A Postman’s Dedication: The Pebble Castle of Ferdinand Cheval

pebble castle front view

Source: Bored Panda

Building a castle is a monumental undertaking any way you look at it. But constructing an entire castle pebble by pebble, stone by stone, using only materials found while making your mail route? That’s absolutely inconceivable. Yet that is exactly what Ferdinand Cheval did, and more than 100 years later his pebble castle still stands, drawing tourists from around the world to Hauterives, France.

Continue Reading

The Most Stunning Roman Ruins Outside Of Italy

Roman Ruins Spain

The Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain Source: Wikimedia

At its apogee in the early second century, the Roman Empire controlled five million square kilometers of land that stretched from Britain to the Persian Gulf. Speckled around this massive range of earth, remains of this former global hegemon still stand today. The sites below are among the most stunning reminders of Rome’s past power.

Prev Next 1 of 13

The Aspendos Theater near Serik, Turkey

Roman Ruins Aspendos Turkey

This spectacular theater near the southern coast of modern-day Turkey can seat 7,000 people and still holds musical and dramatic performances more than 1,800 years after it was built. Source: Flickr

The Terrace Houses at Ephesus, Turkey

Roman Ruins Ephesus Houses

Constructed on the Bulbon Mountain terraces, these were the homes of the first century’s “one percent”. In addition to gorgeous mosaics, these incredible houses had hot and cold water as well internal heating, via steam pipes that ran beneath the floors. Source: Wikimedia

The Hippodrome and Roman Theater at Caesarea, Israel

Roman Ruins Caesarea Israel

It’s hard to get more Roman than naming a city Caesarea, and this ancient spot on Israel’s Mediterranean coast is home to two monumental structures. The hippodrome, or horse tracks, could seat about 10,000 spectators for chariot races. The 4,000-seat theater facing the sea was built over two millennia ago. Source: Wikimedia

The Coliseum at Pula, Croatia

Roman Ruins Pula Coliseum

Better preserved than its counterpart in Rome, the coliseum in Pula, Croatia, held gladiatorial combat for roughly six centuries with criminals released to wild beasts for public entertainment until at least the second half of the 7th century. Source: Flickr

Porta Nigra in Trier, Germany

Roman Ruins Trier Germany

Porta Nigra is the almost-finished, massive city gate of the Trier in modern Germany. UNESCO declared this enigmatic edifice a World Heritage Site in 1986 as “a unique achievement of 2nd century Roman architecture.” Source: Flickr

The Arena of Nîmes, France

Roman Ruins Arena Nimes

120 well-preserved arches circle around a stadium where crowds 24,000 strong began watching gladiatorial battles in the 1st century. Gore enthusiasts still gather here, as the arena has been used for Spanish-style bullfighting since 1863. Source: Flickr

The Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain

Roman Ruins Segovia Aqueduct

From tip to tail, the 1st century Roman aqueduct in Segovia stretches for nearly 15 kilometers. Much of this run is underground, but for a full kilometer the aqueduct rises upward in a remarkable sequence of 166 arches that crosses right through the center of town. Source: Flickr

The “Archeological Ensemble” at Mérida, Spain

Roman Ruins Merida Spain

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, the impressive collections at Mérida include a gladiatorial amphitheater, a river-spanning bridge, a crumblier aqueduct than the one in Segovia, and a beautiful theater (pictured). All this wealth is here because, starting in 25 BCE, Mérida was the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania. Source: Flickr

The Abandoned City of Cuicul at Djémila, Algeria

Roman Ruins Cuicul

Built as a military outpost in northern Algeria’s low mountains, the city of Cuicul was occupied for roughly six centuries and then abandoned as the empire collapsed. Today, visitors can wander through the skeletons of the city and imagine what the forums, bathhouses, pagan sites of worship, and the Christian basilica would have looked like. Source: Flickr

The Ancient City of Leptis Magna at Khoms, Libya

Roman Ruins Leptis Magna

This Phoenician port town received a massive investment of Roman coin when one of its children, Septimius Severus, grew up to become Emperor at the end of the 2nd century. Under his reign, Leptis Magna became known as one of the empire’s most beautiful cities. Source: Flickr

The Amphitheater of El­Jem, Tunisia

Roman Ruins Djem Tunisia

This grand arena could hold 35,000 fans for gladiatorial battles and chariot races. As UNESCO puts it, the 3rd century “monument of El Jem is one of the most accomplished examples of Roman architecture of an amphitheatre, almost equal to that of the Coliseum of Rome.” Source: Flickr

Like this gallery? Share it!

And if you liked this post, be sure to check out these popular posts:

The Stunning Ruins Of Villa Epecuén, A Modern Day Atlantis
The Stunning Ruins Of Villa Epecuén, A Modern Day Atlantis
An Animated History Of The Holy Roman Empire
An Animated History Of The Holy Roman Empire
The Roman Empire At Its Peak
The Roman Empire At Its Peak

Interested in Rome’s effects in North Africa? Check out this video below:

This Urban Treehouse Is Cooler Than Any Apartment

This urban treehouse is every city-dwelling, nature-loving person’s dream. For the first time ever, people in Turino, Italy can enjoy the convenience of living in the city without giving up the ease and beauty of nature. Named 25 Verde (aka 25 Green), this eco-friendly structure was designed by Italian architect Luciano Pia, who has been working on the designs since 2007. The five-story Italian building includes 63 units, tree-shaped steel support beams and a variety of trees and plants.

Urban Treehouse Green Design

Source: Bored Panda

Continue Reading

New York Castles: Proof That Dynasty Didn’t Die With Democracy

As history books so often explain to young students, the United States was the product of a relentless desire for self-governance and a retreat from European monarchical rule. Yet, in the United States new concentrations of dynastic power would emerge, generate much of the nation’s wealth and absorb most of its resources and influence. These people couldn’t seem to shake the habit of constructing European-inspired estates and castles to display wealth, importance and circumstance. Appropriately, no state has as many impressive ones as the Empire State.

America’s entrepreneurial families, which included the Duponts, Rockefellers and Goulds, would look to Europe for inspiration in building their castles and have left monolithic representations of America’s redefined royalty across the landscape. From the bustling city to rural mountains, here are 10 of New York’s most resplendent castles.

Prev Next 1 of 31

Oheka Castle

New York Castles Oheka

Taylor Swift is the most recent star to bring the Oheka castle in Huntington, New York back to relevancy with its appearance in her Blank Spaces music video. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Oheka Gardens

The sprawling mansion is the second largest residence in the United States and once belonged to financier Otto Hermann Kahn. Source: Grace Ormonde

New York Castles Oheka Night

The castle was constructed between 1909 and 1914 and has 127 rooms. The palatial mansion has been in several movies and the site of multiple celebrity weddings. Source: Fast Business Lifestyle

The Cloisters

New York Castles Cloisters

Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller reconstructed his own Game of Thrones set in Fort Tryon Park when he had pieces from five European abbeys shipped to the United States, and reconstructed and integrated with other buildings between 1934 and 1939. Source: Metropolitan Museum

New York Castles Cloisters Hudson

The resulting home is now an extensive collection of Medieval European art and artifacts. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Cloisters Apse

Even the cloistered gardens were constructed around medieval horticultural knowledge, and feature herbs used at the time. Source: Pompei Hotels

Wings Castle

New York Castles Wings

Wings Castle is a live-in art project still under construction by owners Peter and Toni Ann Wing. Source: Colorado Explorers

New York Castles Wings Top

The castle is fit for a king but made with a pauper’s mindset. Eighty percent of the building’s materials are recycled and repurposed. Source: Wordpress

New York Castles Wings Winter

Nestled in Millbrook, the castle features a Bed and Breakfast, and offers visitors small rooms where one can act out their own “Lord of the Rings” fantasy. Source: Wings Castle

Boldt Castle

New York Castles Boldt Aerial

Boldt Castle rises over Heart Island in the Thousand Islands of the Saint Lawrence River along the northern border of New York. Source: Love These Pics

New York Castles Boldt House

Built by George Boldt, the general manager of the opulent Waldorf-Astoria, it wasn’t a testament to money, but love. Source: Blogspot

New York Castles Boldt

Boldt had commissioned the six-story castle’s construction for his wife in 1900, but construction halted after four years, when she died. The island sat abandoned until 1977 when the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired it. Modern improvements have since been made to the structures, while maintaining their royal appearance. Source: Love These Pics

Singer Castle

New York Castles Singer

Singer Castle was constructed on Dark Island in the Saint Lawrence River in 1905 during the heyday of the “great builders” in New York, which saw large-scale industrial growth and estate building. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Singer Side

Frederick Bourne was a self-made millionaire when he asked renowned architect Ernest Flagg to design the castle. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Singer Green

Flagg would create an imposing structure that watches over the St. Lawrence River like a fortress. Source: Info Barrel

The Olana Mansion

New York Castles Olana

Once the home of landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church, the Olana mansion could easily have been featured in one of his paintings. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Olana Plaza

The castle overlooks a working farm and has tremendous views of the Catskills and the Taconic Range. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Olana Side

The unique castle was inspired by a fortress treasure house in Armenia, combing features of Moorish, Persian and Victorian architecture. The New York State Office of Parks currently manages the castle that’s also a residence, studio and estate complex. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Bannerman

In Beacon looms an imposing island fortress, Bannerman Arsenal. Built by Frank Bannerman, an arms dealer, in 1908, the castle sits on a supposed haunted island. Source: Wikimedia

Bannerman Arsenal

Bannerman designed trails and gardens on the island, along with a residence and multiple other buildings. The island was transferred to the state of New York in 1967. Source: Headfirst Adventures

Bannerman Flowers

Source: Blog CDN

Castle Gould

New York Castles Gould

Railroad tycoon Jay Gould commissioned Augustus N. Allen to design Castle Gould on Sands Point as a replica of Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Gould Summer

When the castle wasn’t to his wife’s liking, Gould threw more money at the project and had the Hempstead House built. Eventually, the estate was sold to the Guggenheims. Source: The Sands Point Preserve

New York Castles Gould Driveway

The castle became stables and servants quarters, and now houses a visitor center and stage, managed by Nassau County. Source: News Day

Reid Castle

New York Castles Reid

Newspaper editor and author Whitelaw Reid had the epic Reid castle built in 1892 in Purchase, New York. The gardens were decorated with trees imported from France and England. Source: Wordpress

New York Castles Reid Green

The halls were decorated with items acquired when Reid served as ambassador to both England and France. Source: Wikimedia

New York Castles Addition

Eventually, the castle was bought by Manhattanville College when it moved from Manhattan to Purchase in 1952. Source: Art Stor

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere castle was originally built as a folly castle, or a castle that served only as an exterior castle, with no real purpose. Source: Wikimedia

Belvedere Pond

It now belongs to the Central Park Conservancy and is host to nature programs, serving a more important purpose than just a visual one. Source: Central Park

Like this gallery? Share it!

And if you liked this post, be sure to check out these popular posts:

Five Of The World's Most Incredible Castles
Five Of The World's Most Incredible Castles
8 Incredible American Castles To Visit This Summer
8 Incredible American Castles To Visit This Summer
The World's First Zombie Proof House
The World's First Zombie Proof House
Close Pop-in
Like All That Is Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds