A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk or another animal, such as a conulariid. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate. in minute crystalline form, the ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes, known as baroque pearls, can occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been valued as gemstones. Because of this, pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, the most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but are extremely rare. These wild pearls are referred to as natural pearls, cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels make up the majority of those currently sold. Imitation pearls are widely sold in inexpensive jewelry, but the quality of their iridescence is usually very poor and is easily distinguished from that of genuine pearls. Pearls have been harvested and cultivated primarily for use in jewelry and they have been crushed and used in cosmetics and paint formulations.
Whether wild or cultured, gem-quality pearls are almost always nacreous and iridescent, almost all species of shelled mollusks are capable of producing pearls of lesser shine or less spherical shape. The English word pearl comes from the French perle, originally from the Latin perna meaning leg, nacreous pearls, the best-known and most commercially significant, are primarily produced by two groups of molluskan bivalves or clams. A nacreous pearl is made from layers of nacre, by the same living process as is used in the secretion of the mother of pearl which lines the shell, natural pearls, formed without human intervention, are very rare. Cultured pearls are formed in pearl farms, using human intervention as well as natural processes, saltwater pearls can grow in several species of marine pearl oysters in the family Pteriidae. Freshwater pearls grow within certain species of mussels in the order Unionida. The unique luster of pearls depends upon the reflection, the thinner and more numerous the layers in the pearl, the finer the luster.
The iridescence that pearls display is caused by the overlapping of successive layers, in addition, pearls can be dyed yellow, blue, pink, purple, or black. The very best pearls have a metallic mirror-like luster, because pearls are made primarily of calcium carbonate, they can be dissolved in vinegar. Calcium carbonate is susceptible to even a weak acid solution because the crystals of calcium carbonate react with the acid in the vinegar to form calcium acetate. Freshwater and saltwater pearls may sometimes look quite similar, but they come from different sources, Freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, family Unionidae, which live in lakes, rivers and other bodies of fresh water. These freshwater pearl mussels occur not only in hotter climates, most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China
Ottokar II of Bohemia
Ottokar II, the Iron and Golden King, was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty who reigned as King of Bohemia from 1253 until 1278. He held the titles of a Margrave of Moravia from 1247, Duke of Austria from 1251, Duke of Styria from 1260, as well as Duke of Carinthia, with Ottokars rule, the Přemyslids reached the peak of their power in the Holy Roman Empire. His expectations of imperial crown, were never fulfilled, Ottokar was the second son of King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia. He was possibly educated by the Bohemian chancellor Philip of Spanheim, when his brother Vladislaus died in 1247, Ottokar suddenly became the heir to the Bohemian throne. According to popular tradition, he was profoundly shocked by his brothers death and did not involve himself in politics. As new heir, his father appointed him Margrave of Moravia and Ottokar took his residence in Brno, in 1248 he was enticed by discontented nobles to lead a rebellion against his father King Wenceslaus. During this rebellion he was elected the younger King on 31 July 1248, Přemysl Ottokar II held the title of King of Bohemia until November 1249.
However, he was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV, whereafter Wenceslaus finally managed to defeat the rebels, King Wenceslaus had initially attempted to acquire Austria by marrying his heir, Vladislav, to the last dukes niece Gertrude of Babenberg. That match had been cut short by Vladislavs death and Gertrudes remarriage to the Zähringen margrave Herman VI of Baden, the latter was rejected by the Austrian nobility and could not establish his rule. Wenceslaus used this as pretext to invade Austria when Herman died in 1250 — according to some sources, Wenceslaus released Přemysl Ottokar very soon and in 1251 again made him Margrave of Moravia and installed him, with the approval of the Austrian nobles, as governor of Austria. The same year Ottokar entered Austria, where the estates acclaimed him as Duke, to legitimize his position, Přemysl Ottokar married the late Duke Frederick IIs sister Margaret of Babenberg, who was his senior by 30 years and the widow of the Hohenstaufen king Henry of Germany.
Their marriage took place on 11 February 1252 at Hainburg, in 1253, King Wenceslaus died and Přemysl Ottokar succeeded his father as King of Bohemia. After the death of the German King Konrad IV in 1254 while his son Conradin was still a minor, his election bid was unsuccessful and Count William II of Holland, the German anti-king since 1247, was generally recognised. Feeling threatened by Ottokars growing regional power beyond the Leitha River, the conflict was quelled through papal mediation, it was agreed that Ottokar was to yield large parts of Styria to Béla in exchange for recognition of his right to the remainder of Austria. During the following peace phase, King Ottokar II led two expeditions against the pagan Old Prussians. Königsberg, founded in 1255 by the Teutonic Order, was named in his honour, after a few years the conflict resumed and Ottokar defeated the Hungarians in July 1260 at the Battle of Kressenbrunn, ending years of disputes over Styria with Béla IV. Béla now ceded Styria back to Ottokar, and his claim to those territories was formally recognized by Richard of Cornwall, king of Germany and this peace agreement was sealed by a royal marriage.
Ottokar ended his marriage to Margaret and married Bélas young granddaughter Kunigunda of Halych, the youngest of them became his only legitimate son, Wenceslaus II
Emperor of Austria
The emperors retained the title of Archduke of Austria. The wives of the emperors bore the title of empress, while members of the family the title archduke or archduchess. Members of the House of Austria, the Habsburg dynasty, had for centuries been elected as Holy Roman Emperor, thus the term Austrian emperor may occur in texts dealing with the time before 1804, when no Austrian Empire existed. In these cases the word Austria means the composite monarchy ruled by the dynasty, a special case was Maria Theresa, she bore the imperial title as the consort of Francis I, but she herself was the monarch of the Austrian Hereditary Lands including Bohemia and Hungary. Therefore, on 11 August 1804 he created the new title of Emperor of Austria for himself, for two years, Francis carried two imperial titles, being Holy Roman Emperor Francis II and by the Grace of God Emperor Francis I of Austria. This led Francis II/I on 6 August 1806 to declare the Reich dissolved, from 1806 onwards, Francis was Emperor of Austria only.
He had three successors—Ferdinand I, Francis Joseph I and Charles I—before the Empire broke apart in 1918, a coronation ceremony was never established, the heir to the throne became emperor the moment his predecessor died or abdicated. The symbol of the Austrian Emperor was the private crown dating back to Rudolf II. The Austrian Emperors had an extensive list of titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse, the function of the emperor was styled like a secular papacy. Therefore, it was the goal to demonstrate the highest majesty and dignity of the monarch to his subjects and to other monarchs. His and his entourages life was governed by strict rules all the time. The members of the House of Habsburg were ranked as princes and princesses of the blood imperial and their permanent address and their travels abroad had to be agreed to by the Emperor. Otherwise the marriage would be one to the hand, called a morganatic marriage. To manage the political implications of the Imperial house since 1867 the Emperor, Minister des kaiserlichen und königlichen Hauses und des Äußeren, the I. &R.
Minister of the Imperial and Royal House and of the Exterior, one of the three ministers common to Austria and Hungary. Under Francis I, Klemens Wenzel had covered these and many other agenda, bearing the title Haus-, the Emperors household, his personal officers and the premises where they worked were called Hof. The highest officials managing the Court were the Grand Master of the Court, the Grand Marshal of the Court, the Grand Chamberlain, whoever wanted to meet the Emperor himself had to apply to the Obersthofmeisteramt. Francis Joseph I expected soldiers to appear in uniform at his court and he never shook hands with visitors, in letters he never addressed his subjects as Sir or Mr. The Emperors court managed e. g. R, the Imperial Crypt below the Capuchin Church and Monastery in Vienna, where three of the four Emperors of Austria have been buried
Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austrias primary city, with a population of about 1.8 million, and its cultural, economic and it is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin, Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region, along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be The City of Dreams because it was home to the worlds first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud. The citys roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city and it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century.
The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the worlds most liveable cities, between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne, Australia. Monocles 2015 Quality of Life Survey ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world to make a base within, the UN-Habitat has classified Vienna as being the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the worlds number-one destination for international congresses and it attracts over 3.7 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the name or the French Vienne. The etymology of the name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning forest stream, which produced the Old High German Uuenia.
A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Slovak names of the city, the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different, probably Slavonic origin, and originally referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, evidence has been found of continuous habitation since 500 BC, when the site of Vienna on the Danube River was settled by the Celts. In 15 BC, the Romans fortified the city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north
In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative, elected body of government. Generally a modern parliament has three functions, representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government, parliaments included various kinds of deliberative and judicial assemblies. The term is derived from Anglo-Norman parlement, from the verb parler talk, the meaning evolved over time, originally any discussion, conversation, or negotiation, through various kinds of deliberative or judicial groups, often summoned by the monarch. By 1400, it had come to mean in Britain specifically the British supreme legislature, various parliaments are claimed to be the oldest in the world, under varying definitions. The Sicilian Parliament, whose first assembly was convened in 1097, the Icelandic Althing, year 930, but only including the main chiefs. Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders, some scholars suggest that in ancient Mesopotamia there was a primitive democratic government where the kings were assessed by council.
The same has been said about ancient India, where some form of deliberative assemblies existed, these claims are not accepted by most scholars, who see these forms of government as oligarchies. Ancient Athens was the cradle of democracy, the Athenian assembly was the most important institution, and every citizen could take part in the discussions. However, Athenian democracy was not representative, but rather direct, the Roman Senate controlled money and the details of foreign policy. Some Muslim scholars argue that the Islamic shura is analogous to the parliament, others highlight what they consider fundamental differences between the shura system and the parliamentary system. England has long had a tradition of a body of men who would assist, under the Anglo-Saxon kings, there was an advisory council, the Witenagemot. The name derives from the Old English ƿitena ȝemōt, or witena gemōt, the first recorded act of a witenagemot was the law code issued by King Æthelberht of Kent ca. 600, the earliest document which survives in sustained Old English prose, the Witan, along with the folkmoots, is an important ancestor of the modern English parliament.
As part of the Norman Conquest of England, the new king, William I, did away with the Witenagemot, membership of the Curia was largely restricted to the tenants in chief, the few nobles who rented great estates directly from the king, along with ecclesiastics. William brought to England the feudal system of his native Normandy and this is the original body from which the Parliament, the higher courts of law, and the Privy Council and Cabinet descend. Of these, the legislature is formally the High Court of Parliament, only the executive government is no longer conducted in a royal court. Most historians date the emergence of a parliament with some degree of power to which the throne had to defer no than the rule of Edward I, like previous kings, Edward called leading nobles and church leaders to discuss government matters, especially finance. A meeting in 1295 became known as the Model Parliament because it set the pattern for Parliaments, in 1307, Edward I agreed not to collect certain taxes without the consent of the realm
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome, the term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building. It is the largest art museum in the country and it was opened around 1891 at the same time as the Naturhistorisches Museum, by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz, both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer. The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the Emperor in order to find a shelter for the Habsburgs formidable art collection. The façade was built of sandstone, the building is rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The inside of the building is decorated with marble, stucco ornamentations, gold-leaf. It was featured in an episode of Museum Secrets on the History Channel and it had been the biggest art theft in Austrian history.
Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós Media related to Kunsthistorisches Museum at Wikimedia Commons Official website Spherical panorama of entrance Hofburgs Armory - photo gallery in Flickr
Rudolf I of Germany
Rudolf I, known as Rudolf of Habsburg,1 May 1218 –15 July 1291, was Count of Habsburg from about 1240 and the elected King of the Romans from 1273 until his death. Rudolfs election marked the end of the Great Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire after the death of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1250, the territories remained under Habsburg rule for more than 600 years, forming the core of the Habsburg Monarchy and the present-day country of Austria. Rudolf was the first king of the Romans of the Habsburg dynasty, Rudolf was born on 1 May 1218 at Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl in the Breisgau region of present-day southwestern Germany. He was the son of Count Albert IV of Habsburg and of Hedwig, around 1232, he was given as a squire to his uncle, Rudolf I, Count of Laufenburg, to train in knightly pursuits. At his fathers death in 1239, he inherited estates from him around the ancestral seat of Habsburg Castle in the Aargau region of present-day Switzerland as well as in Alsace.
In 1242, Hugh of Tuffenstein provoked Count Rudolf through contumelious expressions, in turn, the Count of Habsburg had invaded his domains, yet failed to take his seat of power. As the day passed on, Count Rudolf bribed the sentinels of the city and gained entry, in 1244, to help control Lake Lucerne and restrict the neighboring forest communities of Uri and Unterwalden, Rudolf built near its shores Neuhabsburg Castle. In 1245 Rudolf married Gertrude, daughter of Count Burkhard III of Hohenberg and he received as her dowry the castles of Oettingen, the valley of Weile, and other places in Alsace, and he became an important vassal in Swabia, the former Alemannic German stem duchy. That same year, Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon, Rudolf sided against the Emperor, while the forest communities sided with Frederick. This gave them a pretext to attack and damage Neuhabsburg, Rudolf successfully defended it and drove them off. As a result, Rudolf, by siding with the Pope, gained more power, in 1254, he engaged with other nobles of the Staufen party against Bertold II, Bishop of Basle.
When night fell, he penetrated the suburbs of Basle and burnt down the local nunnery, Pope Innocent IV excommunicated him and all parties involved. As penance, he took up the cross and joined Ottokar II, whilst there, he oversaw the founding of the city of Königsberg, which was named in memory of King Ottokar. The disorder in Germany during the interregnum after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty afforded an opportunity for Count Rudolf to increase his possessions. His wife was a Hohenberg heiress, and on the death of his childless maternal uncle Count Hartmann IV of Kyburg in 1264, he seized his valuable estates. Successful feuds with the Bishops of Strasbourg and Basel further augmented his wealth and reputation, including rights over various tracts of land that he purchased from abbots and these various sources of wealth and influence rendered Rudolf the most powerful prince and noble in southwestern Germany. In the autumn of 1273, the prince-electors met to choose a king after Richard of Cornwall had died in England in April 1272.
Rudolfs election in Frankfurt on 1 October 1273, when he was 55 years old, was due to the efforts of his brother-in-law
An Imperial Crown is a crown used for the coronation of emperors. Crowns in Europe during the medieval period varied in design, An open crown is one which consists basically of a golden circlet elaborately worked and decorated with stones or enamels. The medieval French crown was of this type, the closed crown, which had bands of metal crossing usually from one side to the other and from back to front so that they met in the middle, at the top of the head. A special case of a crown was that of the Holy Roman Empire. Strictly speaking, the type of crown whose characteristics can properly be regarded as imperial was one with a single crest running from front to back. In practice, in countries unfamiliar with closed crowns at all, during the medieval era the crowns worn by English kings had been described as both closed and open designs. This was in contrast with kings of France who always wore an open crown, the use of a closed crown may have been adopted by the English as a way of distinguishing the English crown from the French crown, but it had other meanings to some.
For example, Henry V wore helmet-crown of the type at the Battle of Agincourt which the French knight St. Remy commented was like the imperial crown. The Silk Imperial Crown of Russia was used as a coronation gift of the Russian Empire for the coronation of Nicholas II. Nicholas II was the first and only monarch to be presented with such a coronation gift. It was not intended as ceremonial regalia, but as private Imperial property - a memento to his coronation event. During the reign of Mary I the First Act of Supremacy was annulled, consort crown Coronation crown Royal crown State crown Grierson, The origins of the English sovereign and the sybolism of the closed crown, British Numismatic Society
Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel. By extension, the word velvety means smooth like velvet, Velvet can be made from either synthetic or natural fibers. Velvet is woven on a loom that weaves two thicknesses of the material at the same time. The two pieces are cut apart to create the pile effect, and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls. This complicated process meant that velvet was expensive to make before industrial power looms became available, Velvet is difficult to clean because of its pile, but modern dry cleaning methods make cleaning more feasible. Velvet pile is created by warp or vertical yarns and velveteen pile is created by weft or fill yarns, Velvet can be made from several different kinds of fibers, the most expensive of which is silk. Much of the velvet sold today as silk velvet is actually a mix of rayon, Velvet made entirely from silk is rare and usually has market prices of several hundred US dollars per yard.
Cotton is used to make velvet, though this results in a less luxurious fabric. Velvet can be made from such as linen, mohair. A cloth made by the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo from raffia is often referred to as Kuba velvet. More recently, synthetic velvets have been developed, mostly from polyester, viscose, acetate, a small percentage of spandex is sometimes added to give the final material a certain amount of stretch. Because of its softness and appearance as well as its high cost of production. Velvet was introduced to Baghdad during the rule of Harun al-Rashid by Kashmiri merchants, in the Mamluk era, Cairo was the worlds largest producer of velvet. Much of it was exported to Venice, Al-Andalus and the Mali Empire, musa I of Mali, the ruler of the Mali Empire, visited Cairo on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Many Arab velvet makers accompanied him back to Timbuktu, Ibn Battuta mentions how Suleyman, the ruler of Mali, wore a locally produced complete crimson velvet caftan on Eid.
During the reign of Mehmed II, assistant cooks wore blue-coloured dresses, conical hats, king Richard II of England directed in his will that his body should be clothed in velveto in 1399. Chiffon velvet, Very lightweight velvet on a silk or rayon chiffon base. Ciselé, Velvet where the pile uses cut and uncut loops to create a pattern, This type of velvet can be produced by pressing the fabric down in different directions
Sapphire is a gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide. It is typically blue in color, but natural fancy sapphires occur in yellow, orange, the only color which sapphire cannot be is red - as red colored corundum is called ruby, another corundum variety. This variety in color is due to amounts of elements such as iron, chromium, copper. Commonly, natural sapphires are cut and polished into gemstones and worn in jewelry and they may be created synthetically in laboratories for industrial or decorative purposes in large crystal boules. Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 45th anniversary, a sapphire jubilee occurs after 65 years. Sapphire is one of the two gem-varieties of corundum, the other being ruby, although blue is the best-known sapphire color, they occur in other colors, including gray and black, and they can be colorless. A a pinkish orange variety of sapphire is called padparadscha, significant sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America in a few locations, mostly in Montana.
Sapphire and rubies are often found in the geological setting. Every sapphire mine produces a range of quality - and origin is not a guarantee of quality. For sapphire, Kashmir receives the highest premium although Burma, Sri Lanka, the cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their color, size and overall quality. For gems of exceptional quality, an independent determination from a respected laboratory such as the GIA, gemstone color can be described in terms of hue and tone. Hue is commonly understood as the color of the gemstone, saturation refers to the vividness or brightness of the hue, and tone is the lightness to darkness of the hue. Blue sapphire exists in various mixtures of its primary and secondary hues, various tonal levels, blue sapphires are evaluated based upon the purity of their primary hue. Purple and green are the most common secondary hues found in blue sapphires and purple can contribute to the overall beauty of the color, while green is considered to be distinctly negative.
Blue sapphires with up to 15% violet or purple are generally said to be of fine quality, gray is the normal saturation modifier or mask found in blue sapphires. Gray reduces the saturation or brightness of the hue, and therefore has a negative effect. The 423-carat Logan sapphire in the National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, sapphires in colors other than blue are called fancy or parti colored sapphires. Fancy sapphires are found in yellow, green sapphires, purple
In religion, a relic usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of forms of Buddhism, Islam, Shamanism. Relic derives from the Latin reliquiae, meaning remains, and a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to leave behind, a reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics. In ancient Greece, a city or sanctuary might claim to possess, without necessarily displaying, the sanctuary of the Leucippides at Sparta claimed to display the egg of Leda. The bones were not regarded as holding a power derived from the hero, with some exceptions. Miracles and healing were not regularly attributed to them, their presence was meant to serve a tutelary function, the bones of Orestes and Theseus were supposed to have been stolen or removed from their original resting place and reburied. Plutarch says that the Athenians were likewise instructed by the oracle to locate, the body of the legendary Eurystheus was supposed to protect Athens from enemy attack, and in Thebes, that of the prophet Amphiaraus, whose cult was oracular and healing.
As with the relics of Theseus, the bones are sometimes described in sources as gigantic. On the basis of their size, it has been conjectured that such bones were those of prehistoric creatures. The head of the poet-prophet Orpheus was supposed to have transported to Lesbos. The 2nd-century geographer Pausanias reported that the bones of Orpheus were kept in a stone vase displayed on a pillar near Dion, his place of death and these too were regarded as having oracular power, which might be accessed through dreaming in a ritual of incubation. The accidental exposure of the bones brought a disaster upon the town of Libretha, according to the Chronicon Paschale, the bones of the Persian Zoroaster were venerated, but the tradition of Zoroastrianism and its scriptures offer no support of this. In Hinduism, relics are less common than in other religions since the remains of most saints are cremated. The veneration of corporal relics may have originated with the movement or the appearance of Buddhism.
In Buddhism, relics of the Buddha and various sages are venerated, after the Buddhas death, his remains were divided into eight portions. Afterward, these relics were enshrined in stupas wherever Buddhism was spread, some relics believed to be original remains of the body of the Buddha still survive, including the much-revered Sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha in Sri Lanka. A stupa is a building created specifically for the relics, many Buddhist temples have stupas and historically, the placement of relics in a stupa often became the initial structure around which the whole temple would be based. Today, many hold the ashes or ringsel of prominent/respected Buddhists who were cremated