Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines

Guanajuato was an important centre of silver-extraction and is home of one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Central and South-America

La Valenciana Church
This postcard was sent by Steffi

La Valenciana is one of several churches that were built at the openings of mines in Guanajuato, such as the Cata and Rayas churches. The building of this church was sponsored by Antonio de Ordóñez y Alcocer, to give thanks to his patron Saint Cajetan (San Cayetano in Spanish) . The La Valenciana mine was first worked in 1558, but abandoned in 1559 as it was thought to be exhausted.
Construction of the church was begun in 1775 under architect Andrés de la Riva and master carpenter Manuel Antonio de Cárdenas. Both died before the project was completed, with their roles taken over by Jorge Archundia and José Simón Cayetano Tovar respectively. The project was completed in 1788, with the dedication to Saint Cajetan. The family of the count also intended to found a monastery for the Theatine order, constructing a house for the monks, but it was never occupied.
Since its construction the church has lost a bell tower and several saints from its facade. In 2014, concerns have been raised about the church’s condition, especially the remaining bell tower, mostly from water damage and the accumulation of dust on the altarpieces. - in: wikipedia

Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila

This is the region where the most famous drink of Mexico is made

Agave Region
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Agave Region, in the Valles Region of the Jalisco State, is one of the most important cultural landscapes in Mexico, not only for the importance of the natural landscape that offers, but for the cultural tradition that has kept for several centuries and from which has arisen one of the main icons that identify this country: the tequila.
The 35,019 ha site, between the foothills of the Tequila Volcano and the deep valley of the Rio Grande River, is part of an expansive landscape of blue agave, shaped by the culture of the plant used since the 16th century to produce tequila spirit and for at least 2,000 years to make fermented drinks and cloth. Within the landscape are working distilleries reflecting the growth in the international consumption of tequila in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the agave culture is seen as part of national identity. The area encloses a living, working landscape of blue agave fields and the urban settlements of Tequila, Arenal, and Amatitan with large distilleries where the agave ‘pineapple' is fermented and distilled. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1209/

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Hierapolis-Pamukkale

I could used a bath in one of these pools. It should be good for my back that is always hurting

Pamukkale
This postcard was sent by Onder

Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex

This mosque is trully a masterpiece ! Really impressive 

Selimiye Mosque
 This postcard was sent by Cuneyt

The Selimiye Mosque (TurkishSelimiye Camii) is an Ottoman imperial mosque, which is located in the city of EdirneTurkey. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II, and was built by architect Mimar Sinan between 1569 and 1575. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture.
This grand mosque stands at the center of a külliye (complex of a hospital, school, library and/or baths around a mosque) which comprises a medrese (Islamic academy teaches both Islamic and scientific lessons), a dar-ül hadis (Al-Hadith school), a timekeeper's room and an arasta (row of shops).

Selimiye Mosque
This postcard was sent by Onder

The interior of the mosque received great recognitions from its clean, spare lines in the structure itself. With the monumental exteriors proclaiming the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire, the plain symmetrical interiors reminded the sultans should always provide a humble and faithful heart in order to connect and communicate with God. To enter, it was to forget the power, determination, wealth and technical mastery of the Ottoman Empire. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 19 December 2016

Lena Pillars Nature Park

This natural rock formation it looks impressive, specially if seen from the Lena River

Lena Pillars Nature Park
This postcard was sent by Galina

Lena Pillars Nature Park is marked by spectacular rock pillars that reach a height of approximately 100 m along the banks of the Lena River in the central part of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). They were produced by the region’s extreme continental climate with an annual temperature range of almost 100 degrees Celsius (from –60 °C in winter to +40 °C in summer). The pillars form rocky buttresses isolated from each other by deep and steep gullies developed by frost shattering directed along intervening joints. Penetration of water from the surface has facilitated cryogenic processes (freeze-thaw action), which have widened gullies between pillars leading to their isolation. Fluvial processes are also critical to the pillars. The site also contains a wealth of Cambrian fossil remains of numerous species, some of them unique. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1299

Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands

The Solovetsky archipelago comprises six islands in the western part of the White Sea. In this archipelago there are several churches dating from the 16th to the 19th century.

Solovetsky Monastery
This postcard was sent by Vadim

The Solovetsky Monastery is a fortified monastery located on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea in northern Russia. It was one of the largest Christian citadels in northern Russia before it was converted into a Soviet prison and labor camp in 1926–39, and served as a prototype for the camps of the Gulag system. The monastery has experienced several major changes and military sieges. Its most important structures date from the 16th century, when Filip Kolychev was its hegumen (comparable to an abbot). - in: wikipedia


Solovetsky Island
This postcard was sent by Polina


The shores of the islands are very indented. They are formed of granites and gneiss. The relief of the islands is hilly (the highest point is 107 m). Most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy. There are numerous lakes, which were joined by monks so as to form a network of canals. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

What I like most about this postcard is that shows the 6 housing estates incribed in this site

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
This postcard was sent by Michaela

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (GermanSiedlungen der Berliner Moderne) are an ensemble of six subsidized housinge states from the early 20th century, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating mainly from the years of the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), when the city of Berlin was particularly progressive socially, politically and culturally, they are outstanding examples of the building reform movement that contributed to improving housing and living conditions for people with low incomes through novel approaches to architecture and urban planning. - in: wikipedia

The Housing Estates:
  • Gartenstadt Falkenberg
  • Siedlung Schillerpark
  • Großsiedlung Britz
  • Wohnstadt Carl Legien
  • Weiße Stadt
  • Großsiedlung Siemensstadt

Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus

I'm pretty sure that if the City of Warehouses in Hamburg was built today it wouldn't look as good as it looks

Speicherstadt
 This postcard was sent by Christina

The Speicherstadt (literally: 'City of Warehouses', meaning warehouse district) in HamburgGermany is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations, oak logs, in this particular case. It is located in the port of Hamburg—within the HafenCity quarter—and was built from 1883 to 1927. 

Speicherstadt
This postcard was sent by Astrid

The warehouses were built with different support structures, but Andreas Meyer created a Neo-Gothic red-brick outer layer with little towers, alcoves, and glazed terra cotta ornaments. The warehouses are multi-storey buildings with entrances from water and land. One of the oldest warehouses is the Kaispeicher B of the International Maritime Museum. - in: wikipedia

Chilehaus
This postcard was sent by Claus

The Chilehaus (Chile House) is a ten-story office building in HamburgGermany. It is located in the Kontorhausviertel. It is an exceptional example of the 1920s Brick Expressionism style of architecture. This large angular building is located on a site of approximately 6,000m², spanning the Fischertwiete Street in Hamburg. It was designed by the German architect Fritz Höger and finished in 1924. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 16 December 2016

Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine

Poland has great wooden churches but Ukraine too! This site consists in 8 churches of each country

St. Paraskevi Tserkva in Radruz
This postcard was sent by Gosia

St. Paraskevi Church in Radruż - a Gothicwooden church located in the village of Radruż from the sixteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine.
The tserkva is located on an oval hill, by the Radrużka stream, and together with the bell tower is surrounded by a wall (existent from 1825), with a fortification structure. The tserkva's structure is constructed out of a fir and oak framework. The tserkva was most likely funded by poseł to Sejm, and starosta Jan Płaza (died 1599). While being used for sacramental services, the tserkva was also used as a fortress against the invasions by the Tatars. - in: wikipedia

St Michael the Archangel Tserkva in Smolnik
This postcard was sent by Grzegon 

The first reference to the existence of an Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in Smolnik comes from a register in 1589 of the Sanok Land. It is presumed that the wooden tserkva was built at the start of the village, in 1530. The tserkva was most likely destroyed by fire or flooding. The second Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in the village was raised in 1602 (...). The tserkva burnt down in October 1672, most likely due to Tatar invasions. After 1672, another tserkva was raised in a different location to increase its defence from invasions. Since 1697, the Uniate treaty was enforced into the Smolnik parish. The fourth tserkva to be built in the village was completed in August 1, 1791. (...) The roof wood shingle was replaced with tin and the iconostasis renovated. The tserkva's affiliation was to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church until 1951 (when as part of the 1951 Polish–Soviet territorial exchangeSmolnik was returned to Poland and the populous of the area moved to the Soviet Union. Parts of the tserkva's interior was moved to Łańcut. In 1974, the tserkva was transferred to the Roman Catholic parish. The tserkva had undergone a major renovation between 2004 and 2005. - in: wikipedia

