Monday, 30 January 2017

Historic Walled Town of Cuenca

Among us, UNESCO collectors, a lot of times trips are planned according with our missing list. I was already making plans to make a deviation to Cuenca to buy postcards in my next trip to Portugal when I received this wonderful postcard that made me change my plans. It's not that I don't want to go to Cuenca, but there are other places that I want to visit without making such a long deviation.

Hanging Houses of Cuenca
This postcard was sent by Alena

The Casas Colgadas (Hanged Houses), also known as Casas VoladasCasas del Rey and, erroneously, Casas Colgantes, is a complex of houses located in Cuenca, Spain. In the past, houses of this kind were frequent along the eastern border of the ancient city, located near the ravine of the river Huécar. Today, however, there are only a few of them remaining. Of all of these structures, the most well-known is a group of three with wooden balconies.
Their origin remains uncertain, though there is proof of their existence in the 15th century. Throughout their history they have been refurbished several times. The most recent took place during the 1920s. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hubei Shennongjia

Sometimes postcards arrive in bad shape, sometimes arrive in real bad shape like this first one that even has a stamp on the front of it that should be from another postcard or letter. Fortunetely, most of the postcards arrive in good shape

Hubei Shennongjia
This postcard was sent by Chenzhan

Located in Hubei Province, in central-eastern China, the site consists of two components: Shennongding/Badong to the west and Laojunshan to the east. It protects the largest primary forests remaining in Central China and provides habitat for many rare animal species, such as the Chinese Giant Salamander, the Golden or Sichuan Snub-nosed Monkey, the Clouded Leopard, Common Leopard and the Asian Black Bear.

Hubei Shennongjia
This postcard was sent by Danise

Hubei Shennongjia is one of three centres of biodiversity in China. The site features prominently in the history of botanical research and was the object of international plant collecting expeditions in the 19th and 20th centuries. - in:

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mount Wutai

According with the sender, this first postcard shows the Mount Wutai, but there is nothing in the card that identifies it. Even the image is not easily identifiable... So I was very happy when I received the second card, well identified and with a well known image

Mount Wutai
This postcard was sent by Bosen

Mount Wutai (Chinese五台山pinyinWǔtái shān; literally: "Five Plateau Mountain"), also known as Wutai Mountain or Qingliang Shan, is a Buddhist sacred site located at the headwaters of river Qingshui, in the Chinese northeastern province of Shanxi, surrounded by a cluster of flat-topped peaks (North, South, East, West, and Central). The North peak, called Beitai Ding or Yedou Feng, is the highest (3,061 m) of these, and is also the highest point in northern China. 

Mount Wutai
This postcard was sent by Danise

As host to over 53 sacred monasteries, Mount Wutai is home to many of China's most important monasteries and temples.
Nanshan Temple is a large temple in Mount Wǔtái, first built in the Yuan DynastyOther major temples include Xiantong TempleTayuan Temple and Pusading Temple. - in: wikipedia

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world

The Grand Canal
This postcard was sent by Jianlun

The Grand Canal forms a vast inland waterway system in the north-eastern and central eastern plains of China, passing through eight of the country’s present-day provinces. It runs from the capital Beijing in the north to Zhejiang Province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication for the Empire for the first time in the 7th century AD (Sui Dynasty). This led to a series of gigantic worksites, creating the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project ensemble prior to the Industrial Revolution. Completed and maintained by successive dynasties, it formed the backbone of the Empire’s inland communications system. Its management was made possible over a long period by means of the Caoyun system, the imperial monopoly for the transport of grain and strategic raw materials, and for the taxation and control of traffic.

The Grand Canal
This postcard was sent by Danise

The system enabled the supply of rice to feed the population, the unified administration of the territory, and the transport of troops. The Grand Canal reached a new peak in the 13th century (Yuan Dynasty), providing a unified inland navigation network consisting of more than 2,000 km of artificial waterways, linking five of the most important river basins in China, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Still a major means of internal communication today, it has played an important role in ensuring the economic prosperity and stability of China over the ages. - in:

Friday, 20 January 2017


This site with a strange name is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world

This postcard was sent by Julia

Papahānaumokuākea is a vast and isolated linear cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls, with their surrounding ocean, roughly 250 km to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Archipelago and extending over some 1931 km. The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons. It is one of the largest marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world. - in:

Thursday, 19 January 2017


Ephesus was already a big touristic attraction before the inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage list, due to the ruins of its monumental buildings

Library of Celsus
This postcard was sent by Nihan

Ephesus (TurkishEfes) was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir ProvinceTurkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capita by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.
The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Among many other monumental buildings are the Library of Celsus, and a theatre capable of holding 25,000 spectators. - in: wikipedia

Library of Celsus
This postcard was sent by Cuneyt

This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it. Because Athena was the goddess of the wisdom. - in:

Great Theatre
This postcard was sent by Helen

The Great Theatre is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street, and easily seen when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today. - in:

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


This postcard is beautiful and this place looks really impressive! In this site there are twenty-four monasteries built in rocks almost inaccessible. 

Monastery  of Roussanou
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Metéora (literally "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to meteorology) - is a formation of immense monolithic pillars and hills like huge rounded boulders which dominate the local area.
It is also associated with one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second in importance only to Mount Athos.

The Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara was founded in the middle of the 16th century and decorated in 1560. Today it is a flourishing nunnery with 13 nuns in residence in 2015. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos

This site has one of the longest names of the World Heritage list and it was where St. John wrote his Gospel and the Apocalypse 

Monastery of St John the Theologian
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Monastery of St. John the Divine (Agios Ioannis o Theologos), also known as the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, is a fortified Orthodox monastery on the island of Patmos in Greece.
In 1088, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos gave the island of Patmos to the soldier-priest Ionnis Khristodhoulos "the Blessed." The greater part of the monastery was completed by Khristodhoulos in just three years. Its heavily fortified exterior was necessitated by the threats of piracy and Seljuk Turks. - in:

Historic Centre of San Gimignano

San Gimignano is known for its towers but the white wine of the region is also very famous

San Gimignano
This postcard was sent by Gian Luca

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of SienaTuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form "an unforgettable skyline". Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant' Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. - in: wikipedia

Piazza della Cisterna
This postcard was sent by Cristina

This Piazza, entered from Via San Giovanni, is the main square of the town. It is triangular in shape and is surrounded by medieval houses of different dates, among them some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic palazzos. At the centre of the piazza stands a well which was the main source of water for the town's residents. The structure dates from 1346. Although much of it has been renewed in the late 20th century, parts of the paving date from the 13th century. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

Ferrara seems to be a very beautiful and cultural city. Located by the River Po, Ferrara attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance

Castello Estense
The Castello Estense (‘Este castle’) or castello di San Michele (‘St. Michael's castle’) is a moated medieval castle in the center of Ferrara, northern Italy
On the outside, the castle essentially presents the appearance given to it by Girolamo da Carpi in the second half of the 16th century. Surrounded by a moat, it has three entrances with drawbridges fronted by brickwork ravelins. The fourth entrance, to the east, was sacrificed to make room for the kitchens.
At the bottom, the appearance of the building still recalls a mediaeval fortress, but higher up, da Carpi replaced the battlements with elegant balconies in white stone (resting on series of corbels), making it higher again by constructing a higher storey, covered by a skew roof. The towers were improved and made more graceful with roof terraces. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 13 January 2017

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

Pisa is worldwide known for its leaning tower. The tower's tilt began during construction and the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres from the centre.
Piazza del Duomo
This postcard was sent by Ale

The Piazza dei Miracoli (English: Square of Miracles), formally known as Piazza del Duomo (English: Cathedral Square), is a walled 8.87-hectare area located in PisaTuscanyItaly, recognized as an important center of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. Considered sacred by the Catholic Church, its owner, the square is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Campanile, and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery). - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana

I was in Mallorca in 2009 but I didn't go to the Serra de Tramuntana because at the time I was already collecting postcards but not from UNESCO sites

Serra de Tramuntana
This postcard was sent from Germany by Katrin

The Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana located on a sheer-sided mountain range parallel to the north-western coast of the island of Mallorca. Millennia of agriculture in an environment with scarce resources has transformed the terrain and displays an articulated network of devices for the management of water revolving around farming units of feudal origins. The landscape is marked by agricultural terraces and inter-connected water works - including water mills - as well as dry stone constructions and farms. - in:

Roman Walls of Lugo

Lugo, like some other UNESCO sites in Galicia, looks a good place to visit when I return definitely to my country 

Roman Walls of Lugo
This postcard was sent by Vanesa

The Roman walls of Lugo were constructed in the 3rd century and are still largely intact today, stretching over 2 kilometers around the historic centre of Lugo in Galicia
The city walls were built between 263 and 276 A.D. to defend the Roman town of Lucus Augusti (present-day Lugo) against local tribesmen and Germanic invaders. The walls formed part of a complex of fortifications which also included a moat and an intervallum (the clearing between the walls and the city). The entire length of the walls is around 2,120 m, enclosing an area of 34.4 hectares. Not all of the town was enclosed by walls: much of the southeastern part of the town remained unprotected, while in other places unused areas were enclosed by walls. - in: wikipedia

Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

Of the three buildings that are part of this site I just don't have any postcard of the Archivo de Indias

Seville Cathedral and Giralda
 This postcard was sent by Marco

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville (AndalusiaSpain). It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It is also the largest cathedral in the world, as the two larger churches, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida and St. Peter's Basilica, are not the seats of bishops. Construction began in 1402 and continued until 1506.

The Giralda is the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain. It was originally built as a minaret during the Moorish period, with a Renaissance style top subsequently added by Spaniards. The tower is 104.1 m (342 ft) in height and remains one of the most important symbols of the city, as it has been since medieval times. - in: wikipedia

Alcázar of Seville
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Alcázar of Seville (Spanish "Reales Alcázares de Sevilla" or "Royal Alcazars of Seville") is a royal palace in SevilleSpain, originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings. The palace is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Spain, being regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of mudéjar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 9 January 2017

Serengeti National Park

I love these two postcards. The first one I bought it here in Switzerland, the second one was sent from England. Both show some of the amazing wildlife of Serengeti 

Serengeti National Park
The vast plains of the Serengeti comprise 1.5 million ha of savannah. The annual migration to permanent water holes of vast herds of herbivores (wildebeest, gazelles and zebras), followed by their predators, is one of the most impressive natural events in the world.

Lions in the Serengeti National Park
This postcard arrived from England sent by Miguel

The biological diversity of the park is very high with at least four globally threatened or endangered animal species: black rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, and cheetah. - in:

Itchan Kala

This was the first site in Uzbekistan to be inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list

Islom Hoje Minaret - Itchan Kala
This postcard was sent by Igor

Ichan Kala (UzbekIchan-Qаl’а) is the walled inner town of the city of KhivaUzbekistan. Since 1990, it has been protected as a World Heritage Site.
The old town retains more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses, dating primarily from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Djuma Mosque, for instance, was established in the tenth century and rebuilt from 1788 to 1789, although its celebrated hypostyle hall still retains 112 columns taken from ancient structures.

City Walls
This postcard was sent by Elizaveta

The most spectacular features of Ichan Kala are its crenellated brick walls and four gates, one at each side of the rectangular fortress. Although the foundations are believed to have been laid in the tenth century, present-day 10-metre-high (33 ft) walls were erected mostly in the late seventeenth century and later repaired. - in: wikipedia

Historic Centre of Bukhara

Bukhara is a medieval city located in the Silk Road in Central Asia

Ark of Bukhara
This postcard was sent by Igor

The Ark of Bukhara is a massive fortress located in the city of BukharaUzbekistan that was initially built and occupied around the 5th century AD. In addition to being a military structure, the Ark encompassed what was essentially a town that, during much of the fortress' history, was inhabited by the various royal courts that held sway over the region surrounding Bukhara. The Ark was used as a fortress until it fell to Russia in 1920. Currently, the Ark is a tourist attraction and houses museums covering its history. - in: wikipedia

Chor Minor
This postcard was sent by Elizaveta

Chor Minor (Char MinarUzbekChor minor), alternatively known as the Madrasah of Khalif Niyaz-kul, is a historic gatehouse for a now-destroyed madrasa in the historic city of BukharaUzbekistan. It is located in a lane northeast of the Lyab-i Hauz complex. It is protected as a cultural heritage monument, and also it is a part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Bukhara. In Persian, the name of the monument means "Four minarets", and the building indeed has four towers.
The structure was built by Khalif Niyaz-kul, a wealthy Bukharan of Turkmen origin in the 19th century under the rule of the Janid dynasty. The four towered structure is sometimes mistaken for a gate to the madras that once existed behind the structure, however, the Char-Minar is actually a complex of buildings with two functions, ritual and shelter. Originally, it was a part of a complex of a madrasa, which was demolished. The building has no analogs in the architecture of Bukhara, and the inspiration and motives of Niyazkul are unclear. - in: wikipedia

Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures

When I swap more than one postcard I usually do it in an envelope and the postcards usually arrive in better shape. Unfortunately it wasn't the case of three great postcards from Uzbekistan which envelope seemed to be drooped in a swimming poll and where it was the last postcard of this post. 

This postcard was sent by Elizaveta

The Registan was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty, now in Uzbekistan. The name Rēgistan means "Sandy place" or "desert" in Persian.
The Registan was a public square, where people gathered to hear royal proclamations, heralded by blasts on enormous copper pipes called dzharchis - and a place of public executions. It is framed by three madrasahs (Islamic schools) of distinctive Islamic architecture.
The three madrasahs of the Registan are: the Ulugh Beg Madrasah (1417–1420), the Tilya-Kori Madrasah (1646–1660) and the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619–1636). - in: wikipedia

Guri Amir Shrine
This postcard was sent b Elizaveta

The Gūr-i Amīr or Guri Amir (UzbekAmir Temur maqbarasi, Go'ri AmirPersianگورِ امیر‎) is a mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Timur(also known as Tamerlane) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Persian-Mongolian Architecture as the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Gardens of Babur in Kabul, Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Timur's Persianised descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of Indian Subcontinent. It has been heavily restored. - in: wikipedia

Mausoleum of Iman al-Moturidi
This postcard was sent by Igor

The tomb of Imam al-Moturidi is another sacred place in Samarkand. The grand Imam and famous philosopher and theologian fought for the purity of Islam. He was buried there in 944, in the cemetery Chokardiza where many other famous scientists of Islam world were buried as well. Once upon a time a military fortress was here, therefore the cemetery has such a name: "Chokar" means "army" “Disa" means a fortress.
In 1947 the cemetery was leveled to the ground. Ten years ago the grave was found again it for visiting it was opened only on the 17th of November 2000. In 2000 1130-year anniversary of Imam al-Moturidi was widely celebrated. The mausoleum was restored in Chokardiza, and the entire territory was landscaped. - in: