Tuesday 25 February 2020


In this site is where some of the best preserved Roman ruins in North Africa can be found

This postcard was sent by Boris

The site of Djémila is located 50 km north-east of the town of Sétif. Known under its antique name Cuicul, Djémila is an establishment of an ancient Roman colony founded during the reign of Nerva (96 - 98 A.D.). The Roman town occupied a singular defensive position. Cuicul is one of the flowers of Roman architecture in North Africa.  Remarkably adapted to the  constraints of the mountainous site, on a rocky spur which spreads at an altitude of 900 m, between the wadi Guergour and the wadi Betame, two mountain torrents, the town has its own Senate and Forum. Around the beginning of the 3rd century, it expanded beyond its ramparts with the creation of the Septimius Severus Temple, the Arch of Caracalla, the market and the civil basilica. The site has also been marked by Christianity in the form of several cult buildings: a cathedral, a church and its baptistry are considered among the biggest of the Paleochristian period. The site of Djémila comprises an impressive collection of mosaic pavings, illustrating mythological tales and scenes of daily life. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/191


Tipasa looks very similar with some of the sites I visited last year in Tunisia, which is normal, since it was also part of the Roman Empire

This postcard was sent by Boris

Tipasa is located 70 km west of Algiers. It is a serial property comprising three sites: two archaeological parks located in the vicinity of the present urban complex and the Royal Mauritanian Mausoleum, on the west Sahel plateau of Algiers, at 11 km south-east of Tipasa.
This coastal city was first a Carthaginian trading centre, whose necropolis is one of the oldest and one of the most extensive of the Punic world (6th to 2nd century B.C.). During this period, Tipasa played the role of a maritime port of call, a place for commercial exchanges with the indigenous population.  Numerous necropolis testify to the very varied types of burial and funerary practices that bear witness to the multicultural exchange of influences dating back to protohistoric times.
The Roman period is marked by a prestigious ensemble of buildings, comprising very diversified architectural typologies. From the 3rd to the 4th centuries A.D. a striking increase in Christianity is demonstrated by the multitude of religious buildings. Some are decorated with high quality mosaic pavings, illustrating scenes from daily life, or geometric patterns. The Vandal invasion of the 430's did not mark the definitive end of prosperity of Tipasa, but the town, reconquered by the Byzantines in 531, gradually fell into decline from the 6th century. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/193/


Until a few weeks ago I had almost all the Algerians sites in my missing list and I was already considering a trip to Algeria to reduce the list, but I received 4 new sites at once and now my attention turned other countries

This postcard was sent by Boris

Timgad, located to the north of the massif of the Aurès in a mountainous site of great beauty, 480 km south-east of Algiers and 110 km to the south of Constantine, is a consummate example of a Roman military colony created ex nihilo. The Colonia Marciana Traiana Thamugadi was founded in 100 A.D. by Trajan, probably as an encampment for the 3rd Augustan Legion which, thereafter, was quartered at Lambaesis. Its plan, laid out with great precision, illustrates Roman urban planning at its height. By the middle of the 2nd century, the rapid growth of the city had ruptured the narrow confines of its original foundation. Timgad spread beyond the perimeters of its ramparts and several major public buildings are built in the new quarters: Capitolium, temples, markets and baths. Most of these buildings date from the Severan period when the city enjoyed its Golden Age, also attested by immense private residences.
A strong and prosperous colony, Timgad must have served as a compelling image of the grandeur of Rome on Numidian soil. Buildings, constructed entirely of stone, were frequently restored during the course of the Empire: the Trajan Arch in the middle of the 2nd century, the Eastern gate in 146, and the Western gate under Marcus-Aurelius. The streets were paved with large rectangular limestone slabs and, as attested by the 14 baths which still may be seen today, particular attention was paid to the disposition of public conveniences. The houses, of varying sizes, dazzle by their sumptuous mosaics, which were intended to offset the absence of precious marbles. During the Christian period, Timgad was a renowned bishopric. After the Vandal invasion of 430, Timgad was destroyed at the end of the 5th century by montagnards of the Aurès. The Byzantine Reconquest revived some activities in the city, defended by a fortress built to the south, in 539, reusing blocks removed from Roman monuments. The Arab invasion brought about the final ruin of Thamugadi which ceased to be inhabited after the 8th century. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/194

Kasbah of Algiers

This site reminds me the punk song "Rock the Casbah" by The Clash

Kasbah and the Fishing Port
This postcard was sent by Boris

The Kasbah of Algiers is an outstanding example of a historic Maghreb city having had extensive influence on town-planning in the western part of the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa.
Indeed, located on the Mediterranean coast, the site was inhabited at least from the 6th century BC when a Phoenician trading post was established there.
In this living environment where nearly 50,000 people reside, very interesting traditional houses, palaces, hammams, mosques and various souks are still conserved, the urban form of which bears witness to an effect of stratification of several styles in a complex and original system that has adapted remarkably well to a very hilly and uneven site. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/

Saturday 22 February 2020

Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments

St Petersburg is in my top 5 of "must visit" cities, but I think if one day I get the chance to go there I won't need to buy postcards! :D
However, I don't mind to receive more postcards from this wonderful place! They are all great!

Angel on the Spire of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral
and Saint Isaac's Cathedral
This postcard was sent by Anna

The 'Venice of the North', with its numerous canals and more than 400 bridges, is the result of a vast urban project begun in 1703 under Peter the Great. Later known as Leningrad (in the former USSR), the city is closely associated with the October Revolution. Its architectural heritage reconciles the very different Baroque and pure neoclassical styles, as can be seen in the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Marble Palace and the Hermitage. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/540

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
This postcard was sent by my good friend Carolina who went to St Petersburg to see a football match between FC Zenit and Benfica

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (RussianЦерковь Спаса на Крови, Tserkovʹ Spasa na Krovi) is one of the main sights of St. PetersburgRussia.
This Church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded in March 1881.The church was built from 1883 till 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family. - in: wikipedia

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (interior)

This postcard is an official sent by Valery

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. - in: wikipedia

Peter and Paul Fortress

This postcard is an official sent by Valentine

The Peter and Paul Fortress (RussianПетропа́вловская кре́пость, Petropavlovskaya Krepost) is the original citadel of St. PetersburgRussia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740. In the early 20th century, it was still used as a prison by the tsarist government.
Today it has been adapted as the central and most important part of the State Museum of Saint Petersburg History. The museum has gradually become virtually the sole owner of the fortress building, except the structure occupied by the Saint Petersburg Mint. - in: wikipedia

Palace Bridge
This postcard is an official sent by Ivan

Palace Bridge (RussianДворцо́вый мост, Dvortsoviy Most) is a road traffic and foot bascule bridge spanning the Neva River in Saint Petersburg between Palace Square and Vasilievsky Island. Like every other Neva bridge (except for Big Obukhovsky Bridge), it is drawn by night, making foot travel between various parts of the city virtually impossible. It was built by the French firm Société de Construction des Batignolles.

Palace Bridge
This postcard was sent by Lera

The total length of Palace Bridge is 260.1 metres, width is 27.8 metres. It is actually composed of five spans, the southernmost joining Palace Embankment between Winter Palace and Admiralty and leading to Palace Square. - in: wikipedia

Lion Statue near the Admiralty Building
This postcard was sent by Anna

The Admiralty building is the former headquarters of the Admiralty Board and the Imperial Russian Navy in St. PetersburgRussia and the current headquarters of the Russian Navy.
The edifice was re-built in the nineteenth century to support the Tsar's maritime ambitions. The original design was a fortified shipyard which was later surrounded by five bastions and further protected by a moat. - in: wikipedia

Monument to Nicholas I
This postcard was sent by Marina

The Monument to Nicholas I is a bronze equestrian monument of Nicholas I of Russia on St Isaac's Square (in front of Saint Isaac's Cathedral) in Saint PetersburgRussia. Unveiled on July 7th  1859, the six-meter statue was a technical wonder of its time. - in: wikipedia

Nicholas I (6 July [O.S. 25 June] 1796 – 2 March 1855) was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. He was also the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. - in: wikipedia

The Bronze Horseman (Monument to Peter the Great)

This postcard is an official sent by Nicolay

The Bronze Horseman (RussianМедный всадник, literally "copper horseman") is an equestrian statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Commissioned by Catherine the Great, it was created by the French sculptor Étienne Maurice Falconet. The name comes from an 1833 poem of the same the name by Aleksander Pushkin, which is widely considered one of the most significant works of Russian literature. The statue is now one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg. - in: wikipedia

Peter the GreatPeter I or Peter Alexeyevich ( 9 June 1672 – 8 February 1725) ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May 1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother. - in: wikipedia

St Isaac's Cathedral
This postcard is an official sent by Nadezhda

Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor (RussianИсаа́киевский Собо́р) in Saint PetersburgRussia is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral (sobor) in the city. It is the largest orthodox basilica and the fourth largest cathedral in the world.[citation needed] It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint. 
The church on St Isaac's Square was ordered by Tsar Alexander I, to replace an earlier Rinaldiesque structure, and was the fourth consecutive church standing at this place. - in: wikipedia

Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God

Kazan Cathedral or Kazanskiy Kafedralniy Sobor (RussianКаза́нский кафедра́льный собо́р), also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, is a cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, one of the most venerated icons in Russia.

Cathedral of the Kazan

Construction of the cathedral started in 1801 and continued for ten years under the supervision of Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov. Upon its completion in 1811, the new temple replaced the Church of Nativity of the Theotokos, which was disassembled when the Kazan Cathedral was consecrated.. - in: wikipedia

View of the Neva from the Winter Palace

The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part ofLeningrad Oblast (historical region of Ingria) to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length of 74 kilometres (46 mi), it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge (after the Volga and the Danube).
The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake Ladoga. It flows through the city of Saint Petersburg, three smaller towns of ShlisselburgKirovsk and Otradnoye, and dozens of settlements. - in: wikipedia

Scarlet Sails
This postcard is an official sent by Natalya

The Scarlet Sails (RussianАлые паруса) is a celebration in St. PetersburgRussia, the most massive and famous public event during the White Nights Festival. The tradition is highly popular for its spectacular fireworks, numerous music concerts, and a massive water show. 
This tradition began after the end of World War II, when several Leningrad schools united to celebrate the end of the school year in connection with the symbolism of the popular 1922 children's book Scarlet Sails by Alexander Grin. During the first celebration, a boat with scarlet sails sailed along the English Embankment and the Admiralty Embankment towards the Winter Palace- in: wikipedia 

St Nicholas Cathedral

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral is a major Baroque Orthodox cathedral in the western part of Central Saint Petersburg. It has always been closely associated with the Russian Navy, serving as its main shrine until the Russian Revolution.
St. Nicholas Cathedral is a major example of the so-called Elizabethan or Rastrellieqsque Baroque. It has the shape of a cross and is decorated by Corinthian columnsstucco architraves, a wide entablement and is crowned by five gilded domes. - in: wikipedia

The Fountains of Peterhof

The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint PetersburgRussia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the "Russian Versailles".
The Grand Cascade is modeled on one constructed for Louis XIV at his Château de Marly, which is likewise memorialised in one of the park's outbuildings. - in: wikipedia

Sunday 2 February 2020

Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí

There are nine Romanesque churches inscribed in this site and they look very beautiful

Sant Joan de Boí Church
This postcard was sent by Javier

Sant Joan de Boí is a Romanesque church situated in the territory of Vall de Boí, a commune in the valley of the same name, in the Province of Lleida in the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain.
Like Sant Climent, TaüllSant Feliu de BarrueraSanta Eulàlia d'Erill la Vall or Santa Maria de Taüll, the date of construction of Sant Joan de Boí is believed to be in the 11th century. in: wikipedia

Eglésia de Sant Climant de Taüll
This postcard was sent by Meli

Sant Climent de Taüll, also known as the Church of St. Clement of Tahull, is a Roman Catholic church in CataloniaSpain. It is a form of Romanesque architecture that contains magnificent Romanesque art. Other influences include the Lombard and Byzantine styles, which can be seen throughout the exterior and interior of the building. The church is a basilica plan structure with three naves, each of them with a terminal apse, and large columns separating the side naves. Connecting to the church is a slim bell tower that has six floors plus a base. The artwork inside the church include the famous mural paintings by the Master of Taüll (contained in the different apses and the keys of the arches), as well as the wooden altar frontal. These works of art represent different aspects of Christianity that can also be found in many other works of art. - in: wikipedia

The nine churches (in red what I have):

  • Eglésia de Sant Feliu de Barruera
  • Eglésia de Sant Joan de Boí
  • Eglésia de Santa Maria de Taül
  • Eglésia de Sant Climent de Taül
  • Eglésia de Santa Maria de l'Assumpció de Cóll
  • Eglésia de Santa Maria de Cardet
  • Eglésia de la Nativitat de Durro
  • Ermitage de Sant Quirc de Durro
  • Eglésia de Santa Eulàlia de Vall