Sunday 26 March 2023

Gough and Inaccessible Islands

This site is one of the most important seabird colonies in the world.

Gough Island
This postcard was sent by Edgar

Gough and Inaccessible Islands are two extraordinary uninhabited oceanic islands that have remained relatively undisturbed, and are therefore of special conservation significance. Gough Island is one of the largest cool-temperate oceanic islands in the world that remains close to pristine, having been spared most introductions of invasive species that have decimated unique island biodiversity elsewhere. While Inaccessible Island is smaller, it is of no lesser significance, housing a number of species endemic to this tiny speck in the South Atlantic Ocean.
The spectacular cliffs of each island, towering above the ocean, host some of the most important seabird colonies in the world. These include albatrosses, petrels, and penguins, reliant on the rich marine life surrounding them. Gough Island is home to two endemic species of land birds as well as twelve endemic plant species. - in:

Henderson Island

This island is one of the places most affected by plastic debris released into the ocean.

Henderson Island
This postcard was sent by Edgar

Henderson Island, which lies in the eastern South Pacific, is one of the few atolls in the world whose ecology has been practically untouched by a human presence. Its isolated location provides the ideal context for studying the dynamics of insular evolution and natural selection. It is particularly notable for the 10 plants and four land birds that are endemic to the island. - in:

Sunday 19 March 2023

Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town

The Old Town is built around the Cave of the Patriarchs, the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Tomb of the Patriarchs
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Cave of the Patriarchs or Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Jews by its Biblical name Cave of Machpelah and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, is a series of caves situated 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Jerusalem in the heart of the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank. According to the Abrahamic religions, the cave and adjoining field were purchased by Abraham as a burial plot, although most historians believe the Abraham-Isaac-Jacob narrative to be primarily mythological. in: wikipedia

Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem

This is the place where is believed that Jesus was born

Church of the Nativity
This postcard was sent by Debora

The Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in BethlehemWest Bank. The church was originally commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena over the site that is still traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth

Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity site's original basilica was completed in 339 and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the 6th century. A new basilica was built 565 by Justinian, the Byzantine Emperor, restoring the architectural tone of the original. 

Bells of Bethlahem
This postcard was sent by Marco

The site of the Church of the Nativity has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers. Due to its cultural and geographical history, the site holds a prominent religious significance to those of both the Christian and Muslim faiths. - in: wikipedia

Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls

The old city of Jerusalem is a place of great symbolic importance and full of history.

Temple Mount
 This postcard was sent by Debora

The Temple Mount (Hebrewהַר הַבַּיִת‎, Har HaBáyit), also known as the Haram (Arabicالحرم الشريف‎, al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf, "Noble Sanctuary", or الحرم القدسي الشريفal-Ḥaram al-Qudsī al-Šarīf, "Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem"), is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years. At least four religious traditions are known to have made use of the Temple Mount: JudaismGreco-Roman paganismChristianity, and Islam. The present site is dominated by three monumental structures from the early Umayyad period: the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the ChainHerodian walls and gates with additions dating back to the late Byzantine and early Islamic periods cut through the flanks of the Mount. Currently it can be accessed via eleven gates, ten reserved for Muslims and one for non-Muslims, with guard posts of Israeli police in the vicinity of each. - in: wikipedia

Dome of the Rock
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, a site also known to Muslims as the al-Haram al-Sharif or the Al-Aqsa Compound. Its initial construction was undertaken by the Umayyad Caliphate on the orders of Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna in 691–692 CE, and it has since been situated on top of the site of the Second Jewish Temple (built in c. 516 BCE to replace the destroyed Solomon's Temple), which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The original dome collapsed in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1022–23. The Dome of the Rock is the world's oldest surviving work of Islamic architecture. - in: wikipedia

Damascus Gate
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Damascus Gate is one of the main Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is located in the wall on the city's northwest side and connects to a highway leading out to Nablus, which in the Hebrew Bible was called Shechem or Sichem, and from there, in times past, to the capital of SyriaDamascus; as such, its modern English name is the Damascus Gate, and its modern Hebrew name is Sha'ar Shkhem (שער שכם), meaning Shechem Gate, or in modern terms Nablus Gate. - in: wikipedia

Via Dolorosa
This postcard was sent by Debora

The Via Dolorosa (Latin: "Way of Grief," "Way of Sorrows," "Way of Suffering" or simply "Painful Way"; Arabic: طريق الآلام) is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. The winding route from the Antonia Fortress west to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre —a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet)— is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross; there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. - in: wikipedia 

This postcard was sent by Debora

The cardo, an integral component of city planning, was lined with shops and vendors, and served as a hub of economic life. The main cardo was called cardo maximus.
The line of the Cardo Maximus is still visible on the Jewish Quarter Street, though the original pavement lies several meters below the modern street level. In the 7th century, when Jerusalem fell under Muslim rule, the Cardo became an Arab-style marketplace. Remains of the Byzantine Cardo were found in the Jewish Quarter excavations beginning in 1969. - in: wikipedia

Biblical Tels - Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba

From the three mounds that form this site, so far I only have postcards from Tel Megiddo

This postcard was sent by Debora

Megiddo (Hebrewמגידו‎; Arabicمجیدو‎, Tell al-Mutesellim, "The Tell of the Governor") is a tell in northern Israel near Kibbutz Megiddo, about 30 km south-east of Haifa, known for its historical, geographical, and theological importance, especially under its Greek name Armageddon. In ancient times Megiddo was an important city-state. Excavations have unearthed 26 layers of ruins, indicating a long period of settlement. Megiddo is strategically located at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley from the west.

This postcard was sent by Marco

The site is now protected as Megiddo National Park and is a World Heritage Site. - in: wikipedia

Old City of Acre

I must confess that I'd never heard of Acre until I received a postcard from there, but judging for these images seems to be the kind of city I would love to visit!

This postcard was sent by Debora

Acre is a historic walled port-city with continuous settlement from the Phoenician period. The present city is characteristic of a fortified town dating from the Ottoman 18th and 19th centuries, with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosques, khans and baths. 

This postcard was sent by Marco

The remains of the Crusader town, dating from 1104 to 1291, lie almost intact, both above and below today's street level, providing an exceptional picture of the layout and structures of the capital of the medieval Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. - in:


A "natural fortress of majestic beauty" is how UNESCO describes this place

Masada - Herod's Northern Palace
This postcard was sent by Debora

Masada (מצדה metzadá "fortress") is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa, on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Arad.

Sandal Discovered in Masada
This postcard was sent by Marco

Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. According to Josephus, the Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in themass suicide of 960 people – the Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there.
Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions. - in: wikipedia

Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladruby nad Labem

This site includes the villages of Kladruby nad Labem and Selmice, the Imperial Stud Farm, and the surrounding farmsteads, gardens, pastures, and watercourses

Kladruby nad Labem
This postcard was sent by Helena

Kladruby nad Labem is a municipality and village in Pardubice District in the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 600 inhabitants. It is known as the home of the Kladruber horse breed. The village with the surrounding landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The landscape was uniquely designed in the 16th and 17th centuries to effectively breed and train the Kladruber horses. In addition, the area demonstrates an outstanding example of the ferme ornée style of landscape architecture made popular in the 18th century. - in: wikipedia

Saturday 18 March 2023

Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan

This property consists of 17 archaeological sites in the southern part of Hokkaido Island  and northern Tohoku

Sannai-Maruyama Site
This postcard was sent by Xia

The Sannai-Maruyama Site is an archaeological site and museum located in the Maruyama and Yasuta neighborhoods to the southwest of central Aomori in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, containing the ruins of a very large Jōmon period settlement. The ruins of a 40-hectare (400,000 m2; 99-acre) settlement were discovered in 1992, when Aomori Prefecture started surveying the area for a planned baseball stadium. Archaeologists have used this site to further their understanding of the transition to sedentism and the life of the Jōmon people. Excavation has led to the discovery of storage pits, above ground storage and long houses. These findings demonstrate a change in the structure of the community, architecture, and organizational behaviors of these people. Because of the extensive information and importance, this site was designated as a Special National Historical Site of Japan in 2000., and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Jōmon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan collection in 2021. - in: wikipedia

Friday 3 March 2023

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

According with UNESCO, the buildings in the Wudang Mountains exhibit exceptional architectural art and technology and represent the highest level of Chinese art and architecture achieved over a period of nearly 1,000 years

Wudang Mountains
This postcard was sent by Chao

The Wudang Mountains (Chinese武当山pinyinWǔdāng Shān) consist of a small mountain range in the northwestern part of HubeiChina, just south of Shiyan

Wudang Mountains

They are home to a famous complex of 
Taoist temples and monasteries associated with the god Xuan Wu. The Wudang Mountains are renowned for the practice of Taichi and Taoism as the Taoist counterpart to the Shaolin Monastery, which is affiliated with Chinese Chán Buddhism
. - in: wikipedia

Purple Cloud Monastery at Wudang Mountains

The Purple Cloud Temple, standing on Zhanqifeng Peak, is a Taoist temple of the Wudang Mountains Taoist complex. After being built in 1119-26, it was rebuilt in 1413 and extended in 1803-20.
It consists of several halls and Daoist statues including the Dragon and Tiger Hall, the Purple Sky Hall, the East Hall, the West Hall, the Parent Hall and the Prince Cliff. The Purple Sky Hall is enshrined with statues of Zhen Wu at different stages of his life. Statues of Zhen Wu's parents rest in the Parent Hall. On the left side is the Chinese deity Guan Yin, and on the right is the Shouzi Mother to whom couples traditionally pray for sons. The hall also houses cultural relics, some of which date back as far as the 7th century, including the Green Dragon Crescent Blade. - in: wikipedia