Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Su Nuraxi di Barumini

This is, so far, the only UNESCO World Heritage site in the island of Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea

Su Nuraxi di Barumini
This postcard was sent by Isabetta

The archaeological site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini in Sardinia is the best-known example of the unique form of Bronze Age defensive complexes known as nuraghi. The elevated position of Su Nuraxi dominates a vast and fertile plain to the west of the municipal district of Barumini. The site was occupied from the time of construction of nuraghe in the 2nd millennium BCE until 3rd century CE. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/833/

Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika

Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, fifteen of them included in the World Heritage list

Byzantine Walls of Thessaloniki
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Walls of Thessaloniki are the city walls surrounding the city of Thessaloniki during the Middle Ages and until the late 19th century, when large parts of the walls, including the entire seaward section, were demolished as part of the Ottoman authorities' restructuring of Thessaloniki's urban fabric. The city was fortified from its establishment in the late 4th century B.O.T, but the present walls date from the early Byzantine period, ca. 390, and incorporate parts of an earlier, late 3rd-century wall. - in: wikipedia

The monuments inscribed (in red what I have):
  • City Walls
  • Rotunda
  • Church of Acheiropoietos
  • Church of St. Demetrios
  • Latomou Monastery
  • Church of St. Sophia
  • Church of Panagia Chalkeon
  • Church of St. Panteleimon
  • Church of the Holy Apostles
  • Church of St. Nicholas Orphanos
  • Church of St. Catherine
  • Church of Christ Saviour
  • Blatades Monastery
  • Church of Prophet Elijah
  • Byzantine Bath

Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

This site includes monuments from the 4th century, such as the temple of Asklepios, the Tholos and the Theatre

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is a theatre in the Greek city of Epidaurus, located on the southeast end of the sanctuary dedicated to the ancient Greek God of medicine, Asclepius. It is built on the west side of Cynortion Mountain, near modern Lygourio, and belongs to the Epidaurus Municipality. It is considered to be the most perfect ancient Greek theatre with regard to acoustics and aesthetics. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor (Argentina), Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes (Brazil)

The postcard I have from Argentina, besides this site, also shows the Iguazu, a World Heritage site as well. But since I have another postcard from there I post this one here because it's the only one I have so far showing a Mission in Argentina. 

São Miguel das Missões
This postcard was sent by Livia

The Ruins of São Miguel das Missões is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the municipality of São Miguel das Missões, in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul state, in southern Brazil.
The São Miguel das Missões mission was built between 1735 to around 1745 as Mission San Miguel Arcángel. São Miguel das Missões was one of the many Spanish Colonial Jesuit Reductions in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. - in: wikipedia

San Ignacio Mini (left bottom corner)
This postcard was sent by Luzia

San Ignacio Miní was one of the many missions founded in 1632, in Argentina, by the Jesuits in what the colonial Spaniards called the Province of Paraguay of the Americas during the Spanish colonial period. It is located near present-day San Ignacio valley, some 60 km north of PosadasMisiones ProvinceArgentina.
The ruins are one of the best preserved among the several built in the territory of the Province of Paraguay, which today is divided among Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Due to its accessibility, it is one of the most visited. - in: wikipedia

The Missions (in red what I have):

  • São Miguel das Missões
  • San Ignacio Mini
  • Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana
  • Nuestra Señora de Loreto
  • Santa María la Mayor

Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua

Quirigua is known for its unusually large stelae elaborately carved from single blocks of red sandstone

This postcard was sent by Marco

The Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua is located in the Department of Izabal in Guatemala. The inscribed property is comprised of 34 hectares of land dedicated exclusively to the conservation of the ancient architecture and the seventeen monuments that were carved between 426 AD and 810 AD and make up this great city. 
The artful production of monolithic stone monuments, carved in sandstone without the use of metal tools, is outstanding. The monuments, called stelae, contain hieroglyphic texts describing significant calendar dates, celestial events such as eclipses, passages of Maya mythology and political events, as well as important social and historic events to the development of the city. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/149

Stela J
This postcard was sent by Marco

Stela J was erected by K'ak' Tiliw Chan Yopaat in 756 and is carved in the wrap-around style. It stands 5 metres (16 ft) high and is located in the southern part of the Great Plaza. The dedicatory cache consisted of a house-shaped clay box with unknown contents. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 17 November 2017

Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco

The main attraction of the town of San Miguel is its well-preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. At the moment I don't have any postcard of the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
This postcard was sent by Marco

