Monday, 30 January 2017

Historic Walled Town of Cuenca

Among us, UNESCO collectors, a lot of times trips are planned according with our missing list. I was already making plans to make a deviation to Cuenca to buy postcards in my next trip to Portugal when I received this wonderful postcard that made me change my plans. It's not that I don't want to go to Cuenca, but there are other places that I want to visit without making such a long deviation.

Hanging Houses of Cuenca
This postcard was sent by Alena

The Casas Colgadas (Hanged Houses), also known as Casas VoladasCasas del Rey and, erroneously, Casas Colgantes, is a complex of houses located in Cuenca, Spain. In the past, houses of this kind were frequent along the eastern border of the ancient city, located near the ravine of the river Huécar. Today, however, there are only a few of them remaining. Of all of these structures, the most well-known is a group of three with wooden balconies.
Their origin remains uncertain, though there is proof of their existence in the 15th century. Throughout their history they have been refurbished several times. The most recent took place during the 1920s. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hubei Shennongjia

Sometimes postcards arrive in bad shape, sometimes arrive in real bad shape like this first one that even has a stamp on the front of it that should be from another postcard or letter. Fortunetely, most of the postcards arrive in good shape

Hubei Shennongjia
This postcard was sent by Chenzhan

Located in Hubei Province, in central-eastern China, the site consists of two components: Shennongding/Badong to the west and Laojunshan to the east. It protects the largest primary forests remaining in Central China and provides habitat for many rare animal species, such as the Chinese Giant Salamander, the Golden or Sichuan Snub-nosed Monkey, the Clouded Leopard, Common Leopard and the Asian Black Bear.

Hubei Shennongjia
This postcard was sent by Danise

Hubei Shennongjia is one of three centres of biodiversity in China. The site features prominently in the history of botanical research and was the object of international plant collecting expeditions in the 19th and 20th centuries. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1509

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mount Wutai

According with the sender, this first postcard shows the Mount Wutai, but there is nothing in the card that identifies it. Even the image is not easily identifiable... So I was very happy when I received the second card, well identified and with a well known image

Mount Wutai
This postcard was sent by Bosen

Mount Wutai (Chinese五台山pinyinWǔtái shān; literally: "Five Plateau Mountain"), also known as Wutai Mountain or Qingliang Shan, is a Buddhist sacred site located at the headwaters of river Qingshui, in the Chinese northeastern province of Shanxi, surrounded by a cluster of flat-topped peaks (North, South, East, West, and Central). The North peak, called Beitai Ding or Yedou Feng, is the highest (3,061 m) of these, and is also the highest point in northern China. 

Mount Wutai
This postcard was sent by Danise

As host to over 53 sacred monasteries, Mount Wutai is home to many of China's most important monasteries and temples.
Nanshan Temple is a large temple in Mount Wǔtái, first built in the Yuan DynastyOther major temples include Xiantong TempleTayuan Temple and Pusading Temple. - in: wikipedia

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world

The Grand Canal
This postcard was sent by Jianlun

The Grand Canal forms a vast inland waterway system in the north-eastern and central eastern plains of China, passing through eight of the country’s present-day provinces. It runs from the capital Beijing in the north to Zhejiang Province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication for the Empire for the first time in the 7th century AD (Sui Dynasty). This led to a series of gigantic worksites, creating the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project ensemble prior to the Industrial Revolution. Completed and maintained by successive dynasties, it formed the backbone of the Empire’s inland communications system. Its management was made possible over a long period by means of the Caoyun system, the imperial monopoly for the transport of grain and strategic raw materials, and for the taxation and control of traffic.

The Grand Canal
This postcard was sent by Danise

The system enabled the supply of rice to feed the population, the unified administration of the territory, and the transport of troops. The Grand Canal reached a new peak in the 13th century (Yuan Dynasty), providing a unified inland navigation network consisting of more than 2,000 km of artificial waterways, linking five of the most important river basins in China, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Still a major means of internal communication today, it has played an important role in ensuring the economic prosperity and stability of China over the ages. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1443

Friday, 20 January 2017

Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City

Liverpool is the birthplace of The Beatles. Because I love rock and roll, I'd love to visit some landmarks related with the Fab Four.

Waterfront, Three Graces and Museum of Liverpool
This postcard was sent by Tündi

The Pier Head is the focal point of Liverpool's waterfront and is dominated by three of its most recognisable landmarks: The Liver Building, The Port of Liverpool Building and the Cunard Building. Collectively referred to as the Three Graces, they stand as a testament to the great wealth in the city during the late 19th and early 20th century when Liverpool was one of the most important ports in the world. Initially plans existed to add a 'fourth grace' to area, named The Cloud and designed by Will Alsop, however this fell through in 2004. Today, in what would have been its place, a new Museum of Liverpool opened on 19 July 2011. Behind the Port of Liverpool building is the art deco George's Dock Ventilation Tower, whose design is heavily influenced by Egyptian architectural styling. Also a part of the site is the old George's Dock wall, which dates from the late 18th century, as well as several memorials, including one built to honour the engineers who remained at their post as the RMS Titanic sank. - in: wikipedia

Papahānaumokuākea

This site with a strange name is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world

Papahanaumokuakea
This postcard was sent by Julia

Papahānaumokuākea is a vast and isolated linear cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls, with their surrounding ocean, roughly 250 km to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Archipelago and extending over some 1931 km. The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons. It is one of the largest marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1326

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Ephesus

Ephesus was already a big touristic attraction before the inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage list, due to the ruins of its monumental buildings

Library of Celsus
This postcard was sent by Nihan

Ephesus (TurkishEfes) was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir ProvinceTurkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capita by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.
The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Among many other monumental buildings are the Library of Celsus, and a theatre capable of holding 25,000 spectators. - in: wikipedia

Library of Celsus
This postcard was sent by Cuneyt

This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it. Because Athena was the goddess of the wisdom. - in: http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/celsuslibrary.htm

Great Theatre
This postcard was sent by Helen

The Great Theatre is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street, and easily seen when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today. - in: http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/theatre.htm

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Historic Areas of Istanbul

I'd love to visit Istanbul. Even some structures that are not part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it looks a good place to taste a good Turkish coffee

Sultan Ahmet Moque and Hagia Sophia
This postcard was sent by Onder

The distinctive and characteristic skyline of Istanbul was built up over many centuries and encompasses the  Hagia  Sophia whose vast dome reflects the architectural and decorative expertise of the 6th century,  the 15th century Fatih complex and Topkapi Palace - that was continually extended until the 19th century, the Süleymaniye Mosque complex and Sehzade Mosque complex, works of the chief architect Sinan, reflecting the climax of Ottoman architecture in the 16th century, the 17th century Blue Mosque and the slender minarets of the New Mosque near the port completed in 1664. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/356/

Sultan Ahmet Mosque
This postcard was sent by Marcel

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque (TurkishSultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic mosque located in IstanbulTurkey. A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque's lush red carpet after the call to prayer. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Magnificent hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. - in: wikipedia

Hagia Sophia
This postcard was sent by Harun

Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in IstanbulTurkey. From the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.
The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns. -in: wikipedia

Glazed Tile from Harem in Topkapı Palace
This postcard was sent by Seda

The Topkapı Palace or the Seraglio is a large palace in IstanbulTurkey that was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-year reign.
The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, and covered a large area with a long shoreline. It contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. It was originally called the New Palace (Yeni Saray or Saray-ı Cedîd-i Âmire) to distinguish it from the previous residence. It received the name "Topkapı" (Cannon Gate) in the 19th century, after a (now lost) gate and shore pavilion. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. - in: wikipedia


Meteora

This postcard is beautiful and this place looks really impressive! In this site there are twenty-four monasteries built in rocks almost inaccessible. 

Monastery  of Roussanou
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Metéora (literally "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to meteorology) - is a formation of immense monolithic pillars and hills like huge rounded boulders which dominate the local area.
It is also associated with one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second in importance only to Mount Athos.

The Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara was founded in the middle of the 16th century and decorated in 1560. Today it is a flourishing nunnery with 13 nuns in residence in 2015. - in: wikipedia

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos

This site has one of the longest names of the World Heritage list and it was where St. John wrote his Gospel and the Apocalypse 

Monastery of St John the Theologian
This postcard was sent by Elena

The Monastery of St. John the Divine (Agios Ioannis o Theologos), also known as the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, is a fortified Orthodox monastery on the island of Patmos in Greece.
In 1088, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos gave the island of Patmos to the soldier-priest Ionnis Khristodhoulos "the Blessed." The greater part of the monastery was completed by Khristodhoulos in just three years. Its heavily fortified exterior was necessitated by the threats of piracy and Seljuk Turks. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/patmos-monastery-of-st-john


Historic Centre of San Gimignano

San Gimignano is known for its towers but the white wine of the region is also very famous

San Gimignano
This postcard was sent by Gian Luca

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of SienaTuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form "an unforgettable skyline". Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant' Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. - in: wikipedia

Piazza della Cisterna
This postcard was sent by Cristina

This Piazza, entered from Via San Giovanni, is the main square of the town. It is triangular in shape and is surrounded by medieval houses of different dates, among them some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic palazzos. At the centre of the piazza stands a well which was the main source of water for the town's residents. The structure dates from 1346. Although much of it has been renewed in the late 20th century, parts of the paving date from the 13th century. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

Ferrara seems to be a very beautiful and cultural city. Located by the River Po, Ferrara attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance

Castello Estense
The Castello Estense (‘Este castle’) or castello di San Michele (‘St. Michael's castle’) is a moated medieval castle in the center of Ferrara, northern Italy
On the outside, the castle essentially presents the appearance given to it by Girolamo da Carpi in the second half of the 16th century. Surrounded by a moat, it has three entrances with drawbridges fronted by brickwork ravelins. The fourth entrance, to the east, was sacrificed to make room for the kitchens.
At the bottom, the appearance of the building still recalls a mediaeval fortress, but higher up, da Carpi replaced the battlements with elegant balconies in white stone (resting on series of corbels), making it higher again by constructing a higher storey, covered by a skew roof. The towers were improved and made more graceful with roof terraces. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 13 January 2017

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

Pisa is worldwide known for its leaning tower. The tower's tilt began during construction and the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres from the centre.
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Piazza del Duomo
This postcard was sent by Ale

The Piazza dei Miracoli (English: Square of Miracles), formally known as Piazza del Duomo (English: Cathedral Square), is a walled 8.87-hectare area located in PisaTuscanyItaly, recognized as an important center of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. Considered sacred by the Catholic Church, its owner, the square is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Campanile, and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery). - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana

I was in Mallorca in 2009 but I didn't go to the Serra de Tramuntana because at the time I was already collecting postcards but not from UNESCO sites

Serra de Tramuntana
This postcard was sent from Germany by Katrin

The Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana located on a sheer-sided mountain range parallel to the north-western coast of the island of Mallorca. Millennia of agriculture in an environment with scarce resources has transformed the terrain and displays an articulated network of devices for the management of water revolving around farming units of feudal origins. The landscape is marked by agricultural terraces and inter-connected water works - including water mills - as well as dry stone constructions and farms. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1371

Roman Walls of Lugo

Lugo, like some other UNESCO sites in Galicia, looks a good place to visit when I return definitely to my country 

Roman Walls of Lugo
This postcard was sent by Vanesa

The Roman walls of Lugo were constructed in the 3rd century and are still largely intact today, stretching over 2 kilometers around the historic centre of Lugo in Galicia
The city walls were built between 263 and 276 A.D. to defend the Roman town of Lucus Augusti (present-day Lugo) against local tribesmen and Germanic invaders. The walls formed part of a complex of fortifications which also included a moat and an intervallum (the clearing between the walls and the city). The entire length of the walls is around 2,120 m, enclosing an area of 34.4 hectares. Not all of the town was enclosed by walls: much of the southeastern part of the town remained unprotected, while in other places unused areas were enclosed by walls. - in: wikipedia

Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

Of the three buildings that are part of this site I just don't have any postcard of the Archivo de Indias

Seville Cathedral and Giralda
 This postcard was sent by Marco

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville (AndalusiaSpain). It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It is also the largest cathedral in the world, as the two larger churches, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida and St. Peter's Basilica, are not the seats of bishops. Construction began in 1402 and continued until 1506.

The Giralda is the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain. It was originally built as a minaret during the Moorish period, with a Renaissance style top subsequently added by Spaniards. The tower is 104.1 m (342 ft) in height and remains one of the most important symbols of the city, as it has been since medieval times. - in: wikipedia

Alcázar of Seville
This postcard was sent by Marco

The Alcázar of Seville (Spanish "Reales Alcázares de Sevilla" or "Royal Alcazars of Seville") is a royal palace in SevilleSpain, originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings. The palace is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Spain, being regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of mudéjar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. - in: wikipedia