Friday, 23 March 2012


Södertälje, is a city and the seat of Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 64,619 inhabitants in 2010.
The industrial city, about 30 kilometers (19 mi) south of Stockholm, is the home to truck maker Scania AB and a top 10 pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Södertälje is an international municipality and this fact is reflected in business, cultural life and the population.


Truck manufacturer Scania AB has its main location in Södertälje. It is also one of the main sites for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The port of Södertälje is the second in the Stockholm region. Volkswagen Group has its Swedish headquarters located in Södertälje, and Lantmännen Axa Foodservice AB is located in Järna 10 km south of Södertälje.


The city has Södertälje SK, an ice hockey team in the second highest league – Allsvenskan and plays their matches in AXA Sports Center (aka Scaniarinken). Assyriska FF and Syrianska FC are also two successful football clubs started in 1974 and 1977. They play in the same arena, Södertälje Fotbollsarena. In basketball, Södertälje BBK is one of the best in the country, and became Swedish Champions in the 2004/2005 season.


The town is situated on a bay of Lake Mälaren, which is here connected with the Baltic Sea by the Södertälje Canal, 35 miles (56 km) in length, with a minimum depth of 20 ft (6.1 m). This is on the route followed by the Göta Canal steamboats between Stockholm and Gothenburg. It was opened in 1819 and much enlarged in 1924, though a canal was begun here in the first half of the 15th century at the instigation of the patriot Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson.

Public transport

Södertälje is served by the Stockholm public transport system, but has also a main line railway station for connections outside Stockholm County. The main railway station is Södertälje Syd (South) and located some 5 km outside of the city center where most national trains stop. From Södertälje Syd it is possible to take the Stockholm public transport to all stations in the Södertälje area.


Wigan, is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the River Douglas, 7.9 miles (13 km) south-west of Bolton, 10 miles (16 km) north of Warrington and 16 miles (25.7 km) west-northwest of Manchester. Wigan is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is its administrative centre. The town of Wigan had a total population of 81,203 in 2001, whilst the wider borough has a population of 305,600. The town is the headquarters of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the top tier administrative body for Greater Manchester.
Historically a part of Lancashire, Wigan during classical antiquity was in the territory of the Brigantes, an ancient Celtic tribe that ruled much of northern England. The Brigantes were subjugated in the Roman conquest of Britain during the 1st century, and it is asserted that the Roman settlement of Coccium was established where Wigan lies. Wigan is believed to have been incorporated as a borough in 1246 following the issue of a charter by King Henry III of England. At the end of the Middle Ages it was one of four boroughs in Lancashire possessing Royal charters; the others were Lancaster, Liverpool, and Preston.
During the Industrial Revolution Wigan experienced dramatic economic expansion and a rapid rise in the population. Although porcelain manufacture and clock making had been major industries in the town, Wigan subsequently became known as a major mill town and coal mining district. The first coal mine was established at Wigan in 1450 and at its peak there were 1,000 pit shafts within 5 miles (8 km) of the town centre. Mining was so extensive that one town councillor remarked that "a coal mine in the backyard was not uncommon in Wigan". Coal mining ceased during the latter part of the 20th century. In 1974, Wigan became a part of Greater Manchester.

Wigan lies on the meeting point of two primary A roads, the A49 and A577 which link to the M6, M61 motorway and M58 motorway. Increased traffic in recent years, encouraged by retail development, has resulted in very congested main roads for most of the day. This situation is linked to the town's geography, with river valleys and railway lines impeding road improvement.
There are two railway stations in Wigan town centre. Wigan North Western is on the electrified north–south West Coast Main Line. Virgin Trains provides express trains to London Euston, Birmingham, Lancaster, Carlisle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Northern Rail has trains to Preston and Blackpool and a regular local service along the line to St Helens and Liverpool Lime Street. Wigan Wallgate serves lines running east and west from Wigan. Northern Rail provides trains to Southport and Kirkby (with connections to Liverpool Central and the Merseyrail system). Frequent local services also operate (in co-operation with TfGM to Bolton and Manchester (Victoria and Piccadilly), with most trains from Wigan continuing through to other destinations such as Manchester Airport, Stockport, Rochdale and (until a line closure in October 2009) Oldham. Pemberton railway station serves the Pemberton area of the town.
A horse tramway was built in 1880 by Wigan Corporation and leased to a succession of private companies to operate services to Pemberton, Aspull and towards Standish. Steam tram operation was introduced quickly, but the network always struggled to pay its way and just after the turn of the century Wigan Corporation gradually bought the operating leases and converted the network to electric tramcar operation. However, the network was saddled with a mix of 'standard' gauge and 'narrow' gauge lines, reducing efficiency and increasing costs, and the last of the town's tramways were closed in 1931 to be replaced by buses which had begun as 'feeder' services to the trams but which had shown themselves to be faster and more flexible. Trolleybuses were operated on a single route from Wigan to Martland Mill from 1925 to 1931.
The town's tram, trolleybus and bus fleet was always painted in crimson and off-white colours, with ornate gold lining out until the outbreak of World War 2. The buses were notable in that they never carried exterior advertisements, with the town's crest occupying the space between decks where other bus operators placed adverts; and they carried two green lights on the front, to enable the town's ratepayers to see at night which was one of the town's own buses and not one of those of a competitor. At local government reorganisation in April 1974, the Wigan Corporation Transport Department became part of Greater Manchester Transport. The former Corporation tram/bus garage in Melverley Street is still in use by First Manchester.

Wigan has been well known for its popular music since the days of George Formby Snr and George Formby Jnr. It was the birthplace of The Eight Lancashire Lads a dancing troupe who gave the young Charlie Chaplin his professional debut. One member of the troupe was a John Willie Jackson, The "John Willie" to whom George Formby would often refer in his songs. Local bands that gained wider repute include The Verve, The Railway Children, Witness, The Tansads, Limahl of Kajagoogoo and Starsailor. The Verve were one of the most important British rock groups of the 1990s, finding success in the UK and abroad (even touring on the USA's famous Lollapalooza alternative rock festival). The band was formed when the members met at Winstanley College in 1989.
From 1973–1981 Wigan Casino was the location for Wigan's weekly Northern Soul all-nighters. The venue began as a dance hall called Empress Ballroom. Wigan Casino rose to prominence in the 1970s, and in 1978 was named "best disco in the world" by Billboard, an American music magazine. The building was gutted by fire in 1982 and demolished the following year. This was the inspiration for the 1989 dance record Wigan by Baby Ford.
Since 1986, Wigan has hosted an international jazz festival. Wigan remains a centre of popular music for young people, with a number of alternative pubs/clubs in the town centre. The town also has a music collective which exists to promote the scene and help out local musicians and bands. They host bi-weekly gigs at The Tudor and also host various other activities such as the annual Haigh Hall Music Festival, which attracted around 7,000 guests in 2007. The Collective also offers recording sessions and gig advice for young musicians. Throughout the early 1990s The Den was a popular venue for bands with acts such as Green Day heading over to play. The Lux Club was a popular venue during the mid 2000's before it too was demolished. The town currently has a host of venues putting on gigs for upcoming local bands including The Tudor, Club Nirvana, Kings Electric, The Boulevard, The Waiting Room and The Swinley. NXNW have hosted the annual Wigan Festival of Art, Music and Literature known as North By North Western Festival. The collective is a voluntary non-profit making organisation and the festival takes place at various venues across the town.


Osnabrück, is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, some 80 km NNE of Dortmund, 45 km NE of Münster, and some 100 km due west of Hanover. It lies in a valley penned between the Wiehen Hills and the northern tip of the Teutoburg Forest. As of December 31, 2010, its population was 164,119, making it the third-largest city in Lower Saxony.

Main sights

Heger Tor ("Heger Gate"), a monument to the soldiers from Osnabrück who died at the battle of Waterloo (1815).
Bucksturm, the oldest tower in the city, and once part of the city walls. It was once used as prison for women accused of witchcraft.
Ruwe Fountain" (1985), created for the city's 1200th birthday.
Gladiator 2000 (1986), a gigantic painting (45 × 6 meters) by Nicolae Covaci.
Felix Nussbaum Haus, a Gallery and Museum dedicated to the Jewish artist and painter Felix Nussbaum, who died in the Holocaust. It was designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind.
Kalkriese Museum, situated on the battlefield of the Teutoburger Wald, in which German tribes under Arminius destroyed three Roman legions. It exhibits artefacts unearthed on the battlefield and tells the story of the battle.
Osnabrück Castle, nowadays the main building of the University of Osnabrück
Botanischer Garten der Universität Osnabrück, the university's botanical garden
Old town with its small streets with buildings from middle-age
Zoo of Osnabrück
Vitischanze - old time defence station at the north west point of the old city, has the only undestroyed bridge in Europe with a so called defence walk below the bridge's surface walk, faculty of the University of Applied Science of Osnabrück is installed within the Vitischanze, nearby a parking house called Vitischanze. Formerly Vitischanze was used as a casino
Katharinenkirche (St. Catherine's Church) that dates back to 1248 and is one of the 150 tallest churches in the world and the tallest medieval building in the state of Lower Saxony.
Hyde Park, a traditional music Hall since 1976, a location of pop music and youth culture

Famous people

Personalities from Osnabrück include the writer Erich Maria Remarque and the painters Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart and Felix Nussbaum. (For the Jewish painter Nussbaum the city erected a modern museum designed by Daniel Libeskind which opened in 1998 and resembles a scaled-down version of the same architect's well-known Jewish Museum in Berlin.) The poet and scholar Johann Ernst Hanxleden was born in Osnabrück, as was the former President of Germany Christian Wulff, and reggae musician Gentleman. Victory Records recording artists Waterdown are based in Osnabrück. Actress Birgitta Tolksdorf, who made a name for herself in American television in the 1970s, as well as German stage and screen actor Mathias Wieman (1958 recipient of the Justus-Möser-Medaille) (see German article Justus-Möser-Medaille) were born city. Friedrich Clemens Gerke (* 22 January 1801 Osnabrück was a German writer, journalist, musician and pioneer of telegraphy who revised the Morse code in 1848. (Gerke's notation is still used today.) Further former notable residents are Heinrich Abeken, a German theologian and Prussian Privy Legation Councillor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Justus Moser, a German jurist and political essayist and Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament.

Two institutes of higher education exist in Osnabrück, the Universität Osnabrück (University of Osnabrück) and the Hochschule Osnabrück (University of Applied Science of Osnabrück). There also are all kinds of German grammar schools, including seven Gymnasien. As mentioned above, one of them, The Carolinum, may be the oldest school in Germany, which still exists today.


The city of Osnabrück is connected by road to the A1, the A30 and the A33. It shares the Münster Osnabrück International Airport together with the nearby city of Münster.
The "Hauptbahnhof" (Main Station) of Osnabrück is an important railway station. Travellers from the Netherlands heading for either Hamburg and Denmark, or Berlin and Eastern Europe, often have to change here.
An extensive bus service operated by Stadtwerke Osnabrück provides transportation within Osnabrück and the surrounding region. The primary bus center is located at the Neumarkt shopping area, a short distance from the train station.


Haarlem, formerly referred to as Harlem in the English language) is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic. Haarlem lies in the northern part of the Randstad, one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe.
By the end of 2011 Haarlem had a total population of 151,853. The municipality of Haarlem also comprises part of the village of Spaarndam, a newer housing estate of this village forms part of the neighboring municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude.

Every year in April the bloemencorso (flower parade) takes place. Floats decorated with flowers drive from Noordwijk to Haarlem, where they are exhibited for one day. In the same month there is also a funfair organized on the Grote Markt and the Zaanenlaan in Haarlem-Noord.
Bevrijdingspop is a music festival to celebrate the Dutch liberation from the Nazis after World War II. It is held every year on 5 May, the day that the Netherlands were liberated in 1945, at the Haarlemmerhout. At the same location, the Haarlemmerhoutfestival is also held every year, which is a music and theatre festival.
Other yearly events on the Grote Markt are "Haarlem Jazzstad" (a jazz festival), "Haarlem Culinair" (a culinary event) and the "Haarlemse Stripdagen" (Haarlem comic days).


There are several amateur association football clubs. Haarlem also had a professional football club, HFC Haarlem, which went bankrupt in January 2010. Another Haarlem based football club still in existence is Koninklijke HFC (Royal Haarlemsche Football Club). It was founded by Pim Mulier in 1879 as the first football club in the Netherlands, making it the oldest club in Dutch history.
Tennis club HLTC Haarlem, founded in 1884, and judo association Kenamju, founded in 1948, are also the oldest Dutch clubs in their sports.
Haarlem is known for hosting several international sports tournaments as well: the Haarlemse Honkbalweek (Haarlem Baseball Week), a baseball event held every two years at the Pim Mulier Stadium (named after Pim Mulier), and the Haarlem Basketball Classic, a basketball event.
The first international bandy match was played between Haarlem and Bury Fen Bandy Club.

Cultural references
Folk singer Al Stewart mentions Haarlem in his song "Amsterdam".
The train station of Haarlem was part of a set during the movie Ocean's Twelve.
The book Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire is set in Haarlem.
The book The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, père has several scenes in Haarlem, most notably the ending, and it is the Horticultural Society of Haarlem that offers a reward for a black tulip.
In 1628 a chemist in Haarlem goes broke, and decides to join the VOC to sail to the East. His name, Jeronimus Cornelisz, will always be connected with the Batavia ship.


Angers, is the main city in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France about 300 km (190 mi) south-west of Paris. Angers is located in the French region known by its pre-revolutionary, provincial name, Anjou, and its inhabitants are called Angevins.
Angers proper has a population of 157,000 inhabitants, while c. 283,000 live in its metropolitan area. The city traces its roots to early Roman times. It occupies both banks of the Maine, which is spanned by six bridges. The district along the river has flourishing nurseries and market gardens. It is known for its fresh produce and cut flowers.


