national palace

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“In the first years of the 20th century, Duke Peter of Oldenburg, a Russian aristocrat, built a palace (above) and a hotel in Gagra, and put Gagra on the map as a holiday destination for the wealthy. Both buildings were designed in art nouveau style, though many of the finishing touches have since disappeared from the dilapidated edifice.

The Soviet government nationalized the palace built by Duke Peter and converted it into the Hotel Chaika (Seagull), which maintained the air of an aristocratic refuge. However, during the war between the Abkhaz and Georgians, the Chaika was looted and has never been repaired.“ - Photos & text from this Wired article

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Two examples of 17th century Rococo ormulo ornament style, caracterized by  heavy gilding to the walls and ceiling, of such richness and opulence that it marks an unique beauty. The first is the Ballroom of Queluz National Palace, in Portugal, built in 1760 by Jean Baptiste Robillon. The second is the Hall of Mirrors from Amalienburg, a small hunting lodge of Nymphemburg Palace in Germany, constructed in 1734 by François de Cuvilliés.

the beautiful special edition of The Night Circus with the beautiful Mafra Library!


11 years ago I visited this beautiful place, the Palace of Mafra but back then we weren’t allowed to take any sort of photos. I was a sad 14 year old because it was amazing, especially that library, and I couldn’t take pictures! This year I went back there and this time I could take pics! :D So yeah, I killed my thirst for pics :P AND OF COURSE I COULDN’T MISS A CHANCE TO TAKE PHOTOS OF MY COPY OF THE NIGHT CIRCUS WITH THE LIBRARY AS A BACKDROP! 

Upcoming Engagements Update!

There are three confirmed official upcoming engagements and two official visits for Catherine:

  • March 17th: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will join The 1st Battalion Irish Guards for The Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
    • The Duchess of Cambridge will present shamrocks after 350 Irish Guards march on the parade.
    • The Duke & Duchess will attend a luncheon and meet soldiers and their families.
  • March 17th - March 18th: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge undertake an official two-day visit to Paris.
    • March 17th: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will attend a reception to mark the launch of “Les Voisins”.
    • Details of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s itinerary for the visit will be announced within the next few days.
  • March 23rd: The Duchess of Cambridge will attend the launch of Best Beginnings Maternal Mental Health Films with Heads Together.
  • March 28th: The Duchess of Cambridge will attend The 2017 Portrait Gala at The National Portrait Gallery.
    • The Duchess will view two new exhibitions in the gallery: “Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends”; and “Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind The Mask”.
      • The Duchess will also view many new collections in the gallery.
  • May 13th: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will host a “Party At The Palace” Tea Party at Buckingham Palace for children whose parents have passed serving in the Armed Forces.
    • Children up to 18 years of age will be invited to attend.
    • The party will include fun games, activities, and a chance for children to explore the Buckingham Palace Gardens.
    • A number of charities, such as Child Bereavement UK, will also be in attendance.
  • July 2017: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will make an official visit to Poland and Germany.
    • Upon arrival, TRH will meet with French President François Hollande at the Élysée Palace
    • Details of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s itinerary for the visit will be announced within the next several weeks.

Keep checking back at our site to keep yourself updated on all of Catherine’s upcoming engagements! 

Zukka Headcanon #2

Sokka is one of those starfish people in bed. The guy can take up one of the huge beds in the Fire Nation palace all by himself (somehow). like he just fills up all available space. But he’s not the kind of starfish person that kicks other people off of the bed or steals the sheets (okay maybe sometimes that, but who doesn’t at least once in their life). anyways, Sokka tends to kind of just include whoever is sharing his bed space with him. he’s the ultimate sleep cuddler.

Zuko, on the other hand, is very stiff and confined when he sleeps. actually, that’s a little bit of a lie because as soon as the nightmares start (and they come most nights, have been coming since his mom left) he starts moving around, bunching up the sheets and curling into a little ball and he wakes up with a sore back and a cramped neck a lot.

Sokka helps with that. he doesn’t even fully wake up most of the time, just sort of grunts and rolls over and onto Zuko, or curls around him and pulls him against his body. on the nights where even that doesn’t help, he wakes up as soon as Zuko leaves the bed and waits for him. sometimes, if Zuko is feeling up to it they play Pai Sho together or Sokka will tell Zuko old Water Tribe stories about the stars and the moon. they do that until the sun rises and chases the nightmares away.

Chen Shu (陳書, 1660–1736),  female Chinese painter during the early Qing dynasty. She was born in Xiuzhou (now Jiaxing) and was also known by the courtesy name Nanlou and her literary names “Shangyuan Dizi” and “Nanlou Laoren”. Apart from her artistic works, she was also known as the mother of Qing statesman and poet Qian Chenqun (zh:钱陈群). After the early death of her husband, Chen raised her son by herself. When the latter became a prominent statesman in the court of the Qianlong Emperor, he introduced the emperor to his mother’s paintings. Through this avenue she became favored by Qianlong, and many of her works were featured in the imperial collection (today in both the Palace Museum in Beijing and the National Palace Museum in Taipei). Chen painted figures, landscapes, and flower-and-bird paintings.