Where in the World Archives

January 2017 Issue

Arc de Triomphe (rooftop), Paris, France


Those who make it up all 284 steps leading to the top of Paris' Arc de Triomphe are rewarded with a panoramic bird's-eye view of the city. The viewing platform at the top of the arch, as seen in our November 2016 mystery photo, is just 40 steps above a museum displaying exhibits that celebrate the arch's construction.

Tucked inside the structure's huge, 164-foot-high and 148-foot-wide arch, the museum also features scenes from Napoleon's life. Thirty years before the arch was completed in 1836, Napoleon had commissioned the building's construction in order to commemorate his victorious battles. (His inspiration is said to have been Rome's Arch of Titus, built in AD 81.)

Today, the Arc de Triomphe plays a central role in celebrations such as VE Day (May 8) and Bastille Day (July 14).

Six correct answers were submitted, and EDITH MOATES of Norman, Oklahoma, won the drawing. We thank Gene McPherson of Punta Gorda, Florida, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Richard Foltz, Emmaus, PA; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; WINNER: Edith Moates, Norman, OK; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Mary Schmidt, Fairfax, VA.
Arc de Triomphe (rooftop), Paris, France

Santa's mailbox, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

December 2016 Issue

Santa's mailbox, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway


The world's largest mailbox, dedicated to mail addressed to Julenissen (Santa Claus) and seen in our October 2016 mystery photo, appeared in the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Svalbard, Norway, a few days before Christmas 2013. Local tour operator Po Lin Lee said she had the red, 9.3-meter-high box installed to “inspire people to share their inner thoughts and hopes.”

About 10,000 letters were deposited in the box during the year before Christmas 2015 (including some tourists' actual mail, which, with an irregular pickup schedule, took months to be delivered). Unfortunately, due to permit issues, Santa's mailbox was slated for removal by the end of September 2016. Lee hopes to find a solution, which would include posting a sign in several languages stating that it is not an official mailbox.

Thirty-six correct answers were submitted, and JEAN MYERS of Scottsdale, Arizona, won the drawing. We thank Frank Love of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Deepak Awasthi, Destrehan, LA; Shirley Becker, Skokie, IL; Lucyna Boyle, Mesa, AZ; Flora Breidenbach, Elmwood Park, IL; Patricia Bunyard, Cambria, CA; Mary Carlson, Mission Viejo, CA; William M. Easson, New Orleans, LA; Ramon Ferrer, La Roca del Vallès, Spain; David Flack, Honolulu, HI; Robert Gay, Vero Beach, FL; Stanley Gorcik, Buffalo Grove, IL; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Per A. Hovland, Råde, Norway; Thomas Jedele, Tucson, AZ; Stephen Jeffries, Centennial, CO; George C. Kingston, East Longmeadow, MA; Carrie Kwok, St. Paul, MN; Mary Lao, San Francisco, CA; Theodore Liebersfeld, Boynton Beach, FL; Ann Marzano, Wayne, IL; Edith F. Moates, Norman, OK; WINNER: Jean Myers, Scottsdale, AZ; Sari Oosta, Owens Cross Roads, AL; Donna Peterson, Patch Grove, WI; Aase Popper, Walnut Creek, CA; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Lupe Reynolds, Newark, DE; Gail Riba, Wimauma, FL; Marcia Ritter, St. Louis, MO; Jo Ellen Ryan, Davis, CA; Harvey Segal, Wayland, MA; Barbara Van Houten, Ocala, FL; Eileen Walter, Tucson, AZ; Mary Linda Wardlaw, Memphis, TN; Victor Wyman, Santa Clara, CA.

November 2016 Issue

To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa


Visitors to Samoa's volcanic island of Upolu most likely have looked down into the To Sua Ocean Trench, the spot shown in our September 2016 mystery photo. Found in the village of Lotofaga, on the south coast of the island, the hole was formed when volcanic seismic activity caused a large part of the ground to fall away.

Swimmers reach the water (almost 100 feet down) by descending a long ladder into the grotto. Inches above the water's surface is a platform from which they can jump. Canals and tunnels feed the trench with water from the South Pacific. Despite visitors' having to pay to swim (free for kids under age 7), the pool's clear water, sandy bed and numerous tropical fish make this a very popular spot.

Twenty-two correct answers were submitted, and JUDY NEWELL of Chicago, Illinois, won the drawing. We thank Samuel Leon Hochman of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Lisa Anway, Pebble Beach, CA; Victor Becker, Skokie, IL; Mike Brennan, Marshfield, WI; Alla Campbell, Greensboro, GA; Mary Carlson, Mission Viejo, CA; John Cogswell, Powell River, BC, CANADA; Lynn D'Andrea, Hanover, MA; Gary Dempsey, Camarillo, CA; Michael Dixon, Washington, DC; James K. Downs, Lafayette, CO; Edwin T. Earl, Laguna Beach, CA; Stanley Gorcik, Buffalo Grove, IL; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Magali V. Hinojosa, Laredo, TX; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Conrad Houge, South Colby, WA; Barbara Hudson, Birmingham, AL; Chet Imes, Ottawa Hills, OH; Phil Lutzi, St. Pete Beach, FL; WINNER: Judy Newell, Chicago, IL; James Oerding, Capay, CA; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA.

 
To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

Church of St. Mary in Vrboska, Hvar Island, Croatia

October 2016 Issue

Church of St. Mary in Vrboska, Hvar Island, Croatia


The fortress church pictured in our August 2016 mystery photo — the Church of St. Mary of Mercy (Sveta Marija) — is located in the town of Vrboska on the island of Hvar in Croatia. The original church was built over 550 years ago, but more than a century later, during the 1570s, eight years after a Turkish attack, it was rebuilt as a fortress.

Protecting the front of the church is a huge ravelin (triangular fortification). Inside the church are several works of art, in addition to numbered gravestones, some of which are decorated with coats of arms. The church is open to the public in late mornings and early evenings during tourist season and by appointment in the off-season.

Nine correct answers were submitted, and ED SCHLENK of Marshalltown, Iowa, won the drawing. We thank Wanda Bahde of Summerfield, Florida, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Maria Cueto, Weehawken, NJ; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; George C. Kingston, East Longmeadow, MA; Phil Lutzi, St. Pete Beach, FL; Donna Peterson, Patch Grove, WI; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; WINNER: Ed Schlenk, Marshalltown, IA; Mary Schmidt, Fairfax, VA.

September 2016 Issue

Roman Theatre in Mérida, Spain


The building seen in our July 2016 mystery photo — known today as the Roman Theatre of Mérida — located in Mérida, Spain, was erected over 2,000 years ago in 16-15 BC, back when the city was known as Emerita Augusta (capital of the Roman province Lusitania).

More than a century later, the building was renovated and the current façade was added. Between AD 330 and 340, new decorative elements and a walkway were added. Over 1,500 years later, in the late 1800s, only the upper tiers of seats (the Seven Chairs) were still visible above layers of sediment.

Excavations began in 1910, and 50-60 years later the front stage was rebuilt. Since 1933, the theatre has been home to the annual, 7-week-long Mérida Classical Theatre Festival (in July-August).

Twenty-three correct answers were submitted, and LEE HANLE YOUNGE of Big Flats, New York, won the drawing. We thank Dave Bruels of Seattle, Washington, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Cathy Briner, Eugene, OR; Maria Cueto, Weehawken, NJ; David Emery, Reston, VA; Stanley Gorcik, Buffalo Grove, IL; Gerald Gould, Cumming, GA; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Mark Hayes, Chapel Hill, NC; Magali V. Hinojosa, Laredo, TX; Holly Izbicki, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Doranne Jacobson, Springfield, IL; Vella Kendall, Monkton, MD; George C. Kingston, East Longmeadow, MA; Sarah Kirtland, New York, NY; Jane Kolber, Bisbee, AZ; Clark Masters, Westborough, MA; Robert T. Pandolfo, Punta Gorda, FL; Donna Peterson, Patch Grove, WI; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Paula Prindle, Orient, OH; Pamela Ross, Louisville, KY; Jill Sullivan, Waynesboro, VA; Gail Wang, Troy, MI; WINNER:  Lee Hanle Younge, Big Flats, NY.
Roman Theatre in Mérida, Spain

Town hall of Auvers-sur-Oise, France

August 2016 Issue

Town hall of Auvers-sur-Oise, France


From the terrace outside his second-story room at an inn in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent van Gogh painted one of his final canvases: “Auvers Town Hall on 14 July 1890.” The Impressionist depiction of the town hall, painted just two weeks before the artist's death, closely mirrors the image in our June mystery photo (upper left), which was taken from almost the same vantage point as the artist's (lower left).

Because van Gogh stayed in the town during the last two months of his life — and created dozens of paintings during that time — Auvers-sur-Oise has become one of France's most popular places to visit. Although other artists worked there as well, van Gogh is the one whom most people remember. He and his brother, Theo, are both buried there.

Sixteen correct answers were submitted, and ROBERT KAPLAN of Rockville, Maryland, won the drawing. We thank Skip Carpenter of Coronado, California, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

John H. Brownell, Tijeras, NM; Doug Clark, San Diego, CA; Ann Cyr, Delray Beach, FL; Robert Filman, Menlo Park, CA; Libby Hollombe, Sherman Oaks, CA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Phil Hugill, Bethesda, MD; WINNER:  Robert Kaplan, Rockville, MD; George C. Kingston, East Longmeadow, MA; Donna Peterson, Patch Grove, WI; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Hugo Riffel, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; Tad Riley, Fairfield, CA; Jean Schroeder, Redding, CT; Kay Smithson, Brevard, NC; Laura Uhrig, Meriden, CT; Steve Wolfe, Georgetown, TX.

 

July 2016 Issue

Natural arch in Wadi Rum, Jordan


People have lived in the Wadi Rum area of southwestern Jordan for thousands of years, but it wasn't until 1998 that the Jordanian government placed the area's fragile desert habitat under the protection of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority. Several natural arches can be found in Wadi Rum, one of which was pictured in our May mystery photo. Located about 200 yards from the famous Rock Bridge of Kharaz, the arch shown is about 85 feet long.

After living for centuries as nomads among the red sandstone mountains and valleys (sometimes known as Valley of the Moon), Bedouins now play a major role in helping to develop Wadi Rum into a popular destination for travelers.

Eleven correct answers were submitted, and MARIA CUETO of Weehawken, New Jersey, won the drawing. We thank Michele Burgess of Huntington Beach, California, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Shirley Becker, Skokie, IL; WINNER:  Maria Cueto, Weehawken, NJ; Roberta A. Davis, St. Petersburg, FL; George Graf, Palmyra, VA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Stephen Jeffries, Centennial, CO; Stan C. Kimer, Raleigh, NC; James B. Oerding, Capay, CA; Donna Peterson, Patch Grove, WI; Lawrence A. Radcliffe, El Cerrito, CA; Jim Randall, Mountlake Terrace, WA; Kathy Wilhelm, Cary, NC; Jane B. Holt, Hinesburg VT.
Natural arch in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Shadow of Burj Khalifa across Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

June 2016 Issue

Shadow of Burj Khalifa across Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates (UAE)


Pictured in the April 2016 issue, the long shadow cast across the Dubai Mall in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is that of the tallest man-made structure in the world, the 2,722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa. The photo was taken from the building's 124th-floor observation deck, “At the Top.”

Construction of the building lasted almost six years (January 2004 to October 2009). Nearly 26,000 hand-cut glass panels were used in the exterior cladding of the tower, designed to withstand Dubai's extreme heat in the summer. Fifty-seven elevators and eight escalators transport visitors up and down the concrete tower.

Officially opened in 2010, the Burj Khalifa was named in honor of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who remains the Emir of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE.

Sixty-five correct answers were submitted, and ROBERT QUIGLEY of Alexandria, Virginia, won the drawing. We thank Dave Bentzin of Casper, Wyoming, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

Ben Abate, San Diego, CA; Ronnie Allen, Bala Cynwyd, PA; Lisa Anway, Pebble Beach, CA; Victor Becker, Skokie, IL; Russell Benton, Due West, SC; Bruce Berger, Mountain View, CA; Dan Berschauer, Olympia, WA; Rich & Joan Blacharski, Cumming, GA; Clark A. Buchner, Memphis, TN; Judy Cassano, Cornelius, NC; Marcia Crabbe, Venice, FL; Alan Craig, Red Bluff, CA; Maria Cueto, Weehawken, NJ; Eric J. Dalton, New Hudson, MI; Judith Delzer, Anacortes, WA; Mike Dixon, Washington, D.C.; Charles Fevig, Green Valley, AZ; Donald Fillman, Fair Oaks, CA; Matthew Flanary, Brookfield, WI; Claire & Zanley Galton, Portland, OR; Ann Gastrich, Pound Ridge, NY; Susan Greek, Corona, CA; Steve Hains, Austin, TX; David Hall, Wheaton, IL; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Magali V. Hinojosa, Laredo, TX; George Hobgood, Austin, TX; Samuel Leon Hochman, Fort Lauderdale, FL; William Hutchinson, Signal Hill, CA; Alex Jaloway, Flemington, NJ; Stephen Jeffries, Centennial, CO; Steve Jennings, Colorado Springs, CO; Karyn Kandell, Kyoto, Japan; George C. Kingston, East Longmeadow, MA; Susan Kipp, Oyster Bay, NY; Aavo Koort, Santa Barbara, CA; Julie Lenkoff, Eugene, OR; Ann Lockwood, Alexandria, VA; Judy Love, Albuquerque, NM; Barbara Martin, Green Valley, AZ; Ann Marzano, Wayne, IL; Clair McCobb, Raritan, NJ; Richard A. McQueen, Florence, SC; Judy Newell, Chicago, IL; James Oerding, Capay, CA; Patricia Ove, Aurora, CO; Mukesh Patel, Duluth, GA; Jeri Peterson, Hendersonville, NC; Edward Pinsky, Montrose, NY; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Judi Purcell, Pensacola Beach, FL; WINNER:  Robert Quigley, Alexandria, VA; Joe D. Roberson, Opelika, AL; Jean Rusk, Park City, UT; Michael D. Shepard, Highlands Ranch, CO; Kenneth Sherman, Jackson, NJ; Dave Smith, Irvine, CA; Joan Marie Squitieri, Greenwich, CT; Martha Thacker, Orlando, FL; Laurie Turner, Shelburne, VT; Charles Twine, Durham, NC; Barbara Virden, Santa Ana, CA; Karen Warburg, Seaside, CA; Scott White, Durango, CO; Margo Wilson, Scottsdale, AZ.

May 2016 Issue

Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses), Cuenca, Spain




It is unknown who built the Casas Colgadas, or Hanging Houses (pic­tured in our March 2016 mystery photo), but the three clifftop wooden structures overhanging the Huécar River in Cuenca, Spain, were built sometime between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Although only three of these medi­eval buildings still exist, there once were many of these homes overlook­ing the area. The three that remain have been refurbished several times, most recently during the 1920s. In the 1960s, the houses became home to the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español. One of the buildings also houses a restaurant, Mesón Casas Colgadas (Canónigas, s/n, C.P. 16001, Cuenca, Cuenca, Spain; phone 969 22 35 09).

Twenty-four correct answers were submitted, and EDITH SPEIR of Annandale, Virginia, won the drawing.

Correct answers were submitted by the following:

Bob Carper, Harrison, AR; Barbara Crocker, Stockton, CA; J. Edward Diamond, Canton, OH; Diane Powell Ferguson, Scottsdale, AZ; Sidney Ann Fingold, Cambridge, MA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Georgene Horn, Elkton, MD; Robert & Joanne Kowalczyk, North Dartmouth, MA; Karen Lanoue, Land o' Lakes, FL; Theodore Liebersfeld, Boynton Beach, FL; Mary Ellen Massmann, Thousand Oaks, CA; Stanley Mui, Woodland Hills, CA; Carol Ann Nulk, San Jose, CA; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Joan M. Sawoski, Southampton, PA; WINNER: Edith Speir, Annandale, VA; Cornelia Sulzer, Mill Valley, CA; Marie-Paule Terrier, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Janet Twineham, Silver City, NM; Claire Wait, Sutter Creek, CA; Jocelyn Weisdorf, Pacific Palisades, CA; Cy Young, West Lebanon, NH; Lee Hanle Younge, Big Flats, NY; Peggy Zeigler, San Francisco, CA.
Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses), Cuenca, Spain

Ha'amonga 'a Maui (trilithon), Tongatapu, Tonga

April 2016 Issue

Ha'amonga 'a Maui (trilithon), Tongatapu, Tonga



No one is exactly sure why the stone trilithon pictured in our February 2016 mystery photo was built, but one story says it’s likely that the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui (Burden of Maui) was a gateway to the king’s royal compound. It stands near the village of Niuto¯ua on the island of Tongatapu in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga. Another theory says the trilithon was built to symbolize the brotherhood of the king’s two sons.

The structure, comprising coral limestone pillars and a crosspiece of beachrock (naturally cemented carbonate beach sand), was built early in the 13th century, during the reign of the Tu’i Tonga kingdom’s 11th king, Tui’ita¯tui. It stands about 17 feet tall and is 19 feet across and about 4½ feet wide.

Twenty-three correct answers were received, and MARY CHRISTIAN of Naples, Florida, won the drawing. We thank Phil and Dorothy Morris of Honolulu, Hawaii, for submitting the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by the following:

Peter Aiau, Seattle, WA; Bill Ashley, Washington, D.C.; Russell Benton, Due West, SC; Chuck Bingley, Richmond, VA; WINNER: Mary Christian, Naples, FL; Michael Dixon, Washington, D.C.; Don Eager, Hayward, CA; John Fleckles, Kaneohe, HI; John Haseman, Grand Junction, CO; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; Jane & Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Chet Imes, Ottawa Hills, OH; Karyn Kandell, Kyoto, Japan; Eileen Leach, Hickory, NC; Mel McBeth, Concord, CA; Bennetta McLaughlin, Berkeley, CA; Wendy Ostgaard, Lyons, CO; Donna Peterson, Patch Grove, WI; Raymond Prince, Maple Valley, WA; Sigrid B. Southworth, Honolulu, HI; Richard Stout, Sun City, AZ; Jill Sullivan, Waynesboro, VA; Subhadra Suresh, Wyoming, OH.