Thursday, 26 April 2018

Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Just to see all the castles along the Rhine Valley it would be worth it to take a boat down the river

Middle Rhine Valley
 This postcard was sent by Michèle

The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. 

The landscape is punctuated by some 40 hill top castles and fortresses erected over a period of around 1,000 years. Abandonment and later the wars of the 17th century left most as picturesque ruins. The later 18th century saw the growth of sensibility towards the beauties of nature, and the often dramatic physical scenery of the Middle Rhine Valley, coupled with the many ruined castles on prominent hilltops, made it appeal strongly to the Romantic movement, which in turn influenced the form of much 19th century restoration and reconstruction. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1066/

Marksburg
This postcard was sent by Miguel

The Marksburg is a castle above the town of Braubach in Rhineland-PalatinateGermany. It is one of the principal sites of the Rhine Gorge UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress was used for protection rather than as a residence for royal families. It has a striking example of a bergfried designed as a butter-churn tower. Of the 40 hill castles between Bingen am Rhein and Koblenz the Marksburg was the only one which was never destroyed. - in: wikipedia


Gutenfels Castle
This postcard was sent by Svenja


Gutenfels Castle (GermanBurg Gutenfels), also known as Caub Castle, is a castle 110m above the town of Kaub in Rhineland-PalatinateGermany.
Gutenfels Castle was built in 1220. It was used with the toll castlePfalzgrafenstein Castle in the middle of the Rhein and the fortified town of Kaub on the farthest side to provide an impenetrable anti-toll zone for the Holy Roman Emperor until Prussia purchased the area (1866) and ended this toll in 1867.
The castle is part of the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site added in 2002. The castle transitioned from a hotel into private ownership in 2006. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Central Amazon Conservation Complex

I only had a black and white postcard of this site, but such a colorful place as the Amazon deserved a colorful postcard in my collection, so I was very happy to join the pink dolphins to the black and white card. I was waiting for a third postcard but I think it got lost...

Anavilhanas National Park
This postcard was sent by Martinha

Anavilhanas National Park (PortugueseParque Nacional de Anavilhanas) is a national park that encompasses a huge river archipelago in the Rio Negro in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.
The fluvial part of the park, 60% of the total, has more than 400 islands.
The park was originally created on 6 February 1981 as an integral protection unit covering 350,018 hectares (864,910 acres).
The park protects the environment of the Anavilhanas river archipelago in the Rio Negro, one of the largest in the world, and its forest formations. Protected species include margay (Leopardus wiedii), jaguar (Panthera onca), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis) and Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis). - in: wikipedia


Pink River Dolphins
This postcard was sent by Paulo

The Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), also known as the botobufeo or pink river dolphin, is a species of toothed whale classified in the family Iniidae.
The Amazon river dolphin is the largest species of river dolphin, with adult males reaching 185 kilograms (408 lb) in weight, and 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length. Adults acquire a pink color, more prominent in males, giving it its nickname "pink river dolphin". - in: wikipedia

Friday, 13 April 2018

Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe

The Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe is known for the beautiful and well preserved frescoes. 

Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe
This postcard was sent by Marie-Angèle

The Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is a Roman Catholic church located in Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, in PoitouFrance.
The Romanesque church was begun in the mid-11th century and contains many beautiful 11th- and 12th-century murals which are still in a remarkable state of preservation.
The cruciform church carries a square tower over its crossing. The transept was built first, then the choir with its ambulatory with five radial chapels in the polygonal apse. In the next building campaign, three bays of the nave were added, the bell tower and its porch, and finally the last six bays of the nave. The bell tower is finished by a fine stone spire more than 80 meters high, added in the 14th century and restored in the 19th century. - in: wikipedia

Paris, Banks of the Seine

I'm always divided about Paris: on the one hand I don't like that much of crowded cities but on the other hand I would love to visit some of the monuments of the French capital 

Eiffel Tower
This postcard was given to me by José and Fátima who celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in Paris

The Eiffel Tower (FrenchTour Eiffel) is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

Eiffel Tower
This postcard was given to me by my mother-in-law who visited Paris a few years ago

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second-tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct. - in: wikipedia

Notre-Dame Cathedral
This postcard was also given to me by my mother-in-law

Notre-Dame de Paris (French for "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of ParisFrance. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
This postcard arrived from Portugal, sent by José "Pombal"

The Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern. The total surface area is 5,500 m² (interior surface 4,800 m²). - in: wikipedia

Sacré-Coeur Basilica
This postcard was sent by Aurélie

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in ParisFrance. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and the socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.
The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. The basilica was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919. - in: wikipedia



Lake Baikal

I'd love to do the Trans-Siberian to see some of the astonishing landscapes provided by the many mountains and lakes, like the Baikal  

Lake Baikal
This postcard was sent by Julia

Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Known as the 'Galapagos of Russia', its age and isolation have produced one of the world's richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/754/

Burkhan Cape - Lake Baikal
This postcard was sent by Haris

Burkhan Cape situated near the largest settlement of Olkhon Island is a trademark of Lake Baikal. Its pictures can be found in any photo album and any book about the Baikal. Initially the cape was called Shamanka or Shaman Rock. This name is not accidental: already in ancient times followers of shamanism considered the place holy. The cave of Shamanka saw many religious rites and sacrifices. Later on, when Buddhism spread among Buryat people, the cape came to be known as “Burkhan”, which means “God”, “Buddha”. - in: http://www.baikalnature.com/info/landmarks/41


Monday, 2 April 2018

Meidan Emam, Esfahan

This square and its surrounding buildings, like the mosques in these postcards, look really spectacular! 

Shah Mosque
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Shah Mosque (Persian: مسجد شاه), also known as Imam Mosque (Persian: مسجد امام), renamed after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, and Jaame' Abbasi Mosque, is a mosque in IsfahanIran, standing in south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square. Built during the Safavid period, ordered by the first Shah Abbas of Persia. The mosque has also been called Jameh Mosque of Isfahan over the course of years.
It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Iranian/Persian Architecture and an excellent example of Islamic era architecture of Iran. The Shah Mosque of Isfahan is one of the everlasting masterpieces of architecture in Iran. It is registered, along with the Naghsh-e Jahan Square, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its construction began in 1611, and its splendor is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-colour mosaic tiles and calligraphic inscriptions. The mosque is one of the treasures featured on Around the World in 80 Treasures presented by the architecture historian Dan Cruickshank. - in: wikipedia

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
This postcard was sent by Marco

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-i Jahan SquareEsfahanIran. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai, during the reign of Shah Abbas I of Persia. On the advice of Arthur Upham PopeReza Shah Pahlavi had the mosque rebuilt and repaired in the 1920s. - in: wikipedia

Persepolis

These postcards show details of a unique archaeological site

Persepolis
This postcard was sent by Marco

Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire(ca. 550–330 BC). It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars ProvinceIran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture.

Apadana Eastern Staircase
This postcard arrived from Japan sent by Miki

Darius the Great built the greatest palace at Persepolis on the western side. This palace was called the Apadana. The King of Kings used it for official audiences. The work began in 515 BC, and his son, Xerxes I, completed it 30 years later. The palace had a grand hall in the shape of a square, each side 60 metres (200 ft) long with seventy-two columns, thirteen of which still stand on the enormous platform. Each column is 19 metres (62 ft) high with a square Taurus (bull) and plinth. The columns carried the weight of the vast and heavy ceiling. The tops of the columns were made from animal sculptures such as two-headed bulls, lions and eagles. The columns were joined to each other with the help of oak and cedar beams, which were brought from Lebanon. The walls were covered with a layer of mud and stucco to a depth of 5 cm, which was used for bonding, and then covered with the greenish stucco which is found throughout the palaces. - in: wikipedia

Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor

This site covers a large portion of the ancient Silk Road and include some previously designed UNESCO sites

Dulan
This postcard was sent by Jianlun

This property is a 5,000 km section of the extensive Silk Roads network, stretching from Chang’an/Luoyang, the central capital of China in the Han and Tang dynasties, to the Zhetysu region of Central Asia. It took shape between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD and remained in use until the 16th century, linking multiple civilizations and facilitating far-reaching exchanges of activities in trade, religious beliefs, scientific knowledge, technological innovation, cultural practices and the arts. The thirty-three components included in the routes network include capital cities and palace complexes of various empires and Khan kingdoms, trading settlements, Buddhist cave temples, ancient paths, posthouses, passes, beacon towers, sections of The Great Wall, fortifications, tombs and religious buildings. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1442

Daming Palace
This postcard was sent by Wei Tianyi

The Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the Tang Dynasty, located in its capital Chang'an. It served as the royal residence of the Tang emperors for more than 220 years. - in: wikipedia

Longmen Caves
This postcard was sent by Lydia

The Longmen Grottoes or Longmen Caves are some of the finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art. Housing tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples, they are located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of present-day Luoyang in Henan province, China. - in: wikipedia


Yumen Pass
This postcard was sent by Marco


Yumen Pass, or Jade Gate or Pass of the Jade Gate, is the name of a pass of the Great Wall located west of Dunhuang in today's Gansu Province of China. During the Han dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), this was a pass through which the Silk Road passed, and was the one road connecting Central Asiaand China, the former called the Western Regions. Just to the south was the Yangguan pass, which was also an important point on the Silk Road. - in: wikipedia

Mogao Caves
This postcard was sent by Ashley

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes or Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 492 temples 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. - in: wikipedia

Burana Tower
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Burana Tower is a large minaret in the Chuy Valley in northern Kyrgyzstan. It is located about 80 km east of the country's capital Bishkek, near the town of Tokmok. The tower, along with grave markers, some earthworks and the remnants of a castle and three mausoleums, is all that remains of the ancient city of Balasagun, which was established by the Karakhanids at the end of the 9th century. An external staircase and steep, winding stairway inside the tower enables visitors to climb to the top.
The tower was originally 45 m (148 ft) high. However, over the centuries a number of earthquakes caused significant damage to the structure. The last major earthquake in the 15th century destroyed the top half of the tower, reducing it to its current height of 25 m (82 ft). In the early 1900s, Russian immigrants to the area used some of the bricks from the tower for new building projects. A renovation project was carried out in the 1970s to restore its foundation and repair the west-facing side of the tower, which was in danger of collapse. - in: wikipedia

I'm still missing a postcard from Kazakhstan