Best of the Week – 2010.08.10
Our picks for the best new entries to the Atlas submitted this week. Don’t forget to add your favorite spots to be included in next week’s compilation!
SOLO BATIK CARNIVAL - Solo, Central Java, Indonesia
The batik fabric, so beautiful it was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009, is important enough to Indonesian heritage that it is celebrated with a festival founded in 2008. The annual Solo Batik Carnival draws spectators to a parade in which models wear elaborate, colorful costumes made from the traditional cloth while dancing in the streets. Various regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns and those families with the fabric can determine the royal lineage of a person based on the cloth he or she wears.
Complete Atlas Obscura entry on the Solo Batik Carnival
HARTFORD CIRCUS FIRE MEMORIAL - Hartford, Connecticut, United States
A small fire that started near the restroom during a performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus quickly spread across the highly flammable tent canvas and burned the entire show to the ground in less than ten minutes. The people of Hartford decided to memorialize the 168 victims with a large circular monument placed over the site where the central tent post once stood. The monument depicts the names of all the victims that could be identified and a schematic of the tent. Trees planted around the monument represent the size and shape of the Big Top.
Complete Atlas Obscura entry on the Hartford Circus Fire Memorial
MEHMED PASHA SOKOLOVIC BRIDGE - Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007, the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge is a beautiful architectural wonder with a disturbing history. The bridge, designed at the end of the 16th century by the well-known court architect Mimar Koca Sinan, is celebrated as a perfect example of Ottoman monumental design and civil engineering. No longer used because it is in danger of collapse, the bridge served as the site for a large number of brutal killings during the Visegrad massacre. There were so many bodies being tossed from the bridge at the time that they clogged a hydroelectric dam down river.
Complete Atlas Obscura entry on the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge
KASOL: LITTLE ISRAEL OF THE HIMALAYAS - Kasol, India
A remote village in Himachal Pradesh, India, serves as the main headquarters for backpackers and travelers in the idyllic Parvati Valley. The town has embraced the tourists because of the large amount of revenue they bring in, even constructing tattoo parlors, Internet cafes, reggae bars and other sites meant to attract Westerners. Home to a large population of Israelis who complete their compulsory military service and then escape to the Valley, Kasol is also known for its wild charos, a hand-made hashish made from the cannibis that is plentiful to the area.
Complete Atlas Obscura entry on Kasol: Little Isreal in the Himalayas
JOSIE LANGMAID MONUMENT - Pembroke, New Hampshire, United States
When search parties found 17-year-old Josie Langmaid 24 hours after she went missing, she was in two pieces with her head severed from the rest of her body. The man found guilty of her murder was hanged in 1878, but that wasn’t enough for the townspeople, who erected a grisly obelisk near the spot where her body was found. The 15-foot-tall marker eulogizes Langmaid, but also goes into the sordid details of her death and discovery. It even gives directions to the place where her head was found, which is marked with a small granite post.
Complete Atlas Obscura entry on the Josie Langmaid Monument
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