capital of Portugal appeared earlier than in Rome and Paris.

 

4. According to most estimates, the city was founded in the 12th century BC, near the Tagus River, providing excellent living opportunities. It turns out that Lisbon is older than Rome by four centuries. In fact, in Europe, only Athens was founded earlier than Lisbon.

 

5. Lisbon has been considered the capital of Portugal since 1255. However, there are no official documents confirming the fact that Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. The city became the capital by accident when King Alfonso III settled with his court in Lisbon. This made sense since Lisbon was already Portugal's largest and most important city.

 

6. A long time ago, this region was inhabited by pre-Celtic tribes. Then came the Celts, and then the Phoenicians. The Punic Wars forced the inhabitants of this place to think about building defensive walls. And then they began to build castles and towers here.

 

7. In the Middle Ages, Muslims came to the city and brought with them a new culture. But their reign ended when the Norwegian crusaders came to Lisbon.

 

8. Gradually, the city expanded due to its advantageous position. As a result, it became the most important European port, from which the gates to many states were opened.

 

 

9. And again, the city wants to capture the enemies. Lisbon survived both the invasion of the Spaniards and the arrival of Napoleon's troops. So Lisbon is a city that has seen a lot in its lifetime. But the most terrible disaster in the city's history was the most powerful earthquake of 1775.

 

10. It turned out to be so ruthless that the city turned into ruins. But he was not destined to die. With the help of the remaining townspeople, the use of the country's inhabitants was gradually revived.

 

11. Then, a new city practically rose from the ruins and became one of the most beautiful. Three revolutions took place here in the 20th century. After them, the rapid development of modern capital began.

 

12. Today's Lisbon is the most beautiful European capital with its sights and legends.

 

13. Lisbon is the warmest European capital. There are at least 100 rainy days here a year.

 

THE OLDEST DISTRICT OF LISBON - ALFAMA

 

14. Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon and the only one that survived and even retained its appearance after an earthquake in the middle of the 18th century. The Alfama district is located in the southeast of the city along the banks of the Tagus River. Alfama is situated at the foot of two of the seven Lisbon hills, one of which crowns the castle of St. George, and the other is the Cathedral of St. Vincent.

 

15. Its architecture stands out as a bright spot against the background of the rest of the city - chaotically located streets and tiny houses with stairs on the slopes form the image of the Middle Ages, and in general, it looks not like a district, but like a small village in the city. For a long time, it had a reputation as an area where sailors, anglers, etc., lived, that is, simple poor people, but in the Middle Ages, Muslims used the springs in Alfama to improve their health; for this, they came here as a resort.

 

16. Down to the banks of the Tagus River, the Alfama area is taking on more modern features - the old port warehouses have turned into modern loft spaces equipped with restaurants and trendy nightclubs.

 

17. The sights of Porto and Lisbon are a unique tandem of two Portuguese pearls that allows you to discover all the most atmospheric places in Portugal, feel its lively character and plunge into the old days.

 

18. The ancient buildings and centuries-old streets of these cities allow you to go back in time and understand how the state's glorious history developed.

 

ROSIE SQUARE

 

19. One of the most iconic places in Lisbon is Rossio Square, which can be classified as a must-see for tourists. It is surrounded by buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, which house numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants today, from modern eateries to fine Art Nouveau establishments.

 

20. Over the centuries, the square has seen a lot - even the Romans equipped their hippodrome on this place. Bullfights, festivals, military parades, and executions were held in the court. Today, city and public holidays are celebrated here; they study original installations and relax.

 

21. Locals are sure that Lisbon is associated with Freemasonry since the entire central district of Lisbon Baixa was designed and built on the principles of Masons: there are seven streets (one of which is Golden Street and the other is Silver Street), three squares, two columns near the river, one triumphal arch and many other facts point to this. But it is difficult to say this is true because Freemasonry is covered with a veil of mystery.

 

22. Ravens have been a symbol of the city since 1173 when they accompanied the body of Saint Vincent to Lisbon, where he was buried. Every coal merchant in the town kept ravens as pets. All these beloved pets have always had the same name: Vicente, in honor of the saint. The raven can always be seen in the castle of San Jorge and below at Se.

 

23. Lisbon is the first city to import Guinness. It is not in the Guinness Book of World Records, but records from 1811 show Lisbon was the first city to import Guinness beer.

 

24. O'Gillins and Hennessy's are among the few pubs in Lisbon where you can enjoy a perfectly poured pint of Guinness - continuing a tradition over 203 years old.

 

TRIUMPHAL ARCH

 

25. One of the attractions of Lisbon is the Arc de Triomphe. The date of the creation of this architectural structure is the end of the 18th century. The majestic arch was decorated with statues, sculptures of famous Portuguese, stone carvings, bas-reliefs, and column groups. By paying a few euros, you can climb to the observation deck, located on the roof of the building.

 

26. The Tahoe River stretches for 14 kilometers, winding through the capital.

 

27. The Tagus River is not the most attractive. No one in their right mind would think of swimming in its waters. But the world-famous oysters were once found in this river.

 

28. Only five people know the recipe for their favorite Lisbon cake. In a city where almost no one has secrets from each other, one terrible secret is kept - the recipe for Pastel de Belém cake. The secret recipe of Pastel de Belen has never been written down and is transmitted only orally; it has always been remembered and kept in mind. To prevent the formula from being lost, its keepers are not prohibited from flying together in the same plane or driving in the same car.

 

29. As you know, with great secrets comes great responsibility, and the keepers of this recipe take special precautions: they never travel in the same plane, do not sit in the same car, and do not order the same dish in a restaurant.

 

ON THE HILL OF GRACE

 

30. Graça is the highest of Lisbon's hills, but it was excluded from the original and official list. The seven lucky ones lined up in this order: San Jorge, San Vicente, San Roque, Santo Andre, Santa Catarina, Chagas and Santa Anna.

 

31. Maybe that's why most locals tell tourists that Lisbon is a city of seven hills. But this statement is not valid. They are deliberately misidentified to make Lisbon more like Rome, also known as the city of the seven hills.

 

CHURCH OF SAINT ENGRAVE

 

32. One of the most impressive creations of Portuguese Baroque architecture is the Church of Saint Engracia, also called the National Pantheon. This is a magnificent building made of pink marble with a vast dome, at the base of which, at the height of about 80 meters, there is an observation deck overlooking the city and the Tagus River.

 

33. This temple began to be built in the 17th century but was supplemented and rebuilt over the next three centuries. The construction process dragged on so much that the well-known phrase “construction of Santa Engracia” appeared in everyday life of the Portuguese, which meant an endless delay in work. The church has a design that has not previously been used in any Portuguese building - the interior space is distributed according to the scheme of the Greek cross. Above the entrance are niches with statues, and a beautiful baroque portal leads inside, where two angels hold the Portuguese coat of arms.

 

34. The city is considered multinational. At the same time, according to the census, 97% of the Portuguese live in it.

 

35. The Guinness Book of Records writes about a dinner in Lisbon, which 15,000 people attended. This dinner took place on the Vasco da Gama bridge during its opening in 1998.

 

36. In one of Lisbon's classic cafes, Martinho da Arcada, two tables remain empty and are permanently "reserved" for late writers. One for Fernando Pessoa, Portugal's most famous poet, and one for Nobel laureate José Saramago, Portugal's most beloved writer.

 

BASILICA - ESTRELA

 

37. A hill west of Lisbon crowns a majestic building - the Basilica da Estrela, erected by the Queen Mary of Portugal decree. Sometime during the marriage, Mary vowed to build a temple for the nuns of the Order of Barefoot Carmelites if the Lord would grant her a son. After a while, her heir was born, and at the end of the 18th century, the construction of the basilica began.

 

38. So, a unique building with columns, bell towers, and bas-reliefs grew. A tower complements the dome with a cross, which to this day serves as a guide for travelers - it can be seen from almost any part of the city.

 

39. Unfortunately, by the time construction was completed, the queen's son had already died from the smallpox he had suffered. The picturesque architecture of the temple combines the Baroque and Neo-Gothic styles; the facade is decorated with sculptures of angels and six allegories. The central dome is surrounded by a terrace from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the capital.

 

40. Lisbon has the world's only public tie mirror. At least there is no other city with such a mirror in the world. It is located next to door number 115 in Piazza D. Pedro IV. The inscription calls: "Put in order the knot of your tie."

 

MONUMENT TO THE PIONEERS

 

41. In Lisbon, there is a monument to the discoverers. It is located on the Belen embankment of the Tagus River. This large-scale 50-meter sculpture was created in memory of the era of legendary geographical discoveries. According to the project, the monument should personify the exploits of the famous navigators of Portugal. At the top level of the monument is an observation deck.

 

42. Lisbon has one of the smallest bookstores in the world. Bertrand is known as the world's oldest bookstore, a well-known fact. But Livraria do Simao is one of the smallest, with an area of ​​​​only 3.8 square meters. Meters. However, it holds 4,000 books! It is so small that the store owner usually leaves the premises when a customer enters.

 

VASCO DA GAMA BRIDGE

 

43. The Lisbon Vasco da Gama Bridge is the longest bridge in Europe, its length exceeds 17 kilometers. It is also the largest in Europe. Its appearance marked the 500th anniversary of the opening of the route to India by the great navigator. The construction crosses the river in its widest part, connecting one of the districts of Lisbon with the opposite towns of Montijo and Alcuchet.

 

44. The Vasco da Gama Bridge is a powerful support, dozens of cables, a curved line of the roadbed over the waters of the Tagus River. It is known that the design of the Vasco da Gama bridge is able to withstand the elements, 4.5 times more powerful than the famous Lisbon earthquake of the 18th century.

 

PRASA SQUARE - DO - COMERCIU

 

45. Praça do Comercio in Lisbon is one of the most beautiful European squares, from which the active development of the city began in the 15th century, regarding the famous geographical discoveries. It was during these years that the construction of the port and administrative buildings associated with maritime trade began. During the prosperity of Lisbon, ships with treasures from the Portuguese colonies moored in the port, important royal delegations arrived.

 

46. ​​And in our time, in the Praça do Comercio area, evidence of past glory remains - monumental monuments, ancient administrative buildings and various interesting places. Ministries, banks and other state organizations work in historical buildings located along the perimeter of the square. The legendary cafe Martinho da Arcada also operates here, where true aristocrats dined.

 

47. There are many unusual museums in the city: carriages, electricity, ancient art.

 

AT THE GALUST GULBENKYAN MUSEUM

 

48. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is a private museum. Usually private museum collections do not attract as much attention as large national museums. The Galouste Gulbenkian Gallery is a special case, with a huge and diverse collection that can outshine any large-scale exhibition.

 

49. The first part of this exposition presents objects of Greek, Egyptian, Persian art, here you can see the rarest jewelry, precious vases, fragments of Egyptian tombs. The second part is dedicated to European art - these are collections of paintings, carvings, sculptures, and various decor. But the most impressive part is the collection of paintings with paintings by Rembrandt, Renoir, Claude Monet and other eminent painters.

 

PAVILION OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE PARK OF NATIONS

 

50. In Lisbon, in the Park of Nations in the Interactive Museum of Science, a thematic pavilion of Knowledge was opened in 1999. It will be interesting to visit it for a person of any age - both kids from 3 years old and pensioners.

 

51. In the pavilion, divided into separate rooms, you can set up all kinds of experiments, for example, in the field of chemistry or physics, participate in experiments, learn about technological innovations and natural phenomena. Special attention deserves a hall with interactive modules called Escaping Exhibition: here you can ride a rope at a height of 6 meters on a bicycle, or relax at a huge table.

 

52. An unusual Santa Justa street elevator operates in the city, raising tourists to a height of 45 meters.

 

53. Lisbon Oceanarium is the largest in Europe. 450 species of marine inhabitants live here.

 

54. Almost all Lisbon streets look in black and white. Such an unusual coloring is not associated with mourning events, but symbolizes the robes of St. Vincent, who is the patron saint of the city.

 

55. During World War II, spies arrived in Lisbon from all over the world. The richest European refugees have created a small community around the casinos of the city of Estoril near Lisbon. They spent their days on the beach, dancing the night away, hosting banquets and gambling games where the stakes were very high.

 

56. The best spies of all Western countries worked hard in these circles. The most famous is Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, who was here in the service of British Naval Intelligence.

 

57. The April 25 Bridge across the Tagus River is 2.2 kilometers long. It is the largest in Europe among similar suspended transitional structures.

 

ZOO IN LISBON

 

58. The Lisbon Zoo is a unique menagerie. It stands out from other zoos in that it does not have cages or enclosures. The inhabitants live in recreated "natural" conditions: a house is built for the rhinoceros in the form of an entire African village, macaques and chimpanzees jump on real trees, tigers and lions rest on the grass of the "savannah".

 

59. For comfortable observation of animals and organizing picnics, tables and benches are located on the area of ​​​​the complex. Tourists who come to Lisbon with children should visit this wonderful zoo in the first place.

 

TRAMS IN LISBON

 

60. The narrow, uneven streets of the historic part of Lisbon are lined with tram tracks that have existed here for more than 100 years. They are followed by miniature yellow Remodelado trams that appeared in the early 20th century, and today everything inside them, from controls to wooden benches, seems to transport you to a charming era of the past.

 

61. Tourists who just want to wander around the city, the first thing you should pay attention to is Augusta, the main pedestrian street of Lisbon. It stretches from the central city square of Rossio to the famous triumphal arch and is a pavement lined with ancient mosaics in the form of a fancy pattern. It is a favorite place for walks of locals and visitors, a large shopping area and a popular vacation spot with numerous outdoor cafes, boutiques, exhibitions of local artists and performances by musicians.

 

62. Tourists are everywhere surrounded by colorful facades of old mansions, and the end of the walking route is crowned by the majestic Arc de Triomphe, which in itself is a separate attraction. The grand building is decorated in a mixture of Baroque, Renaissance and Manueline styles. A spiral staircase and an elevator lead to the top of the arch, where the observation deck is located.

 

63. The observation deck of San Pedro de Alcantara is a panoramic observation point, the area of ​​\u200b\u200bwhich is divided into two levels. At each level there are small restaurants, sculptural compositions, shops, fountains and vegetation. It is here that the local intelligentsia and the youth of the capital gather. Moreover, you do not need to pay for access to this observation terrace in the fresh air.

 

64. When exploring the ancient quarters of Lisbon, one should not forget about its surroundings, which are no less rich in historical monuments. For example, you can go outside of Lisbon to explore the sights of Sintra - Moorish castles, palaces, ancient monasteries against the backdrop of landscapes immersed in greenery.

 

65. Tourists say that once they see Lisbon, they cannot forget it or confuse it with another city. And you will definitely want to return there again to wander through its streets and visit its many other attractions.

 

 

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70-facts-about-macedonia-that-you-didnt-know

Interesting facts about Macedonia are an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Balkan countries. Today, this state cannot boast a strong economy and influence on the world stage. However, the government had significant political and military power in ancient times.

 

The Republic of Macedonia is a state in southeastern Europe on the Balkan Peninsula. Member of the UN as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 

Interesting facts about Macedonia

 

 

1. Macedonia is a country located south of the Balkan Peninsula.

 

2. Macedonia is a small European state located on the Balkan Peninsula, bordering Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, and Greece.

 

3. There are several Macedonias: the Pirin is a region in southwestern Bulgaria, Aegean is a region in northern Greece, and Vardar partly belongs to Serbia.

 

4. The modern state of the Republic of Macedonia is located between all these countries. It occupies an area historically called Vardar Macedonia - after the name of the Vardar River.

