Bruges (Dutch: Brugge ; German: Brügge) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country.
The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge (from Brugge aan zee meaning "Bruges on Sea"). The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval-shaped and about 430 hectares in size.
The city's total population is 117,073 (1 January 2008), of whom around 20,000 live in the city centre. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 (238 sq mi) and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.
Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as The Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port and was once the chief commercial city in the world.
The place is first mentioned in records as Bruggas, Brvggas, Brvccia in 840–875, then as Bruciam, Bruociam (in 892), Brutgis uico (toward end of the 9th century), in portu Bruggensi (c. 1010), Bruggis (1012), Bricge (1037, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle), Brugensis (1046), Brycge (1049–1052, again in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle), Brugias (1072), Bruges (1080–1085), Bruggas (c. 1084), Brugis (1089), and Brugge (1116).
The name probably derives from the Old Dutch for "bridge"; cf. Middle Dutch brucge, brugge (or brugghe, brigghe, bregghe, brogghe), and modern Dutch bruggehoofd ("bridgehead") and Brug ("bridge"). The form brugghe would be a southern Dutch variant. The Dutch word and the English "bridge" both derive from Proto-Germanic *brugjō-.
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The Rhine Falls (German: Rheinfall, singular) is the largest waterfall in Switzerland, Europe.
The falls are located on the High Rhine on the border between the cantons of Schaffhausen (SH) and Zürich (ZH), between the municipalities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall (SH) and Laufen-Uhwiesen/Dachsen (ZH), next to the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland.
They are 150 metres (490 ft) wide and 23 metres (75 ft) high. In the winter months, the average water flow is 250 m3/s (8,800 cu ft/s), while in the summer, the average water flow is 600 m3/s (21,000 cu ft/s). The highest flow ever measured was 1,250 cubic metres per second (44,000 cu ft/s) in 1965; and the lowest, 95 cubic metres per second (3,400 cu ft/s) in 1921.
The falls can not be climbed by fish, except by eels that are able to worm their way up over the rocks.
The Rhine Falls were formed in the last ice age, approximately 14,000 to 17,000 years ago, by erosion-resistant rocks narrowing the riverbed. The first glacial advances created today's landforms approximately 500,000 years ago. Up to the end of the Wolstonian Stage approximately 132,000 years ago, the Rhine flowed westwards from Schaffhausen past Klettgau. This earlier riverbed later filled up with gravel.
About 132,000 years ago the course of the river changed southwards at Schaffhausen and formed a new channel, which also filled up with gravel. Part of the Rhine today includes this ancient riverbed.
During the Würm glaciation, the Rhine was pushed far to the south to its present course, over a hard Late Jurassic limestone bed. As the river flowed over both the hard limestone and the easily eroded gravel from previous glaciations, the current waterfall formed about 14,000 to 17,000 years ago. The Rheinfallfelsen, a large rock, is the remnant of the original limestone cliff flanking the former channel. The rock has eroded very little over the years because relatively little sediment comes down the Rhine from Lake Constance.
The north side of the falls is a millsite. In the 17th century, a blast furnace for smelting iron ore found in the limestone was built. It was in operation until the first half of the 19th century.
In 1887 the ironworks applied for permission to divert between one fifth to one half of the river's flow for electricity generation. The Swiss Alpine Club, the Schweizerische Naturforschende Gesellschaft (a nature group) and several scientific societies opposed the plan.
In 1913 an international competition was held for the best plan for a shipping route between Basel and Lake Constance.
In 1919, a company wanting to build power stations in northern Switzerland were told that any such station at the Rhine Falls "must serve the economic interest of the public".
In 1944, the Swiss Council of States granted permission to build the proposed power station. The permission was to become effective on 1 February 1948, with construction to begin in 1952. But in 1951, the Neuen Helvetischen Gesellschaft (New Swiss Society), under the leadership of Emil Egli, got 150,000 Swiss citizens to sign a petition protesting the project; among the signatories were 49 famous citizens, including Hermann Hesse and Carl Jacob Burckhardt. The petition not only scuttled the power station project, but effectively prevented all future hydropower and navigation engineering projects on the upper Rhine to the present day.
Today, the falls are still under consideration for hydropower projects. If the full water flow were used, the power generated would average approximately 50 MW. The economic value of the falls as a tourist attraction may be greater.
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Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 400,028 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.
Permanently settled for over 2000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6400 years ago. During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli.
The official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.
Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus. Schauspielhaus Zürich is one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.
Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres despite having a relatively small population. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking companies. Most of Switzerland's research and development centres are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.
Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Zürich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe in terms of GDP per capita. The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking sees Zürich rank among the top ten most liveable cities in the world.
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Seville (/səˈvɪl/; Spanish: Sevilla [seˈβiʎa], locally [seˈβi(ɟ)ʝa] ) is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos (feminine form: sevillanas) or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 703,000 as of 2011, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbour, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. Seville is also the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Western Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C (95 °F).
Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis. It later became known as Ishbiliya (Arabic: إشبيلية) after the Muslim conquest in 712. During the Muslim rule in Spain, Seville came under the jurisdiction of the Caliphate of Córdoba before becoming the independent Taifa of Seville; later it was ruled by the Muslim Almoravids and the Almohads until finally being incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Castile under Ferdinand III in 1248. After the discovery of the Americas, Seville became one of the economic centres of the Spanish Empire as its port monopolised the trans-oceanic trade and the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) wielded its power, opening a Golden Age of arts and literature. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Coinciding with the Baroque period of European history, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city's culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as silting in the Guadalquivir forced the trade monopoly to relocate to the nearby port of Cádiz.
The 20th century in Seville saw the tribulations of the Spanish Civil War, decisive cultural milestones such as the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and Expo '92, and the city's election as the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
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Schwansee is a lake in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany. At an elevation of 789,23 m, its surface area is 42 acres.
Bavaria (Bavarian: Bayern), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: Freistaat Bayern), is a landlocked state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner.
With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres (27,239.58 sq mi) Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany.
With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Munich (its capital and largest city and also the third largest city in Germany), Nuremberg, and Augsburg.
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