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GUIDE LIGHTS

Tips from the smartest guidebooks

 

MEXICO

Oaxaca

 

Zapotec Sites

Contemporaries of the Aztecs and Mayans, they also built impressive cities

Moon Oaxaca, 1st edition

LESS WELL-KNOWN than two other pre-Columbian civilizations noted for their impressive ruins, the Aztec and the Maya, the Zapotec also built impressive cities once they’d set up shop more than 2,500 years ago in what is now the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The two most important, says the 1st edition of Moon Oaxaca, were at Monte Albán and Mitla.

Monte Albán, five kilometres southwest of Oaxaca City. “It may look a bit rundown now, but Monte Albán is the earliest example of urban planning in the Americas.” Founded in 500 B.C. on a flattened hilltop, it “quickly became the political and economic powerhouse of the region, and maintained that dominance until sometime between AD 750 and 900.” At its height the city ruled over a population of 100,000, but by A.D. 900 it “had been completely abandoned for reasons that are still unclear.”

The main plaza is almost 20 hectares inside a walled courtyard with pyramids on its north and south platforms, a ball court and an arrowhead-shaped building “believed to have been used as an observatory, as the Zapotecs’ knowledge of astronomy was well advanced.”

Mitla, 47 kilometres east of Oaxaca City. After Monte Albán’s collapse Mitla, already the religious capital of the Zapotec civilization, became its most important site. “The modern town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla (pop. 12,500) is built right on top of the ancient settlement. Some of the compounds can be seen in town, existing right next to residences and shops.” The main cluster of ruins, at the Milta Archaeological Zone, includes tombs and living quarters for priests.

 

www.moon.com

 
 

FRANCE

Montségur

 

UNITED STATES

Cambridge, MA

 

JAPAN

Tokyo

 

MOROCCO

Volubilis

 
 

NOTA BENE

A heads-up of what’s new and what’s coming

 
 

ENGLAND

London

 
23 October 2020
 

Praise for Artemisia Gentileschi Exhibition

 

National Gallery’s first major show since covid-19 struck gets rave reviews

 

THE FIRST MAJOR exhibition at London’s National Gallery since covid-19 struck in March 2020 has opened to five-star reviews from the Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, the Evening Standard and the BBC.

 

GERMANY

Berlin

 
21 October 2020
 

New Berlin Airport to Finally Open

 

Nearly a decade late and billions of euros over budget

 

BERLIN’S NEW airport will finally open on 31 October 2020, nearly a decade later than originally planned, and billions of euros over budget.

 

UNITED STATES

San Diego, CA

 
1 October 2020
 

Comic-Con Gets Its Own Museum

 

Balboa Park venue will be year-round showcase of pop culture

 

WHEN THE FEDERAL Building reopens in San Diego’s Balboa Park in the late summer of 2021 its facade will be well-suited to its new purpose. Built in 1935 as part of that year’s California Pacific International Exposition, it was decorated in Mayan Revival style, its pyramid-shaped entrance topped by a massive, intricately carved frieze. That should provide the right sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark welcome for visitors coming to the Comic-Con Museum.

 

ITALY

Venice

 
1 September 2020
 

Two Big Film Festivals Go Ahead

 

Venice to proceed as planned, Toronto will present a slimmed-down event

 

AFTER COVID-19 forced the 2020 edition of film festivals in Cannes, New York (Tribeca), Austin (SXSW), Telluride, San Francisco, Melbourne and Hong Kong to either cancel or put their programmes entirely online, two of the biggest are going ahead on schedule. The Venice International Film Festival will run 2-12 September. The Toronto International Film Festival will be held 10-19 September. Both will see modifications to conform with physical distancing rules.

 
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DESTINATIONS

Most recent

 

AUSTRALIA

Port Arthur, TAS

Port Arthur a Pretty Site for Punishment 19th-century Australian penal colony retains charms, horrors
 

AUSTRALIA

Port Arthur, TAS

 
 

JAPAN

Tokyo

 
 

ST. HELENA

St. Helena

 
 

ECUADOR

Quito

 
 

GERMANY

Berlin

 
 

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