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Featured Article: Cusco

View of Cusco from Sacsayhuaman
Cusco (also spelled Cuzco,) is a city in southeastern Peru near the Sacred Valley in the Andes mountain range, southeast of the Incan city of Machu Picchu. Cusco was the capital of the extensive Inca Empire, and continues as a favorite destination for tourists seeking to explore Inca relics.

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western Hemisphere, an urban center created by the Incas, with distinct religious and administrative functions, Cusco was preserved by the conquering Spaniards, who built Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the ancient city, leaving its foundation intact. Today Cusco stands as both a reminder of previous cultures and a modern functioning city. The entire city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The living record that is Cusco serves as a reminder of an ancient civilization that displayed remarkable technical achievements in harmony with the natural environment.

Popular Article: Mediterranean Sea

Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea, a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, lies between the continents of Eurasia and Africa enclosed almost completely by land. It is bounded on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia; and it joins with the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar only eight miles (13 kilometers) wide and 1,050 feet (320 meters) deep. The surface area of the Mediterranean Sea is approximately 965,000 square miles (2.5 million square kilometers). In oceanography, the Mediterranean Sea is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea, to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.

To the northeast the Mediterranean Sea is connected with the Black Sea through the Dardanelles (with a sill depth of 230 feet), the Sea of Marmara, which is often considered to be part of the Mediterranean Sea, and the strait of the Bosporus (sill depth of about three hundred feet). To the southeast it is connected with the Red Sea by the man-made Suez Canal.