Friday, 29 December 2017

Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Kiev is the city of the golden cupolas. I'm still missing in my collection the Saint-Sophia Cathedral and the Church of the Saviour at Berestovo, also included in this site.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra
This postcard was sent by Mila

Kiev Pechersk Lavra or Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kiev.
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra contains numerous architectural monuments, ranging from bell towers to cathedrals to underground cave systems and to strong stone fortification walls. The main attractions of the Lavra include Great Lavra Belltower, the notable feature of the Kiev skyline, and the Dormition Cathedral, destroyed in World War II, and fully reconstructed in recent years. Other churches and cathedrals of the Lavra include: the Refectory Church, the Church of All Saints, the Church of the Saviour at Berestove, the Church of the Exaltation of Cross, the Church of the Trinity, the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, the Church of the Conception of St. Anne, and the Church of the Life-Giving Spring. The Lavra also contains many other constructions, including: the St. Nicholas Monastery, the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary, and the Debosquette Wall. - in: wikipedia

Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

This postcard was sent by Sergii

The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, from the beginning of its foundation, serves as the burial place of the spiritual personalities. The burial places of the metropolitans Arseniy (Moskvin), Filofey (Uspensky), Ioannikiy (Rudnev), Theognost (Lebedev) and Flavian (Gorodetsky) are located there. - in:

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Dougga / Thugga

Among the most famous monuments at this site are a Libyco-Punic Mausoleum, the capitol, the theatre, and the temples of Saturn and of Juno Caelestis.


The archaeological site of Thugga/Dougga is located in the North-west region of Tunisia, perched on the summit of a hill at an altitude of 571 m, dominating the fertile valley of Oued Khalled. Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, Thugga had existed for more than six centuries and was, probably, the first capital of the Numidian kingdom. It flourished under Roman rule but declined during the Byzantine and Islamic periods. The impressive ruins which are visible today give an idea of the resources of a Romanised Numidian town.
The archaeological site covers an area of approximately 75 ha. These ruins of a complete city with all its components are a testimony to more than 17 centuries of history. They are an outstanding example illustrating the synthesis between different cultures: Numidian, Punic, Hellenistic, and Roman. The Roman monuments were integrated within the urban fabric, essentially Numidian. - in:

Medina of Sousse

A long time ago, a friend of mine told me that Tunisia has some of the most beautiful beaches, but what I would love to see is something like the Medina of Sousse

Medina of Sousse

Located in the Tunisian Sahel, the Medina of Sousse constitutes a harmonious archaeological complex that reflects Arabo-Muslim urbanism applied to a coastal town exposed through its history to piracy and dangers from the sea. With the Medina of Monastir, it constitutes the unique prototype of military coastal architecture of the first centuries of Islam that has been passed down to us. Several monuments of the medina bear witness to this robust, ascetic and imposing architecture, notably the Ribat, the Great Mosque, the Bou Ftata Mosque, the Kasbah and the ramparts. The Ribat, both a fort and a religious building, is an eminent example of this type of construction. - in:

Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy

Some of these "Sacri Monti" are not very far from where I live. Even though they are not in my "must see" list, maybe I'll stop in one of them one day, when I visit a good friend of mine who gave some of these postcards as a Christmas present

Sacro Monte of Varallo
This postcard was given to me by my friend Barbara

The Sacred Mountain of Varallo (ItalianSacro Monte di Varallo) is a Sacro Monte overlooking the town of Varallo Sesia in the province of VercelliPiedmontnorthern Italy. It is the oldest Sacro Monte, founded in 1491 by Franciscan friar Bernardino Caimi. It is built on a natural terrace on the rocky slopes of Monte Tre Croci ("three crosses mountain"), on the left bank of the Sesia river where it leaves Val Mastallone. It is 600 m above sea level, 150 m above the historic centre of Varallo. - in: wikipedia

Sacro Monte di Orta
This postcard was given to me by my friend Barbara

The Sacro Monte di Orta (literally: "Sacred Mountain of Orta") is a Roman Catholic devotional complex in the comune of Orta San Giulio (Piedmont, northern Italy) on the summit of a hill known as San Nicolao, which faces the western shore of Lake Orta.
Construction of the complex, dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, began in 1583. The project by the Capuchin friar Cleto da Castelletto Ticino involved 36 chapels, of which only 20 were built. Until 1630 they were mostly in the Mannerist style, but from the mid-17th century Baroque and other influences predominated. Construction ended in 1788. - in: wikipedia

Sacro Monte di Oropa
This postcard was sent by Steffi

The Sacro Monte di Oropa (literally ‘Sacred Mount of Oropa’) is a Roman Catholic devotional complex in the province of BiellaPiedmont, northern Italy. It is one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Construction began in 1617, near the pre-existing sanctuary of Black Virgin of Oropa, one of the oldest in Piedmont and one of the best known in the region of the Alps. The 12 chapels (plus another seven nearby) are united by a devotional path, and inside these chapels scenes from the story of the life of the Virgin Mary are represented. - in: wikipedia

Sanctuary of Oropa
This postcard was sent by Steffi

The Sanctuary of Oropa (Italiansantuario di Oropa), is a group of Roman Catholic buildings and structures in the municipality of BiellaItaly. It is located at a height of 1,159 metres in a small valley of the Alpi Biellesi.
The last building added to the sanctuary was the Upper Basilica, a monumental church built between 1885 and 1960 due the large number of pilgrims visiting Oropa. - in: wikipedia

Sacro Monte Calvario

The Sacred Mount Calvary of Domodossola (also known as Sacro Monte Calvario) is a Roman Catholic sanctuary on the Mattarella Hill, overlooking Domodossola (Piedmont, northern Italy). 

Sacro Monte Calvario
This postcard was given to me by my friend Barbara

It was built in 1657 in response to the wishes of the Capuchin friars, Gioacchino da Cassano and Andrea da Rho. The chapels, dedicated to the Via Crucis, are positioned along a devotional route which starts on the outskirts of Domodossola and ends at the summit of Mount Mattarella. - in: wikipedia

The nine "Sacri Monti" (in red what I have):

  • Sacro Monte of “Nuova Gerusalemme” di Varallo Sesia. Vercelli, Piedmont
  • Sacro Monte di S.Maria Assunta di Serralunga di Crea, Alessandria, Piedmont
  • Sacro Monte di San Francesco d’Orta San Giulio, Novara, Piedmont
  • Sacro Monte del Rosario di Varese, Varese, Lombardy
  • Sacro Monte della Beata Vergine, Oropa, Biella, Piedmont
  • Sacro Monte della Beata Vergine del Soccorso, Ossuccio, Como, Lombardy
  • Sacro Monte della SS.Trinità, Ghiffa, Verbania, Piedmont
  • Sacro Monte Calvario, Domodossola, Verbania, Piedmont
  • Sacro Monte di Belmonte, Valperga, Canavese, Turin, Piedmont

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

This University City encloses an Olympic Stadium, about 40 faculties and institutes, a Cultural Center, an ecological reserve, the Central Library, and a few museums

Central Library
This postcard was sent by Marco

The ensemble of buildings, sports facilities and open spaces of the Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), was built from 1949 to 1952 by more than 60 architects, engineers and artists who were involved in the project. As a result, the campus constitutes a unique example of 20th-century modernism integrating urbanism, architecture, engineering, landscape design and fine arts with references to local traditions, especially to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past. The ensemble embodies social and cultural values of universal significance and is one of the most significant icons of modernity in Latin America. - in:

Mudejar Architecture of Aragon

This site is a group of monuments influenced by Islamic tradition but that also reflects European styles

La Seo

The Cathedral of the Savior (SpanishCatedral del Salvador) or La Seo de Zaragoza is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Zaragoza, in AragonSpain.
La Seo was built on the site of the ancient Roman forum of Augustus and of the main mosque of the Moorish city of Saraqusta, elements of whose minaret form part of the current tower. The construction began in the 12th century in the Romanesque style, and underwent many alterations and expansions until 1704, when the Baroque spire completed the tower.
The cathedral is a mixture of styles, from the Romanesque apse (12th century) to the Baroque tower and Neo-Classical main door (18th century), passing through Mudéjar and Gothic. - in: wikipedia

Dome of La Seo
This postcard was sent by Alfonso

In 1346 a Mudéjar dome was started to provide light at the altar, with the participation of the masters Juan de Barbastro and Domingo Serrano. The work was finished in 1376, when Don Lope Fernández de Luna was already archbishop, creating a spacious, well-lit Gothic cathedral.
In 1403 the old dome fell down. The Antipope Benedict XIII (Papa Luna), Aragonese by birth, initiated a reconstruction of the building. The Romanesque apses were elevated, two towers buttressing the sides of the apses were added, and a new dome was built in the shape of a Papal Tiara. Decorated in 1409 by the master Mohammed Rami, it may have been viewed by Benedict XIII on his visit to the city in 1410. - in: wikipedia

The Aragonese Mudejar monuments (in red what I have):
  • Tower, roof and dome of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Mediavilla, Teruel
  • Tower and church of San Pedro, Teruel
  • Tower and church of San Martín, Teruel
  • Tower and church of The Savior, Teruel
  • Apse, cloister and tower of Colegiata de Santa María, Calatayud
  • Parish church of Santa Tecla, Cervera de la Cañada
  • Church of Saint Mary, Tobed
  • Mudéjar remains of the Palace of Aljafería, Zaragoza
  • Tower and Parish church of San Pablo, Zaragoza
  • Apse, parish and dome of La Seo, Zaragoza

Historic Centre of Cordoba

In 1984 only the the Great Mosque of Cordoba was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site but ten years later the inscription was expanded to include much of the old town

This postcard was sent by Adolfo

The historic centre of Córdoba, Spain is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. In 1984, UNESCO registered the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba as a World Heritage Site. A decade later, it expanded the inscription to include much of the old town. The historic centre has a wealth of monuments preserving large traces of Roman, Arabic, and Christian times.
The historic centre as defined by UNESCO comprises the buildings and narrow winding streets around the cathedral. It is bordered on the south by the River Guadalquivir so as to include the Roman Bridge and the Calahorra Tower, on the east by the Calle San Fernando, and on the north by the commercial centre. To the west, it includes the Alcázar and the San Basilio district. - in: wikipedia

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
This postcard was sent by Nancy

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba (SpanishMezquita-Catedral de Córdoba) is the Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and located in the Spanish region of Andalusia. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
According to a traditional account, a small temple of Christian Visigoth origin, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century. - in: wikipedia

Antequera Dolmens Site

I already had a co-worker from Antequera, but I think he never told me about these dolmens. This site comprises three dolmens and two natural monuments.

Dolmen of Menga
This postcard was sent by Nancy

The Dolmen of Menga (SpanishDolmen de Menga) is a megalithic burial mound called a tumulus, a long barrow form of dolmen, dating from the 3rd millennium BCE.
It is one of the largest known ancient megalithic structures in Europe. It is 25 metres (82 ft) long, 5 metres (16 ft) wide and 4 metres (13 ft) high, and was built with thirty-two megaliths, the largest weighing about 180 tonnes (200 tons). After completion of the chamber (which probably served as a grave for the ruling families) and the path leading into the center, the stone structure was covered with soil and built up into the hill that can be seen today. When the grave was opened and examined in the 19th century, archaeologists found the skeletons of several hundred people inside. - in: wilipedia

Tholos of El Romeral
This postcard was sent by Jordi

Tholos de El Romeral, situated 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) north east of the town of Antequera (Andalusia), is one of the most important examples of Neolithic architecture in southern Europe. Tholos de El Romeral, also known as Cueva de Romeral (Cave of Romeral) and Dolmen de Romeral, is a megalithic burial site built circa 1800 BCE.
Tholos de El Romeral is a chambered tomb covered by a mound. It consists of a long corridor with drystone walls made of small stones and a ceilings made of megalithic slabs. The corridor culminates with two consecutive round beehive-like chambers. - in: wikipedia

El Torcal de Antequera
This postcard was sent by Nancy

El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range located south of the city of Antequera, in the province of Málaga (...). It is known for its unusual landforms, and is one of the most impressive karst landscapes in Europe.
The Jurassic age limestone is about 150 million years old and was laid down in a marine corridor that extended from the Gulf of Cádiz to Alicante between the present Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
Like many massive limestones, the Torcal includes caves and other underground forms, some of them of historical importance like the Cueva del Toro (Cave of the Bull) with its Neolithic artifacts. - in: wikipedia

Peña de los Enamorados
This postcard was sent by Nancy

Peña de los Enamorados ("The Lovers' Rock") is a mountain near the city of AntequeraMálaga ProvinceAndalusiaSpain. It reaches a height of 880 metres above sea level.
The mountain was named after a legend from the local oral tradition. The most well-known version of the legend says that two young Moorish lovers from rival clans, a young man from Antequera and girl from nearby Archidona, threw themselves from the rock while being pursued by the girl's father and his men. - in: wikipedia

The sites comprised (in red what I have):
  • The Manga Dolmen and The Viera Dolmen
  • Tholos of El Romeral
  • La Pena de los Enamorados
  • El Torcal de Antequera

Friday, 22 December 2017

Castel del Monte

This postcard arrived a few days before Christmas and it was a true anticipated gift! It's been a while that I was looking for a postcard of this castle with an unusual shape.

Castel del Monte
This postcard was sent by Cristina

Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region in southern Italy near the Adriatic Sea. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II. - in:

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato

This is an area of very good Italian wine, cheese and truffles. A nice place for the views and for the stomach 

Route of Barolo and Barbaresco
This postcard was sent by Gian Luca

The vineyard landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in Piedmont consist of a selection of five distinct winegrowing areas and a castle, whose names evoke profound and ancient expertise in the relationship between man and his environment. They reflect a slowly developed association between a diverse range of soils, grape varieties that are often native, and suitable winemaking processes. They offer panoramas of carefully cultivated hillsides, following ancient land divisions punctuated with buildings that lend structure to the visual space: hilltop villages, castles, Romanesque churches, farms, ciabots, cellars and storehouses for cellaring and for the commercial distribution of the wine in the small towns and larger towns on the margins of the vineyards. - in:

Langhe - Castiglione Falletto
This postcard was sent by Gian Luca

The Langhe is a hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, northern Italy.
It is famous for its wines, cheeses, and truffles.
Its vineyards constitute an outstanding example of man’s interaction with his natural environment. Following a long and slow evolution of winegrowing expertise, the best possible adaptation of grape varieties to land with specific soil and climatic components has been carried out, which in itself is related to winemaking expertise, thereby becoming an international benchmark. - in: wikipedia