Geography and Social Studies
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Rescooped by D.a. Erdmann from Geography Education!

Interactive Sistine Chapel

Interactive Sistine Chapel | Geography and Social Studies |

One of the amazing memories of my trip to Europe was visiting the Vatican and developing a kink in my neck from marveling at the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.  No photography is allowed to preserve reverence in what many consider not only a cultural heritage site, but a holy site.  This link is the next best thing to being in the Vatican staring at the Sistine Chapel.  We might not be able to travel the world with our students, but this can help us bring the world to our classroom.

Via Seth Dixon
Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 10:50 AM

This is a very cool opportunity due to the fact that photography isn't usually allowed in the Sistine chapel. Of course it can't compare to the beauty of the place in person, but in some ways it's almost more powerful as this room is usually filled to the brim with tourists, seeing it empty is a bit more striking as you can appreciate the fool instead of missing it in the crowds of people.

Rescooped by D.a. Erdmann from Geography Education!

A Barrier to Peace

A Barrier to Peace | Geography and Social Studies |

"Why would they want to pull down these walls?” asks William Boyd mildly as he offers me a cup of tea in his home at Cluan Place, a predominantly Loyalist area of east Belfast.


These walls, orginally installed in the late 60s to protect Belfast residents during "the Troubles."  Today, some argue that these walls are now barriers to the peace process as they continue defacto segregation.  Walls, as barriers to diffusion, stifle communication, cooperation and interaction.  Still, these walls are symbols of communal identity and icons in the cultural landscape.  For more academic work on this, see Peter Shirlow's Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City.


Questions to Consider: How would a wall through an already culturally and politically divided city impact both sides of the wall?  Today, are the walls beneficial to peace in Northern Ireland?       


Tags: Ireland, states, borders, political. 

Via Seth Dixon
Marissa Roy's curator insight, October 30, 2013 12:14 PM

The barrier in Belfast, Ireland is an impressive one. It has been there since the 1960s and having it there has become a security for the residence on both sides. Neither side wants it taken down, however, they have extremely different political/religious views. It seems strange to me that these people would prefer living in prison-like conditions just because that is the way it has been for so long. So long as the physical walls stay up, so will the cultural walls between these people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 8:13 AM

This article is about large walls which were constructed fifty years ago to separate a part Belfast, Northern Ireland to protect citizens from conflicts between loyalists and separatists. Q wall separating people could temporarily protect people from violent conflict, but it would undoubtedly ensure continued conflict and intensify the feeling of "Us vs. Them." Though the people interviewed from both sides of the wall in the article like the wall since it gives them a feeling of security, the wall is likely damaging to a peace process in Northern Ireland.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:56 PM

We have seen walls in our class on pictures and videos but it usually is dividing tourists from natives, rich and the poor, even racial reasons. One of the comments made in this article was it felt safe with a prison atmosphere which statistics show that a lot of inmates who are released end up as repeated offenders because they had no other life except prison life. They are accustomed to it and know the rules and know how to live. I guess that is how these people feel. Culturally though they will not expand and experience only what their culture has to offer what will happen when they get old and the birthrate does not keep up with the death rate? I couldn't live like this.

Rescooped by D.a. Erdmann from Geography Education!

Virtual tour of the Haga Sophia

Virtual tour of the Haga Sophia | Geography and Social Studies |

This is one of the more impressive cultural landmarks in the world, and an architectural marvel.  Studying the cultural landscape reveals that multiple 'layers' are superimposed one upon another.  This phenomenon, known as sequent occupance, is most plainly manifested in this site.  The Haga Sophia has been both a Christian and Muslim holy site, depending which political empire has controlled the city of Istanbul.       

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:59 PM

Haga Sophia is a cultural landmark that has been a Christian and Muslim holy site that all depends on who was in control of the land of that particular time. This is a great example of different times in history that use the same monument and how it plays a significant role in the people of time past and present.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:29 PM

This is a place of both Christian and Muslim society. It is in control by a system of sequent occupancy, meaning that who ever is in control of the area of the time is in control of the Haga Sophia. This one site shows the past of different religions and people. It tells a story of its past, present and future.  

Alexis Rickey's curator insight, March 17, 9:51 PM
Once a Greek Orthodox Church, then later a mosque, the Haga Sophia is a present day museum that host a great deal of spiritual and religious history and background for various religions. This websites provides an extremely fascinating virtual tour of the Haga Sophia. The impressive architectural details are seen well in the panoramic view of the virtual tour! This cultural landmark is located in the Middle East, specifically, in Istanbul Turkey.