Saturday, 26 December 2015

Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang

This site always brings me to my memory the film The Last Emperor, and now that I'm posting this I want to see it again because it was a long time ago that I watched it on TV and I can hardly remember. 

The Forbidden City
This postcard was sent by Ashley

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is located in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperor sand their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

The Forbidden City

This postcard was sent by Luo

Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (180 acres). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

The Empress Bedroom
This postcard was sent by Lainey

Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artefacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War. The Forbidden City has over 14 million annual visitors. - in: wikipedia


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties

This site includes several tombs and burial complexes. 14 tombs or tomb groups to be precise. I have 2. Not bad! :)

Ming Tombs - Sacred Way

This postcard was sent by Xiao

The Ming tombs are a collection of mausoleums built by the emperors of the Ming dynasty of China. The first Ming emperor's tomb is located near his capital Nanjing. However, the majority of the Ming tombs are located in a cluster near Beijing and collectively known as the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty. They are within the suburban Changping District of Beijing municipality 42 kilometres (26 mi) north-northwest of Beijing city center. The site, on the southern slope of Tianshou Mountain (originally Huangtu Mountain), was chosen based on the principles of feng shuiby the third Ming emperor, the Yongle Emperor. After the construction of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and created his own mausoleum. The subsequent emperors placed their tombs in the same valley. - in: wikipedia

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum - Stone Pillar on Sacred Way
This postcard was sent by San-Aiolia

The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (Chinese明孝陵pinyinMíng Xiào Líng; literally: "Ming filial mausoleum") is the tomb of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming dynasty. It lies at the southern foot of Purple Mountain, located east of the historical centre of NanjingChina. Legend says that in order to prevent robbery of the tomb, 13 identical processions of funeral troops started from 13 city gates to obscure the real burying site.
The construction of the mausoleum began during the Hongwu Emperor's life in 1381 and ended in 1405, during the reign of his son the Yongle Emperor, with a huge expenditure of resources involving 100,000 labourers. The original wall of the mausoleum was more than 22.5 kilometres long. The mausoleum was built under heavy guard of 5,000 troops. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Old City of Dubrovnik

I said in other posts that I would love to visit Croatia and make stops in Split and in Trogir, but if I had to choose only one place of this country that would be Dubrovnik. The description in the UNESCO website as "Pearl of the Adriatic" must mean something :)

This postcard was sent by Antonella

Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea, in the region of Dalmatia.(...) In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade; as the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, it achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
According to CNNGo, Dubrovnik is among the 10 best preserved medieval walled cities in the world.[3] Although it was demilitarised in the 1970s to protect it from war, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by the Serb andMontenegrin soldiers gathered in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) for seven months and suffered significant damage from shelling. - in: wikipedia



Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

 As I said before Croatia is a country that I'd love to visit and I would definitely love to make a long stop in Split.  
Split
This postcard was sent by Zana

Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, centred on the Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian. Spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings, Split's greater area includes the neighboring seaside towns as well. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is a link to numerous Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula. - in: wikipedia

Split
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Diocletian's Palace (CroatianDioklecijanova palača) is an ancient palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms the center of the city of Split. While it is referred to as a "palace" because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian's personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.
Today the palace, along with adjoining areas to the west, forms the very heart of Split. Many shops, restaurants, bars and apartments for tourists can be found within the palace. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Historic City of Trogir

Croatia is one of the many European countries that I'd love to visit and Trogir a must stop point.

Trogir
This postcard was sent by Agi

Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with many fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/810/

Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn

This palace and its gardens is the kind of place that makes us travel in time!

Schönbrunn Palace
 This postcard was given to me by my cousin Andreia

Schönbrunn Palace (GermanSchloss Schönbrunn) is a former imperial summer residence located in ViennaAustria. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. - in: wikipedia


Schönbrunn Palace and the Gloriette
 This postcard was sent by Danubia

The largest and probably most well-known gloriette is in the Schönbrunn Palace Garden in Vienna. Built in 1775 as the last building constructed in the garden according to the plans of Austrian imperial architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg as a "temple of renown" to serve as both a focal point and a lookout point for the garden, it was used as a dining hall and festival hall as well as a breakfast room for emperor Franz Joseph I. The dining hall, which was used up until the end of the monarchy, today has a café in it, and on the roof an observation platform overlooks Vienna. The Gloriette's decorative sculptures were made by the famous Salzburg sculptorJohann Baptist von Hagenauer. The Gloriette was destroyed in the Second World War, but had already been restored by 1947, and was restored again in 1995 - in: wikipedia

Schönbrunn Palace and Empress Elisabeth portrait
This postcard was sent by Friedrich

The Sisi Museum in the Vienna Hofburg, Schönbrunn Palace and the Imperial Furniture Collection provide authentic insights into the life and personality of this famous monarch.
In 2004 the Sisi Museum opened in a section of the Imperial Apartments once occupied by the empress. With more than 300 personal objects on display, the exhibition avoids the usual clichés, presenting Elisabeth’s true personality in a sensitive exploration of the empress’s life and fate. Elisabeth’s verse is used to illustrate her emotional states of mind at each stage of her life, from her carefree girlhood to the restless, aloof and melancholic woman she later became. - in: http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/nc/services/press-information/archive/press-information-2011/press-information-detail-2011/artikel/auf-den-spuren-von-kaiserin-elisabeth-in-wien-1.html

Willandra Lakes Region

Postcards are a wonderful way to learn about the world. When I knew that I was going to receive a postcard from a place called Willandra Lakes Region, I wasn't expecting a postcard that only shows desert and sand... But then I researched and now I know why this place is called this way. Always learning! :) 

Mungo National Park
This postcard was sent by Norma

The Mungo National Park is a protected national park that is located in south-western New South Wales, in eastern Australia
The national park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Willandra Lakes Region, an area of 2,400 square kilometres (930 sq mi) that incorporates seventeen dry lakes. The seventeen dry lakes are not all called mungo but are all declared world heritage, also the creek that used to flow into mungo is being preserved as a sacred site.
The central feature of Mungo National Park is Lake Mungo, the second largest of the ancient dry lakes. The Mungo National Park is noted for the archaeological remains discovered in the park. The remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains discovered in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest known human to have been ritually cremated, were both discovered within the park. They were buried on the shore of Lake Mungo, beneath the 'Walls of China', a series of lunettes on the South eastern edge of the lake. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Kakadu National Park

This was the first UNESCO site that I received from the amazing country that must be Australia!