 

5. Macedonia is the only country that gained independence from Yugoslavia peacefully. It became a separate state in 1991

 

6. Although Macedonia is now a very small state, it used to be the greatest empire that conquered most of the world.

 

7. This is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. The first settlements on the territory of this country date back to 5000 BC. However, the first traces of organized cities date back to 808 BC, when the Argead dynasty controlled the area.

 

8. The name of the country comes from the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, which was named after the ancient Macedonians. The name Μακεδόνες (Makedónes) comes from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός (makednós), which literally translates as "high". Perhaps the Macedonians got this name because of their physical characteristics, or their mountainous habitats.

 

 

9. More than five centuries, until 1912, Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, some local traditions, dishes and even music are reminiscent of Turkish ones.

 

10. The Macedonians have always wanted to gain independence, so they often heroically rebelled against the Turks.

 

11. In memory of one heroic uprising, a huge monument was erected - “Macedonium” in the city of Krushevo, where the Ilinden uprising broke out in 1903, as a result of which the Krushevo Republic was created. The republic did not last long - ten days later the Turks dispersed this uprising, killing all the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries became heroes, their names are heard in the national anthem, and August 2 (Ilya according to the church calendar, “Ilinden”) is celebrated on a grand scale every year.

 

12. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Macedonia did not have statehood, and its fate was decided by its neighbors, who defeated the Turks in the First Balkan War and then quarreled with each other.

 

13.Macedonia is the second most mountainous country in the world. About 85% of the territory of this state is covered with mountains. It is second only to Montenegro, whose territory is 89% mountains.

 

14. There are 34 mountains in the country, the height of each of which exceeds 2000 meters above sea level.

 

 

15. Macedonia is a country with a territory of 26 thousand km2, and a population of just over two million people, of which about 500 thousand live in the capital, Skopje.

 

16. The city of Skopje has experienced many devastating earthquakes throughout its history. The most serious earthquakes occurred in 518 and 1963. These earthquakes almost completely destroyed the city.

 

17. Now Skopje has been completely restored and has the unofficial name of the "city of monuments", since on its territory there are monuments at almost every step.

 

18. In Skopje, there is the Church of the Holy Savior with a unique iconostasis dating back to the 6th century.

 

19. Skopje is a city where it is colder in winter than in the rest of Macedonia, and hotter in summer. Macedonia has a warm and dry climate, with 300 sunny days a year. In winter, the temperature is not lower than -5, usually from 0 to +5, in summer - +25+35, sometimes up to +40. If there is a thunderstorm, lightning is sure to strike.

 

20. In the mountains of Macedonia it is colder and there is snow. Ski resorts: Mavrovo, Krushevo, Popova Shapka. The Mavrovo National Park is open to tourists in the summer as well.

 

 

21. In the mountainous northwestern regions of Macedonia, there are quite large areas of forest vegetation. The lower slopes are dominated by deciduous forests. At altitudes up to 2000 meters above sea level, coniferous forests predominate.

 

22. These forests are home to a large number of wild animals such as wild pigs, wolves, bears, lynxes and others.

 

23. About 67% of the inhabitants of Macedonia are Orthodox Christians, 30% are Muslims.

 

24. Orthodox Macedonian ancestors were Slavs who, as the local history textbook says, came from beyond the Carpathians in the 6th-7th centuries AD. e.

 

25. Macedonians speak Macedonian. There is such a language. Everyone understands and freely communicates with Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bulgarians, these are different languages, but they are similar. The younger generation in the cities speaks English. The older generation once learned Russian at school, but, as a rule, no one remembers anything.

 

26. Despite the modest size of the country, there are many different dialects of Macedonian, which can be very different from the literary one.

 

28. Formal languages ​​such as Greek and Church Slavonic were often used for writing by these people. The Macedonian alphabet was created only in 1945.

 

29.Now the Macedonian language is one of the most difficult languages ​​to learn.

 

 

30. Macedonia is a predominantly agricultural country, fully self-sufficient in food. The main crops grown in this country are tobacco, fruits (mainly apples and grapes), various vegetables, wheat, rice and corn. Viticulture is quite developed in Macedonia.

 

31. Here everywhere, among the hills and low mountains, along the valleys and along the roads, fields and vineyards stretch.

 

32. Ohrid is a small town in the southwest of the country. There are 365 churches in this city (one for each day of the year). Several of these churches have been abandoned, but Ohrid is still the city with the largest number of churches, if not in the world then at least in Europe.

 

33. August 26, 1910 in Skopje was born Agnes Gonje Boyadjiiu, who is now known to the whole world as Mother Teresa. Today, in the center of the capital, you can visit her house-museum.

 

34. At 30 kilometers from the city of Kumanovo, at an altitude of 1030 meters, there is the oldest observatory in the world - Kukino. Its age is about 4 thousand years. This is the most important archaeological site discovered in Macedonia.

 

35. The Millennium Cross in Skopje is the highest in the world. It has a height of 66 meters and is located on the top of Mount Vodno (1066 meters). It was built for the 2000th anniversary of Christianity in Macedonia.

 

36. Macedonia is landlocked, but has many lakes, of which the most famous is Lake Ohrid.

 

37. Lake Ohrid is the oldest and deepest in the Balkans, it is located at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level, a depth of about 300 meters, according to scientists, it is about five million years old. Also, more than 200 endemic species of animals live in Lake Ohrid.

