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Hö'elün (fl. 1162–1210) was a Mongolian noblewoman and the mother of Temüjin, better known as Genghis Khan. She played a major role in his rise to power. Born into the Olkhonud clan of the Onggirat tribe, Hö'elün was originally married to Chiledu, but was captured shortly after her wedding by Yesügei, an important member of the Mongols, becoming his primary wife. She and Yesügei had three sons and one daughter, as well as Temüjin. After Yesügei was fatally poisoned and the Mongols abandoned her family, Hö'elün shepherded all her children through poverty to adulthood—her resilience and organisational skills have been remarked upon by historians. She continued to play an important role after Temüjin's marriage to Börte. Hö'elün married Münglig, an old retainer of Yesügei, in thanks for his support after a damaging defeat. During the next decades, she arranged marriages, maintained alliances, and was heavily involved in disputes between Genghis, his brothers, and Münglig's sons. (Full article...)
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Valère Basilica

The Valère Basilica is a fortified Catholic church in Sion, in the Swiss canton of Valais. It is situated on a hill at an altitude of 615 metres (2,018 ft), and faces Tourbillon Castle located on the opposite hill. The first parts of the building were constructed around 1100, with numerous additions over the subsequent centuries. It was designated a minor basilica in 1987. The site is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance, which includes the surrounding hill due to the large number of protected plant and animal species present there. This photograph shows the Valère Basilica in February 2021, with the Haut de Cry, a 2,969-metre (9,741 ft) peak of the Bernese Alps, in the background.

Photograph credit: Christian David

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