Tuesday 28 November 2017

White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal

This site includes eight medieval limestone monuments from the late 12th and early 13th centuries. 

Assumption Cathedral
This postcard was sent by Elena

Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir (sometimes translated Assumption Cathedral) used to be a mother church of medieval Russia in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The cathedral was commissioned by Andrew the Pious in his capital Vladimir and dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), whom he promoted as the patron saint of his lands. Originally erected in 1158-1160, the 6-pillared 5-domed cathedral was expanded in 1185-1189 to reflect the augmented prestige of Vladimir. Embracing the area of 1178 sq. meters, it remained the largest of Russian churches for the following 300 or 400 years.
Andrew the PiousVsevolod the Big Nest, and other rulers of Vladimir-Suzdal were interred in the crypt of this church. Unlike many other churches, the cathedral survived the great devastation and fire of Vladimir in 1239, when the Mongol hordes of Batu Khan took hold of the capital.
The exterior walls of the church are covered with elaborate carvings. The interior was painted in the 12th century and then repainted by the great Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chernyi in 1408. The Dormition Cathedral served as a model for Aristotele Fioravanti when he designed thee ponymous cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin in 1475-1479. A lofty belltower, combining genuinely Russian, Gothic, and Neoclassical influences, was erected nearby in 1810. - in: wikipedia

Golden Gate
This postcard was sent by Natasha

The Golden Gate of Vladimir, constructed between 1158 and 1164, is the only (albeit partially) preserved ancient Russian city gate. A museum inside focuses on the history of the Mongol invasion of Russia in the 13th century.
The Golden Gates existed in the holiest cities of Eastern OrthodoxyJerusalemConstantinople, and Kiev. On making Vladimir his capital, Andrew the Pious aspired to emulate these structures, commissioning a lofty tower over the city's main gate to be erected in limestone and lined with golden plaques. According to ancient Russian chronicles, the masons were invited from Friedrich Barbarossa. The main arch used to stand 85 meters tall. The structure was topped with a barbican church dedicated to the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe and symbolizing theTheotokos's protection of Andrew's capital.
The gate survived the Mongol destruction of Vladimir in 1237. By the late 18th century, however, the structure had so deteriorated that Catherine the Great was afraid to pass through the arch for fear of its tumbling down. In 1779, she ordered detailed measurements and drawings of the monument to be executed. In 1795, after many discussions, the vaults and barbican church were demolished. Two flanking round towers were constructed in order to reinforce the structure, and artisans then reconstructed the barbican, following the drawings made in 1779. - in: wikipedia

Staircase Tower and Church of  the Nativity of the Virgin
This postcard was sent by Natasha

It was built in 1158-1164 on the bank of the Klyazma river ten kilometers from Vladimir. It looked as a town encircled by earth ramparts, white stone walls and moats. The white stone residence was remarkable for its beauty. The church of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin was connected to the living quarters and the fortress wall by the galleries and towers. 
The cathedral was decorated with carved relief's, frescoes, copper and gilt details, ceramic floors and stained glass windows. Marble-like painting decorated round columns supporting the vault and the cupola. At the entrance to the cathedral stood a wonderful font under a canopy. The square was paved with white stone slabs. 

Andrei Bogolyubsky spent here 17 years of his reign and was murdered here in the staircase tower in 1774. This very two-tiered tower and the gallery attached to it are the only fragments that have survived out of the numerous buildings of the royal residence. 

After the prince's death a monastery has been established in Bogolyubovo. The ancient cathedral crumbled away with age and in the 18th century was replaced with a new one. A hipped roofed belfry was built over the staircase tower. 

In the 19th century the high above - the-gate church of the Assumption with a bell-tower and the huge 5-domed cathedral were built. - in: http://www.cdo.vlsu.ru:8080/eng/geography_museum/bogolubovo/palace_of_prince_andrei_bogolyubsky/

Church of the Intercession on the Nerl
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl River is an Orthodox church and a symbol of medieval Russia.
The church is situated at the confluence of Nerl and Klyazma Rivers in BogolyubovoSuzdalsky DistrictVladimir Oblast, 13 km north-east of the ancient capital of Vladimir.
The church was commissioned by Andrei Bogolyubsky. According to some sources, it was built to commemorate Andrei's victory over the Bulgars and his son Izyaslav, who was slain in the battle. The exact construction date of the church is unknown.
The monument is built in white stone, and has one dome and four columns in the interior. Its proportions are elongated on purpose to make its outline seem more slender, although this architectural solution made its interior too dark for holding divine services. - in: wikipedia

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos
This postcard was  sent by Natalia

The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Suzdal Russia is a World Heritage Site. It is one of the eight White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal. One of the most complex monuments of Russian medieval architecture. It was originally constructed during the reign of Vladimir II Monomakh during the late 11th century.
The Cathedral of the Nativity is surrounded by a ring of earthen walls in an oxbow of Kamenka River. It is notable for being the first city cathedral not built for the exclusive use of the knyaz or his relatives. The cathedral contains the remains of a son of Yuri Dolgoruki, knyazes of the Shuisky family and others. - in: wikipedia

St Boris and St Gleb Church
This postcard was sent by Natasha

The Church of Boris and Gleb is a church built in 1152, on the orders of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky, in Kideksha on the Nerl River, "where the encampment of Saint Boris had been". It was probably part of the princely (wooden) palace complex, but was only used by Dolgorukii for a few years before he left to become Grand Prince of Kiev in 1155. 

St Boris and St Gleb Church
This postcard was sent by Maria on behalf of Luzia

The church, built in limestone probably by architects from Galicia, is a four-piered, three-apse church. It is one of the oldest in the district and one of the few churches built by Dolgorukii that is still extant. It retains fragments of frescoes dating back to the twelfth century. In the medieval period it was the site of a monastery and was then a parish church. The building has been significantly altered over the centuries. It lost its original vaulting and dome (the current roof and small dome date to the seventeenth century) and the apses are thought to be half their original height (their tops too were lost with the roof); a porch was added in the nineteenth century. - in: wikipedia

These are the 8 monuments included in the World Heritage list: (in red what I already have)
  • Cathedral of the Assumption in Vladimir
  • Golden Gate in Vladimir
  • Prince Castle in Bogolyubovo (Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin and Staircase Tower of the Palace of Andrei Bogolyubsky
  • Church of the Intercession on the River Nerl 
  • Cathedral of Saint Demetrius in Vladimir
  • Kremlin of Suzdal and Cathedral of Nativity
  • Monastery of Our Savior and St Euthymius in Suzdal
  • Church of Sts Boris and Gleb in Suzdal

Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi

Qutb Minar is the best-known structure in the Qutb complex, but there are more wonderful monuments in Delhi inscribed in this site

Qutb Minar
This postcard was sent by Srujan

Qutub Minar is a minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of DelhiIndia. Qutub Minar is a 73-metre (239 feet) tall tapering tower of five storeys, with a 14.3 metre (47 feet) base diameter, reducing to 2.7 metres (9 feet) at the peak. It contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. Its design is thought to have been based on the Minaret of Jam, in western Afghanistan.
Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, started construction of the Qutub Minar's first storey around 1192. In 1220, Aibak's successor and son-in-law Iltutmish completed a further three storeys. In 1369, a lightning strike destroyed the top storey. Firoz Shah Tughlaq replaced the damaged storey, and added one more. - in: wikipedia

Iron Pillar of Delhi
This postcard was sent by Claus

The iron pillar of Delhi is a 7 m (23 ft) kirti stambha (column of fame or victory column), originally erected and dedicated as dhvaja (banner) to Hindu deity lord Vishnu in 3rd to 4th century CE by king Chandra, currently standing in the Qutb complex at Mehrauli in Delhi, India.
The pillar has attracted the attention of archaeologists and materials scientists because of its high resistance to corrosion and has been called a "testimony to the high level of skill achieved by the ancient Indian iron smiths in the extraction and processing of iron." The corrosion resistance results from an even layer of crystalline iron hydrogen phosphate hydrate forming on the high-phosphorus-content iron, which serves to protect it from the effects of the Delhi climate.
The pillar weighs over 6,000 kg (13,000 lb) and is thought to have originally been erected in what is now Udayagiri by one of the Gupta monarchs in approximately 402 CE, though the precise date and location are a matter of dispute. - in: wikipedia

Thursday 23 November 2017

Grand Canyon National Park

This is probably the most well known canyon in the world. At least, is the one that comes to my mind when I think of canyons...

Grand Canyon
This postcard was sent by Claudia

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in ArizonaUnited States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).

Grand Canyon

Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon. - in: wikipedia

Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Thomas Jefferson designed himself the plantation home, known as Monticello, and the Academical Village. So far I only have a postcard of the first one

This postcard was sent by Valerie

Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who began designing and building Monticello at age 26 after inheriting land from his father.
Jefferson designed the main house using neoclassical design principles described by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and reworking the design through much of his presidency to include design elements popular in late 18th-century Europe and integrating numerous of his own design solutions. - in: wikipedia

Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point

This is definitely not the most beautiful postcard I have, but that doesn't make it less important

Poverty Point Earthworks
This postcard was sent by Claudia

Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point owes its name to a 19th-century plantation close to the site, which is in the Lower Mississippi Valley on a slightly elevated and narrow landform. The complex comprises five mounds, six concentric semi-elliptical ridges separated by shallow depressions and a central plaza. It was created and used for residential and ceremonial purposes by a society of hunter fisher-gatherers between 3700 and 3100 BP. It is a remarkable achievement in earthen construction in North America that was unsurpassed for at least 2,000 years. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1435

Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia

This site includes thousands of graves, some of them masterpieces of creative genius. So far I only have necropolises from Cerveteri

Necropolises of Cerveteri

The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropolis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 hectares (990 acres), of which 10 hectares (25 acres) can be visited, encompassing a total of ca. 1,000 tombs often housed in characteristic mounds. It is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area. The name Banditaccia comes from the leasing (bando) of areas of land to the Cerveteri population by the local landowners.
The tombs date from the 9th century BC (Villanovan culture) to the later Etruscan period (3rd century BC). The earliest tombs are in the shape of a pit, in which the ashes of the dead were housed; also simple potholes are present. - in: wikipedia

Mantua and Sabbioneta

An Italian friend recommended me recently the city of Mantua to spend a weekend. I don't have plans to visit Italy again in a near future, but since I don't have any postcard from Sabbioneta maybe it is a good idea to visit both 

This postcard was sent by Marina

Mantua (ItalianMantova) is a city and commune in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the province of the same name.
Mantua is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes, created during the 12th century, as the city's defence system.
Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic, cultural, and especially musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole.
The Gonzagas protected the arts and culture, and were hosts to several important artists such as Leone Battista AlbertiAndrea MantegnaGiulio RomanoDonatelloPeter Paul RubensPisanelloDomenico FettiLuca Fancelli and Nicolò Sebregondi. Though many of the masterworks have been dispersed, the cultural value of Mantua is nonetheless outstanding, with many of Mantua's patrician and ecclesiastical buildings being uniquely important examples of Italian architecture. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Su Nuraxi di Barumini

This is, so far, the only UNESCO World Heritage site in the island of Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea

Su Nuraxi di Barumini
This postcard was sent by Isabetta

The archaeological site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini in Sardinia is the best-known example of the unique form of Bronze Age defensive complexes known as nuraghi. The elevated position of Su Nuraxi dominates a vast and fertile plain to the west of the municipal district of Barumini. The site was occupied from the time of construction of nuraghe in the 2nd millennium BCE until 3rd century CE. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/833/

Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika

Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, fifteen of them included in the World Heritage list

Byzantine Walls of Thessaloniki
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Walls of Thessaloniki are the city walls surrounding the city of Thessaloniki during the Middle Ages and until the late 19th century, when large parts of the walls, including the entire seaward section, were demolished as part of the Ottoman authorities' restructuring of Thessaloniki's urban fabric. The city was fortified from its establishment in the late 4th century B.O.T, but the present walls date from the early Byzantine period, ca. 390, and incorporate parts of an earlier, late 3rd-century wall. - in: wikipedia

The monuments inscribed (in red what I have):
  • City Walls
  • Rotunda
  • Church of Acheiropoietos
  • Church of St. Demetrios
  • Latomou Monastery
  • Church of St. Sophia
  • Church of Panagia Chalkeon
  • Church of St. Panteleimon
  • Church of the Holy Apostles
  • Church of St. Nicholas Orphanos
  • Church of St. Catherine
  • Church of Christ Saviour
  • Blatades Monastery
  • Church of Prophet Elijah
  • Byzantine Bath

Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

This site includes monuments from the 4th century, such as the temple of Asklepios, the Tholos and the Theatre

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is a theatre in the Greek city of Epidaurus, located on the southeast end of the sanctuary dedicated to the ancient Greek God of medicine, Asclepius. It is built on the west side of Cynortion Mountain, near modern Lygourio, and belongs to the Epidaurus Municipality. It is considered to be the most perfect ancient Greek theatre with regard to acoustics and aesthetics. - in: wikipedia

Saturday 18 November 2017

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor (Argentina), Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes (Brazil)

The postcard I have from Argentina, besides this site, also shows the Iguazu, a World Heritage site as well. But since I have another postcard from there I post this one here because it's the only one I have so far showing a Mission in Argentina. 

São Miguel das Missões
This postcard was sent by Livia

The Ruins of São Miguel das Missões is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the municipality of São Miguel das Missões, in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul state, in southern Brazil.
The São Miguel das Missões mission was built between 1735 to around 1745 as Mission San Miguel Arcángel. São Miguel das Missões was one of the many Spanish Colonial Jesuit Reductions in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. - in: wikipedia

San Ignacio Mini (left bottom corner)
This postcard was sent by Luzia

San Ignacio Miní was one of the many missions founded in 1632, in Argentina, by the Jesuits in what the colonial Spaniards called the Province of Paraguay of the Americas during the Spanish colonial period. It is located near present-day San Ignacio valley, some 60 km north of PosadasMisiones ProvinceArgentina.
The ruins are one of the best preserved among the several built in the territory of the Province of Paraguay, which today is divided among Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Due to its accessibility, it is one of the most visited. - in: wikipedia

The Missions (in red what I have):

  • São Miguel das Missões
  • San Ignacio Mini
  • Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana
  • Nuestra Señora de Loreto
  • Santa María la Mayor