 

 

38. The water in Lake Ohrid is very clean. Wastewater is not drained into it, even the river that flows into the lake is cleaned of debris before that.

 

39. The waters of the Crni Drin River, which flows into Lake Ohrid, do not mix with the waters of the lake, and from a height you can see how it flows through the turquoise water with a black ribbon and flows out from the opposite side.

 

40. The city of Ohrid, on which the lake is located, is famous for the first Slavic university, a large number of churches, a beautiful monastery that rises above the water, and an ancient amphitheater. The city of Ohrid and its lake were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.

 

41. Every wealthy Macedonian has a house or apartment in Ohrid, where they come for the weekend, but they prefer to spend their holidays in Montenegro or Greece, because the sea is warmer than the lake.

 

42. Ohrid resembles the Adriatic coast: a beautiful promenade, many restaurants and hotels. The beaches are located outside the city. There are sun loungers for vacationers by the water, restaurants and cafes right behind them, modern toilets are equipped every 50 meters, which have never been paid. Sun loungers are also free, you just need to order drinks in a cafe. There are wild beaches, but they are unpopular.

 

43. Local residents are very friendly. They are very fond of tourists. Many offer accommodation to tourists. Others take tourists on a boat. Souvenirs, soda, baked corn, glazed donuts, books, antiques are sold on the embankment.

 

 

44. Many Germans, Belgians, Swiss, Danes, tourists from the Baltic countries and Scandinavia.

 

45.After Macedonia became an independent country in 1991, the small village of Vevkani, located in the mountains north of Lake Ohrid, declared itself the first micronation in the Balkan Peninsula, even though the inhabitants of Vevkani were all ethnic Macedonians. The inhabitants of this village had their own flag and currency, but the so-called "republic" did not last long.

 

46. ​​In this state there is a system of caves Vrelo, located near Skopje, the depth of which reaches 230 meters. These are currently the deepest caves in the Balkans and the second deepest in Europe.

 

47. Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedonian, not a Greek. The Greeks even refused him participation in the Olympic Games, referring to the fact that only Greeks have the right to take part.

 

48. The Greeks managed to force the Macedonians to change their coat of arms, arrogating to themselves the rights to the "Sun of Alexander". But the patriots still decorate their premises and even make tattoos with the coat of arms and various phrases, the meaning of which is: “we will die, but we will not change our name.”

 

49. In the center of Skopje, a huge monument to Alexander the Great was recently erected, but in order not to anger the Greeks, they called it “Warrior on Horseback”.

 

50. In the city of Bitola, the ruins of Heraclea, the palace of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, have been preserved.

 

 

51. Very often in this country, the construction of any object, house or garage is interrupted due to an accidental important find and archaeological excavations begin instead. There is even a joke like this: “Don’t piss me off, otherwise I’ll plant an amphora in your garden, and in the morning you will receive archaeologists.”

 

52. Macedonians are very patriotic citizens. Each house has a flag, souvenirs or clothing with national symbols, they love their cuisine, music, football team and believe that everything Macedonian is the best.

 

53. 20:00 - time for the evening news, all of Macedonia falls to the TV screens. The population is especially happy about news from other countries with the mention of Macedonia, even if someone just found their state on the map.

 

54. Macedonians make unique blankets from sheep's wool, which look like the skin of a bear, they are called yamboli. They are painted in different colors and laid on the sofa, and when the yambolia wears out, they are thrown on the floor instead of a rug.

 

55.There are three types of popular music in Macedonia: folk popular music, popular music and children's music.

 

56. Macedonian folk music is very patriotic, reminiscent of the wedding music of Western Ukrainians and Moldovans.

 

57. The children's stage consists of several festivals where children of different ages perform, all this is shown on local television. Thus, children have their own, children's idols, favorite songs on children's topics.

 

 

58. The city of Struga every year becomes the venue for poetry evenings, which attract poets from all over the world.

 

59. The city of Prilep is known for its summer beer festival, where Balkan pop stars perform.

 

60. Socialism in Yugoslavia differed significantly from the Soviet one, land was not taken away from people, private enterprise was allowed. In Macedonia, many family businesses were inherited by the current owners from their grandfather-great-grandfather, these are all sorts of workshops, vineyards, shops, as well as land.

 

61. In central Macedonia, growing tobacco has been a popular form of income since the 18th century. They collect it, string it on long needles, then on threads two meters long and dry it on the street, after which they keep it in the attic until winter, and in winter they rent it to a tobacco factory. This is very hard work. All family members are involved in this work, starting from the age of 4-5.

 

62. Macedonians grow more than 40 types of peppers of different sizes, colors, shapes, tastes and pungency. It can be said that this is one of the main food products along with wheat, feta cheese and tomatoes.

 

63. There is no buckwheat and herring in Macedonia. Herring in Macedonians is disgusting.

 

64. In the mountains of Macedonia there are villages where there are thousands of times more sheep than people.

 

 

65. There are deposits of marble in Macedonia. Whole marble mountains. Therefore, the completely marble central square of a small town is not uncommon, here it is not expensive. In the process of marble extraction, a lot of marble scrap remains - curved slabs of different sizes, marble chips. Local residents lay out their yards with slabs; you can often find an ordinary house with a beautiful marble yard.

 

66.The Macedonian diaspora exceeds the population of the country itself. Most Macedonians live in the USA, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Germany. They emigrated in several waves, starting from the 19th century, fleeing poverty and Ottoman oppression.

 

67. Foreign Macedonians, as they are called in the country, come to their homeland regularly, marry the same foreign Macedonians, met “down” (“below”), in their homeland.

 

68. Macedonians will proudly show a foreigner their house, their neighbor’s house, the city, and the history of the country, and all this with pride.

 

69. They treat Russians with respect. Russians consider all citizens of the CIS countries. And the Russian mafia scare small naughty children.

 

70. What cannot be expressed in words is the atmosphere in the country. The unhurried pace of life of self-proud Macedonians. Magical sunrises and sunsets against the backdrop of endless mountains. Sweet smells of hot Macedonian summer. Macedonia needs to be felt, and for this you need to come here.

 

 

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top-75-fascinating-facts-about-martinique

Martinique is France's island and overseas territorial community in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is part of the Lesser Antilles island chain. Its closest neighbors are the island republics of Dominica, 22 miles (35 km) to the northwest, and Saint Lucia, 16 miles (26 km) to the south. Guadeloupe, another part of overseas France, is about 75 miles (120 km) to the north. This island has incredible views and will not leave anyone indifferent to its beaches.

 

Amazing facts about Martinique

 

Travelers are always interested in interesting facts about France and its overseas department - the exotic island of Martinique. Well, this tropical resort has its little secrets!

 

 

1. Martinique is an island country in the Caribbean.

 

2. The island of Martinique belongs to the archipelago of the Lesser Antilles and is located in its central part.

 

3. Martinique is one of the most attractive islands in the Caribbean.

 

4. Beautiful beaches, cozy bays, hilly trekking paths, as well as fantastic vegetation of the tropics along the coast attract many travelers.

 

5. Martinique is located between Saint Lucia and Dominica. On all sides, the island is surrounded by beaches, but if the Caribbean Sea washes Martinique in the west and south, then by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and north.

 

6. Such a geographical location of the island attracts divers and other lovers of active water sports from all over the world.

 

7. Martinique is the most prosperous overseas department of France in the Caribbean. This territory has belonged to France since 1635.

 

8. The island's indigenous population was Caribs, Indians, whose name remained in the toponym "Caribbean Sea."

 

 

9. The island was discovered by Columbus at the end of the 15th century, more precisely, in 1493. It is believed that the history of Martinique begins from this moment.

 

10. Not finding gold on the island, the Spaniards left it. But the Spaniards named Martinique after one of their Catholic saints.

 

11. Since the Spaniards were not interested in the island with beautiful nature, the French subsequently founded the first settlement here.

 

12. In 1635, 90 French settlers founded the fortified Fort Saint-Pierre here, and the French colonization of Martinique began.

 

13. At first, the island was the property of a private company, but then it was bought by the state and from 1664 became the crown colony of France.

 

14. Already by the 60s of the 17th century, the Indian population of Martinique was either exterminated in wars with the French, or died from diseases brought from Europe, so the new landowners began to massively import slaves from Africa.

 

15. It is not surprising that local history is full of a large number of events related to the struggle of slaves for their rights and freedoms. However, slavery was abolished in Martinique only in 1848 - by decree of the Provisional Government of France in the colonies.

 

 

16. In 1870, the population of Martinique received voting rights and representation in the French Parliament.

 

17. And since 1946, Martinique has the status of an overseas department of France (but it is not an independent state, like French Guiana in South America).

 

18. Now Martinique is a wonderful resort with wonderful nature and a highly developed tourist infrastructure.

 

19. At one time, this island was called by Columbus "the most beautiful land in the world."

 

20. Martinique can rightly be called one big resort. There are many first-class hotels, excellent beaches and stunning architecture of the colonial period. All this is the hallmark of the island.

 

21. The largest and highest volcano on the island is Mont Pele, its height is 1397 meters. The name translates as "Bald Mountain". The volcano is located 8 kilometers from Fort Saint-Pierre, which suffered from its eruption over 100 years ago.

 

22. Saint-Pierre, the largest city of the island, was the first capital of Martinique, which was almost completely destroyed by the 1902 eruption of Mont Pele. Now, making tours to Martinique, you can visit Saint-Pierre and see for yourself the destructive power of volcanoes. The local museum of volcanology is open for visiting, the remains of the old theater, the ruins of the city prison and city warehouses are also interesting for tourists.

 

 

23. Nearby is the house-museum of Paul Gauguin, who lived at one time in Martinique. Some of the masterpieces of the world famous French artist Gauguin were painted in Martinique. In the house where the genius lived, a museum is now open, but, unfortunately, there are no originals of his works there.

 

24. The city of Fort-de-France is the modern capital of Martinique. For its architecture and originality, it is often called "Little Paris".

 

25. On the narrow streets of Fort-de-France, coming from the bay de Flamence and the Rivière Madame, there are a large number of mansions of the colonial period, many churches, and a well-developed network of cafes and shops.

 

26. Fort-de-France is also a city of parks. In the center of the city there is a large park La Savane, where there are many beautiful fountains, palm alleys and open areas for concerts.

 

27.From the southeast, the park is adjacent to Fort St. Louis. The streets of the city are narrow, winding, there are many cafes and restaurants, as well as historical and cultural monuments. The city also has a large number of different museums.

 

28. The city of Fort - de - France, the capital of Martinique and at the same time one of the largest ports, where sugar, rum and cocoa beans are exported. It is in this part of the coast that there are bays convenient for navigation - those in which there are no reefs.

 

 

29. There are many reefs around Martinique. This is inconvenient for sailors, but ideal for divers. By the way, the infrastructure for diving and sport fishing is well developed on the local coast.

 

30. Due to volcanic activity, the island has a difficult terrain (for which tours to Martinique are especially respected by fans of hiking trekking) and indented, with a large number of bays, coasts (this makes a beach holiday especially cozy).

 

31. As for the hills, they are mainly represented here by hills, but on the north side there are old volcanoes, the highest of which is almost one and a half kilometers above sea level: this is Mont Pele (which translates as "Bald Mountain"). It was his eruption at the beginning of the twentieth century that destroyed the first capital of Martinique, but since then Mont Pele has been sleeping.

 

32. For Martinique in 1855 - 1961, special monetary units were issued in France, which were in circulation only here. Now on the island - as well as in the metropolis - the euro is used, but in many places in Martinique, US dollars are accepted for payment.

 

33. The cheapest and most common form of transport among the local population is a bus. Here it is called "collective taxi". However, such a “taxi” runs only according to a schedule, and on weekends it is quite rare. Alternatively, you can use a regular taxi, but its cost is much more expensive.

 

34. The "golden mean" for tours of Martinique is car rental. You can rent a car almost everywhere, you only need to have a driver's license from any country in the world. The main thing to remember is that traffic on the island is right-handed!

 

 

35. Lake Etang - de - Saline - this is a great place for lovers of both active and passive recreation. The reservoir is located in the southernmost part of Martinique, 600 meters from the Caribbean Sea, as a result of which its waters are salty. The weather in this area is always sunny and warm. On the lake, you can either just sunbathe or go diving, as the nearby Strait of St. Lucia is rich in its underwater world.

 

36. The southernmost coast of Martinique is the Les Salines peninsula, recognized as the most beautiful place on the island due to its amazing beaches.

 

37. The Strait of St. Lucia, into whose waters Le Saline crashes, is famous for strong currents and a rich underwater world, which cannot but please diving fans.

 

38. The town of Sainte-Anne, which is the peculiar capital of the peninsula, is known for its small but very beautiful Abbey Morland square, a church built of white sandstone, and charming street architecture.

 

39. The Piton du Carbet mountain range is located near the Mont Pele volcano in the northern part of the island of Martinique. Despite the fact that Piton - du - Carbet is of volcanic origin, eruptions have never occurred here.

 

40. The length of the ridge is 80 kilometers, and it includes several peaks. The highest point of the ridge is Mount More - Pavillon, which rises at an altitude of 1197 meters above sea level. This place is perfect for lovers of mountaineering and hiking.

 

 

41. Fans of sea fishing, diving and those who like to just relax on the beach will be interested in the Presqu'il Caravel peninsula, located in the Baye du Gallon. Presqu'il Caravel is widely known for its wild beaches.

 

42. In Martinique, the so-called trekking routes are very popular - hiking along hiking trails. First of all, this is the Route de la Tres, which passes through the rainforest and the slopes of the Piton du Carbet peaks.

 

43. Its second name is the Jesuit trail. It windingly runs from the capital of Martinique - Fort - de - France to the Piton - du - Carbet mountain range. The trail passes between huge volcanic formations, past the church and the Balata botanical garden. Also, in some places, the mountain river Alma flows along it.

 

44. At an altitude of 450 m above sea level, the most famous residential point is located here - the settlement of Mont Rouge. Walking along this path, between fern thickets and palm groves, you can enjoy the beauty of the local nature to the fullest.

 

45. The creation of the beautiful Balata Botanical Garden, famous for its huge variety of flowers, lasted 20 years. Representatives of European flora grow in the garden: pines, orchids, which are perfectly complemented by representatives of the exotic flora: dragon trees, reeds and cordilins. In total, about 3 thousand different types of trees, shrubs and flowers are represented in the Balata Botanical Garden. In addition, small ponds are broken in the garden, the water surface of which is covered with lilies and water lilies.

 

 

46. ​​The history of the volcano Mon - Pele, the second name of which sounds like "Bald Mountain", is quite tragic. Back in the 18th century, he began to show signs of life, but they were insignificant and soon completely stopped. However, in May 1902, a serious volcanic eruption occurred, as a result of which the former capital of the island, the city of Saint-Pierre, was completely destroyed by ash and stones that escaped from the mouth of Mont-Pele. Subsequently, the Museum of Volcanology was opened in the city, and Enns-Siron Beach, which is of volcanic origin, is also located here.

 

47. Balata Church is located 10 kilometers from the capital of the island and is a copy of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in France. This magnificent building was erected in 1928 in the Romano-Byzantine style.

 

48. The building has a rectangular shape and is crowned with a dome resembling the silhouette of a basilica. Outside, the shrine is decorated with sculptures, and its interior is full of stained glass windows and mosaics depicting scenes from the Bible. The church was built on the territory of the Jardin-Balata botanical garden and is surrounded by artificial ponds with lilies and water lilies.

 

49. Fort Desaix is ​​one of several structures built in the 18th century. It was intended to protect the capital of the island from attacks on the island. The fort is named after the French general Louis Charles Antoine Desaix, who took part in the Egyptian campaign of Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

50. Initially, the structure had an irregular pentagonal shape. During the Great Patriotic War, gold bars from the Bank of Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves of France were stored here. Today, the fort is reserved for the headquarters of the armed forces of France.

 

 

51. In the north of the island you can see beaches with black and gray sand. This is due to volcanic activity in the local mountains. The southern coast of the island is famous for its white sandy beaches.

 

52. Most of the population of Martinique are the descendants of African slaves who were once brought here to work on French plantations. Almost all the Indians who lived here before the arrival of the French were exterminated or fled from the island, so today they cannot be found here. Whites make up only about 5% of the island's population. Some of them are Russian-speaking diaspora. 90% of the population professes Catholicism.

 

53. French has the status of an official language in Martinique, but "patois" (a mixture of African dialects and French) is much more common among the local population.

 

54. There are no minerals in Martinique. But the island is well developed agriculture and tourism. Bananas and pineapples are grown here, and sugar and rum are also produced. And all this is exported.

 

55. And Martinique does not produce anything else. Meat, grain, vegetables, drinks, medicines, furniture, dishes, clothes and oil have to be imported.

 

56. There are not very many tropical forests left here, they are preserved only on the slopes of the mountains.

 

57. The nature of Martinique is generous and varied, but there are few animals in the forests. Basically, some species of rodents, snakes, as well as domestic animals predominate in the local fauna. The scarcity of the animal world is associated with the massive deforestation of tropical forests, which have survived in the wild only in mountainous regions.

 

 

58. There is an island of iguanas in Martinique - these are reptiles, huge lizards.

 

59. Previously, there were a lot of lizards and snakes on the island. To combat them, in the 1800s, planters brought mongooses to the island. But it did not end in anything good: the mongooses multiplied very quickly and began to devour bird eggs. Because of this, some other species of birds have been completely exterminated or endangered.

 

60.Park Floral is a park area located in the capital of Martinique and abounding with flowers of various kinds. A huge variety of flowers is complemented by bizarre and unique palm trees, as well as entire groves of eucalyptus.

 

61. In the park, you can walk for a very long time or sit on a bench and admire this colorful beauty of the surrounding nature. In addition, food fairs and shopping arcades are also located here, where you can buy products created by the hands of local craftsmen.

 

62. A colorful sight is the black volcanic sand beach of Enns Siron. The old villages of Enns Belleville and Le Precher, the remains of chocolate plantations, are also interesting for tourists. And for a good rest on the water, the beach in Enns Culver Bay is perfect.

 

63. Tourists will also be interested in seeing the building of the Scholcher Library, Saint-Louis Cathedral, visiting the Museum of the Department of Archeology and seeing the Fort-de-France Aquarium.

 

 

64. In the northern part of Martinique, the fishing town of Grand Rivière is interesting to visit with a colorful fish market and rows of fishing boats painted in bright colors. Also, the Grand Rivière offers an excellent panorama of the Martinique Strait, and in good weather you can see the distant coast of the Dominican Republic.

 

65. A trip to the town of Sainte-Marie, which is famous for its rum, will be interesting. At the Museum of Rum, you can taste various varieties of this drink produced in Sainte-Marie.

 

66. Not far from the town of Diamant, where houses are built of coral blocks, there is a small volcanic island Rocher du Diamant, with an incredibly rich underwater world (for which Rocher du Diamant received the unofficial title of "Mecca of divers" of Martinique).

 

67. Many tourists who decide to tour Martinique are attracted not only by the opportunity to relax on the tropical coast and dive into the Caribbean and Atlantic waters, but also by a large number of festivals, the number of which Martinique is often compared with Cuba and Brazil.

 

68. Some of the most colorful events of this kind are the Queen's Carnival and the Mardi Gras Carnival (“Fat Tuesday”, the last day before the start of Lent in the Catholic Church), which take place on the island in February.

 

69. In addition, Martinique is famous for its sports festivals and events: first of all, we are talking about Navigation Week and international competitions in yachting and windsurfing (take place from February 4 to 9), as well as surfing competitions.

 

 

70. Despite the small size of the island, several queens ruling in France, Holland and Turkey were originally from Martinique: Josephine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon I; her daughter from her first marriage, Hortense de Beauharnais, who became Queen of Holland; her distant relative Aime de Ribery (Nakshedil), who accidentally got into the harem of the Turkish Sultan Abdul-Hamid I.

 

71.Since tourism is the main source of income for the local population, in terms of security, Martinique is quite a calm place. However, do not lose vigilance! Street theft and fraud here, as elsewhere in the world, is a common form of crime.

 

72. And the main health risks while staying on the island are: inattention to solar activity on the beaches - as a result, sunburn and overheating, as well as local jellyfish are quite poisonous! One must be careful when swimming in the sea; should be protected from insect bites. Repellents must be used!

 

73. The southern part of the island, well developed and mastered by tourists, is quite flat. All mountains are in the north. For this reason, small waterfalls can also only be seen in the north.

 

74. An interesting variety of trees in Martinique is the traveler's palm. Her crown is like an open fan. The palm tree accumulates water inside the trunk, thanks to which it helps to save the afflicted from thirst.

 

75. Martinique is similar to the southern Mediterranean coast of France. Like some suburb of Nice.

 

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