St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery (Ukrainian: Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир, Mykhaylivs’kyi zolotoverkhyi monastyr; Russian: Михайловский златоверхий монастырь, Mikhaylovsky zlatoverkhy monastyr) is a functioning monastery in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The monastery is located on the right bank of the Dnieper River on the edge of a bluff northeast of the Saint Sophia Cathedral. The site is located in the historic administrative Uppertown and overlooks the city's historical commercial and merchant quarter, the Podil neighbourhood.
Originally built in the Middle Ages by Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, the monastery comprises the Cathedral itself, the Refectory of St. John the Divine, built in 1713, the Economic Gates, constructed in 1760 and the monastery's bell tower, which was added circa 1716–1719. The exterior of the structure was rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style in the 18th century while the interior remained in its original Byzantine style.The original cathedral was demolished by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s, but was reconstructed and opened in 1999 following Ukrainian independence.

11th to 19th centuries
Some scholars do not believe that Prince Iziaslav Yaroslavych, whose Christian name was Demetrius, first built the Saint Demetrius's Monastery and Church in the Uppertown of Kiev near Saint Sophia Cathedral in the 1050s. Half a century later, his son, Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, is recorded as commissioning a monastery church (1108–1113) dedicated to his own patron saint, Michael the Archangel. One reason for building the church may have been Svyatopolk's recent victory over the nomadic Polovtsians, as Michael the Archangel was considered a patron of warriors and victories.

The Mosaic of St. Demetrius was installed by Sviatopolk II in the monastery cathedral to glorify the patron saint of his father.
The monastery was regarded as a family cloister of Svyatopolk's family; it was there that members of Svyatopolk's family were buried. (This is in contrast to the Vydubychi Monastery patronized by his rival, Vladimir Monomakh). The cathedral domes were probably the first in Kievan Rus to be gilded, a practice that became regular with the passage of time and acquired for the monastery the nickname of "golden-domed" or "golden-roofed", depending on the translation.
During the Mongol invasion in 1240, the monastery is believed to have been damaged seriously. The Mongols damaged the cathedral and removed its gold-plated domes. The cloister subsequently fell into disrepair and there is no documentation of it for the following two and a half centuries. By 1496, the monastery had been revived and its name was changed from St. Demetrius' Monastery to St. Michael's after the cathedral church built by Sviatopolk II.After numerous restorations and enlargements during the sixteenth century, it gradually became one of the most popular and wealthiest monasteries in Ukraine.In 1620, Iov Boretsky made it the residence of the renewed Orthodox metropolitan of Kiev, and in 1633, Isaya Kopynsky was named a supervisor of the monastery.
The monastery enjoyed the patronage of hetmans and other benefactors throughout the years. The chief magnet for pilgrims were the relics of Saint Barbara, alleged to have been brought to Kiev from Constantinople in 1108 by Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych's wife and kept in a silver reliquary donated by Hetman Ivan Mazepa. Although most of the monastery grounds were secularized in the late eighteenth century, as many as 240 monks resided there in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The monastery served as the residence of the bishop of Chernigov after 1800. A precentor's school was located on the monastery grounds; many prominent composers, such as Kyrylo Stetsenko and Yakiv Yatsynevych, either studied or taught at the school.
In 1870, about 100,000 pilgrims paid tribute to St. Barbara at St. Michael's Monastery. Before the Russian Revolution in 1917, rings manufactured and blessed at St. Michael's Monastery, known as St. Barbara's rings, were very popular among the citizens of Kiev. They usually served as good luck charms and, according to popular beliefs, occasionally protected against witchcraft but were also effective against serious illnesses and sudden death. These beliefs reference the facts that the Monastery was not affected by the plague epidemics in 1710 and 1770 and cholera epidemics of the nineteenth century.


By Stuck in Customs



Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort

The Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada opened publicly on June 10, 2004. This $1 billion complex with a belle époque theme overlooks the Horseshoe Falls and is one of the most prominent features of the Niagara skyline. The site was once the transformer station building for the Ontario Power Company station at the foot of Horseshoe Falls.
Planning for the resort began by the Ontario Casino Corporation as soon as the temporary facility Casino Niagara was opened in 1996.
Construction began in 2001 and the resort opened in June, 2004.
Due to market demand and its prime location, the temporary facility was kept open and continues to operate as of 2010.
The east facade of the complex retains the walls of the terrace and front entrance of the transformer station built in 1904. The area where the transformers resided is now the Grand Hall Convention halls.
At the main entrance is a water feature called 'The Teslatron' with a transformer like fixture. A light, water and sound show brings the fountain alive for five minutes. At street level there is a fountain that varies its height with the wind so as not to wet pedestrians and passing cars.

Facts and Figures

Entire complex area: 2,500,000 sq ft (232,000 m2)
Casino floor area: 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2)
Gaming tables: 150
Slot machines: 3000
Concert Showroom (Avalon Ballroom) with 1500 seats: 1
Minimum age for gambling: 19
Hotel rooms/suites: 368
Heath/fitness spa area: 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2)
Restaurants: 10
Wedding Chapel: 1
Nightclubs: 1
Galleria Shopping Center
Parking Spots in parking garage: 3,000
Parking Rates: $10 ($30 on holiday weekends) or free with a Players Advantage Card while you are visiting the resort.
The casino has a 35-floor 374-room hotel rising from above the casino complex.



The Best hotels in Paris ,Hotel de Paris - Monte Carlo, Monaco

Paris, along with being the capital of France is also famous as one of the most romantic cities of the world having the Eiffel Tower, the epitome of love and hotels de Paris. Paris is also the fashion hub of the world and every year it attracts millions of tourists and travelers from across the world because of its monuments, best hotels in Paris, historic centers and museums. Undoubtedly with the regular flow of tourists and travelers the Paris hotels strive constantly in order to provide the most lucrative and the best Paris hotels deals to their customers.
Paris has some of the best Europe luxury hotels with each having its own style and charisma. Luxury hotels in Paris provide the best accommodation, ultimate delicious cuisine, world class service and adventurous recreational events. Thus it becomes very important to check for the best Paris hotel deals before planning the trip. As part of the Paris package, these deals include airport shuttles, sightseeing options and travel options. Another option is to read guide reviews to select for the best luxury hotels Paris France.
Before selecting the best Paris luxury hotels, there are a few things which must be kept in mind. For instance, you must choose the right time of the year to visit Paris as it would directly impact on your accommodation and travel cost. The travel and accommodation costs are at a peak during the spring season as most of the tourists visit Paris during that time. Thus if an incredible yet affordable Holiday Paris is what you are looking for then you must choose best hotels in Paris any time of the year besides the spring season.
Winter season, with the exception of Christmas, the months of July and August are certainly the best months to Holiday in Paris. These months being the off season, can help you get the best Paris hotel deals. It is also important to do a little study on the various hotels so that you can easily get good promotional deals and good bargain with the best hotels in Paris. For this purpose, you must check out the websites of all the hotels that are in your list of best Paris hotels.
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While selecting one of the best Europe luxury hotels, also make sure that you check for its location. Usually the hotels which are near to any monuments or landmarks are very expensive. It is under your scrutiny to decide whether you want a view of these monuments or not from your Paris Luxury hotel balcony. Thus, you should opt for other luxury hotels Paris France which are not nearer to these monuments for getting the best Paris hotels deals. Pack your bags and go for your dream vacation. Have a memorable stay in the city of lights, Paris.

Casino de Paris

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The Royal Towers at Atlantis Resort and Casino

The Atlantis Paradise Island is a resort and waterpark located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Officially opened in 1998, the resort was created by South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner and Kerzner International Limited. Paradise Island first opened its Coral and Beach Towers as the Trump Plaza, then changed its name to Atlantis when the Royal Towers were built. The Coral and Beach Towers were later refurbished to match the theme of the Royal Towers. On 28 March 2007 a 600-suite luxury hotel named The Cove Atlantis opened on Paradise Island. Another tower, the 497-room Reef Atlantis, opened 19 December 2007

Accommodation at the resort includes:
The Beach Tower, formerly known as the Paradise Beach Hotel, is the oldest building at Atlantis.
The Coral Towers, formerly known as the Britannia Beach Hotel.
The Royal Towers contains the "Bridge Suite", ranked in 2003 by Forbes as the most expensive hotel room in the world. With the recent hotels built over the last couple of years, Atlantis is included in one of the most expensive hotels in the world.
Harborside Resort consists of 392 villas and features a harbor-front restaurant, pool area including a children's pool with water fountains, a fitness facility, a sundry store, and all-day shuttle service to Atlantis.
The Reef, the newest building at Atlantis, consists of condominium hotel residences
The Cove Atlantis is a 600-suite tower that opened in 2007.

Opened in 2007, the 141-acre (0.57 km2), 200 million gallon (757 million liter) Aquaventure combines slides, lazy rivers, and rapids into one large waterscape. The centerpiece of the attraction is the Power Tower which contains four waterslides. The slides include The Abyss, The Drop, The Falls and The Surge. Aquaventure also includes one of the Atlantis' most popular attractions, The Current.

The Current
The Current is a mile long, three million gallon water ride complete with waves and artificial tidal surges.

Mayan temple slides
At the Royal Towers is the Mayan Temple entertainment attraction consisting of 4 major slides: Leap of Faith, the Challenger Slides, the Serpent Slide, and the Jungle Slide.

The Dig
The Dig is a series of aquariums located beneath the lobby of the Royal Towers and is the world's largest open air marine habitat. Hundreds of different aquatic species can be spotted in the Dig's various tanks such as angelfish, sharks, manta rays, one of which being larger than ten feet, and various types of jellyfish. The goal of The Dig is to provide guests with a taste of life in the legendary destroyed city of Atlantis. If one observes the bottom of the floors in the different aquariums, wreckage and debris will be scattered about representing the "Lost City of Atlantis."
A Predator Lagoon is full of sawfishes, barracudas and stingrays. A 100-foot (30 m) clear acrylic tunnel runs underwater, allowing visitors unobstructed views of the marine environment.


The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City Sun City, North West Province, South Africa

This magnificent palace, so legend tells, was built for a king by an ancient civilization from the north of Africa, who made this idyllic valley their home until it was destroyed by an earthquake. Now restored to its former glory, this unique establishment specializes in extending a royal welcome to the discerning guests who come to call. The Palace offers opulent accommodation, fabulous architecture & decor details, the finest cuisine and incomparable sporting and leisure facilities.
Palace of the Lost City
The Palace wants for nothing - it has no equal. Faux elephant tusks, sculptured bronze and crystal, richly woven colors of Africa, mystery-scented air and jungle cascade and fuse into an atmosphere fit for a king. With frescoed ceilings above and ancient tiles below, you are left to stand in awe at the sheer scale of this masterpiece. The craftsmen who fashioned this breathtaking Palace used equal quantities of art and nature in soaring columns and intricate mosaic, capturing wild elegance and savage beauty in bronze and stone, culminating in a life-size sculpture of the mighty elephant Shawu, who takes pride of place in the Shawu Court.

The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City is one of the most enticing travellers' destinations in the world, a tribute to man's imagination and revered for its art and architecture. Fabled to be the royal residence of an ancient king, it is truly one of the 'Worlds Leading Hotels". The Palace lavishes its guests with 5-star service, and is luxurious in every facet of its fabulous architecture and décor.

All four suites are breathtakingly opulent. From the distinctive grandeur of the African Suite to the unforgettable King Suite, resplendent in its maple paneling, delicately frescoed ceilings and stunning panorama over the Lost City. Each exquisite suite revels in the magic of this remarkable place. Each of the 338 luxurious rooms and suites offer royal hospitality with wonderful views over water or jungle. Intricately hand-carved furnishings reflect the flora and fauna of Africa and an attention to detail which flourishes under a personal touch.

Surrounding the hotel is a 25 hectare botanical jungle. The jungle is threaded with meandering paths, cascades, lakes and pools and a variety of water-borne adventure rides.

The Palace has 338 rooms inclusive of four deluxe suites.
Standard Room Features & Amenities
• Armoires & writing desks
• Mini Bar
• Computerised safe
• Colour satellite television with remote control
• Radio and wake up facility on TV
• Guestlink, pay TV, internet facility
• Hair dryers
• Telephones are provided in bathrooms, at bedside tables or on each writing desk
• Biz-Comm centre - phone, fax, e-mail, copy, print and store messages, on a private number
• Air-conditioning units
• 24-hour Room Service

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