Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

 This was the last Australian site that I received

Wollumbin Mount Warning
This postcard was sent by Helen

Wollumbin National Park (previously known as 'Mount Warning National Park') is a national park located in northern New South WalesAustralia, 642 kilometres (399 mi) north of Sydney near the border with the state of Queensland. It surrounds Mount Warning, part of a remnant caldera of a much larger extinct volcano (the Tweed volcano). The park is administered by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The park is part of the Scenic Rim Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance in the conservation of several species of threatened birds. - in: wikipedia

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape

This was one of the last Australian sites to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
This postcard was sent by Helen

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, located in the traditional Country of the Gunditjmara people in south-eastern Australia, consists of three serial components containing one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. The Budj Bim lava flows provide the basis for the complex system of channels, weirs and dams developed by the Gunditjmara in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang (short-finned eel – Anguilla australis). The highly productive aquaculture system provided an economic and social base for Gunditjmara society for six millennia. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is the result of a creational process narrated by the Gunditjmara as a deep time story, referring to the idea that they have always lived there. From an archaeological perspective, deep time represents a period of at least 32,000 years. The ongoing dynamic relationship of Gunditjmara and their land is nowadays carried by knowledge systems retained through oral transmission and continuity of cultural practice. - in:

Sunday, 28 November 2021


This picturesque village looks a wonderful place for a summer vacation!

This postcard was sent by Lubomir

VlkolínecSlovakia, is a picturesque village under the administration of the town of Ružomberok. Historically, however, it was a separate village. The first written mention of the village came from 1376 and after 1882 it became part of Ružomberok. Its name is probably derived from the Slovak word "vlk", i. e. wolf.
Vlkolínec has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, and is one of ten Slovak villages that have been given the status of a folk architecture reservations. This status was granted because the village is an untouched and complex example of folk countryside architecture of the region of the Northern Carpathians.

This postcard was sent by Hebert

Vlkolínec, situated in the centre of Slovakia, is a remarkably intact settlement with the traditional features of a central European village. It is the region’s most complete group of these kinds of traditional log houses, often found in mountainous areas. The village consists of more than 45 log houses each of them made up of two or three rooms. A wooden belfry from the 18th century as well as the baroque chapel has also been preserved. Houses No. 16 and 17 are turned into the folk museum with all the instruments of daily life and work. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande

My cousin Isabel was this year in Cabo Verde and she brought me these postcards! She wasn't on this island but she found the UNESCO site I was missing!

Cidade Velha

The town of Ribeira Grande, renamed Cidade Velha in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout impressive remains including two churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th century marble pillar. - in:

São Filipe Fortress

Forte Real de São Filipe is a 16th century fortress in the city of Cidade Velha in the south of the island of SantiagoCape Verde. It is located on a plateau above the town centre, 120 meters above sea level. 
The fortress was built under Philip I of Portugal between 1587 and 1593, little after Sir Francis Drake's 1585 raid of Santiago. It completed the existing defence system, consisting of the older forts of São LourençoSão BrásPresidioSão VeríssimoSão João dos Cavaleiros and São António. Remains of these forts can still be seen. The Forte Real de São Filipe was built from stone imported from Portugal. It was designed by the military engineers João Nunes and Filippo Terzi. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 1 November 2021

Dholavira: a Harappan City

Dholavira is one of the five largest Harappan sites

This postcard was sent by Prashanth

The ancient city of Dholavira, the southern centre of the Harappan Civilization, is sited on the arid island of Khadir in the State of Gujarat. Occupied between ca. 3000-1500 BCE, the archaeological site, one of the best preserved urban settlements from the period in Southeast Asia, comprises a fortified city and a cemetery. Two seasonal streams provided water, a scarce resource in the region, to the walled city which comprises a heavily fortified castle and ceremonial ground as well as streets and houses of different proportion quality which testify to a stratified social order. A sophisticated water management system demonstrates the ingenuity of the Dholavira people in their struggle to survive and thrive in a harsh environment. The site includes a large cemetery with cenotaphs of six types testifying to the Harappan’s unique view of death. Bead processing workshops and artifacts of various kinds such as copper, shell, stone, jewellery of semi-precious stones, terracotta, gold, ivory and other materials have been found during archaeological excavations of the site, exhibiting the culture’s artistic and technological achievements. Evidence for inter-regional trade with other Harappan cities, as well as with cities in the Mesopotamia region and the Oman peninsula have also been discovered. - in:

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Van Nellefabriek

This factory in Rotterdam  is considered a prime example of the International Style and one of the most beautiful factories in the world

Van Nellefabriek
This postcard was sent by Mike

Van Nellefabriek was designed and built in the 1920s on the banks of a canal in the Spaanse Polder industrial zone north-west of Rotterdam. 

Van Nellefabriek
This postcard was sent by Christa

The site is one of the icons of 20th-century industrial architecture, comprising a complex of factories, with façades consisting essentially of steel and glass, making large-scale use of the curtain wall principle. It was conceived as an ‘ideal factory’, open to the outside world, whose interior working spaces evolved according to need, and in which daylight was used to provide pleasant working conditions. - in:

The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

This site consists of a selection of eight buildings across the United States that were designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Unity Temple
This postcard was sent by Nancy 

Unity Temple is a Unitarian Universalist church in Oak Park, Illinois, and the home of the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation. It was designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and built between 1905 and 1908. Unity Temple is considered to be one of Wright's most important structures dating from the first decade of the twentieth century. Because of its consolidation of aesthetic intent and structure through use of a single material, reinforced concrete, Unity Temple is considered by many architects to be the first modern building in the world. This idea became of central importance to the modern architects who followed Wright, such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and even the post-modernists, such as Frank Gehry. - in: wikipedia

Hollyhock House
This postcard was sent by Donna

The Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House is a building in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a residence for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, built in 1919–1921. The building is now the centerpiece of the city's Barnsdall Art Park.
As with many of Wright's residences, it has an "introverted" exterior with small windows, and is not easy to decode from the outside. The house is arranged around a central courtyardwith one side open to form a kind of theatrical stage (never used as such), and a complex system of split levels, steps and roof terraces around that courtyard.
The hollyhock is used as a central theme to the house, with many symmetrical decorations adapting the plant's general appearance. Planters are decorated with the motif and filled with the plants themselves, and Wright's stained glass windows feature a highly stylized hollyhock pattern. An interesting feature is the glass corners, an early Wright idea later used at Fallingwater. - in: wikipedia

The 8 buildings (in red what I have):

  • Unity Temple
  • Frederick C. Robie House
  • Taliesin
  • Hollyhock House
  • Fallingwater
  • Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House
  • Taliesin West
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Lut Desert

Lut Desert is it one of the world's driest and hottest places.

Lut Desert
This postcard was sent by Ehsan

The Lut Desert, or Dasht-e-Lut, is located in the south-east of the country. Between June and October, this arid subtropical area is swept by strong winds, which transport sediment and cause aeolian erosion on a colossal scale. Consequently, the site presents some of the most spectacular examples of aeolian yardang landforms (massive corrugated ridges). It also contains extensive stony deserts and dune fields. The property represents an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.  - in:

Bam and its Cultural Landscape

On 2003 Bam was struck by a major earthquake that killed about 26,200 people and  destroyed 70% of the buildings

This postcard was sent by Ehsan

Bam is situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC). Its heyday was from the 7th to 11th centuries, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments. The existence of life in the oasis was based on the underground irrigation canals, the qanāts, of which Bam has preserved some of the earliest evidence in Iran. Arg-e Bam is the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique using mud layers (Chineh ). - in:

Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex

The Bazaar of Tabriz is one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world

Bazaar of Tabriz
This postcard was sent by Ehsan

Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity and its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road. Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex consists of a series of interconnected, covered, brick structures, buildings, and enclosed spaces for different functions. Tabriz and its Bazaar were already prosperous and famous in the 13th century, when the town, in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan, became the capital city of the Safavid kingdom. The city lost its status as capital in the 16th century, but remained important as a commercial hub until the end of the 18th century, with the expansion of Ottoman power. It is one of the most complete examples of the traditional commercial and cultural system of Iran. - in:

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is a complex irrigation system that consists of 13 dams, bridges, canals and structures which work together as a hydraulic system.

Shushtar  Historical Hydraulic System
This postcard was sent by Ehsan

Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, can be traced back to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. It involved the creation of two main diversion canals on the river Kârun one of which, Gargar canal, is still in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnels that supply water to mills. It forms a spectacular cliff from which water cascades into a downstream basin. It then enters the plain situated south of the city where it has enabled the planting of orchards and farming over an area of 40,000 ha. known as Mianâb (Paradise). The property has an ensemble of remarkable sites including the Salâsel Castel, the operation centre of the entire hydraulic system, the tower where the water level is measured, damns, bridges, basins and mills. It bears witness to the know-how of the Elamites and Mesopotamians as well as more recent Nabatean expertise and Roman building influence. - in:

Tchogha Zanbil

This ziggurat is considered to be the best preserved example of the stepped pyramidal monument by UNESCO

Tchonga Zanbil
This postcard was sent by Ehsan

Chogha Zanbil is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran. It is one of the few existing ziggurats outside Mesopotamia.
It was built about 1250 BC by the king Untash-Napirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak. Its original name was Dur Untash, which means 'town of Untash' in Assyrian, but it is unlikely that many people, besides priests and servants, ever lived there. The complex is protected by three concentric walls which define the main areas of the 'town'. The inner area is wholly taken up with a great ziggurat dedicated to the main god, which was built over an earlier square temple with storage rooms also built by Untash-Napirisha. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Ancient City of Damascus

The old city of Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world

Ancient City of Damascus
This postcard was sent from UK by Alisha

Founded in the 3rd millennium B.C., Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry, specializing in swords and lace. The city has some 125 monuments from different periods of its history – one of the most spectacular is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary. - in:

Colonies of Benevolence

This sites encompasses four settlements, three in the Netherlands and one in Belgium

This postcard was sent by Javier

Wortel is a village in the Belgian municipality of Hoogstraten. As of 2007, it has 1,844 inhabitants as of 2021.

The toponym means carrot or root in Dutch. Wortel was established in the early 19th century by the Society of Benevolence as a farming colony for the able-bodied working poor. It was meant to provide employment during a time when poverty rates were very high in the Low Countries. Along with the other colonies constructed by the Society of Benevolence, Wortel was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021 as an excellent example of a unique method of housing reform and urban planning. - in: wikipedia

Dutch Colonies of Benevolence

This postcard was sent by Javier

The transnational serial property encompasses four settlements; cultural landscapes with one colony in Belgium and three in The Netherlands. Together they bear witness to a 19th century experiment in social reform, an effort to alleviate urban poverty by establishing agricultural colonies in remote locations. Established in 1818, Frederiksoord (the Netherlands) is the earliest of these colonies and home to the original headquarters of the Society of Benevolence, an association which aimed to reduce poverty at the national level. Other components of the property are the colonies of Wilhelminaoord and Veenhuizen, in the Netherlands, and Wortel in Belgium. - in:


This postcard was sent by Jarina

Wilhelminaoord is a village in the Dutch province of Drenthe. It is a part of the municipality of Westerveld, and lies about 26 km northwest of Hoogeveen.

Wilhelminaoord was one of the farming colonies established by the Society of Benevolence in the early 19th century to decrease poverty by providing sustainable employment for able-bodied poor people. Along with the other colonies constructed by the Society, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021 because of its testimony to a unique method of housing reform and its urban planning. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Jarina

Veenhuizen is a village with around 800 inhabitants in the province of Drenthe in the Netherlands. In the early 19th century, a reform housing colony for the poor and homeless was established in Veenhuizen by the Society of Benevolence. In the late 19th century, the complex was turned into a penal colony. The village became freely accessible in 1984 and has been part of the municipality of Noordenveld since 1998. The National Prison Museum is located here. Along with other colonies established by the Society of Benevolence, Veenhuizen was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021, for its testimony to a unique method of housing reform and its urban planning. - in: wikipedia

The colonies (in red what I have):

  • Wortel
  • Frederiksoord
  • Wilhelminaoord
  • Veenhuizen

Royal Palaces of Abomey

The royal palaces of Abomey are a unique reminder of the vanished kingdom of Dahomey

Royal Palaces of Abomey
This postcard was sent from UK by Alisha

The Royal Palaces of Abomey are 12 palaces spread over an area of 40 hectares (100 acres) at the heart of the Abomey town in Benin, formerly the capital of the West African Kingdom of Dahomey. The Kingdom was founded in 1625 by the Fon people who developed it into a powerful military and commercial empire, which dominated trade with European slave traders on the Slave Coast until the late 19th century, to whom they sold their prisoners of war. At its peak the palaces could accommodate for up to 8000 people. The King's palace included a two-story building known as the "cowrie house" or akuehue. Under the twelve kings who succeeded from 1625 to 1900, the kingdom established itself as one of the most powerful of the western coast of Africa. - in: wikipedia

Matobo Hills

These hills were formed over 2 billion years ago

Matobo Hills
This postcard was sent from UK by Alisha

The area exhibits a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe. The large boulders provide abundant natural shelters and have been associated with human occupation from the early Stone Age right through to early historical times, and intermittently since. They also feature an outstanding collection of rock paintings. The Matobo Hills continue to provide a strong focus for the local community, which still uses shrines and sacred places closely linked to traditional, social and economic activities. - in:

Virunga National Park

 Virunga National Park was one of the first protected areas in Africa

Virunga National Park
This postcard was sent from UK by Alisha

Virunga National Park (covering an area of 790,000 ha) comprises an outstanding diversity of habitats, ranging from swamps and steppes to the snowfields of Rwenzori at an altitude of over 5,000 m, and from lava plains to the savannahs on the slopes of volcanoes. Mountain gorillas are found in the park, some 20,000 hippopotamuses live in the rivers and birds from Siberia spend the winter there. - in:

Lake Turkana National Parks

Lake Turkana National Parks is a group of three national parks located around Lake Turkana in Kenya.

Lake Turkana National Parks
This postcard was sent from UK by Alisha

The most saline of Africa's large lakes, Turkana is an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. The three National Parks serve as a stopover for migrant waterfowl and are major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes. The Koobi Fora deposits, rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains, have contributed more to the understanding of paleo-environments than any other site on the continent. - in:

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

 This is one of the sites recently inscribed and it's a recently received postcard

Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt
This postcard was sent by Gabi

The Darmstadt Artists’ Colony on Mathildenhöhe, the highest elevation above the city of Darmstadt in west-central Germany, was established in 1897 by Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse, as a centre for emerging reform movements in architecture, arts and crafts. The buildings of the colony were created by its artist members as experimental early modernist living and working environments. The colony was expanded during successive international exhibitions in 1901, 1904, 1908 and 1914. Today, it offers a testimony to early modern architecture, urban planning and landscape design, all of which were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the Vienna Secession. The serial property consists of two component parts including 23 elements, such as the Wedding Tower (1908), the Exhibition Hall (1908), the Plane Tree Grove (1833, 1904-14), the Russian Chapel of St. Maria Magdalena (1897-99), the Lily Basin, the Gottfried Schwab Memorial (1905), the Pergola and Garden (1914), the “Swan Temple” Garden Pavilion (1914), the Ernst Ludwig Fountain, and the 13 houses and artists’ studios that were built for the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony and for the international exhibitions. A Three House Group, built for the 1904 exhibition is an additional component. - in:

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences

I've only been to the Madrid aeroport but one of these days maybe I'll just take a train and go see the city

Retiro Pond

The Buen Retiro Park (SpanishParque del Buen Retiro, literally "Park of the Pleasant Retreat"), Retiro Park or simply El Retiro is one of the largest parks of the city of MadridSpain. The park belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century, when it became a public park.
Close to the northern entrance of the park is the Estanque del Retiro ("Retiro Pond"), a large artificial pond. Next to it is the monument to King Alfonso XII, featuring a semicircular colonnade and an equestrian statue of the monarch on the top of a tall central core. - in: wikipedia

Palacio de Cristal

The Palacio de Cristal ("Glass Palace") is a conservatory located in Madrid's Buen Retiro Park. It was built in 1887 on the occasion of the Exposition of the Philippines, held in the same year, then a Spanish colonial possession. The architect was Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.
The Palacio de Cristal, in the shape of a Greek cross, is made almost entirely of glass set in an iron framework on a brick base, which is decorated with ceramics. Its cupola makes the structure over 22 metres high. - in: wikipedia

Prado Museum

The Prado Museum, officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado, is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It is widely considered to have one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and the single best collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collections of other types of works. The Prado Museum is one of the most visited sites in the world, and it is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world. - in: wikipedia

La Maja Desnuda
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Naked Maja or The Nude Maja (SpanishLa maja desnuda) is an oil on canvas painting made around 1797–1800 by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, and is now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. It portrays a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows, and was probably commissioned by Manuel de Godoy, to hang in his private collection in a separate cabinet reserved for nude paintings. Goya created a pendant of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, known today as La maja vestida (The Clothed Maja), also in the Prado, and usually hung next to La maja desnuda. The subject is identified as a maja or fashionable lower-class Madrid woman, based on her costume in La maja vestida.

The painting is renowned for the straightforward and unashamed gaze of the model towards the viewer. It has also been cited as among the earliest Western artwork to depict a nude woman's pubic hair without obvious negative connotations (such as in images of prostitutes). With this work Goya not only upset the ecclesiastical authorities, but also titillated the public and extended the artistic horizon of the day. It has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1901. - in: wikipedia