Monday, 23 November 2015

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis

Egypt is a country full of history and full of wonders. The temples of Karnak and Luxor are just two examples of those wonders.
These two cards were sent by Tanya from Belarus

Karnak
 The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak , comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. Building at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut ("The Most Selected of Places") and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) north of Luxor- in: wikipedia

Luxor Temple
Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city today known asLuxor (ancient Thebes) and was founded in 1400 BCE. Known in the Egyptian language as ipet resyt, or "the southern sanctuary". In Luxor there are several great temples on the east and west banks. Four of the major mortuary temples visited by early travelers and tourists include the Temple of Seti I at Gurnah, Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, the Temple of Ramesses II (a.k.a Ramesseum), and the Temple Ramesses III at Medinet Habu; and the two primary cults temples on the east bank are known as the Karnak and Luxor. Unlike the other temples in Thebes, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the king in death. Instead Luxor temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship; it may have been where many of the kings of Egypt were crowned in reality or conceptually (as in the case of Alexander the Great who claimed he was crowned at Luxor but may never have traveled south of Memphis, near modern Cairo.) - in: wikipedia

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Desembarco del Granma National Park

If there are places with strange names, this is one of them. But for everything there's an explanation! Or almost everything :)

Sendero Arqueológico Natural el Guafe
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Desembarco del Granma National Park (SpanishParque Nacional Desembarco del Granma) is a national park in south-eastern Cuba, in what is now Granma Province. The park is named after the yacht in which Fidel CastroChe GuevaraRaúl Castro, and 79 of their supporters sailed from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 and incited the Cuban Revolution. It was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its marine terraces and pristine sea cliffs. - in: wikipedia

Waterton Glacier International Peace Park

This was the first International Peace Park of the world. Mannick, who has already been skiing in Crans-Montana, where I live, says in the third postcard of this post that the Going-to-the-Sun Road is amazing! And I believe! :)

Waterton Lakes National Park
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Waterton Lakes National Park is a national park located in the southwest corner of AlbertaCanada, and borders Glacier National Park in MontanaUnited States. Waterton was Canada's fourth national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton. The park contains 505 km(195 sq mi) of rugged mountains and wilderness. - in: wikipedia

Glacier National Park - Hidden Lake
This postcard was sent by Mannick

 Glacier National Park is a national park located in the U.S. state of Montana, on the Canada–United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1 million acres (4,000 km2) and includes parts of two mountain ranges (sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains), over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem", a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles (41,000 km2) -  in: wikipedia

Going-to-the-Sun Road
This postcard was sent by Mannick

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a scenic mountain road in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States, in Glacier National Park in Montana. It is the only road that traverses the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Completed in 1932 and dedicated the following year, the park's fleet of 1930s red buses offer tours on the road. Driven by drivers called "Jammers," they were rebuilt in 2001 to run on propane or gasoline. The road, a National Historic Landmark and a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, spans 53 miles (85 km) across the width of the park. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Redwood National and State Parks

Valerie says in this postcard that these trees are majestic! And no wonder, they are the tallest trees in the world! This forest reminds me the film Return of the Jedi, filmed in this park :)

Redwood National and State Parks
Redwood National Park comprises a region of coastal mountains bordering the Pacific Ocean north of San Francisco. It is covered with a magnificent forest of coastal redwood trees, the tallest and most impressive trees in the world. The marine and land life are equally remarkable, in particular the sea lions, the bald eagle and the endangered California brown pelican. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/134

Olympic National Park

According to Julie, visit this park is like visiting three parks in one! There are the sub-alpine mountains, the  beach coast of the Pacific and the rain forests! I like when the sender of the postcard write me his own impression of the place shown in the card and Julie does that perfectly! She even drew me a map :)

Quinault Old Growth Forest
 

Located in the north-west of Washington State, Olympic National Park is renowned for the diversity of its ecosystems. Glacier-clad peaks interspersed with extensive alpine meadows are surrounded by an extensive old growth forest, among which is the best example of intact and protected temperate rainforest in the Pacific Northwest. Eleven major river systems drain the Olympic mountains, offering some of the best habitat for anadromous fish species in the country. The park also includes 100 km of wilderness coastline, the longest undeveloped coast in the contiguous United States, and is rich in native and endemic animal and plant species, including critical populations of the endangered northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and bull trout. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/151

La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico always reminds me the Vaya Con Dios song :)

Castillo San Felipe del Morro
This postcard was sent by Sharon

Lying on the northwestern-most point of the islet of Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The fortification, also referred to as el Morro or 'the promontory,' was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies.
In 1983, the citadel was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in conjunction with the San Juan National Historic Site. Over two million visitors a year explore the castillo, making it one of Puerto Rico's leading tourist attractions. Facing the structure, on the opposite side of the bay, a smaller fortification known as El Cañuelo complemented the castillo's defense of the entrance to the bay. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 20 November 2015

Statue of Liberty

I really like statues! I have postcards with statues of Freddie Mercury, of  Bruce Lee,  of Ray Charles, of Afonso Henriques, of Christ the Redeemer... and I have the Statue of Liberty that is one of the most wonderful statues of the world, not only for its beauty and its majesty but also for what it represents.

Statue of Liberty

This postcard was sent by Ketzia


 The Statue of Liberty, a hollow colossus composed of thinly pounded copper sheets over a steel framework, stands on an island at the entrance to New York Harbor. It was designed by sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi in collaboration with engineer Gustave Eiffel, and was a gift from France on the centenary of American independence in 1876. Its design and construction were recognized at the time as one of the greatest technical achievements of the 19th century and hailed as a bridge between art and engineering. Atop its pedestal (designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt), the Statue has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States since it was dedicated in 1886.

Statue of Liberty

This postcard was sent by Aleksandra from Poland while she was in New York

The Statue is a masterpiece of colossal statuary, which found renewed expression in the 19th century, after the tradition of those of antiquity, but with intimations of Art Nouveau. Drawing on classical elements and iconography, it expressed modern aspirations. The interior iron framework is a formidable and intricate piece of construction, a harbinger of the future in engineering, architecture, and art, including the extensive use of concrete in the base, the flexible curtain-wall type of construction that supports the skin, and the use of electricity to light the torch. Édouard René de Laboulaye collaborated with Bartholdi for the concept of the Statue to embody international friendship, peace, and progress, and specifically the historical alliance between France and the United States. Its financing by international subscription was also significant. Highly potent symbolic elements of the design include the United States Declaration of Independence, which the Statue holds in her left hand, as well as the broken shackles from which she steps. - : http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/307

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

I don't like hunting but I must admit that in 1530 the mariners had to be brave to hunt whales... This site helps to understand how and why they put their lives in danger to capture those giants of the sea.

Red Bay
This postcard was sent by Natasha

Red Bay is a fishing village and former site of several Basque whaling stations on the southern coast of Labrador in the Province of Newfoundland and LabradorCanada. Between 1530 and the early 17th century, Red Bay was a major Basque whaling area. The site is home to three Basque whaling galleons and four small chalupas used in the capture of whales. The discovery of these vessels makes Red Bay one of the most precious underwater archaeological sites in the Americas. Since June 2013 it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. - in: wikipedia

Palmeral of Elche

My last UNESCO arrived last week from Spain and shows the Palmeral of Elche

Palm Grove of Elche
This postcard was sent by Jordi

The Palmeral of Elche, a landscape of groves of date palms, was formally laid out, with elaborate irrigation systems, at the time the Muslim city of Elche was erected, towards the end of the tenth century A.C., when much of the Iberian peninsula was Arab. The Palmeral is an oasis, a system for agrarian production in arid areas. It is also a unique example of Arab agricultural practices on the European continent. Cultivation of date palms in Elche is known at least since the Iberian times, dating around the fifth century B.C. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/930/


Monday, 16 November 2015

Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is for sure the most well known UNESCO site from Peru and it really looks a magical place!

Machu Picchu
 This postcard was sent by Yulia

Embedded within a dramatic landscape at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements anywhere and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization. Recognized for outstanding cultural and natural values, the mixed World Heritage property covers 32,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks and valleys surrounding its heart, the spectacular archaeological monument of “La Ciudadela” (the Citadel) at more than 2,400 meters above sea level. Built in the fifteenth century Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. It was not until 1911 that the archaeological complex was made known to the outside world.
Machu Picchu
This postcard was sent by Steffi

The approximately 200 structures making up this outstanding religious, ceremonial, astronomical and agricultural centre are set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces. Following a rigorous plan the city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two. To this day, many of Machu Picchu’s mysteries remain unresolved, including the exact role it may have played in the Incas’ sophisticated understanding of astronomy and domestication of wild plant species. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana

This is for me one of the most intriguing places of the world! Why did the Nazca people do these lines? And how did they do it so perfectly? We can make a lot of suppositions, but we might never know the real answers... All I know is that the drawings are amazing!
These postcards were sent by Steffi

Nazca Lines
 The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 km (50 mi) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana about 400 km south of Lima. Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 500 BC and 500 AD. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirdsspidersmonkeysfishsharksorcas, and lizards. 

The Hummingbird
The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than 70 are zoomorphic designs of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, monkeys, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 m (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general, they ascribe religious significance to them. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 2 November 2015

City of Cuzco

A fusion between an Inca city and the Spanish baroque has Cuzco as a result!
Both cards were sent by Steffi 

Cuzco - Plaza de Armas
 Known as the "Square of the warrior" in the Inca era, this plaza has been the scene of several important events in the history of this city, such as the proclamation by Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Cuzco.
Similarly, the Plaza de Armas was the scene of the death of Túpac Amaru II, considered the indigenous leader of the resistance.
The Spanish built stone arcades around the plaza which endure to this day. The main cathedral and the Church of La Compañía both open directly onto the plaza. - in: wikipedia

Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus
This church (Church of the Society of Jesus), whose construction was initiated by the Jesuits in 1576 on the foundations of theAmarucancha or the palace of the Inca ruler Wayna Qhapaq, is considered one of the best examples of colonial baroque style in the Americas.
Its façade is carved in stone and its main altar is made of carved wood covered with gold leaf. It was built over an underground chapel and has a valuable collection of colonial paintings of the Cusco School. - in: wikipedia