Saturday 26 January 2019

Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks

This is my second postcard from Argentina that shows more than one UNESCO site. On the top there's Quebrada de Humahuaca but I already had one card from there. On the bottom corners there's Talampaya National Park and Ischigualasto Provincial Park, from where I didn't have postcards, until now :)

Talampaya and Ischigualsto (bottom corners)
This postcard was sent from Brazil by Paulo

Ischigualasto-Talampaya Natural Parks are located in the northern part of central Argentina comprised of two adjoining protected areas. These are Ischigualasto Provincial Park (60,369 hectares) in San Juan Province and Talampaya National Park (215,000 hectares) in Rioja Province, jointly covering 275,369 hectares west of the Sierras Pampeanas. The property is situated within Argentina's Monte ecoregion, a warm scrub desert along the Eastern Andean foothills. Against the backdrop of an attractive mountain landscape the property is a scientific treasure of global importance. It harbours the sedimentary Ischigualasto-Villa Union Triassic Basin, consisting of continental sediments deposited during the entire Triassic Period. This Basin boasts an exceptionally complete record and sequence of plant and animal life in the geological period from roughly 250 to 200 million years ago which represents the origin of both dinosaurs and mammals. Six distinct sedimentary formations contain the fossilised remains of a wide range of ancestral animals and plants revealing the evolution of vertebrates and detailed information on palaeoenvironments over the approximately 50 million years of the Triassic Period, and the dawn of the “Age of the Dinosaurs”. The ongoing scientific discoveries are invaluable for understanding palaeontology and evolutionary biology.
The property is located in an arid region in the rain shadow of the Andes. Further to the significance for research the property has important archaeological values, such as 1500 year-old petroglyphs. Exceptional landscape features include red sandstone cliffs reaching 200 metres in height in Talampaya National Park and, in Ischigualasto Provincial Park, white and multi-coloured sediments creating a stark landscape named “Valle de la Luna" or "Valley of the Moon”. The site has sparse desert vegetation, characterised by xeric shrubs and cactus, with interspersed trees. The desert environment contains several rare and endemic species of flora and fauna. - in:

Friday 25 January 2019

Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

Mycenae and Tiryns were the two greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization. 

Treasury of Atreus
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon is a large "tholos" tomb on the Panagitsa Hill at MycenaeGreece, constructed during the Bronze Age around 1250 BC. The lintel stone above the doorway weighs 120 tons, with approximate dimensions 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.2m, the largest in the world. The tomb was used for an unknown period. Mentioned by Pausanias, it was still visible in 1879 when the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered the shaft graves under the 'agora' in the Acropolis at Mycenae. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent from Germany by Svenja

Tiryns is a Mycenaean archaeological site in Argolis in the Peloponnese, and the location from which mythical hero Heracles performed his 12 labors.
Tiryns was a hill fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years, from before the beginning of the Bronze Age. It reached its height between 1400 and 1200 BC, when it was one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean world, and in particular in Argolis. Its most notable features were its palace, its cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls, which gave the city its Homeric epithet of "mighty walled Tiryns". Tiryns is linked with the myths surrounding Heracles, as the city was the residence of the hero during his labors, and some sources even cite it as his birthplace. - in: wikipedia

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most innovating architectural works of the 20th century. 

Sydney Opera House
This postcard was sent by Peter who already performed in the Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in SydneyAustralia, identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings.
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The government of New South Wales, led by the premierJoseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.

Sydney Opera House
This postcard was sent by Penny

The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells", each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level.

Sydney Opera House (center and top corners)
This postcard was sent by my friend Barbara who is now living and working in Sydney

Although the roof structures are commonly referred to as "shells" (as in this article), they are precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs, not shells in a strictly structural sense. Though the shells appear uniformly white from a distance, they actually feature a subtle chevron pattern composed of 1,056,006 tiles in two colours: glossy white and matte cream. - in: wikipedia

Monday 14 January 2019

Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex

Dong Phayayen–Khao Yai Forest Complex covers five protected areas: Khao YaiThap LanPang Sida and Ta Phraya National Parks, and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Khao Yai National Park
This postcard was sent by SL

Khao Yai National Park is in the western part of the Sankamphaeng Mountain Range, at the southwestern boundary of the Khorat Plateau. The highest mountain in the area of the park is 1,351 m high Khao Rom.
This park lies largely in Nakhon Ratchasima Province (Khorat), but also includes parts of SaraburiPrachinburi, and Nakhon Nayok Provinces.
The park is the third largest in Thailand. It covers an area of 300 square kilometers, including tropical seasonal forests and grasslands. Elevations mostly range from 400–1,000 m. There are 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds like red junglefowl and coral-billed ground cuckoo, and 66 species of mammals, including Asian black bearIndian elephantgaurgibbon, Indian sambar deersouthern pig-tailed macaque, Indian muntjacUssuri dhole, and wild pig. There are no tigers in Khao Yai, and there haven't been any for at least twenty years. Its waterfalls include the 80 metre Heo Narok, and Heo Suwat made famous from the film The Beach.
Recent wildlife studies show that animal ranges, particularly the few resident tigers, are impacted by human activity near the center of the park. This study has not deflected the government's call for private lodging concessions within the park itself. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Church Town of Gammelstad, Luleå

For those who like snow, Gammelstad looks a wonderful destination to spend Christmas time

This postcard was sent by Doris

Gammelstad, outside Luleå on the road to Boden, used to be the city centre up until the 17th century, before it was moved closer to the sea and the harbour where it lies today. When the city moved, it was named the New City of Luleå (Luleå Nya Stad) and the old one became The Old City of Luleå (Luleå Gamla Stad). The names were soon shortened to Luleå and Gammelstad respectively.
Gammelstad is home to a unique cultural environment. Here you can find the largest late medieval stone church in Northern Sweden, from 1492 and the largest and most well-preserved church town in Sweden with more than 400 church cottages, homes and parish warehouses. This was where Luleå grew from a small church town and trading place into a real city.
The church cottages were built by local farmers in a time when attendance at church services was mandatory and the great distances in Northern Sweden made one-day visits impossible. - in:

Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia

It's sad that such a colorful city has such a strong connection with slavery... It is the kind of thing that mankind must be ashamed of but should never forget

Colonial Houses of Pelourinho
This postcard was sent by Livia

The Historic Center of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, also known as the Pelourinho (Portuguese for "Pillory") or Pelo, is a historic neighborhood in western SalvadorBahia. It was the city's center during the Portuguese colonial period and was named for the whipping post in its central plaza where African slaves received punishment for various infractions, as well as for disciplinary purposes. The Historic Center is extremely rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Salvador was the first colonial capital of Brazil and the city is one of the oldest in the New World (founded in 1549 by Portuguese settlers). 

Typical Baiana at Pelourinho
This postcard was sent by Luzia

It was also the first slave market on the continent, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations. This area is in the older part of the upper city (Cidade Alta) of Salvador. It ecompasses several blocks around the triangular Largo, and it is the location for music, dining and nightlife. In the 1990s, a major restoration effort resulted in making the area a highly desirable tourist attraction. It has a place on the national historic register and was named a world cultural center by UNESCO in 1985. Easily walkable, Pelo has something to see along every street, including churches, cafes, restaurants, shops and the pastel-hued buildings. - in: wikipedia

Purnululu National Park

The Purnululu National Park is particularly famous for the sandstone domes of the Bungle Bungle Range

Bungle Bungle Range
This postcard was sent by Penny

The 239,723 ha Purnululu National Park is located in the State of Western Australia. It contains the deeply dissected Bungle Bungle Range composed of Devonian-age quartz sandstone eroded over a period of 20 million years into a series of beehive-shaped towers or cones, whose steeply sloping surfaces are distinctly marked by regular horizontal bands of dark-grey cyanobacterial crust (single-celled photosynthetic organisms). These outstanding examples of cone karst owe their existence and uniqueness to several interacting geological, biological, erosional and climatic phenomena. - in

Bungle Bungle Range
This postcard was sent by Penny

Bungle Bungle Range is the landform that is the major component of the Purnululu National Park in Western Australia.

Bungle Bungle Range
This postcard was sent from England by Miguel

The distinctive beehive-shaped towers are made up of sandstones and conglomerates (rocks composed mainly of pebbles and boulders and cemented together by finer material). These sedimentary formations were deposited into the Red Basin 375 to 350 million years ago, when active faults were altering the landscape. The combined effects of wind from the Tanami Desert and rainfall over millions of years shaped the domes. Weathering also helped create this marvel. Water seeps into the rock, and at night it expands as it gets colder. This creates small cracks which eventually wears out the rock. - in: wikipedia