May 4, 2012 |
BEIRUT - On its towering hilltop perch, the Krak des Chevaliers, one of the world's best preserved Crusader castles, held off a siege by the Muslim warrior Saladin nearly 900 years ago. It was lauded by Lawrence of Arabia for its beauty and has been one of the crown jewels of Syria's tourism. But it has fallen victim to the chaos of Syria's uprising and the crackdown against it by President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Recently, gunmen broke into the castle, threw out the staff, and began excavations to loot the site, says Bassam Jammous, general director of the Antiquities and Museum Department in Damascus.
May 2, 2012 |
America's historic lands are disappearing - and the rate of loss will continue accelerating without quick action, historians and federal officials say. More than 100 "nationally significant" battlefields and historic sites from the American Revolution and War of 1812 are already gone, a survey by the National Park Service has found. An additional 245 are in poor condition or fragmented, and 222 are in danger of destruction in the next 10 years. While Civil War sites have tended to receive protection, many from the earlier wars are at risk.
March 30, 2012 |
They say the best time to visit Shofuso, the Japanese house and garden in West Fairmount Park, is when it rains. It's not complicated: You sit or stand on the veranda of the house and quietly look - and listen. The sights and sounds are exquisite - water trilling down the rain chains, rolling cleanly off the roof, slipping silently into the pond. There's a little wind, maybe, some shivering leaves and needles and the tap of crossing branches of the Eastern white pines and Japanese maples.
March 15, 2012 |
By Ken Salazar Most Americans recognize Independence Hall as one of the most famous symbols of Philadelphia, the nation's birth, and the freedom we share as a people. Philadelphians may know it as the top tourist destination in the city, attracting 3.7 million visitors who spend $146 million every year and support more than 2,100 jobs. But we can do more to welcome tourists from across the country and especially around the globe to places like Independence Hall. President Obama wants America to be the top tourist destination in the world, and Philadelphia's history and culture make it a great place to start.
March 1, 2012 |
Emmanuel Dungworth must have thought himself blessed when, in 1715, he chose the bank of the Pennypack Creek for his grist mill and millwright's house in the village known as the Billet. There, along an Indian trail, were water to power the mill and patrons to buy the flour. Local lore has it that George Washington stopped by to purchase grain for his militia in 1777. For nearly three centuries, the sturdy stone and wood buildings at Horsham and York Roads in what is now Hatboro have stood as a tangible link to the past.
February 20, 2012 |
State police are investigating a fire that severely damaged 10 historic cottages at the Chester Heights Camp Meeting in Delaware County. No one was injured at the site, which is primarily occupied in the summer. The Chester Heights Fire Company responded at 11:30 p.m. The camp meeting, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was struck by a serious fire in October, when three cottages and the meeting's two-story tabernacle were damaged. Three people were arrested in connection with that blaze.
January 22, 2012 |
A chain restaurant in Wharton State Forest. A Ferris wheel at Liberty State Park. Weddings, flea markets, and corporate events taking over New Jersey's historic sites and scenic lands. That could be the future if the state goes forward with plans to privatize parts of its park system, some warn. "Next thing you know, you have to pay more for everything and the public's access is limited," said Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey. "You'll be getting fee'd to death.
December 25, 2011 |
BUDAPEST, Hungary - There's an easier way to see Europe than being crammed into tour buses or crowded hostels. A river cruise is one of the most relaxing and picturesque ways to view the wonders of the Continent up close. While many cruise operators prowl the waterways, one of the most comprehensive is Viking River Cruises, which boasts 19 ships (six more next year) and explores most of the navigable rivers in Europe, plus parts of Asia and Africa. Of these, the eight-day Danube cruise embarks in the historic city of Budapest and weaves its way slowly down the green margins of the Danube, through flamboyant Vienna; fairy-tale towns such as Germany's Regensburg; the lush vineyards of Austria; and, finally, Hitler's favorite city, Nuremberg.
October 9, 2011 |
WATERBURY, Vt. - The floodwaters of Tropical Storm Irene that ripped up roads and washed into living rooms across Vermont took a dramatic toll on quaint old villages - filling white, steepled churches with muck and knocking 19th-century clapboard houses off their foundations. That's a big problem for a small state that cherishes its history. The classic villages of clapboard and stone buildings hugging the state's rivers and streams are the essence of Vermont and a big tourist draw.