Tserkva of the Descent of the Holy Spirit 
This postcard was sent by Kseniya

Wooden Church of Descent of Holy Spirit was built in 1502 at the expense of potters in place of older wooden church of St. Boris and Gleb burnt by Tatars. In XVII century was created new two tier iconostasis. In 1620-1640 the interior was painted and in 1683 painter Ivan Rutkovych painted icon "Deesis".
In 1718 Wooden Church of Descent of Holy Spirit was restored by master Casimir Dominikovych. The next restoration carried out by the same master took place in 1736 and 1753. So was replaced foundations and floors above the altar, repaired shelter as well as western and southern doors.
The next restoration took place in 1831 then in 1903 and 1923 when all shingle roofs replaced with tin. In 1970-1972 restored to its original appearance by design of architect Bogdan Kindzelskyi and Ivan Mohytych. At the same time restorers Peter Voitko, Nicolay Slipchenko, Ruslan Yusym restored unique murals of XVII century. - in: https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/potelych-sights-wooden-church-descent-holy-spirit.html

Tserkva of Saint George
This postcard with a huge stamp was sent by Olesya

The first mention of Wooden Church of Saint George originating in 1496. During Tatar attack in 1499 it burned down. According to some documents was rebuilt in 1525. During another attack of Tatars in 1624 burned again. In 1657 from Nadiyiv, Dolyna region was carried the old church and on base of existing materials set current one.
In 1678 Wooden Church of Saint George was rebuilt and it got three domes. Repaired in 1823, 1833 and the end of XIX century.
In the church survived iconostasis of 1659-1666 created by Stephen Medytskyi. The murals of the nave is made in last quarter of XVII century. Choirs painted on expense of Gregory Proskurskyi in 1691.
Chapel painted in 1711-1714 and babynets - in XVIII century.
In 1961 the church was closed and in 1974-1975 carried out the restoration of Wooden Church of Saint George by architects Ivan Mohytych and Bogdan Kindzelskyi, painters Peter Linynskyi, Yaroslav Movchan, Natasha Slipchenko and Galya Druziuk and same time established the church as a museum.
To the north-east of the church is a wooden bell tower of 1670. - in: https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/drohobych-sights-wooden-church-saint-george.html

Tserkva of the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael
This postcard was sent by Natalia

Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael (1745)is one of the most interesting wooden churches of Boyko style. It is so perfectly placed on the slope so seems grown on its place.
Dominating central dome, small dome over altar and small rectangular tower over babynetz completes harmonious composition of Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael.
Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael was built by master Pavel Toniv of neighboring Bitlya village and master Ivan Tsyhanyn of Tikhiy village. Building works was finished June 11, 1745. It is said that the original church was built high on a mountainside but old people were hard walk up there and the church moved down the hill almost to the road. In the bishop's visitation in 1751 speaks of a new church in Uzhok that has two bells.
The interior of Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael captures the contrast between dark low babynetz and open bright space of the central dome. - in: https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/uzhok-wooden-church-synaxis-archangel-michael.html

The 16 Tserkvas: (in red the ones I already have):

Poland:
  • Tserkva of St. Michael the Archangel, Brunary, Lesser Poland
  • Tserkva of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Chotyniec
  • Tserkva of St. Paraskevia, Kwiatoń
  • Virgin Mary's Care Tserkva, Owczary
  • St. James the Less Tserkva, Powroźnik
  • Tserkva of St. Paraskevia, Radruż
  • St. Michael the Archangel Tserkva, Smolnik
  • St. Michael the Archangel Tserkva, Turzańsk, Sanok County

Ukraine:


  • Descent of the Holy Spirit Church, Potelych, Zhovkva Raion
  • Holy Trinity Church, Zhovkva
  • St. George's Church, Drohobych
  • St. Dmytro's Church, Matkiv
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit Church, Rohatyn
  • The Church of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, Nyzhniy Verbizh, Zakarpattia
  • St. Archangel Michael Church, Uzhok
  • Ascension of Our Lord Church, Yasinia, Yasinia, Zakarpattia

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Medina of Fez

Fez always makes me think of the colorful leather tanneries

Fez
This postcard arrived from Spain sent by Patricia

Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country's cultural and spiritual centre. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/170

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of  temples famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.

Royal Court Sculptures on Lakshmana Temple
 This postcard was sent by Claus

The Lakshmana Temple is a Hindu temple built by Yashovarman  located in Khajuraho, India. Dedicated to Vaikuntha Vishnu - an aspect of Vishnu.
This temple is located in the Western Temple complex in Khajuraho.
The structure consists of all the elements of Hindu temple architecture. It has entrance porch (ardh-mandapa), Mandapa, Maha-Mandapa, Antarala and Garbhagriha. - in: wikipedia

Erotic Sculptures on Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
This postcard was sent by Claus

The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, meaning "the Great God of the Cave", is the largest and most ornate Hindu temple in the medieval temple group found at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is considered one of the best examples of temples preserved from the medieval period in India.
The temple is said to have been built by the Chandela king Vidhyadhara, who ruled from 1017 to 1029. At various periods of the reign of this dynasty many famous temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, Surya, Shakti of the Hindu religion and also for the Thirthankaras of Jain religion were built. in: wikipedia

Episcopal City of Albi

Martinha always goes to wonderful places and she basically likes the same things than I: cathedrals, castles, historical cities... One of those places she visited was Albi

Albi
This postcard was sent by Martinha

On the banks of the Tarn river in south-west France, the old city of Albi reflects the culmination of a medieval architectural and urban ensemble. Today the Old Bridge (Pont-Vieux), the Saint-Salvi quarter and its church are testimony to its initial development (10th -11th centuries). Following the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heretics (13th century) it became a powerful episcopal city. Built in a unique southern French Gothic style from local brick in characteristic red and orange colours, the lofty fortified Cathedral (late 13th century) dominates the city, demonstrating the power regained by the Roman Catholic clergy. Alongside the Cathedral is the vast bishop’s Palais de la Berbie, overlooking the river and surrounded by residential quarters that date back to the Middle Ages. The Episcopal City of Albi forms a coherent and homogeneous ensemble of monuments and quarters that has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1337/

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

Every time I do the road from Switzerland to Portugal or from Portugal to Switzerland I try to stop in a different place and the more I know France the more I like it. One of those stops was in Carcassonne, a wonderful place.

Cité de Carcassonne
The Cité de Carcassonne is a medieval citadel located in the French city of Carcassonne, in the department of AudeLanguedoc-Roussillon region. It is located on a hill on the right bank of the River Aude, in the south-east part of the city proper.

Cité de Carcassonne
Founded during the Gallo-Roman period, the citadel derives its reputation from its 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long double surrounding walls interspersed by 52 towers. The town has about 2,500 years of history and has seen the Romans, VisigothsSaracens and Crusaders. At the beginning of its history it was a Gaulish settlement then in the 3rd century A.D., the Romans decided to transform it into a fortified town.

Cité de Carcassonne
The Roman defences were in place by 333 AD, when the town is described as a castellum. The original walls were supported by between 34 and 40 towers, spaced from 18 to 30 metres apart along the curtain wall. Each tower was semicircular in plan and about 14 metres tall. There were probably four main entrances to the town.

Cité de Carcassonne
The Gallo-Roman walls were rebuilt during the town's occupation by the Visigoths in the 5th and 6th centuries, but the original structure remained in place. After 1226, an additional line of fortifications was added outside of the Roman walls. The town was finally annexed to the kingdom of France in 1247 A.D. It provided a strong French frontier between France and the Crown of Aragon. During this period, the inner, Roman walls were largely demolished and replaced, while the new outer walls were reinforced and extended to the south. The new towers built during this work were mainly circular, but two were square. Construction continued into the reign of King Philip IV in the early 14th century.

Cité de Carcassonne
In 1659, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the province of Roussillon became a part of France, and the town lost its military significance. Fortifications were abandoned and the town became one of the economic centres of France, concentrating on the woolen textile industry.

Cité de Carcassonne
In 1849 the French government decided that the city fortifications should be demolished. This decision was strongly opposed by the local people. Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille and Prosper Mérimée, an eminent archaeologist and historian, led a campaign to preserve the fortress as a historical monument. 

Cité de Carcassonne
This postcard was sent by Paula

The government later reversed its decision and in 1853 restoration work began. The architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was charged with renovating the fortress. Viollet-le-Duc's work was criticised during his lifetime as inappropriate to the climate and traditions of the region. After his death in 1879, the restoration work was continued by his pupil, Paul Boeswillwald, and later by the architect Nodet. - in: wikipedia