The Perfect Thanksgiving in San Francisco (on a budget)

Luna, Belgium

Thanksgiving is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall/winter holiday season in the U.S. This year I’m going to celebrate Thanksgiving in San Francisco, so let’s see what activities I could do during this little trip!

WEDNESDAY 11/21/2018

Arriving on Wednesday evening, the best thing to do first is to check into the Airbnb : cheaper option than a hotel. A nice and free evening activity  in San Francisco is walking to the Golden Gate Bridge and see it completely lit up with a beautiful sunset. Enjoy the breathtaking view with a nice hot chocolate or coffee to take away from Philz Coffee!

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THURSDAY 11/22/2018

Thanksgiving is already here! To make the most out of this celebration you need to make sure to wake up a little early. This way you can enjoy the city when it’s calm and empty. In the morning you can visit the Japanese Tea Garden which is a really peaceful environment. For lunch, enjoy a nice picnic in the park in front of the Painted Ladies. In the afternoon a nice and not too pricey activity is the cinema ! This year, Disney made a movie based on the Nutcracker story and this certainly is a must see during the wintertime. If you’re not into musicals you can always go see another movie in the winter sphere. Ice skating is also something on your To Do list especially in front of the Macy’s Christmas tree, it’s a magical sphere.

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FRIDAY 11/23/2018

BLACK FRIDAY! This is a day you want to wake up super early to be in front of the stores cause this happens only once a year. Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanks Giving in the unites states, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952. Essentially, it’s a huge event where all the stores open early, close really late and  have a lot of sales and deals. If you don’t feel like being in a really crowded mall they also have plenty of deals and sales on their websites. There have been some scary stories in the past from people fighting about products and especially electronics but I still think it’s something you need to experience when you’re in the USA.

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In San Francisco the best places to go shopping are:

  • Union Square
  • Union Street
  • Market Street
  • Stonestown Galleria
  • Pier 39
  • Embarcadero Center
  • Ghirardelli Square

SATURDAY 11/24/2018

Take a day off! Try to make this day as chill and cozy as possible. Wayfare Tavern is one of the cutest restaurants that is really going to put you in the winter sphere. It has a beautiful fireplace and delicious winter food. You can also just enjoy the city and visit the most popular places like the Alcatraz prison, the Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf and travel around the city with the cable cars.

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SUNDAY 11/25/2018

Every Sunday morning at 10am, you can catch the two-hour Champagne and Mimosa cruise around the SF Bay. This relaxing ride offers amazing views of the SF Bay including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Sausalito. You will also ride past the Palace of Fine Arts, Angel Island and Fort Point National Historic Site.

Farmer’s Markets are an important start to Sunday in San Francisco. Each week, you will find several throughout the city. Here are the details on the largest and most popular (all are year around unless noted):

  • Heart of the City in the UN Plaza in Civic Center: 7 am to 5 pm
  • Divisadero’s Farmer’s Market on Grove at Divisadero: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Fort Mason Center Farmer’s Market: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
  • Inner Sunset Farmer’s Market in the parking lot between 8th and 9th Avenue south of Irving Street: 9 am to 1 pm
  • Glen Park in the parking lot of the Glen Park BART Station: 10 am to 2 pm; Late March though late November

If you love live music, then you are in luck! Every Sunday night, you will find at least four of five live shows in San Francisco. Larger shows are at venues such as The Warfield, The Fillmore and The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. However, you will also find smaller shows at The Independent, Slim’s and The Great American Music Hall.

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If you are planning on living this experience, which I highly recommend, enjoy it as much as you can whit your love ones. And be thankful !

Cast Out Caste

Enora Haugmard France

India is a booming country, rich with diversities, but its territories haven’t developed equally everywhere. Indeed, some discrimination still exits  between Indian inhabitants. Hopefully, the situation is evolving positively.

In India, there is a system that makes it possible to classify the population a thousand heredity groups called “caste”. The caste system was developed many years ago and still survives today. We can notice 4 major castes : Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya, which are the upper class, and Sudra the lower one. It would be necessary to add the Untouchables (Dalits) which are left outside the other castes. Currently, the discrimination about caste is forbidden, however, it still continues to play a major role in Indian society.

caste

Indeed, there is large-scale of abuses by the police, for example when some refused to fill a complaint or acting in collusion with the upper class. Upper class oppression lead to terrible actions, such as humiliation in public, paraded naked or raped with impunity. Dalits lives are very hard, in part of immoral actions that they have to face everyday; for example, their jobs which are unclean (cleaning latrines). Moreover, the Untouchables face lower wages and a terrible way of life.

 

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But, the situation has been improving since XX century. An emergence of grassroots human right movements and organizations among Dalits has resulted.

People’s Watch organization by Henri Tiphagne was established on Dec. 10, 1995 in the state of Tamil Nadu. People’s Watch is at the heart of the human rights fight in India. The objective of this organization is to empower the victims of human rights violations, such as domestics violence, torture, child labor, harassment and of course, caste discrimination.

 

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As Henri explain during an interview, People’s Watch is an association of volunteers that want to operate independently and without  outside resources. According to Henri, he would like to act step by step instead of working throughout the country, because he wouldn’t possess the skills and the capacities to be able to make an entire state accountable. Thanks to their work, they provided immediate relief to 20,000 families, mostly Dalits affected by a tsunami.

 

On the 17th of July 2017, a man from India’s lowest caste was elected president. Ram Nath Kovind is the second president who came from Dalits.ram-nath-kovind-ambedkar-jayanti-pti_650x400_81523727422 His election as president represents a support among the Dalits community. Although, the role of the president in India lacks any real executive authority, Ram Nath Kovind has a symbolic role. Traditionally viewed as “impure,” the group continues to grapple with persecution and exclusion.

 

So, even though discrimination against Dalits still prevails, the situation has been improving and we can hope that it will continue in this way. But, unfortunately, the Untouchability is an entrenched and its hard to remove it. India is riddled with discrimination and prejudices, and that provokes huge consequences towards the lower class. Perhaps, we will have wait for its economic development to notice a real social evolution.

 

 

 

https://www.peopleswatch.org/our-work

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Nath_Kovind

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/atrocities-on-dalits-social-problem-not-political-says-ramdas-athawale-1351387-2018-09-28

https://www.countercurrents.org/dalit-tiphagne070104.htm

 

Things To Do in Switzerland

Alyssa Knutti, Switzerland

Switzerland is officially the second happiest country on the planet, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report. And while you read this article you’ll soon realize why Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are so many things you can do in this small country from exploring the Swiss Alps to passing the spectacular Rhine Falls or sailing around Lake Geneva.

  1. Go skydiving

An amazing place where you can skydive is Interlaken. Interlaken is close to the capital city and is surrounded by peaks of the alps. It’s one of the most spectacular spots on earth to go skydiving.

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2. Take the Glacier Express

You should definitely ride with the famous Glacier Express through the mountains. Riding the train is pretty spectacular because it has huge panoramic, glass windows. If you want to take the whole ride you have to get in from Zermatt and then you go out at Davos or St. Moritz.

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3. Visit the James Bond Restaurant

The famous James Bond restaurant in Switzerland is located at the top of the Schilthorn, a 2970 meter high mountain in the middle of the country. The restaurant is called Piz Gloria. It is where the 1969 James Bond movie was set. It’s also a revolving restaurant. That means you can eat and the view changes all the time.

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4. Get soaked by the waterfalls

If you want to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland you have to go to Lauterbrunnen and take the one hour hike to Trummelbach. You’ll actually pass about two or three other waterfalls along the way. Trummelbach is the most famous waterfall. It has been formed by the melting snow breaking through cracks in the rocks.

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History of the Crusaders

Kevin Pic

Kevin Bolt,Switzerland

In the year 1095 after Christ, Pope Urban II called in the Council of Clermont at the beginning of the Crusades.

 

In the spring of 1096, the Crusaders broke up into four armies under the leadership of French princes.

 

The religion of Islam, founded by the Arab Mohammed in Mecca 630, became a threat to Byzantium. As the holy places of Christianity in Jerusalem were also in the hands of the Arabs, the Pope called for the First Crusade.

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In the year 1099, the Crusaders succeed in conquering Jerusalem. 

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 The siege lasted five weeks. During this time, the Crusaders set up an appalling massacre among the Islamic and Jewish populations.

 

The goal of the crusade had been reached and more than one million people had lost their lives in this war.

 

: 1096-1099 First Crusade

: (15.7.1099 Storming of Jerusalem

: 1147-1149 Second Crusade

: 1189-1192 Third Crusade

: 1202-1204 Fourth Crusade 

: 1218-1229 Fifth crusade

: 1248-1254 Sixth crusade

: 1270 Seventh Crusade

 

The Seventh Crusade was also called the Children’s Crusade. Crusade undertaken by French and German children, in which they moved, from religious zeal, to the thousands to Genoa and Marseille, and perished miserably or were sold as slaves on the way.

 

The consequences of the Crusades:

The formation of Knights ‘ order

(Templar order, Order of St. John and Teutonic Order.

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Ranking of the order of the Knights Templar:

Since there was a well-organized hierarchy among the Templars, it was possible for them to set up a powerful army.

There were a large number of well-trained knights in the main quarters who guarded the fortresses on the one hand and were on call for the fight on the other.
In addition to these knights, there were sergeants and squires who belonged to the Templars.

 

Grandmaster–he acted like a sovereign
• Seneschal-he was the second highest dignitary • Marshal-was responsible for the training of the Knights

• Komtur – responsible for the provinces and treasurers

• Schneider – provided the Knights with the necessary garments depending on the seasons

• Fighting Brothers Knights – were members of the aristocracy – their possessions: 3 horses, a squire and a tent

• Serving Brothers Sergeants – came from a non-aristocratic family and possessed 1 horse

• Under Marshal-subjected to the marshal-was treated similarly to a knight

• Banner Carrier – was sergeant and responsible for all squires

• Squire – Stood up to the knight in battle and took care of the equipment and the horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appenzell

Raphaela Vogel, Switzerland

Appenzell is a region in the northeast of Switzerland. I will show you some of the places you have to see:

Mountains: Alpstein

In Appenzell, there are a lot of mountains. Altogether they are called Alpstein. The biggest mountain in Alpstein is called Saentis, which is 8,216 feet (2,504 m).  In the summer, there are a lot of hiking trails. In the winter you can go skiing and go for a winter walk in the snow.

Appenzellerland   Appenzellerland

One of the most popular mountains in Appenzell is called Ebenalp. It became very popular because of a restaurant on the way up. The restaurant is called Aescher and it was built precariously into the face of the rock.

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Cheese factory

Another typical thing for Appenzell is the cheese. We have our own cheese called “Appenzeller cheese”. In a little village called Stein, we have our cheese factory. Overthere you can look over the shoulders of the cheesemaker and you will see how they produce their cheese. And if you like, you have the possibility to make your own cheese. Of course, there is also a restaurant and a shop where you can eat something or buy some cheese or a souvenir.

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Appenzell (City)

The capital of Appenzell has the same name as the region. In this city, you can see some typical houses for this area. And, of course, you can spend some time in this cute city. If you would like to learn something about the culture of this region you can go to the museum. There they will show you all about their lifestyle and their culture.

Appenzell

Silversterchlausen

There is something that only exists in Appenzell. It is called Silversterchlausen. Each year at New Year’s Eve, some groups of six men (Silversterchlauese) go from house to house. First, they will sing together. After that, they will wish you a lucky New Year!

There are two different kinds of Silversterchlaeuse. We called them “The Beautiful Ones” (picture on the left) and “The Ugly Ones” (picture on the right).

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A Beautiful View That You Need To See in Santa Barbara

Floortje Klein Schiphorst, The Netherlands

The name of the place is Knapp’s Castle in Santa Barbara. Knapp’s Castle is a privately-owned landmark ruined mansion in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Santa Barbara. Located near East Camino Cielo in the Los Padres National Forest, the ridge-top site has a panoramic view of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley. It is a popular destination for photographers and hikers.

George Owen Knapp, founder of Union Carbide, built Knapp’s Castle in 1916. In 1940, Frances Holden bought the property and invited her friend, world famous opera singer Lotte Lehmann, to move in. The mansion was destroyed  by a forest fire only five weeks later, and now only the massive sandstone foundations, fireplace pillars and walls of the original seven structures remain intact. The parcel is still privately owned, but open to the public.

This is not my video but here you can see what Knapp’s Castle looks like:

A lot of people go there and see the sunset. You have a beautiful view and amazing pictures. It is a place where you need to go. You need to climb on the walls to take the nice pictures like the one below. You can see here the pictures I took when I was there:

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If you want to go to Knapp’s Castle, you need to go by car. It’s a road to the mountains that is too long to walk. You need to park your car next to the road and walk the last part. My advice is to have warm clothes with you because it could be cold on the top of the mountain with a lot of wind.

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The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Anna Victoria Buhl Nielsen, Denmark.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. When Elvis was born his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, were living in a very small house only separated by two rooms. When Gladys gave birth to Elvis, she also gave birth to his twin brother. Sadly, Jessie Presley was stillborn, and that left Elvis to grow up as an only child. In 1948 the Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and in 1953 Elvis graduated from Humes High School. 

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Elvis was influenced by the pop and country music back in the days, but also by the gospel he had grown up with in church. In 1946, Elvis’s parents bought him his first guitar, and from there on he started preforming at talent shows. The black rhythms and blues, and the all-night gospel were also two things that made a big impact on his career later on. In 1953, an 18 year old Elvis walked into Sun Studios, at that time owned by Sam Phillips. Four dollars was the price to record a two-sided record, on Side A, “My Happiness” and on side ,”That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” Sam was not at the studio this particular day, but instead, Marion Keisker, the secretary, noticed something special about this young boy, not only his style, but also his voice and preforming skills. 

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A year went by, and in 1954 Elvis received a call from Scotty More, who was a local guitarist, and also from the bass player Bill Black. The group got together in Memphis for a rehearsal with Sam Philips, the owner of Sun Records, to give the group another shot. The band played and sang for hours without success, but when Elvis, in a break-time, started jamming away to a quicker version of the already existing “That’s All Right” song, Sam finally heard what he had been looking for. This became Elvis’s first single.

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In 1956 Elvis Presley signed his first contract with RCA records. At the new studio in Nashville, he started working on songs, such as “Heartbreak Hotel” and “I Got A Woman.” 1958 was the year where Elvis began his journey in the U.S. Army. He served nearly two years in Germany, and therefore, spending most of his time outside the States. 

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In 1967, friends and family gathered together in Las Vegas to celebrate the marriage between Elvis and Pricilla, who now could call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Presley. The couple met during Elvis’s time in Germany. The honeymoon for the new married couple was only a couple of days in Palm Springs, before returning home to Memphis again. One year after the wedding a beautiful little baby girl, named Lisa Marie Presley, was born.

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As the years went by a lot of things happened in the life of Elvis Presley. As a total, Elvis preformed 1,684 times in live shows and concerts. The first one in 1954, and all the way up to 1977. One of his biggest, and most known concerts was, and still is, ”Aloha From Hawaii.” The show was in 1973 with more than 1 billion views worldwide. ”Aloha From Hawaii” had more viewers than the first man on the moon had, and therefore, also made it one of the most expensive entertainment shows at the time, costing 2.5 million dollars. 

Elvis also made a career out of acting, and he ended up playing roles in 33 different movies.

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In 1977, Elvis began what would be his last tour… August 16, 1977, at 2 am in the morning The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was found unconscious on his bathroom floor. They rushed him to the hospital, only to officially pronounce him dead. At the end, the once young, healthy, and beautiful young boy had become a 350 pound heavy man having problems with heart diseases, but also many other health problems. Still, there has been countless conspiracy theories about how Elvis Presley really died… and is he really gone? 

 

Olympic Games History

Tom Lumiere ,  France

The Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, a city of Greece. Competition was among representatives of several city-states and kingdoms of Ancient Greece. These Games featured mainly athletic, but also combat sports, such as battle and the pankration, horse and chariot racing events. It has been generally written that during the Games, all conflicts with the participating city-states were suspended until the Games were finished. This cessation of hostilities was known as the Olympic peace or accord. This idea is a modern illusion because the Greeks never suspended their wars

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The modern Olympic Games (FrenchJeux olympiques) are best international sporting events presenting summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world’s principal sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are adhered every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by developing every four years but two years apart.

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Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games. Baron Pierre de Coubertin (French) founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, principal to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

Pierre de Coubertin

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The reason why I choose is that since I was young, I have been

going to every summer Olympic Games: ‘Athens in 2004, Beijing in  2008, London in 2012, Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and I will go to Tokyo in 2020’ .

 

 

What If Obi Wan DIDN’T Leave Anakin on Mustafar

By Giulio Monaco, Belgium

Something that always made me sympathize with Obi Wan was the level of pain that he must have gone through when leaving Anakin there burning to death on the lava riverbank. This is someone who was like a little brother to him who he spent almost every day with since they met and taught him everything that he knew in respect to his master’s dying wish. Now one reason I think Obi Wan aged so terribly is because I can’t even imagine the nightmare that he must have gone through while Anakin was burning limbless screaming at him in pain.

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Now what if he hadn’t left Anakin on the floor to die ? What if he walked down the lava riverbank as he slips down with each step ?

 

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Looking at what Obi-Wan had done and what Anakin had turned into, how it wasn’t supposed to end this way. He grabbed him crying and telling him that he loved him, how he was his brother and that he wouldn’t leave him there. Anakin wanted to reach out and choke him, but knew he was only a fragment of the man that he used to be. Walking back into the ship with Padme and Anakin, they immediately were taken into a medical capsule and Padme to the delivery table. Yoda would come and see Anakin who just didn’t seem like a human anymore with a pain that he had never seen.

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At this moment Obi wan and Yoda saw the Emperor step outside of his shuttle and walk straight towards the Jedi master surrounded by his troops. The battle between the clones and the Jedi start and end quickly. With the use of the force, Yoda threw the clones in the air and pulled them together breaking all their necks. Darth Sidious ignited his spare red light saber and started the battle against Obi wan, blocking all the attempts of Sidious. Obi wan gave time to Yoda to jump and kill Darth Sidious.

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Coming back to the ship, Padme would be next to the bed of Anakin with their two children watching the eyes of Anakin turning blue again. He was safe now. He started to talk with difficulty to apologize for everything that he done, the only thing that he wanted was to save Padme.

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Yoda starts to have new ideas about the force, the dark and light will no more be separated. It’s when we use the two with balance that the result is the best. It’s time for the Jedi to end, a new area will start now with new rules, with less chain than before and it’s only in that way that the tragedies that occurred will never be repeated.

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German Sites

Pascal Lange, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle:e696b0e5a4a9e9b59de5a0a1e69e97e5beb7e99c8de5a4abe5aeaee5a5a7e4bcafe998bfe6a285e788bee9ab98e5b08fe98eaee4b880e697a5e9818a

The Neuschwanstein Castle is in Neuschwanstein, Bavaria. It was finished in 1869 and inspired Walt Disney, that’s why it is sometimes called the Disney Castle.

 

Brandenburg Gate:brandenburger_tor

The Brandenburg Gate was built from 1789 to 1793. It’s a triumph gate in Berlin and the only existing city gate of 18 others.

 

Europa-Park:

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The Europa-Park is a theme park in Rust, near the French border. He’s 95 hectares large and the biggest in Germany. The Europa-Park opened on 12th June 1975 and is the second most popular theme park in Europe, after the Disneyland Paris. The ‘Golden Ticket Award’-Jury of the US magazine “Amusement Today” chose the Europa-Park in September 2017 for the fourth time in a row to the best theme park in the world.

 

Cologne Cathedral:2016-quer-IMG_0692

The Cologne Cathedral is the second tallest cathedral in Europe and third tallest in the world and since 1996 UNESCO world heritage site. The Cathedral was started in the 13th century but finished in the 19th and was from 1880 to 1884 the tallest building in the world.

Ulmer_Münster-Westfassade

 

Ulm Cathedral:

The Ulm Cathedral is, with 161.53 meters, the tallest church in the world. She was built from 1377 to 1543 and wasn’t damaged at the 1944/1945 attacks on Ulm. Ulm is the city were Albert Einstein was born.

 

 

Reichstag Building:download

The Reichstag Building is in Berlin and was built from 1884 to 1894. Since 1994 the elections for the Bundespresident are in the Reichstag Building and since 1999 the German Bundestag, so the German Parliament sit in the Building.

 

Dresden Frauchenkirche:dresden-frauenkirche-1500x850

The Dresden Frauenkirche is in Dresden and was built from 1726 to 1743. She was seriously damaged from the 13th to the 14th February 1945 and on the 15th February she collapsed. From 1994 to 2005 the Church was rebuilt.