Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy In 1550, after a failed bid for the papacy, Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este was given the governorship of Tivoli. He set about building a villa and gardens for himself that would equal any in Rome. The steep, terraced landscape is filled with grottoes, sculpture, and statuary, but the dominant feature is water, which d’Este’s architects channelled into burbling canals, ponds, and a multitude of fountains.
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The Alhambra and the Generalife, Granada, Spain In 1238, when Spain was under Muslim rule, Muhammad ibn al Ahmar of the Nasrid dynasty established a royal residence at Alhambra, a complex that grew to comprise 35 acres of palaces, terraces, and gardens high in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Its many courtyards, featuring symmetrical planting, architectural elements, and ubiquitous fountains, pools, and rills, serve as an excellent example of Moorish landscape design, which used shade and water to simulate paradise. The site suffered periods of neglect and misguided restoration efforts over the centuries but is now one of Spain’s cherished historic landmarks.
Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy, France In the 1650s, the country’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, hired architect Louis Le Vau, painter Charles Le Brun, and landscape architect André Le Nôtre to create a grand private residence just outside of Paris. Fouquet’s estate was a masterpiece of aesthetic collaboration, with each aspect of the garden enhancing and being complemented by the design of the building. Le Nôtre built dramatic patterned parterres and employed a visual technique called anamorphosis abscondita (“hidden distortion”) to make the grounds seem larger than they actually are when viewed from the château’s balcony.
Early Wednesday afternoon, NASA announced a solar system containing seven Earth-like planets orbiting a single star, all of which may contain liquid water.
A storm will sweep across Germany on Thursday into Thursday night, threatening to cause damage, travel disruptions and interfere with Weiberfastnacht celebrations.
Dangerous and potentially violent storms will ramp up over the Midwest on Friday and may threaten part of the eastern United States on Saturday.
California’s stormy winter continued early this week as another potent storm swept through Northern California with heavy rain and gusty winds.
People will want to keep their jackets handy well into April in London, United Kingdom; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Berlin, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; and Minsk, Belarus.
After a brief cooldown in the eastern U.S. early this week, temperatures will again surge to springtime levels.
Less than 48 hours after record-challenging warmth, a storm will threaten parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest with blizzard conditions prior to the end of the week.