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Cities of the World - NEW (Series 2)
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.
GENRE(S): Travel
RUNTIME: (42 x 40 Min)
YEAR: 2005
Cities of the World - NEW (Series 2)

Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

AMSTERDAM
Situated at the mouth of the Rhine, Amsterdam is a marvel of Dutch ingenuity, where dams have transformed once useless marshland into farms, residential areas, and lush fields of tulips and hyacinths.  An excellent way to see the city is a boat ride on the canals, which flow under some 1,300 picturesque bridges, including the Magere Brug, among one of the most photographed in Amsterdam. Quaint cafés, fragrant flower markets, ornate Dutch Renaissance buildings and charming windmills are among the many delightful offerings of this city.  At the Rijiksmuseum, you’ll view renowned works by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Pieter de Hoogh and Vermeer. Courteous bicyclists abound along Amsterdam’s tree-lined streets, a testament to the unpretentious atmosphere of the European capital of all liberties.

ATHENS AND THE METEORS

When Athens was declared Greece’s capital in 1834, a neoclassical renewal movement by Danish and German architects revived the ancient look of the modern city.  Buildings such as the National Library and the Academy of Sciences are inspired by the monuments of the nearby Acropolis, the magnificent citadel ruins of ancient Athens.  In nearby Monastiraki Square, all eras of Athenian history are preserved: a Turkish mosque, a Byzantine church, Roman ruins, and the railway station. You will enjoy flea markets and shops of all kinds on the adjacent streets.   The National Archaeological Museum houses the most diversified collection of ancient Greek art, and objects from the royal tombs of Mycenea.  Precious vases, sculptures, and funerary stele scenes of everyday life demonstrate the height of the Greek Golden Age.

Not far from Corinth in the Peloponnese, are the ruins of the ancient cities of Argos, Tyrinth and Mycenea, which hold archeological evidence that Homers mythic heroes of the Illiad did indeed exist.  Other sites demonstrate the intelligence and beauty of ancient Greece, including the 4th century theatre at Epydaurus, still in use today because of its excellent acoustics, and the 5th century ruins of the temple of Poseidon at Cape Sunio, known as the “sacred point” in Homer’s Odyssey.

BANGKOK

Standing on the turns of the Chaophraya river, Bangkok or “the land of the wild prunes” was founded in 1782.   Historically it has relied heavily on the river and its canals for trade, and still does today.  Among the many busy markets you’ll find fresh foods of all kinds, and a wide variety of flowers – orchids, hibiscus, lotus and jasmine.   Discover beautiful temples with ornately carved wooded doors, such as the ancient Wat Arun – the temple of the aurora, or the Wat Traimitr where a solid gold Buddha that weighs 5 and a half tons is carefully safeguarded.  Bangkok is a very modern, hectic city, but off the main roads you’ll find the laid back, joyful and traditional atmosphere of an ancient people that have always known how to preserve their independence.

BARCELONA

Refurbished for the 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona offers both the charm of an ancient settlement and the beauty of a thoughtfully planned modern city.  Small squares and narrow alleys bustle with street artists and painters.  Imaginative plazas and parks which were once abandoned factories are alive with statues, fountains, sculptures and mosaics by Catalan masters like Gaudi and Miro.  The main arteries of the city converge on The Placa de Catalunya, a large plaza with a medieval quarter on one side, and spacious 19th century homes on the other.  Here begins the famous Rambla, a shady pedestrian avenue filled with newspaper stands, cafes, flower stalls, and culminating in a seafront monument to Christopher Columbus.  A visit to Barcelona is incomplete without a tour of the Sagrada Familia, (Church of the Holy Family) Antonio Guadi’s Neo-Gothic masterpiece, with its breathtaking spires, and numerous modernist steeples.

BEIJING – SHANGHAI

Today’s Beijing is a metropolis of skyscrapers, neon lights, and heavy traffic.  But traditional and ancient images and customs prevail. The Temple of the Good Harvest, built in the 15th century, is the most famous religious building in China.  Adorned with 280 sculpted lions, the so-called Marco Polo Bridge was first seen by the Italian explorer in 1276, who described it as unsurpassing in beauty.  Tian-anmen Square, associated with military parades and the national hymn, was finished in 1959 for the tenth anniversary of the Peoples Republic.  Pedestrian trading alleys dominate the central quarters of the city, where shops and markets of Chinese artisans are found: silk, jade, lacquer, fans, traditional medicine and porcelain.

With a population that now numbers over 17 million, greater Shanghai is China’s main industrial and commercial center.  At the end of the 19th century, this city opened as a port to international trade, and later became the European bridge into Asia. The most important and beautiful temple in Shanghai is the Temple of the Jade Buddha, built to house two jade Buddhas, one seated and one standing. Today Shanghai’s main streets are choked with traffic, but within the chaos is a strong sense of order allowing the throng of people to move among the hundreds of shops, markets and cars unconcerned.

BERLIN

An image of hope rises out of the wall remnants of Checkpoint Charlie, now covered completely with decorations, reminding visitors that today’s Berlin thrives on reunification and renewal.  One of Europe’s top cities for entertainment, you will find Berlin night clubs continue to offer variety and irreverence, as they did in their pre-war heyday.  On the lively Freidrichstrasse is the re-opened Grand Hotel, and theatres such the Metropol, and the Berliner Ensemble, founded by Bertold Brecht.   The 19th century architect Schinkel, responsible for many of Berlins monuments, also designed the Altes Museum, the Nationalgalerie, and the famous Pergamon, with its artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.  From the 18th century Castle of Charlottenburg, to the spectacular modern Telefunken skyscraper, the past and present are reconciled in the buildings and monuments of Berlin.

BERN, LUCERNE, FREIBURG

Precision clocks, delicious cheese, covered bridges, and the grand Alpen vista make up the world that is Switzerland.  Travel past the forests and hills of the central plateau, and you’ll find the river Aare, which flows through the capital Bern, the city of the bear.  According to an old legend, Bern’s name came from a bear that was killed by the Duke von Zahringer on the site where the city was built.  On the main road of Bern is the Marktgasse, a clock tower built in 1530.  This astronomical clock shows the hour, day, month and position of the Zodiac, and its humorous mechanical figures move in synchronized progression.

Viewed from above, Lucerne is recognizable by its ancient wooden bridges, and mass of pointed roofs and medieval towers.  Around the city center are Renaissance and baroque houses like the Kornmarkt, dominated by the square tower of the Old Town Hall.  Stories from local history are painted on the facades of the buildings, such as the Weinmarkets building with its biblical images of eve and the serpent on the Tree of Knowledge.  These paintings date back to the 18th or 19th centuries.

On a bend in the Sarine river is Freiburg, a medieval city built on several levels and featuring a quaint covered bridge, Bern Bridge.  Founded in the 12th century, Freiburg is the official center of Swiss Catholicism and is famous for its prestigious university.  The Gothic cathedral of St. Nicholas bears a high tower with gargoyles overlooking the city. Abundant grazing lands contribute to the rich dairy products for which Switzerland is world famous, and between Lucerne and Bern, and south of Freiburg, famous cheeses are made, such as Emmenthal and Gruyere.

BRUSSELS-BRUGES

Opulent 19th century buildings, delicious cuisine, fine lace, and luxurious chocolate, are among the rich offerings of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The elegant 19th century Place Royale and the church of  St. Jacques are surrounded by neo-classical palaces.  Colorful murals by modern artists adorn the walls of many buildings, and are reminiscent in style to Medieval and Renaissance Flemish painters.  Some of the greatest masterpieces of Art Nouveau are found in Brussells:  the Stoclet house, designed by the Viennese Josef Hoffman, and buildings designed by the Belgian Victor Horta.  Meat, fish and game are among the gastronomic enjoyments, and well as unique pastries.  Gueuze, Brussels’ rich flavored beer, is brewed with the care of French Champagne.

Much like Venice, Bruge is a romantic city of canals, narrow roads and gardens.   Once isolated and in decline, Bruge was called “Bruges-la-Morte” by a  19th century writer, but today its perfectly preserved urban and artistic treasures inspire intellectual, spiritual and economic growth.  In the historic center is the Burg, a square surrounded by historic buildings: the Town Hall, the Chancellery, and the Basilica of the Sacred Blood.  Bright, warm colors characterize the Masterpieces of Flemish painting, and can be found in the Groeninge Museum, including works by Jan van Eyck, and Roger van der Weyden. 

BUDAPEST

Many centuries ago on the Danube, two small settlements on the hill of Buda and the plain of Pest later became the metropolis of Budapest.   From as far back as Roman times, the thermal waters here from hundreds of springs have been used for their therapeutic benefits.  At the start of the 19th century, the baths and cures were fashionable among the aristocracy and bourgeoisie, and thus spa tourism was born.  The waters appear to have had a positive effect on the natives, who are friendly and relaxed.  The flea market of Budapest has been a tradition since the 19th century, and the food markets are a fundamental of everyday life.   A spa complex is located in Varosliget, the city’s park, and is also home to the fairground, the circus, the zoo, the botanic gardens and Vajdahunyad Castle.   Various types of meat, onion, lard and paprika make up the popular dish known as porkolt, while goulash is actually a broth of potatoes and pasta.

CAIRO AND THE VALLEY OF THE NILE

Mosque minarets and tranquil palms along the Nile are the first impression of Cairo, and stir the imagination to ancient civilizations, and myths from the beginning of time.  But modern Cairo imposes a stark reality against this legendary backdrop: 16 million inhabitants – half of Egypt’s population, living in overcrowded, and often precarious conditions. Cairo is now the largest urban mass in Africa. The majority of the people are descendants of the ancient Egyptians.  But the natives mixed in with their Arab invaders after 639, making Islam the predominant religion. Giza and the geometrically perfect forms of the pyramids, now engulfed by the suburban metropolis, are steadfast images of the monarch who was believed to be both man and god.  On the site of what was once Memphis, the capital of the empire of the pharaohs for centuries, stand the funerary monuments of the pharaohs Cheops, Chefren and Mycerin which date back 45 centuries.

CHICAGO

Chicago is the melting pot of the mid-west: Germans, Ukranians, Poles, Irish, Italians and Jews all settled here giving this city its distinctive cultural diversity and tenacious spirit.  As the cradle of modern American architecture and ingenuity, Chicago is the city that invented the skyscraper, and the Sears Tower at 443 meters is the tallest building in the world.  Art deco skyscrapers blend in with more recent towers of glass and metal in the area known as the Loop, the city center, and are grounded with huge mosaics, pictures and sculptures.  Chicagoans love football and baseball, as the many stadiums in the city will attest: Soldiers Field is home to the Bears, and Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field respectively serve baseball’s White Sox and Cubs.   Contrary to popular belief, Chicagoans are art lovers.  One of the most significant art collections in the United States can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago, known for its French Impressionists, Italian Masters and American Realist collections.

COPENHAGEN

Located on the straits that divide Denmark and Sweden, Copenhagen’s name appropriately means “trading port.” At the sea-front, called the Langeline, is the famous statue of Hans Christian Anderson’s  The Little Mermaid, now an enduring symbol of Copenhagen.  Browse through elegant handicraft goods in the Danish design shops, where the porcelain is internationally renowned.  Walk along Stroget Street, filled with shops steeped in old Copenhagen tradition, like Larsen’s pipe and tobacco shop, and spilling into the beautiful gardens and fountains of the Old and New Squares.  By day ride along the network of bicycle paths to explore the city’s many historic parks and famous sculptures, by night enjoy Danish beer while listening to live jazz at one of the many friendly night clubs.

DUBLIN

Named for the River Liffey which flows into the bay, the Irish name Dublin means “black pond.” More like a giant village than a metropolis, this green city is filled with friendly people who daily celebrate their celtic heritage.  Young and old join in the music on Grafton Street, where fiddles, flutes, accordians, banjos and Irish bodran drums permeate styles ranging from traditional to rock and popular folk.  Grafton Street’s shops offer a variety of Irish crafts, wool sweaters, Waterford crystal, or fine linens.  Founded by Elizabeth I in the 16th century, Trinity College is the most renowned Irish cultural institute, surrounded by greenery in a park with sculptures by Henry Moore and Arnaldo Pomodoro.   In the famous library is the ornately illustrated Book of Kells, considered the most beautiful and precious manuscript in the world.  At the end of the day, follow the local throng to one of Dublin’s 900 pubs, and savor a dark, heady pint of Guinness, James Joyce’s “wine of Ireland.”

EDINBURGH

In the 1800’s, the costumes and music of Scotland were romanticized in the popular novels of Walter Scott - the woolen Tartan colors and kilts, and the sound of bagpipes carrying for miles.  Today the flavor of that romance lives on in Scott’s land of lush green meadows, and rolling hills.  It can be tasted in the whiskey distilled from the calcium-free waters that filter through Scotland’s rich peat bogs.  Edinburgh is a city steeped in ancient legends and age old traditions, such as the firing of a cannon every afternoon from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, or the mysterious rise and fall of Mary Queen of Scots. Against the medieval silhouette of the Old Town’s castle towers, is James Craig’s New Town, with its wide 18th century streets, museums and fashionable private homes.  Edinburgh is a highly cultural town.  Art, culture and technology are celebrated in the 19th century Museum of Scotland. The National Gallery holds works by the English portraitists Reynolds and Gainsborough, and a famous self-portrait by Rembrandt.  At the International Edinburgh Festival, contemporary works in theatre, dance, and music are presented at the world famous New Festival Theatre and other venues throughout the city.

FLORENCE

The Renaissance home of Michaelangelo, Florence has an artistic heritage that makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  The harmonious balance of domes, towers and belfries, geometrical squares, and cloisters, reflect the Renaissance love of precision and proportion.  The Baptistry, with its octagonal plan, colorful marble, and beautiful mosaic dome interior, dates back to Roman times and was restored in the 12th century.  The Renaissance marriage between art and science are seen throughout the city in the works of Brunelleschi: the Santo Spirito, with its elaborate bell tower, and the Ospedale degli Innocenti.  One of Florence’s greatest tourist attractions is the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno rivers oldest and most celebrated bridge.  Across the Arno, along the quaint labyrinth of medieval back streets, collectors can find antique pieces and objects of great value in the markets and workshops of the city’s many craftsmen.

HAVANA

The romantic capital of the Caribbean, and once a  flourishing base for Spain’s colonial expansion, today’s Havana is the place to go for  historic forts, castles and a lively nightlife, but its future development is ill defined.  Time has stood still on Havana’s streets, where the famous bars once frequented by Hemingway  have not changed since the 1950’s.   The enduring image of Che Guevara, who joined Fidel and Raul Castro in the fifties to fight the regime of the Batista dictatorship, is celebrated today on the city’s walls.  Cigar affictionados around the world appreciate the rich, sweet, hand-rolled Cuban cigars created from the finely cultivated tobacco of Vuelta Abajo and the Vinales valley. The old forts such as the Castle de la Real Fuerza, and the Castle de los Tres Reyes del Morro are popular tourist attractions. On the Malecon, the beautiful seafront area filled with clubs, hotels, taverns and local color, a fusion of African rhythms and Spanish music influence the Caribbean sounds that make up Cuban music.

HONG KONG

Disneyland’s commercial spirit juxtaposed with frugal Asiatic ways, best describes the international trade metropolis of Hong Kong.  Even the skyscrapers integrate technology and archaic tradition: instead of metal tubes, bamboo scaffolding is used.   And within the crowded, electric energy of the commercial city machine there is an active Asian tradition.  At the Academy Theatre, courses in traditional stylized dance are taught.  In the parks, thousands of locals practice the meditative discipline of Tai-Chi-Chuan. Overlooking the monastery of Po Lin is a 34 meter high Buddha, the largest in the world.  Seven million visitors come to Hong Kong each year, for business and pleasure with 90 ultra modern hotels to choose from.  Rich Chinese cuisine in all its regional variations, reasonably priced open-air markets, exotic tea shops, and Asian bazaars are among the many attractions.  Visitors will also enjoy the Hong Kong Cultural Center, the Ocean Park aquarium and the fashionable bathing resorts on Repulse Bay.

ISTANBUL

Situated on the narrow straits of the sea known as the Golden Horn, Istanbul was founded some 2700 years ago as a bridge between the European and Asian cultures.  This city was the second Rome of the ancient world and the heart of the Byzantine Empire which stretched from the Balkins to the Middle East, and covered all of North Africa.  The imposing Topkapi Palace is the imperial compound of elaborate palaces built by sultans at the end of the fifteenth century.  Nearby is the remarkable blue mosque of St. Sophia, built for the emperor Justinian about 537, and one of the wonders of the world.   The most important Roman monument in the city is the Hippodrome, where theatrical spectacles were once greeted by enthusiastic crowds.  The taste for the theatrical is carried on in the cheerful and colorful street merchants today.  You will find them in the Egyptian Bazaar of spices, where exotic aromas fill the air, and the Great Bazaar, a covered market that is an institution of Istanbul.

JOHANESBURG

Johanesburg is the greatest expression of South Africa’s diversity of African, European and American influences.  The discovery of the Transvaal gold deposits here one hundred years ago gave rise to a mass migration and tumultuous growth which left cultural concerns behind.  But the ramshackle huts and houses evolved into an acceptable urban center, and now Johanesburg is building modern museums, and theatres such as the Johanesburg Art Gallery and the New Market Complex, surrounded by imposing bronze statues.  The tension between the ethnic groups here also gives rise to a sense of creative potential and originality, as seen in the busy market where the mix of races and social classes rub shoulders daily. Within the complex is Krippies bar, where visitors and locals take in good jazz, while the weekly craft market here offers traditional tribal dances.

KATHMANDU

The mountains around Nepal represent for the locals the many divinities of the Hindu and Buddhist Olympus, which perhaps explains why the people of this region live in religious tolerance and respect.  Small fifteen-seater planes take explorers to the base camps for excursions into the snow-covered peaks, where climbers can find settlements up to 3500 meters.  The effects of tourism has had little impact on the Nepalese, whose distinct languages and customs retain the qualities of either the northern migrants or the southern Indians that make up their Tibetan roots.   Rickshaws and three-wheeled motor vans serve as alternatives to real taxis, and the chaotic traffic only stops for the occasional sacred cow that decides to sit in the middle of the road.  Five miles from the center of the city is Bodnath stupa, the largest Buddhist temple, which stands at 40 meters tall.  Inside the meditative rituals of the faithful include bell-ringing and the spinning of prayer wheels.

LISBON

Situated on the estuary of the Tagus river, Lisbon developed as a trade city the end of the 14th century, at the height of Portugal’s Golden Age.  Gentle hills give way to steep slopes, today climbed by trams and cable cars.  From the summit of do Carmo Avenue you can see the 18th century sections of the city, and the maze-like Alfama quarter, the oldest part of Lisbon.  Rising up from the Alfama is the Castle of St. George, built by the Visigoths, once made a fortress by Arabs invaders, and then modified again by the Christians.  The sweet lilt of the fado can be heard along the narrow streets of the old quarter, and the rise and fall of alleys reflect Lisbon’s Arabian past.  The ornamental motifs, caravelles, knots and Moorish symbols of Belam in the western suburb, reflect the Portuguese spirit of adventure and love of the extravagant.

LOS ANGELES

A city that produces dreams on an industrial scale for the whole world in the form of cinema, television and music, Los Angeles is just like the movies: a glamorous and exciting façade. To better understand LA, take a trip to Universal Studios, a theme park that reveals the tricks of the movie trade, where visitors take part in the grand illusions of film and television. Huge Spanish styled villas with lush flower gardens protect the privileged residents of Beverly Hills from the invading outside world. At the center of Beverly Hills life is Rodeo Drive, with its exclusive, world famous shops. Along Hollywood Boulevard is the famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre, opened in 1929, where hand prints of movie stars are immortalized in the pavement.  Various ethnic groups of the city can be seen at the seemingly out of place Farmers Market, known for its inexpensive fresh produce.  With the reality of its artifice, the back-stabbing struggles to reach the top, the smog, the youth crime, and the massive traffic, it is comforting to know that the serene mountainous scenery and beautiful sunsets of Los Angeles are not made of cardboard.

LONDON

Situated on the River Thames, London was the world trading center of the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, in place of docks there are shopping centers, skyscrapers, theatres and new residential districts.  River travelers are greeted by the Tower of London, with its neo-Gothic towers that measure 65 meters high. Some of the greatest minds and monarchs are interred in the Gothic styled Westminster Abbey, including Chaucer, Elizabeth I, Shakespeare and Milton.  Ugly 19th century industrial developments gave way to spacious green spaces such as Regent’s Park and Hyde Park.  Below Kensington Gardens are museums, exhibition halls and schools.  The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace summarizes a characteristic of London: it is a city of ironies, where respect and affection are given the monarchy, in a city that founded parliamentary democracy.

MADRID

Madrid, Spain belongs to a land of great conquests, where the joy of life and romance with death are enacted in traditions such as the bullfights and the flamenco.  The Metropolis building with its angel, has become a symbol of the city.  The Palacio de Oriente royal palace reflects the grandeur of Spain’s dogmatic Catholic history.  The size and technical sophistication of the great ancient  Roman aquaduct in nearby Segovia is mind boggling.  Madrid is known for her theatres, but most famous is the “siglo de oro” where the great Spanish playwright Lope de Vega rose to prominence between the 16th and 17th centuries. The streets of the Old quarter are decorated with ceramic tiles, sweets, and pastries in baroque design. Winged horses and epic angels adorn the massive Ministry of Agriculture on the Calle de Atocha.  It was on this street that Calderon’s story of an idealist knight named Don Quixote was first printed.

MERRKECH – FEZ

Red and dark green compliment each other on the twelfth century walls surrounding Marrakech, the first color representing the Marrakech, and the second a symbol of Islam.  Here in Merrakech there is a strong spirit of tolerance due to the multi-ethnic and cultural influences.  Coastal cities like Tangier, Casablanca have strong European influences, but the Rif and Atlas mountain ranges have protected the interior cities.   Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat and Fez are the Moroccan cities richest in the Arab and Berber traditions. Spectacle and robust trade enliven the maze of alleys.  The splendid green and red roofs and minarets of the mosques of Merrakech create a distinctive skyline: the Mosque of the Casbah, Sidia bel Abbes, and Bab Dakkoula. 

Crowed with houses, mosques and markets is Fez, the cultural center of the country.  Fez-el-Jedid or new town was founded in the 13th century and is the highest part of the city.  The Palais Jamai, built at the end of the 19th century, is a legendary Moroccan hotel surrounded by a lush Andalucian garden.  At sunset the red clay and brilliant green colors glow in the shadows of the minarets.

MEXICO CITY

Despite having the largest population in the world, serious environmental problems, and an unstable terrain, Mexico City continues to grow at an alarming rate. The lack of greenery, overcrowding, and chaotic traffic make the air nearly unbreathable for several months out of the year. A few parks serve to alleviate this problem, such as Alameda Central Park, with its huge trees and fountains.  In the Zocalo, one the largest squares in the world, is the National Palace, built in red volcanic stone, where the head of state resides.  Folklore Ballet performances, concerts and operas are shown in the nearby Palacio de Bellas Artes, one of the most outstanding buildings in the city.  Spanish colonial architecture, costumed mariachi players, and wall murals by Diego Rivera, contribute to the colorful scenes of this huge metropolis.

MONTREAL – QUEBEC – TORONTO – NIAGARA

Lying between the United States and Canada are Niagara Falls, the greatest natural attraction in North America.  You will experience the limestone rock face of Niagara, a wall of one hundred meters tall, where the waters from Lake Eerie tumble over in white cascades into the Niagara River, traveling to Lake Ontario 56 kilometers away.  Inspiring a huge tourist industry, the spectacle of Niagara Falls both overpowers and exhilarates. 

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a rising financial, cultural and cosmopolitan center. Efforts towards urban renewal are seen in the recent architectural additions to the city.  The ordinary red brick buildings have been transformed into a vibrant metropolis built in glass, metal, and cement. BCE Place with its impressive double towers features a large gallery and covered atrium.  Old, grand charm continues at The Royal York Hotel, a castle of the early 20th century built in the characteristic French/Scottish Canadian style.  After ice hockey, baseball and American football are favorites among Canadian sports enthusiasts, played in their beloved Sky Dome stadium, with its retractable roof.

And then there is the other Canada, the French-speaking province of Quebec, with its old European charm and fascinating heritage.  Colonized in 1608, explorer Samuel de Champlain put his settlement on a narrow point of the river.  In the Algonquin Indian language the word narrow is “kebec,” and so the city name was born.  Walls and fortifications from the 17th century have been carefully restored.  Sloping roofs and stone walls are reminiscent of those found in northern France.  The  “gigue” is a popular dance accompanied by the fiddle.  In its story we learn the Quebecois are descendants of the Bretons, Scots, Welsh, Irish and Celts.  Today many of the French-speaking citizens of this old European city struggle to maintain their identity within the rest of Canada.

Across the St. Lawrence River is Montreal, with its tall, modern buildings of green, blue and smoked crystal.  Significant cultural institutions have been created in recent years here, such as the Place des Arts – a theatre and concert complex, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Film industry professionals have flocked to Montreal because of the Office National du Film, with its major film library.  Walking along McGill Avenue you will may want to experience some of the many original sculptures, and side-walk cafes.  Beneath the Eaton Centre Tower and the Montreal Trust buildings is the Rue Ste. – Catherine, a popular shopping area.  Montreal’s uninhibited nightlife is a carry over of Prohibition days of the Twenties, and jazz still reigns king.

MUNICH

The historical capital of Bavaria, Munich is both a small country town and an international cultural center. Thanks to Ludwig I, the commissioned works by great architects like Von Fischert Klenze make Munich a “royal city” with spectacular monuments based on Italian models.  Buildings in Bavarian baroque and rococo were inspired by the Theatinerkirche, built in the first half of the twelfth century.  The greatest art collections in Germany are found in Munich.  In the Alte Pinakothek, masterpieces of European art from the Middle Ages to the 18th century are on display.   In nearby Ettal stands the fairytale Linderhof Castle, built by Ludwig II in 1870.  The German capital of fashion, cinema, conferences and arts, Munich attracts visitors from all over the world.

NEW YORK

At the center of the Hudson Bay stands the Statue of Liberty, once a profound image for 19th century immigrants arriving by boat, and now an enduring symbol of New York City.  Ethnic sections like Little Italy and Chinatown are a testament to New York’s reputation as a “melting pot.”  Even the familiar New York skyline reflects variety: the old style Empire State Building, the deco Chrysler Building and the geometrically simple World Trade Center.  The red-bricked charm of Greenwich Village has long attracted artists and bohemians, but in recent years they have flocked to Soho, with its warehouse lofts and art galleries. In the middle of this bustling city is the vast green oasis known as Central Park where New Yorkers go to relax and play.  On nearby Fifth Avenue the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds a monumental collection that spans all of history.  Across the park is the Lincoln Center cultural complex, home to the Philharmonic, the New York State Theatre and the legendary Metropolitan Opera House.

