Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik

This cathedral is the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in Croatia.

Cathedral of St. James
This postcard was sent by Agi

The Cathedral of St. James in ŠibenikCroatia is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome (32 m high inside) in the city of Šibenik. 

Cathedral of St. James
This postcard was sent by Stasa

The building of the church was initiated in 1402, though plans on its construction had already begun in 1298, when Šibenik became a municipality. The actual work to transform the older Romanesque cathedral began in 1431. Built entirely of stone (limestone from a nearby stone quarry and marble from the island of Brač), it was completed in three phases, from 1433 to 1441, when the Grand City Council entrusted the work to local and Italian masters Francesco di Giacomo, Lorenzo Pincino, Pier Paolo Bussato, Bonino da Milano, and Giorgio da Sebenico (Juraj Dalmatinac) and to Croatian ones Andrija Budčić and Grubiš Šlafčić. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 25 September 2017

Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment

This abbey is known for its library with lots of first editions of many books, but because is not only the mind that need to be fed, the region is also known for the great wine produced by the monks

Library of Pannonhalma Archabbey

The Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey or Territorial Abbey of Pannonhalma is a medieval building in Pannonhalma, one of the oldest historical monuments in Hungary. Founded in 996, it is located near the town, on top of a hill (282 m).

The library was finished in the first third of the 19th century. The longitudinal part of the building was planned and built by Ferenc Engel in the 1820s. Later János Packh was commissioned with extending the edifice, and the oval hall is his work. Joseph Klieber, a Vienna master was asked to ornament the interior of the building.
On the four sides of the oval hall's ceiling the allegories of the four medieval university faculties can be seen: Law, Theology, Medicine and the Arts. The holdings of the library have been increasing ever since. Manuscripts from the time of Saint László have been catalogued in Pannonhalma. As of today, 360,000 volumes are kept in the collection. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

It's curious to think that the Thracian tombs were only a mound of earth seen from the outside, so maybe there are a lot more tombs like this to be discovered 

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari
This postcard was sent by Tsveti

Discovered in 1982 near the village of Sveshtari, this 3rd-century BC Thracian tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb has a unique architectural decor, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. The 10 female figures carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decoration of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in the Thracian lands. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getes, a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geographers. - in:

Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak

The paintings in this tomb are Bulgaria's best-preserved artistic masterpieces from the Hellenistic period.

Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak

Discovered in 1944, this tomb dates from the Hellenistic period, around the end of the 4th century BC. It is located near Seutopolis, the capital city of the Thracian king Seutes III, and is part of a large Thracian necropolis. The tholos has a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing Thracian burial rituals and culture. These paintings are Bulgaria’s best-preserved artistic masterpieces from the Hellenistic period. - in:

Monday, 18 September 2017

Struve Geodetic Arc

This is one of the few sites that are shared by several countries. It's curious to think that when this chain was made it crossed only two countries, now it crosses ten! It's not easy to find postcards of all...

Struve Geodetic Arc point in Belarus
This postcard was sent by Kate

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820 km, which yielded the first accurate measurement of a meridian.

Simuna and Võivere points in Estonia
This postcard was sent by Pihlakas

The chain was established and used by the German-born Russian scientist Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve in the years 1816 to 1855 to establish the exact size and shape of the earth. At that time, the chain passed merely through two countries: Union of Sweden-Norway and the Russian Empire

Tartu Observatory (top right), Estonia
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Arc's first point is located in Tartu Observatory in Estonia, where Struve conducted much of his research.

Oravivuori Triangulation Tower, Finland
This postcard was sent by Arja

In 2005, the chain was inscribed on the World Heritage List as a memorable ensemble of the chain made up of 34 commemorative plaques or built obelisks out of the original 265 main station points which are marked by drilled holes in rock, iron crosses, cairns, others.

Rudi Geodetic Point, Moldova
This postcard was sent by Hanko

Measurement of the triangulation chain comprises 258 main triangles and 265 geodetic vertices. 

Fuglenes point in Hammerfest, Norway
This postcard was sent by Jo

The northernmost point is located near Hammerfest in Norway and the southernmost point near the Black Sea in Ukraine. - in: wikipedia

Hogland, Z point in Russia
This postcard was sent by Vadim

The Struve Geodetic Arc is an extraordinary example of the interchange of human values in the form of international scientific collaboration, as well as an outstanding example of a technological ensemble. - in:

Stara Nekrasivka point in Ukraine
This postcard was sent by Sergii

I'm still missing postcards from Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden

Curonian Spit

The Curonian Spit is a UNESCO World Heritage site shared by Lithuania and Russia and is famous for its sand dunes. But there's a lot more to see than sand in this region.

Curonian Spit
This postcard was sent by Kristina

The Curonian Spit is a unique and vulnerable, sandy and wooded cultural landscape on a coastal spit which features small Curonian lagoon settlements. The Spit was formed by the sea, wind and human activity and continues to be shaped by them. 

Neringa Dunes
This postcard was sent by Marco

Rich with an abundance of unique natural and cultural features, it has retained its social and cultural importance. Local communities adapted to the changes in the natural environment in order to survive. This interaction between humans and nature shaped the Curonian Spit cultural landscape.

Curonian Spit
This postcard was sent by Alexandra

The most valuable elements and qualities of the Curonian Spit cultural landscape are its unique size and general spatial structure, demonstrating the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature; the characteristic panoramas and the silhouette of the Curonian lagoon; cultural elements including the remains of postal tracks, trade villages from the 10th and 11th centuries, traditional fishermen villages and other archaeological heritage covered by sand; the spatial-planned structure and architecture of ancient fishermen villages turned into resort settlements (ancient wooden fishermen houses, professionally designed buildings of the 19th century, including lighthouses, piers, churches, schools, villas); and elements of marine cultural heritage; natural and human-made elements including the distinctive Great Dune Ridge and individual dunes, relics of ancient parabolic dunes; a human-made protective coastal dune ridge; relics of moraine islands, seacoast and littoral forests and littoral capes; ancient forests, mountain pine forests and other unique sand flora and fauna including a bird migration path; and the social-cultural traditions, spirituality, and the social perception of the area, which reflect the local lifestyle formerly centred on fishermen, artists, scientists, yachtsmen and gliders, travellers and other visitors. - in:

Dancing Forest on Curonian Spit
This postcard was sent by Anastacia

The Dancing Forest  is a pine forest on the Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia noted for its unusually twisted trees. Unlike drunken forest, the trees in the Dancing Forest are twisted into several patterns, such as rings, hearts and convoluted spirals bending to the ground. The exact cause of the trees' distortion is unknown. According to one version, the distortion is caused by the activity of the caterpillar of Rhyacionia buoliana. In the folk version, the Dancing Forest follows the movement of the sands. The trees were planted in the 1960s. - in: wikipedia

Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė)

Kernavė was a medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Today is known by the hill-fort mounds.

Kernavé (in some pictures)
This postcard was sent from Portugal by Martinha

Kernavė Archaeological Site, situated in the valley of the River Neris in eastern Lithuania, provides evidence of human settlements spanning some 10 millennia. Covering an area of 194.4 ha, the property contains archaeological evidence of ancient land use from the late Palaeolithic Period to the Middle Ages. It comprises a complex ensemble of archaeological elements, including the town of Kernavė, a unique complex of impressive hill forts, unfortified settlements, burial sites and other archaeological, historical and cultural monuments.

This postcard was sent by Jason

The property contains an extraordinarily rich concentration of archaeological evidence, encompassing natural processes of glacial retreat within a long and continuous period of human occupation and activity. The earliest evidence of human occupation between the 9th and 8th millennia B.C., and subsequent permanent inhabitation until the Late Middle Ages, can be found in several cultural layers and burial sites.

This postcard was sent by Marco

The spectacular complex of five hill forts dates back to the 13th century, when Kernavė was an important feudal town of craftsmen and merchants who required the protection of such a complex defence system. The town of Kernavė was destroyed by the Teutonic Order in the late 14th century, but the site continued to be used until modern times. - in:

Blenheim Palace

This wonderful palace his known for being the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace
This postcard was sent by Lucy

Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722.
Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English Baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined use as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. - in: wikipedia

Tower of London

This was one of my first postcards received through Postcrossing and it was sent by a teacher that took her students to the Tower of London

Tower of London
This postcard was sent by Helen

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the LionheartHenry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica

This site contains remains of Greek and Roman times.

Church of Saint Lucia alla Badia
This postcard was sent from Switzerland by Isabella

The Church and the Cistercian convent dedicated to St. Lucia had a prominent place in Syracuse, because of its location in the heart of Ortigia and especially for the feast of St. Lucia in May, established in memory of a miracle of the Patron Saint during the famine of 1646 (still celebrated on the first Sunday in May), commemorated by an inscription still existing in the church below the choir of nuns. St. Lucia alla Badia seems to be built in two different styles, in the manner of the Picherali with reliefs of Spanish coats of arms and with the Rococo-style decorations. - in:

Street of Tombs in Neapolis Archaeological Park
This postcard was sent from Germany by Gabi

The park includes the northern part of the Neapolis quarter (one of the five city-quarters of Syracuse in the Greek and Romans periods) where the most famous monuments of the city were built; the Greek theatre (dated to the IIIrd cent BC as it appears today, but founded in the second half of the Vth cent.BC); the Roman amphitheatre (dated by some to the period of Augustus, by others to Septimus Severus); the Altar of Hieron II (a grand altar for public sacrifices) and the Street of Tombs cut deep into the bed-rock during the Hellenistic period and flanked by Byzantine hypogeums. - in:

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Villa Adriana (Tivoli)

This complex combines elements of the architectural heritage of Egypt, Greece and Rome

Maritime Theatre at Villa Adriana
This postcard arrived from Czech Republic sent by Veronika

Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana in Italian) is a large Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy. 
One structure in the villa is the so-called "Maritime Theatre". It consists of a round portico with a barrel vault supported by pillars. Inside the portico was a ring-shaped pool with a central island. The large circular enclosure 40 metres (130 ft) in diameter has an entrance to the north. Inside the outer wall and surrounding the moat are a ring of unfluted ionic columns. The Maritime Theater includes a lounge, a library, heated baths, three suites with heated floors, washbasin, an art gallery, and a large fountain. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany

This was my first 3D postcard and it scared me when I took it out of the mailbox! I thought the head of the turtle was moving! :D
Twelve Villas and two gardens are part of this site.

Fontana del Bacchino in the Boboli Gardens
This postcard was sent by Gabi

The Boboli Gardens (ItalianGiardino di Boboli) is a park in FlorenceItaly, that is home to a collection of sculptures dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries, with some Roman antiquities.
The Gardens, directly behind the Pitti Palace, the main seat of the Medici grand dukes of Tuscany at Florence, are some of the first and most familiar formal 16th-century Italian gardens. The mid-16th-century garden style, as it was developed here, incorporated longer axial developments, wide gravel avenues, a considerable "built" element of stone, the lavish employment of statuary and fountains, and a proliferation of detail, coordinated in semi-private and public spaces that were informed by classical accents: grottosnympheums, garden temples and the like. - in: wikipedia

The Villas and Gardens (in red what I have):

  • Villa di Cafaggiolo
  • Villa del Trebbio
  • Villa di Careggi
  • Villa Medici in Fiesole
  • Villa di Castello
  • Villa di Poggio a Caiano
  • Villa la Petraia
  • Boboli Gardens
  • Villa di Cerreto Guidi
  • Palazzo di Seravezza
  • Gardens of Pratolino
  • Villa La Magia
  • Villa di Artimino
  • Villa del Poggio Imperiale

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor

Kotor is one of those places that I knew through postcards and now I'd love to go there

This postcard was sent by Christina

Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor.
Kotor has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Acruvium in 535, after expelling the Ostrogoths; a second town probably grew up on the heights round it, for Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in the 10th century, alludes to Lower Kotor.
The city was part of the Venetian Albania province of the Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797. It was besieged by the Ottomans in 1538 and 1657. Four centuries of Venetian domination have given the city the typical Venetian architecture, that contributed to make Kotor a UNESCO world heritage site. - in: wikipedia

Our Lady of the Rocks
This postcard was sent by Patricia from Spain

Our Lady of the Rocks is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of KotorMontenegro (the other being Sveti Đorđe Island). It is an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is the largest building on the islet; it has a museum attached. There is also a small gift shop close to the church and a navigation light at the western end of the islet.
The first known church was built on the islet in 1452. It was taken over by Roman Catholics and in 1632 the present Church of Our Lady of the Rocks was built. It was upgraded in 1722. The church contains 68 paintings by Tripo Kokolja, a famous 17th-century baroque artist from Perast. - in: wikipedia

Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Perast
This postcard arrived from Russia sent by Sasha

Perast is an old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It is situated a few kilometres northwest of Kotor and is noted for its proximity to the islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 1 September 2017

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave is the most extensive cave system in the world, with over 456 km

Mammoth Cave
This postcard was sent by Yvorne

Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. national park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Since the 1972 unification of Mammoth Cave with the even-longer system under Flint Ridge to the north, the official name of the system has been the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System. The park was established as a national park on July 1, 1941.
The park's 52,830 acres (21,380 ha) are located primarily in Edmonson County, with small areas extending eastward into Hart County and Barren County. It is centered on the Green River, with a tributary, the Nolin River, feeding into the Green just inside the park. With 405 miles (652 km) of surveyed passageways Mammoth Cave is by far the world's longest known cave system, being nearly twice as long as the second-longest cave system, Mexico's Sac Actun underwater cave. - in: wikipedia