March 2009

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Fenestrelle Fortress

Fenestrelle Fortress, Italy

The "Great Wall of the Alps" covers 320 acres and is one of the largest fortified structures in Europe

Church of the Nativity Bethlehem

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

The basilica believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus Christ has survived invasions, rebellions and earthquakes

Chan Chan Peru

Chan Chan, Peru

About 600 years ago, this city on the Pacific coast was the largest city in the Americas

The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara, Ireland

A new tollway threatens the archaeologically rich Hill of Tara that is the spiritual heart of the country

City of Hasankeyf Turkey

The City of Hasankeyf, Turkey

A new hydroelectric dam threatens the ancient city, home to thousands of human-made caves

Buddha statue

Xumishan Grottoes, China

This collection of ancient Buddhist cave temples date back to the fifth and tenth centuries, A.D.

Route 66

Historic Route 66, U.S.A.

The 2,400-mile highway was eclipsed by interstate highways that bypassed neon signs of roadside diners

Dampier Rock Art Complex Australia

Endangered Site: Dampier Rock Complex, Australia

On the northwestern coast of Australia, over 500,000 rock carvings face destruction by industrial development

Visoki Decani Monastery

Visoki Decani Monastery, Kosovo

The fate of the 14th-century abbey has been darkened by ethnic violence in the Balkans

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort, India

The famed fort has withstood earthquakes and sandstorms for a millenia, but now shifts and crumbles

Harry Bingham in Marseille

Bingham's List

As Jews in France tried to flee the Nazi occupation, Harry Bingham, an American diplomat, sped them to safety

The Feast of Esther

Out of Rembrandt's Shadow

A new exhibition re-establishes Lievens' reputation as an old master, after centuries of being eclipsed by his friend and rival

Belfast mural

Getting Past the Troubles

A decade after Protestants and Catholics agreed on a peace treaty, both sides are adjusting to a hopeful new reality

Geoducks on a fishing boat

Happy As Clams

In the Pacific Northwest, fishermen are cashing in on the growing yen for geoducks, a funny-looking mollusk turned worldwide delicacy


Indelible Images

Monument Valley Girl

The artist's self portrait plays with our notions of an archetypal West


Devil's Half Acre

The excavation of a notorious jail recalls Virginia's leading role in the slave trade

My Kind of Town

Steeped in Story

Novelist Josephine Humphreys says the city is more than just her hometown, it's her life

Presence of Mind

Which Way Out?

When his father and father-in-law died within days of each other, author Max Alexander learned much about the funeral industry

From the Editor

Paying Attention

Ten Sites and One Overlooked Hero

Letters to the Editor


Readers Respond to the January Issue

This Month in History

March Anniversaries

Momentous or Merely Memorable

From the Castle

Science, yes!

Around the Mall

Bone Cops

Forensic anthropologists at the National Museum of Natural History find answers to a colonial cold case

Around the Mall

Sing Like A Pirate

The Object at Hand

Under the Radar

The five-pound RQ-14A takes high-tech reconnaissance to new heights


Q&A: Ori Gersht

Artist Ori Gersht details the beauty and violence behind his works

Around the Mall

What's In A Name?

Smithsonian naturalist Brian Schmidt gave a new species of African bird an interesting scientific name

What's Up

What's Up

Exhibits from the National Museum of Natural History, National Portrait Gallery, National Postal Museum, Freer Gallery of Art and the Renwick Gallery

The Last Page

Let a Thousand Bobbleheads Bloom

With Mao-abilia everywhere, the "Great Helmsman" may have done more for the Chinese people in death than in life