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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 22, 1713, French architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot was born. He is best known for designing a Church originally dedicated to St Genevieve, but which later became the Panthéon, a secular temple where distinguished French citizens are interred. Residents include Victor Hugo and Louis Braille, though equality campaigners regularly point out that only 2 women are interred, amongst dozens of men.

Pantheon

Locations: France / Categories: Buildings, On this day, Street Views, Structures

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "France, Buildings, On this day, Street V..."
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Date: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 13:00

One small step for (a) man… On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon. The Apollo 11 mission took off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Once on the moon’s surface, the astronauts planted a US flag, collected soil and rock samples and deployed scientific instruments during their time on the surface. Unless you’re an internet conspiracy theorist, in which case on this date Hollywood staged an elaborate plot to deceive the public.

Moon

Locations: The Moon / Categories: On this day

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Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "The Moon, On this day"
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 18, 1995, the Soufrière Hills volcano on Montserrat started erupting, and has been active ever since. It has devastated the island, leaving more than half of it – including the capital Plymouth – uninhabitable.

Montserrat

Locations: Montserrat / Categories: Islands, On this day, Volcanoes

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Date: Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney opened the first of his corporation’s theme parks – Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Although 14,000 guests and media were invited, just as many people with fake tickets showed up. Traffic chaos and plumbing problems led to negative press early on, but the park quickly became hugely popular. With more than 16 million visitors a year, it is the 3rd-most visited theme park in the world.

Disneyland

Locations: California / Categories: 45˚ Imagery, On this day, Theme Parks

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Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "California, 45˚ Imagery, On this day, T..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 19:53

Natural arches – also known as natural bridges – are formed when relatively soft rock is worn away by the action of tides, rivers or weather erosion, leaving behind a bridge-like structure of harder rock. Although there are thousands around the world, most are in remote areas unlikely ever to be visible by ground-level Google imagery (and overhead satellite views usually don’t reveal the arch). We can, however, take a look at the few that are visible on Street View, beginning with Durdle Door on the south coast of England.

This limestone arch was formed when a softer chalk layer was eroded by the sea, variations of its name (from an Old English word meaning hole) has been recorded for over a thousand years. Although it is on private land, the beach here is open to the public, and the South West Coast Path passes nearby.

Over in the south of France, the Pont d’Arc was originally part of a larger cave system created by the Ardèche River. Over time virtually the entire system collapsed, leaving just the 54m (177′) high arch.

Natural Arch

Moving to the Spanish island of Mallorca, Es Pontàs is a popular (and difficult) rock-climbing spot, as shown in this YouTube video.

Natural Arch

All natural arches are inherently fragile, and with enough time and continued erosion1, many will collapse, leaving stacks of rock behind. In Australia, London Arch on the coast south-west of Melbourne used to be a rare double arch. In the summer of 1990 the arch nearest the shore collapsed. Two lucky tourists witnessed the collapse and the conversion of the rock they were standing on into an island, though unluckily they were therefore stranded until a helicopter could rescue them.

Natural Arch

In Japan, the public is warned to stay away from the sandstone arch on Engetsu Island because of fears that its collapse is imminent.

Natural Arch

Percé Rock on Canada’s east coast is believed to have originally had three limestone arches, one of which has long since been lost to the sea. The second collapsed in 1845, leaving a stack standing next to the large island which has just one arch remaining, but which is still grand enough to be a popular tourist attraction in this region of Quebec.

Natural Arch

Two of California’s natural arches are visible on Street View: the sole remaining (of three) at Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Arch

… and the one at Goat Rock Beach.

Natural Arch

A few years ago we had a short post about Arches National Park in Utah. Street View captured a number of spectacular arches in the park from hiking trails, including Landscape Arch.

Natural Arch

A single Street View image on the nearby road allows us a glimpse of Skyline Arch.

Natural Arch

To the south-east is Double Arch which has two bridges originating in a single segment of rock.

Natural Arch

And nearby are three further arches:

North Window

Natural Arch

South Window

Natural Arch

Turret Arch

Natural Arch

To make this post more complete, we’ll use some Photospheres to visit other natural arches elsewhere, beginning with the Natural Bridge on Cedar Creek in Virginia; Photosphere by Hao Shen.

Natural Arch

In Wyoming, John Roberts took this Photosphere of Ayers Natural Bridge.

Natural Arch

Mexico’s El Arco de Cabo San Lucas was imaged by Jesús Emmanuel González Pio.

Natural Arch

Back to Europe, where a pair of arches in close proximity on the island of Gozo in Malta can be seen in Photospheres by Uwe Bücher:

The Azure Window

Natural Arch

… and the Inland Sea.

Natural Arch

In the Czech Republic, Akram Bary photographed the Pravčická brána.

Natural Arch

Finally, in Jordan, the Jabal Umm Fruth Bridge Photosphere was created by Chuck Sirron.

Natural Arch

This post was based on Wikipedia‘s list of prominent natural arches, and that page also has more information about how natural arches are formed. However, there are many more around the world so if you know of any others which are visible on Street View or in Photospheres, please post them in the comments.


  1. Or in some suspected cases, vandalism… 

Locations: California, Czech Republic, England, France, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Quebec, Spain, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming / Categories: Natural Landmarks, Street Views

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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 16, 1965, the Mont Blanc tunnel between France and Italy opened. Following 8 years of construction, the 11.6km (7.2mile) tunnel significantly reduced driving times between France and northern Italian cities. A deadly 1999 fire closed the tunnel for three years while repairs were made and new safety measures were installed.

Mont Blanc Tunnel

Locations: France, Italy / Categories: On this day, Street Views

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "France, Italy, On this day, Street Views"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 10:56

You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Alex Turnbull"
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 15, 1573, British architect Inigo Jones was born. He had parallel careers in theatrical staging and architecture, with the latter producing many notable buildings around London. One fine example is the Banqueting House in Whitehall, the first neo-classical style building which set a trend across the country.

Inigo Jones

Locations: England / Categories: Buildings, On this day, Street Views

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
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Date: Monday, 14 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 14, 1902, after a couple of weeks of ominous cracking, St Mark’s Campanile in Venice collapsed. Apparently the caretaker’s cat was the only victim of the building’s failure. Council swiftly approved funds to rebuild the tower, which opened – with additional fortifications to prevent a repeat collapse – ten years later.

Campanile

Locations: Italy / Categories: On this day, Street Views, Towers

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Italy, On this day, Street Views, Towers"
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Date: Friday, 11 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 11, 1922, the Hollywood Bowl opened. Although less formal performances had been held in this natural amphitheatre for a few years (Wikipedia has a photo of a female duo playing on a stage consisting of a barn door), the LA Philharmonic officially opened the venue on this date. The original concrete ‘shell’ stage was built in 1929, but in 2003 the larger one shown here was constructed.

Hollywood Bowl

Locations: California / Categories: On this day, Street Views, Structures

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
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Date: Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 10, 1830, painter Camille Pissarro was born on the island of St Thomas, then part of the Danish West Indies. He spent his teenage years at boarding school in France, and returned there at age 25, quickly developing a strong reputation for his Impressionist paintings. This work, Sunset at Eragny, hangs in The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Pissarro

Locations: Israel / Categories: On this day, Street Views

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Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Israel, On this day, Street Views"
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 13:00

Strawberries and cream, anyone? The first Wimbledon Tennis Championship began on this day in 1877, at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Twenty two players took part, with Spencer Gore becoming the winner ten days later, winning a prize – 12 guineas – that was rather modest compared to the £1,760,000 that this year’s winners will take home.

Wimbledon

Locations: England / Categories: On this day, Stadiums and Sport

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "England, On this day, Stadiums and Sport"
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 16:57

You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Alex Turnbull"
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 16:44

You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Alex Turnbull"
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 8, 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis took off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida – the final launch of a Shuttle. After docking with the International Space Station for 9 days, Atlantis returned to earth on July 21, bringing an end to the Space Shuttle Program which began 30 years earlier.

Launchpad

Locations: Florida / Categories: On this day, Street Views, Towers

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Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Florida, On this day, Street Views, Towe..."
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Date: Monday, 07 Jul 2014 13:00

Do you think this website is the best thing since sliced bread? Great, we do too … and today marks the 96th anniversary of the first sliced loaf which was sold by the Chillicothe Baking Company in Missouri. The momentous occasion is commemorated with a mural in the town.

Sliced Bread

Locations: Missouri / Categories: On this day, Street Views

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Missouri, On this day, Street Views"
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Date: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 13:00

July 4th is Independence Day in the United States. It celebrates the 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress which took place at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Parades, barbecues and fireworks are among the most popular elements of the celebrations.

Independence Hall

Locations: Pennsylvania / Categories: Buildings, On this day, World Heritage Sites

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 13:00

On July 3, 1952, the SS United States departed from New York on her maiden journey across the Atlantic. Her great speed allowed an American-flagged vessel to take the Blue Riband for the first time in a century, beating the Queen Mary’s record by 10 hours. Just to prove her supremacy, she set the Westbound record as well on the return journey. For the last eighteen years she has been docked in Philadelphia, and while restoration efforts are ongoing, her future is somewhat uncertain.

SS United States

Locations: Pennsylvania / Categories: On this day, Watercraft

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Pennsylvania, On this day, Watercraft"
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Date: Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 13:00

We hope that you’re wearing your tinfoil hat to celebrate World UFO Day which is held each year on July 2nd, the approximate date that an alien spaceship crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. Although a spokesperson initially confirmed that a ‘flying disc’ had been recovered, an Air Force General swiftly changed the story to state that it was a weather balloon, giving conspiracy theorists fodder for endless debate for the following decades.

Roswell

Locations: New Mexico / Categories: On this day, Weirdness

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You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2014 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "New Mexico, On this day, Weirdness"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 13:00

July 1st is ‘Canada’s Birthday’ – the annual celebration of the 1867 formation of the country when three British Empire colonies united. The biggest Canada Day party in the country takes place in the capital, Ottawa, where several hundred thousand locals and tourists crowd Parliament Hill for concerts and a fireworks display. (Though several hundred thousand other locals flee the city for peaceful lakeside cottages and no crowds…)

Canada Day

Locations: Ontario / Categories: Buildings, Crowds, On this day, Street Views

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Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Ontario, Buildings, Crowds, On this day,..."
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