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Date: Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 13:00

September 16 marks Malaysia Day – celebrating the creation of the Malaysian federation 51 years ago today. Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore formed the new nation, though instability led Singapore to become independent a couple of years later.

Malaysia

Locations: Malaysia / Categories: On this day

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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: "Malaysia, On this day"
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Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2014 13:00

On this day in 1968, Russia launched the Zond 5 rocket from Baikonur. It was the first spacecraft to travel around the moon and return to Earth; serving a mainly scientific purpose, the expedition carried two tortoises and assorted insects and plants.  After splashing down in the Indian Ocean, the craft was retrieved and the tortoises found to be still alive!

Baikonur

Locations: Russia / Categories: On this day

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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: "Russia, On this day"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 13:19

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: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 13:00

On September 12, 1906, the Newport Transporter Bridge opened, carrying vehicle and foot traffic across the River Usk. A gondola hanging from the main boom is carried back and forth between two supporting towers. There are less than ten of these historic bridges still standing – see our recent full post about all of them. This YouTube video shows it in action.

Newport Transporter Bridge

Locations: Wales / Categories: Bridges, 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: "Wales, Bridges, On this day, Street View..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 13:00

Mid way through WWII, on this day in 1941, ground was broken for the Pentagon, the headquarters for the US Department of Defense. Thirteen years ago it was targeted as part of the 9/11 attacks and a section of the building which had recently been renovated was heavily damaged.

Pentagon

Locations: Virginia / Categories: Buildings, On this day

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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: "Virginia, Buildings, On this day"
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 13:00

On this day in 1990, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in  Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) was consecrated by Pope John Paul II.  The largest Church in Africa (and maybe the world, depending what criteria you look at) has space for 18,000 worshippers, though in an impoverished nation, the $300million price tag for its construction caused a certain amount of controversy.

Basilica

Locations: Ivory Coast / Categories: Buildings, On this day

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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: "Ivory Coast, Buildings, On this day"
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 12:59

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, 09 Sep 2014 13:00

On September 1, 1901, French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died at the age of 36. Despite health problems throughout his short life, he took to a bohemian Paris lifestyle easily, and captured the city’s late-19th century life in all its vibrancy. His work At the Moulin Rouge hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Toulouse-Lautrec

Locations: France / 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, On this day, Street Views"
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 13:00

Saturday afternoons were never the same after September 8, 1888, when the first games were played amongst the twelve teams in England’s new Football League. Among the teams, all from the midlands and north-west, Preston North End beat Burnley 5-2, and went on to win the first league title, not losing a single game. Although Preston’s stadium has been rebuilt, it is still in the same Deepdale location as that first League game 126 years ago.

Deepdale

Locations: England / Categories: On this day, Stadiums and Sport, 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: "England, On this day, Stadiums and Sport..."
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Date: Friday, 05 Sep 2014 13:00

Three hundred and sixteen years ago, Emperor Peter I of Russia was in an ongoing battle with the Slavic elites about modernising the country and making it more ‘European’. One casualty of this campaign was … the traditional long beard! The country’s citizens were encouraged to go clean-shaven – refusing to do meant paying a Beard Tax of 100 roubles! Here’s a fine example of an offending beard, from a portrait in the Russian Museum in St Petersburg.

Beard

Locations: Russia / Categories: On this day

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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: "Russia, On this day"
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 13:13

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, almost two dozen transporter bridges were built around the world. They feature a high gantry – tall enough to allow ships to pass below – carrying a gondola to transport foot passengers and vehicles across a waterway. Less than ten survive, though not all are still in use. We’ll take a look at all of them, beginning with three in the UK, including the largest surviving example – the Newport Transporter Bridge which crosses the River Usk.

This bridge was built in 1906, though it was closed from 1985 to 1995 and again from 2008 to 2010 for a restoration and repair work. The towers are 74m (242′) tall and the span is 196m (645′). This YouTube video gives a guided tour of the bridge.

Transporter bridges are used where some or all of the following circumstances make a regular road bridge unsuitable:

  • The waterway needs to be navigable by large vessels, meaning a low bridge was not suitable.
  • The river banks are low, and the area needed to build approach ramps for the road to a high bridge would be far too large.
  • A ferry can’t be used for various reasons, such as low tides which make docking impossible.

As cars became more popular, the limited capacity of transporter bridges made them less suitable, with other alternatives such as lift bridges taking their place.

In north-east England, the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge crosses the River Tees. It opened in 1911.

Transporter Bridge

The Google Street View car even took a trip on the gondola, which has room for 9 cars or a couple of hundred people. This film celebrated the bridge’s centenary a few years ago.

Transporter Bridge

Meanwhile, in the north-west, the Warrington Transporter Bridge which spans the River Mersey was built in 1915, but has been unused for around 50 years. Even though it’s a listed building, it’s sadly falling into disrepair. It was originally used to transport trains to and from industrial plants in the area. Another identical bridge nearby was built ten years earlier but demolished in 1961.

Transporter Bridge

Moving to Spain, we find the first transporter bridge ever built, and the only one surviving from the 19th century. The Vizcaya Bridge (Also known as Puente Colgante, or the Hanging Bridge) was built in 1893 across the Ibaizabal River in Portugalete near Bilbao. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2006.

Transporter Bridge

The bridge operates every 8 minutes during the day, and hourly overnight. The gondola holds up to six cars, and the trip across takes 90 seconds. We paid it a visit back in the early days of this site, and this video shows it in operation.

Lifts in the towers allow access to the main boom for visitors looking for a scenic view of the town. Photosphere by Pablo Orduña.

Transporter Bridge

Two of Germany’s historic transporter bridges remain, including the Rendsburg High Bridge – built in 1913 and the only example ever to feature a railway track across the high span in addition to the gondola.

Transporter Bridge Photosphere by Daniel Friederichs.

This is a good example of the problem transporter bridges tried to solve. The railway has to do a huge loop north of the river in order to be able to then gain enough elevation to pass over the upper level of the bridge (seen at the lower part of this image) as it spans the Kiel Canal.

Transporter Bridge

The other surviving transporter bridge in Germany is the Osten Transporter Bridge, built in 1909 and which is only in use as a tourist attraction.

Transporter Bridge Photosphere by Moritz Iseke.

Only one bridge can still be found in France, the Rochefort-Martrou Transporter Bridge, built in 1900 and which operates for pedestrians and cyclists during the summer. This YouTube video gives a good view of the bridge in operation.

Transporter Bridge

Photsphere showing the gondola by gerard Besnier.

Transporter Bridge

And the last surviving historic bridge on our list – although it hasn’t been used for decades – is the Puente Transbordador in Argentina, since an elevated bridge was built to replace it. The old bridge is the darker red of the two in this image.

Transporter Bridge

Finally, in Duluth, MN, an historic transporter bridge still stands but not in its original 1905 form – it was converted to a vertical lift bridge in 1929 – the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Transporter Bridge

Wikipedia has more information about each of these bridges.

If you have used a transporter bridge (especially if it’s part of your daily commute) please tell us about it in the comments.

Locations: Argentina, England, France, Germany, Minnesota, Spain, Wales / Categories: Bridges, Street Views, Structures, 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.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Argentina, England, France, Germany, Min..."
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 13:00

Google (a company that you may have heard us mention on this site) was formally incorporated on this day in 1998, making the transition from Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s research project to an official business. (Although many people prefer to celebrate on September 15 – the day a year earlier when the google.com domain name was registered.) Here we see the bikes – made in Google colours – which employees can use to get around the huge campus.

Google bikes

Locations: California / 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: "California, On this day, Street Views"
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 13:00

We’re not sure who decided this, but September 3rd is International Skyscraper Day. What better excuse for a gratuitous view of the World’s Tallest Building, the Burj Khalifa, which we posted a detailed look at last year. If you happen to live or work in a skyscraper, have a happy day and enjoy the view!

Burj Khalifa

Locations: United Arab Emirates / Categories: Buildings, 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: "United Arab Emirates, Buildings, On this..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 13:00

On September 2, 1912, the first rodeo events known as the Calgary Stampede were held by promoter Guy Weadick. A few years later it became an annual affair, and it is now a highlight of the city’s calendar, with the 10-day event attracting more than a million spectators each July. Here we see the main rodeo area in the modern stadium.

Calgary Stampede

Locations: Alberta / Categories: On this day, Stadiums and Sport, 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: "Alberta, On this day, Stadiums and Sport..."
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Date: Monday, 01 Sep 2014 13:00

On this day in 1980, illness forced Terry Fox to abandon his Marathon of Hope, in which he was running across Canada at the equivalent of a full marathon every day, to raise awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. He died of cancer nine months later. Annual Terry Fox Runs across the country raise millions of dollars for cancer research. A monument outside Thunder Bay marks the point where he had to stop. Photosphere by Bryan Evans.

Terry Fox

Locations: Ontario / Categories: Monuments, On this day

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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: "Ontario, Monuments, On this day"
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Date: Friday, 29 Aug 2014 13:00

All Aboard! On this day 145 years ago, the cog railway opened on Mount Washington, allowing an easy route for visitors to the top of the tallest peak in the Eastern US. The cog system was the first to be built on a mountainside, where gradients reach as much as 37%. While you can walk (the very hard way up) or drive (easier, but at times terrifying), travelling behind one of the railway’s steam locomotives is the best way to go. Street View at the summit just gives us a glimpse of one of them.

Mount Washington

Locations: New Hampshire / Categories: On this day, Other Vehicles, 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: "New Hampshire, On this day, Other Vehicl..."
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Date: Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 13:00

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous I Have a Dream speech. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King addressed an immense crowd of a quarter of a million civil rights supporters. It has been called the top American speech of the 20th century.

Lincoln Memorial

Locations: District of Columbia / 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: "District of Columbia, On this day, Stree..."
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Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 13:00

On August 27, 1965, Elvis Presley met The Beatles at his L.A. mansion. The English quartet were on a break from their US tour, and manager Brian Epstein negotiated with Col Tom Parker for them to meet The King. After the ice was broken a short jam session broke out, which would likely be one of the world’s most famous recordings, if only it had been committed to tape.

Elvis' Mansion

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

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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: "California, 45˚ Imagery, Buildings, On ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 13:00

One more curtain call … the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto opened on this day in 1907, making it the longest continually operating theatre in North America. Even with a budget to build ‘the finest theatre on the continent’, the architect vastly overspent, installing Italian marble, fine woods and silk wallpaper. Many of the 20th century theatre greats trod the grand theatre’s boards.

Royal Alexandra Theatre

Locations: Ontario / 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.
Author: "Ian Brown" Tags: "Ontario, Buildings, On this day, Street ..."
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Date: Monday, 25 Aug 2014 13:00

On August 25, 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, from Dover to Calais. His second attempt at the feat took him close to 22 hours, and while a straight-line swim would have only been twenty-two miles, he is believed to have swum close to forty in an era when navigation was harder than today.

English Channel

Locations: England, France / Categories: On this day

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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, France, On this day"
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