Tuesday 27 December 2016

Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines

Guanajuato was an important centre of silver-extraction and is home of one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Central and South-America

La Valenciana Church
This postcard was sent by Steffi

La Valenciana is one of several churches that were built at the openings of mines in Guanajuato, such as the Cata and Rayas churches. The building of this church was sponsored by Antonio de Ordóñez y Alcocer, to give thanks to his patron Saint Cajetan (San Cayetano in Spanish) . The La Valenciana mine was first worked in 1558, but abandoned in 1559 as it was thought to be exhausted.
Construction of the church was begun in 1775 under architect Andrés de la Riva and master carpenter Manuel Antonio de Cárdenas. Both died before the project was completed, with their roles taken over by Jorge Archundia and José Simón Cayetano Tovar respectively. The project was completed in 1788, with the dedication to Saint Cajetan. The family of the count also intended to found a monastery for the Theatine order, constructing a house for the monks, but it was never occupied.
Since its construction the church has lost a bell tower and several saints from its facade. In 2014, concerns have been raised about the church’s condition, especially the remaining bell tower, mostly from water damage and the accumulation of dust on the altarpieces. - in: wikipedia

Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila

This is the region where the most famous drink of Mexico is made

Agave Region
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Agave Region, in the Valles Region of the Jalisco State, is one of the most important cultural landscapes in Mexico, not only for the importance of the natural landscape that offers, but for the cultural tradition that has kept for several centuries and from which has arisen one of the main icons that identify this country: the tequila.
The 35,019 ha site, between the foothills of the Tequila Volcano and the deep valley of the Rio Grande River, is part of an expansive landscape of blue agave, shaped by the culture of the plant used since the 16th century to produce tequila spirit and for at least 2,000 years to make fermented drinks and cloth. Within the landscape are working distilleries reflecting the growth in the international consumption of tequila in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the agave culture is seen as part of national identity. The area encloses a living, working landscape of blue agave fields and the urban settlements of Tequila, Arenal, and Amatitan with large distilleries where the agave ‘pineapple' is fermented and distilled. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1209/

Wednesday 21 December 2016


I could used a bath in one of these pools. It should be good for my back that is always hurting

This postcard was sent by Onder

Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex

This mosque is trully a masterpiece ! Really impressive 

Selimiye Mosque
 This postcard was sent by Cuneyt

The Selimiye Mosque (TurkishSelimiye Camii) is an Ottoman imperial mosque, which is located in the city of EdirneTurkey. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II, and was built by architect Mimar Sinan between 1569 and 1575. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture.
This grand mosque stands at the center of a külliye (complex of a hospital, school, library and/or baths around a mosque) which comprises a medrese (Islamic academy teaches both Islamic and scientific lessons), a dar-ül hadis (Al-Hadith school), a timekeeper's room and an arasta (row of shops).

Selimiye Mosque
This postcard was sent by Onder

The interior of the mosque received great recognitions from its clean, spare lines in the structure itself. With the monumental exteriors proclaiming the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire, the plain symmetrical interiors reminded the sultans should always provide a humble and faithful heart in order to connect and communicate with God. To enter, it was to forget the power, determination, wealth and technical mastery of the Ottoman Empire. - in: wikipedia

Monday 19 December 2016

Lena Pillars Nature Park

This natural rock formation it looks impressive, specially if seen from the Lena River

Lena Pillars Nature Park
This postcard was sent by Galina

Lena Pillars Nature Park is marked by spectacular rock pillars that reach a height of approximately 100 m along the banks of the Lena River in the central part of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). They were produced by the region’s extreme continental climate with an annual temperature range of almost 100 degrees Celsius (from –60 °C in winter to +40 °C in summer). The pillars form rocky buttresses isolated from each other by deep and steep gullies developed by frost shattering directed along intervening joints. Penetration of water from the surface has facilitated cryogenic processes (freeze-thaw action), which have widened gullies between pillars leading to their isolation. Fluvial processes are also critical to the pillars. The site also contains a wealth of Cambrian fossil remains of numerous species, some of them unique. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1299

Saturday 17 December 2016

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

What I like most about this postcard is that shows the 6 housing estates incribed in this site

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
This postcard was sent by Michaela

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (GermanSiedlungen der Berliner Moderne) are an ensemble of six subsidized housinge states from the early 20th century, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating mainly from the years of the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), when the city of Berlin was particularly progressive socially, politically and culturally, they are outstanding examples of the building reform movement that contributed to improving housing and living conditions for people with low incomes through novel approaches to architecture and urban planning. - in: wikipedia

The Housing Estates:
  • Gartenstadt Falkenberg
  • Siedlung Schillerpark
  • Großsiedlung Britz
  • Wohnstadt Carl Legien
  • Weiße Stadt
  • Großsiedlung Siemensstadt

Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus

I'm pretty sure that if the City of Warehouses in Hamburg was built today it wouldn't look as good as it looks

 This postcard was sent by Christina

The Speicherstadt (literally: 'City of Warehouses', meaning warehouse district) in HamburgGermany is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations, oak logs, in this particular case. It is located in the port of Hamburg—within the HafenCity quarter—and was built from 1883 to 1927. 

This postcard was sent by Astrid

The warehouses were built with different support structures, but Andreas Meyer created a Neo-Gothic red-brick outer layer with little towers, alcoves, and glazed terra cotta ornaments. The warehouses are multi-storey buildings with entrances from water and land. One of the oldest warehouses is the Kaispeicher B of the International Maritime Museum. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Claus

The Chilehaus (Chile House) is a ten-story office building in HamburgGermany. It is located in the Kontorhausviertel. It is an exceptional example of the 1920s Brick Expressionism style of architecture. This large angular building is located on a site of approximately 6,000m², spanning the Fischertwiete Street in Hamburg. It was designed by the German architect Fritz Höger and finished in 1924. - in: wikipedia


This postcard was sent by Iris

Thursday 15 December 2016

Medina of Fez

Fez always makes me think of the colorful leather tanneries

This postcard arrived from Spain sent by Patricia

Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country's cultural and spiritual centre. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/170

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of  temples famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.

Royal Court Sculptures on Lakshmana Temple
 This postcard was sent by Claus

The Lakshmana Temple is a Hindu temple built by Yashovarman  located in Khajuraho, India. Dedicated to Vaikuntha Vishnu - an aspect of Vishnu.
This temple is located in the Western Temple complex in Khajuraho.
The structure consists of all the elements of Hindu temple architecture. It has entrance porch (ardh-mandapa), Mandapa, Maha-Mandapa, Antarala and Garbhagriha. - in: wikipedia

Erotic Sculptures on Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
This postcard was sent by Claus

The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, meaning "the Great God of the Cave", is the largest and most ornate Hindu temple in the medieval temple group found at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is considered one of the best examples of temples preserved from the medieval period in India.
The temple is said to have been built by the Chandela king Vidhyadhara, who ruled from 1017 to 1029. At various periods of the reign of this dynasty many famous temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, Surya, Shakti of the Hindu religion and also for the Thirthankaras of Jain religion were built. in: wikipedia

Episcopal City of Albi

Martinha always goes to wonderful places and she basically likes the same things than I: cathedrals, castles, historical cities... One of those places she visited was Albi

This postcard was sent by Martinha

On the banks of the Tarn river in south-west France, the old city of Albi reflects the culmination of a medieval architectural and urban ensemble. Today the Old Bridge (Pont-Vieux), the Saint-Salvi quarter and its church are testimony to its initial development (10th -11th centuries). Following the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heretics (13th century) it became a powerful episcopal city. Built in a unique southern French Gothic style from local brick in characteristic red and orange colours, the lofty fortified Cathedral (late 13th century) dominates the city, demonstrating the power regained by the Roman Catholic clergy. Alongside the Cathedral is the vast bishop’s Palais de la Berbie, overlooking the river and surrounded by residential quarters that date back to the Middle Ages. The Episcopal City of Albi forms a coherent and homogeneous ensemble of monuments and quarters that has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1337/

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

Every time I do the road from Switzerland to Portugal or from Portugal to Switzerland I try to stop in a different place and the more I know France the more I like it. One of those stops was in Carcassonne, a wonderful place.

Cité de Carcassonne
The Cité de Carcassonne is a medieval citadel located in the French city of Carcassonne, in the department of AudeLanguedoc-Roussillon region. It is located on a hill on the right bank of the River Aude, in the south-east part of the city proper.

Cité de Carcassonne
Founded during the Gallo-Roman period, the citadel derives its reputation from its 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long double surrounding walls interspersed by 52 towers. The town has about 2,500 years of history and has seen the Romans, VisigothsSaracens and Crusaders. At the beginning of its history it was a Gaulish settlement then in the 3rd century A.D., the Romans decided to transform it into a fortified town.

Cité de Carcassonne
The Roman defences were in place by 333 AD, when the town is described as a castellum. The original walls were supported by between 34 and 40 towers, spaced from 18 to 30 metres apart along the curtain wall. Each tower was semicircular in plan and about 14 metres tall. There were probably four main entrances to the town.

Cité de Carcassonne
The Gallo-Roman walls were rebuilt during the town's occupation by the Visigoths in the 5th and 6th centuries, but the original structure remained in place. After 1226, an additional line of fortifications was added outside of the Roman walls. The town was finally annexed to the kingdom of France in 1247 A.D. It provided a strong French frontier between France and the Crown of Aragon. During this period, the inner, Roman walls were largely demolished and replaced, while the new outer walls were reinforced and extended to the south. The new towers built during this work were mainly circular, but two were square. Construction continued into the reign of King Philip IV in the early 14th century.

Cité de Carcassonne
In 1659, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the province of Roussillon became a part of France, and the town lost its military significance. Fortifications were abandoned and the town became one of the economic centres of France, concentrating on the woolen textile industry.

Cité de Carcassonne
In 1849 the French government decided that the city fortifications should be demolished. This decision was strongly opposed by the local people. Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille and Prosper Mérimée, an eminent archaeologist and historian, led a campaign to preserve the fortress as a historical monument. 

Cité de Carcassonne
This postcard was sent by Paula

The government later reversed its decision and in 1853 restoration work began. The architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was charged with renovating the fortress. Viollet-le-Duc's work was criticised during his lifetime as inappropriate to the climate and traditions of the region. After his death in 1879, the restoration work was continued by his pupil, Paul Boeswillwald, and later by the architect Nodet. - in: wikipedia

Monday 12 December 2016

Val d'Orcia

Val d'Orcia is a region of Tuscany with beautiful landscapes

Val d'Orcia
This postcard was sent by Gian Luca

The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, redrawn and developed when it was integrated in the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries to reflect an idealized model of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture. The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. The inscription covers: an agrarian and pastoral landscape reflecting innovative land-management systems; towns and villages; farmhouses; and the Roman Via Francigena and its associated abbeys, inns, shrines, bridges, etc. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1026/

Sunday 11 December 2016

Historic Centre of the City of Pienza

Pienza is one of the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the region of Tuscany

This postcard was sent by Gian Luca

It was in this Tuscan town that Renaissance town-planning concepts were first put into practice after Pope Pius II decided, in 1459, to transform the look of his birthplace. He chose the architect Bernardo Rossellino, who applied the principles of his mentor, Leon Battista Alberti. This new vision of urban space was realized in the superb square known as Piazza Pio II and the buildings around it: the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace and the cathedral with its pure Renaissance exterior and an interior in the late Gothic style of south German churches. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/789

Golden Temple of Dambulla

This is the largest and best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka.

Dambulla Cave Temple
This postcard was sent by Helen

Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. 
It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include Vishnu and the Ganesha. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square metres (23,000 sq ft). Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon. - in: wikipedia

Saturday 10 December 2016

Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

At the beginning of the Meiji era (1868 to 1912) Japan was  rapidly trying to modernize its industry and catch up with the more modern west. As part of this process the government wanted to introduce modern machinery for things such as the mass production of silk. Tomioka was chosen as the site for the first such mill.

Keystone of the East Cocoon Warehouse
This postcard was sent by Ai

Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma Prefecture, not far from Tokyo, was Japan's first mass-production silk mill, using techniques and experts brought over from France.
Tomioka Silk Mill is not just one building, but a collection that made a little, miniature town when it was in use. There were sleeping quarters for workers, French engineers, medical facilities as well as many other structures.
The East Cocoon Warehouse is the main attraction, made from various local materials but built with French know how. The first floor was used for the ladies to work, while the second was used to store the dry silk cocoons. Nowadays, the building is used as a museum to show off the site's deep history. English translations of all the exhibits are available at the entrance. - in: http://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/tomioka-silk-mill

The sites (in red what I have):
  • Tomioka Silk Mill
  • Tajima Yahei Sericulture Farm
  • Takayama-sha Sericulture School
  • Arafune Cold Storage


This beautiful castle is one of the landmarks of Japan

This postcard was sent by Ajuko

Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture. It is located in Himeji City, in the Hyogo Prefecture, an area that has been an important transportation hub in West Japan since ancient times. The castle property, situated on a hill summit in the central part of the Harima Plain, covers 107 hectares and comprises eighty-two buildings. It is centred on the Tenshu-gun, a complex made up of the donjon, keeps and connecting structures that are part of a highly developed system of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period. The castle functioned continuously as the centre of a feudal domain for almost three centuries, until 1868 when the Shogun fell and a new national government was created.
The principal complex of these structures is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both in its elegant appearance unified by the white plastered earthen walls – that has earned it the name Shirasagi-jo (White Heron Castle) – and in the subtlety of the relationships between the building masses and the multiple roof layers visible from almost any point in the city. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/661

Thursday 8 December 2016

Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth”

According with UNESCO "the historical monuments of Dengfeng include some of the best examples of ancient Chinese buildings devoted to ritual, science, technology and education".

Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple
This postcard was sent by Kolly

The Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple refers to a number of stone or brick pagodas (temples or sacred places) built in Henan province, China from 791 AD during the Tang Dynasty through the Song DynastyYuan DynastyMing Dynasty, and Qing Dynasty.
The pagoda forest in Shaolin stands at the foot of Shaoshi Mountain and is one of the largest pagoda forests in China. It was named a National Scenic Spot in 1996. - in: wikipedia

The monuments (in red what I already have):

  • Taishi Que Gates, Zhongue Temple
  • Shaoshi Que Gates
  • Qimu Que Gates
  • Songye Temple Pagoda
  • Architectural Complex of Shaolin Temple (Kernel Compound, Chuzu Temple, Pagoda Forest)
  • Huishan Temple
  • Songyang Academy of Classical Learning
  • Observatory

Fujian Tulou

This site is a group of earth buildings, most commonly circular in configuration and they can house up to 800 people

Fujian Earth Building 
This postcard was sent by Kenj

Fujian Tulou is a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries over 120 km in south-west of Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait. Set amongst rice, tea and tobacco fields the Tulou are earthen houses. Several storeys high, they are built along an inward-looking, circular or square floor plan as housing for up to 800 people each. They were built for defence purposes around a central open courtyard with only one entrance and windows to the outside only above the first floor. Housing a whole clan, the houses functioned as village units and were known as “a little kingdom for the family” or “bustling small city.” They feature tall fortified mud walls capped by tiled roofs with wide over-hanging eaves. The most elaborate structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings were divided vertically between families with each disposing of two or three rooms on each floor. In contrast with their plain exterior, the inside of the tulou were built for comfort and were often highly decorated. They are inscribed as exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization, and, in terms of their harmonious relationship with their environment, an outstanding example of human settlement. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1113

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Lushan National Park

Mount Lushan, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centres of Chinese civilization.

Donglin Temple
This postcard was sent by Heng Yao

The Donglin Temple is a Buddhist monastery approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) from JiujiangJiangxi Province, China. Built in 386 CE at the foot of Lushan by Hui-yuan, founder of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism, it is well known for how long it has stood without collapsing.
The monastery reached its peak of influence during the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE), but was severely damaged during the Taiping Rebellion and was almost destroyed during the Republican period (1912–1949) of Chinese history. - in: wikipedia