Saturday 26 May 2018

Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey

This wonderful park was created around the ruins of the Cistercian Fountains Abbey and Fountains Hall Castle

Water Garden with the Statue of Galen and the Temple of Piety
This postcard was sent from Spain by Patricia

The water garden at Studley Royal created by John Aislabie in 1718 is one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. It was expanded by his son, William who purchased the adjacent Fountains Estate. The garden's elegant ornamental lakes, canals, temples and cascades provide a succession of dramatic eye-catching vistas. It is also studded with a number of follies including a neo-Gothic castle and a palladian style banqueting house. - in: wikipedia

Fountains Abbey
This postcard was sent by Adam

Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It is located approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres) south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, near to the village of Aldfield. Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for 407 years becoming one of the wealthiest monasteries in England until its dissolution in 1539 under the order of Henry VIII. - in: wikipedia

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)

If it's true that some of these buildings are very look alike it's also true that they are all very beautiful and impressive! And when the nature does its magic around them it's absolutely gorgeous!

Tō-ji Temple
This postcard was sent by Phoebe

Tō-ji (東寺 Tō-ji?) (East Temple) is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect in Kyoto, Japan. It once had a partner,Sai-ji (West Temple) and, together, they stood alongside the Rashomon, gate to the Heian capital. It was formally known as Kyō-ō-gokoku-ji (教王護国寺 The Temple for the Defense of the Nation by Means of the King of Doctrines?) which indicates that it previously functioned as a temple providing protection for the nation. 

Tō-ji was founded in the early Heian period. The temple dates from 796, two years after the capital moved to Heian-kyō. Together with its partner Sai-ji, and the temple Shingon-in (located in the Heian Palace), it was one of only three Buddhist temples allowed in the capital at the time, and is the only of the three to survive to the present.

The Five-story pagoda of Tō-ji stands 54.8 m high, and is the tallest wooden tower in Japan. It dates from the Edo period, when it was rebuilt by order of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. The pagoda has been, and continues to be, a symbol of Kyoto. Entrance into the pagoda itself is permitted only a few days a year. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Jennifer

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺?), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺?) is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto.
Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 778, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills.Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. - in: wikipedia

Ninna-ji Temple
This postcard was sent by Ai

Ninna-ji (仁和寺 Ninna-ji?) is the head temple of the Omuro school of the Shingon Sect of BuddhismLocated in western KyotoJapan, it was founded in AD 888 by the retired Emperor Uda. It is part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ninna-ji was founded in the early Heian period. In 886, Emperor Kōkō ordered the construction of the Nishiyama Goganji Temple to bless the nation and propagate Buddhist teachings, but he did not live to see its completion. Emperor Uda saw the construction to its completion in 888 and named it "Ninna" after the regnal year of the late Emperor Kōkō's reign. From 888 to 1869 it was traditional for reigning Emperors to send a son to the temple to take over as head priest when a vacancy arose. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Phoebe

Byōdō-in (平等院?) is a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji in Kyoto PrefectureJapan, built in late Heian period. It is jointly a temple of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land) and Tendai-shū sects.
This temple was originally built in 998 in the Heian period as a rural villa of high-ranking courtier Minamoto no Shigenobu, Minister of the Left. The property was purchased from Minamoto no Shigenobu's wife after he died by Fujiwara no Michinaga, one of the most powerful members of the Fujiwara clan. The villa was made into a Buddhist temple by Fujiwara no Yorimichi in 1052. - in: wikipedia

Kinkaku-ji Temple
This postcard was sent by Juka

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺?, lit. "Temple of the Golden Pavilion"), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺?, lit. "Deer Garden Temple"), is a Zen Buddhist temple in KyotoJapan. 

Kinkaku-ji Temple
This postcard arrived through the official Postcrossing site

It is one of the most popular buildings in Japan, attracting a large number of visitors annually. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations comprising the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites. - in: wikipedia

Nijō Castle
This postcard was sent by Claus

Nijō Castle (二条城 Nijō-jō?) is a flatland castle in Kyoto, Japan. The castle consists of two concentric rings (Kuruwa) of fortifications, the Ninomaru Palace, the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, various support buildings and several gardens. The surface area of the castle is 275,000 square meters, of which 8000 square meters is occupied by buildings. - in: wikipedia

The 17 monuments (in red what I already have):

  • Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine aka Kamigamo Shrine
  • Kamomioya Shrine aka Shimogamo Shrine
  • Kyōōgokoku-ji aka Tō-ji 
  • Kiyomizu-dera
  • Enryaku-ji
  • Daigo-ji 
  • Ninna-ji 
  • Byōdō-in 
  • Ujigami Shrine 
  • Kōzan-ji 
  • Saihō-ji aka Moss temple
  • Tenryū-ji
  • Rokuon-ji aka Temple of the Golden Pavilion
  • Jishō-ji aka Temple of the Silver Pavilion
  • Ryōan-ji (The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon)
  • Nishi Hongan-ji
  • Nijō Castle

Monday 21 May 2018

The Dolomites

The Dolomites are a mountain range, with beautiful landscapes, located in northeastern Italy 

The Dolomites - Rosengarten Group
This postcard arrived from Germany sent by Mannick

The site of the Dolomites comprises a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems. It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. 

The Dolomites - Seiser Alm
This postcard was sent by Emerich

The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records. - in:

Saturday 19 May 2018

Strasbourg, Grande-Île and Neustadt

Stasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region. I had already spent a wonderful weekend in Colmar with my family, and this weekend we've been to Strasbourg. There are a lot of beautiful things to see but the cathedral is absolutely great! I believe that is the most beautiful cathedral I've ever seen. And I had a wonderful crêpe Strasbourgeoise in a crêperie right in front of the cathedral. I just couldn't find postcards of any of the buildings in the Neustadt

Strasbourg - Grande Île
This postcard was sent by João

The Grande Île is an island that lies at the historic centre of the city of Strasbourg in France. Its name means "Large Island", and derives from the fact that it is surrounded on one side by the main channel of the Ill River and on the other side by the Canal du Faux-Rempart, a canalised arm of that river
At the centre of the island lies Place Kléber, the city's central square. Further south is Strasbourg Cathedral, the world's fourth-tallest church and an ornate example of 15th-century Gothic architecture. At the western end of the island is the quarter of Petite France, the former home of the city's tannersmillers and fishermen, and now one of Strasbourg's main tourist attractions.
Besides the cathedral, the Grand Île is home to four other centuries-old churches: St. ThomasSt. Pierre-le-VieuxSt. Pierre-le-Jeune, and St. Étienne. Being the historical center of Strasbourg and thus the seat of worldly power it also houses the city's most imposing 18th-century hôtels particuliers and palaces, including the Palais Rohan. - in: wikipedia

Strasbourg Cathedral

Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in StrasbourgAlsaceFrance. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architectureErwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318.
At 142 metres (466 feet), it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874 (227 years), when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest extant structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.

Strasbourg Cathedral

Protestant and Revolutionary iconoclasm, the war periods of 1681, 1870 and 1940–1944 as well as changes in taste and liturgy have taken a toll on some of Strasbourg Cathedral's most outstanding features such as the choir screen of 1252 and the successive high altars (ca. 1500 and 1682), but many treasures remain inside the building; others, or fragments of them, being displayed in the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame.
The cathedral's south transept houses an 18-metre astronomical clock, one of the largest in the world. - in: wikipedia

Ponts Couverts

The Ponts Couverts are a set of three bridges and four towers that make up a defensive work erected in the 13th century on the River Ill in the city of Strasbourg in France. The three bridges cross the four river channels of the River Ill that flow through Strasbourg's historic Petite France quarter.
Construction of the Ponts Couverts commenced in 1230, and they were opened in 1250. As a defensive mechanism, they were superseded by the Barrage Vauban, just upstream, in 1690, but remained in use as bridges. As built, each of the bridges was covered by a wooden roof that served to protect the defenders who would have been stationed on them in time of war. These roofs were removed in 1784, but name Ponts Couverts (covered bridges) has remained in common use ever since. - in: wikipedia


Aubette is a historical building on Place Kléber in StrasbourgFrance. It was built by Jacques-François Blondel in 1765–1772. Between 1926 and 1928 it was redecorated by Sophie Taeuber-ArpJean Arp and De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg. The work of the three artists had been called "the Sistine Chapel of abstract art". - in: wikipedia

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Speyer Cathedral

Finally I visited a UNESCO site in Germany! The Speyer cathedral wasn't the site I had in mind to be the first but it was totally worth it! The cathedral is amazing, the historic center is very beautiful and I had an extraordinary meal with German sausages and German beer! 

Speyer Cathedral
This postcard was sent by Uwe

The Speyer Cathedral, officially the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen, in SpeyerGermany, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Speye rand is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Bamberg.

Speyer Cathedral

The cathedral, which is dedicated to St. Mary, patron saint of Speyer ("Patrona Spirensis") and St. Stephen is generally known as Kaiserdom zu Speyer (Imperial Cathedral of Speyer). Pope Pius XI raised Speyer Cathedral to the rank of a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church in 1925.

Speyer Cathedral

Begun in 1030 under Conrad II, with the east end and high vault of 1090-1103, the imposing triple-aisled vaulted basilica of red sandstone is the "culmination of a design which was extremely influential in the subsequent development of Romanesque architecture during the 11th and 12th centuries". As the burial site for SalianStaufer and Habsburg emperors and kings the cathedral is regarded as a symbol of imperial power. 

Speyer with the Cathedral in the background

With the Abbey of Cluny in ruins, it remains the largest Romanesque church. It is considered to be "a turning point in European architecture", one of the most important architectural monuments of its time and one of the finest Romanesque monuments.

Domnapf and Cathedral's main door

In the square at the western end of the cathedral is a large bowl known as Domnapf (lit.: 'cathedral bowl') It formerly marked the boundary between the episcopal and municipal territories. Each new bishop on his election had to fill the bowl with wine, while the burghers emptied it to his health.

Speyer Cathedral
This postcard of a Postcrossing meeting in Speyer was sent by Niklot

In 1981, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites as "a major monument of Romanesque art in the German Empire". - in: wikipedia

Speyer Cathedral
This postcard was sent by Rüdiger