JULIE MARIS/SEMEL photography  

(Pagan) Myanmar’s second largest city after Yangon, and the last capital of the Myanmar Kingdom. King Mindon built Bagan in 1857 as the capital to replace Amarapura. Bagan, one of the major historical landmarks in Asia, is on the Ayeyarwady River (Irrawaddy River). It is the site (80 sq. km) of more than 2,800 monuments from the 10th to the 14th centuries. The pagodas and monuments represent artistic and technical achievement of an original and innovative Buddhist school of art with their range of sizes, diversity of styles, and decorative elements. The jewel-encrusted and gold Shwezigon Pagoda (Shwe Si Gon Pagoda or Shwe Zi Gon Pagoda), the most important pagoda in Bagan, is a terraced pyramid with a Mon bell-shaped stupa.

Belo Horizante
Indigenous Brazilian (Amazonas) village on the Amazon River, east of Leticia, Columbia at 67° 30 and 3° 30.

Bet Giorgis
(Church of St. George or Biet Giorgis) Rock-hewn cruciform 13th c. church, built in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Bet Giorgis named after Saint George, the patron saint of Ethiopia, is one of 11 chuches that are monolithic and rock-hewn from tufa. The church was built in a trench approximately 25 meters sq. and 12 meters deep, with a sloping roof level with the hillside. The roof has a carved relief of three equilateral Greek crosses. Bet Giorgis also has three west-facing doorways typical of Ethiopian churches, in addition to windows with semi-palmette cross motifs.

Bet Maryam
(Bete Mariam or The House of Mary) 13th c. rock-hewn monolithic church that appears to be a built-up structure but is cut from rock and separated from it by a trench in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Most churches of this type, that include Bet Medhane Alem and Bet Giorgis, are uniquely found in or near Lalibela. Bet Maryam is part of the intricate series of interconnecting passages, courtyards, and tunnels that are the infrastructure for the complex of the Lalibela rock-hewn churches. In the courtyard of Bet Maryam, there is a pool that is believed to cure women of sterility.

Bet Medhane Alem
World’s largest rock-hewn monolithic church, located in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Bet Medhane Alem, 13th c., stands 11.5 meters and covers an area of 800 sq. meters. Bet Medhane Alem is supported by 36 interior rock-hewn tufa pillars and 36 rock-hewn exterior pillars. Most churches of this type (Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Giorgis, and others) are found in or near Lalibela.

Bet Meskel
(Bete Meskel) Rock-hewn 13th c. church in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Bet Meskel is part of an intricate series of interconnecting passages, courtyards, and tunnels. In the courtyard of Bet Maryam, an adjacent rock-hewn church, there is a pool to cure women of sterility—the local belief. The smaller churches of Bete Meskel and Bete Denagil are located in the northern and southern corners of this courtyard. Hermits live in small caves in the churches’ courtyard walls.

Boca do Justiça, Largo Curauço, Cuxoi Muni
Indigenous Brazilian (Amazonas) villages on the Amazon River, east of Iquitos, Peru.

  copyright 2006 Julie Maris/SemeldownupABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPTY