Where in the World Archives

Invercargill Water Tower

August 2012 Issue

Invercargill Water Tower


Tanks for the memories.... When 19th-century Europeans began developing Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand, they faced the problem of supplying water to the new settlement. The area around Invercargill is very flat, so they couldn’t rely on a gravity-fed system. The solution is the subject of the June 2012 photo: the Invercargill Water Tower.

Built in 1889, the 131-foot-high tower is topped with a water tank that holds 78,459 gallons. The ornate red-brick-and-plaster cupola around the tower is considered to be a prime example of the Victorian style of decorating utilitarian structures.

Visitors used to be able to tour the inside of the tower, but as of February ’12 the tower has been closed, awaiting clearance by earthquake-safety inspectors.

Three readers sent in correct answers, and GEORGE KINGSTON of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, won the drawing. We thank Nanci Alexander of Lexington, Kentucky, for contributing the photo.

July 2012 Issue

Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur



Maharajah Jai Singh II really wanted to keep track of all things heavenly. The site of May’s photo, the Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur, India, is one of five astronomical facilities which he had built during his reign, 1699-1743.

Jantar mantar means “calculation instrument,” and May’s photo depicts one of the 14 stone-and-marble devices that used geometry in astronomical observations. It is the Narivalaya Yantra, an equatorial sundial.

Sixty-eight readers sent in correct answers, and SUSAN ROSENZWEIG of Owings Mills, Maryland, won the drawing. We thank Marilyn Santiago of Port Angeles, Washington, for contributing the photo.
Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur

Alyosha, granite monument on Russia's Litsa River

June 2012 Issue

Alyosha, granite monument on Russia's Litsa River



For four years, from 1941 to 1944, the Litsa River frontier in the Russian Arctic was the focus of an attempt by German forces to take Murmansk, site of a harbor crucial to the Soviets. Tens of thousands of men on both sides died during the battle. Although Murmansk, itself, was bombed into ruins, no Axis forces ever succeeded in setting foot in the city.

October 19, 1974, was the 30th anniversary of the final defeat of the German forces in the Arctic, and the subject of April’s photo was dedicated on that day in a solemn ceremony. “Defenders of the Soviet Arctic during the Great Patriotic War,” aka Alyosha (a diminutive of "Aleksey"), is a 116-foot-tall granite monument standing on a 23-foot-high pedestal.

Alyosha faces west toward what during the war was known as “Death Valley” but what today is called “Valley of Glory.” The statue weighs 5,000 tons and is hollow, but, to the Russians, the victory certainly was not.

Fifteen readers sent in the correct answer, and BRENDA DOHERTY of Clifton, New Jersey, won the drawing. We thank Susan Darsey of La Selva Beach, California, for contributing the photo.

May 2012 Issue

Passion Façade of Sagrada Família Cathedral



One-hundred-and-thirty years and counting. . . . In 1883, 31-year-old architect and artist Antoni Gaudí took over a modest little project in Barcelona that had begun the year before, the subject of the photo in the March '12 issue: Sagrada Família Cathedral. (To be precise, the photo depicts the Passion Façade of the cathedral, taken from beneath the portico.)

With its multiplicity of spires, windows, façades and carved symbols (not to mention interruptions by several wars), it’s perhaps little wonder that the unique building’s construction is estimated to be only halfway completed. Fortunately, as Gaudí said, “My client (God) is not in a hurry.”

Thirty-seven readers sent in correct answers, and RICK SINDING of Princeton, New Jersey, won the drawing. We thank Judy Spielman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for contributing the photo.
Passion Façade of Sagrada Família Cathedral

Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan province, China

April 2012 Issue

Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan province, China


If you wanted to pray at the feet of this Buddha, you could have a lot of company. The subject of December’s photo, the Leshan Giant Buddha, which sits at the confluence of the Mingjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in China's Sichuan province, is the world’s largest carved-stone Buddha.

Carved out of the red-sandstone cliff between AD 713 and 803, the statue is 233 feet high and, at the shoulders, 98 feet wide. At least 100 people could stand on the tops of his feet.
Alternate view

Forty-three readers sent in the correct answer, and SUSAN GJERDE of Davis, California, won the drawing. We thank Willard M. Gentry of Durham, North Carolina, for contributing the photo.

March 2012 Issue

Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England


Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England

The subject of January’s photo is the beginning of time and space. Well, to be more precise, it’s the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, home to the Prime Meridian.

This line, arbitrarily designated by Sir George Airy in 1851, was officially adopted at an international conference in 1884 by a couple dozen shipping nations. (Preferring a different demarcation point, France abstained.) It marks 0° longitude and the starting point for the 24 time zones on Earth that were established.

Visitors to Greenwich can stand in the Meridian Courtyard astride a stainless-steel strip and have one foot in the Western Hemisphere and one in the Eastern. A green laser overhead also marks the line of the Prime Meridian.

Eight readers sent in correct answers, and DERALD D. NYE of Corona de Tucson, Arizona, won the drawing. We thank Robert F. Disciscio of Sun City, Arizona, for contributing the photo.
Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England

'Beehive' houses in Harran, Turkey

February 2012 Issue

'Beehive' houses in Harran, Turkey


The “beehive” houses in Harran in the southeastern Anatolian region of Turkey

What’s made of mud, stays cool in the hottest weather and boasts a design that hasn’t changed in 3,000 years?

The subject of December’s photo, the “beehive” houses in Harran in the southeastern Anatolian region of Turkey, located very near the border with Syria.

Since the Assyrians first built them, people lived in houses like this in Harran until the 1980s; today, they remain as tourist exhibits.

Thirty-one readers sent in the correct answer, and GORDON STOFF of Venice, Florida, won the drawing.

We thank Michele Burgess of Huntington Beach, California, for contributing the photo.

January 2012 Issue

Island of Hvar, in Adriatic Sea off Dalmatian coast of Croatia


The island of Hvar, in the Adriatic Sea off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia

“When I think of our day on Hvar, I am reminded of the smell of lavender,” wrote BONNIE FLOYD of Sacramento, California, the winner of this month’s drawing. She, along with many of the twenty-eight other readers who sent in correct answers, had been to the subject of November’s photo, the island of Hvar, in the Adriatic Sea off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.

The photo shows the view from a high point of Hvar city, overlooking the many small islands off Hvar’s coast.

Lavender, grown for perfume, is one of many crops that grow in Hvar’s mild and fertile climate.

Hvar is a two-hour ferry ride from the city of Split, Croatia, and is a favorite destination for travelers to the region.

We thank Helen Weismeyer of Port Ludlow, Washington, for contributing the photo.
Island of Hvar, in Adriatic Sea off Dalmatian coast of Croatia

"Gateway," a 75-foot-high monument in New Zealand

December 2011 Issue

"Gateway," a 75-foot-high monument in New Zealand


Gateway, a 75-foot-high monument in New Zealand.

New Zealand artist Chris Booth built “Gateway,” the 75-foot-high monument that’s the subject of October’s photo, between 1986 and 1990. Since then, the two columns of rock, “joined” by an arch of water, have stood sentinel at one of the entrances of Albert Park in central Auckland, New Zealand.

One art critic said that Booth “creates memorable works that sit respectfully in the landscape.”

Two readers sent in correct answers by the deadline, and BETH POWELL of Eureka, California, won the drawing. We thank Sharon VanDewark of San Diego, California, for contributing the photo.

November 2011 Issue

Museo de Arte Comtemporãnea de Niterói (MAC) in Niterói, Brazil


The Museo de Arte Comtemporãnea de Niterói (MAC) in Niterói, Brazil

Any fan of science fiction, “The Jetsons” or just whimsical design might like to check out the article on architect Oscar Niemeyer on Wikipedia, to see photos of some of his amazing buildings.

In 1996, at age 89, Niemeyer designed the subject of September’s photo, the Museo de Arte Comtemporãnea de Niterói (MAC) in Niterói, Brazil (across the bay from Rio de Janeiro). The flying-saucer-shaped building is one of many futuristic, playful creations by the prize-winning architect, who is to celebrate his 104th birthday on Dec. 15, 2011.

Thirty-five readers sent in correct answers by the deadline, and RUTH-ELLEN DANZ of Wilmette, Illinois, won the drawing. We thank Thom Wilson of Scottsdale, Arizona, for contributing the photo.
Museo de Arte Comtemporãnea de Niterói (MAC) in Niterói, Brazil