Friday, October 21, 2016

Nalanda Mahavihara - India

This year India inscribed 3 sites on the WHS list. That's quite impressive. I already had all the Indian sites before these new inscriptions and it wasn't that hard to get these three new sites. Sita sent me this card of the Nalanda Mahavihara. 

Photo: Sarah Jamerson
The Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions. in:

Palace of the Assembly, Chandigarh - India

I complain many times about how hard it is to get cards from new UNESCO sites, however in the last 4 months I've actually got a few new sites. I've now cards from 869 UNESCO sites. This one from India was sent by Prashanth.

“The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement” is one of this year's new UNESCO sites. The site includes seventeen of Le Corbusier's, a french-swiss architect, buildings, spanning over seven countries. Chandigarh's Capitol Complex in India is one of the classified properties.

Photo: Duncid
Palace of Assembly is one of the three buildings in Chandigarh Capitol Complex.
After the partition of Punjab, in 1947 following the independence of India, the divided Punjab required a new capital as Lahore was now in Pakistan. Thus Le Corbusier was commissioned by first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru to build a new city of Chandigarh as the capital of Punjab and newly carved state of Haryana. The brief for the design was a city "unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future". Subsequently, Corbusier and his team built not just a large assembly and high court building, but all major buildings in the city, and down to the door handles in public offices. Today many of the buildings are considered modernist masterpieces, though most are in a state of neglect. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thessaloniki - Greece

Back in June Ana went on holidays to Greece. Thessaloniki was one of the places she visited and where she had a mini-meeting with Dimitris. 

Summer Dreams Editions
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece.
The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to modern Greece on 8 November 1912.
The city is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures. The city's main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans.
Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. - in: wikipedia

Academy of Athens - Greece

This beautiful building is the Academy of Athens, the most magnificent of all the neoclassical buildings that were constructed in Athens during the 19th century. Its design was inspired by the ancient Erechtheion at the Acropolis. 
The card was sent last June by Sofia.

The building was designed by Theophil Hansen, a Danish/Austrian architect with a classical training. Hansen had previously worked on the University Building with his brother Christian and he would later also design the National Library. These three buildings, all built next to each other, form the so-called Athenian Trilogy. 
The Academy is the most acclaimed of the three buildings. It was constructed in pentelic marble between 1859 and 1885 under the supervision of architect Ernst Ziller, a student of Hansen. The wealthy businessman Simon Sinas, founder of the National Bank of Austria and Greek Consul in Vienna, provided the necessary funds.

© Copyright by M Toubis S A
Flanking the main temple are two tall Ionic columns with statues of Athena and Apollo. Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, arts, civilization, warfare and justice is shown dressed in armor, holding a shield and a spear. Apollo, god of music and poetry, is depicted holding a lyre in his left hand. Both statues were sculpted by Leonidas Drosis. 
The same sculptor created two more statues, situated on either side of a staircase leading to the Academy. They depict the famous Greek philosophers Plato and Socrates, who are shown seated. - in:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I bought way too many cards in Czech Republic, one of them was a copy of this beautiful snowy view of Prague's Castle. I'm glad I've now this card written & stamped from there.

Photo © Radim Sulc
CZ-1024770, sent by Pavlina.
Prague Castle was most likely founded in around 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty (Přemyslovci). According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m². A UNESCO World Heritage site, it consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from the remains of Romanesque-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications of the 14th century. The famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik was responsible for extensive renovations in the time of the First Republic (1918-1938). Since the Velvet Revolution, Prague Castle has undergone significant and ongoing repairs and reconstructions. - in:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Holy Trinity Column - Czech Republic

I've been to Czech Republic 2 years ago and visited many UNESCO sites, unfortunately, time wasn't enough to go to Olomouc and visit the Holy Trinity Column. 

 Foto © Ales Matejícek
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) between 1714 and 1716. 

Photo: Jan Andreás
CZ-1007564, sent by Michaela and Lucie.
The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way.
It is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "one of the most exceptional examples of the apogee of central European Baroque artistic expression". - in: wikipedia

Zakopane - Poland

This card from Zakopane is the last card sent by Ara from Poland.

Zakopane is a lovely town situated at the foothills of the majestic Tatra mountains. It has a population of 30,000 inhabitants. The unusual location of the town, hidden between a gentle range of Gubałówka and the rocky Tatra summits was a decisive factor in its career as a tourism centre. As early as at the end of the 18th century Zakopane, a small and remote village located at the southern end of Poland, started to attract the first summer holidaymakers. The visitors arrived mainly from Cracow in horse carts, often carrying various domestic equipment, which they couldn't find in the modest highland peasant cottage.
In 1889 Zakopane obtained the status of a health resort attracting patients suffering from tuberculosis. When, in 1898 the construction works on a railway track were finished, the first train from Cracow reached the town. This resulted in a rapid increase in the number of tourists from 1600 in 1898 to over 10,000 in 1900 (over 3 million at present).

Fot. © Maciej Gasienica
The thirties of the 20th century were a period of a sudden skiing boom. Before the outbreak of the Second World War two huge investments in Zakopane had been finished, which secured Zakopane's status as the winter capital of Poland. In 1936 a cableway to Kasprowy Wierch (1,998 m above the sea level) was constructed in just six months.
Soon afterwards, in 1938 a chair rail which took the tourists from the centre of Zakopane to Gubałówka, where they could admire beautiful views over the Tatra mountains stretching away from the hill, was opened.
During the Second World War uninvited guests started to appear in the town. They were the Nazis and their families who used the confiscated hotels and boarding houses to spend their holidays in. Many of the Tatra tourist guides and Zakopane skiers put their life at risk during the war, helping the refugees to cross the Polish border through the mountains.
After the war, till the end of the 80s, Zakopane was mainly visited by Polish tourists who spent there their summer and winter holidays.
After the collapse of the communism the number of Polish tourists visiting Zakopane decreased slightly, but more and more international visitors began to come to Zakopane. - in: