Thursday, 31 August 2017

Rock Art of Alta

This site contains thousands of rock carvings and paintings located at 45 sites in five different areas at the head of the Alta Fjord

Hjemmeluft, Alta
This postcard was sent by Jo

The Rock art of Alta (Helleristningene i Alta) are located in and around the municipality of Alta in the county of Finnmark in northern Norway. Since the first carvings were discovered in 1973, more than 6000 carvings have been found on several sites around Alta.
The carvings were divided into five separate groups by Professor Knut Helskog, of the Department of Cultural Sciences at the University of Tromsø. Using shoreline dating, the earliest carvings were dated to around 4200 BC; the most recent carvings were dated to around 500 BC. In 2010 researcher Jan Magne Gjerde pushed the dates for the oldest phases back by 1000 years. The wide variety of imagery shows a culture of hunter-gatherers that was able to control herds of reindeer, was adept at boat building and fishing and practiced shamanistic rituals involving bear worship and other venerated animals. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Bryggen

I really love this postcard. It has the wonderful colors of autumn. Bryggen seems to be a great place to eat fish and shrimp 

Bryggen
This postcard was sent by Cathrine

Bryggen is a historic harbour district in Bergen, one of North Europe’s oldest port cities on the west coast of Norway which was established as a centre for trade by the 12th century. In 1350 the Hanseatic League established a “Hanseatic Office” in Bergen. They gradually acquired ownership of Bryggen and controlled the trade in stockfish from Northern Norway through privileges granted by the Crown. The Hanseatic League established a total of four overseas Hanseatic Offices, Bryggen being the only one preserved today. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/59

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)

This is one of the very few UNESCO sites that I don't want to visit. Makes me sick just to think of the atrocities made in this camp against human beings

Auschwitz II - Birkenau

Auschwitz Birkenau was the principal and most notorious of the six concentration and extermination camps established by Nazi Germany to implement its Final Solution policy which had as its aim the mass murder of the Jewish people in Europe. Built in Poland under Nazi German occupation initially as a concentration camp for Poles and later for Soviet prisoners of war, it soon became a prison for a number of other nationalities. Between the years 1942-1944 it became the main mass extermination camp where Jews were tortured and killed for their so-called racial origins.
The fortified walls, barbed wire, railway sidings, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz Birkenau show clearly how the Holocaust, as well as the Nazi German policy of mass murder and forced labour took place. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31

Centennial Hall in Wrocław

It's a building like this that misses here where I live, for concerts, theater and sports that not ski or golf...

Centennial Hall
This postcard was sent by Ana

The Centennial Hall, a landmark in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, was erected in 1911-1913 by the architect Max Berg as a multi-purpose recreational building, situated in the Exhibition Grounds. In form it is a symmetrical quatrefoil with a vast circular central space that can seat some 6,000 persons. The 23m-high dome is topped with a lantern in steel and glass. The Centennial Hall is a pioneering work of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an important interchange of influences in the early 20th century, becoming a key reference in the later development of reinforced concrete structures. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1165

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Nemrut Dağ

This site looks like a garden of statues. Even with the heads removed from the bodies the statues are still quite imposing

Heads of Statues in Nemrut
This postcard was sent by Onder

Nemrut or Nemrud (TurkishNemrut Dağı) is a 2,134-metre-high (7,001 ft) mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.
In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues 8–9-metre-high (26–30 ft) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various GreekArmenian, and Medes gods, such as Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda), Hercules-VahagnTyche-Bakht, and Apollo-Mihr-Mithras. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 21 August 2017

Medieval City of Rhodes

Rhodes has been famous since antiquity because of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Rhodes
This postcard was sent from Poland by Boguslaw

The Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period. In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/493/

Old Town of Corfu

Corfu is the only part of Greece that never fell in the hands of the Ottomans, thanks to the Venetian fortresses 

Corfu
This postcard was sent by Sini

The Old Town of Corfu, on the Island of Corfu off the western coasts of Albania and Greece, is located in a strategic position at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, and has its roots in the 8th century BC. The three forts of the town, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. In the course of time, the forts were repaired and partly rebuilt several times, more recently under British rule in the 19th century. The mainly neoclassical housing stock of the Old Town is partly from the Venetian period, partly of later construction, notably the 19th century. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu’s urban and port ensemble is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/978

Mount Athos

Mount Athos is known as the Holy Mountain, where 20 inhabited monasteries can be found

Osiou Gregoriou Monastery
This postcard was sent Elena

Osiou Gregoriou monastery  is an Orthodox Christian monastery in the monastic state of Mount Athos in Greece. The monastery ranks seventeenth in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries. The monastery is built by the sea, on the southeastern side of the peninsula. It's close neighbours are Simonospetros and St Pauls Monasteries. Gregoriou is very much a pilgrim friendly monastery with a strong pastoral sense.
It was founded by Saint (Osios) Gregory (Gregorios) and it is dedicated to Saint Nicholas. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Maya Site of Copan

The Maya site of Copan is one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization.

Copan Ruins
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples. - in: wikipedia

Stela H at Copan
This postcard was sent by Marco

Stela H was erected by Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil in the early 8th century AD.
Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil (also known by the appellation "18-Rabbit" or "Eighteen Rabbit"), was the 13th ajaw or ruler of the powerful Maya polity associated with the site of Copán in modern Honduras. He ruled from January 2, 695, to May 3, 738.
Based on the number of structures and monuments constructed during his reign, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah Kawiil is considered the greatest patron of the arts in Copan’s history. This period was characterized by a deep, florid relief, which represents the culmination of the sculptural tradition of Copan. - in: wikipedia

Tikal National Park

It already happened to me a few times being weeks trying to get a postcard of a site and when I finally get one, almost immediately I receive a second one. In this case and after a lot of time trying to get it, when I finally received one, 3 more arrived! But I don't mind, they are all different and great!

Tikal - Plaza Mayor
This postcard was sent by Marco

Tikal National Park is located in Northern Guatemala's Petén Province within a large forest region often referred to as the Maya Forest, which extends into neighbouring Mexico and Belize. Embedded within the much larger Maya Biosphere Reserve, exceeding two million hectares and contiguous with additional conservation areas, Tikal National Park is one of the few World Heritage properties inscribed according to both natural and cultural criteria for its extraordinary biodiversity and archaeological importance. It comprises 57,600 hectares of wetlands, savannah, tropical broadleaf and palm forests with thousands of architectural and artistic remains of the Mayan civilization from the Preclassic Period (600 B.C.) to the decline and eventual collapse of the urban centre around 900 AD. The diverse ecosystems and habitats harbour a wide spectrum of neotropical fauna and flora. Five cats, including Jaguar and Puma, several species of monkeys and anteaters and more than 300 species of birds are among the notable wildlife. The forests comprise more than 200 tree species and over 2000 higher plants have been recorded across the diverse habitats. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/64

Tikal - Temple I
This postcard was sent by Marco

Tikal Temple I is the designation given to one of the major structures at Tikal, one of the largest cities and archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Mesoamerica. It also is known as the Temple of the Great Jaguar because of a lintel that represents a king sitting upon a jaguar throne. An alternative name is the Temple of Ah Cacao, after the ruler buried in the temple. Temple I is a typically Petén-styled limestone stepped pyramid structure that is dated to approximately 732 AD.
The temple rises 47 meters (154 ft) over the Great Plaza. The pyramid is topped by a funerary shrine, containing finely carved wooden lintels, the execution of which probably was overseen by Jasaw Chan K'awiil as part of his plans for his funerary monument. - in: wikipedia

Tikal - Temple II
This postcard was sent by Lisa

Tikal Temple II (or the Temple of the Masks, alternatively labelled by archaeologists as Tikal Structure 5D-2) is a Mesoamerican pyramid at the Maya archaeological site of Tikal in the Petén Department of northern Guatemala. The temple was built in the Late Classic Period in a style reminiscent of the Early Classic. Temple II is located on the west side of the Great Plaza, opposite Temple I. Temple II was built by the king Jasaw Chan K'awiil I in honour of his wife, Lady Kalajuun Une' Mo'. Temple II had a single wooden sculpted lintel that bears the portrait of a royal woman who may have been the wife of Jasaw Chan K'awiil I, who was entombed beneath Temple I. Lady Kalajuun Une' Mo', whose name means "Twelve Macaw Tails", was also important for being the mother of Jasaw Chan K'awill I's heir. In fact her son Yik'in Chan K'awiil oversaw the completion of Temple II when he became king. - in: wikipedia

Tikal - Temple III above the forest
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Tikal Temple III, also known as the Temple of the Jaguar Priest, was one of the principal temple pyramids at the ancient Maya city of Tikal, in the Petén Department of modern Guatemala. The temple stands approximately 55 metres (180 ft) tall. The summit shrine of Temple III differs from those of the other major temples at Tikal in that it only possesses two rooms instead of the usual three. The pyramid was built in the Late Classic Period, and has been dated to 810 AD using the hieroglyphic text on Stela 24, which was raised at the base of its access stairway. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Baroque Churches of the Philippines

Four wonderful baroque churches are part of this site

Church of Saint Augustine
This postcard was sent by Jan


The Saint Augustine Church (SpanishIglesia de San Agustín de Paoay), commonly known as the Paoay Church, is the Roman Catholic church of the municipality of PaoayIlocos Norte in the Philippines. Completed in 1710, the church is famous for its distinct architecture highlighted by the enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building.
Paoay church is the Philippines' primary example of a Spanish colonial earthquake baroque architecture dubbed by Alicia Coseteng, an interpretation of the European Baroque adapted to the seismic condition of the country through the use of enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. The adaptive reuse of baroque style against earthquake is developed since many destructive earthquakes destroyed earlier churches in the country. Javanese architecture reminiscent of Borobudur of Java can also be seen on the church walls and facade. - in: wikipedia

Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva
This postcard was sent by Cristina

The Miagao Church, also known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, stands on the highest point in the town of MiagaoIloilo. The church's towers served as lookouts against Muslim raids and it is the finest surviving example of 'Fortress Baroque'. The sumptuous facade epitomizes the Filipino transfiguration of western decorative elements, with the figure of St Christopher on the pediment dressed in native clothes, carrying the Christ Child on his back, and holding on to a coconut palm for support. The entire riotously decorated facade is flanked by massive tapering bell towers of unequal heights. - in: wikipedia


The four churches (in red what I have):

  • Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin (Manila)
  • Church of La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion
  • Church of San Agustin (Paoay)
  • Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Xinjiang Tianshan

This site, with beautiful landscapes, presents a lot of contrast between hot and cold environments: from snowy mountains to desert, but also with forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyon. 

Heavenly Lake of Tianshan
This postcard was sent by Haley

Tianchi is an alpine lake in Xinjiang, Northwest China. The name literally means Heavenly Lake and can refer to several lakes in mainland China and Taiwan. This Tianchi lies on the north side of the Bogda Shan ("Mountain of God", Bogda is a Mongolian word meaning "God") range of the Tian Shan ("Mountain of Heaven"). - in: wikipedia

Friday, 11 August 2017

Qinghai Hoh Xil

Hoh Xil in Qinghai was listed among the World Heritage Sites as "the largest and highest plateau in the world".

Hoh Xil
This postcard was sent by Wei Tianyi

Hoh Xil or Kekexili, (Mongolian for "Blue Ridge", also Aqênganggyai for "Lord of Ten Thousand Mountains"), is an isolated region in the northwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China
Despite the harsh climate, Hoh Xil is home to more than 230 species of wild animals, 20 of which are under Chinese state protection, including the wild yak, wild donkey, white-lip deerbrown bear and the endangered Tibetan antelope or chiru. The abundant plateau pika, a small burrowing rodent, is the main food of the region's brown bears; the bears also feed on the yak and antelope. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

This region is well known for its spectacular rice-paddy terracing

Ailao Terraced Fields
This postcard was sent by Kolly

The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China covers 16,603-hectares in Southern Yunnan. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. They have also created an integrated farming system that involves buffalos, cattle, ducks, fish and eel and supports the production of red rice, the area’s primary crop. The inhabitants worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena including fire. They live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces. The villages feature traditional thatched “mushroom” houses. The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1111

Kulangsu, a Historic International Settlement

Kulangsu, also known as Gulangyuis a pedestrian-only island where the only vehicles permitted are small electric buggies and electric government service vehicles. Even bicycles are not allowed.

Kulangsu
This postcard was sent by Wei Tianyi

Kulangsu is a tiny island located on the estuary of the Chiu-lung River, facing the city of Xiamen. With the opening of a commercial port at Xiamen in 1843, and the establishment of the island as an international settlement in 1903, this island off the southern coast of the Chinese empire suddenly became an important window for Sino-foreign exchanges. Kulangsu is an exceptional example of the cultural fusion that emerged from these exchanges, which remain legible in its urban fabric. There is a mixture of different architectural styles including Traditional Southern Fujian Style, Western Classical Revival Style and Veranda Colonial Style. The most exceptional testimony of the fusion of various stylistic influences is a new architectural movement, the Amoy Deco Style, which is a synthesis of the Modernist style of the early 20th century and Art Deco. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1541

Bikin River Valley

This site is the home to Amur tigers, the largest felines in the world, but also of leopards and Asiatic black bears among others

Sikhote-Alin
This postcard was sent by Vadim

The Sikhote-Alin mountain range contains one the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world. In this mixed zone between taiga and subtropics, southern species such as the tiger and Himalayan bear cohabit with northern species such as the brown bear and lynx. The site stretches from the peaks of Sikhote-Alin to the Sea of Japan and is important for the survival of many endangered species such as the Amur tiger. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/766/


Amur Leopard in Sikhote-Alin
This postcard was sent by Vera


The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and the Jilin Province of northeast China.
Leopards cross between Russia, China, and North Korea across the Tumen River despite a high and long wire fence marking the boundary. - in: wikipedia

Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia and resembles a huge museum

Fortress of Derbent
This postcard was sent by Kate

The current fortification and walls were built by the Persian Sassanian Empire as a defensive structure against hostile nomadic people in the north, and continuously repaired or improved by later Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms until the early course of the 19th century, as long as its military function lasted.
A large portion of the walls and several watchtowers still remain in reasonable shape. The walls, reaching to the sea, date from the 6th century, Sassanid dynasty period.

Old Armenian Church
This postcard was sent by Vera

The city has a well-preserved citadel (Narin-kala), enclosing an area of 4.5 hectares (11 acres), enclosed by strong walls. Historical attractions include the baths, the cisterns, the old cemeteries, the caravanserai, the 18th-century Khan's mausoleum, as well as several mosques. The oldest mosque is the Juma Mosque, built over a 6th-century Christian basilica; it has a 15th-century madrassa. Other shrines include the 17th-century Kyrhlyar mosque, the Bala mosque and the 18th-century Chertebe mosque. - in: wikipedia


Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex

Russia is one of the countries from where postcards take more time to arrive. But the wait is worth it because postcards are usually great and most of the times they come with wonderful stamps, like these

Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex
This postcard was sent by Vera

The historical and archaeological site of Bolgar lies on the shores of the Volga River south of its confluence with the River Kama. It contains evidence of the medieval city of Bolgar, an early settlement of the civilization of Volga Bolgars, which existed between the 7th and the 15th centuries. Bolgar was also the first capital of the Golden Horde in the 13th century and remained an important trade centre in the time of the Kazan Khanate. The site preserves its spatial context with its historic moat and walls as well as its religious and civil structures, including a former mosque, a minaret and several mausoleums, bath houses, remains of a Khan's palace and shrine.

Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex 
This postcard was sent by Vera

Bolgar represents the historical cultural exchanges and transformations of Eurasia over several centuries, which played a pivotal role in the formation of civilizations, customs and cultural traditions. The Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex provides remarkable evidence of historic continuity and cultural diversity, the mutual influences of cultural traditions in particular at the time of the Volga Bolgars, the Golden Horde, the Kazan Khanate and the Russian state. Also, Bolgar was always located at the crossroads of trade, and economic, cultural and political communications and illustrates the interaction of nomadic and urban cultures. The historical and archaeological complex of Bolgar is a symbolic reminder of the acceptance of Islam by the Volga-Bolgars in 922 AD and, to Tatar Muslims, remains sacred and a pilgrimage destination. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/981