Puzzle: Thatched Cottage

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #42510-57
Notes: The puzzle producer has not once again indicated the location of the cottage.

Although thatch is popular in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland, there are more thatched roofs in the United Kingdom than in any other European country. Good quality straw thatch can last for more than 45–50 years when applied by a skilled thatcher.

Over 250 roofs in Southern England have base coats of thatch that were applied over 500 years ago, providing direct evidence of the types of materials that were used for thatching in the medieval period.  Almost all of these roofs are thatched with wheat, rye, or a ‘maslin’ mixture of both. Medieval wheat grew to almost 1.8m tall in very poor soils and produced durable straw for the roof and grain for baking bread. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle 2, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #40617-13
Notes: I have put together another puzzle of the Neuschwanstein Castle before, 500 pieces.

The inspiration for the construction of Neuschwanstein came from two journeys [of Ludwig II] in 1867: one in May to the reconstructed Wartburg near Eisenach, another in July to the Chateau de Pierrefonds, which Eugene Viollet-le-Duc was transforming from a ruined castle into a historistic palace.

The king saw both buildings as representatives of a romantic interpretation of the Middle Ages as well as the musical mythology of his friend Richard Wagner. Wagner’s operas Tannhauser and Lohengrin had made a lasting impression on him.

In February 1868, Ludwig’s grandfather Ludwig I died, freeing the considerable sums that were previously spent on the abdicated king’s appanage. This allowed him to start the architectural project of building a private refuge in the familiar landscape far from the capital Munich, so that he could live his idea of the Middle Ages. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Castle Mespelbrunn

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #43550-26
Notes: Mespelbrunn Castle is a medieval moated castle on the territory of the town of Mespelbrunn, between Frankfurt and Wurzburg, built in a remote tributary valley of the Elsava valley, within the Spessart forest. One of the most visited water castles in Germany, it is frequently featured in tourist books.

In 1957 Mespelbrunn Castle was one of the locations of the German film Das Wirtshaus im Spessart (The Spessart Inn, 1958), based on a fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Madrid, Spain

Size: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 37 cm x 52 cm
Producer:  GPC Puzzles, Regency Collection, #1550-08
Notes: The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcala (running from east to west), Paseo de Recoletos (to the North) and Paseo del Prado (to the south). Plaza de Cibeles was originally named Plaza de Madrid, but in 1900, the City Council named it Plaza de Castelar, which was eventually replaced by its current name.

The most prominent of the buildings at the Plaza de Cibeles is the Cibeles Palace (formerly named Communications Palace). The cathedral-like landmark was built in 1909 by Antonio Palacios as the headquarters of the postal service. This impressive building was home to the Postal and Telegraphic Museum until 2007 when the landmark building became the Madrid City Hall. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Windsor Castle, Britain

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle’s lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as “a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste”. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Springtime at Chambord

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: I have previously put together another puzzle of Chamboard Château, 1000: http://fingeringzen.com/puzzles/puzzle-chambord-chateau.

Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and Château d’Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with several doubts, to Domenico da Cortona. Some authors claim that the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme had a considerable role in the château’s design, and others have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed it.  [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Butchart Gardens, Victoria

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada, located near Victoria on Vancouver Island. The gardens receive more than a million visitors each year. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to their international renown. [Wiki]

According to the official site, the Butchart Gardens also have “One of only two known [Wollemi Pine] specimens in Canada to be planted outdoors, and at 10 feet it is likely the largest.” Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 700 varieties are used throughout the Gardens to ensure uninterrupted bloom from March through October. [Official Butchard Gardens site]

 

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Puzzle: Coombe Cottage, England

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: The only site containing any information about the Coombe Cottage that I could find, is the marketing site for the accommodations at the cottage itself:

Coombe Cottage is a delightful, 200 year-old traditional, end-terraced cottage with exposed beams and updated extensions overlooking farmland views. It is situated in the picturesque village of Goodleigh, to the east of the market town of Barnstaple, … in North Devon. [Coombe Cottage site]

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Puzzle: Thatched cottage, England

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge (Cladium mariscus), rushes, or heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates.

Thatching methods have traditionally been passed down from generation to generation, and numerous descriptions of the materials and methods used in England over the past three centuries survive in archives and early publications.

In most of Europe and the UK, thatch remained the only roofing material available to the bulk of the population in the countryside, in many towns and villages, until the late 1800s. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Castle, Germany

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes:  Thanks to JLuecking’s comment below, I now know that this castle is the Castle of the Teutonic Order, and it is located on the Mainau Island, Lake Constance (Bodensee).

Mainau is an island in Lake Constance (on the south shore of the Überlinger See near the city of Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany). It is maintained as a garden island and a model of excellent environmental practices. [Wiki]

The Castle of the Teutonic Order is the architectural focal point on the island and a splendid setting for various occasions. It is the heart of the Mainau island and where the Bernadotte family lives. The Castle of the Teutonic Order was designed by Johann Caspar Bagnato and built under his supervision (1739 – 1746). Despite limited finances, he created an architecturally well-balanced, symmetrical harmonious castle. The arms of the two wings open out in the shape of a horse-shoe towards the mainland; whilst the back of the building faces the lake. [Mainau site]

A castle (from Latin castellum) is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Paris, France

Size: 100 pieces
Dimensions: 23.17cm x 26.35cm
Producer: RoseArt, National Geographic series
Notes: The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, nickname La dame de fer, the iron lady) is a wrought iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.

The tower stands 320 metres tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cairo, Egypt

Size: 100 pieces
Dimensions: 23.17cm x 26.35cm
Producer: RoseArt, National Geographic series
Notes: Cairo (literally “The Vanquisher” or “The Conqueror”), is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Located near the Nile Delta, it was founded in the year 969 A.D. making it 1,042 years old. Nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region’s political and cultural life. Cairo was founded by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD.; but the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt due to its proximity to the ancient cities of Memphis, Giza and Fustat which are nearby to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza.

The area around present-day Cairo, especially Memphis, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are generally traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile. This fortress, known as Babylon, remains the oldest structure in the city. It is also situated at the nucleus of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine church in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo’s oldest Coptic churches, including The Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Mansion and garden

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Images series, #43670-14
Notes: A mansion is a very large dwelling house. U.S. real estate brokers define a mansion as a dwelling of over 740 square meters. A traditional European mansion was defined as a house which contained a ballroom and many bedrooms. Today, however, there is no formal definition beyond being a large and well-appointed house.

In the Roman Empire, a mansio was an official stopping place on a Roman road, or via, where cities sprang up, and where the villas of provincial officials came to be placed. The Scots word “manse” originally defined a property large enough for the Minister of the parish to maintain himself, but a mansion is no longer self-sustaining in this way (compare a Roman or medieval villa). ‘Manor’ comes from the same root — territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there — hence it can be seen how the word ‘Mansion’ came to have its meaning. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, Classic Treasures series, #41610-42
Notes: The Grand Place or Grote Markt About this sound listen is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse.

In the 10th century, Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine constructed a fort on Saint-Gery Island, the furthest inland point at which the Senne river was still navigable. This was the seed of what would become Brussels. By the end of the 11th century, an open-air marketplace was set up on a dried-up marsh near the fort that was surrounded by sandbanks. The market was called the Nedermerckt, or Lower Market.

Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Place for a few days. A million colourful begonias are set up in patterns, and the display covers a full 24 by 77 metres (79 by 253 ft), for area total of 1,800 square metres. The first flower carpet was made in 1971, and due to its popularity, the tradition continued, with the flower carpet attracting a large number of tourists. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cholmondeley Castle


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes: Cholmondeley Castle is a country house in the civil parish of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, England. It is surrounded by a 7,500 acres estate.

In the 18th century Hugh Cholmondeley, 1st Earl of Cholmondeley had created gardens around the house, both kitchen gardens and orchards to provide food for the household, and also pleasure gardens. The pleasure gardens would have been formal in style as they were laid out by George London. The ironworker Jean Tijou produced an iron entrance gate to the gardens, but this was moved to Houghton Hall in Norfolk by the 4th Earl. John van Nost designed a fountain for the garden. The garden also contained a bowling green and an aviary. The 4th Earl brought in William Emes to redesign the garden who, according to the fashion of the day, buried London’s work under a landscape park. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Chateau Fontainebleu, France


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Impressions series
Notes: The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal chateaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.This forest is now home to many endangered species of Europe.

The palace introduced to France the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the “Fontainebleau style”: it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. The Fontainebleau style combined allegorical paintings in moulded plasterwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainebleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exaggeratedly long torso and limbs, small high breasts—almost a return to Late Gothic beauties. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Mukilteo Lighthouse, Mukilteo, WA, U.S.A.


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles
Notes: The Mukilteo Light at Mukilteo, Washington is an operational lighthouse with non-rotating fresnel lens. It originally had a revolving Fresnel lens until 1927, when it was replaced with a fixed lens. [Wiki]

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver mapped the Puget Sound area (named after Lieutenant Peter Puget), landing on the point where the light station stands today, Captain Vancouver designated the area as Rosehill Point because of the beautiful wild roses that cover the hillsides.

The lighthouse was built in 1906.

Since 1906 there have been 18 official lighthouse keepers assigned to the Mukilteo Light Station. A plaque commemorating all but the last keeper can be found on the lighthouse wall. Due to its location and amenities, the light station was considered a choice assignment that was often given to keepers as a reward for outstanding service. The keeper and his assistant maintained a constant six hour shift rotation to keep the light operational until electricity arrived in 1927. [Mukilteo Historical Society site]

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Puzzle: Boscastle, Cornwall, England


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.31cm x 47.9cm
Producer
: Milton Bradley, FoamFit series, #50653-02
Notes: Boscastle is a village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, England, in the civil parish of Forrabury and Minster. The name of the village derives from Botreaux Castle, (pronounced “But’ry”) a 12th century motte-and-bailey fortress, of which few remains survive. The castle was anciently the possession of the de Botreaux family, which became under William de Botereaux(d.1391) Barons Botreaux.

Boscastle harbour is a natural inlet protected by two stone harbour walls built in 1584 by Sir Richard Grenville (of HMS Revenge). It is the only significant harbour for 20 miles (32 km) along the coast. As well as being a fishing harbour, Boscastle was once a small port (similar to many others on the north coast of Cornwall) importing limestone and coal and exporting slate and other local produce. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cote d’Azur, France


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes: The Cote d’Azur, often known in English as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint Tropez, Hyeres or Cassis in the west.

The French Riviera coastline covers 560 miles and consists of both sand and shingle beaches. Officially, the Cote d’Azur is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents, although estimates of the number of non-French nationals living in the area are often much higher. Its largest city is Nice, which has a population of 347,060 (2006).

The name was given to the coast by the writer Stephen Liegeard in his book, La Cote d’azur, published in December 1887. Liegeard was born in Dijon, in the French department of Cote-d’Or, and adapted that name by substituting the azure blue colour of the Mediterranean for the gold of Cote-d’Or. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cathedral Eger, Hungary


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes:
Eger has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Today’s Eger was formed in the 10th century by St. Stephen (997–1038), the first Christian king of Hungary, who founded an episcopal see in Eger. The first cathedral of Eger was built on Castle Hill, within the present site of Eger Castle. Eger grew up around its former cathedral and has remained an important religious centre in Hungary since its foundation. The 14th-16th centuries were an age of prosperity for Eger. Winegrowing, for which the town is still famous for, began to be important around that time. The bishops of Eger built beautiful buildings in the city during 18th and 19th centuries.

The Cathedral or basilica, built in 1831-37 to Classicist designs by Jozsef Hild, is imposing rather than attractive, but contains some remarkable painting and sculpture. Late morning organ recitals are held frequently.

Beside its historic sights and its thermal baths, Eger is famous for its wines. In fact, it produces both red and white wines of high quality Eger Wine Region. The famous and traditional varieties of the region are Egri Leanyka, Egerszolati Olaszrizling, Debroi Harslevelu (whites), and Egri Bikaver (a red). More recently, Chardonnay and Pinot noir wines have appeared. The region’s wines are said to bear a resemblance to those of Burgundy. Although the quality of the wines deteriorated in the second half of the 20th century, especially the cuvees, Eger is slowly recovering its reputation as a wine region. [Wiki]

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