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In Search Of... Atlantis
17th century cartographer,Guillermo SansonAthanasius Kircher map of Atlantis19th century map of AtlantisThe islandof Santori
atlantis of the shores of Cyprusatlantis of the shores of Cyprus
atlantis of the shores of Cyprusmap Thera
atlantis of the shores of Cyprus
The Lost City of Atlantis

Atlantis (in Greek, Ἀτλαντίς, "daughter of Atlas") is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias.
In Plato's account, Atlantis was a naval power lying "in front of the Pillars of Hercules" that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa 9,000 years before the time of Solon, or approximately 9600 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune".
Scholars dispute whether and how much Plato's story or account was inspired by older traditions. Some scholars argue Plato drew upon memories of past events such as the Thera eruption or the Trojan War, while others insist that he took inspiration from contemporary events like the destruction of Helike in 373 BC or the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC.
The possible existence of a genuine Atlantis was actively discussed throughout classical antiquity, but it was usually rejected and occasionally parodied by later authors. As Alan Cameron states: "It is only in modern times that people have taken the Atlantis story seriously; no one did so in antiquity". While little known during the Middle Ages, the story of Atlantis was rediscovered by Humanists in the Early Modern period. Plato's description inspired the utopian works of several Renaissance writers, like Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis". Atlantis inspires today's literature, from science fiction to comic books to films, its name having become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations.

Plato's account

A 15th-century Latin translation of Plato's Timaeus
Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written in 360 BC, contain the earliest references to Atlantis. For unknown reasons, Plato never completed Critias; however, the scholar Benjamin Jowett, among others, argues that Plato originally planned a third dialogue titled Hermocrates. John V. Luce assumes that Plato, after describing the origin of the world and mankind in Timaeus and the allegorical perfect society of ancient Athens and its successful defense against an antagonistic Atlantis in Critias, would have made the strategy of the Greek civilization during their conflict with the Persians a subject of discussion in the Hermocrates. Plato introduced Atlantis in Timaeus:
For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.

The four persons appearing in those two dialogues are the politicians Critias and Hermocrates as well as the philosophers Socrates and Timaeus of Locri, although only Critias speaks of Atlantis. While most likely all of these people actually lived, these dialogues, written as if recorded, may have been the invention of Plato. In his works Plato makes extensive use of the Socratic dialogues in order to discuss contrary positions within the context of a supposition.
The Timaeus begins with an introduction, followed by an account of the creations and structure of the universe and ancient civilizations. In the introduction, Socrates muses about the perfect society, described in Plato's Republic (ca. 380 BC), and wonders if he and his guests might recollect a story which exemplifies such a society. Critias mentions an allegedly historical tale that would make the perfect example, and follows by describing Atlantis as is recorded in the Critias. In his account, ancient Athens seems to represent the "perfect society" and Atlantis its opponent, representing the very antithesis of the "perfect" traits described in the Republic. Critias claims that his accounts of ancient Athens and Atlantis stem from a visit to Egypt by the legendary Athenian lawgiver Solon in the 6th century BC. In Egypt, Solon met a priest of Sais, who translated the history of ancient Athens and Atlantis, recorded on papyri in Egyptian hieroglyphs, into Greek. According to Plutarch, Solon met with "Psenophis of Heliopolis, and Sonchis the Saite, the most learned of all the priests"; Plutarch refers here to events that would have happened five centuries before he wrote of them.
According to Critias, the Hellenic gods of old divided the land so that each god might own a lot; Poseidon was appropriately, and to his liking, bequeathed the island of Atlantis. The island was larger than Ancient Libya and Asia Minor combined, but it afterwards was sunk by an earthquake and became an impassable mud shoal, inhibiting travel to any part of the ocean. The Egyptians, Plato asserted, described Atlantis as an island comprising mostly mountains in the northern portions and along the shore, and encompassing a great plain of an oblong shape in the south "extending in one direction three thousand stadia [about 555 km; 345 mi], but across the center inland it was two thousand stadia [about 370 km; 230 mi]." Fifty stadia [9 km; 6 mi] from the coast was a mountain that was low on all sides...broke it off all round about... the central island itself was five stades in diameter [about 0.92 km; 0.57 mi].
In Plato's myth, Poseidon fell in love with Cleito, the daughter of Evenor and Leucippe, who bore him five pairs of male twins. The eldest of these, Atlas, was made rightful king of the entire island and the ocean (called the Atlantic Ocean in his honor), and was given the mountain of his birth and the surrounding area as his fiefdom. Atlas's twin Gadeirus, or Eumelus in Greek, was given the extremity of the island towards the Pillars of Heracles. The other four pairs of twins — Ampheres and Evaemon, Mneseus and Autochthon, Elasippus and Mestor, and Azaes and Diaprepes — were also given "rule over many men, and a large territory."
Poseidon carved the mountain where his love dwelt into a palace and enclosed it with three circular moats of increasing width, varying from one to three stadia and separated by rings of land proportional in size. The Atlanteans then built bridges northward from the mountain, making a route to the rest of the island. They dug a great canal to the sea, and alongside the bridges carved tunnels into the rings of rock so that ships could pass into the city around the mountain; they carved docks from the rock walls of the moats. Every passage to the city was guarded by gates and towers, and a wall surrounded each of the city's rings. The walls were constructed of red, white and black rock quarried from the moats, and were covered with brass, tin and the precious metal orichalcum, respectively.
According to Critias, 9,000 years before his lifetime a war took place between those outside the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar and those who dwelt within them. The Atlanteans had conquered the parts of Libya within the Pillars of Heracles as far as Egypt and the European continent as far as Tyrrhenia, and subjected its people to slavery. The Athenians led an alliance of resistors against the Atlantean empire, and as the alliance disintegrated, prevailed alone against the empire, liberating the occupied lands.
But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous day and night befell them, when the whole body of your warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal mud which the island created as it settled down.

Greek Mythology

Atlantis was a large island in the Atlantic Ocean which lay in front of the mouth of the pillars of Heracles (straits of Gibraltar). Their inhabitants became a spiritually ugly race and for that reason Zeus and the gods destroyed them by letting the island be swallowed up by the sea. Atlantis was ruled by a confederation of kings and its power extended over Libya as far as Egypt and over Europe as far as Tuscany. About 8000 years before the Trojan War, Atlantis attempted to conquer the whole of the Mediterranean world but was defeated by the Athens of those remote times and its allies. Later, when the gods perceived that Atlantis was inhabited by an evil race, they let the island be destroyed by the third of the floods which preceded the Flood in the time of Deucalion 1. The first ten kings of Atlantis (five pairs of twins) were all sons of Poseidon and Cleito 2. The first born was Atlas, who was appointed to be king over the rest and after whom the island was called. The legend of Atlantis is not connected to other myths except for the names of Atlas and Poseidon.

Account of the Egyptian priest Origin of this account

According to Plato's account it was Solon, the Athenian statesman and poet whom History says lived 600 years after the Trojan War, the one who brought from Egypt the story of Atlantis. The very old Egyptian priest who talked with Solon was not at all impressed by Greek ancient stories, such as the one referring to Phoroneus as the first man, or the legend of the Flood of Deucalion 1, for these stories, according to his perspective were all but ancient.
This Egyptian priest knew that mankind is periodically destroyed, either by fire or water, or by lesser means. And behind the story of Phaethon 3, the Egyptian says, lies the shifting of the celestial bodies around the earth, which cause destruction by fire on its surface at long intervals. When this happens those living in dry areas or dwelling in mountains suffer destruction more than those living near rivers or the sea. On the other hand, when the world is flooded those living in mountains are saved, but those populating the cities near the sea are swept into it by the streams.
Things having this nature, those living by the Nile were spared when the world was destroyed by fire, and when it was destroyed by water they were also spared because rain is scarce in Egypt, the water welling up always from below. In this way, says the Egyptian priest, memories of ancient times could be preserved in this country while all records were destroyed elsewhere. And while in other countries the periodical destruction caused irreparable losses, in Egypt it was possible to keep records of very ancient times.
This is the reason why, says the priest, the Greeks could just remember the Flood of Deucalion 1, ignoring that many other floods had previously occurred. And in the same way they had lost the memory of the Athens which existed 8000 years before the Trojan War (which is today said to have taken place about 1200 BC).
According to this Egyptian priest, that old Athens resisted the invasion of the people from Atlantis, an island larger than Libya (name for the whole of northern Africa except Egypt) which lay in front of the mouth of the so called "pillars of Heracles" (today called "straits of Gibraltar"). The island Atlantis was ruled by a confederation of kings which held power also in surrounding islands. The people of Atlantis had occupied Libya as far as Egypt and southwestern Europe, as far as Tuscany in Italy. And after doing that they gathered a host in order to make an attempt to extend their dominion to both Egypt and Greece. However, this powerful army was defeated by the Athenians.
At a later time, earthquakes and floods destroyed the two opponents, for Athens was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis was likewise swallowed up by the sea, vanishing for ever. This is why, the Egyptian says, the ocean at the spot where Atlantis was, became impossible to sail across, being blocked up by the mud created by the large island when it sank.

Location hypotheses

In or near the Mediterranean Sea

Satellite image of the islands of Santorini. This location is one of many sites purported to have been the location of Atlantis.Most of the historically proposed locations are in or near the Mediterranean Sea: islands such as Sardinia, Crete and Santorini, Sicily, Cyprus, and Malta; land-based cities or states such as Troy, Tartessos, and Tantalus (in the province of Manisa), Turkey; and Israel-Sinai or Canaan.The Thera eruption, dated to the 17th or 16th century BC, caused a large tsunami that experts hypothesize devastated the Minoan civilization on the nearby island of Crete, further leading some to believe that this may have been the catastrophe that inspired the story. A. G. Galanopoulos argued that the time scale has been distorted by an error in translation, probably from Egyptian into Greek, which produced "thousands" instead of "hundreds"; this same error would rescale Plato's Kingdom of Atlantis to the size of Crete, while leaving the city the size of the crater on Thera; 900 years before Solon would be the 15th century BC. In the area of the Black Sea the following locations have been proposed: Bosporus and Ancomah (a legendary place near Trabzon). The Sea of Azov was proposed in 2003.

In the Atlantic Ocean

The location of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean has certain appeal given the closely related names. Popular culture often places Atlantis there, perpetuating the original Platonic setting. Several hypotheses place the sunken island in northern Europe, including Sweden (by Olof Rudbeck in Atland, 1672–1702), or in the North Sea. Some have proposed the Celtic Shelf and Andalusia as possible locations, and that there is a link to Ireland. The Canary Islands have also been identified as a possible location, west of the Straits of Gibraltar but in proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Various islands or island groups in the Atlantic were also identified as possible locations, notably the Azores. However detailed geological studies of the Canary Islands, the Azores, and the ocean bottom surrounding them found a complete lack of any evidence for the catastrophic subsidence of these islands at any time during their existence and a complete lack of any evidence that the ocean bottom surrounding them was ever dry land at any time in the past. The submerged island of Spartel near the Strait of Gibraltar has also been suggested. Some people think that an image from Google Earth represents the Atlantis.

Other locations

Caribbean locations such as Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Bermuda Triangle have been proposed as sites of Atlantis. Areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have also been proposed including Indonesia, Malaysia or both (i.e. Sundaland) and stories of a lost continent off India named "Kumari Kandam" have inspired some to draw parallels to Atlantis, as has the Yonaguni formation of Japan. Antarctica has also been suggested.

More interesting websites about Atlantis : Sacred Texts , AtlanScepdic

                                                                                                                      Source : Wikipedia

Oak Island the Moneypit

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Oak island mapOak island treasure mapOak island mapCoffer dam
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Oak Island The Money Pit

Oak Island is a 140-acre (57 ha) island in Lunenberg County on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. The tree-covered island is one of about 360 small islands in Mahone Bay and rises to a maximum of 35 feet (11 m) above sea level.

Oak Island is noted as the location of the so-called Money Pit, a site of numerous excavations to recover treasure believed by many to be buried there. The island is privately owned, and advance permission is required for any visitation.

There are many 19th-century accounts of Oak Island, but they are conflicting, not contemporary, and not impartial. Further, physical evidence from the initial excavations is absent or has been lost. A basic summary of the claimed history of the pit is as follows:

In 1795, 16-year-old Daniel McGinnis discovered a circular depression in a clearing on the southeastern end of the island with an adjacent tree which had a tackle block on one of its overhanging branches. McGinnis, with the help of friends John Smith (in early accounts, Samuel Ball) and Anthony Vaughan, excavated the depression and discovered a layer of flagstones a few feet below. On the pit walls there were visible markings from a pick. As they dug down they discovered layers of logs at about every ten feet (3 m). They abandoned the excavation at 30 feet (10 m).

This initial discovery and excavation was first briefly mentioned in print in the Liverpool Transcript in October, 1856. A more complete account followed in the Liverpool Transcript, the Novascotian, British Colonist, and A History Of Lunenburg County (however, the latter account was based on the earlier Liverpool Transcript articles and does not represent an independent source).

About eight years after the 1795 dig, according to the original articles and the memories of Vaughan, another company examined what was to become known as the Money Pit. The Onslow Company sailed 300 nautical miles (560 km) from central Nova Scotia near Truro to Oak Island with the goal of recovering what they believed to be secret treasure. They continued the excavation down to approximately 90 feet (27.43 m) and found layers of logs or "marks" about every ten feet (3 m) and layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fibre at 40, 50 and 60 feet (12, 15 and 18 m).

According to one of the earliest written accounts, at 80 or 90 feet (27 m), they recovered a large stone bearing an inscription of symbols. Several researchers are said to have attempted to decipher the symbols. One translated them as saying: "forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried." No photographs, drawings, or other images of the stone are known to have been produced prior to its claimed disappearance circa 1912. The symbols currently associated with the "forty feet down..." translation and seen in many books first appeared in True Tales of Buried Treasure, written by explorer and historian Edward Rowe Snow in 1951. In this book he claims he was given this set of symbols by Reverend A.T. Kempton of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nothing more is known about Kempton's involvement in the Oak Island tale.

The pit subsequently flooded up to the 33-foot (10 m) level. Bailing did not reduce the water level, and the excavation was abandoned.

Investors formed The Truro Company in 1849, which re-excavated the shaft back down to the 86-foot (26 m) level, where it flooded again. They then drilled into the ground below the bottom of the shaft. According to the nineteenth-century account, the drill or "pod auger" passed through a spruce platform at 98 feet (30 m), a 12-inch head space, 22 inches (560 mm) of what was described as "metal in pieces", 8 inches (200 mm) of oak, another 22 inches (560 mm) of metal, 4 inches (100 mm) of oak, another spruce layer, and finally into clay for 7 feet without striking anything else.

The next excavation attempt was made in 1861 by a new company called the Oak Island Association which resulted in the collapse of the bottom of the shaft into either a natural cavern or booby trap underneath. The first fatality during excavations occurred when the boiler of a pumping engine burst. The company gave up when their funds were exhausted in 1864.

Further excavations were made in 1866, 1893, 1909, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1959, none of which were successful. Another fatality occurred in 1887, when a worker fell to his death. (Six people have been killed in accidents during various excavations.) Franklin Roosevelt was part of the Old Gold Salvage group of 1909 and kept up with news and developments for most of his life.

In 1928, a New York newspaper printed a feature story about the strange history of the island. Gilbert Hedden, operator of a steel fabricating concern, saw the article and was fascinated by the engineering problems involved in recovering the putative treasure. Hedden collected books and articles on the island and made six trips there. He even ventured to England to converse with Harold Tom Wilkins, the author of Captain Kidd and His Skeleton Island, believing he had found a link between Oak Island and a map in Wilkins's book.

Hedden purchased the southeast end of the island. He began digging in the summer of 1935, following excavations by William Chappell in 1931. In 1939, he even informed King George VI of the United Kingdom about developments on Oak Island.

The 1931 excavations by William Chappell sank a 163-foot (50 m) shaft 12x14 feet to the southwest of what he believed was the site of the 1897 shaft, close to the original pit. At 127 feet (39 m), a number of artifacts, including an axe, an anchor fluke, and a pick were found. The pick has been identified as a Cornish miner's poll pick. By this time, the entire area around the Money Pit was littered with the debris and refuse of numerous prior excavation attempts, so exactly to whom the pick belonged is unverifiable.

Excavation by the Restall family in the early 1960s ended tragically when four men died after being overcome by fumes in a shaft near the beach. In 1965, Robert Dunfield leased the island and, using a 70-ton digging crane with a clam bucket, dug out the pit area to a depth of 134 feet (41 m) and width of 100 feet (30 m). The removed soil was carefully inspected for artifacts. Transportation of the crane to the island required the construction of a causeway (which still exists) from the western end of the island to Crandall's Point on the mainland two hundred meters away.

Around 1967, Daniel C. Blankenship and David Tobias formed Triton Alliance, Ltd. and purchased most of the island. In 1971, Triton workers excavated a 235-foot (72 m) shaft supported by a steel caisson to bedrock. According to Blankenship and Tobias, cameras lowered down the shaft into a cave below recorded the presence of some chests, human remains, wooden cribbing and tools; however, the images were unclear, and none of these claims have been independently confirmed. The shaft subsequently collapsed, and the excavation was again abandoned. This shaft was later successfully re-dug to 181 feet (55 m), reaching bedrock; work was halted because of lack of funds and the collapse of the partnership.

In the mid 1960s, an account of an excavation of the "Money Pit" appeared in Readers' Digest magazine. Over a decade later, the Money Pit mystery was the subject of an episode of the television series In Search of..., which first aired January 18, 1979, bringing the legend of Oak Island to a wider audience.

During the 1990s, further exploration was stalled because of legal battles between the Triton partners. As of 2005, a portion of the island was for sale for an estimated US$7 million. A group called the Oak Island Tourism Society had hoped the Government of Canada would purchase the island, but a group of American businessmen in the drilling industry did so instead.

It was announced in April 2006 that partners from Michigan had purchased a 50% stake in Oak Island Tours Inc., for an undisclosed amount of money. The shares sold to the Michigan partners were previously owned by David Tobias; remaining shares are owned by Blankenship. Center Road Developments, in conjunction with Allan Kostrzewa, a member of the Michigan group, had purchased Lot 25 from David Tobias for a reported $230,000 one year previous to Tobias selling the rest of his share. The Michigan group, working with Blankenship, has said it will resume operations on Oak Island in the hope of discovering buried treasure and the mystery of Oak Island.

More interesting websites about oak Island : The Oak Island Enigma , Myth and Mystery .

One webisite deserves special attention : The first nations member Keith Ranville has done a great deal off research in this case and deserves a whole lot of credit for his work on the matter.

                                                                                                                      Source : Wikipedia
Men at Oak Island, Nova Scotia, July 1931Money pit 1931Shaft sinking for treasure hunt, Oak Island, Nova Scotia, July 1931
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Mont Saint - Michel

A Benedictine Abbey, in the Diocese of Avranches, Normandy, France. It is unquestionably the finest example both of French medieval architecture and of a fortified abbey. The buildings of the monastery are piled round a conical mass of rock which rises abruptly out of the waters of the Atlantic to the height of 300 feet, on the summit of which stands the great church. This rock is nearly a mile from the shore, but in 1880 a causeway was built across the dangerous quicksand that occupies this space and is exposed at low water, so that there is now no danger in approaching the abbey. The monastery was founded about the year 708 by St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, and according to the legend, by direct command of the Archangel Michael himself, For three nights in a row, the bishop
had had the same strange dream in which he was given the same strange command. For two nights he had ignored it. Tonight, however, that was impossible. Tonight his nocturnal visitor, the archangel Michael, had decided to give Bishop Aubert of Avranches a little proof that his dreams were reality: He had reached over and pressed a finger on the bishop’s skull. When the bishop awoke, he found he had a hole in his head. Maybe, he thought, he’d better do what the angel had said.

In the past, Aubert's putative skull with the mark of the Archangel's finger was exhibited in the cathedral of Avranches. In the meantime, a geological disaster engulfed the woody area around the Mount, which became an island on which Aubert built the required sanctuary.

It was the year 708, and, as recorded later in the 9th century text “La Revelation,” St. Michael had ordered the bishop to build a chapel on Mont Tombe, a rocky island at the mouth of the Couesnon River near his town of Avranches, France. The angel did not choose his location at random: It was believed to be in this part of France that St. Michael won his mighty victory, described in Revelation, over the dragon.

Bishop Aubert sent messengers to two sites where the angel had appeared in the past — Rome and a cave in Monte Gargano, a mountain above the Adriatic Sea — to fetch relics that might be kept in the new chapel. The messengers brought back a piece of red mantle that the angel was wearing when he appeared in Italy and a piece of the altar on which he had set his foot. On October 16, 709, the sanctuary was consecrated, and the rocky island became known as St. Michael’s Mount, Le Mont Saint-Michel. Pilgrims soon began arriving to see St. Michael’s relics and to venerate the saint. Today, more than 1,000 years later, they are still coming.

About 966, Richard the Fearless, third Duke of Normandy, finding the community in a relaxed condition, installed Benedictines from Monte Cassino at Mont-St-Michel.

The First Bank Loans

During the 11th century, the monks living at Mont Saint Michel had to come up with new way of earning financial returns on their assets. For the first time in history, a religious community did not have to work for a living, thanks to the generous gifts of the pilgrims. Their capital was the land they either bought or were given by princes and kings, and their income came from 3 differrent sources:

They worked the land with the help of servant.

They rented some plots for 10% of the harvest which was much more than the monks needed for themselves, so they sold or traded the surplus.

They even became bankers and granted loans in exchange for land that they could then exploit for the duration of the loan! Income obtained that way was essentially interest, and thus the first bank loans were made in the Middle-Ages!

For the first time in history, a religious community did not need to work for a living. The pilgrims, who were filled with wonder at the Month St Michel and its fortified monastery, supported them with their donations!

A few years later, in 1017, Abbot Hildebert II began the colossal scheme of buildings all round the rock which should form a huge platform level with the summit, on which the abbey church might stand. In spite of the enormous difficulties involved in the design, difficulties increased by fire and the collapse of portions of the edifice, the great scheme was persevered in during five centuries and crowned by the completion of the flamboyant choir in 1520.
The village that grew up and around the abbey lies huddled within the fortifications and includes a Romanesque parish church, remolded in the 15 century. The fortifications include crenellated ramparts, towers and a 14th century barbican, which reinforce the abbey's own defenses. The tower Claudine protects the monastery entrance.
A gigantic group of buildings, rising three stories high, serves, with the summit of the cone-shaped rock, as a base for the great abbey church. Six of these structures on the side facing the sea form the unit called La Merveille [the marvel], constructed from 1203 to 1228.

Even among religious communities, such an instance of steadfast purpose and continuity of plan stands unrivalled; but the completion was only just in time. In 1523 the abbey was granted in commendam to Cardinal Le Veneur and the series of commendatory Abbots continued until 1622 when the abbey, its community reduced almost to the vanishing point, was united to the famous Congregation of St-Maur. At the French Revolution the Maurist monks were ejected and the splendid building became a prison for political offenders while, with unconscious irony, the name of the place was changed from Mont St-Michel to Mont Libre.
The island, which was fortified in 1256, resisted sieges during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France (1337–1453) and the French Wars of Religion (1562–98). The monastery declined in the 18th century, and only seven monks were living there when it was dissolved during the French Revolution (1787–99). It became a state prison under Napoleon I (reigned 1804–14/15) and remained a prison until 1863.
In 1863 the prison was closed and for a few years the abbey was leased to the Bishop of Avranches, but in 1872 the French Government took it over as a national monument and undertook, none too soon, the task of restoration. The work has gone on almost continually ever since, and the restorers must be praised for the skill with which the great pile has been saved from ruin, and the good taste with which the whole has been done.
Connected to the mainland by a causeway (completed 1875), the abbey is preserved as a national historical monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of France's great tourist attractions. The abbey is celebrated in Henry Adam's classic study of medieval Christianity, Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1913).

Tide difference

The tides in the area shift quickly, and has been described by Victor Hugo as "A la vitesse d'un cheval au galop" or as swiftly as a galloping horse. However, this is an exaggeration, as the tide actually comes in at 1 metre per second.
The tides can vary greatly, at roughly 14 meters between high and low water marks. Popularly nicknamed St. Michael in peril of the sea by mediaeval pilgrims making their way across the tidal flats, the mount can still pose dangers for visitors who avoid the causeway and attempt the hazardous walk across the sands from the neighbouring coast. The dangers from the tides and quicksands continue to claim lives.

Today there is still a Religious community at the Mount — members of the Monastic Community of Jerusalem. On any given day, a visitor might see them working in the local bookshop or attending Mass, the Sisters’ blue gowns and white veils fluttering in the wind as they enter the enormous wooden doors of the abbey church beneath the solemn tolling of the bell.

For a live view ( Webcam)of Mount Saint - Michel click Here !

                                                                                                                      Source : Wikipedia
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St Michael's Mount ( United Kingdom )

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island located 366 m (400 yd) off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is united with Marazion by a man-made causeway, passable only at mid to low tide, made of granite setts. The island exhibits a combination of slate and granite.

Its Cornish language name — literally, "the grey rock in the wood" — may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount's Bay was flooded. Certainly, the Cornish name would be an accurate description of the Mount set in woodland. Remains of trees have been seen at low tides following storms on the beach at Perranuthnoe, but radiocarbon dating established the submerging of the hazel wood at about 1700 BC. The chronicler John of Worcester relates under the year 1099 that St. Michael's Mount was located five or six miles from the sea, enclosed in a thick wood, but that on the third day of the nones of November the sea overflowed the land, destroying many towns and drowning many people as well as innumerable oxen and sheep; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records under the date 11 November 1199, "The sea-flood sprung up to such a height, and did so much harm, as no man remembered that it ever did before". The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.

In prehistoric times, St. Michael's Mount may have been a port for the tin trade, and Gavin de Beer made a case for it to be identified with the "tin port" Ictis/Ictin mentioned by Posidonius.

Historically, St Michael's Mount was a Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France.

St Michael's Mount is known colloquially by locals as simply the Mount.

The chapel is extra-diocesan, and the castle is the official residence of Lord St Levan. Many relics, chiefly armour and antique furniture, are preserved in the castle. The chapel of St Michael, a fifteenth century building, has an embattled tower, in one angle of which is a small turret, which served for the guidance of ships. Chapel Rock, on the beach, marks the site of a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, where pilgrims paused to worship before ascending the Mount. A few houses are built on the hillside facing Marazion, and a spring supplies them with water. The harbour, widened in 1823 to allow vessels of 500 tons to enter, has a pier dating from the fifteenth century and subsequently enlarged and restored.

Some studies indicate that any rise in ocean waters as well as existing natural erosion would put some of the Cornwall coast at risk, including St. Michael's Mount.

St Michael's Mount is still owned by the St Aubyn family, but visitor access is controlled by the National Trust.

There is a row of eight houses at the back of the present village; they were built in 1885 and are known as Elizabeth Terrace. A spring supplies them with water. Some of the houses are occupied by staff working in the castle and elsewhere on the island.

The island cemetery (currently no public access) contains the graves of former residents of the island and several drowned sailors. There are also buildings that were formerly the steward's house, a changing-room for bathers, the stables, the laundry, a barge house, a sail loft (now a restaurant), and two former inns. A former bowling green adjoins one of the buildings.

One of the most noteworthy points of interest on the island is the underground railway, which is still used to transport goods from the harbour up to the castle. It was built by tin miners around 1900, replacing the pack horses which had previously been used. Due to the steep gradient, it cannot be used for passengers. The National Trust currently does not permit public access or viewing of the railway.

The harbour, widened in 1823 to allow vessels of 500 tons to enter, has a pier dating from the fifteenth century which was subsequently enlarged and restored. Queen Victoria landed at the harbour from the royal yacht in 1846, and a brass inlay of her footstep can be seen at the top of the landing stage. King Edward VII's footstep is also visible near the bowling-green. In 1967 the Queen Mother entered the harbour in a pinnace from the royal yacht Britannia.

The Mount may be the Mictis of Timaeus, mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia (IV:XVI.104), and the Ictis of Diodorus Siculus.[citation needed] Both men had access to the now lost texts of the ancient Greek geographer Pytheas, who visited the island in the fourth century BC. If this is true, it is one of the earliest identified locations in the whole of western Europe and particularly on the island of Britain.

It may have been the site of a monastery in the 8th - early 11th centuries and Edward the Confessor gave it to the Norman abbey of Mont Saint Michel. It was a priory of that abbey until the dissolution of the alien houses by Henry V, when it was given to the abbess and Convent of Syon at Isleworth, Middlesex. It was a resort of pilgrims, whose devotions were encouraged by an indulgence granted by Pope Gregory in the 11th century.

The monastic buildings were built during the 12th century but in 1425 as an alien monastery it was suppressed.

Henry Pomeroy captured the Mount, on behalf of Prince John, in the reign of Richard I. John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, seized and held it during a siege of 23 weeks against 6,000 of Edward IV's troops in 1473. Perkin Warbeck occupied the Mount in 1497. Humphry Arundell, governor of St Michael's Mount, led the rebellion of 1549. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was given to Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, by whose son it was sold to Sir Francis Basset. During the Civil War, Sir Arthur Basset, brother of Sir Francis, held the Mount against the parliament until July 1646.

In 1755 the Lisbon earthquake caused a tsunami to strike the Cornish coast over 1,000 miles away. The sea rose six feet in 10 minutes at St Michael's Mount, ebbed at the same rate, and continued to rise and fall for five hours. The 19th-century French writer Arnold Boscowitz claimed that "great loss of life and property occurred upon the coasts of Cornwall."

In the late 19th century the skeleton of an anchorite (someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic and, circumstances permitting, Eucharist-focused life. ) was discovered when a chamber was found beneath the castle's chapel When the anchorite died of illness or natural causes, the chamber was sealed off and became his tomb. The Mount was sold in 1659 to Colonel John St Aubyn. His descendant, Lord St Levan, continues to be the "tenant" of the Mount but has ceased to be resident there, his nephew, James St Aubyn, taking up residency and management of the Mount in 2004.

Little is known about the village before the beginning of 18th century, save that there were a few fishermen's cottages and monastic cottages. After improvements to the harbour in 1727, St Michael's Mount became a flourishing seaport, and by 1811 there were 53 houses and four streets, and the island's population was about 300. There were three schools, a Wesleyan chapel, and three public houses, mostly used by visiting sailors. The village went into decline following major improvements to nearby Penzance harbour and the extension of the railway to Penzance in 1852, and many of the houses and buildings were demolished.

The official St Michael's Mount website : click Here !

                                                                                                                      Source : Wikipedia
St Michael's Mount castleSt Michael's Mount castleSt Michael's Mount castleSt Michael's Mount castle

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Krakatau Erupting 1883Krakatau Erupting 1883Krakatau Erupting 1883Krakatau after eruption 1883 (woodcut)
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Krakatau Volcano eruption 1883

Krakatoa (Indonesian: Krakatau), also spelled Krakatau, is a volcanic island made of a'a lava in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is used for the island group, the main island (also called Rakata), and the volcano as a whole.

Although there are earlier descriptions of an island in the Sunda Strait with a "pointed mountain", the earliest mention of Krakatoa by name in the Western world was on a 1611 map by Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, who labeled the island "Pulo Carcata". (Pulo is a form of pulau, the Indonesian word for "island".) About two dozen variants have been found, including Crackatouw, Cracatoa, and Krakatao (in an older Portuguese-based spelling). The first known appearance of the spelling Krakatau was by Wouter Schouten, who passed by "the high tree-covered island of Krakatau" in October 1658.

There are two generally accepted modern spellings, Krakatoa and Krakatau. The origin of the English spelling Krakatoa is unclear but may have been the result of a typographical error made in a British source reporting on the massive eruption of 1883. Also, like Egypt a couple of decades earlier, Polynesia (South Pacific) was in vogue in the late 19th century, and the Polynesian-like suffix -oa (as in Samoa) may have caught on as a result. While Krakatoa is more common in the English-speaking world, the Indonesian Krakatau tends to be favored by others, including geologists. Verbeek seems to have started the modern convention of using Krakatau for the island proper and reserving Rakata for the main cone.

The best-known eruption of Krakatoa culminated in a series of massive explosions on August 26–27, 1883, which was among the most violent volcanic events in modern and recorded history.

The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa began in May 1883 culminating with the destruction of Krakatoa in August 1883. Minor seismic activity continued to be reported until February 1884, though reports after October 1883 were later dismissed by Rogier Verbeek's (a Dutch geologist and nature scientist) investigation.
In the years before the 1883 eruption, seismic activity around the volcano was intense, with some earthquakes felt as far distant as Australia. Beginning 20 May 1883, three months before the final explosion, steam venting began to occur regularly from  (Perboewatan, the northernmost of the island's three cones. Eruptions of ash reached an altitude of 6 km (20,000 ft) and explosions could be heard in Batavia (Jakarta) 160 km (100 miles) away. Activity died down by the end of May, with no records of activity until mid June.
Early in the morning of May 20, 1883, the captain of the German warship Elizabeth reported seeing an ~11-km-high cloud of ash and dust rising above the uninhabited island of Krakatau.

Eruptions started again around 16 June, when loud explosions were heard and a thick black cloud covered the islands for five days. On 24 June an east wind blew this cloud away and two ash columns were seen issuing from Krakatoa. The new seat of the eruption is believed to have been a new vent or vents which formed between Perboewatan and Danan, near the location of the volcanic cone of Anak Krakatau. The violence of the eruption caused tides in the vicinity to be unusually high, and ships at anchor had to be moored with chains as a result. Earthquake shocks began to be felt at Anjer (Java), and large pumice masses started to be reported by ships in the Indian Ocean to the west.

On 11 August, H.J.G. Ferzenaar investigated the islands. He noted three major ash columns (the newer from Danan), which obscured the western part of the island (the wind blows primarily from the east at this time of year), and steam plumes from at least eleven other vents, mostly between Danan and Rakata. Where he landed, he found an ash layer about 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in) thick; all vegetation had been destroyed, with only tree stumps left. He advised against any further landings. The next day, a ship passing to the north reported a new vent "only a few meters above sea level" (this may the most northerly spot indicated on Ferzenaar's map). Activity continued through mid August.

By 25 August, eruptions further intensified. At about 1 pm (local time) on 26 August, the volcano went into its paroxysmal phase, and by 2 pm observers could see a black cloud of ash 27 km (17 miles) high. At this point, the eruption was virtually continuous and explosions could be heard every ten minutes or so. Ships within 20 km (11 nautical miles) of the volcano reported heavy ash fall, with pieces of hot pumice up to 10 cm in diameter landing on their decks. A small tsunami hit the shores of Java and Sumatra some 40 km (28 miles) away between the time of 18:00 and 19:00 hours.

On 27 August four enormous explosions took place at 05:30, 06:44, 10:02, and 10:41 local time. The explosions were so violent that they were heard 3,500 km (2,200 mi) away in Perth, Western Australia and the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, 4,800 km (3,000 mi) away, where they were thought to be cannonfire from a nearby ship.:22 Each was accompanied by very large tsunamis, which are believed to have been over 30 meters (100 ft) high in places. A large area of the Sunda Strait and a number of places on the Sumatran coast were affected by pyroclastic flows from the volcano.

The pressure wave generated by the colossal final explosion radiated from Krakatoa at 1,086 km (675 mi) . It was so powerful that it shattered the eardrums of sailors on ships in the Sunda Strait[4] and caused a spike of more than two and half inches of mercury in pressure gauges attached to gasometers in the Jakarta gasworks, sending them off the scale. The pressure wave radiated across the globe and was recorded on barographs all over the world, which continued to register it up to 5 days after the explosion. Barograph recordings show that the shockwave from the final explosion reverberated around the globe 7 times in total. Ash was propelled to a height of 80 km (50 mi).

The eruptions diminished rapidly after that point, and by the morning of August 28 Krakatoa was quiet. Small eruptions, mostly of mud, continued through October, though further reports continued through February 1884. These reports were discounted by Verbeek.

Ships as far away as South Africa rocked as tsunamis hit them, and the bodies of victims were found floating in the ocean for weeks after the event. The tsunamis which accompanied the eruption are believed to have been caused by gigantic pyroclastic flows entering the sea; each of the four great explosions was accompanied by a massive pyroclastic flow resulting from the gravitational collapse of the eruption column. This caused several cubic kilometers of material to enter the sea, displacing an equally huge volume of seawater. The town of Merak was destroyed by a 46 metre-high tsunami. Some of the pyroclastic flows reached the Sumatran coast as much as 25 miles (40 km) away, having apparently moved across the water on a "cushion" of superheated steam. There are also indications of submarine pyroclastic flows reaching 10 miles (15 km) from the volcano.

A recent documentary film showed tests made by a research team at Kiel University, Germany of pyroclastic flows moving over water. The tests revealed that hot ash traveled over the water on a cloud of superheated steam, continuing to be a pyroclastic flow after crossing water; the heavy matter precipitated out of the flow shortly after initial contact with the water, creating a tsunami due to the precipitate mass.

Smaller waves were recorded on tidal gauges as far away as the English Channel. These occurred too soon to be remnants of the initial tsunamis, and may have been caused by concussive air waves from the eruption. These air waves circled the globe several times and were still detectable using barographs five days later.

With a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 6, the eruption was equivalent to 200 megatons (MT) of TNT—about 13,000 times the nuclear yield of the Little Boy bomb (13 to 16 kT) that devastated Hiroshima, Japan during World War II and four times the yield of the Tsar Bomba (50 MT), the largest nuclear device ever detonated.

Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) is a scale that describes the size of an explosive volcanic eruption. VEI is analogous to the Richter magnitude scale for earthquakes. In the 0 to 8 scale of VEI, each interval represents an increase of a factor of ten. An eruption of VEI 4 is 10 times larger than a 3 and one hundred times larger than a 2. Key characteristics that define VEI include:
Volume of ash produced
Height of eruption cloud above the vent
Duration of eruption

Krakatau, Indonesia, 1883
VEI 6 (Very Large)
Bulk Volume of Erupted Products: 4 cubic miles

The 1883 the Krakatoa eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice and generated the loudest sound historically reported at 180 Decibels: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia approx. 1,930 miles (3,110 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius approx. 3,000 miles (5,000 km).

Nine tsunamis were generated, some of the tsunami waves are believed to have been over 100 ft (30 meters) high in places.
Around noon on August 27, a rain of hot ash fell around Ketimbang in Sumatra. Around a thousand people were killed, the only large number of victims killed by Krakatoa itself, and not the waves or after-effects.
Darkness covered the Sunda Straits from 11 a.m. on the 27th until dawn the next day.

Every recording barograph in the world ducumented the passage of the airwave created by the explosion, some as many as 7 times as the wave bounced back and forth between the eruption site and its antipodes for 5 days after the explosion.
Blue and green suns were observed as fine ash and aerosol, erupted perhaps 50 km into the stratosphere, circled the equator in 13 days.
Three months later, the eruption fallout had spread to higher latitudes causing such vivid red sunset afterglows that fire engines were called out in New York, Poughkeepsie, and New Haven to quench the apparent conflagration. Unusual sunsets continued for 3 years.
The volcanic dust veil that created such spectacular atmospheric effects also acted as a solar radiation filter, lowering global temperatures as much as 1.2 degree C in the year after the eruption. Temperatures did not return to normal until 1888.
After the eruption of Krakatoa, on the 21st of August 1883, unusual observations were reported. For example:
On the 3rd of September: During the past few days, there has been a fairly even, gray Cloud mass, normally covering the entire sky, above the cumulus and Stratus clouds;
On the 3rd of September: At midday hazy gray air. Hazy, gray air condensing into Dew towards evening;
On the 5th of September: Air appears yellow and watery;
On the 7th of September: The atmosphere appears to be filled with very small, evenly distributed clouds of vapor;
On the 13th of September: The yellowish "haze" continues in the upper atmosphere;
On the 11th of October: Fiery atmosphere, cloudless sky;
On the 5th of November: Pale atmosphere;
On the 10th of December: The air was very clear and looked like the air in the Southern Indian Ocean during the typhoon season;
On the 13th of December: Lead-colored sky.
These early observations could possibly have been dismissed as coincidence if the period until 1886 had not been accompanied by a permanent phenomenon, a "hazy fog", a strange, smoky cloudiness in the atmosphere, which was observed everywhere around the globe, in the tropical as well as in sub-polar areas. One of the descriptions given was: "The hazy fog appears as a constant companion of the extraordinary optical phenomena in the atmosphere during the entire period of the atmospheric-optical disturbance". How the young science viz. meteorology could not be concerned with what was going on? Had the oceans been recognized as stabilizers, the greenhouse effect would be understood much better today. The explanation is easy.
The “hazy fog” was a compound of volcanic dust and oceanic water vapor. This “extra stuff” from the atmosphere wrapped the earth like in a blanket. This blanket protected the earth from losing heat too quickly and thus compensated for the deficiency of blocked-out sunrays (10-15%) for a few years. The interdependence is evident:

In the wake of the eruption over 36,000 lay dead. In addition, almost 5000 were killed as a result of falling debris and hot pyroclastic flows.
Numerous volcanic outpours have happened both before and after the 1883 explosion. Since 1927, small eruptions have been frequent and the top of a new volcanic island rose from the waters, Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau), and it has been growing ever since. In 1960, Anak Krakatau had a diameter of about 1.5 km and was more than 160m tall.
Krakatoa is located along "The Ring of Fire" which is a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that encircles the Pacific Ocean. It is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, island arcs, and volcanic mountain ranges.

Anak Krakatau.

Verbeek, in his report on the eruption, predicted that any new activity would manifest itself in the region which had been between Perboewatan and Danan. This prediction came true on 29 December 1927, when evidence of a submarine eruption was seen in this area (an earlier event in the same area had been reported in June 1927). A few days later, a new island volcano rose above the waterline, named Anak Krakatau ("Child of Krakatoa"). Initially, the eruptions were of pumice and ash, and that island and the two islands that followed were quickly eroded away by the sea. Eventually a fourth island named Anak Krakatau broke water in August 1930 and produced lava flows faster than the waves could erode them. Of considerable interest to volcanologists, this has been the subject of extensive study.

Since the 1950s, Anak Krakatau has grown at an average rate of five inches (13 cm) per week. The island is still active, with its most recent eruptive episode having begun in 1994. Since then, quiet periods of a few days have alternated with almost continuous Strombolian eruptions, with occasional much larger explosions.

The most recent eruption began in April 2008, when hot gases, rocks, and lava were released. Scientists monitoring the volcano have warned people to stay out of a 3 km zone around the island

The trivia krakatau quiz website : click Here !

Very good website about Krakatau with actual newspaper records of the time of the explosion (But in Dutch) : : In the Realm of the volcano

Astronomical Sleuths Link Krakatoa to Edvard Munch's Painting The Scream : click Here !

                                                                                                                      Source : Wikipedia
The steamship Berouw was carried over 2 1/2 kilometers (1 1/2 miles) inland thirty feet above sealevel, 
by a tsunami killing all 28 members of the crew. 
A boulder trown on land by the catastrophic tsunamiKrakatau Tsunami 1883
Anak Krakatau EruptingAnak Krakatau Anak Krakatau Anak Krakatau Anak Krakatau
Anak KrakatauGoogle Earth map of Anak KrakatauKrakatau Indonesian stamp
Comparitive SeizesLandsat Krakatau
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