Wetland in Kakadu National Park
 This postcard was sent by Norma

This unique archaeological and ethnological reserve, located in the Northern Territory, has been inhabited continuously for more than 40,000 years. The cave paintings, rock carvings and archaeological sites record the skills and way of life of the region’s inhabitants, from the hunter-gatherers of prehistoric times to the Aboriginal people still living there. It is a unique example of a complex of ecosystems, including tidal flats, floodplains, lowlands and plateaux, and provides a habitat for a wide range of rare or endemic species of plants and animals. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/147

Nourlangie Rock and Anbangbang Billabong; Kakadu waterfall; Black-necked Stork
This postcard was sent by Rosie

Burrunggui (previously called Nourlangie Rock) is located in an outlying formation of the Arnhem Land Escarpment within the Kakadu National Park which is in the Northern Territory of Australia. It can be reached off the Kakadu Highway between Jabiru and Cooinda. The word Nourlangie derives from the Gundjeihmi language placename Nawurlandja which is actually the name of a smaller rock outcrop at the Anbangbang billabong.

Anbangbang Billabong lies in the shadow of Nourlangie Rock within Kakadu National Park and is a good place to view a wide range of wildlife. Large numbers of water fowl and wading birds inhabit the billabong and many wallabies can be found grazing around the water’s edge.

The black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a tall long-necked wading bird in the stork family. It is a resident species across South and Southeast Asia with a disjunct population in Australia. It lives in wetland habitats where it forages for a wide range of animal prey. Adult birds of both sexes have a heavy bill and are patterned in white and glossy blacks, but the sexes differ in the colour of the iris. In Australia, it is sometimes called a jabiru although that name refers to a stork species found in the Americas. It is one of the few storks that is strongly territorial when feeding. - in: wikipedia

Great Barrier Reef

The world's largest collection of coral reefs. Amazing!

Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/154

Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots

Daniela, from Germany, visited the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in 2014 and she was impressed. This cathedral is part of a group of monuments that form this site.

Etchmiadzin Cathedral

Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia. According to most scholars, it was the first cathedral (but not the first church) built in ancient Armenia, and is considered the oldest cathedral in the world.
The original church was built in the early fourth century —between 301 and 303 according to tradition—by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It replaced a preexisting temple, symbolizing the conversion from paganism to Christianity. The core of the current building was built in 483/4 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion. From its foundation until the second half of the fifth century, Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Church. - in: wikipedia

Monuments that are part of this site (in red what I already have):
  • Etchmiadzin Cathedral
  • Church of Saint Gayane
  • Church of Saint Hripsime
  • Church of Shoghakat
  • Cemetery of Congregation
  • Archaeological site of  Zvartnots

Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley

In 2013 Marta, Miguel and Vitória, 3 Portuguese Postcrossers, went on a trip through Barcelona and Andorra. It was from Andorra that they sent me this postcard.

Madriu River

The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley (CatalanVall del Madriu-Perafita-Claror) is a glacial valley in the southeast of Andorra. It covers an area of 42.47 km², approximately 9% of the total area of Andorra, and is part of the second largest watershed basin in Andorra. The isolated valley is recognised as a haven for rare or endangered wildlife, and the undeveloped valley has recently been considered to be the "spiritual heart" of Andorra. It became Andorra's first, and to date its only, UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, with a small extension in 2006. - in: wikipedia

Tassili n'Ajjer

This was my first postcard, and so far the only one, from Algeria. It was sent from the United States by Dylan.

Tassili n'Ajjer and the Tuareg
Located in a strange lunar landscape of great geological interest, this site has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world. More than 15,000 drawings and engravings record the climatic changes, the animal migrations and the evolution of human life on the edge of the Sahara from 6000 BC to the first centuries of the present era. The geological formations are of outstanding scenic interest, with eroded sandstones forming ‘forests of rock’. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/179

Monday, 14 December 2015

Península Valdés

Sini, from Finland, also sent me this amazing postcard of the Península Valdés in Argentina, country that she visited in 2011.

Península Valdés in Patagonia is a site of global significance for the conservation of marine mammals. It is home to an important breeding population of the endangered southern right whale as well as important breeding populations of southern elephant seals and southern sea lions. The orcas in this area have developed a unique hunting strategy to adapt to local coastal conditions. . in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/937/

Young Southern Right Whale

The southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) is a baleen whale, one of three species classified as right whales belonging to the genus Eubalaena. Like other right whales, the southern right whale is readily distinguished from others by the callosities on its head, a broad back without a dorsal fin, and a long arching mouth that begins above the eye. Its skin is very dark grey or black, occasionally with some white patches on the belly. (...) Approximately 10,000 southern right whales are spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.
The size of an adult female is 15 m (49 ft) and can weigh up to 47 tonnes (46 long tons; 52 short tons), with the larger records of 17.5–18 m (57–59 ft) in length and 80 tonnes (79 long tons; 88 short tons) in weight,[13] making them slightly smaller than other right whales in Northern Hemisphere. - in: wikipedia