La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the current parish church of San Miguel, is unique in Mexico and the emblem of the town. It has a Neo-gothic façade with two tall towers that can be seen from most parts of town. The church was built in the 17th century with a traditional Mexican façade. The current Gothic façade was constructed in 1880 by Zeferino Gutierrez, who was an indigenous bricklayer and self-taught architect. It is said Gutierrez's inspiration came from postcards and lithographs of Gothic churches in Europe; however, the interpretation is his own and if more a work of imagination than a faithful reconstruction. In front of this façade is a small atrium, which is guarded by a wrought iron fence. There is a monument in the atrium dedicated to Bishop José María de Jesús Diez de Sollano y Davalos. The San Rafael or Santa Escuela Church is located to the side of the parish. It was founded by Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro in 1742. The main façade has two levels with arches, pilasters, floral motifs and a frieze on the first level. The second level has a choir window framed by pink sandstone. The bell tower is Moorish. According to legend, this older chapel was the site of the first Christian ceremony in San Miguel. - in: wikipedia

Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro

Querétaro has a lot of beautiful monuments, mostly Baroque, religious and non religious 

This postcard was sent by Marco

The Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro is located in the state of Querétaro in Mexico. It is an exceptional example of a colonial town whose layout symbolizes its multi-ethnic population. It is also endowed with a wealth of outstanding buildings, notably from the 17th and 18th centuries. The property is unusual in having retained the geometric street plan of the Spanish conquerors side by side with the twisting alleys of the Indian quarters. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together in the town, which is notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments, with a skyline that has been defined since the 16th century. The urban layout of is unique for Spanish colonial towns in the Americas in that its town plan was from the start divided into two distinct sections- one rectilinear and intended for Spanish settlers and the other composed of smaller, winding streets where the indigenous population lived. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/792/

Medina of Marrakesh

Morocco is one of the African countries that I'd like to visit, and particularly Marrakesh. I receive a lot of e-mails of travel agencies and air-flight companies proposing this city and it doesn't seem to be expensive. It won't be in a near future but maybe one day

Bab Agnaou
This postcard was sent by Patrik

Bab Agnaou is one of the nineteen gates of MarrakeshMorocco. It was built in the 12th century in the time of the Almohad dynasty.
While Bab er Robb was the official entrance to the city, Bab Agnaou gives entrance to the royal kasbah in the southern part of the medina of Marrakech. The kasbah, built by the Almohad sultan Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, is the site of El Mansouria (the kasbah mosque), the El Badi Palace and the Saadian Tombs. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town

The night show for Harar tourists that consists in feeding meat to spotted hyenas, reminded me my first year in Switzerland when I used to go out at night hoping to see foxes, but without feeding them

Tomb of Emir ibn Mujahid in Harar
This postcard was sent by Manú

Harar , and known to its inhabitants as Gēy, is a walled city in eastern Ethiopia. It was formerly the capital of Hararghe and now the capital of the modern Harari Region of Ethiopia.
For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial center, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and, through its ports, the outside world.

Considered a saint from Harar, Mujahid was called the Sahib al-Fath al-Thani, or "Master of the Second Conquest". His tomb stands on a hill surrounded by houses and courtyards, and is a popular place of pilgrimage in Harar. - in: wikipedia

Hyenas of Harar
This postcard was sent by Manú

Written records indicate that spotted hyenas have been present in the walled Ethiopian city of Harar for at least 500 years, where they sanitise the city by feeding on its organic refuse.
The practice of regularly feeding them did not begin until the 1960s. The first to put it into practice was a farmer who began to feed hyenas in order to stop them attacking his livestock, with his descendants having continued the practice. Some of the hyena men give each hyena a name they respond to, and call to them using a "hyena dialect", a mixture of English and Oromo. The hyena men feed the hyenas by mouth, using pieces of raw meat provided by spectators. Tourists usually organise to watch the spectacle through a guide for a negotiable rate. As of 2002, the practice is considered to be on the decline, with only two practicing hyena men left in Harar. - in: wikipedia

Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela

It's incredible how these churches were made from a single block of stone such a long time ago...

Biete Amanuel
This postcard was sent by Manú

This rural town is known around the world for its churches carved from within the earth from "living rock," which play an important part in the history of rock-cut architecture. Though the dating of the churches is not well established, most are thought to have been built during the reign of Lalibela, namely during the 12th and 13th centuries. 

Biete Amanuel is an underground Orthodox monolith rock-cut church located in LalibelaEthiopia. The edifice was built during the Kingdom of Axum. Biete Amanuel (House of Emmanuel) is possibly the former royal chapel. - in: wikipedia

The 11 churches (in red what I have):
  • Biete Medhane Alem 
  • Biete Maryam 
  • Biete Golgotha Mikael 
  • Biete Meskel
  • Biete Denagel 
  • Biete Giyorgis
  • Biete Amanuel 
  • Biete Qeddus Mercoreus
  • Biete Abba Libanos 
  • Biete Gabriel-Rufael 
  • Biete Lehem 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is known for its beautiful torii gate, that appears to float on the water

The Torii of Itsukushima Shrine
This postcard was sent by Saori

Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima (popularly known as Miyajima), best known for its "floating" torii gate.
The shrine has been destroyed several times, but the first shrine buildings were probably erected in the 6th century. The present shrine dates from the mid-16th century, and is believed to follow an earlier design from the 12th century. 

The dramatic gate, or torii, of Itsukushima Shrine is one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions, and the most recognizable and celebrated feature of the Itsukushima shrine. Although a gate has been in place since 1168, the current gate dates back only to 1875. The gate, built of decay-resistant camphor wood, is about 16 metres high. The placement of an additional leg in front of and behind each main pillar identifies the torii as reflecting the style of Ryōbu Shintō (dual Shinto), a medieval school of esoteric Japanese Buddhism associated with the Shingon Sect. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

40 tombs of members of the Korean Joseon Dynasty  are scattered in over 18 locations across South Korea. I only have one postcard of one of them.

Sungneung - Tomb of Hyeonjong
This postcard was sent by Jennifer

The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty form a collection of 40 tombs scattered over 18 locations. Built over five centuries, from 1408 to 1966, the tombs honoured the memory of ancestors, showed respect for their achievements, asserted royal authority, protected ancestral spirits from evil and provided protection from vandalism. Spots of outstanding natural beauty were chosen for the tombs which typically have their back protected by a hill as they face south toward water and, ideally, layers of mountain ridges in the distance. Alongside the burial area, the royal tombs feature a ceremonial area and an entrance. In addition to the burial mounds, associated buildings that are an integral part of the tombs include a T-shaped wooden shrine, a shed for stele, a royal kitchen and a guards’ house, a red-spiked gate and the tomb keeper’s house. The grounds are adorned on the outside with a range of stone objects including figures of people and animals. The Joseon Tombs completes the 5,000 year history of royal tombs architecture in the Korean peninsula. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1319/

Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites

Korea is said to contain more than 40% of the world's dolmen, which are mostly concentrated in these three sites. I have a postcard of one of them.

Gochang Dolmen Site
This postcard was sent by Jennifer

The Gochang Dolmen Site (8.38 ha) features the largest and most diversified group, and is centered in the village of Maesan, along the southern foot of a group of hills running east/west. Over 440 dolmens of various types have been recorded in this location. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/977/

Hwaseong Fortress

The story behind this fortress is kind of creepy . It was built by King Jeongjo  to house and honor the remains of his father who was executed by order of his own father, the previous king, by being confined in a rice chest where he died of starvation.

Hwaseong Fortress
This postcard was sent by Jennifer

Hwaseong is a piled-stone and brick fortress of the Joseon Dynasty that surrounds the centre of Suwon City, of Gyeonggi-do Province. It was built in the late 18th century by King Jeongjo for defensive purposes, to form a new political basis and to house the remains of his father, Crown Prince Jangheon. The massive walls of the fortress, which are 5.74 km in length, enclose an area of 130 ha and follow the topography of the land. The Suwoncheon, the main stream in Suwon, flows through the centre of the fortress. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/817

Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu

This site comprises the temple, the cemetery, the family mansion of Confucius and over 100 other buildings

Temple of Confucius in Qufu
This postcard was sent by Ning

The Temple of Confucius in QufuShandong Province, is the largest and most renowned temple of Confucius in East Asia.
The temple complex is among the largest in China, it covers an area of 16,000 square metres and has a total of 460 rooms. Because the last major redesign following the fire in 1499 took place shortly after the building of the Forbidden City in the Ming Dynasty, the architecture of the Temple of Confucius resembles that of the Forbidden City in many ways. - in: wikipedia

Old Town of Lijiang

This town was once a confluence for trade along the "Old Tea Horse Caravan Trail" and  is famous for its ancient water-supply system

Old Town of Lijiang
This postcard was sent by San-Aiolia

The Old Town of Lijiang, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity. Its architecture is noteworthy for the blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries. Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/811/

Monday, 13 November 2017

Fatehpur Sikri

I hate when postcards have mistakes. This postcard is identify as showing Buland Darwaza, the highest gateway in the world, but in fact shows Jama Masjid, a 17th-century mosque. The gate is part of the mosque but is not shown in the postcard. Fortunately, is part of Fatehpur Sikri anyway.

Jama Masjid
This postcard was sent by Prashanth

The Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), a.k.a. Jami Masjid, is a 17th-century mosque in the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri in India. The mosque was built in 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan and dedicated to his loving daughter, Jahanara Begum. The mosque also known as the "Friday Mosque" is one of the largest mosques in India and is a most sought after pilgrimage site by the devotees. - in: wikipedia

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya

This is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick and is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha

Mahabodhi Temple

The Mahabodhi Temple (literally: "Great Awakening Temple"), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient, but much rebuilt and restored, Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
What is now visible on the ground essentially dates from the 7th century CE, or perhaps somewhat earlier, as well as several major restorations since the 19th century. But the structure now may well incorporate large parts of earlier work, possibly from the 2nd or 3rd century CE.
The temple complex includes two large straight-sided shikhara towers, the largest over 55 metres (180 feet) high. This is a stylistic feature that has continued in Jain and Hindu temples to the present day, and influenced Buddhist architecture in other countries, in forms like the pagoda. - in: wikipedia

Uvs Nuur Basin

This is another site shared by Mongolia and Russia. Again, I still need a postcard from Mongolia

Uvs Nuur Basin
This postcard was sent by Irina

The Uvs Nuur Basin (1,068,853 ha), is the northernmost of the enclosed basins of Central Asia. It takes its name from Uvs Nuur Lake, a large, shallow and very saline lake, important for migrating birds, waterfowl and seabirds. The site is made up of twelve protected areas representing the major biomes of eastern Eurasia. The steppe ecosystem supports a rich diversity of birds and the desert is home to a number of rare gerbil, jerboas and the marbled polecat. The mountains are an important refuge for the globally endangered snow leopard, mountain sheep (argali) and the Asiatic ibex. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/769/

Mongun Taiga
This postcard was sent by Galina

Mongun-Taiga, also known as Mungun-Taiga (TuvanМөңгүн-Тайга - Silver Mountain) is a massif in Mongun-Taiga kozhuunRussia. The Russian part of the Altay Mountains is considered part of Western Siberia, but Mongun-Taiga in 1932 was transferred (along with the north of Uvs Nuur Basin) from the Mongolian People's Republic of Tuva, and in 1944 became part of Eastern Siberia. - in: wikipedia

Golden Mountains of Altai

It's not always easy to see  if the image shown in the postcard is part of the UNESCO site or not. In the case of this first postcard I'm not exactly sure, but the others I have no doubts

Kolyvan Lake
This postcard was sent by Lara

Kolyvanskoye lake, which stretches for 4 km, is a pearl of Mountain Kolyvan. It is one of the biggest lakes in the southwestern part of Altai Krai. Spurs of the lake begin with the rocky shores.
The lake is a natural monument of federal value. Being relatively small, it is famous for its pure water and granite rocks of intricate form (arches, columns, palaces, animals, human beings) – it all depends on the imagination of a person. The water is fresh and there are good sandy beaches. Once having splashed on the place of West-Siberian lowland, the lake is the result of joint efforts of waves of the ancient Mansijskoye Sea. - in: http://www.visitaltai.info/en/where_visit/objects/lakes/968/

Ukok Plateau
This postcard with amazing stamps was sent by Natalia

Ukok Plateau is a remote and pristine grasslands area located in the heart of southwestern Siberia, the Altai Mountains region of Russia near the borders with ChinaKazakhstan and Mongolia. The plateau is recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai as an important environmental treasure. It provides a habitat for many of the world's endangered species including one of its least studied predatory animals: the snow leopard. Other endangered species protected there include the argali mountain sheep, the steppe eagle, and the black stork. -  in: wikipedia

Multinsky Lakes
This postcard was sent by Alena

Multinsky lakes are one of the most beautiful places of the Altai region. The lakes are situated on macro face of Katun edge, in the upstream of Multa river. In the valley of lakes are towering snow-capped peaks which are reflected in their emerald-clear water. - in: http://www.altaytyr.ru/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&lang=en