Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Brazilian chapels

I'm easily impressed by gothic, romanesque, barroc and other cathedrals or churches but I also like smaller and modest religious temples, such as these two brazilian chapels in São Paulo and Minas Gerais states. 

St. Anthony Chapel is located in São Roque, city in the state of São Paulo. Built in 1681, this chapel is a notable example of the Bandeirista style, an important manifestation of Brazilian architecture from the colonial period.

Foto: Newton França
The chapel of Saint Helen is located on the ridge of Santa Helena mountain, in the municipality of Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais. The chapel was built in colonial style in 1852.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chapada dos Veadeiros - Brazil

Brazil's Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is located in the Chapada dos Veadeiros, an ancient plateau with an estimated age of 1.8 billion years. Based in the Brazilian state of Goias, the Park was created on January 11, 1961 by President Juscelino Kubitscheck, and listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2001, together with the Emas National Park. 

Foto: Rui Faquini / Ícone: Ion David / Projecto Gráfico: Priscila Áquila 
The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is part of the highest plain in Central Brazil, with its highest point being the Serra da Santana. The region is of outstanding beauty, and is made up of wide plateaus with waterfalls and crystal clear springs. The uplands give way to deep rocky canyons and valleys. The main watercourse is the Preto River, which flows on a north-west to south-west direction; the northern extremity of the park is drained by the Santana and Bartolomeu rivers.
In the region of the park and its surroundings, three landscape areas can be recognized: the Rio Claro Valley Region is a lowland area, with relatively flat, undulating terrain; the Ridge Region is located in the middle-northern portion of the park, including the Rio Preto, Santana, Capim Branco and upland areas to the south; and the Highlands Region is distributed along the central portion of the park and is characterized by a plain relief pattern with some isolated tabular hills that dot landscape. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1035

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ID-102400 & ID-3134

These are my last and 1st official cards from Indonesia, both showing the Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Indonesia. The temple is classified as UNESCO WHS since 1991. 

 Photo: Agus Leonardus
ID-102400, sent by Juned.
"Borobudur is a ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades. 

ID-3134, sent by Titish.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction." - in: wikipedia

MY-216795

An official from Kuala Lumpur with the famous Petronas Towers, which dominates de city's skyline. 

MY-216795, sent by Catherine.
The towers are depicted through its outline, which resembles the letter "M" for Malaysia. The jagged outline subtly resembles one of Malaysia's famous traditional handicrafts – basket weaving – thus highlighting her strong cultural values.
The triangle that symbolises the skybridge acts like a fulcrum that perfectly balances Malaysia's past and future, local values and global outlook, multi-cultural background and united 1Malaysia concept. With an upward-pointing arrow to depict growth and progress, the triangle also symbolises the Twin Towers' ideal location at the heart of the Kuala Lumpur golden triangle. It is finished in the PETRONAS Green to further emphasise that the PETRONAS Twin Towers is built by our national oil company, PETRONAS.
The logo is encapsulated in a square, like a close electric circuit, to depict connectedness. - in: http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Himeji-jo - Japan

These are two beautiful cards of the Himeji-jo Castle, the largest and most visited castle in Japan. It was registered in 1993 as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. 
The 1st of these cards is an official, sent from Singapore, that i've received a few weeks ago and the other was sent by Noriko back in 2008. 

 SG-145728, sent by Angee.
Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture. It is located in Himeji City, in the Hyogo Prefecture, an area that has been an important transportation hub in West Japan since ancient times. The castle property, situated on a hill summit in the central part of the Harima Plain, covers 107 hectares and comprises eighty-two buildings. It is centred on the Tenshu-gun, a complex made up of the donjon, keeps and connecting structures that are part of a highly developed system of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period. The castle functioned continuously as the centre of a feudal domain for almost three centuries, until 1868 when the Shogun fell and a new national government was created.

The principal complex of these structures is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both in its elegant appearance unified by the white plastered earthen walls – that has earned it the name Shirasagi-jo (White Heron Castle) – and in the subtlety of the relationships between the building masses and the multiple roof layers visible from almost any point in the city. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/661

Taihe Palace - China

This is also a card from a chinese UNESCH WHS, Wudang Mountain Scenic Area and also associated with martial arts. The card was sent by SunXin.
Wudang Mountain which used to be called Taihe Mountain is one of the well-known Taoist sanctuaries in China, covering an area of more than 77,000 acres. It has been inscribed in the list of world heritage site by UNESCO. In the meanwhile, it is the key scenic area of China, the renowned Taoist Mountain, and the birthplace of Wudang chuan (武当拳) - one of the current martial arts in China. - in: http://www.visitourchina.com/guide/wudang_mountains.htm

Located between the Tianzhu Peak and the Golden Hall, Taihe Palace it was one of the most important architecture in Wudang Mountain.  It is believed that only those who have visited the palace have truly been to Wudang Mountain. 
This luxurious temple was first built by the Emperor Zhu Li, of the Ming Dynasty, more than 600 hundred years ago. Taoism was the official religion at the time, and Emperor Zhu himself named the temple "The Palace of Taihe on the Great Mountain". It is also called the Golden Peak because most of its parts are gilded copper. The gigantic sculpture of "Zhengwu God"(真武神), the legendary founder of Taoism, sitting in the center of the main court, is also made of copper and weighs more than 10 tons. - in: http://www.echinacities.com/Wuhan/city-guide/Best-Summer-Escape-near-Wuhan-Wudang-Mountain

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple - China

Here comes a card from a new chinese UNESCO site. Founded in the fifth century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and can probably be considered one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries.
Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Dengfeng."  in: wikipedia
The card was sent by Zihu.

The Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple stands at the foot of Shaoshi Mountain about half a kilometer west of Shaolin Temple in Henan Province. It is a concentration of tomb pagodas for eminent monks and abbots of the temple. A rough count shows more than 240 tomb pagodas of various sizes from the Tang, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (618-1911), making it the biggest pagoda forest in China.
Most of the Pagoda Forest is stone and brick structures, ranging from one to seven storeys, less than fifteen meters high -- much smaller than pagodas for Buddhist relics -- and all carry the exact year of their construction and many carvings and inscriptions. They are in a variety of styles, but are mainly multi-eaved and of pavilion-style. Their shapes are varied, including polygonal, cylindrical, vase, conical and monolithic, making the pagoda forest an exhibition of ancient pagodas, carvings and calligraphy of various dynasties. Besides the pagoda forest there are many invaluable tomb pagodas scattered around the Shaolin Temple, including the Faro Pagoda built in 689 in the Tang Dynasty, the Tongguang Pagoda constructed in 926 in the Five Dynasties, the Yugong Pagoda erected in 1324 in the Yuan Dynasty, and the Zhaogong Pagoda built in the Ming Dynasty, which are gems among ancient pagodas.
The Pagoda Forest is a rare treasure for later generations to study the history of Chinese ancient architecture, carving, calligraphy, art and religion. Besides, it is a scenic spot for tourists from home and abroad. - in: http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_travel/2003-09/24/content_36204.htm