Thursday, 23 May 2019

Fortress of Suomenlinna

There was a time when it was very common to receive new UNESCO sites through the official site of Postcrossing. Now, that I have more than 800, is not that easy... All these postcards of the Suomenlinna Fortress were sent through the official site. 

Fortress of Suomenlinna

This postcard is an official sent by Helena

Suomenlinna, until 1918 Viapori (Finnish), or Sveaborg (Swedish), is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands (Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören) and which now forms part of the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland

Fortress of Suomenlinna

This postcard is an official sent by Seija

Sweden started building the fortress in 1748, when Finland was still a part of the Swedish kingdom. Augustin Ehrensvärd (1710–1772) and his gigantic fortification work on the islands off the town of Helsinki brought the district a new and unexpected importance. The fortification of Helsinki and its islands began in January 1748, when Ehrensvärd, as a young lieutenant colonel, came to direct the operations. Fortifications were also built on the Russian side of the new border during the 18th century and some of the Swedish ones were added to. 

Fortress of Suomenlinna
This postcard is an official sent by Nina

No longer very practical as a military base, Suomenlinna was turned over to civilian administration in 1973. An independent government department (the Governing Body of Suomenlinna) was formed to administer the unique complex. (...) The presence of the military on the islands has been drastically scaled down in recent decades.

Fortress of Suomenlinna
This postcard was sent by Anneli

Suomenlinna is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki as well as a popular picnicking spot for the city's inhabitants. On a sunny summer day the islands, and in particular the ferries, can get quite crowded. - in: wikipedia

Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey

This was once an important abbey that was turned into a palace but the front of the original building survived

Imperial Abbey of Corvey
This postcard was sent by Paula from the 5th international meet-up of Bielefeld

The Imperial Abbey of Corvey or Princely Abbey of Corvey was a Benedictine abbey on the River Weser, 2 km northeast of Höxter, now in North Rhine-WestphaliaGermany. It was one of the Imperial abbeys of the Holy Roman Empire from the late Middle Ages until 1792 when the abbey was dissolved and Corvey converted into a prince-bishopric. It was in turn secularized in 1803 and absorbed into the newly created Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda. 

Schloss Corvey
This postcard was sent by Marcel

Landgrave Victor Amadeus rebuilt the abbey buildings as a Schloss (palace). In 1834, the property fell to Victor von Hohenlohe-Schillingfürst, a member of the House of Hohenlohe. In 1840, he was granted the title Herzog von Ratibor und Fürst von Corvey (Duke of Ratibor and Prince of Corvey) by King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Since then, Schloss Corvey has remained property of the family.

Schloss Corvey
This postcard was sent by Sonja

The Carolingian Westwerk (west front) of the abbey, with its landmark matching towers survives, the earliest standing medieval structure in Westphalia, but most of the abbey church is now Baroque. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 17 May 2019

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Cavern includes one of the largest natural limestone chamber in North America

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
This postcard was sent by Grant

This karst landscape in the state of New Mexico comprises over 80 recognized caves. They are outstanding not only for their size but also for the profusion, diversity and beauty of their mineral formations. Lechuguilla Cave stands out from the others, providing an underground laboratory where geological and biological processes can be studied in a pristine setting. - in:

Big Room
This postcard was sent by Jacquelynn

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is an American national park in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park is the show caveCarlsbad Cavern.
Carlsbad Cavern includes a large limestone chamber, named simply the Big Room, which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at its highest point. The Big Room is the fifth largest chamber in North America and the twenty-eighth largest in the world.

Big Room or Hall of the Giants

Big Room or The Hall of the Giants: the largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, with a floor space of 357,469 square feet (33,210 m2). - in: wikipedia

Mesa Verde National Park

These houses are really cool! Sometimes I wonder if we, cybernauts, would be capable of living in a place like this for one month, without internet, without mobile-phone and without electricity... 

Mesa Verde National Park is a National Park and World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado. It protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites in the United States.
The park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. It occupies 52,485 acres (21,240 ha) near the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, and with more than 4,300 sites, including 600 cliff dwellings, it is the largest archeological preserve in the US. Mesa Verde (Spanish for "green table") is best known for structures such as Cliff Palace, thought to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America. - in: wikipedia

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde
This postcard was sent by Debbie

Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling (Cliff Palace and Long House are larger), was constructed between A.D. 1211 and 1278 by the ancestors of the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest. The dwelling contains about 130 rooms and 8 kivas (kee-vahs), or ceremonial chambers, built into a natural alcove measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth. It is thought to have been home for about 60 to 80 people.
The cliff dwelling was first discovered in 1888, when two local ranchers chanced upon it while searching for stray cattle. A large tree, which they identified as a Douglas Spruce (later called Douglas Fir), was found growing from the front of the dwelling to the mesa top. It is said that the men first entered the dwelling by climbing down this tree, which was later cut down by another early explorer. - in

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde
This postcard was sent by Jacquelynn

Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. The structure built by the Ancestral Puebloans is located in Mesa Verde National Park in their former homeland region. The cliff dwelling and park are in the southwestern corner of Colorado, in the Southwestern United States.
Tree-ring dating indicates that construction and refurbishing of Cliff Palace was continuous approximately from 1190 CE through 1260 CE, although the major portion of the building was done within a 20-year time span. The Ancestral Pueblo that constructed this cliff dwelling and the others like it at Mesa Verde were driven to these defensible positions by "increasing competition amidst changing climatic conditions". Cliff Palace was abandoned by 1300, and while debate remains as to the causes of this, some believe that a series of megadroughts interrupting food production systems is the main cause. Cliff Palace was rediscovered in 1888 by Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason while out looking for stray cattle. - in: wikipedia

Square Tower House, Mesa Verde

The Square Tower House is one of the stops on the Mesa Top Loop Road driving tour. The tower is the tallest structure in Mesa Verde. in: wikipedia
This 800 year old Square Tower House once had about 80 rooms. - in: the postcard

Far View House, Mesa Verde
Far View was one of the most densely populated parts of the mesa from A.D. 900 to about A.D. 1300. Nearly 50 villages have been identified within a half square mile area, and were home to hundreds of people. Today, several excavated and stabilized sites are linked by a trail system within a short walking distance. These surface sites include Far View House, Pipe Shrine House, Coyote Village, Far View Reservoir, Megalithic House, and Far View Tower.
The Ancestral Pueblo people were living at Far View at least 200 years before they began building the more famous Mesa Verde cliff dwellings. Excavation also reveals that many people chose to remain in their mesa top community well after many of their neighbors moved into the cliff alcoves. in

Saturday, 11 May 2019

State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv”

Merv is the oldest and best-preserved of the oasis-cities along the Silk Route in Central Asia.

Kiz Bibi Tomb
This postcard was sent by Gert

The Kiz Bibi Tomb has a square plan. It is built of brick and the facades are solid. There are no windows or spandrels to provide light far the interior. The upper floor is covered with a single dome. The collapse of the wall on the northern side of the building created an opening. As seen in most other tombs, the inner section consists of iwantype spandrels placed in the middle of each surface. Transition to the dome is provided by squinches in the comers. No decoration is found inside the building. The original shape of the building was lost during the latest restorations. Spandrels in the interior were turned into windows, conferring a canopied appearance.
It is not known who is buried in the tomb, and there is no sarcophagus inside the tomb. Pilyavskiy, who researched the tomb before the renovations, dated the tomb to the 11 th-12th centuries. - in:

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina)

It is believed that in Vergina are the burial sites of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great

This postcard was sent by Sini

The city of Aigai, the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina, in northern Greece. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world. - in:

Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

This site is formed by the town of Oaxaca, a Spanish colonial town, and by the Monte Albán, a much older site, once inhabited by Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs

Cathedral of Oaxaca
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption (SpanishCatedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción), located in the city of Oaxaca de JuarezOaxaca, Mexico, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Antequera, Oaxaca. Its construction began in 1535 and it was consecrated on July 12, 1733. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.
Its facade is made of green cantera stone commonly found in Oaxaca's buildings, and the interior is in Neoclassical style.
The towers of the cathedral are not the originals, as they were destroyed in 1931 by an earthquake. In the south there is a clock donated to Oaxaca by King Fernando VII. - in: wikipedia

Monte Albán
This postcard was sent by Ambulante

Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán Municipality in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The site is located on a low mountainous range rising above the plain in the central section of the Valley of Oaxaca where the latter's northern Etla, eastern Tlacolula, and southern Zimatlán & Ocotlán (or Valle Grande) branches meet. 
Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán's importance stems also from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years. Founded toward the end of the Middle Formative period at around 500 BC, by the Terminal Formative (ca.100 BC-AD 200) Monte Albán had become the capital of a large-scale expansionist polity that dominated much of the Oaxacan highlands and interacted with other Mesoamerican regional states such as Teotihuacan to the north (Paddock 1983; Marcus 1983). The city had lost its political pre-eminence by the end of the Late Classic (ca. AD 500-750) and soon thereafter was largely abandoned. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 6 May 2019

La Grand-Place, Brussels

This square is the most memorable landmark in Brussels and one of the most beautiful squares in the world

This postcard was sent by Hildegarde

La Grand-Place in Brussels is a remarkably homogeneous body of public and private buildings, dating mainly from the late 17th century. The architecture provides a vivid illustration of the level of social and cultural life of the period in this important political and commercial centre.

Hôtel de Ville
This postcard arrived from France sent by Ana

A pinnacle of Brabant Gothic, the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), accentuated by its bell tower, is the most famous landmark of the Grand-Place. Built in the early 15th century, the building partially escaped bombardments and underwent several transformations over time. Its ornamental programme is largely due to the restoration campaigns conducted in the late 19th century. - in:

This postcard was sent by José "PilotOne"

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Archaeological Site of Atapuerca

This was a hard to get site! I was last year visiting the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos and when I got to the gift shop I was told that it was closed because the lady of the shop went to lunch and would be back only two or three hours later and no-one else would replace her. I just couldn't wait as I was on my way to Portugal. This year I stopped there again purposely to go to the gift shop, which was open, but only had one postcard of Atapuerca glued to the display of postcards and the lady didn't want to sell it because it was the last and it could damage the postcard if she tried to get it out. After a lot of insisting she sold me the postcard along with some other cards of the building. 

Archaeological site of Atapuerca

The Atapuerca Mountains (SpanishSierra de Atapuerca) is a karstic hill formation near the village of Atapuerca, in the Province of Burgos (autonomous community of Castile and Leon), northern Spain. In a still ongoing excavation campaign, rich fossil deposits and stone tool assemblages were discovered which are attributed to the earliest known hominin residents in Western Europe. This "exceptional reserve of data" has been deposited during extensive Lower Paleolithic presence, as the Atapuerca Mountains served as the preferred occupation site of Homo erectusHomo antecessor (or Homo erectus antecessor), Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis communities. The earliest specimen so far unearthed and reliably dated confirm an age between 1.2 Million and 630,000 years. Some finds are exhibited in the nearby Museum of Human Evolution, in Burgos. - in: wikipedia