The early prosperity of the town is largely due to the nearby quarries of slate, whose abundant use for the roofs of Angers led to the city's nickname, the "Black City" (or "La ville noire", in French). As of 1911, existing industries noted in the Encyclopædia Britannica for that year included the distillation of liqueurs from fruit (Cointreau, a brand of triple sec orange liqueur, is produced to this day in Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, a suburb of Angers); cable, rope, and thread-making; the manufacture of boots, shoes, umbrellas, and parasols; weaving of sail-cloth and fabrics; machine construction; wire-drawing; and the manufacture of sparkling wines and preserved fruits. The chief articles of commerce, besides slate and manufactured goods, were hemp, early vegetables, fruit, flowers, and live-stock.
Many of these industries in 1911 have since disappeared, though Cointreau continues to produce liqueur. Other contemporary industries include the manufacturing of lorries (Scania) and computers (Bull, Packard-Bell, NEC) as well as research in horticulture and biotechnologies.


Angers is connected by A11 autoroute to Paris (c. 295 km) and to Nantes (c. 90 km). Gare d'Angers-Saint-Laud railway station has a direct TGV service to Paris (1 hour 35 minutes). The nearest airport is Angers - Loire Airport.
In 1850 a catastrophic failure of the Angers Bridge caused the deaths of over 200 soldiers. The disaster inhibited the construction of suspension bridges in France for two decades.
Angers inaugurated a new light rail system on 25 June 2011. The tramway consists of one 12 km (7.46 mi) line with 25 stops. The line runs from Avrillé-Ardenne in the North to Angers-Roseraie in the south. Service is provided by Keolis using 17 Alstom Citadis trams.

Angers SCO is Angers's football team. The club was created in 1919. In 2010–11 season, Angers SCO is playing in the Ligue 2 (second division) league.
Les Ducs d'Angers is Angers's ice hockey team. The club is playing in the Magnus League (first division).
Anjou BC is Angers's basketball team, playing in second division.
Angers acts as home to the Angers Aviron Nautique (In French), a rowing club which actively competes in regattas across France


Bobo-Dioulasso is a city with a population of about 435,543 (as of 2006), the second largest city in Burkina Faso, Africa, after Ouagadougou, the nation's capital. The name means literally, "home of the Jula who speak Bobo," and is possibly a creation of the French who misunderstood the identity complexities of the location. The local Bobo-speaking population of the city refers to it as Sia. The city is situated in the southwest of the country, in the Houet Province, some 350 km (220 mi) from Ouagadougou. It is significant both economically (agricultural trade, textile industry) and culturally (Bobo is the center of culture and music of Burkina Faso).


The city features the Bobo-Dioulasso Old Mosque (built in 1880 according to some, 1893 according to others), the Konsa house which is the ritual cente of a senior house of the Zara (or Bobo-Jula) group, and a sacred natural pond called Dafra at its southern fringes, which is the source of the We river. The pond is a site of pilgrimage and the giant catfish living in it are given offerings. Bobo-Dioulasso is also a city where one can see several nicely preserved examples of the colonial era architecture called "neo-Sudanic" (examples: the museum building, the train station). In addition to the regional museum there is also a zoo, and a pottery market.


The original population of Bobo-Dioulasso consisted of a majority of farmers speaking the Bobo language and a set of groups associated with them, specializing in trade and warfare, who also speak Bobo, but consider themselves of a distinct historical origin and go by the name Zara.
Today Bobo-Dioulasso is ethnically and linguistically very diverse, due to its position as an old trade town, and especially to its growth during the twentieth century as a colonial administrative and military center. Jula is the lingua franca of Bobo and surrounding region of western Burkina Faso, but because of this ethnic diversity two different dialects of Jula live side by side in the city and region. The common (and now dominant) Jula spoken in the streets of Bobo-Dioulasso is a close variation of Bamana, the majority language of neighboring Mali. It was brought to the area during the French colonial administration (1898–1960) by the government interpreters and by the soldiers of the colonial army where this language prevailed. Most people speak this Jula as a second language. The people who are of Jula ethnic origin, whether of trader, Muslim-clerical, or warrior origin, speak a different dialect of Jula that is similar to the variety spoken in Côte d'Ivoire. In the city this dialect is called Kon-Jula and survives as an ethnic marker of a particular community.


Dakar is the capital city and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland. Its position, on the western edge of Africa, is an advantageous departure point for trans-Atlantic and European trade; this fact aided its growth into a major regional port.
According to December 31, 2005 official estimates, the city of Dakar proper has a population of 1,030,594, whereas the population of the Dakar metropolitan area is estimated at 2.45 million people.
Dakar is a major administrative centre, home to the National Assembly of Senegal and Senegal's President's Palace.

Attractions in Dakar include major markets, Dakar Grand Mosque (built in 1964), Dakar Cathedral, Gorée Island, the IFAN Museum of West African culture, the newly completed African Renaissance Monument, clifftop walks and beaches, and Hann Park, home to Senegal Zoo.
The town serves as a port and is home to the Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport. It is also the terminus of the Dakar-Niger railroad line.
Dakar used to be the finishing point of the Dakar Rally and is a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Cheikh Anta Diop University also known as the University of Dakar, was established in 1957.

Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye, footballer, Stoke City
Abdoulaye Salam Fall, Founder
Akon, R&B singer, Real name - Alioune Thiam
Assane Ndiaye, Singer and songwriter, cousin of Thione Seck
Baaba Maal, singer and guitarist
Boris Diaw, basketball player, Charlotte Bobcats
Bouna Coundoul, footballer, New York Red Bulls
Cheikh Samb, basketball player, former Los Angeles Clippers
DeSagana Diop, basketball player, Charlotte Bobcats
Ibrahim Ba, former footballer
Issa, R&B singer
Kalidou Kasse, visual artist, President of the International Association of Visual Artists of Senegal
Macoumba Kandji, footballer, Colorado Rapids
Mamadou Barry, CEO/Founder, World Sun Technology, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Mamadou Seck, basketball player,
Mame Biram Diouf, footballer, Manchester United
Marc Lièvremont, Former rugby player and current head coach of the France national rugby union team
Mbaye Diagne, United Nations military observer and hero during the Rwandan genocide
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, foreign correspondent for NPR News
Orchestra Baobab
Ousmane Barro, basketball player, Marquette University
Papa Bouba Diop, footballer, West Ham United
Patrice Evra, footballer, Manchester United
Patrick Vieira, footballer, Manchester City
Ségolène Royal, French politician born in Dakar
Thione Seck, Singer and songwriter
Youssou N'Dour, singer and percussionist
Ousseynou Diop, Basketball player Bellevue University
Hamady Ndiaye, Basketball player Washington Wizards
Aziz N'diaye, Basketball player University of Washington
Mamadou N'Diaye, former basketball player for Auburn University and the Toronto Raptors


Leipzig, is one of the two largest cities (along with Dresden) in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. Leipzig is situated about 200 km south of Berlin at the confluence of the Weisse Elster, Pleisse and Parthe rivers at the southerly end of the North German Plain.
Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing. After World War II, Leipzig became a major urban centre within the Communist German Democratic Republic but its cultural and economic importance declined.
Leipzig later played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. Leipzig has many institutions and opportunities for culture and recreation including a football stadium which has hosted some international matches, an opera house and a zoo.
In 2010, Leipzig was ranked 68th in the world as a livable city, by consulting firm Mercer in their quality of life survey. Also in 2010, Leipzig was included in the top 10 of cities to visit by the New York Times.

