Nagasaki is a historic city and for a long time it was the only point of contact between "the West" and Japan. But today it is mostly known for the fact that it was bombed with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Many sights in the city remind of the explosion on 9th August 1945. A visit to the bombing site in Urakami, the Cathedral, the Hypocentre park and the Atomic Bomb Museum will leave most visitors shaken. The role of Nagasaki as the main point for international contacts can be seen at different locations such as the Chinatown, the Dejima Museum, Dutch Slopes and the Nagasaki Hall. Glover Garden is the area where businessmen established themselves in the 19th and 20th centuries and the whole garden is a lot like a Japanese Disneyland. For sight seeing, don't forget to visit famous Japanese temples, a few notable ones are the Fukusai-ji, Shofuku-ji, Kofuku-ji and Sofuku-ji temples, as well as the row of temples between the Sofuku and Kofuku-ji. Parallel to the temple row is the Nakajimagawa stream which is covered by many bridges. The Maruyama Area is the place to head for at night and has been the main entertainment area of Nagasaki for centuries with the best restaurants and clubs.
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8 Unique Ruined Forts & Castles (Part 1)
Some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world are ancient forts, castles, and battlefields. It is fun to imagine what it was like to live during a time when people fought with swords, cannons, muskets, and bows. In the Middle Ages, leaders constructed massive fortifications to protect their people. Forts and castles signified power, wealth, and military capability. Some of the greatest minds in the history of warfare designed fortresses to withstand any attack. They were placed in strategic locations and used to defend important routes. Here is a list of ten unique ruined forts and castles that history has seen.
1. Tughlaqabad Fort, India
In 1321 AD, a man named Ghazi Malik assumed the title of Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq, and started the Tughlaq Dynasty in Delhi, India. Upon taking control of the area, Malik became obsessed with building a massive fortification in the southern part of Delhi. He dreamed of a beautiful fortress that could keep away the Mongol marauders. In order to build the fort, Malik issued a dictate that forced all the labourers in Delhi to help construct it. The massive fortification spans across 6.5 kilometers and includes three sections for housing, a citadel, and a royal residence. The grounds are littered with underground tunnels and the fort once held 52 gates (13 remain today). The walls surrounding the fortification are made of granite and between 10 and 15 meters high. The fort has a collection of massive stone buildings and tombs. Among the most famous is Mausoleum of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, which is an extravagant tomb that holds the remains of Ghazi Malik. Legend says that Tughlaqabad Fort is cursed. In 1324, Ghazi Malik was crushed to death by a canopy, after his death, people became frightened by the land and the fortification fell into ruin. Ghazi Malik's dream of a massive city in Delhi was lost and abandoned in 1327.
2. Golubac Fortress, Serbia
Golubac Fortress is in a medieval fortified town that is located 4 kilometers downstream of the modern-day village of Golubac, Serbia. The compound was built in the 14th century to protect an important stretch of the Danube River. It sits at the head of the Iron Gate gorge and was used to control river traffic. In medieval times, a strong chain was placed across the river that connected to a large rock named Babakaj. If a ship wanted to pass, they needed to pay a tax. Golubac Fortress was the last military outpost located on the Danube River and the final line of defense between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. For this reason, the fort witnessed dozens of large scale military conflicts, both cold steel and firearm based.
3. Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
One of the most intriguing ruined castles in the world is Dunnottar. Dunnottar is situated on a rocky headland about two miles south of Stonehaven, Scotland. The fortress overlooks ancient shipping lanes and was strategically situated to control land passage. For this reason, Dunnottar Castle has played a strategic role in the history of Scotland and been the site of many famous battles. The ruins of Dunnottar are spread over 3 acres and the only way to access the castle is to pass over a narrow strip of land that has an extremely steep edge. The design of the fortress was strategically developed in order to prevent enemy soldiers from reaching the walls. During its long history, Dunnottar was visited by some of the world's most famous leaders including William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, and King Charles II.
4. Corfe Castle
In 1066, William the Conqueror was able to invade and capture England. After his victory, William ordered the construction of a large number of castles across Europe, 36 in total. One of these fortifications was Corfe Castle, which was built by the Normans in order to control a gap in the Purbeck Hills that was used to travel between the English towns of Wareham and Swanage. The castle is located next to a village named Corfe Castle in Dorset, England. Burial mounds in the area suggest that the land was occupied as long as 8,000 years ago. Corfe Castle is unique in that it was built on a massive hill overlooking the valley. The castle receives approximately 200,000 visitors each year.