If you have ever wondered what it would be like to wander the streets of an ancient Roman city, then Gerasa (Jerash) might be the place for you. Jerash is the site of the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also referred to as Antioch on the Golden River. Ancient Greek inscriptions from the city as well as literary sources from both Iamblichus and the Etymologicum Magnum support that the city was founded by Alexander the Great or his general Perdiccas, who settled aged Macedonian soldiers there. The city finally reached a size of about 800,000 square meters within its walls. The Persian invasion in AD 614 caused the rapid decline of Jerash. In AD 749, a major earthquake destroyed much of Jerash and its surroundings.The ruins remained buried in the soil for hundreds of years until they were discovered by German Orientalist Ulrich Jasper Seetzen in 1806. In addition to the role of the people of old villages near Jerash, the process of building the modern city of Jerash was mainly done by the resettlement of Circassian Muslims by the Ottoman authorities; the Circassians came to Transjordan from the Caucasus after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78.
Panache is an award-winning four-diamond restaurant nestled within the stone walls and exposed wooden beams of a maritime warehouse dating back to 1822. A dining room offering exceptional intimacy, along with stunning views of the St. Lawrence River, Panache is a dining destination popular with both locals and visitors to Québec City. The tone is established from the moment you walk into the building, the tables elegantly set with silverware and crystal, catching the natural light streaming in through the windows and the glittering lamp fixtures. Everything seems light and airy, an impression enhanced by the relaxed, friendly manner of the staff. Panache sources much of its produce from its farm on Île d’Orléans, which you can see from one of the window tables. It specializes in what it terms as “high-end comfort food,” offering a contemporary twist on local Quebec specialities. When chef Louis Pacquelin isn’t in the kitchen, he can be found on the farm on Île d’Orléans.
The abandoned Armenian city of Ani in north-east Turkey is a reminder of the Armenian history of this region. Visitors who pass through Ani’s city walls are greeted with a panoramic view of ruins that span three centuries and five empires, including the Bagratid Armenians, Byzantines, Seljuk Turks, Georgians and Ottomans. The ruins of the former mighty capital of Armenian Kingdom Bagratuni lie right on the Turkish-Armenian border. At the time of its greatest glory it competed in its importance to the largest towns in the Middle East. It was protected by canyons of rivers on three sides and on the fourth by powerful walls. Between 961 and 1045, it was the capital of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom that covered much of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey. Called the “City of 1001 Churches”, Ani stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world. At its height, the population of Ani probably was on the order of 100,000. Long ago renowned for its splendor and magnificence, Ani was sacked by the Mongols in 1236 and devastated in a 1319 earthquake, after which it was reduced to a village and gradually abandoned and largely forgotten by the seventeenth century. Ani is a widely recognized cultural, religious, and national heritage symbol for Armenians.
Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire. Its construction appears to date to the period of the two great Incas, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–71) and Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1472–93). It was abandoned just over 100 years later, in 1572, as a belated result of the Spanish Conquest. Machu Picchu is situated above a bow of the Urubamba River, which surrounds the site on three sides, with cliffs dropping vertically for 450 meters (1,480 ft) to the river at their base. The area is subject to morning mists rising from the river. The location of the city was a military secret, and its deep precipices and steep mountains provided excellent natural defenses. The Inca Bridge, an Inca grass rope bridge, across the Urubamba River in the Pongo de Mainique, provided a secret entrance for the Inca army. The city sits in a saddle between the two mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, with a commanding view down two valleys and a nearly impassable mountain at its back. It has a water supply from springs that cannot be blocked easily, and enough land to grow food for about four times as many people as ever lived there. To say Machu Picchu was an impregnable fortress in addition to a sanctuary is to overstate the obvious.