Wednesday 25 October 2017

Heard and McDonald Islands

I really love this postcard! These penguins are so cool!

King penguins at Heard Island
This postcard was sent by Xue

Heard and McDonald Islands are remote sub-Antarctic volcanic islands located in the southern Indian Ocean about half-way between Australia and South Africa, and just over 1,600 kilometres from Antarctica. The islands are a unique wilderness, containing outstanding examples of biological and physical processes continuing in an environment essentially undisturbed by humans. 
Heard Island is dominated by Big Ben (an active volcano rising to a height of 2,745 metres), and is largely covered by snow and glaciers.
The large populations of marine birds and mammals, combined with a virtual absence of introduced species, provide a unique arena for the maintenance of biological and evolutionary processes. - in:

Macquarie Island

The Macquarie Island has a very rich wildlife, including penguins and seals

Macquarie Island - Pleurophyllum Hookeri
This postcard was sent by Xue

Macquarie Island (34 km long x 5 km wide) is an oceanic island in the Southern Ocean, lying 1,500 km south-east of Tasmania and approximately halfway between Australia and the Antarctic continent. 

King penguins and Spaniel dog at Macquarie Island 
This postcard was sent by Helen

The island is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie Ridge, raised to its present position where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate meets the Pacific plate. It is a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only place on earth where rocks from the earth’s mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level. These unique exposures include excellent examples of pillow basalts and other extrusive rocks. - in:

Sunday 22 October 2017

Messel Pit Fossil Site

Fossils of over 1000 species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes and insects can be found in this site 

Messel Pit
This postcard was sent from Switzerland by Isa

Messel Pit is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and includes exceptionally well-preserved mammal fossils, ranging from fully articulated skeletons to the contents of stomachs of animals of this period. - in:

Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau

Bauhaus was one of the most important movements of the modern architecture, but I'm not a big fan of the style

Bauhaus sites in Dessau

Between 1919 and 1933, the Bauhaus School, based first in Weimar and then in Dessau, revolutionized architectural and aesthetic concepts and practices. The buildings created and decorated by the School’s professors (Henry van de Velde, Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky) launched the Modern Movement, which shaped much of the architecture of the 20th century and beyond. - in:

Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs

Provins is known for its medieval fortifications and I would love to visit this town

Tour César
This postcard was sent by Gabi

Mention is made as early as the latter half of the 9th century of a castrum (fortress), located in the upper town. In 1137, a document written by Thibaud II, Count of Champagne, refers to the presence of a tower.
The tower was built between 1152 and 1181, under the reign of Henry the Liberal, in its current situation within the first curtain wall, which thenceforth served as an outer defensive wall.
At the origin, the tower was not covered and ended by merlons. The roof, the pepper-boxes and the framework have been added between the 16th and the 18th century.
The Caesar Tower is an outstanding illustration of the history of medieval military architecture. It served as a watchtower and a prison. - in:

Historic Site of Lyon

Lyon is not very far from Geneva, but for some reason it doesn't attract me... Maybe if I go there I'll like it, but for now I have other places in mind to see, including a few in France

Fontaine Bartholdi at the Place des Terreaux
This postcard was sent by Loic

The Place des Terreaux is a square located in the center of LyonFrance on the Presqu'île between the Rhône and the Saône, at the foot of the hill of La Croix-Rousse in the 1st arrondissement of Lyon.

The Fontaine Bartholdi is a fountain sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and realised in 1889 by Gaget & Gautier. It was erected at the Place des Terreaux, in the 1st arrondissement of Lyon, in September 1892.
The fountain depicts France as a female seated on a chariot controlling the four great rivers of France, represented by wildly rearing and plunging horses, highly individualized but symmetrically arranged, with bridles and reins of water weeds. - in: wikipedia

Friday 20 October 2017

Pyrénées - Mont Perdu

This site is located on the border between France and Spain and provides beautiful landscapes

Cirque de Gavarnie
This postcard was sent from Australia by Helen

The Cirque de Gavarnie is a cirque in the central Pyrenees, in south-western France, close to the border of Spain. It was described by Victor Hugo as "the Colosseum of nature" due to its enormous size and horseshoe shape causing a resemblance to an amphitheatre. It is located within the commune of Gavarnie, the department of Hautes-Pyrénées, and the Pyrenees National Park. Major features of the cirque are La Brèche de Roland (English: Roland's Pass) and the Gavarnie Falls. - in: wikipedia

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
This postcard was sent by Jordi

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park (Parque nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido) is an IUCN Category II National Park situated in the Pyrenees of Huesca province, AragonSpain. There has been a National Park in the Ordesa Valley since 1918. Its protected area was enlarged in 1982 to cover the whole region amounting to 156.08 km².
The most important species of the Park was the bucardo or Pyrenean ibex which unfortunately went extinct in January 2000 in spite of preservation efforts. The Pyrenean chamois is a type of goat. There are other species such as the marmotboar and the Pyrenean desman or water-mole (Galemys pyrenaicus), and great birds like the golden eagle, the bearded vulture, the griffon vulturehawks, and the royal owl. - in: wikipedia

Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada

Granada is one of the most popular touristic attractions in Spain, and no wonder... the decorations of the Alhambra palace are insanely beautiful!

This postcard was sent by Belén

The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in GranadaAndalusiaSpain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered to Renaissance tastes. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by Humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but which was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada. - in: wikipedia

Court of the Lions
This postcard was sent from Germany by Marion

The Court of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) is an oblong courtyard, 116 ft (35 m) in length by 66 ft (20 m) in width, surrounded by a low gallery supported on 124 white marble columns. A pavilion projects into the court at each extremity, with filigree walls and a light domed roof. The square is paved with coloured tiles and the colonnade with white marble, while the walls are covered 5 ft (1.5 m) up from the ground with blue and yellow tiles, with a border above and below of enamelled blue and gold. The columns supporting the roof and gallery are irregularly placed. They are adorned by varieties of foliage, etc.; about each arch there is a large square of stucco arabesques; and over the pillars is another stucco square of filigree work.
In the centre of the court is the Fountain of Lions, an alabaster basin supported by the figures of twelve lions in white marble, not designed with sculptural accuracy but as symbols of strength, power, and sovereignty. Each hour one lion would produce water from its mouth. - in: wikipedia

Sala de las dos Hermanas
This postcard was sent by Manu

The Sala de las dos Hermanas (Hall of the two Sisters), so-called from two white marble slabs laid as part of the pavement. These slabs measure 500 by 220 cm (15 by 7½ ft). There is a fountain in the middle of this hall, and the roof — a dome honeycombed with tiny cells, all different, and said to number 5000 — is an example of the "stalactite vaulting" of the Moors. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Belén

The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, now beside the city of Granada in the autonomous community of AndalusiaSpain.
The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammad III (1302–1309) and redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma'il (1313–1324). Much of the garden is a recent reconstruction of dubious authenticity. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Belén

The Albaicín or Albayzín as it was known under Muslim rule, is a district of Granada, in the autonomous community of AndalusiaSpain. It retains the narrow winding streets of its Medieval Moorish past dating back to the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. - in: wikipedia

Thursday 19 October 2017

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape

This site comprises areas that were important in the industrial revolution, spanning Cornwall and West Devon

Wheal Coates
This postcard was sent by Lucy

Wheal Coates is a former tin mine situated on the north coast of CornwallEngland, UK, on the cliff tops between Porthtowan and St Agnes.
Earliest records indicate a mine at the site since 1692. The present mine opened in 1802 and was closed in 1889 when the price of tin fell. It came into full production in 1815. Flooding and bringing ore to the surface were the main problems of the mine until steam-driven equipment was available, as the mine's underground operations extended for some distance under the sea. The mine was sold in 1844 and thereafter allowed to flood. A new owner reopened the mine in 1872 but work was sporadic until its 1889 closure. For some years, the yield was 20lb of tin per ton of ore. In 1906, new ownership hoped to work the mine for both tin and copper. Wheal Coates had produced a small amount of copper ore, more than a century earlier. - in: wikipedia

The comprised areas (in red what I have):

  • St Just Mining District
  • The Port of Hayle
  • Tregonning and Gwinear Mining Districts with Trewavas 
  • Wendron Mining District
  • Camborne and Redruth Mining District with Wheal Peevor and Portreath Harbour 
  • Gwennap Mining District with Devoran and Perran and Kennall Vale
  • St Agnes Mining District
  • The Luxulyan Valley and Charlestown 
  • Caradon Mining District
  • Tamar Valley Mining District with Tavistock 

Derwent Valley Mills

I received this card about one year ago and at the time, I don't know why, I thought it was from a site that I already had, but yesterday I realized that actually it was in my missing list! Great surprise!

The Silk Mill
This postcard was sent by Gosia

The Derwent valley, upstream from Derby on the southern edge of the Pennines, contains a series of 18th and 19th century cotton mills and an industrial landscape of high historical and technological significance. It began with the construction of the Silk Mill in Derby in 1721 for the brothers John and Thomas Lombe, which housed machinery for throwing silk, based on an Italian design. The scale, output, and numbers of workers employed were without precedent. However, it was not until Richard Arkwright constructed a water-powered spinning mill at Cromford in 1771, and a second, larger mill in 1776-77 that the "Arkwright System" was truly established. The workers' housing associated with this and the other mills are intact and span 24km of the Derwent valley from the edge of Matlock Bath in the north nearly to the centre of Derby in the south. - in:

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd

I already have one postcard with all the four castles, but they are so great that I wouldn't mind to have one postcard for each castle. I'm only missing three!

Caernarfon, Conwy, Beaumaris and Harlech Castles
This postcard was sent by Tündi

The four castles of Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon, Harlech and the attendant fortified towns at Conwy and Caernarfon in Gwynedd, North Wales, are the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe, as demonstrated through their completeness, pristine state, evidence for organized domestic space, and extraordinary repertory of their medieval architectural form.
The castles as a stylistically coherent group are a supreme example of medieval military architecture designed and directed by James of St George (c. 1230-1309), King Edward I of England’s chief architect, and the greatest military architect of the age. - in:

Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle, located in the town of the same name on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north of Wales after 1282. Plans were probably first made to construct the castle in 1284, but this was delayed due to lack of funds and work only began in 1295 following the Madog ap Llywelyn uprising. A substantial workforce was employed in the initial years under the direction of James of St George.
Beaumaris Castle was never fully built, but had it been completed it would probably have closely resembled Harlech Castle. Both castles are concentric in plan, with walls within walls, although Beaumaris is the more regular in design. - in: wikipedia

The four castles:

  • Beaumaris Castle
  • Caernarfon Castle and Town Walls
  • Conwy Castle and Town Walls
  • Harlech Castle

Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve

Bardejov is a town that I'd definitely love to visit


Bardejov is dominated by the monumental Church of St. Aegidius, mentioned for the first time in 1247. A three nave basilica with multiple chapels was completed in 1464. It hosts eleven precious Gothic winged altars with panel paintings. The central square, which used to be the town’s medieval marketplace, is surrounded by well-preserved Gothic and Renaissance burghers’ houses as well as the Basilica of St.Giles.
One of the most interesting buildings is the town hall, built in 1505. The lower part was built in the Gothic style, while the upper part was finished in the Renaissance style. This was the headquarters of the city council and also the center of the town's economic, social, and cultural life. In 1903, the town hall was adapted to serve as Saris Župa Museum, the oldest museum in Slovakia.
The fortification system and town walls date from the 14th and 15th centuries and are listed by the European Fund of Cultural Heritage as one of the most elaborate and best preserved medieval fortifications in Slovakia. - in: wikipedia

Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent

The first postcard of this post was the last postcard I received in my Portuguese address 

Novodevichy Convent
This postcard was sent by Irina

The Novodevichy Convent, situated in the south-western part of the historic town of Moscow at the crossing of the Moscow River, was founded by Grand Duke Vasily III in the 1520s and was a part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city. It is an outstanding example of Orthodox architecture. The ensemble consists of 14 buildings, including 8 cathedrals (a shrine, 4 churches, a belfry with the Barlaam and Josaphat church and two chapels) and a number of residential and service buildings.

Novodevichy Convent
This postcard was sent by Masha

The Convent is enclosed by a high masonry wall with twelve towers and with entrance gates to the north and south.
Among other major buildings of the Convent is the Bell Tower built in 1683-1690. It has no analogues among ancient Russian convents or among other buildings of Moscow Baroque style. Due to its great height (72m), unusual disposition, elegant proportions and beautiful decorations, the belfry has always been the main vertical element of the whole western part of the historic town of Moscow thus contributing to the Convent’s town-planning value. - in:

Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery

The Ferapontov Monastery is considered one of the purest examples of Russian medieval art

Ferapontov Monastery

The Ensemble of Ferrapontov Monastery is situated in the Vologda region, in the north-western part of the Russian Federation on a small hill.
The Moscow monk Ferrapont founded the monastery in 1398. The Ensemble of the Monastery was formed in the 15th-17th centuries.
The architecture of the monastery, a remarkable example of the Rostov architectural style, is outstanding in its inventiveness and purity. The buildings of the monastery retained all the characteristic features and interior decoration.
The murals of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin have a special significance for Russian culture and other cultures worldwide. The murals of the Cathedral are the only paintings of the greatest Russian master Dionisy the Wise, which have been entirely preserved to this day in their original form. - in:

Monday 16 October 2017

Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains

The six defensive works inscribed in this site show an unusual fusion of military and religious architectural techniques

Sarmizegetusa Regia
This postcard was sent by Mihai

Sarmizegetusa is the most important city in Orastie Mountains. The capital of former Dacian kingdom, the administrative, political and religious center dominates the heights from 1200 meters altitude, lying in the shade of the Godeanu Peak.
The fortress is built on five terraces, on an about 30,000 square meters area. It is surrounded by murus dacicus – three meters thick walls built using a Dacian ancient technique.
The most visited part of the fortress is the sacred area which includes seven visible sanctuaries, a paved road, an andesite sun and the defense towers. This is the area showing the original positions of the Dacian buildings. The walls of the entrance were built by Romans after conquering the city as part of a Roman castrum. - in:

This postcard was sent by Daniela

The fortress was built in two major stages. It has some storage rooms, four defense towers and an outside water tank. Inside you will find a particularly ingenuous input at that time: the enemy entered through the first tower and was forced against a wall to turn right, where the Dacian soldiers waited. Blidaru was considered the military school where Dacians prepared their soldiers. - in:

The 6 Dacian Fortresses (in red what I have):

  • Sarmizegetusa
  • Costesti-Cetatuie
  • Costesti-Blidaru
  • Luncani-Piatra Rosie
  • Banita 
  • Capâlna

Sunday 15 October 2017

Studenica Monastery

The Studenica Monastery is known for its collection of 13th and 14th century Byzantine-style fresco paintings

Studenica Monastery - King's Church
This postcard was sent by Renato

Studenica Monastery, located in the Raška district of central Serbia, is the largest and richest of Serbia’s Orthodox monasteries. It was founded near Studenica river in the late 12th century by Stefan Nemanja, also known as Saint Simeon, who established the medieval Serbian state. His remains, as well as those of his wife Anastasia and of the first Serbian king, Stephen the First-Crowned, rest in this monastery. It is there that Stefan Nemanja’s youngest son, Saint Sava Nemanjić, initiated the independent Serbian Orthodox Church in 1219 and wrote the first literary work in the Serbian language. The complex’s two principal monuments, the Church of the Virgin and the King’s Church, enshrine priceless collections of 13th- and 14th-century Byzantine paintings. Studenica became the most important monastery in Serbia, and has remained so to the present day.

The modestly scaled King’s Church was founded in 1314 by King Milutin, who commissioned the renowned Salonican painters Michael and Eutychius to decorate the church’s interior with frescoes. - in: