Monday 27 February 2023

University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares is the hometown of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote 

University of Alcalá
This postcard was sent by Melita

The University of Alcalá (SpanishUniversidad de Alcalá) is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km (22 miles) northeast of Madrid in Spain and also the third-largest city of the region. It was founded in 1293 as a Studium Generale for the public, and was refounded in 1977.
By a royal order of 29 October 1836, Queen Regent Maria Christina ordered The University to move to Madrid, where they took the name of Literary University and, in 1851, the Central University of Madrid.
In 1975, after years of the buildings passing between various businesses, Complutense University opened its Alcalá branch as a means to decongest its growing student population. In 1977, the university was re-founded as "the University of Alcalá de Henares," which later was shortened to "the University of Alcalá" in 1996. - in: wikipedia

Plaza de Cervantes
This postcard was sent by Marco

Alcalá de Henares is a Spanish city in the Community of Madrid. Straddling the Henares River, it is located 31 kilometres (19 miles) to the northeast of the center of Madrid.
The city has a long university tradition. Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros founded the Complutense University in Alcalá de Henares in the late 15th century. The city currently hosts the (refounded) University of Alcalá. It is the native city of Miguel de Cervantes. - in: wikipedia

Cardinal Cisneros Tomb

This postcard was sent by Marco

The Chapel of San Ildefonso is the oldest enclosure of all those preserved at the University. The portal is made of limestone, probably from the mid-16th century. We know that it belonged to the old Trilingual College and that, after its demolition, "it moved to a church." The beautiful and stylized belfry with its spectacular silhouette nested by storks stands out.
Inside, we find the church, with a single nave and floor plan, built by the architect Pedro Gumiel between 1510 and 1516. The aesthetic combination of the Mudejar-style coffered ceilings is surprising, in contrast to the plasterwork on the walls. The presbytery is covered by an octagonal coffered ceiling made of polychrome wood. On the plasterwork a frieze of mural painting based on intertwined arches and on it, the Franciscan cord that runs along the walls. In the presbytery stands the mausoleum of Cardenal Cisneros, an excellent example of Renaissance funerary sculpture in our country. Drawn by Doménico Fancelli, it was carved in Carrara marble by Bartolomé Ordoñez and his disciples in 1521. The figures in the corners representing the four Fathers of the Church, of exquisite classicism, deserve special attention. - in:

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves

These caves were used for habitation by hominins and prehistoric humans and contain unique evidence of very early burials

Nahal Me'Arot
This postcard was sent from Germany by Marcel

Situated on the western slopes of the Mount Carmel range, the site includes the caves of Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad and Skhul. Ninety years of archaeological research have revealed a cultural sequence of unparalleled duration, providing an archive of early human life in south-west Asia. This 54 ha property contains cultural deposits representing at least 500,000 years of human evolution demonstrating the unique existence of both Neanderthals andEarly Anatomically Modern Humans within the same Middle Palaeolithic cultural framework, the Mousterian. Evidence from numerous Natufian burials and early stone architecture represents the transition from a hunter-gathering lifestyle to agriculture and animal husbandry. As a result, the caves have become a key site of the chrono-stratigraphic framework for human evolution in general, and the prehistory of the Levant in particular. - in:

Sunday 5 February 2023

Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications

Founded by the Portuguese, Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia

Old Town of Galle
This postcard was sent by Prithika

Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 kilometres (74 mi) from Colombo.
Galle was known as Gimhathiththa before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Ibn Batuta, a Moroccan Berber Muslim traveller in the 14th century, referred to it as Qali. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. - in: wikipedia

Galle Fort
This postcard was sent by Helen

Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. - in: wikipedia

The Great Spa Towns of Europe

This site comprises 11 towns in 7 countries. So far, I have 7 towns of 7 countries

Baden bei Wien

This postcard was sent by Sabine

Baden (German for "Baths"; Central BavarianBodn), unofficially distinguished from other Badens as Baden bei Wien (Baden near Vienna), is a spa town in Austria.
The celebrity of Baden dates back to the days of the Romans, who knew it by the name of Aquae Cetiae or Thermae Pannonicae. Some ruins are still visible.
By the time of the First World War, Baden was Vienna's principal resort: 20 000 came each year, double the town's local population. In addition to a modern "spa house" (Kurhaus), there were 15 separate bathing establishments and several parks. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Javier

Spa is a city and municipality of Wallonia located in the province of LiègeBelgium.
Its name is the origin of the word spa. The town of Spa is situated in a valley in the Ardennes mountains 35 kilometres (22 miles) southeast of the city of Liège and 45 kilometres (28 miles) southwest of Aachen
Spa is one of Belgium's most popular tourist destinations, being renowned for its natural mineral springs and production of "Spamineral water, which is exported worldwide. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, just south of the nearby village of Francorchamps, also hosts the annual Belgian Grand Prix. - in: wikipedia

Mariánské Lázně Colonnade
This postcard was sent by Emerich

Mariánské Lázně is a spa town in Cheb District in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 13,000 inhabitants. The town, surrounded by green mountains, is a mosaic of parks and noble houses. Most of its buildings come from the town's Golden Era in the second half of the 19th century, when many celebrities and top European rulers came to enjoy the curative carbon dioxide springs.
The top attraction of the town is its 100 mineral springs (53 of them are tapped) with high carbon dioxide content and often also higher iron content, both in the town itself (40 springs) and its surroundings. The mineral water is used to cure disorders of the kidneys and of the urinary tract, respiratory disorders, locomotive system disorders, metabolic disorders, oncological disorders and gynaecological disorders, including the treatment of sterility.
Most of them are well-kept and often pavilions and/or colonnades are built around them.  - in: wikipedia

Vichy - Chalet des Roses
This postcard was sent by Nadia

Vichy is a city in the Allier department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of central France, in the historic province of Bourbonnais.
It is a spa and resort town and in World War II was the capital of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944. The term Vichyste indicated collaboration with the Vichy regime, often carrying a pejorative connotation.
Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné was a patient in 1676 and 1677 and would popularize Vichy's Thermal Baths through the written descriptions in her letters. The Vichy waters were said to have cured the paralysis in her hands, thus enabling her to take up letter-writing. In 1761 and 1762, Adélaïde and Victoire of France, the daughters of Louis XV, came to Vichy for the first time and returned in 1785. The bath facilities seemed extremely uncomfortable to them because of the muddy surroundings and insufficient access. When they returned to Versailles, they asked their nephew Louis XVI to build roomier and more luxurious thermal baths, which were subsequently completed in 1787.
By the 19th century Vichy was a station à la mode, attended by many celebrities. However, it was the stays of Napoleon III between 1861 and 1866 that were to cause the most profound transformation of the city: dikes were built along the Allier, 13 hectares (32 acres) of landscaped gardens replaced the old marshes and, along the newly laid-out boulevards and the streets, chalets and pavilions were built for the Emperor and his court. - in: wikipedia

This postcard was sent by Svenja

Baden-Baden is a spa town in the state of Baden-Württemberg, south-western Germany, at the north-western border of the Black Forest mountain range on the small river Oos, ten kilometres (six miles) east of the Rhine, the border with France, and forty kilometres (twenty-five miles) north-east of Strasbourg, France. - in: wikipedia

Montecatini Terme - Torreta Terme
This postcard was sent from Portugal by Martinha

Montecatini Terme is an Italian municipality (comune) of c. 20,000 inhabitants in the province of PistoiaTuscany, central Italy. It is the most important center in Valdinievole. The town is located at the eastern end of Piana di Lucca and has a strong vocation for tourism, as well as industrial and commercial industries related to the spa, which in turn has increased the interest for hotel accommodation in the region.
Terme Torretta (1928) takes its name from the river Toretta that flows through it. Built after 1829 by Count Baldino Baldini, the buildings underwent an important restoration operation between 1925 and 1928. - in: wikipedia

Bath - Roman Baths
This postcard was sent by Miguel

The Roman Baths are a well-preserved thermae in the city of Bath, Somerset, England. A temple was constructed on the site between 60-70CE in the first few decades of Roman Britain. Its presence led to the development of the small Roman urban settlement known as Aquae Sulis around the site. The Roman baths—designed for public bathing—were used until the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th Century CE. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the original Roman baths were in ruins a century later. The area around the natural springs was redeveloped several times during the Early and Late Middle Ages. - in: wikipedia

The 11 Spa Towns (in red what I have):

  • Baden Bei Wien, Austria
  • Spa, Belgium
  • Františkovy Lázně, Czech Republic
  • Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
  • Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic
  • Vichy, France
  • Bad Ems, Germany
  • Baden-Baden, Germany
  • Bad Kissingen, Germany
  • Montecatini Terme, Italy
  • Bath, United Kingdom