PARIS

Paris is a harmonious fusion of modern urban design and monuments to the past, and has been historically known as a city of transformation.  Over the ages, great historical figures sought to illustrate Paris’ central role in the cultural world.  Dating back to the 19th century is the Palais du Justice, with its famous state prison of the revolution where Marie Antoinette and Robespiere awaited the guillotine.  Originally a fortress, the Louvre has been extended over the centuries and became a gallery during the revolution.  The best known of all Gothic cathedrals is Notre-Dame, which took two centuries to build.  Along the famous Champs–Elysees are cinemas, theatres, restaurants, bars, and hotels, giving it a cosmopolitan feel.  This tree-lined avenue culminates in the Arc de Triomphe, which stands in the center of the Place de l’Etoile, designed by Napoleon. While the effect of new ideas on this city has lead to the destruction of its monuments, Paris has never lost its unique character or its urban greatness.

PRAGUE

Prague is the enchanting city of fairytale, with colorful squares, river views, mazes of alleyways, domes and golden statues.   The Czech term for “door” is “prah”.   According to an old city legend, the Princess Libuse dreamed that the city would rise in the place where a man appeared through a small door. Prague is the capital and cultural center of the old Bohemia-Moravia alliance, with Germanic and Slavic influences. Built in the Middle Ages, the Castle of Karlstein stands on the outskirts of the city.  Concerts and beer-houses are popular nighttime haunts.  Beer is the national drink, and Czech beer is considered the some of the best in the world.  At sunset, with shimmering reflections off the gilded rooftops, domes and gold statues, it is clear why Prague is called The Golden City.

RIO DE JANEIRO

Beautiful, friendly, sensual and dynamic, Rio is a city of excitement and celebration. Copacabana beach  with its elite party atmosphere is where sun worshippers of all shades and colors lounge in the sand.  Rio’s annual festival is called Carnival, characterized by street dances and parties.  In the Sambadome, spectacular Carnival parades by the various Samba schools can be seen.   At night music pours out of bars, and discotheques.  After dancing, the biggest national passion is football, and the Maracana soccer stadium is the biggest in the world.   Cut precious stones are in abundance in Rio, and inexpensive.  The most important jewelers in the world are here: Jules Sauer and Hans Stern.  The Churrascaria Rodizio is a culinary feast served in Brazilian restaurants, and the large, banquet-sized portions reflect the spirit that when in Rio, life is a celebration of carnal delights.

ROME

The ancient past and everyday life are woven harmoniously together in Rome.  All over the city there are Roman monuments standing alongside later buildings.  The Column of Marcus Aurelius stands at the Piazza Colonna, and is one of the most original creations of Roman sculpture.  Baroque fountains and columns of old temples pervade everyday activities like dining or shopping at the market. The largest ancient structure of Rome is the Colosseum, the huge amphitheater that illustrates the power that was the Roman Empire.  In the adjacent Roman Forum, civic and religious concerns were discussed by the citizens of ancient times.  The colossal spa of Caracalla once held 1600 bathers at a time.  Aqueducts built on arches carried water from the hills to the city, and their fragments are scattered throughout the countryside.   Within the hallowed walls of the magnificent St. Peter’s church are incomparable works of art, like the Pieta by Michaelangelo.

SAN FRANCISCO

Situated on a narrow peninsula at the end of a long bay that runs along the coastline, San Francisco seems to hang between the earth and sky.  It is a city of extraordinary natural and man-made extremes:  the nearby Muir Woods, with its huge, ancient sequoias, and the Golden Gate Bridge, extending nearly 2 miles between the rocky coastlines. With its steep hills, urban transport in this metropolis was problematic, until an English engineer proposed cable cars specially designed to be pulled up steep inclines.  These treacherous hills have become favorites of Hollywood film directors, especially Lombard Street, with its beautiful flower beds.  Union Square serves as the city center with the large stores, famous hotels, and shops and theatres of Market Street nearby.  At Fisherman’s Wharf, crowds congregate at the variety of bars and restaurants to watch the fishing boats depart.  As you watch the Golden Gate Bridge disappearing in and out the fog, you feel as though you are on the edge of the world.

STOCKHOLM

Where Lake Malar meets the Baltic Sea stands Stockholm, the “city on the island.”  Stockholm has historically had a love affair with the sea, and it still retains the appearance of a bustling port.  A kind of marine motorway runs through the center of the city, covered by bridges.  The Vasa Museum offers a complete view of life at sea in the seventeenth century, highlighted by the restored Vasa warship, which sunk in 1628.  Dutch Renaissance buildings such as the Old Stock Exchange, surround a central square.  An immense 18th century palace is the predominate edifice in the old town, with its sumptuous interiors and lavish throne room.  Everyday, in front of the royal palace an elaborate changing of the guard ceremony is observed, with great pomp and circumstance.

ST. PETERSBURG

Dostoyevsky called St. Petersburg “the most abstract and premeditated city in the world.”  When Czar Peter the Great conceived and planned this city, he was most inspired by Amsterdam, a city he loved and admired.  The technical and political achievements of Western Europe influenced the Czar’s desire for the city to be both practical and aesthetically pleasing, with easy access to the sea.  From Puskin Square on Vasileivski island we can see the two branches of the river Neva, the Winter Palace and the fortress.  Attached to the fortress is the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, with its tower that stands 122 meters high, and the spire of the Admiralty palace.  In the Hermitage Museum are 100 rooms, about 15,000 paintings and 12,000 sculptures.  Along with the Louvre, it is the largest museum in the world.

TOKYO

Tokyo is a dynamic city of contrasts:  the beautiful and precise dance and theatre traditions of Japans cultural past, juxtaposed with starkly modern skyscrapers, sophisticated elevated trains and traffic of epic proportions.  Stroll along the Ginza, a walkway lined with shops, discos, karaoke bars, restaurants and famous for its kabuki theatre.  Later take in some of Tokyo’s many ancient temples which still welcome the faithful: Yushima Seido, devoted to the 6th century sage Confucius, or the Meiji mausoleum, the most important Shinto temple in Tokyo.  Nestled within some of the many formal gardens you will find tea pavilions, where the enjoyment of drinking tea is elevated in a ritual over 500 years old.

WARSAW

Experience the romantic melancholy of Chopin’s Warsaw, with it’s ornate churches, and monuments to past tragedies.  You will tour the majestic Castle of Ujazdow, one of Warsaw’s many architectural wonders of the Italian Renaissance.  In nearby Lazienky Park you’ll find open-air concerts, opera and ballet, and traditional Polish festivals with elaborate costumes of embroidery and lace.  The “royal road” to Wilanow royal palace is lined with 17th and 18th century villas and baroque churches.  Further south we find the Church of the Holy Cross; famous for it’s lavish altars and the urn that holds the heart of Frederick Chopin.  Numerous medieval, renaissance, and baroque house and mansions line the market square of Crakow, the ancient medieval capital of Poland, and cradle of Polish culture.

VIENNA

Once the capital of an empire, and gateway between east and west, Vienna today exudes a melancholy old grandeur that is alive with cosmopolitan culture and elegant traditions.  The boundary of the old city is called The Ring, and in it are the largest and most important buildings, including the Opera, the Hofburg, Parliament, the University and the Burg Theatre.  Once a popular spot for poets and writers is the Zentral coffee-house, one of many lively cafes where tourists and locals indulge in various forms of Viennese coffees and eat Sachertorte pastries.   Before going on to establish his revolutionary 20th century theory of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud taught at the prestigious Vienna University.  The Vienna Opera, famous for its dance school and annual ballet, is forever linked to the name of Mozart.  At the Spanish Riding School tourists enjoy the spectacle of the magnificant Lipizzana horses.  Today Vienna is awakening from a long sleep, and fast becoming an international exchange and meeting center.

VENICE

Gondolas drifting through narrow canals, 18h century cafes, and Gothic-Venetian architecture are all part of the dream-like romance of Venice, the water city.  Built on many tiny islands linked by bridges and supported by tree-trunks driven deep into the sandy clay, Vienna has a magical quality with an atmosphere of festivity.  The Rialto, a bridge dating back to 1592, crosses the Grand Canal in a single arch topped with a series of arcades.  St. Marks Basilica, modeled after the churches of Constantinople, is adorned inside with mosaics, paintings and golden altar pieces by Venetian and Byzantine craftsmen. Venice is beautiful any time of day:  dawn, midday, or sunset.  The colors shine in the old plasters, marbles and bricks as the sunlight is magnified by the beautiful reflections in the water.

Cities of the World - NEW (Series 2)
Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 001
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 002
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 003
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 004
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 005
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 006
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 007
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 008
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 020
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 021
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 022
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 023
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 024
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 028
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 029
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 030
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 031
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 032
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

Cities of the World - NEW_Eps 033
Discover the fascinating architecture, culture, and history of the most interesting cities of the world. Spectacular aerial photography provides a unique point of view that clearly shows you how the various cities are structured and have grown over the centuries.

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