St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche): Most famous as the place where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a cantor and home to the renowned boys choir Thomanerchor
Monument to Felix Mendelssohn in front of this church. Destroyed by the Nazis in 1936, it was rebuilt on October 18, 2008.
St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche), for which Bach was also responsible. The weekly Montagsgebet (Monday prayer) held here became in the 1980s the starting point of peaceful Monday demonstrations against the DDR regime.
Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Battle of the Nations Monument): one of the largest monuments in Europe, built to commemorate the victorious battle against Napoleonic troops
Gewandhaus: home to the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra, it is the third building of that name
Old Town Hall: the old town hall was built in 1556 and houses a museum of the city's history
New Town Hall: the new town hall was built upon the remains of the Pleißenburg, a castle that was the site of the 1519 debate between Johann Eck and Martin Luther
City-Hochhaus Leipzig: built in 1972, it was once part of the university and is the city's tallest building
Auerbachs Keller: a young Goethe ate and drank in this basement-level restaurant while studying in Leipzig; it is the venue of a scene from his Faust
Städtisches Kaufhaus (municipal department store): the world's first sample fair building and today home to offices, retail stores, restaurants and interim classrooms for the University of Leipzig (its name is misleading, as it is privately owned)
Bundesverwaltungsgericht: Germany's federal administrative court was the site of the Reichsgericht, the highest state court between 1888 and 1945
The Leipzig Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Germany
Among Leipzig's noteworthy institutions are the opera house and the Leipzig Zoological Garden, the latter of which houses the world's largest facilities for primates. Leipzig's international trade fair centre in the north of the city is home to the world's largest levitated glass hall. Leipzig is also known for its passageways through houses and buildings.

More than 300 sport clubs in the city represent 78 different disciplines. Over 400 sport facilities are available to citizens and club members.
The German Football Association (DFB) was founded in Leipzig in 1900. The city was the venue for the 2006 FIFA World Cup draw, and hosted four first-round matches and one match in the round of 16 in the Central stadium. Leipzig also hosted the Fencing World Cup in 2005 and hosts a number of international competitions in a variety of sports each year.
Since the beginning of the 20th century Ice hockey gained popularity and several local clubs established departments dedicated to that sport. Today the Blue Lions Leipzig is the most famous Ice hockey club in town.
VfB Leipzig, now 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig, won the first national football championship in 1903.
From 1950 to 1990 Leipzig was host of the Deutsche Hochschule für Körperkultur (DHfK) (German highschool for physical culture), the national sport university of the GDR.
Handball-Club Leipzig is one of the most successful women's handball clubs in Germany, winning 20 domestic championships since 1956 and 3 Champions League titles.
Leipzig made a bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The bid did not make the shortlist after the International Olympic Committee pared the bids down to 5, and the competition was eventually won by London on 6 July 2005.
Markkleeberg Lake (Markkleeberger See) is a new lake next to Markkleeberg, a suburb on the south side of Leipzig. A former open-pit coal mine, it was flooded in 1999 with groundwater and developed in 2006 as a tourist area. On its southeastern shore is Germany's only pump-powered artificial whitewater slalom course, Markkleeberg Canoe Park (Kanupark Markkleeberg), a venue which rivals the Eiskanal in Augsburg for training and international canoe/kayak competition.
In June 2009 Red Bull entered the local football market after being denied the right to buy into FC Sachsen Leipzig in 2006. The newly founded RB Leipzig is now attempting to come up through the ranks of German football to bring Bundesliga football back to the region.
Two Leipzig based teams are members of the Unihockey-Bundesliga, the German Premiere Floorball league. The MFBC Löwen Leipzig were runner-up in 2009, the SC DHFK Leipzig in 2008.

Rochester, New York

Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City. It is the county seat for Monroe County.
Rochester's city population according to the 2010 census is approximately 210,565, making it New York's third most populous city after New York City and Buffalo. It is at the center of a larger Metropolitan Area which encompasses and extends beyond Monroe County and includes Genesee County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Orleans County and Wayne County. This area, which is part of the Western New York region, had a population of 1,037,831 people at the time of the 2000 Census. As of April 1, 2010, the 2010 Census indicated that this population rose to 1,054,322 .
Rochester was one of America's first "boomtowns" and rose to prominence initially as the site of many flour mills located on the Genesee River, then as a major manufacturing hub. Rochester is now an international center of higher education, as well as medical and technological development. The region is known for many acclaimed universities, and several of them (notably the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology) are nationally renowned for their research programs. In addition, Rochester has been and continues to be the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area is currently home to corporations such as Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and Xerox that conduct extensive research and manufacturing in the fields of industrial and consumer products. The Rochester metropolitan area is the second largest regional economy in New York State according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, after the New York City metropolitan area.
Rochester was ranked as the sixth 'most livable city' among 379 U.S. metropolitan areas in the 25th edition (2007) of the Places Rated Almanac. The Rochester area also received the top ranking for overall quality of life among U.S. metros with populations of more than 1 million in a 2007 study by Expansion Management magazine. In the same study, Expansion Management rated the area's public schools as sixth best nationwide. In 2010 Forbes rated Rochester as the 3rd best place to raise a family.

In 2006 Rochester had 1259.6 reported violent crimes per 100,000 residents, compared to a national rate of 553.5. For 2006, Rochester had 827 personal crime incidents per 100,000 and 7,173 property crime incidents per 100,000.
With 100 being the national average, Rochester scores the following:
Personal Crime Risk - 170 Property Crime Risk - 134
In 2008, Rochester reported 42 murders (20.5 per 100,000 people), 98 sexual assaults, 1,059 robberies, 1,103 assaults, 2,808 burglaries, 7,060 larceny thefts, and 1,262 auto thefts.

Rochester is home to a number of international businesses, including Fortune 1000 company Eastman Kodak, as well as several national and regional companies, such as Bausch and Lomb. Xerox was founded in Rochester in 1906 as The Haloid Company, and retains a significant presence in Rochester, although its headquarters are now located in Norwalk, Connecticut. The Gannett newspaper company and Western Union were founded in the Rochester area by Frank Gannett and Hiram Sibley respectively but have since moved to other cities.
Because of the high prevalence of imaging and optical science among the industry and the universities, Rochester is known as the world capital of imaging. The Institute of Optics of the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology in nearby Henrietta both have imaging programs. In 2006, the University of Rochester became the largest employer in the Rochester area, surpassing Kodak.

Principal suburbs
Suburbs of the city include: Brighton, Brockport, Chili, Churchville, East Rochester, Fairport, Gates, Greece, Hamlin, Henrietta, Hilton, Irondequoit, Mendon, Ogden, Parma, Penfield, Pittsford, Riga, Rush, Scottsville, Spencerport, Webster, Victor and Wheatland.


Rochester has a number of neighborhoods, including the 19th Ward , 14621 Community , Beechwood , Browncroft , Cascade District, Cobbs Hill, Charlotte, Corn Hill , Dewey, Dutchtown, Edgerton, Ellwanger-Barry, German Village, Grove Place , High Falls District, Highland park , Lyell-Otis, Dutchtown Maplewood (10th ward), Marketview Heights , Mt. Read, Northern edge , Otis-Lyell , Park Avenue, Plymouth-Exchange, Southwest, East End, South Wedge, Swillburg , Susan B. Anthony [16], University-Atlantic, Upper Monroe , and more are all recognized communities with various neighborhood associations. There are also living spaces in Downtown Rochester.

The Browncroft neighborhood is built on the former nursery grounds of the Brown Brothers nursery. The business district situated on Winton Rd has a mix of restaurants and shops. The neighborhood borders the nearby Tryon and Ellison Parks. The Browncroft Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.


Bamako is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a population of 1.8 million (2009 Census, provisional). Currently, it is estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and sixth fastest in the world. It is located on the Niger River, near the rapids that divide the upper and middle Niger valleys in the southwestern part of the country.
Bamako is the nation's administrative center. The city proper is a cercle by its own right. Bamako's river port is located in nearby Koulikoro, along with a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the seventh largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, and Accra. Local manufactures include textiles, processed meat, and metal goods. There is commercial fishing on the Niger River.
The name Bamako comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile river.

The traditional commercial centre of Bamako was located to the north of the river, and contained within a triangle bounded by Avenue du Fleuve, Rue Baba Diarra and Boulevard du Peuple. This area contains the Marché Rose and Street Market.
The downtown area is highly congested, polluted, and expensive, and urbanization is sprawling at a rapid pace within a radius of 30 km. The largest urbanized area now lies on the southern bank of the Niger River. A modern Central Business District is rapidly developing immediately west of the downtown area in the ACI-2000 district, taking advantage of a well-designed geometric layout, legacy of the old airport runways and taxiways. A large administrative area is being developed at the junction between ACI-2000 and the King Fadh Bridge, containing most of the state departments (ministries) and administrative services in a central location. Bamako is also the headquarters of many large companies and administrative institutions. Air Mali (formerly Compagnie Aérienne du Mali) has its head office in Bamako. Bamako received much investment by Saudi Arabia for decades which saw a number of important structures being built. In recent years, China has become an important investor in Bamako, developing its infrastructure and facilities.

Agriculture is active in Bamako, with the presence of Bozo fisherman and it is common to see cattle crossing the streets. However, the most important by far is the manufacturing and service sector. The District of Bamako concentrates 70% of industrial activity. The service sector is the most developed, and the city thrives in crafts and trade.

The Dakar-Niger Railway links Bamako to Dakar via Kati, Négala, Kita and Kayes. The road network links Bamako to Koulikoro, Kati, Kolokani, Ségou and Sikasso.
The Bamako-Sénou International Airport is located 15 km from the city and opened to passengers in 1974. Passenger traffic steadily increased in the early 2000s. Government figures revealed 403,380 passengers in 1999, 423,506 in 2003, 486,526 in 2004, and 516,000 in 2005. and is predicted to reach over 900,000 by 2015 under a low (4%) yearly growth rate scenario. To date this growth rate has been surpassed. Total air traffic the airport increased by 12.4% in 2007 and 14% in 2008. Most of this increase came in passenger transport, with the number of passengers served increasing by 20% in 2007 and 17% in 2008. Twenty-seven airline carriers operated weekly or better at Bamako-Sénou International Airport in the 2007-2008 period. This continued growth was offset by cargo flights' decline of 16.75% in 2007, and 3.93% in 2008. The highest frequency route is on the Bamako-Dakar sector with 29 weekly non-stop connections. Domestic flights also serve Mali's regional capitals Kayes, Mopti, Timbuktu, Sikasso, Gao, and Kidal. Bamako Senou International Airport is managed by Aéroports du Mali (ADM). Its operations are overseen by the Malian Ministry of Equipment and Transports.
Much of the transportation is either by the Niger River, or by paved roads linking Bamako to other major urban areas. Navigating the Niger River is possible from Koulikoro to Mopti and Gao. The bush taxi is one of the main modes of transport.
Bamako is situated on both sides of the river Niger River and two bridges connect the two banks: the Bridge of Martyrs completed in 1960 and renamed in memory of protesters killed in March 1991 by the regime of Moussa Traoré, and the King Fahd Bridge, named after the Saudi Arabian donor. A third bridge project is currently being funded by the People's Republic of China. Located in Sotuba area, it has the objective to decongest traffic in the city.


Mali, is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with a population of 14.5 million. Its capital is Bamako. Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara, while the country's southern region, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Sénégal rivers. The country's economic structure centers around agriculture and fishing. Some of Mali's natural resources are gold, uranium, livestock, and salt. About half the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire (from which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire. In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a 1991 coup led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. On March 22, 2012, a group of junior soldiers seized control of the country's presidential palace and declared the government dissolved and its constitution suspended.

Economy of Mali

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. The average worker's annual salary is approximately US$1,500. Between 1992 and 1995, Mali implemented an economic adjustment program that resulted in economic growth and a reduction in financial imbalances. The program increased social and economic conditions, and led to Mali joining the World Trade Organization on 31 May 1995.The gross domestic product (GDP) has risen since. In 2002, the GDP amounted to US$3.4 billion, and increased to US$5.8 billion in 2005, which amounts to an approximately 17.6% annual growth rate.
Mali's key industry is agriculture. Cotton is the country's largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and the Ivory Coast. During 2002, 620,000 tons of cotton were produced in Mali but cotton prices declined significantly in 2003. In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and tree crops. Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to eighty percent of Mali's exports. Eighty percent of Malian workers are employed in agriculture while fifteen percent work in the service sector. However, seasonal variations lead to regular temporary unemployment of agricultural workers. Mali's resource in livestock consists of millions of cattle, sheep, and goats. Approximately 40% of Mali's herds were lost during the Sahel drought in 1972–74.

