You know how real estate agent photographs and postcard scenes show their subjects in the most flattering light? Often this is done with photoshop but also by doing a closeup on the subject and cutting out anything around it. A chap called Jake Heppner has compiled a number of photos of familiar landmark scenes that we all know and contrasted them with photographs taken from further away to show the surrounding landscape, often not so pretty but all of them quite interesting. Here they are . . .
The Pyramids of Giza:
The Arc de Triomphe:
Central Park, New York City
The Pantheon of Rome:
Seen through the McDonalds across the way
The Forbidden City:
The Taj Mahal
The Brandenburg Gate
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* The Kaaba or Ka'aba ("The Cube"), is a cuboid building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba – i.e. when outside Mecca, to face toward Mecca – when performing salat (prayer). From any point in the world, the direction facing the Kaaba is called the qibla.
Al-Masjid al-Haram was built around the Kaaba.
One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim, who is able to do so, to perform the hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Multiple parts of the hajj require pilgrims to make tawaf, the circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction. Tawaf is also performed by pilgrims during the umrah (lesser pilgrimage). However, the most interesting times are during the hajj, when millions of pilgrims gather to circle the building on the same day. In 2013, the number of pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform hajj was officially reported as 1,379,531. In 2014, Saudi Arabia reported having completed Hajj permits for 1,389,053 international pilgrims and 63,375 for residents.