Friday, February 5, 2016

Mt. Huangshan - China

Mt. Huangshan in China is also a UNESCO site, it was inscribed in 1990. Since 2008 I've got all these cards from there and they were sent by Lucy, Qusia, Carol, Abay and Lior.

Mount Huangshan, often described as the “loveliest mountain of China”, has played an important role in the history of art and literature in China since the Tang Dynasty around the 8th century, when a legend dated from the year 747 described the mountain as the place of discovery of the long-sought elixir of immortality.

This legend gave Mount Huangshan its name and assured its place in Chinese history.  Mount Huangshan became a magnet for hermits, poets and landscape artists, fascinated by its dramatic mountainous landscape consisting of numerous granitic peaks, many over 1,000 m high, emerging through a perpetual  sea of clouds.  During the Ming Dynasty from around the 16th century, this landscape and its numerous grotesquely-shaped rocks and ancient, gnarled trees inspired the influential Shanshui (“Mountain and Water”) school of landscape painting, providing a fundamental representation of the oriental landscape in the world’s imagination and art. 

CN-1715633, sent by Carol. 
The property, located in the humid subtropical monsoon climate zone of China’s Anhui Province and covering an area of 15,400 ha with a buffer zone of 14,200 ha, is also of outstanding importance for its botanical richness and for the conservation of a number of locally or nationally endemic plant species, some of which are threatened with extinction. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/547

CN-881756, sent by Abay. 
Celestial Capital Peak, also known as Tiandu Peak, with 1.830 meters high, is one of the three major peaks of Mt. Huangshan.
The climb, dangerous in the old days, is a "walk-over", with stone steps placed or hewn along the trail and iron chains to cling to. Now 43,000 steps link all the peaks and a winding path 3,800 meters long has been paved for the convenience of tourists. The peak is over 5900, is one of the steepest and most breathtaking peaks of Mount Huang. At the top of the peak is a stone carving of 4 Chinese characters "Deng Feng Zao Ji" (the highest peak), as the peak surpasses the others in the surrounding area.

CN - 44139, sent by lior.
 A traveler in old times that failed to reach the top sighed as he composed this poem:
“How I wish I could ride a crane some day to view the sea of clouds over Tiandu Peak.”
The top of the peak is flat with a natural cave large enough to hold more than one hundred people. The saying goes: “Without reaching Jade Screen Pavilion, a panoramic view of the mountain is impossible; without climbing Tiandu Peak, your trip is in vain”." - in: http://www.china-tour.cn/Huangshan/Tiandu-Peak.htm

Manas National Park - India

India has 32 sites inscribed on the UNESCO WHS list and now, with this card from Manas National Park, sent by K. R. Bhat, I've cards from all the sites. It wasn't easy but its done!!
This not so friendly looking animal is a golden langur, one of the rare and endangered endemic wildlife species in the park. It is one of the most endangered primate species of India. Long considered sacred by many Himalayan people, the golden langur was first brought to the attention of the western world by the naturalist E. P. Gee in the 1950s. - in: wikipedia

Photo: Yathin
Manas National Park, located in the northeastern state of Assam covers an area of 50.000 hectares in the plains of the Mana River in the Himalayan foothills.. It is a National Park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve.
Besides de golden langur, the park is also home to a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species, such as the tiger, pygmy hog, Indian rhinoceros, Indian elephant, Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, clouded leopard, sloth bear, bengal florican and wild water buffalo. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bahla Fort - Oman

Every card from a new Unesco site is very much appreciated and even more when they come from not so easy to get places. This one is from Oman and it shows the historic fort of Bahla.
The card was sent by Cristina.

Bahla Fort is situated at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the oasis of Bahla was prosperous under the control of the Banu Nebhan tribe.

The fort's ruined adobe walls and towers rise some 165 feet above its sandstone foundations. 
 The fort was not restored or conserved before 1987, and had fallen into a parlous state, with parts of the walls collapsing each year in the rainy season.
The fort became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It was included in the List of World Heritage in Danger from 1988. Restoration works began in the 1990s, and nearly $9m were spent by the Omani government from 1993 to 1999. It remained covered with scaffolding and closed to tourists for many years. It was removed from the list of endangered sites in 2004. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - UAE

Ara spent her last holidays in UAE. Abu Dhabi was one of the emirates she visited and this card is from there. It shows the world famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the third largest mosque in the world. 
The 2nd card was sent by Claus a couple of years ago.

www.mevcreative.com
The mosque was named after the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He chose the location and took substantial influence on the architecture and the design of the mosque. Based on his vision, the mosque was built with the rise of 11 metres above sea level, and 9.5 metres above the street level so that it is clearly visible from all directions.
It is built as a monument to consolidate Islamic culture and a prominent centre for Islamic sciences.
According to his wish, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also the last resting place of its name giver, who passed away in 2004.

Photo by Nicole Lüttecke
As per the direction of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the mosque is located in the heart of the new Abu Dhabi between Musaffah Bridge and Maqta Bridge. The construction of AED 2.5 billion-project began in the late 1996. Approximately 38 contracting companies and about 3,500 workers helped realising the complex over a period of almost 12 years.
On the 20th of December 2007, the mosque was initially opened to the public and prayers. The first prayer was held in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. - in: https://www.abudhabi.ae/portal/public/en/citizens/culture_and_recreation/cultural_and_historical_sites/gen_info20?docName=ADEGP_DF_104596_EN&_adf.ctrl-state=5wx4l7vax_4&_afrLoop=19241414289521547#!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dead Sea - Israel

The other card sent by Debora was this one from the Dead Sea. 

The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 429 metres (1,407 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 34.2% salinity (in 2011), it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water.

© Published by Palphoto Ltd * Photography by Garo Nalbandian
 It is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 50 kilometres (31 mi) long and 15 kilometres (9 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley and its main tributary is the Jordan River.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. In the Bible, it is a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.
The Dead Sea water has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating. - in: wikipedia

Capernaum - Israel

Cards from Israel are a rare sight in my mailbox and I only have a few in my collection. Last week I got two sent by Debora. This one is from Capernaum, currently an archeological site known as the Town of Jesus. 

Situated on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, the town of Capernaum remained a large (in ancient terms) and prominent city, holding some 1,500 residents, for over nine centuries until its mysterious evacuation in the 7th century AD.
Though no longer a functioning town, Capernaum's importance in modern times is based on its rich history in antiquity and its multiple mentioning in the New Testament. Most notably, Capernaum is believed to have been Jesus' home and the center of his ministry after leaving his birth town of Nazareth. Reference to Capernaum as Jesus' home and the place where He performed many of His miracles is made in the Gospel of Matthew, where it is said that Jesus was approached by a Roman officer who asked Him to heal his servant when the latter fell ill. Jesus' ability to cure the feverish servant serves, to this day, as a reminder of His ability to work miracles. In the Gospel of Luke too, the town of Capernaum is mentioned several times with regard to Jesus prophetic abilities. According to Luke, in the town of Capernaum Jesus healed a man who was possessed by the devil, as well as curing Peter's sickly mother in law.
Capernaum is mentioned twice more in the New Testament, once as the home of Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the dwelling place of Matthew the tax collector. The second time Capernaum is referred to is as one of the three cities damned by Jesus for its inhabitants' wrong doings and lack of faith in God.
For all its importance in Jesus' life and His ministry, Capernaum is a destination not to be missed when on a Christian tour to Israel.

© Published by Palphoto Ltd * Photography by S. Mendrea
Of particular interest in Capernaum are the ruins of the ancient synagogue. Though there is no finite knowledge of the time this synagogue was built, archeologist estimate that it dates back to the 1st century AD.
It was the Roman officer who asked Jesus to heal his servant that is credited with building the synagogue as a token of good faith and gratitude to Jesus for his miracle work. Liturgical documents indicate that Jesus held regular sermons in this synagogue, most notably the famed sermon on the Bread of Life (John 6: 35-59).
Of this ancient synagogue, only the western wall remained in tact. It has been the foundation for a later synagogue built on the same grounds some three centuries later.
The ruins seen in Capernaum today are of the later synagogue, which stands out from the rest, much humbler, huts and small stone houses in the city. With white bricks making up its external walls and intricately painted stucco covering its internal walls, the synagogue must have been quite lavish when in use. The excavations carried out by the Franciscans have also uncovered four distinctly separate halls, making the synagogue big enough to seat all the town's inhabitants. - in: http://www.tourstotheholyland.com/christian-travel-guide/places-in-the-holy-land/capernaum.aspx

Friday, January 22, 2016

Istanbul - Turkey

Ana has been to Turkey in August, Damien has been there in November and I haven't been there but someday I want to visit this country too. 

© Copyright Ipekyolu Turistik Yayinlan - Her Hakki Mahfuzdur
Many visitors to İstanbul never make it out of Sultanahmet, which is not a surprise because this neighbourhood is a showcase of the city's glorious past, crammed with mosques, palaces, churches and houses dating from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. On the card is possible to see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Cistern Basilica.