Wednesday, 25 December 2019


The inscriptions of Bisotun were ordered by Darius the Great, the fourth Persian King of Kings 

Relief figure of Bisotun
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Bisotun is located along the ancient trade route linking the Iranian high plateau with Mesopotamia and features remains from the prehistoric times to the Median, Achaemenid, Sassanian, and Ilkhanid periods. The principal monument of this archaeological site is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius I, The Great, when he rose to the throne of the Persian Empire, 521 BC. The bas-relief portrays Darius holding a bow, as a sign of sovereignty, and treading on the chest of a figure who lies on his back before him. According to legend, the figure represents Gaumata, the Median Magus and pretender to the throne whose assassination led to Darius’s rise to power. Below and around the bas-reliefs, there are ca. 1,200 lines of inscriptions telling the story of the battles Darius waged in 521-520 BC against the governors who attempted to take apart the Empire founded by Cyrus. The inscription is written in three languages. The oldest is an Elamite text referring to legends describing the king and the rebellions. This is followed by a Babylonian version of similar legends. The last phase of the inscription is particularly important, as it is here that Darius introduced for the first time the Old Persian version of his res gestae (things done). - in:


Pasargadae was the capital of the first Persian Empire

Tomb of Cyrus the Great
This postcard was sent by Steffi

The Tomb of Cyrus is the monument of Cyrus the Great approximately 1 km southwest of the palaces of Pasargadae. According to Greek sources, it dates back to 559–529 BC. The most extensive description based on a lost account by Aristobulus, who had accompanied Alexander the Great on his eastern campaign in the late 4th century BC, is to be found in the Anabasis of Arrian (6.29). written in the 2nd century AD. - in: wikipedia

Golestan Palace

The Golestan Palace is one of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran, the capital city of Iran.

Golestan Palace
This postcard was sent by Steffi

The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. It became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology. - in:

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Historic City of Yazd

The City of Yazd is located in the deserts of Iran close to the Spice and Silk Roads

Jameh Mosque of Yazd
This postcard was sent by Steffi

The Jāmeh Mosque of Yazd is the grand, congregational mosque (Jāmeh) of Yazd city, within the Yazd Province of Iran.
The 12th-century mosque is still in use today. It was first built under Ala'oddoleh Garshasb of the Al-e Bouyeh dynasty. The mosque was largely rebuilt between 1324 and 1365, and is one of the outstanding 14th century buildings of Iran. - in: wikipedia

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan

Isfahan, with two UNESCO World Heritage sites, must be a great place to visit in Iran

Masjed-e Jame of Isfahan
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Located in the historic centre of Isfahan, the Masjed-e Jāmé (‘Friday mosque’) can be seen as a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over twelve centuries, starting in ad 841. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. The complex, covering more than 20,000 m2, is also the first Islamic building that adapted the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. Its double-shelled ribbed domes represent an architectural innovation that inspired builders throughout the region. The site also features remarkable decorative details representative of stylistic developments over more than a thousand years of Islamic art. - in:

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene

While I lived in Switzerland I tasted some times the Prosecco. Unfortunately I've never been in the region

This postcard was sent by Sini

Valdobbiadene is a town in the province of TrevisoVenetoItaly. Valdobbiadene is a wine growing area. Just below the Alpine-Dolomite areas of Veneto, it provides a climate for a cool variety of grape (Glera). The Conegliano Valdobbiadene area is the home of the best Prosecco, an extra dry sparkling white wine. Prosecco brands that derive from this area include Altaneve, Mionetto, Masottina, and others. - in: wikipedia

Vatnajökull National Park - Dynamic Nature of Fire and Ice

The Vatnajökull National Park is one of three national parks in Iceland.

This postcard was sent by Steffi

Jökulsárlón (literally "glacial river lagoon") is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers. It is now 1.5 km (0.93 mi) away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). In 2009 it was reported to be the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 m (814 ft), as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 13 December 2019

Qinghai Hoh Xil

Hoh Xil in Qinghai was listed among the World Heritage Sites as "the largest and highest plateau in the world".

Hoh Xil
This postcard was sent by Wei Tianyi

Hoh Xil or Kekexili, (Mongolian for "Blue Ridge", also Aqênganggyai for "Lord of Ten Thousand Mountains"), is an isolated region in the northwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China
Despite the harsh climate, Hoh Xil is home to more than 230 species of wild animals, 20 of which are under Chinese state protection, including the wild yak, wild donkey, white-lip deerbrown bear and the endangered Tibetan antelope or chiru. The abundant plateau pika, a small burrowing rodent, is the main food of the region's brown bears; the bears also feed on the yak and antelope. - in: wikipedia

Tiibetan Antelope in Hoh Xil
This postcard was sent by Jia Qing

The Tibetan antelope or chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) is a medium-sized bovid native to the Tibetan plateau.
Endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, the Tibetan antelope inhabits open alpine and cold steppe environments between 3,250 and 5,500 m (10,660 and 18,040 ft) elevation. They prefer flat, open terrain, with sparse vegetation cover. They are found almost entirely in China, where they inhabit Tibet, southern Xinjiang, and western Qinghai; a few are also found across the border in LadakhIndia. Today, the majority are found within the Chang Tang Nature Reserve of northern Tibet. The first specimens to be described, in 1826, were from Nepal; the species has apparently since been extirpated from the region.[1] No subspecies are recognised. Zhuonai Lake in Hoh Xil is known as a calving ground for the Tibetan antelope. - in: wikipedia

Xinjiang Tianshan

This site, with beautiful landscapes, presents a lot of contrast between hot and cold environments: from snowy mountains to desert, but also with forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyon.

Xinjiang Tianshan
This postcard was sent by Ruinan Wang

Xinjiang Tianshan comprises four components—Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke and Bogda— that total 606,833 hectares. They are part of the Tianshan mountain system of Central Asia, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. Xinjiang Tianshan presents unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas including spectacular snow and snowy mountains glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons. - in:

Heavenly Lake of Tianshan
This postcard was sent by Haley

Tianchi is an alpine lake in Xinjiang, Northwest China. The name literally means Heavenly Lake and can refer to several lakes in mainland China and Taiwan. This Tianchi lies on the north side of the Bogda Shan ("Mountain of God", Bogda is a Mongolian word meaning "God") range of the Tian Shan ("Mountain of Heaven"). - in: wikipedia

Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas

According to UNESCO "The area covered by the World Heritage site is claimed to be the most biodiverse and least disturbed temperate ecosystems in the world".

Three Parallel Rivers National Park

Consisting of eight geographical clusters of protected areas within the boundaries of the Three Parallel Rivers National Park, in the mountainous north-west of Yunnan Province, the 1.7 million hectare site features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween run roughly parallel, north to south, through steep gorges which, in places, are 3,000 m deep and are bordered by glaciated peaks more than 6,000 m high. 

Three Parallel Rivers
This postcard was sent by Ruinan Wang

The site is an epicentre of Chinese biodiversity. It is also one of the richest temperate regions of the world in terms of biodiversity. - in:

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions

The Portuguese called  Elmina "The Gold Mine" because of the vast amount of gold and ivory found there

Elmina Castle and Fort Saint Jago
This postcard was sent by Javier

Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle), also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina (or Feitoria da Mina) in present-day ElminaGhana (formerly the Gold Coast). It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, after an unsuccessful attempt to the same extent in 1596, and took over all of the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of Great Britain.

Fort Coenraadsburg or Conraadsburg, also Fort São Tiago da Mina, is a small Portuguese chapel built in honor of Saint Jago and it is situated opposite the Elmina Castle in the Central region of Ghana, to protect Fort Elmina from attacks. Fort Conraadsburg was built in the 1660s. It was built on the site of a fortified chapel that the Portuguese had built and that the Dutch had burned to the ground in the Battle of Elmina (1637). The Dutch ceded the fort to Britain in 1872, together with the entire Dutch Gold Coast.. Before the fort was built, the Dutch used the hill as a gun-position to bombard the Portuguese in the year 1637. To prevent others from doing the same tactic against the Portuguese, the Dutch constructed a fortified earthwork the following year. - in: wikipedia

The 11 forts and castles (in red what I have)
  • Fort Good Hope (Fort Goedehoop)
  • Cape Coast Castle
  • Fort Patience (Fort Leysaemhyt)
  • Fort Amsterdam
  • Fort St. Jago (Fort Conraadsburg)
  • Fort Batenstein
  • Fort San Sebastian
  • Fort Metal Cross
  • English Fort (Fort Vrendenburg)
  • Fort Saint Antony
  • Elmina Castle (St. George's Castle/ Fort St. Jorge)

Ruins of Loropéni

The quality of the images of this postcard is not the best, but I cannot complain, it's not everyday that I receive postcards from Burkina Faso!

Ruins of Loropéni
This postcard was sent by Mike

The dramatic and memorable Ruins of Loropéni consist of imposing, tall, laterite stone perimeter walls, up to six metres in height, surrounding a large abandoned settlement. As the best preserved of ten similar fortresses in the Lobi area, part of a larger group of around a hundred stone-built enclosures, they are part of a network of settlements that flourished at the same time as the trans-Saharan gold trade and appear to reflect the power and influence of that trade and its links with the Atlantic coast. Recent excavations have provided radio-carbon dates suggesting the walled enclosure at Loropéni dates back at least to the 11th century AD and flourished between the 14th and 17th centuries, thus establishing it as an important part of a network of settlements. - in:

Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)

Eight towns are part of this site. So far I only have postcards of two. I think I would like very much of any of these cities because I love Baroque

Baroque Buildings in Via Crociferi
This postcard was sent by Isabella

Via Crociferi is one of the oldest Catania streets in the heart of the city, it starts in Piazza San Francesco D’Assisi (crossing Via Vittorio Emanuele II) through the famous St. Benedict triumphal arch.
This street is considered the symbol of Baroque in Catania, because there are some of the most beautiful eighteenth-century churches of the city. - in:

Noto Cathedral
This postcard was sent by Javier

Noto Cathedral (ItalianCattedrale di Noto; La Chiesa Madre di San Nicolò) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Noto in Sicily, Italy. Its construction, in the style of the Sicilian Baroque, began in the early 18th century and was completed in 1776. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, and has been the cathedral of the Diocese of Noto since the diocese's establishment in 1844.
The cathedral dome collapsed in 1996 as a result of unremedied structural weakening caused by an earthquake in 1990, to which injudicious building alterations in the 1950s may have contributed. It has since been rebuilt, and was reopened in 2007. - in: wikipedia

The eight towns (in red what I have):

  • Caltagirone
  • Catania
  • Militello Val di Catania
  • Modica
  • Noto
  • Palazzolo Acreide
  • Ragusa
  • Scicli