In 1991, with the assistance of the International Development Association, Mali relaxed the enforcement of mining codes which led to renewed foreign interest and investment in the mining industry.[46] Gold is mined in the southern region and Mali has the third highest gold production in Africa (after South Africa and Ghana). The emergence of gold as Mali’s leading export product since 1999 has helped mitigate some of the negative impact of the cotton and Côte d’Ivoire crises. Other natural resources include kaolin, salt, phosphate, and limestone.
Electricity and water are maintained by the Energie du Mali, or EDM, and textiles are generated by Industry Textile du Mali, or ITEMA. Mali has made efficient use of hydroelectricity, consisting of over half of Mali's electrical power. In 2002, 700 GWh of hydroelectric power were produced in Mali.
The Malian government participates in foreign involvement, concerning commerce and privatization. Mali underwent economic reform, beginning in 1988 by signing agreements with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. During 1988 to 1996, Mali's government largely reformed public enterprises. Since the agreement, sixteen enterprises were privatized, twelve partially privatized, and twenty liquidated.[39] In 2005, the Malian government conceded a railroad company to the Savage Corporation.Two major companies, Societé de Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) and the Cotton Ginning Company (CMDT), are expected to be privatized in 2008.
Mali is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, أبو ظبي‎ Abu Dhabi, meaning Father of Deer, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had an estimated population of 896,800 in 2009.
Abu Dhabi houses important offices of the federal government, and is the seat for the United Arab Emirates Government and the home for the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE from this family. Abu Dhabi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Abu Dhabi to a larger and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country's center of political, industrial activities, and a major cultural, and commercial centre due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi alone generated 56.7% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates in 2008.
Abu Dhabi is home to important financial institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the corporate headquarters of many companies and numerous multinational corporations. One of the world's largest producers of oil, Abu Dhabi has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism.
Abu Dhabi is the second most expensive city for expatriate employees in the region, and 67th most expensive city in the world. Fortune magazine & CNN stated that Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world.

First oil discoveries
In the 1930s, as the pearl trade declined, interest grew in the oil possibilities of the region. On 5 January 1936, Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd (PDTC), an associate company of the Iraq Petroleum Company, entered into a concession agreement with the ruler, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan al Nahyan, to explore for oil. This was followed by a seventy-five-year concession signed in January 1939. However, owing to the desert terrain, inland exploration was fraught with difficulties. In 1953, D'Arcy Exploration Company, the exploration arm of British Petroleum, obtained an offshore concession which was then transferred to a company created to operate the concession: Abu Dhabi Marine Areas (ADMA) was a joint venture between BP and Compagnie Française des Pétroles (later Total). In 1958, using a marine drilling platform, the ADMA Enterprise, oil was struck in the Umm Shaif field at a depth of about 8,755 feet (2,669 m). This was followed in 1959 by PDTC’s onshore discovery well at Murban No.3.
In 1962, the company discovered the Bu Hasa field and ADMA followed in 1965 with the discovery of the Zakum offshore field. Today, in addition to the oil fields mentioned, the main producing fields onshore are Asab, Sahil and Shah, and offshore are al-Bunduq, and Abu al-Bukhoosh.

Economy of the United Arab Emirates
The UAE’s large hydrocarbon wealth gives it one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and Abu Dhabi owns the majority of these resources – 95% of the oil and 6% of gas. Abu Dhabi thus holds 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves (98.2bn barrels) and almost 5% of the world’s natural gas (5.8 trillion cu metres). Oil production in the UAE was in the region of 2.3m barrels per day (bpd) in 2010, and projects are in progress to boost production to 3m bpd. In recent years the focus has turned to gas as increasing domestic consumption for power, desalination and reinjection of gas into oil fields increases demand. Gas extraction is not without its difficulties, however, as demonstrated by the sour gas project at Shah where the gas is rich in hydrogen sulphide content and is expensive to develop and process.
Recently the government has been diversifying their economic plans. Served by high oil prices, the country’s non oil and gas GDP has outstripped that attributable to the energy sector. Remarkably, non oil and gas GDP now constitutes 64% of the UAE’s total GDP. This trend is reflected in Abu Dhabi with substantial new investment in industry, real estate, tourism and retail. As Abu Dhabi is the largest oil producer of the UAE, it has reaped the most benefits from this trend. It has taken on an active diversification and liberalisation programme to reduce the UAE’s reliance on the hydrocarbon sector. This is evident in the emphasis on industrial diversification with the completion of free zones, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, twofour54 Abu Dhabi media free zone and the construction of another, ICAD II, in the pipeline. There has also been a drive to promote the tourism and real estate sectors with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism and Development Investment Company undertaking several large-scale development projects. These projects will be served by an improved transport infrastructure with a new port, an expanded airport and a proposed rail link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai all in the development stages.
Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate of the UAE in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income. More than $1 trillion is invested worldwide in this city alone. In 2010, the GDP per capita also reached $49,600, which ranks ninth in the world after Qatar, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg and many others. Abu Dhabi is also planning many future projects sharing with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and taking 29% of all the GCC future plannings. The United Arab Emirates is a fast-growing economy: in 2006 the per capita income grew by 9%, providing a GDP per capita of $49,700 and ranking third in the world at purchasing power parity. Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), currently estimated at US$ 875 billion, is the world's wealthiest sovereign fund in terms of total asset value. Etihad Airways maintains its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi's government is looking to expand revenue from oil and gas production to tourism and other sorts of features which would attract different types of people. This goal is seen in the amount of attention Abu Dhabi is giving to its International Airport. The airport, in 2009, experienced a 30%+ growth in passenger usage. This idea of diversification of the economy is also seen in the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 planned by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. In this plan Abu Dhabi's economy will be sustainable and not be dependent on any one facet or source of revenue. More specifically the non-oil portion of income is planned to be increased from about 40% to about 60%.

Transport in the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the city's main aviation hub and the second busiest airport in the UAE, serving 9.02 million passengers in 2008, up 30.2% on 2007. Its terminal spaces are dominated by Etihad Airways which is the UAE's national carrier and the country's second largest airline. A new terminal opened in 2009 with total capacity reaching 12 million passengers per annum by 2011. Development work has also started on a new passenger terminal, to be situated between the two runways and known as the Midfield Terminal. The new mega-midfield terminal complex will be capable of handling an additional 20 million passengers a year initially and then later, as Abu Dhabi develops as a major Middle East transport hub, up to 50 million passengers a year, thus providing a major competition to Dubai International Airport. The 5.9-million-square-metre (1,500 acres) terminal will initially include 42 gates, rising to more than 90 gates on completion of the airport.
Public transport systems in Abu Dhabi include the Abu Dhabi public buses, taxis, ferries, and airplanes. White-and-mustard metered taxis traverse most of the city in UAE. Currently newer silver-colored taxis are coming in, while the old mustard-colored ones are being phased out.[53] Abu Dhabi has about 8,000 old bronze/yellow/gold & white taxis, which will be phased out from 2008 to 2010.

Education in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is home to international and local private schools and universit. including government-sponsored United Arab Emirates University in Al-Ain, New York University, Higher Colleges of Technology, New York Film Academy, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi University in Abu Dhabi. These boast several languages that make up the population of the city. For example, the Abu Dhabi Indian School follows the CBSE Indian syllabus. INSEAD, the prestigious international business school, established a campus in February 2010, offering an Executive MBA and executive education courses. New York University opened a government-sponsored satellite campus in Abu Dhabi in September 2010.
Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) maintains a comprehensive after-school program for interested and talented jiu-jitsu students. The Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Schools Program began in 2008 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, who is a keen Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor. The program launched in 14 schools for pupils in grades 6 and 7 and has since expanded to 42 government schools, with 81 Brazilian coaches brought in as instructors.
Students from 9 to 13 years old are taught Brazilian jiu-jitsu as part of the curriculum. The plan is for up to 500 schools to be participating in the school-jitsu program by 2015. The project was set up by special request of HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the head coach of the Emirates jiu-jitsu team Carlos Santos, now also the managing director of the School-Jitsu Project.
Every year in the season of admissions an exhibition is launched in Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center under the supervision of the government. Universities from every corner of the world exhibit their career programs and scholarship programs for globally bright students. This seems to be a well-defined platform for the students of all nationalities. Heriot-Watt University, University of Bolton, Cambridge University, Oxford University, the Petroluem Institute, Khalifa University and Abu Dhabi University attend.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Abu Dhabi hosts F1 race every year during the time of November/December starting from 2009 onwards, at the Yas Marina Circuit, which is considered to be the richest F1 race track in the world. The circuit is situated in Yas Island, which is connected to the Island of Abu Dhabi through 2 km long bridge.

