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Lesser Known Historical Structures You Should See: Part I

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posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:35 AM
There are so many amazing historical structures that fill our world, but very few are easily recognized by most people. In this first part of a continuing series of threads I'll be working on, I'll begin highlighting some of the lesser known historical structures that many people may not be aware of. Not all of these structures date to ancient past, but they are still amazing creations that get lost to other spectacular wonders such as the pyramids.

In part one we'll take a look at:

Bannerman's Castle, The Gindi Fortress, and The Minaret of Jam

Bannerman's Castle

First, I have chosen Bannerman's Castle for it's historical importance, and for being one of the most detailed and colossal creations built in the United States. In lies in near ruins, and is only recently available for tourist to see up close, with exception of being seen by boat.

Pollepel Island is an island in the Hudson River. Also known as Pollopel Island, Pollopel's Island and Bannerman Island, it is the site of Bannerman's Castle. The principal feature on the island is Bannerman's Castle, an abandoned military surplus warehouse. It was built in the style of a castle by businessman Francis Bannerman VI (1851–1918). It remains one of a very small number of structures in the United States which can properly be called a castle. Pollepel Island is sometimes referred to as Bannerman's Island.

By chance while canoeing on the Hudson, David Bannerman noted the island. The Bannermans purchased it from the Taft family in 1900 as a safe storage site. Mr. Bannerman began construction on a simulated Scottish castle and simple residence in 1901.

Equipment of every description as well as ammunition were shipped there for storage until sold. Although Frank Bannerman was a munitions dealer, he described himself as a man of peace. He wrote in his catalogues that he hoped that his collection of arms would someday be known as “The Museum of the Lost Arts”. He was a devoted church goer, a member of the St. Andrews Society, founder of the Caledonian Hospital, and active in a boy’s club – often taking them on trips to the island in the summer months. During World War I he contributed cannons, uniforms, and blankets to the U.S. government. Frank and Helen Bannerman used the house on the island as a summer residence. Mrs. Bannerman, a successful gardener, enhanced the paths and terraces with wonderful flowers and shrubs, some of which still exist today.

Many tales both serious and comic have been told about this place over the years, some recounted in a pamphlet by Frank’s grandson Charles, who wrote prophetically in 1962 – five years before the island was given to the Taconic Park Commission, and seven years before the great fire that caused such destruction:

“No one can tell what associations and incidents will involve the island in the future. Time, the elements, and maybe even the goblins of the island will take their toll of some of the turrets and towers, and perhaps eventually the castle itself, but the little island will always have its place in history and in legend and will be forever a jewel in its Hudson Highland setting.”

Second, Gindi fortess is an often overlooked portion of Egyptian history, forgotten about when surrounded by so much of historical importance in Egypt.

Gindi Fortress

Fortress built in 1187 by Saladin in Southern Sinai. The main purpose was to guard the routes of pilgrimage from Northern Africa to Mecca. It was also used as a caravanserai.

It's built in limestone on a 285 m high escarpment and it rises on a plateau at 645 m above sea level. The water supply came from the Ayn Sadr source, through run-off waters or from cisterns dug in the ground (three underground cisterns are still in perfect state of conservation, one of them with size of 6m x 10m x 5,5 is dated by an inscription from the time of Saladin).

A 5 to 6 m ditch separates it from the ravine whose shape it takes, that of an irregular rectangle. Extending from north-east to south-west over a lengh of between 100 and 150 m with a maximum width of 120 m, it is surrounded by a 2 m thick wall reinforced at regular intervals with square and round towers. It is opened by a monumental square door crowned with a limestone archstone whose keystone bears an inscription in the name of Allah.

The 12th century fort which Salah ad-Din built almost in the middle of the Sinai, and rediscovered by the Jules Barthoux in 1909, is still largely in tact. Within the fortress were found shops and many vaulted rooms hewn out of rock. A Fatimid style mihrab dominates the fortress. This was a central meeting place for the three caravans that crossed the Sinai, but was also intended to be a fortification against attacks of the Crusaders. Many Muslims from Africa and the Mediterranean also used the caravan routes, so they too ended up at Qalaat Al-Gindi. However, Salah ad-Din managed to beat back the invading Crusaders before the fort was actually completed. Located about 50 miles southeast of the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel (At Suez) this monument literally sits in the middle of nowhere, and receives few visitors

edit on 12-2-2013 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:36 AM
The third and final structure of this thread is the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but doesn't recieve the attention it deserves. It was choosen to include here for it's incredible detailed geometric carvings.

Minaret of Jam

At 1,900 m above sea level and far from any town, the Minaret of Jam rises within a rugged valley along the Hari-rud River at its junction with the river Jam around 215km-east of Herat. Rising to 65m from a 9m diameter octagonal base, its four superimposed, tapering cylindrical shafts are constructed from fired bricks. The Minaret is completely covered with geometric decoration in relief enhanced with a Kufic inscription in turquoise tiles. Built in 1194 by the great Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din (1153-1203), its emplacement probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, believed to have been the summer capital of the Ghurid dynasty. Surrounding remains include a group of stones with Hebrew inscriptions from the 11th to 12th centuries on the Kushkak hill, and vestiges of castles and towers of the Ghurid settlements on the banks of the Hari River as well as to the east of the Minaret.

The Ghurids destroyed the Ghaznevid empire in 1150. Firuzkuh, the capital of the Ghaznevid empire, later destroyed by the Mongols, contained a great mosque.
All that remains is the minaret of Jam, dated 1194, discovered in 1957.
It was a victory memorial as well as a minaret. The name and titles of the ruler are picked out in blue tile, whereas the rest of the decoration including the Koranic text is in cut brick. 213 feet high.
A brick structure with an octagonal shaft laid out in panels connected by interlacing ribbons of inscriptions. The traditional Kufic is used.

These are just three, of thousands of structures that get forgotten about, and recieve little recognition for their beauty. Keep a watch for Part II of the series coming soon.

edit on 12-2-2013 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:50 AM
Never heard of any of those.

S & F

Looking forward to more.

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:55 AM
reply to post by isyeye

Good thread and beautiful pics. I didn't know about any of these either. I find it interesting that the bannerman castle thingy has Sinai written on the side of it. s-f

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by Wide-Eyes

It actually says "Arsenal".

Here's a picture where you can see it better.
edit on 12-2-2013 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 09:15 AM
Beautiful, hope you bring us more of these!!

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 05:11 PM
Wow!!! I've never heard of any of these. I didn't know of any castles in the USA. Thx for the post!

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 11:15 PM

Originally posted by isyeye
The third and final structure of this thread is the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but doesn't recieve the attention it deserves. It was choosen to include here for it's incredible detailed geometric carvings.

With 65m, this is actually one of the few "skyscrapers" in Afghanistan. It's a pity that the cultural legacy was and is so difficult to preserve in such countries. Not even to speak of the devastation of the statues of Bamiyan and potential other threats that still exist today!

posted on Feb, 17 2013 @ 09:41 AM
This is a cracking thread mate, good job I have never heard of any of them haha, I wait for part 2 now!

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 08:58 AM
Can I play too I have some interesting ones was thinking of doing something similar if there are rules let me know or if it's a one man project Im kool with that too.

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