Juan Gris

José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (March 23, 1887 – May 11, 1927), better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life. His works, which are closely connected to the emergence of an innovative artistic genre — Cubism — are among the movement's most distinctive.

Early life

Born in Madrid, Gris studied supernatural drawing at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904, during which time he contributed drawings to local periodicals. From 1904 to 1905 he studied painting with the academic artist José Maria Carbonero. It was probably in 1905 that José González adopted the more distinctive pseudonym Juan Gris.


In 1906 he moved to Paris and became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, then in 1915 he was painted by his friend, Amedeo Modigliani. In Paris, Gris followed the lead of another friend and fellow countryman, Pablo Picasso. Although he submitted darkly humorous illustrations to journals such as Le Rire, L'assiette au beurre, Le Charivari, and Le Cri de Paris, Gris began to paint seriously in 1910, and by 1912 he had developed a personal Cubist style. His portrait of Picasso in 1912 is a significant early Cubist painting done by a painter other than Picasso or Braque. Although Gris regarded Picasso as a teacher, Gertrude Stein wrote in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas that "Juan Gris was the only person whom Picasso wished away".

Designer and theorist
In 1924, he first designed ballet sets and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev and the famous Ballets Russes.
Gris articulated most of his aesthetic theories during 1924 and 1925. He delivered his definitive lecture, Des possibilités de la peinture, at the Sorbonne in 1924. Major Gris exhibitions took place at the Galerie Simon in Paris and the Galerie Flechtheim in Berlin in 1923, and at the Galerie Flechtheim in Düsseldorf in 1925.


After October 1925, Gris was frequently ill with bouts of uremia and cardiac problems. He died of renal failure in Boulogne-sur-Seine (Paris) on May 12, 1927, at the age of 40, leaving a wife, Josette, and a son, Georges.

Art market

His top auction price was $20.8 million which was set by his 1915 still life titled, Livre, pipe et verres,[1] until Christie's Imp/Mod sale in November 2010, when "Violon et guitare" sold for $28.6 million.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg, is a city and a federal subject (a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In 1914 the name of the city was changed to Petrograd (Russian: Петроград; IPA: [pʲɪtrɐˈgrat]), in 1924 to Leningrad (Russian: Ленинград; IPA: [lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat]) and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg.
In Russian literature, informal documents and discourse the "Saint" (Санкт-) is usually omitted, leaving Petersburg (Петербург, Peterburg). In common parlance Russians may drop "-burg" (-бург) as well, leaving only Peter (Питер, pronounced as "Piter"; IPA: [ˈpʲitʲɪr]).
Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 [O.S. 16] May 1703. From 1713 to 1728 and from 1732 to 1918, Saint Petersburg was the Imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow with almost 4.9 million inhabitants. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western (and most beautiful) city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage, the largest art museum in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.

Climate of Saint Petersburg
By Köppen climate classification Petersburg is classified as Dfb, a humid continental climate. Distinct moderating influence of the Baltic Sea cyclones result in warm, humid and short summers and long, cold wet winters.
The average daily temperature in July is +22 °C (72 °F); a maximum temperature of +37 °C (99 °F) occurred during the 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. A winter minimum of −35.9 °C (−32.6 °F) was recorded in 1883. The average annual temperature is +5.4 °C (41.72 °F). The Neva River within the city limits usually freezes up in November–December and break-up occurs in April. From December to March there are 123 days average with snow cover, which reaches the average of 24 centimeters (9.4 in) by February. The frost-free period in the city lasts on average for about 135 days. The city has a climate slightly warmer than its suburbs. Weather conditions are quite variable all year round.
Average annual precipitation varies across the city, averaging 600 millimeters (24 in) per year and reaching maximum in late summer. Soil moisture is almost always high because of lower evapotranspiration due to the cool climate. Air humidity is 78% on average, while overcast is 165 days a year on average.

Economy of Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a major trade gateway, financial and industrial centre of Russia specialising in oil and gas trade, shipbuilding yards, aerospace industry, radio and electronics, software and computers; machine building, heavy machinery and transport, including tanks and other military equipment, mining, instrument manufacture, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy (production of aluminium alloys), chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, publishing and printing, food and catering, wholesale and retail, textile and apparel industries, and many other businesses. It was also home to Lessner, one of Russia's two pioneering automobile manufacturers (along with Russo-Baltic), Lessner; founded by machine tool and boiler maker G. A. Lessner in 1904, with designs by Boris Loutsky, it survived until 1910.

10% of the world's power turbines are made there at the LMZ, which built over two thousand turbines for power plants across the world. Major local industries are Admiralty Shipyard, Baltic Shipyard, LOMO, Kirov Plant, Elektrosila, Izhorskiye Zavody; also registered in Saint Petersburg are Sovkomflot, Petersburg Fuel Company and SIBUR among other major Russian and international companies.
Saint Petersburg has three large cargo seaports: Bolshoi Port Saint Petersburg, Kronstadt, and Lomonosov. International cruise liners have been served at the passenger port at Morskoy Vokzal on the south-west of Vasilyevsky Island. In 2008 the first two berths were opened at the New Passenger Port on the west of the island. The new port is part of the city's "Marine Facade" development project and is due to have seven berths in operation by 2010.
A complex system of riverports on both banks of the Neva river are interconnected with the system of seaports, thus making Saint Petersburg the main link between the Baltic sea and the rest of Russia through the Volga-Baltic Waterway.
The Saint Petersburg Mint (Monetny Dvor), founded in 1724, is one of the largest mints in the world, it mints Russian coins, medals and badges. Saint Petersburg is also home to the oldest and largest Russian foundry, Monumentskulptura, which made thousands of sculptures and statues that are now gracing public parks of Saint Petersburg, as well as many other cities. Monuments and bronze statues of the Tsars, as well as other important historic figures and dignitaries, and other world famous monuments, such as the sculptures by Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg, Paolo Troubetzkoy, Pavel Antokolsky, and others, were made there.
In 2007, Toyota opened a Camry plant after investing 5 billion dollars in Shushary, one of the southern suburbs of Saint Petersburg. Opel, Hyundai and Nissan have signed deals with the Russian government to build their automotive plants in Saint Petersburg too. Automotive and auto-parts industry is on the rise there during the last decade.

Saint Petersburg is the location of a significant brewery and distillery industry. It is known as the "beer capital" of Russia, due to the supply and quality of local water, contributing over 30% of the domestic production of beer with its five large-scale breweries including Europe's second largest brewery Baltika, Vena (both operated by BBH), Heineken Brewery, Stepan Razin (both by Heineken) and Tinkoff brewery (SUN-InBev).
The city has a lot of local distilleries which produce a broad range of vodka brands. The oldest ones is LIVIZ (founded in 1897). Among the youngest is Russian Standard Vodka introduced in Moscow in 1998, which opened in 2006 a new $60 million distillery in Petersburg (an area of 30,000 square meters, production rate of 22,500 bottles per hour. In 2007 this brand was exported to over 70 countries.


Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. The Russian Museum is a large museum devoted to the Russian fine art specifically. The apartments of some famous Petersburgers, including Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Feodor Chaliapin, Alexander Blok, Vladimir Nabokov, Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Joseph Brodsky, as well as some palace and park ensembles of the southern suburbs and notable architectural monuments such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, have also been turned into public museums.
The Kunstkamera, with its collection established in 1714 by Peter the Great to collect curiosities from all over the world, is sometimes considered the first museum in Russia, which has evolved into the present-day Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. The Russian Ethnography Museum, which has been split from the Russian Museum, is devoted to the cultures of the people of Russia, the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire.
Other notable museums include the Central Naval Museum hosted in the building of the former stock exchange and Zoological Museum, the Railway Museum, Museum of the Siege of Leningrad, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, the largest non-governmental Museum of contemporary art in Russia, Saint Petersburg Museum of History in the Peter and Paul Fortress and Artillery Museum, which in fact includes not only artillery items, but also a huge collection of other military equipment, uniform and decorations.


Saint Petersburg is home to numerous parks and gardens, some of the most famous of which are situated in the southern suburbs, including one of the largest English gardens of Europe in Pavlovsk. Sosnovka is the largest park within the limits of the city proper, occupying 240 ha. The Summer Garden is the oldest one, dating back to the early 18th century and designed in the regular style. It is situated on the southern bank of the Neva at the head of the Fontanka and is famous for its cast iron railing and marble sculptures.
Among other notable parks are the Maritime Victory Park on Krestovsky Island and the Moscow Victory Park in the south, both commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, as well as the Central Park of Culture and Leisure occupying Yelagin Island and the Tauride Garden around the Tauride Palace. The most common trees grown in the parks are the English oak, Norway maple, green ash, silver birch, Siberian larch, blue spruce, crack willow, limes, and poplars. Important dendrological collections dating back to the 19th century are hosted by the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden and the Park of the Forestry Academy.


Saint Petersburg is a major transport hub. The first Russian railway was built here in 1837, and since then the city's transport infrastructure has continued to develop and keep pace with the growth of the city. Petersburg has an extensive system of local roads and railway services, maintains a large public transport system that includes the Saint Petersburg tram and the Saint Petersburg Metro, and is home to a number of riverine services that convey passengers around the city efficiently and in relative comfort.
The city is connected to the rest of Russia and the wider world by a number of federal highways and national and international rail routes. Pulkovo International Airport serves the majority of air passengers departing from or arriving to the city.

Roads and public transport
Saint Petersburg has an extensive city-funded network of public transport (buses, trams, trolleybuses) and several hundred routes served by marshrutkas. Trams in Saint Petersburg used to be the main transport; in the 1980s, Leningrad had the largest tramway network in the world, but many tramway rail tracks were dismantled in the 2000s (decade).
Buses carry up to three million passengers daily, serving over 250 urban and a number of suburban bus routes. Saint Petersburg Metro underground rapid transit system was opened in 1955; it now has five lines with 64 stations, connecting all five railway terminals, and carrying 3.4 million passengers daily. Metro stations are often elaborately decorated; with examples of materials used being marble and bronze.
Traffic jams are common in the city, because of high daily traffic volumes between the commuter boroughs and the city centre, intercity traffic, and at times excessive snow in winter. Five segments of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road were opened between 2002 and 2006.
Saint Petersburg is part of the important transport corridor linking Scandinavia to Russia and Eastern Europe. The city is a node of the international European routes E18 towards Helsinki, E20 towards Tallinn, E95 towards Pskov, Kiev and Odessa and E105 towards Petrozavodsk, Murmansk and Kirkenes (north) and towards Moscow and Kharkiv (south).

The city is also served by the passenger and cargo seaports in the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea, the river port higher up the Neva, and tens of smaller passenger stations on both banks of the Neva river. It is a terminus of the Volga-Baltic and White Sea-Baltic waterways.
In 2004 the first high bridge that doesn't need to be drawn, a 2,824-meter (9,265 ft) long Big Obukhovsky Bridge, was opened. Meteor hydrofoils link the city centre to the coastal towns of Kronstadt, Lomonosov, Petergof, Sestroretsk, and Zelenogorsk from May through October. Throughout the city, smaller boats and water-taxis maneuver the many canals in the warmer months.
The shipping company St Peter Line operates two ferries which sails from Helsinki to St. Petersburg and from Stockholm to St Petersburg.


Today, the city is the final destination of a web of intercity and suburban railways, served by five different railway terminals (Baltiysky, Finlyandsky, Ladozhsky, Moskovsky, and Vitebsky), as well as dozens of non-terminal railway stations within the federal subject. Saint Petersburg has international railway connections to Helsinki, Finland, Berlin, Germany, and all former republics of the USSR. The Helsinki railway was built in 1870, 443 kilometers (275 mi), commutes three times a day, in a journey lasting about three and a half hours with the new Allegro train.
The Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway opened in 1851, 651 kilometers (405 mi); the commute to Moscow now requires from three and a half to nine hours.
In 2009 Russian Railways launched a high speed service on the Moscow-Saint Petersburg route. The new train, known as Sapsan, is a deriative of the popular Siemens Velaro train; various versions of which are already in service in a number of European countries. It set records for the fastest train in Russia on May 2, 2009, travelling at 281 km/h and on May 7, 2009, traveling at 290 kilometers per hour (180 mph).
Since December 12, 2010 Karelian Trains, a joint venture between Russian Railways and VR (Finnish Railways), has been running Alstom Pendolino operated high-speed services between Saint Petersburg's Finlyandsky and Helsinki's Central railway stations. These services are branded as 'Allegro' trains.

Air travel
Saint Petersburg is also served by Pulkovo International Airport, and by three smaller commercial and cargo airports in the suburbs. Lappeenranta Airport, which is located near Saint Petersburg in Finnish side of the border, is also popular among Russian travellers.
Pulkovo airport opened to passengers as a small aerodrome in 1931. As of 2011, the airport is the 3rd busiest in Russia after Moscow's Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports. With two main terminals (one domestic, one international), Pulkovo is widely regarded as one of the larger and more modern airports in the Russian Federation. However, as it is anticipated that by 2025 Pulkovo airport will handle around 17 million passengers annually, plans have been laid out to build a new mid-field terminal extension directly to the north of Terminal 1 (domestic); it is planned to initially contain 18 gates, with the option of later extend the terminal by means of a mid-apron pier. Construction began in November 2010, and is scheduled to complete in 2013.